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Pistols, Rifles, Machine Guns and Crew Served Weapons of Partitioned Poland and the Polish 2nd Republic

Article about: by stoggie I don't know what the K represents, but I do recall one for sale that also had that marking, and it was said to be from the Krakow armoury. For all I know it could be a inspector

  1. #51
    ?

    Default Re: Pistols, Rifles, Machine Guns and Crew Served Weapons of Partitioned Poland and the Polish 2nd Republic

    'Defensive' greneades would most likely be some with reduced effect, so as not to blow up one self in the process of clearing an area closer to the thrower.

    Doe that sound plausible?

    The grenade experts better speak up, because Its just my theory - truth be told, I have no idea about this subject

  2. #52

    Default Re: Pistols, Rifles, Machine Guns and Crew Served Weapons of Partitioned Poland and the Polish 2nd Republic

    Difference between the obronny and zaczepny:

    Obronny granat: relying on fragments of the granade to do its job, one would have to be under some cover , be in defensive position to use it. Foxhole or trench.
    Zaczepny: relying on the power of the explosive to do its job, not many fragments.

  3. #53

    Default Re: Pistols, Rifles, Machine Guns and Crew Served Weapons of Partitioned Poland and the Polish 2nd Republic

    I've updated the post on grenades. Basically, as was mentioned by Itakdalej, the defensive grenades were meant to be used in defensive positions as they inflicted wounds or death by the fragmentation of their shells. Offensive grenades were just that - to be used in the attack, where enemy soldiers were incapacitated by the concussive force of the blast.

  4. #54

    Default Polish Armaments Industry 1918-1939 - Part I

    Prior to 1918 there was little in the way of an armaments industry in Partitioned Poland except in the German city of Danzig (Gdansk). In Danzig there existed the Imperial German Royal Arsenal with it weapons factory and warship yard. Therefore it was necessary to create an armaments industry in the Second Republic from very little.

    Royal Arsenal in Danzig, Prussia.
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    The Wojsko Polskie required facilities for new armaments production and to overhaul existing weapons stocks. Therefore the military decided to inventory existing workshops with lathes and other necessary production equipment. Such a weapons repair facility had been established by the Germans at the 'Gerlach and Pulst Machinery Factory' in Warsaw, which had been abandoned by the Russians in 1915. In 1918 the Wojsko Polskie requisitioned the factory buildings and in July 1919, a new weapons repair workshop was opened and submitted to GUZA (Chief Supply Office of the Army; formed in April 1919).

    Gerlach and Pulst Machinery Factory, Warsaw. (prior to becoming the Warszawa Państwowy Fabryka Karabin)
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    In 1920 the Polish government decided to create a small arms factory in Warsaw. An important step was the transfer of the weapons factory from the Royal Arsenal in Danzig to Poland. Additionally the government purchased a large quantity of Mauser parts from Germany to assemble into rifles. The initial manufacturing run took place in June 1922, with mass production started in 1923. In the years 1922-1924, the Warszawa Państwowy Fabryka Karabin (Warsaw State Rifle Factory) manufactured the karabin wz.1898, and during 1925-1931, upgraded rifles to the karabinek configuration. Production was approximately 21,900 kb wz.1898 and 189,600 kbk wz.98.

    Repairs were also carried out at five armouries in Warsaw, Brest, Poznan, Krakow and Przemysl. In addition to overhauling existing Mauser rifles, these armouries were engaged in converting rifles to use 7.92 mm caliber ammunition that the Wojsko Polskie had decided to adopt as its standard rifle caliber. Such modifications was made to the captured stocks of Russian Model 1891 Mosin Nagant rifles which were converted from 7.62 mm to 7.92 mm caliber (Polish designation wz.91/98/25).

    Of greatest importance was the Zbrojownia Nr.2 (Armoury No.2) established within the former Russian Arsenal in Warsaw. Its facilities were very extensive and were continuously upgraded. Besides overhauls and repairs, parts were manufactured there using the various workshop machinery including a foundry, artillery section and carpentry divisions. There was also an experimental studies office. Armoury No.2 was the parent entity for the workshop in the Warsaw Citadel.

    Warsaw Arsenal, 1938.
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    Repairs done at the Warsaw Citadel included bayonets and swords, revolvers, cannons, machine guns, rifles and flare pistols; as well as the production of ammunition boxes and special tools. The workshop employed approximately 400 craftsmen including 12 officers and operated during the entire interwar period manufacturing approximately 1250 artillery guns, 5600 machine guns, 179,000 hand guns, 33,000 bayonets and swords, and other military equipment. The Citadel was renovated in 1921. With state weapons factories making overhauls and repairs, [private] enterprises providing such services were no longer needed.

    General Byg speaking to workers outside Zbrojownia Nr.2.
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    Initially ammunition was purchased from abroad. But political and financial constraints resulted in delivery difficulties. As a result GUZA (Chief Supply Office of the Army) decided to purchase ammunition in Poland. By May 1919 large orders were made with private munitions manufacturers in Warsaw. The Babbit munitions plant was to provide 50 million rifle bullets and cases per year. Norblin Spolka Akcyjna and Bracia Buch i T. Werner was contracted to manufacture 25 million rounds of ammunition. By the end of 1919 the army had received 1,250,000 rifle bullets.

    Norblin Spolka Akcyjna and Bracia Buch i T. Werner Factory, Wolna district, Warsaw.
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    Norblin Factory, 1938.
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    However due to inadequate supplies the Ministry of the Army undertook to establish its own ammunition plants. The first was created in July 1919 at the 'Metallamp' building in Warsaw, and was named Wytwórnia Amunicji Karabinowej (Rifle Ammunition Plant). By the end of 1921 it employed 310 workers and could produce 24 million rifle bullets and cartridges cases per year. Because of poor housing conditions this plant was closed down after the construction of a new munitions factory.

    Warsztaty Amunicyjne Nr.1 (Ammunition Workshop No.1) was established at Fort Kosciuszko in 1919. After relocation to Fort Bema and in combination with the Centralne Sklady Amunicyjne (Central Ammunition Warehouses) in 1925, it became the Warsztaty Zakładów Amunicyjnych (Ammunition Workshops Factory). In 1921 the Warsztaty Amunicji Specjalnej (Special Ammunition Workshop) was established at Fort Legionow in Warsaw, existing since its creation at the munitions factory in Skarzysko.

    Fort Bema.
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    Additional orders were made in 1920 with Spolka Akcyjna Zakładow Amunicyjnych 'Pocisk' in Warsaw (Ammunition and Bullet Joint Stock Company) to provide 250,000 artillery rounds of various calibers and 30 millions rifle cartridges per year for 10 years. To assist Spolka Akcyjna Zakładow Amunicyjnych 'Pocisk', the army extended a loan to the company for the building of a munitions factory, and also bought the munitions at inflated prices. Other plants producing artillery shells and munitions were: Modrzejowskie Towarzystwo Górniczo-Hutnicze (Modrzejowskie Mining and Metallurgical Society) with production of 1000 rounds per day and Towarzystwo Starachowickich Zakładów Górniczych S.A. (Society Starachowice Mine S.A.) with quotas of 250,000 artillery shells and 30 million rifle cartridges [a year] for 10 years.

    Zakłady Amunicyjne 'Pocisk', Warsaw.
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    During the period 1919-1921 the Department Uzbrojenia (Armament Department) also established ammunition plants in other Polish industrial centers. In Poznan: Wytwórnię Lusek i Lodek Karabinowych (Cartridge Cases and Rifle Chargers Manufacturing Plant) and ammunition workshops for rifle ammunition integration. A similar undertaking was done in Krakow at the Grzegorzki workshops. In Torun the Ammunition Workshop and Artillery Primer Manufacturing Factory producing artillery munitions was established. As well, there were also Tymczasowe Warsztaty Amunicyjne (Temporary Ammunition Workshops) in Deblin, Krakow-Podgorz and Rudnik on the San river. These workshops were involved in the disarming and dismantling of old munitions, and recovery of explosives and raw materials.

    Recovered munitions explosives were processed at Przetwornia Materiałow Wybuchowych (Processing of Explosives Factory) in Bydgoszcz. Full production capacity was obtained in 192?. The recovered munitions metal casings were processed by the Modrzejowskie Towarzystwo Górniczo-Hutnicze (Modrzejowskie Mining and Metallurgical Society).

    The heavy artillery shells had been made in the Towarzystwo Sosnowieckich Fabryk Rur i Żelaza (Society of Sosnowiec Iron and Pipe Factory). Debt problems with foreign partners Schneider of France and Skoda of Czechoslovakia resulted in the takeover by the Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (Bank of National Economy). As a state company with the support of the Wojsko Polskie, it was constantly modernized and expanded, eventually becoming the sole producer of a larger caliber guns in Poland.

    In early 1920, the Department of Armament established Wytwórnię Zapalników Artyleryjskich (Manufacturing Plant for Artillery Fuses) in the buildings and factories of Orthwein & Krasinski, Warsaw. Four hundred and fifty thousand impact and time delayed artillery fuses each, were produced by 1921.

    In 1925 Towarzystwo Starachowickich Zakładów Górniczych S.A. (Society Starachowice Mine S.A.), with the help of the army, established an artillery barrel overhaul workshop. In this workshop captured Russian 76.2 mm guns (Polish designation wz.1902) were converted to 75 mm caliber (which was the caliber of French Schneider cannons used by the Wojsko Polskie).

    Between 1919-1921 the army signed a contract for the production of explosives with Belgijskie Towarzystwo Akcyjne Sochaczewskiej Fabryki Sztucznego Jedwabiu (Sochaczew Belgian Joint Stock Company Rayon Factory) which had a factory in Boryszew near Sochaczew. The agreement provided for the production commencement in 1922 and processing of 600 tonnes of gunpowder per year for 10 years. Despite receiving loans and advanced payments, production only started in 1925 with just 37 tonnes delivered. Because of numerous financial irregularities and low quantity of production, the Wojsko Polskie broke the contract. Another contract by GUZA (Chief Supply Office of the Army) with Towarzystwo Akcyjne Boruta (Boruta Joint Stock Company) of Zgierz anticipated delivery of 445 tons of TNT and 24 tons of picric acid per year beginning in 1920. Problems with the reagents and equipment delayed the first deliveries until the year 1922. This company had strategic importance as a manufacturer of reagents for the production of explosives and received support of GUZA. In January 1921 the Nitrat company of Niewiadow received an order for 600 tons of smokeless gunpowder, 150 tons of black powder and 600 tons of TNT. However only one TNT production line was in operation by 1923. Nitrat provided 450, 537 and 200 tonnes for three consecutive years to fulfill orders from the army.

    On May 4, 1921, the Economic Committee of Ministers approved the request of the Minister of War General Sosnkowski to build a military gunpowder factory. The army chose to build the factory near the village Zagożdżon close to Deblin. However construction was halted for lack of funds.

    References: Przemysł zbrojeniowy w Polsce w latach 1918-1939

    Sincere thanks to taksometr for translating the article. I changed some of the words and phrases for better readability in English and did my best to not alter the meaning of taksometr's translation. Apologies for any errors; if so noted, please contact me so I can make corrections. And as previously stated: this sticky is meant to be a collaborative effort, please add any information as warranted.
    Last edited by dastier; 06-25-2012 at 03:16 AM.

  5. #55

    Default Re: Pistols, Rifles, Machine Guns and Crew Served Weapons of Partitioned Poland and the Polish 2nd Republic

    Thought I would post a 91/98/25....

    The 91/98/23 (circa 1923) was made from Model 1891 Mosin Nagants the Poles had in stores after WWI. There was a need for rifles based on the now standardized 8mm Mauser ammunition, and production facilities were just getting started on the wz.98. The Nagant actions were modified to work with the 8mm ammunition, and new barrels were made for them. These used the standard Mosin Nagant bayonet. In 1925 another modification was made where a Mauser bayonet lug and front band was attached in order to take the standard Mauser bayonet - and thus the 91/98/25 was born. From my research, these rifles were allegedly used by rear guard and border guards by 1939, and many were sold off as surplus to other nations before the war.

    This example has been refinished and the back part of the stock lightly sanded - I guess bubba tried to preserve it The bolt is not originally matching, however it was stamped with a 27, and the 27 applied to the stock and receiver as well. I'm not sure if this is a force match or if it is a rack number. It also has a Z in a octagon, and is stamped Zbr.2.34. This leads me to believe it was arsenal rebuilt in Feb 1934, which is consistent with what I have read about the rifle. One thing that is interesting it the receiver date of 1920 - so this rifle must have been captured during the Polish-Soviet war.

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  6. #56

    Default Re: Pistols, Rifles, Machine Guns and Crew Served Weapons of Partitioned Poland and the Polish 2nd Republic

    Thanks for posting Stoggie.

    Interesting to see the deep bluing on the bolt and receiver. You mentioned 'refinished' in your post - were you referring to the metal parts or the stock?

    I know Russian and Finnish Mosin Nagant bolts are 'in the white'. The finish on your wz.91/98/25 seems similar to the deep bluing on original Polish VIS pistols that I have seen. Could this perhaps be the original Polish finish or do you think it is a reblue?

    I'll post photos of another wz.91/98/25 if I can get permission from the owner.

    Update 4 1/2 hours later: So far all the wz.91/98/25 bolts that I have been able to find photos of indicate that the Poles left the bolts 'in the white'.

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    Last edited by dastier; 06-29-2012 at 05:37 AM.

  7. #57

    Default Polish Mosin Nagant rifle conversion wz.91/98/25

    Polish Mosin Nagant rifle conversion wz.91/98/25

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    Poland, re-emerging as the 2nd Republic at the end of WW1, needed to reorganize and rearm. Faced with several different types of rifles in use throughout Poland, some using different ammunition, the Wojsko Polskie standardized on the 8mm Mauser cartridge and adopted the Mauser rifle. This was the same dilemma confronting Finland which adopted the Mosin Nagant rifle rather than other rifles because of its wider availability within Finland. It made sense for both nations, even if it meant compromises for a time.

    In 1920 newly independent Poland was at war with Bolshevik Russia. At the Battle of Warsaw the Wojsko Polskie decisively defeated the Red Army, pushed it back across the border, and captured quantities of Soviet arms and equipment including Mosin Nagant rifles. Poland exported part of this captured stock of Mosin Nagant rifles to Finland in exchange for 8mm Mauser rifles used by Finnish cavalry. However within the framework of arms standardization after the 1920 Polish-Soviet War, the idea emerged to convert a certain number of Mosin Nagant rifles for the 8mm Mauser cartridge.

    The Poles manufactured the wz.91/98/25, mostly using Dragoon rifles captured from their war against the Bolsheviks or left behind after the end of the Russian partition. At first the wz.91/98/25 replaced the assortment of Mannlicher carbines in the horse artillery of the regular army. This re-equipage continued for a while, with some other regular army units also receiving the wz.91/98/25. Field reports indicated the new weapon was well received, and was a more capable weapon than the older Austrian M95 carbines which it replaced. Polish web sites also indicate that these rifles were still in use with the Polish Border Guards, State Police, and National Defence Battalions at the time Germany invaded Poland in 1939. The Wehrmacht 3. Gebirgs-Division was used in both the invasion of Poland and later Norway, and one wz.91/98/25 has been found in Norway. Other wz.91/98/25 rifles were acquired as war souvenirs by advancing American soldiers in Normandy. Captured wz.91/98/25 were issued to German fortress and construction troops manning the Westwall fortifications.

    Involved in this re-manufacturing process were Warsztat Rusznikarski Nr 1 in Warsaw and the Machinery & Weapons Factory 'ARMA' in Lwow. The Wojsko Polskie converted about 77,000 Mosin Nagant rifles to wz.91/98/23, wz.91/98/25 and wz.91/98/26 configurations. The /23 can be identified by the missing Mauser band and bayonet device. It used the Russian spike bayonet. The /26 is basically a /25 but has a different ejector as the Mosin Nagant ejector, although slim, is sufficient for the rimmed Russian cartridge. With the rimless 8x57mm cartridge it caused problems. So with the wz.91/98/26 an ejector similar to the one used on the K98 was added. The fitted Mosin Nagant barrels in 7.62mm were shortened, rebored to 7.92mm, recontoured and set back to allow rechambering, with an inletted patch added to the stock to fill the resulting gap in the wood. The magazine, receiver, and interrupter/ejector were all modified to accommodate the 8mm Mauser round, and the associated stripper clips. This involved receiver and bolt modifications, such as the milling off of the old 7.62x54r mm clip guides and recutting the clip slots for 8x57mm; changing the interrupter and ejector, milling the "thumb cut" on the left receiver sidewall, changing the feed ramp angles and widths. The Polish workshops recalibrated the Konalov rear sight to use 8x57mm ammo. It was also shortened to bring the overall length of the rifle to Kar 98 length. Front end changes included adding a Gew 98 front band and bayonet lug to use Polish m/98 Mauser style bayonets. Sling swivels were added and the rear dog collar slot was plugged, resulting in a reasonable approximation of a Kar 98 mauser.


    ARMA LWOW wz.91/98/25

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    “The 1920's spawned the desire in Poland to consolidate munitions, and a good number of the captured Tzarist era M91's were converted from 7.62X54 to the German 8mm round - 7.92X57. The results were designated as the wz.91/98/23, wz.91/98/25, and wz.91/98/26 Mosin Nagants. The 91 referring to the Mosin M91, the 98 for the Mauser K98, and the 23, 25, and 26 as the production year. Known armories were located in Radom and Polish occupied Lwow. Actual bore diameters were stamped on the barrel shank, and Polish eagles were the usual distinct markings.

    In general, they featured a shortened rechambered 8mm barrel, modified magazines and rear sights, a new bolt head to accommodate the rimless cartridge, redesigned interrupter and ejector (late versions), and stock changes to augment inletting for the smaller chamber. The forend was shortened and fitted to accept the Mauser bayonet lug and barrel band on the '25 and 26's.

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    Sling attachments varied significantly from rear lower and/or side K98 or wz. 29 Mauser swivels with plugged slots, or open sling slots with wire hangers

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    Front attachment points varied as well with many combinations of plugged or open slots, wire hangers and some with wz.29 front bands with swivels. Upper handguards were generally shortened from M91's.

    The converted Mosins were commonly described as second line small arms in cavalry and infantry units, but these were also issued in lesser numbers to the Polish State Police, Forest Service and Border Guards. Sources point to approximately 70,000 to 77,000 units were produced in the three production years. In the mid 1930's, Poland eventually phased out the firearm. Some (approx 3,000) were sold to Spain for the Civil War, others to Yugoslavia, and by 1939, the inventory in Poland was said to be 1 unit. Remaining units worldwide are unknown, with very few 23's. The most common is the '25, and these are the usual specimens found - with some sources calling them 26's if exhibiting the upgraded interrupter/ejector combination.

    Now, a few months ago, I spied a forlorn looking chopped down Mosin at a gunshow. It didn't sell, but the markings piqued my curiosity and I went to the gunshop the following week and walked out with the home-sporterized unit for $90. Later that day, I discovered that I had purchased a Polish wz 91/98/25 (26?).

    This one is built on a 1917 Izhevesk receiver, completely matching and serialized in many places, bored at 7.95mm, and produced at Arma Lwow.

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    I forgot to picture the matching numbered bolt body and buttplate... oops!

    The most significant differences to an M91 design can be seen here:

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    The shorter barrel is stepped, and the chamber/shank is much smaller. Wood is added and inletted in the stock to accommodate.

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    The front sight base is pinned in place.

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    The receiver is modified to reduce the height of the stripper clip guides and place them rearward to accept the 8mm round.

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    The two piece interrupter and ejector are separately attached with mounting screws.

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    The bolt head, extractor and guide rod were modified for the rimless round and for feeding clearance.

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    The trigger guard/mag body was widened to the shoulder length of the 8mm round. And the feed ramp was widened and sloped at a lower feed angle.

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    The rear sight leaf was flattened, and the base was ground to calibrate for the differing ballistics.

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    Though my gun's stock is unfortunately sporterized (I suspect it was an early Interarmco import), here is a typical Mauser bayonet lug with an atypical front barrel band/handguard set up.

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    Polish Eagle and another interesting mark.”


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    Zbrojownia Lwow


    W.R.N.1 wz.91/98/26

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    W.R.N.1 has been identified as 'Central Storehouse Weapons No.1' in Warsaw. However Gunboards member 'cartoonist' points out that in Polish this would translate as Centralna Skadnica Broni Nr1, and would constitute a completely different abbreviation (C.S.B.1). Based on some old literature he found on a Polish auction site, cartoonist suggests that W.R.N.1 represents 'Warsztat Rusznikarski Nr1' or Gunsmithing Workshop No.1. He also suggests three weapons workshops performed these conversions.

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    Thank you to martin08 for his detailed post about his Arma Lwow wz.91/98/25 and permission to use his photos. As well thanks to Len S. for permission to use photos of his W.R.N.1 wz.91/98/26. Information was obtained from posts made by cartoonist, jungle and kh in the Collectors Forum - Mosin Nagant HQ, on the American Gunboards.com Discussion Boards website.
    Last edited by dastier; 07-09-2012 at 08:20 PM.

  8. #58

    Default Additional photos of the Polish Mosin Nagant rifle conversion

    The photos are by Gunboards.com member GoShoot. Unfortunately my attempts to contact GoShoot have not been answered so I'm only going to post a few of his pics here.

    First: the added wood block to augment the inletting of the stock. Note the handwritten serial number on the wood block.

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    Next: in addition to the barrel/receiver and bolt head/body as shown in the previous post, serial numbers were stamped on the magazine floor plate, bayonet lug, buttstock and buttplate.

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    Finally: the front sling hanger of GoShoot's wz.91/98/25. Compared this to the wz.29 karabinek front sling swivels of the Arma Lwow wz.91/98/25 in the previous post.

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    If you want to view all thirteen of GoShoot's photos please follow the link to his post on 7.62x54r.net:

    Polish WZ91/98/25 8mm Carbine

  9. #59

    Default Re: Pistols, Rifles, Machine Guns and Crew Served Weapons of Partitioned Poland and the Polish 2nd Republic

    The finish on this rifle (the one I posted) is definately a re-blue of some sort post war. It is very deep and dark. It is not a cold blue, but likely someone had this professionally redone.

  10. #60

    Default Re: Pistols, Rifles, Machine Guns and Crew Served Weapons of Partitioned Poland and the Polish 2nd Republic

    Time to post my kbk wz.98

    This rifle is all matching except for the bolt, which happens to match itself. It seems to have survived the ravages of war and bubba alike.

    The kbk wz.98 was modeled after the German Kar.98az, and is identical in many respects. The differences include the front stacking hook (squared not bent), the buttplate is the standard flat mauser style, and the sling swivel arangement (allowing for side and bottom attachment). One thing that is not "as left factory" is the bolt takedown hole. I am unsure if the Poles did this in the 30's, or if the Germans did it during the war. This rifle has no Nazi markings anywhere, so who did it is a mystery.
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