1945 Steyr Kriegsmodell Screwed on barrel bands with no retention springs and buttplate takedown hole
No manufacturer of the k98k better embodied the sprawling influence, gross mismanagement, ostentatious wartime profiteering and sheer savagery of the Third Reich better than Steyr Daimler Puch. The Director of SDP was in the SS, and the firm itself belonged within the umbrella of Herman Goring's Reichswerke.
When the SDP facilities of Steyr were bombed, a bunch of machinery was moved from Steyr to tunnels within Gusen/Mauthausen, including some means of production vacated from FB Radom. By the time this rifle was made, SDP was using, um, less than willing labor to produce rifle parts at the Gusen quarries of the Mauthausen concentration camp.
BNZ KMs end in the T-block, I believe 5xxxT is the latest rifle discovered. This particular rifle is in the S-block, so it's one of the last K98s ever made for the Army. You can see the lightish-colored scrub walnut, crudely finished. It's very porous and light compared to standard k98ks.
It took me a while to truly warm up to Kriegsmodells and late war stuff in general, since it's the attention to detail and precision craftsmanship that drew me to Mausers in the first place. But I'm starting to get it. There is a strange beauty to these crude rifles, and nothing says we won
better than observing a 1945 k98k.