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Ex-Belgian, HZA stamped Kar.98

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:33 pm
by OldRifles
This rifle started out as an Amberg Kar.98 produced in what appears to be 1916. The markings on the top of the receiver were mostly obliterated, making the last digit of the year stamp very difficult to determine. It is 100% matching, partly as a result of the rework processing at Posen in WWII. The bolt still retains the letters suffix on the flat.

Most of the rifle's components were acquired by Belgium, likely after WWI via reparations or open sale rather than wartime capture. Belgium acquired many ex-German and Turkish arms following the cessation of hostilities, and the components would be used on rifles like this, as well as some of Belgium's interwar Mauser variants like the Model 1935 and 1889/36. The receiver was tested by FN, as shown by the stamp on the left side of an upper case, cursive 'L' inside a flaming 'ordnance' bomb. This is the Foreign Inspection Service stamp, and was placed on foreign produced rifles and receivers by FN. It is more commonly found on those weapons that FN was sub-contracted by foreign governments to pressure and inspection test, in the absence of competent authorities and adequate facilities in the countries of origin. This marking was first used in 1924. Another Belgian inspection stamp is located next to it, of an 'F' under a five-pointed star. This is the inspection stamp of Msr. Lambert Alexandre, who worked at FN-Liege from 1927-1953. I don't know if it was (re)assembled into a complete rifle before the German invasion of 1940, or if it remained as a barreled action stored at FN or another location.

At some point following its capture after the invasion and occupation of Belgium, the components were shipped to Posen and were assembled as a whole rifle using a stock from a different Kar.98 that had been processed through the Kassel depot in WWI. This same stock remained in German possession after WWI and was '1920' stamped in accordance with IAMCC mandates of the time. Some of the smaller components were originally on other rifles, and these were renumbered to match the serial number of the barreled action. Most of those are Imperial in origin, while a few are Nazi period.

Posen stamped this rifle in two places, once with a Psn 2 stamp on the right side of the butt stock (under the WWI Kassel depot stamp) and again with a Psn 4 stamp in typical depot style on the underside of the stock. This is the only Beutewaffen I've seen with the Foreign Inspection Service stamp, and its interesting to see a foreign proofing on an originally German arm pressed back into service at a later date.

Re: Ex-Belgian, HZA stamped Kar.98

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:36 pm
by OldRifles
More photos-

Re: Ex-Belgian, HZA stamped Kar.98

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:24 pm
by vandle
Nice rifle

Kar 98 AZ are one of my favorites.

Good score

Re: Ex-Belgian, HZA stamped Kar.98

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:14 pm
by damorealan696
Amazing the data you have concerning one rifle . I . have had some ex SCW polish 98a's but never a german one . I have what I think is a GEW98 in a Spanish stock
Still bearing a 1920 mark on the Receiver Also . a . "ZN" . mark which I think was a rebuild facility for the Weimar Republic . It looks reblued, sight upgraded
and forced matching numbers . These . old hunks of iron really travelled around

Re: Ex-Belgian, HZA stamped Kar.98

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:53 pm
by indy1919a4
Wow, nice travel log and research on that Rifle.. I have to agree with Vandle, I also have a sweet spot for KAR 98s

That is a nice one

Re: Ex-Belgian, HZA stamped Kar.98

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:30 am
by OldRifles
Thanks, all. This is actually my first and only Kar.98, so I'm very happy with this one.
damorealan696 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:14 pm
Amazing the data you have concerning one rifle . I . have had some ex SCW polish 98a's but never a german one . I have what I think is a GEW98 in a Spanish stock
Still bearing a 1920 mark on the Receiver Also . a . "ZN" . mark which I think was a rebuild facility for the Weimar Republic . It looks reblued, sight upgraded
and forced matching numbers . These . old hunks of iron really travelled around
I've attached the '1920' stamp photo of the butt stock on my Kar.98, for what it's worth. The Zn stamp is likely 'Zeithain,' which was one of the two depots (besides Berlin-Spandau, which used 'Su') that operated in the Weimar era to rebuild/repair rifles in significant numbers. Zeithain used the 'Zn' marking for rifles built from 1924-1927.

Best,
Pat
POXitpixQY6ExEFazFVBMw.jpg
POXitpixQY6ExEFazFVBMw.jpg (1.21 MiB) Viewed 3261 times

Re: Ex-Belgian, HZA stamped Kar.98

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:37 am
by damorealan696
Thanks very much . for the info on the . ZN stamping . Very informative I bought it from GLOBE FIREARMS in the 60.s . I think it was one from the Spanish hoard
that Cummings bought .

Re: Ex-Belgian, HZA stamped Kar.98

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:12 pm
by OldRifles
No problem, glad I could help.