Some Yugo Info

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Some Yugo Info

Post by Popeye »

From danielsand - Jan. 2007

After about two and a half years, I am back to the board. Job took me out of US, and been too busy to surf the forums. Anyway,.....came back today (to the board), reactivated the password, and ran into this thread. Felt compelled to shed some light on the subject of Yugoslavia, and the M48 rifles.

I was born in Yugoslavia, and spent quite some time in the military as a commisioned officer. Visited Zavodi Crvena Zastava in Kragujevac (Red Banner Works) several times.

There are three bolt action type rifles in 7.92mm that Yugoslavia produced for the military. The first one was M24 (straight bolt, full lenght rifle), that was produced during the times of Kingdom of Yugoslavia (kingdom was established under Karadjordjevich dynasty after the WW1 - 1918). Those rifles were produced on FN machinery, and marked with Karadjordjevich crest. After WW2 they were scrubbed by the new government, and remarked with the new Yugoslavian crest.

The second group of rifles, are German 98s, captured and scrubbed, remarked PREDUZECE 44 (either in Latin or Cyrilic). These are original German 98s (full lenght rifles), and Nazi markings can be found under the woodline. There are few misinformations circulating on the forums. First,....."Preduzece",.....simply means "Enterprise" in English. And number 44 is the year this enterprise was established. Now,.....this enterprise is the same factory in Kragujevac Serbia, that produced M24 for the kingdom, but it was bombed to rubble by Hitler prior to the attack on Belgrade in April of 1941. The factory was destroyed, some machinery and spare parts were saved and hidden by the workers, and Partizan forces put the factory back in production in 1944, a year before the war's end. To keep the location "secret" (and prevent new airraids by Luftwaffe), they called it "Enterprise 44". Hope that clears this.

One poster correctly pointed out that the crest on M48s bares the date November 29, 1943. And that this date doesn't have anything to do with the date of manufacture. On that date, in the small Bosnian town of Jajce (pronounced Yaytse in English), the foundation of the new country (the one to replace Kingdom of Yugoslavia) FNRJ (Federative Peoples Republic Jugoslavia), was established. This crest became official Yugoslavian crest on all documents, and of course on the armament as well.

M48 rifle (shorter action carbine) was in production in 1948, and the same year adopted as the Main Batle rifle by JNA (Jugoslovenska Narodna Armija - Yugoslav Peoples Army). At the same time (1947-48) MANY 98 mausers were delivered to Yugoslavia as the payment for the war damages by the Germans. A lot of them were scrubbed, and remarked with FNRJ in Latin (or in Cyrilic), and M98. Too bad I don't know how to switch my keyboard to type in Cyrilic, so I can type these markings that can be recognized by the owners out there.

These rifles (remarked Kingdom's M24s, remarked German 98s, and newly produced M48s) were quickly delivered to the garrisons throughout Yugoslavia. Just about the time every unit had enough of them, a new battle rifle was making a splash! Samozaradnyi Karabin Simonova, or SKS as you know it. Now,....FNRJ (the new Yugoslavia) was never part of the Warsaw Pact, and the technology was mixed from the East and the West. Yugoslavian people (as well as the government - research "Informbiro") always feared Soviet agression more than American, so they decided that having the armament same, or compatible with the potential agressor, was in their best interest.

(I was just reading this post, and this line about Russian or American invasion reminded me of a joke from that period, it goes: "What color will the river be if we're invaded by Russians?" The answer: "Red of course, ....from the blood of the people defending the homeland!"
Question: "What color will the river be if Americans invade?" Answer:" Red of course,.....from all the Communist Party membership booklets that defenders will throw in the river!" )

Example: In 1968 SSSR (CCCP in Cyrilic) invaded Czechoslovakia. I was just a teenager, but I remember my dad (who was also an officer), overseeing the diging of defense lines on the river to the North of our city, expecting to fight Russians any day.

Anyway,......the three groups of bolt action rifles (M24, German 98s, and M48) were delivered to Reserves and TO (National Guard), and THOUSANDS of them were packed in Cosmoline, and put away to arm civilians if needs to be. A new battle rifle (with some modifications, like NATO grenade launcher), beefier made than the original Soviet one, was adopted and labeled M59. In its original configuration (1959) it did not have the grenade launcher, it was added in 1966, and the new model was labeled M59/66.

By the time the new rifle was adopted, the country changed its name too. "People's" part of FNRJ was dropped, and "Socialist" was added. The new markings on EVERYTHING read SFRJ (Socialist Federal Republic Jugoslavia). The old FNRJ crest (with the date of November 29th 1943) stayed the same.

Sorry about this super long rant. I collect all small arms from Yugoslavia, as issued in the 1970s and 80s, the arms I was trained on, and I trained my troops on.

On Mitchell Mausers? Misleading commercialization. Beautiful rifles, but not collectable.
The difference between a Communist and a Socialist is; the Socialist doesn't have all the guns yet

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Re: Some Yugo Info

Post by Hippycrowe »

I am not sure why more people do not collect M 48 or 24-47 rifles. I have a Mitchell 24-47 it has a SAMCO import mark brand new bore and is the most accurate mauser I ever owned


Re: Some Yugo Info

Post by professrh »

You may be able to reproduce Cyrillic letters if you make your original document in MS Word. Click the "insert" button, and then "symbols." I'm not on my computer today, so can't double check this, but it may be worth a look....

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Re: Some Yugo Info

Post by Polock »

Good overview/info on these under-appreciated rifles and cold-war relics.
Would make a great "sticky".
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Re: Some Yugo Info

Post by Old Army Cook »

My first Mauser purchase was a 24/47 which I picked up at a local gun show. Not a matching number on the thing but it quickly became my favorite shooter, especially with the 60 year old Yugo surplus ammo.
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Re: Some Yugo Info

Post by apachedawg »

I have 2 24/47's, an M48B and a Yugoslavian capture K98. Some of my best shooting Mausers

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