The longer I study WW2 weaponry, the more I appreciate the miracle required for a rifle to survive the war in nearly as-issued condition. Ironically, I find it a bigger miracle for the arms to survive the ages of civilian ownership too. Between sanding, scoping, varnishing, oven cleaner-ing, chopping, faking numbers and other baffling ethos and fading fancies of collectors/shooters past, it's no small wonder to still be able to find healthy, undicked Mausers. Tack that on to the oodles of captured, refurbished, parted out, defaced, renumbered, vandalized and otherwise ruined rifles pouring out of Russian, Yugoslavian, Romanian, and Turk arsenals, and it's easy to see divine intervention embodied in an original k98k. Nothing can better capture the political climate, masterful craftsmanship, entrepreneurial spirit of the firearm industry, and military ideology of the day better than an honest, unmolested k98k rifle.
Here is one I snatched from the ether of Internetland. It's a prewar, Luftwaffe issue, late '38 Mauser from the Oberndorf plant, built just in time for the Phony War invasion of Poland. It's a true bolt mismatch in a striking walnut stock. I had a hell of a time trying to capture how beautiful the wood is on camera. Don't you love it when you pull a rifle out of the box, and immediately know it'll always stay with you?
As soon as I can finagle the Femaru away from Coinring, the Luftwaffe crew will be one step nearer completion.