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pic metal ship box with odd BCD 43 K98k

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72 usmc
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pic metal ship box with odd BCD 43 K98k

#1 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:49 pm

Picture 7.png
this enlarges and more are to be posted as soon as I get them.





I was at a small gun show and I meet a guy that has a BCD 43 K98k in a metal shipping box with address of owner and it also indicates Trophy rifle with certificate inside above the address. With my old 2003 mac I not see the photos posted on the k98k forum. Here is the link
http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread.php ... ble-or-not. I asked the owner to join our forum and post clear photos of the box and rifle. I realize this post is useless unless he actually posts some detailed photos. Unfortunetly one can not see pics on the other forum unless you sign in. Bummer. :snooty: :violin: :roll:

Here are some observations from seeing the rifle and box in person and talking to an old guy that collected K98s back in the 1970s that was also making some observations about the rifle. It is dissembled and incrusted with thick hard cosmo on the metal parts. It is hard and ancient cosmo. It is not newly applied and it's on thick, so thick you can not see the small markings. The metal parts are all covered in thick Cosmo and wrapped in a WW II black paper like wrap. The stock was not inside the wrap. I am unsure if it had cosmo on it or not. I think that most cosmo on the stock came from a transfer from the cosmo sticky wrap containing the metal parts. See my comments about the stock.

The rifle has what appears to be a bolt that is definitely mismatched to the receive, but on the few numbers on the bolt that I could see it appears to match itself. So the rifle bolt does not match the rifle. It gets worse, the floor plate number is also a mismatch to the receiver and the bolt, so 3 different serial numbers are present on this K98k Mauser. The receiver has a normal blue like a normal well used bring back K98 and it is marked with code BCD 43 with dirty birds intact- no pings. I did not look at the screws and the front band is stamped and the rear band is milled. I could not see any serial numbers on the parts; but we left them as is and did not clean any of the thick cosmo off. The metal parts were wrapped in a WWII black wrap that I have seen on original WW II NOS jeep and aircraft parts. This is a real thing, not some fake wrap and the older collector said in the 1970s he encountered K98 rifles shipped in this sort of reused metal container with a reenforced paper wrap around parts coated with cosmo. I have never seen an original K98 bring back in its shipping crate. So by going what the older collector indicated, it's a real thing as far as the packaging and age of the patina and a correct shipping box. I forgot to see what shipping stamps or if it said "free to us armed forces" are on the metal tin. There is a return address, a send to address, and some kind of postage stuff in the right upper side that I failed to note. After I think about what I saw, I forgot to notice lots of the finer points.

So the rifle stock is another odd thing. It was a German blond and some on the k98 forum said it was sanded, but that is not the case. The hand guard serial number matched the receiver number. The stock had a thin varnish and some areas of slightly darker color under the points where the bands go. It is possible the stock was cleaned of cosmo with some cleaner and a somewhat abrasive cloth like a green scrubby, or fine steel wool, or maybe just a coarse rag. I do not really know. But the stock has no German cartouche stamps except for a B in the sling cut. The stock was cleaned of cosmo and it appears the cosmo may have soften the original surface finish color and BLO ??? -- I do not kown, but it left the laminated stock a Blond color with just some original areas of finish that have a varnish shine. Generally years of cosmo on wood cause the stock to absorb the grease and darken the stock. Who ever removed the cosmo slightly or maybe drastically, has altered the finish. I have no idea other than the areas under the bands showing evidence of darker color, and if the stock surface matched the wear pattern of the metal, they both should show matching aged patina. I would think the stock should show some color and wear to the stock. There are scratches and dings that do not show a deep color to the inside of the scratch. It was not sanded or re stained over the few dings and dents of a used K98. They look like normal scratches on a stock that may not have been coated with cosmo. Maybe the stock just had some cosmo from the sticky paper that got onto the stock and that small amount was cleaned off the stock. So the stock is original and the hand guard matches the receiver number-- just that is was cleaned, and maybe the cleaning solution took some of the original varnish off. So its altered a wee bit so that it is odd. I would think it would have some color rather than a blond "Mitchell-like look. The light color of the wood is odd for the degree of blue wear that I could see on the receiver by the code markings. It is the original matching stock for the action serial #. I can not think why someone would coat the stock with cosmo-- its wood not metal for shipping?

I looked up the code and date in Law( 2003), and on p.212 it indicates the bands should both be milled and it has a stamped front band that is incorrect for a BCD 43. So it is a miss matched K98 by serial number and part type for a BCD K98 that was sent home. Why such a poor example;unless the Capt. was an office pog that did not get near the action and grabbed or traded for any rifle he could find???? Looks like the box and shipping materials and tags are worth more than the rifle. Other parts are covered or still hidden in the paper. Maybe the cleaning rod and a sling are wrapped up inside the wrap still protected/hidden by the cosmo. Only the bolt, bands, and barrel/receiver action was out of the wrap. It has about 1/8 to 1/4 inch of hardened cosmo covering the parts and there markings.

Then the owner pointed out that the barrel is in the white. The barrel is not blued all the way down. It should have grooves for a sight hood- I failed to look for this and no sight hood was mounted on the barrel. I also noticed that while the dirty bird stamps are present on the right side, there is no barrel serial number on the barrel, at least not present where it would be normally stamped. So the barrel is in the white for most of it, and no matching serial number on it, at least located adjacent to the receiver number near the dirty birds on the barrel. This may be odd. I just do not know enough about K98 markings and what is correct for each code. Would an arsenal repair guy replace a barrel in the white and not restamp a serial number?? Now granted, there is 1/4 inch thick had as rock cosmo over the action and it's possible a serial number may have been stamped at another location on that barrel that remains unseen. Anyone know where it would most likely be restamped if it is an arsenal or field replacement? I would think if it went back to a factory for repair, the bolt would be headspaced like new and the barrel and bolt force matched to the rifle???? Is that a common practice in the German repair of arms?? Or would it be left unstamped on the barrel and any old bolt reused and left unrematched??? Why send home such a mismatched K98? They guy was a captain so you think he could get a better specimen near the end of the war. I also failed to note the shipping date on the container. I wonder if it was early, late , or possible a post war shipping date. I'd feel better if it was an all matching, except for the bolt K98. It also would have been much better if the former owner did not clean the wood. But it is, what it is. The mixed rifle is nothing special. The mystery stock hurts its value, patina of the metal suggests some use to the rifle. But the stock patina should also indicate a more beat/used stock finish. It had to have been cleaned. However, it is the original stock. Value would be more than an common code RC, but less than a rare code RC or a common code French capture and much less than a nice matching bring back. The shipping container is far more interesting than the rifle. As far as bring backs, the k98 is the worse you could find. I would rather have one of the early 1980s german k98 imports with just the import mark on it. At least those matched except for a bolt.
So as for value, I thought, altered stock finish- but not sanded, mismatched numbers on parts and the bolt, and no serial# on the barrel- all odd, and incorrect milled vs stamped parts... figure $500-700. It would be great for a small museum display on vets day to have the box. In my world, it is best to keep the dog K98 metal in cosmo for a display of how a k98 was sent home and have it on display at a local museum of vets day display. By itself the rifle is not a money maker. The box and the way its packaged is the jewel.

So in an effort to get some of our K98 collectors thinking about this k98, I thought it would be a great post to learn from if Tom can join our forum and post some detailed pictures of the rifle and box. I told him to leave the rifle's condition as is and not to do any cleaning. It is a fantastic conversation piece.
I hope he provides tons of photos so this can be a great contribution to the forum. We shall see. Maybe some can see the photos he posted on the K98k forum. The rifle is real, and the box is real, just that it's a really
mismatched dog as far as collectable K98s go. I did not bother to see if the cleaning rod, sling, or sight hood was with in the packaging?

Tom here is the link to common gun show K98 mausers if you can not connect by by email:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1911

ANOTHER FACT IS WHO IT CAME FROM, a non gun guy, his grandfather had it and he could care less, hence he sold it, but wanted to keep the papers??? I just emailed the owner and the papers serial number did match the rifle serial number on the receiver. Unfortunately the guy is an odd duck. He will not provide the new owner even a photo copy of the papers. This is strange or he thought its a nice cheep keepsake where the rifle got him some cash. The Key would be, what serial number is on the papers. This has been confirmed --- it does. The current owner got it from a person who could care less about history and wanted fast cash on the cheep. Hence, it was not sold by the grandson for big bucks- it was just junk to get some fast money from. All of its provenience points to original. Heck one can do a search on the vets history at fold3 .com and see wher and when he was overseas. It should match the ship stamp postal date on the box which is also not known by me.

The new owner indicated this about its history:
This has been examined by both a professional firearms appraiser and a highly regarded Smith with nearly 50 yrs experience. Both regard the package as a legitimate war trophy. Both had different opinions as to assemble or leave as is. That was the primary reason for bringing it up here. The sellers surname matches that of his Grandfather, listed on container. He would not know how to cobble together a Mauser and magically age cosmoline . As to the timeline I did bring issue up on another forum I was once active on. At that point I was doing homework for my bud and still in market for a shooter...


I did find this lower comment interesting due to the fact of so many fakers on K98 out there. S

source is from the above 6 pages of comments at the K98K forum:
A couple years ago at the local gun show there was a guy selling an early K98 double claw sniper. A little rough but with nice blueing, it was priced very well at $4,000. It came in an equally nice transit chest which looked the part with a separate compartment for the scope. Seller claimed it was a bring back he got directly from the vet's family. He didn't have bring back papers but why would the family lie about the rifle, they didn't even understand what it was.

Then he locked the scope into the mounts. It was period correct but it wasn't what I expected to see, if memory serves me right it was a Goerz hunting scope. Well, maybe the vet found the rifle without the scope or the original scope had been damaged over the years and been replaced with something that worked and kinda looked correct. Then I noticed the trigger guard number and floor plate number didn't match the receiver and barrel number. The bolt was matching but only in itself.

It started to make no sense. Upon closer inspection I noticed the dovetail in the receiver ring didn't look like an armorer's job, just too crude. The rear claw mount, well, it had two different screws and in the very back it had been tack welded to the receiver. And then I discovered the import mark under the barrel near the muzzle. When I pointed it out to the seller, he put the rifle back in the box and closed the lid, totally ignoring me after that. I ran into a couple acquaintances later that day who were excited to tell me about the "sniper" they just saw.

So much for rifles in a box and bring back claims. If there's no document specifically declaring this mismatched rifle (serial number) a war time trophy, it has no resale value above the sum of all parts. Its value is $700 - $800 --with or without the nasty coat of cosmolene-- plus another $200 for the box. Without capture papers, anything above this is what people are willing to pay for a well told fairy tale.

And no, it is not common for Gustloff made rifles to be mismatched. It is not common for any K98 to be mismatched. Why first serialize parts to one rifle and then use the parts on a different rifle? Making a damaged or incomplete rifle battle ready with mismatched parts probably happened in the field but was not common practice. From what we know today, bolt mismatch most likely happened when the major East coast arms importers brought huge numbers of WW2 rifles stateside.
Last edited by 72 usmc on Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:05 pm, edited 12 times in total.
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Re: metal ship box with odd BCD 43 K98k

#2 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:53 pm

Does anyone have any original shipping box from a bring back K98 or know of any links showing a shipping container in which a German K98 was sent back home???? Please provide a photo or the reference links.
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Re: metal ship box with odd BCD 43 K98k

#3 Post by Ghoulardi » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:24 pm

if a soldier did sent a rifle back home, it would have been in something he found laying around wherever he was or he made . most just cut the stock down after getting war trophy certificate, and put it in their duffel bag before boarding a ship to go home

here is a thread on GUNBOARD where a Cpt. used a ammunition box to ship some things home from Germany

http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread. ... ping-crate
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Re: metal ship box with odd BCD 43 K98k

#4 Post by 72 usmc » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:04 am

Thanks for that box.
About the original wood, it does not look like this jewel, but it most likely did prior to cleaning. It is a light color best described as a Mitchell-like blond.
Now take a BCD 43 that has wood like new and really wipe it down and you might get the idea of the stock I saw. Here is an intact BCD stock photo of a BCD 43 that had little use. From what I remember the darker color/character of the glue grain is missing on the example. the golden hue & patina of an unmolested stock finish is missing on the owners specimen.
1A43BCD-049495.jpg
I am working on getting some pictures from the owner so I can post his photos. Cross you fingers :whistle: :whistle:

I would say closer to this color, but dented and scratched. Not a smooth surface. Also no color rubbed into the dings and dents- no refinish, no sanding. We will have to wait for some close up photos of the wood. I look forward to comments after I get some photos.
picture 674.jpg_thumbnail0.jpg
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Re: metal ship box with odd BCD 43 K98k

#5 Post by 72 usmc » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:38 am

Soldier was Captain Paul W. Harn, 17th depot RE Air squadron not sure if that was US Army air corps or early Air Force? Anyone have ideas of that units history. Mr Harn lived in Bloomfield, Nebraska in WW II. If he was Air Force that makes sense for a leftover metal part/equipment box reutilized as a shipping box and why he sent home any K98 he got his hands on. Most likely a trade. OK history guys do your thing, anyone find out about this guys service history?
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Re: pic metal ship box with odd BCD 43 K98k

#6 Post by 72 usmc » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:55 pm

Here are some pictures of the BCD 43 mixmaster in the cool shipping container. These will be in groups of 5 and are Toms photos. many thanks to him for allowing to post his photos of his treasure.

The metal tin box
Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 11.48.42 AM.png
The close up of the tag
Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 11.46.41 AM.png
the close up of the sticky black paper wrap
20180203_132324.jpg

Others:
the hand guard ??? I may be wrong due to the poor light at the show. From what I remember??? If the rifle serial # is 9925 and this is a real clear view of the hand guard: IT DOES NOT MATCH. At the show I was sure the hand guard number and receiver number matched?? So I am confused on this matter. What is this stamp from?? Where is it on the stock? I thought the stock matched at least the hand guard???? :think: :think: :think:
20180203_132029.jpg
trigger serial number
20180203_131803.jpg
Last edited by 72 usmc on Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: pic metal ship box with odd BCD 43 K98k

#7 Post by 72 usmc » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:00 pm

More of the rifles pictures:

The receiver blue looks like average wear not a new blue
151700108336617950598.jpg

The bolt
20180203_131522.jpg
20180203_130948.jpg


The barrel in the white and some blue on it about 50/50; see the dirty bird on the white -there is no serial # above or below the bird. I could not find a serial number on the barrel. Also it is not visible, but the floor plate number does not match anything. So this rifle is a mixmaster except the stock and receiver match. Why would such a put together K98 be around in the field in WW II. Or is it possible the parts came from some behind the lines captured repair arsenal or factory and the officer got his hands on what he needed to make up a complete rifle to send back so he had a rifle when he got back home. The entire rifle is odd for WW II, but it is a real thing- not a fake. It was sold too cheep for a faker to make any money, no one would go to the effort without a monetary reward. He was a family member not a dealer.

I am not even sure about the replacement of the barrel, if that is indeed a replacement barrel? I wonder if it headspaces on a GO and or FIELD reject gauge. Consequently, I think it's best left as is (it is a somewhat unique historical piece worthy of a museum display), rather than using the rifle as a shooter. One may clean it up and find out the thing does not headspace or the bolt does not close- that would be a real bummer after destroying it as a museum piece and finding out it can not be used as a shooter to boot :violin: :doh: :roll: The cleaned stock really hurts its value as well as its mixed nature to a collector. Heck i'd rather have a new bore RC as a shooter. But as a display, it's perfect. It's real. No one will know it's the worst example of a k98 anyone could send home. What do you guys and gals think?

The owner is looking for any comments you care to provide. We got on the other forum a real vs non real debate and the shooter vs display debate. I would like to know from collectors or from those that know k98s, if this type of mixed rifle would have actually been found used in the German Army. Even the French or Bulgarian capture K98s are almost all matching except for the bolt or floor plate. We need some input on your thoughts about this rifle. It is real and it only had 3 owners the kid,bhis grandfather the Vet, and the present owner that got it for a shooter.
20180203_131436.jpg
20180203_131459.jpg
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Re: pic metal ship box with odd BCD 43 K98k

#8 Post by 72 usmc » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:37 pm

225 reads and no comments. :roll: :doh:
Let me ask this question. Do anyone that collected K98Ks back in the early 1960s or 1970s when a bring back was $150-200 remember any in metal shipping tins or wood boxes where the gun was packaged in cosmo? One sent home in the mail, not brought back in a seabag. I had one guy in his 80s tell me at the gun show where this specimen was on exhibit, that such was observed back in the day- both a tin box and in cosmo dissembled. Do any remember bring backs that had such mixed serial numbers on the rifle back in the day. Most I see are mixed bolts or rarely all matching or possible mismatched floor plate on a matching bolt bring back K98k. Are there any older collectors that can tell us what was seen back in the 1960s. I was a teen and I remember barrels full of surplus junk rifles, but I was not yet 18 in 1962 so I could buy a M95 long rifle I want to hang on the wall. Dad got it for me and I still have it -no import marks. Maybe I should have got some of the Mausers- but I remember I wanted the longest rifle in the barrel at Woolworths on North ave in Milwaukee. Later, I was not into WWII stuff in 67, I started Civil war reenacting.
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Re: pic metal ship box with odd BCD 43 K98k

#9 Post by 72 usmc » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:05 pm

I found some more k98ks sent home from on line search K98 rifle crate search:


http://forums.thecmp.org/showthread.php?t=77719
Here+is+my+mauser+k98+that+my+grandfather+took+off+_18e10a51d903f8c0904f5de37e0d9f3d.jpg
17541343.jpg
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Re: pic metal ship box with odd BCD 43 K98k

#10 Post by Ghoulardi » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:30 pm

72 usmc wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:37 pm

Do anyone that collected K98Ks back in the early 1960s or 1970s when a bring back was $150-200

I have serious, serious doubts that they were that high of a price. 150-200 bucks was a mortgage payment in the 60s. middle income was like 6K a year

that kind of price was what a Russian capture 98 went for in the early 2000s
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Re: pic metal ship box with odd BCD 43 K98k

#11 Post by indy1919a4 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:31 pm

Honestly, its hard to have an opinion.. This looks like a one of a kind ship and box... I have never seen a metal box before,, Not when so many empty wooden ammo boxes lay about.. Or a custom box could be made easily.. But that does not make it real. or fake..

The Germans rebuilt rifles just like anyone could.. Not to mention others in countries that captured rifles..

Per the Family remembering anything about it.. Heck who would know.. People dis-remember family stuff all the time... Also a great way to sell something that is not correct

Anyone can get Cosmo.. anyone 30 years ago would have access to that wrapping paper I remember crap like that in my Grand mothers garage..

But 30 years ago who would have faked such a thing..

So honest, I do not think you can ever disprove its a fake with anything you find. (Barring something like made in China marked on a part).

Likewise you can not prove it with anything you find..

I would never even raise a voice that something is faked unless there was solid proof.. I hate when people destroy others finds like that..

per what it is worth.. there is only one way to find out... place it to auction and see where it ends.. Tell all the warts and positives..



A great Fake story is how Walt Disney was faking German Sniper helmets and selling them to GIs returning home.. Those helmets
were faked (if you are looking for original) But how the heck can you ever tell if it was a German original..
How would a returning soldier even know??? Or now how the heck would you prove its an original Walt Disney??????

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Re: pic metal ship box with odd BCD 43 K98k

#12 Post by indy1919a4 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:37 pm

By the way.. I like that darn thing, and would be willing to bid nicely for such a thing... but I like boxed items.. But I would have to have a bit of a bargain
price to make me bite... I would not pay cutting edge museum type price... But that is just me... and this opinion is worth twice what you paid for it... :)

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Re: pic metal ship box with odd BCD 43 K98k

#13 Post by 72 usmc » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:03 pm

I have serious, serious doubts that they were that high of a price. 150-200 bucks was a mortgage payment in the 60s. middle income was like 6K a year


Interesting point. :clap: That is what the old guy told us. That never clicked over in my brain that that is crazy, so maybe he was thinking later prices??? I also wonder if the story about metal airplane parts tins being reused as shipping containers was observed in the 1960s. Not sure if this is factual.
Maybe the old guy was feeding us a hill of beans? That is why I am trying to get some first hand accounts. I wonder what a K98 sold for at a gun show or gun store back around the mid 1960's. My M95 rifle was approximately $10 which was a lot because dad really did not want to buy it. Now that you point that out, I remember Hunters Lodge had K98s back in the day at $40 and Lugers too around 35-40 bucks. But I never ordered from Hunters lodge and did not get into WWII stuff till around 1980. In any event it would be interesting to see a viewpoint on what is was like to find K98s at a mid 1960s gun show or store. How many were in boxes from being shipped home. The old guy indicated he saw other rifles in tin boxes. Who knows . I am attempting to see how common they were. Maybe an Air Corps guy had more access to aviation parts shipped in tins. I would also like a first person account to see how many K98s were matching or were mixmasters. I wish I would have got some of the early k98ks with just an import mark from Hunters Lodge in the 1980s. I do have a picture and source of a bring back like,all matching K98k except bolt with a CAI import mark purchased in 1994 for $145. You do not see these at shows, because they have been faked by removal of the light small mark on the barrel. see pennsylvanianrifleman's comments at the end. A fantastic rifle. here is link viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1911
Last edited by 72 usmc on Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: pic metal ship box with odd BCD 43 K98k

#14 Post by 72 usmc » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:34 pm

The owner thought an Air corps guy might have access to aircraft tin for repairs and had someone in the shop make the Captain a box. There were lots of repairs to airplanes at a depot shops. Lots of tinsmiths that could have fabricated the box. I thought it was more likely a tin shipping crate for parts. I asked for some pictures of the sides and corners. If I remember correct it was riveted not welded. Some of the hydraulic and optics parts in the late 1960s to early 1970s in the USMC came in tin containers at our maintenance shop. Our shop had an air conditioned room to work on special equipment- dust free and stable temp. Camp Hanson was a great place.
Thanks for the comments and observations keep them coming :dance:
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Re: pic metal ship box with odd BCD 43 K98k

#15 Post by Ghoulardi » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:02 pm

72 usmc wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:03 pm
. I wonder what a K98 sold for at a gun show or gun store back around the mid 1960's.
by todays dollars it wasn't much, something like 20-30 bucks or so is what I have seen of scans of old SHOTGUN NEWS ads.

but, 20 or 30 bucks was a awful lot of money back in that time.
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