(Mfg by J.P. Sauer und Sohn)
(Click PIC to Enlarge)
Rifling: .................................... 4-groove, RH Twist. 1 Turn in 254mm (10.0 in.)
Barrel Length: ......................... 23.6 in. (600mm)
Overall Length: ........................ 43.7 in. (1110mm)
Weight: ................................... 8.38 lb. (3.8 kg without sling, ammo or bayonet)
Magazine Capacity: .................. 5 rounds
Total K98k Qty Mfg ................... 14,048,789 (Estimated 1934 - 1945 from Richard Law's calculations), though less than 250,000 are estimated to have been absorbed by Norway after 1945.
Source: ....................... Backbone of the Wehrmacht (The German K98k Rifle, 1934 - 1945) by Richard D Law" (1993) - ISBN: 0-88935-139-2 and Mauser Military Rifles of the World, 4th ed. by Robert W. Ball (2006) - ISBN-13: 978-0-89689-296-5
Canadian Collector Market Value Estimate: $
1943 Norwegian K98k Mauser Rifle
(26 picture virtual tour)
Note: Pics of rifle provided courtesy of Milsurps.com moderator Claven2.
The K98k was the primary infantry rifle for the German Wehrmacht during World War II. The "k" is for Kurz, which means "short" in German. Norway was occupied by German forces throughout the bulk of the war and when the Reich surrendered to allied forces in 1945, General Franz Böhme announced the unconditional surrender of German troops in Norway on May 7, the same day as Jodl signed the unconditional surrender document on behalf of the Third Reich, Hitler having committed suicide several days earlier. When the surrender came there were no fewer than 400,000 German troops in Norway, which at that time had a population of barely 4 million. It has been estimated that on the order of 300,000 to 350,000 K98k rifles were turned in to Norwegian authorities.
When the war concluded, the Norwegian government had no organized armed forces to speak of, and even fewer arms than men, mostly outdated Krag Jorgensen rifles. On the other hand, vast quantities of Wehrmacht equipment was readily available and Norway wisely chose to adopt most of it for its own use. In fact, there were far more K98k rifles available than there were men in the Norwegian armed forces, so a number of rifles were broken down for spares. Serial number and maker code observations tend to support the theory that approximately 200,000 to 250,000 rifles were made serviceable, while the remainder were scrapped for spare parts. The latest codes one are likely to encounter date to 1943, and as such, it can be safely assumed that the late-war production rifles in Norway were among the first rifles to be parted out, the production quality of the barrels and receivers having been sacrificed to the exigencies of war. Additionally, when one encounters replaced parts on earlier vintage rifles refurbished in Norway, the liklihood of finding late-war parts used as replacement is exceedingly high.
Initially, Norway issued the rifles in the original 8mm Mauser chambering. At the close of the 1940's, however, Norway found itself increasingly under the US-dominated western sphere of political influence. A byproduct of this political reality was that the United States was ready to make available quantities of military materiel to it's Norwegian allies, including huge quantities of .30-06 ammunition. As the stocks of captured German ammunition were rapidly being depleted, it made sense to adopt the .30-06 cartridge as a new standard. Beginning in 1953, as rifles were returned to the Kongsberg arms depot, re-barrelled eaxamples in .30-06 were issued to replace them in service. By the end of 1954, all the K98k rifles in service with the Army (HÆR) and Air Force (FLY) would have been issued in .30-06, while the Navy (KNM) retained the original 8x57JS chambering to completely deplete existing stores of ammunition. Other groups within Norway also received .30-06 converted K98k with their own branch markings, but these are exceedingly rare today.
Here is a complete list:
HÆR....... Hæren (Army)
HV......... Heimevernet (rough equivalent of the National Guard)
FLY......... Flyvåpenet (Air Force)
KNM....... Kongelige Norske Marine (Navy)
K.ART..... Kistartilleriet (Coastal Artillery)
NSB....... Norges Statsbaner (Norwegian State Railway Police)
POLITI.... Polizia (Department of Justice & Police)
Changes made during the .30-06 conversion entailed:
- Re-barrelling in 7.62mm (.30-06),
- Altering the rear sight ladder to a "U" notch,
- Altering the front sight to a square post instead of an inverted V and altering its height to correspond to .30-06 balistics,
- Lengthening the trigger guard magazine well to accommodate the .30-06 round,
- Milling a half-moon cut into the rear of the receiver ring to accommodate .30-06 spitzer ammunition,
- Milling a flat into the side of the receiver ring to accommodate branch of service markings and a new serial number,
- Canceling out of the old German serial number and adding Norwegian firing proofs,
- Extending the mag well mill cut in the stock,
- Re-seriallizing the bolt handle root and the butt-plate to match the new serial number,
- Installing a dowel through the dish cut are of the stock to re-inforce the trigger mill cut web of the stock due to increased recoil,
- Reblueing the rifle and adding a thin coat of varnish to the stock wood. Wood was also lightly sanded if deemed necessary.
After the United States adopted the 7.62x51mm (7.62 NATO) Nato standard round, Norway experimented with converting their Mauser K98k stocks to 7.62 NATO as well. Many of the barrels were manufactured, but only a few thousand rifles were ever converted before Norway decided (in 1966) to relegate the K98k to war reserve and adopt the AG-3, a version of the H&K G3 battle rifle in 7.62 NATO. 7.62 NATO K98k Mausers from Norway are not commonly encountered today, though several retail outlets in the US have sold batches of the 7.62mm NATO barrels manufactured for the planned and subsequently cancelled conversion effort.
After the 7.62 NATO version was officially patterned and adopted in limited numbers, the nomenclature changed to K98kF2 for the 7.62 NATO version of the rifle and K98kF1 for the .30-06 version. The last of these mausers was relegated to war reserve in approximately 1973 and sold off stocks began to appear on the North American surplus markets in the early 1980's. No Norwegian Mauser rifles are likely to appear on the primary retail market again, as all remaining rifles are being destroyed as part of Norway's participation in a United Nations arms non-proliferation treaty.
Collector's Comments and Feedback:
1. It is not uncommon to find Norwegian K98k rifles that retain most of their original matching German parts, though the bolt body will always have the original serial number obliterated and the new Norwegian serial number stamped in. It is thus impossible to determine of the original bolt body is still with the rifle, though the Norwegians did headspace the rifles to ensure safe operation. Additionally, the rear sight ladder will invariably be mismatched as they were removed for conversion to the U notch and were not mated to their original rifles. Oddly, the slide assembly will usually still be matching to the original German serial number, indicating those parts were left with the rifles during the conversion process. It is not uncommon to fins other parts mismatched on these rifles as any worn, damaged or sub-standard parts would have been changed during refurbishment. This does not affect the rifle's value unless the bolt body's Norwegian serial number does not match the Norwegian serial number on the receiver. The only parts one need observe to determine if the rifle is matching as it was in Norwegian service is to ensure the butt-plate, receiver and bolt body have the same serial number applied.
Collector's tend to prefer the rifles that retain most of the original German serialized parts and that have stocks which were not heavily sanded and retain the German cartouches. This is a preference issue, however, and should not significantly affect value. Many of these rifles are found in nearly new condition as many rifles remained in war reserve or saw only limited issue after being rebuilt.
Given rarity and the high quality of the work done, every K98k collection shoul contain an example of the Norwegian K98k. ........... (Feedback by "Claven2")
2. Here's a very informative Norwegian collectors site operated by Trond Wikborg firstname.lastname@example.org
Norwegian military small-arms 1711-WW2 + + (click here)
I found there to be very little information on Norwegian military arms on the internet and decided to publish some information on the arms from the country whose armed forces probably had the worlds most advanced small-arms in the second half of the 1800's. I have collected Norwegian military long-guns for more than thirty years and have most of the main models in my collection. Unless else stated, all items on these pages are from my collection. Please feel free to copy whatever you like of text and pictures, but I would like you to acknowledge the source.
A short and very subjective history lesson about Norway: Norway was in a union "by marriage" with Denmark from the late 1300's to 1814, when Denmark was on the loosing side of the Napoleonic war. Norway was then given to Sweden as penance (Denmark kept Greenland and the Færøe Islands that really were Norwegian). This was the third time Denmark lost chunks of Norway to Sweden due to loosing wars, only this time they lost the whole country!
Norway now entered a union of "two sovereign nations" with Sweden, having their king in common. This was not popular in Norway and became increasingly less popular throughout the century. Norway was a small, poor country at the time, but started building fortresses along the Swedish border and an arms race in small-arms. The production was so large and the models changes so frequent that the whole army could change just about all their rifles to a new model every 7-10 years in the period from 1845-1900.
The Norwegian merchant fleet was already at that time way larger than the Swedish, but the Swedes denied Norway the right of having consulates. The Swedes wanted a monopoly on foreign polics for the two nations and this really was the beginning of the end of the Swedish/Norwegian union.
Norway and Sweden have crashed together a number of times throughout the history, and I believe Norway never really has lost any of these battles - well perhaps a little one in 1808, but.... Anyhow, Sweden accepted cutting Norway loose in 1905 after an election showing 300 000 against and less than 200 for the union in Norway, the condition being that Norway tore down the border fortresses.
Norway then elected a Danish prince king of Norway and completely stopped its arms race. It was the same old small-arms that met the Germans in 1940 that frightened the Swedes at the turn of the century.
........... (Feedback by "Badger")