For quite some time I've been looking for a Norwegian K98k. My Norwegian (50%) heritage, the quality of these vs. other country's refurbishments of German K98k rifles, and the unique chambering all combined to pique my interest. I finally won this rifle as part of a three Mauser lot at the Poulin's auction on April 9, with provenance from the Bob Faris collection.
This 1940 660, Steyr-Daimler-Puch, K98k has been converted by the Norwegians to kaliber 7.62x63 (aka .30-06). Given the year of manufacture, this rifle may have come in with the original German invasion force in April 1940 and remained for the duration of the occupation. These rifles were converted by putting new barrels on surrendered German K98k rifles after WWII and the Norwegians generally kept the parts of the rifle together (in contrast to the Russian practice of seemingly throwing everything in a bin, rebluing and mixing thoroughly before dumping them out to reassemble rifles at random). The Norwegians lined out the old serial number and ground a flat on the left side of the receiver ring where they stamped a new Norwegian serial number preceded by HÆR for the army, K.ART (Kystartilleri) for the coastal artillery, or FLY (Flyvåpen) for the air force*. The latter two are understandably scarcer than the army version, given those branches much lower requirements for rifles, thus the K.ART and FLY marked rifles are more sought after. They also serialized the bolt body (root) and buttplate to match the Norwegian serial number. The remaining serialized parts remained matched to the original German rifle and they did not scrub any of the other German inspection markings.
In the case of my rifle there were a few parts that were replaced during refurbishment, including the sight leaf (but not the slider), and sight base, which has 1935 Mauser Oberndorf markings. Switching those parts is not surprising since they would have to be removed and swapped to the new barrel but as careful as they generally were to keep parts together, I suspect they were swapped to bring them up to specifications. The bolt body (WaA 623 marked) and the extractor (last two digits of the original SN) appear to be from the original rifle. The "rear end" of the bolt group is free of serial numbers except for the J.P. Sauer & Sohn marked (WaA 37) firing pin and an "NE" mark on the bottom of the cocking piece that is of unknown meaning to me. These pieces (save the firing pin) appear to have a dark phosphate treatment rather than bluing.
* The Royal Norwegian Air Force (Luftforsvaret) was established on November 10, 1944 when the Norwegian Army Air Service (Hærens Flyvåpen) and the Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service (Marinens Flygevåpen) were merged. Apparently these K98k conversions were simply stamped with a more familiar abbreviation for air force, flyvåpen (syn. flyvevåben, flygevåpen).
NORWEGIAN SERIAL NUMBERS
GERMAN SERIAL NUMBERS AND WAAS
slider matches but sight leaf is Sauer und Sohn
Steyr WaA77 front sight base
Norwegian? marking on cocking piece
Sauer firing pin
1935 Mauser Oberndorf inspection stamps on rear sight base