RARE Israeli Haganah German Gew.98 .22LR Trainer Bolt Action Rifle, C&R

SOLD FOR: $2,484.00

WOA#: WY240407SK023

Make: Mauserwerke, Israeli arsenal rework

Model: Gewehr 98

Serial Number: 0210198

Year of Manufacture: Circa, 1950s

Caliber: .22LR

Action Type: Bolt action, single shot.

Markings: The top of the receiver is marked, “WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER” The rest of the mark has been covered and cut off. The left side of the receiver is marked, “XXXX / aa” with a star of david and y proof followed by, “Gew.98” The right side is marked, “0.22” The barrel extension is marked, “0210198” The barrel is marked, “REMINGTON / REG.US.PAT.OFF / .22 SHORT, LONG, OR LONG RIFLE” The rear sight base is marked, “400 ÷ 25” There is a star of David on the endcap. The bottom metal is marked, “0198” The bottom of the stock is marked, “0.22” The bolt is marked, “0198 / 0.22 / 8003 / 95” There are various stamped out Reichsadler marks.

Barrel Length: 25”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a chevron set on top of a serrated ramped base. The rear sight is a v-notch sliding escalator assembly marked 1-20.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The wood stock has a semi-pistol grip, scallop for the bolt handle, nose cap, finger grooves, through bolt, sling well, sling pass through, and a metal buttplate. The buttplate has impact marks and wear along the edges. The stock has been refinished and has very few handling marks. The LOP measures 13.25” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The stock rates in at about Excellent overall condition.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Refurbished by Israil.

Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is semi-sharp. There is no erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates 9/10.

Many military and C&R eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide. For example, the U.S. used corrosive ammunition throughout WWII. The U.S. military did not begin to phase out corrosive-primed ammunition until the 1950s.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 80% of its metal finish. The rifle has been redone in a rust brown finish. There is thinning throughout. The finish has started to patina. There is wear in the action from use. There are light spots of rust throughout. The screw heads show light use. The markings are mostly well-defined. Overall, this rifle rates in about Excellent condition for its age.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements. This rifle sports a winterized trigger guard.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.

Our Assessment: The Israeli Haganah German Gew.98 .22LR Trainer Bolt Action Rifle is a historically significant firearm that embodies the resourcefulness and adaptability of the early Israeli military forces. Originally manufactured as the Gewehr 98 (Gew.98) by the German Empire, this rifle underwent modifications to serve a new purpose during the formative years of the State of Israel. The Gewehr 98 was the standard-issue rifle of the German military from 1898 through World War I. It is a bolt-action rifle renowned for its accuracy, reliability, and robust design. Chambered originally in 7.92x57mm Mauser, the Gew.98 was a significant step forward in rifle technology at the time of its introduction, influencing many subsequent military rifles. Following World War II surplus Gew.98 and Kar.98 rifles were widely distributed and found their way into various countries, including pre-state Israel. During the 1940s, as tensions in the region escalated and the need for a well-trained military force became paramount, the Haganah—an underground Jewish paramilitary organization in British Mandate Palestine—sought to enhance their training capabilities. One innovative solution was to convert these surplus German rifles into .22LR trainers. The .22 Long Rifle (LR) cartridge is a low-recoil, low-cost round ideal for training purposes. Converting the surplus rifles involved replacing the original barrels with .22LR barrels and making necessary adjustments to the magazine and bolt to accommodate the smaller cartridge. These converted rifles were used to train Haganah members in marksmanship and basic rifle handling skills. The use of .22LR ammunition allowed for extensive training without the logistical and financial burdens associated with full-power military cartridges. The converted rifles provided a platform that closely mimicked the handling characteristics of full-size battle rifles, making the transition to using standard military rifles smoother for trainees. These training rifles played a crucial role in preparing Haganah fighters during the critical period leading up to and following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The skills honed on these .22LR trainers contributed to the effectiveness of the Israeli forces during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and subsequent conflicts.

Today, the Israeli Haganah German Gew.98 .22LR Trainer Bolt Action Rifle is a sought-after collector’s item. It represents a unique intersection of German engineering and Israeli ingenuity. There were only a reported 1,800 of these rifles created. (https://www.americanrifleman.org/content/fn-mausers-and-the-fight-for-israel/) Collectors and historians value these rifles for their historical significance, their role in the early Israeli military training programs, and their connection to the broader story of Israel. Please see the photos for more information, and good luck on your bid! -R.E.

RARE Israeli Haganah German Gew.98 .22LR Trainer Bolt Action Rifle, C&R
RARE Israeli Haganah German Gew.98 .22LR Trainer Bolt Action Rifle, C&R