Original Mauser Kar98k stock finish?

Discussions on the small arms used by the Axis forces.
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Original Mauser Kar98k stock finish?

Postby jjprzewozniak » 27 Jun 2009 05:40

Hi everybody,

I have been recently searching a variety of message boards, and I am coming up short of an answer to a quandary I’m having regarding the stock of my RC Kar98k. I’ve read numerous posts about how to strip varnish, what types of treatments to use, how to remove dents, etc., but one primary chunk of information eludes me.

Ho were these K98s finished during the war? Painfully, there is a dearth of information on this subject out there, or, at least it seems that way. I’m interested in knowing exactly how these weapons looked in the 30s/40s, and the best way to go about re-creating a historically accurate factory-new appearance.

Can anyone tell me about this? I have two stocks in particular; one very light, almost like a Mitchell’s one, and the other appears to be stained. In my quest for more information on this subject, some of the specific things I’d like to learn are:

1) Even though collectors and restoration enthusiasts have arguably overdone it, were there in fact very light blonde stocks produced during the war? If so, how many? When? Would bleaching be the best way to go about re-creating that look?
2) It has been mentioned on many Mauser boards that some were stained. Can anyone recommend a modern stain that best replicates the finish on an original K98? One of my stocks is badly worn, and due to it’s hue, I’m guessing it was originally stained. My initial plans are to bleach the wood and re-stain, because I’m assuming that new stain put on top of old, dingy stain will be too dark.
3) Most importantly, how were the stocks treated? From a discussion here: http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/sho ... p?p=457285 one author uses a blend of turpentine, linseed oil and beeswax to finish the stock. Is that appropriate?

Please keep in mind that my interest in k98 stocks is less from a modern standpoint, but more from a historic one. For example, although many folks no doubt have opinions on the “best” way to treat/maintain a k98 stock, I want to know how they were when they came out of the factories.

Thanks in advance for your help!

JJ Przewozniak
Roseville, MI

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Re: Original Mauser Kar98k stock finish?

Postby jbaum » 28 Jun 2009 04:10

According to the original manuals, linseed oil was repeatedly wiped on as a finish. There is no mention of stains for the 98k in the manuals I've translated.


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Re: Original Mauser Kar98k stock finish?

Postby DARIVS ARCHITECTVS » 14 Jul 2009 05:11

The linseed oil oxidizes the wood, darkening it and making iot appear like it was stained after years of age. My pristine exampe 1944 byf rifle shows that the oil used was wiped on AFTER the rifle was assembled on external surfaces only. It may have been different on earlier rifles. the wood is bare under the bands and on all internal surfaces. Also, on the rear sight leaf, the leaf was polished to a satin bare metal finish, with the letters numbers left dark. This tip is useful for making those Russian captured rifles look more original.

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Re: Original Mauser Kar98k stock finish?

Postby LV » 20 Jul 2009 19:55

I remember a Finnish Waffen SS volunteer saying that a new rifle had only a lightly stained stock. When the rifle was issued, it was repeatedly oiled so that the surface smoothened.

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