Some time back Netfotoj pointed us to some Mauser 98K rifles being sold by Mitchell's Mausers that were made by Steyr. The Mauser 98K was made by many manufacturers and the gun has quite a hobby behind it. A year or so back I bought on of the collector grade Mitchell's Mausers (not the SS one) and while the gun was pretty it was all polished and blinged out, and Mitchell's in infamous for unscrupulous business practices including fake stamps and vague descriptions to cover up their deceptions. I ended up selling that Mauser, amazingly enough breaking even, with the vow to own a Mauser that has not been altered in such a manner. Last month, with buying a Moisin Nagain 91/30 Tula hex I was again bitten by the milsurp bug and decided to acquire a Mauser 98K to start building an adversary set. The set would include the Moisin Nagant, Mauser 98K, Enfield (Savage) No.4 MkI (on layaway), Garrand (one is being picked for me by a friend in the biz), and Arisaka (has to have the mum), and a Caracano. That would cover the major combatants of WWII pretty well. Last week I found the Mauser. It turned out to be a Russian capture with mismatched barrel/receiver (bcd 1941 at Gustloff-Werke, Weimar) and trigger guard, with stock heavily coated with Russian red shellac chipping off like the gun has leprosy. The bore is in great condition, and for this one I decided to do a more drastic refinish on the stock. I also decided to acquire a second 98K and leave it unaltered except to remove the Russian red shellac goop (easily done with deantured alcohol, something I wish I would have known with he first one) replacing it with a tung oil finish, resulting in a very original look. As luck would have it, of the three Russian capture 98K that the shop had, the one left acquired as my second 98K has barrel/receiver marked "bnz" which indicates that the rifle was manufactured by Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG, in this case, in 1941. Sadly, these guns were made by slave labor, but since many of the rifles were headed to the SS they had special inspection teams to detect sabotage and insure quality. Truly sad, but Steyr manufactured many thousands 98K, and mine is one of them. Here is a first photo of the stock prior to re-assembly, which should happen this evening. There has been no sanding of the stock or attempts to fix dings. As with all of my adversary group rifles, the goal is to have an unaltered rifle cleaned up, preserved, showing the years of use by desperate men in desparate moments. The sight hood and cleaning rod, wich are always missing from Russian capture guns, have been replaced. Once the gun is back together another photo will follow.