Now that I've assuaged the self-loathing and placated the disbelief over my conservativeness and inability to pull the trigger on this rifle, here's what I see:
Totally unmolested walnut stock. After the era of popularly sanding and varnishing and oven cleaner-ing or chopping a stock for Bambi-blasting purposes, that's a miracle.
Strange wear patterns fascinate me. Don't know why. The bolt stop and the front bands show wear inconsistent with the healthy blue I see on the rest of the gun. The bands being rough make sense since you said there was some rustiness in the handguard. But why the bolt stop? If that part were exposed or wet or bloody, it stands to reason the receiver bridge was too, does it not?
That walnut stock makes me all warm and fuzzy...like Brooklyn Decker running to me in slow motion in a field of poppies to the soundtrack of Pour Some Sugar on Me and fighter jets doing loopty-loops above in the azure skies.
That's just a sick rifle. Totally honest. Totally undicked. And yeah, RM, the k98 oldtimers & well-to-do 1%ers, will deem this rifle devoid of value and worthiness of study, but there are tons of collectors out there, me included, who find immense value in k98s of this caliber and condition. Wonderful investment. For whatever it's worth, I paid nearly double for my bolt mm Luft BYF and I was giddy as hell about it.
I'm really happy it turned out to be such a good deal for you.
Are there any other indicators?
What more do you want? A picture of a falschirmjaeger holding it up to the camera as he jumps from the Ju52?