Israeli ERMA 1938 K98 Pre-War Model 98 Mauser Matching 7.62 NATO Armscorp Import
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This ERMA produced Model K98 Mauser was converted after World War II for use by the newly formed country of Israel. They used surplus small arms from several different countries and rearsenaled many K98s to fire 7.62 NATO instead of 8mm Mauser. Many of these rifles were used in early conflicts involving Israel and the surrounding Arab countries.
From Tactical Life:
“At about the same time, the Israelis purchased an assembly line to produce their own version of the K98 from Switzerland for $2 million. Delays in delivery, however, prevented the large-scale production of complete K98s. Then, with so many worthy self-loading designs on the market, the Israeli Defense Forces began testing several more modern designs and decided instead to adopt the Belgian FN FAL chambered in 7.62mm NATO as its main battle rifle.
The K98 facility was then left to produce spare parts and overhaul all of the various existing K98s in the country. To standardize ammunition supply, the rifles in the first three groups were reworked and re-barreled to use the 7.62mm NATO cartridge. Those guns comprise the fourth group. They have finger-grooved beechwood stocks, new barrels, a large “7.62” hammered into the receiver top and an equally large “7.62” branded into the butt of the stock. Rework and acceptance/proof marks consisted of a Star of David and the Hebrew tsade letter in a circle, usually on the left side of the receiver. In addition, the reworked rifles were fitted with a front sight hood, peculiar to Israel, with two holes and a rivet to secure it in place.
The country still had a lot of 7.92x57mm ammunition in storage by the 1956 Suez Crisis. Only a portion of the country’s K98s had been overhauled and re-barreled for the 7.62mm NATO. Also, only a few FN FALs were available at that point. So, the venerable K98 went to war again, in both calibers. By the time of the 1967 Six Day War, most of Israel’s K98s had been overhauled, and the 7.62mm NATO version was still in service during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Many were made into sniper rifles, commonly using Nimrod or Kahles telescopic sights.
During the K98’s decades of service, the Israelis manufactured several accessories for the gun. Those included thick leather K98 slings based on the WWII German version but stamped with Hebrew markings and using brass fittings.
Bayonets were also refurbished or produced, incorporating Czech and wartime German features, and most appear to have been marked in Hebrew and dated. In addition, those Israeli bayonets used simpler phenolic grips and were not as well finished as their wartime counterparts.
Spigot-type grenade launchers based loosely on the American and/or Yugoslavian pattern were also produced and have been available on the commercial market recently, as have plastic cased cleaning kits with wooden cleaning rods.
After Israel was fully equipped with FN FALs and, later, American M16 rifles and the IMI Galil, the old K98s were largely given to other countries as aid or put out as surplus. Most Israeli Mausers in the United States were imported from 1980 through 1990 by Armscorp and Century Arms and were sold as “Golan Heights” rifles.”
This rifle would be included in those batches.