My line-up of restorations cannot be complete without a K98 and this rifle was ideally suited to the task. Technically this rifle is sound with a reasonable barrel but its accuracy was poor due to the fact it had been made up from parts by people who simply have no idea about the product, don't care about the product and are out to make “a buck”. The rifles history is unknown but experience points towards a WWII Russian capture. These rifles were captured or abandoned by the Germans during or after their various confrontations with the Russians and their neighbours and have come out of Eastern Europe since the downfall of the the old Soviet Union.
The rifles tend to have common faults such as the butt being attacked by an angle grinder in a crude attempt to quickly remove old markings, the action is loose, no two numbers are the same, new numbers are crudely etched, the stock is painted with some hideous lacquer and the barrel is contacting the stock in all the wrong locations making this a perfect candidate for restoration.
Genuine sniper rifles are as rare as hens teeth, most were destroyed at the end of WWII and the ones that survived were brought back as war trophies and fetch considerable sums. Most current sniper rifles are fakes as is this one. This rifle has definitely been “made up” using replica bases and rings and the scope turret mounts have been braised in place therefore hiding the actions original manufacture. Having said that the braising work is relatively professional and the period scope is a Hensoldt Wetzlar Dalytan x4, which is technically accurate, however it was originally fitted with claw mounts but these have since been un-soldered and removed allowing rings to be fitted.
Old numbers have been ground off, the stock has simply been fitted and therefore it is loose, screws are too long or too short, thus interfering with the action, the barrel touches in all the wrong places and a lacquer was applied with such poor application that many of the components such as the barrel bands have also been coated. However although not original, the woodwork is actually in good condition and if you attempt to look underneath the poor finish the stock is undamaged and therefore fully restorable.
To try and save the customer money the stock will be restored in two parts.
Part 1 of the restoration will be to bed the receiver, fit the action/barrel correctly and accuracy tested. This will confirm the rifles ability to produce a tight group.
Having ensured the rifle can obtain a reasonable group, part 2 of the stock restoration will be cosmetic, removing all the hideous brown lacquer, re-profile the butt, preserving any historical markings and refinishing the woodwork in line with the original.
Trigger, Barrel & Action
Receiver and barrel are original and have genuine matching numbers, however all other parts are made up from parts and therefore have a plethora of mismatched numbers. Although slightly pitted the barrel appears to be in a reasonable condition with sharp rifling but will require accuracy testing to verify the bores capability to produce a good group.
To restore this rifle, the rifle is fully stripped and all the parts are cleaned in solvent, years of debris, rust and solidified oil are removed. Parts are polished and checked for wear or damage and the rifle rebuilt to its original specification. The trigger mechanism is a good design and can be tuned but in this case the customer requested that the original trigger be left serviced but un-tuned. The barrel, headspace and firing pin protrusion are gauged and the trigger pull is measured. The action is function tested to ensure all the rifles mechanisms operates correctly and dummy rounds are cycled through the rifle to ensure the rifle feeds, extracts and ejects without fault.