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  #1  
Old 02-27-2018, 9:21 AM
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Default FN made Israeli K98 Mauser sniper rifle.

I got this Israeli K98 sniper rifle in 2008. It's one of just under 500 Israeli FN made Mauser rifles which were converted into the sniper configuration you see below.





These rifles started life as a regular FN made Israeli K98 rifles. In 1966 they were converted into snipers by the Israeli military and had scopes and mounts made by the Swiss company Wild Heerbrugg installed. The scopes and mounts are unique to this series of rifles, and as far as can be found were the only weapons scope ever designed and or produced by Wild Heerbrugg.




In order to install the scope mount base the front receiver of each rifle had to be slightly modified in shape to fit the profile of the bottom of the scope mount base. This required the serial number which was originally on the rifle to be scrubbed and a new serial number stamped.

This series of FN Israeli sniper rifles was given a unique serial number sequence which belongs only to this series of sniper rifles. The serial numbers are from 200232 to 200731.

In the pic below you can see just a small part of the old serial which was not scrubbed off while reshaping the receiver for the new scope base below the new numbers. The proofs to the right of the new number are Israeli military proof marks. One is a "Tzadi", Or Israeli military property mark.

The star with what looks like the number 1 or "I" is unknown.

UPDATE
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamGoldstein View Post
SVT-40,That is the Hebrew letter "Nun" inside the Star of David. "Nun" probably refers to some arsenal I'm guessing.


These rifles retained their original FN made walnut stocks, which are identified as FN made by the type of wood, and the lack of grasping groves as found on replacement Israeli made stocks.

The stocks were then modified (lengthened) and had a large rubber butt pad installed. A cheek riser made of resin with it's own rubber butt pad was installed. The stocks also had a steel tube installed and the stock cut to aid in the disassembly of the firing pin from the firing pin assembly. This tube also is what the cheek riser bolts into for retention.

The standard FN front handguard retainer, which would usually have a sling swivel was modified and the swivel removed. Israeli FN FAL sling swivels were installed in the butt as well as the lower part of the fore stock. This allowed the use of US surplus target slings.





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Old 02-27-2018, 9:21 AM
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The Israelis also installed an extended safety which was more scope friendly.


The Israeli designed riveted on front sight protector / hood was used just like on other Israeli K98 type rifles. The rear holes in the hood are for the retaining rivet, and the front holes are for use of a special Israeli designed front sight adjusting tool. The tool clamps onto the barrel and has pins which fit through the holes in the hood and allow the front sight to be zeroed. This discouraged soldiers in the field from tinkering with their sights, and allowed sight adjustments without the removal of the hood.





More on the Wild Heerbrugg scopes and mounts. The scopes are 4 power with a European pointed post reticle. The scopes were numbered to each rifle, and will bear the same serial number on the front bell area. As you can see my rifle has it's numbers matching scope, which is extremely rare.

These rifles when imported into the US in the early 1990's came in without scopes. Some were imported by Briklee AKA Fed Ord of South El Monte Ca. (as in the scan below) Others were imported by "NHM" which is the New Helveita Mercantile Corp of Sacramento Ca.

Mine is a "NHM" import. I remember seeing them at Fed Ord. back then, but foolishly didn't buy one, as I figured the scopes would never be available, and the mounts were very odd... So what use is a sniper rifle without it's scope and mount. Also at $469.95 I could buy two or three other nice C&R guns..

I was dumb as a decade later I paid three time that much... But I did get the scope with it!!

However when I bought my Israeli K98 sniper it did not come with it's matching scope. It came with scope # 200495.

At that time I posted a thread at Gunboards about my new rifle... A few weeks later another sharp eyed Gunboards member spotted my matching scope with it's proper scope can and accessories for sale here in the US. He sent me a PM and I bought my numbers matching scope.

What was interesting is the Gunboards member who spotted my scope, lived in New Zealand. The interweb has makes networking and these types of sweetheart deals possible. Needless to say I owe 308Nutt at Gunboards a few beers or six if I ever make it to New Zealand.

So with the matching scope in hand I sold the other scope to another collector.

As far as I know there are only a very few rifles in collectors hands which have matching scopes. I know of one in Belgium, and I believe a member here also recently acquired one. I won't out him, and he can post if he chooses.











Special "spanner" used to adjust the scope.


Scope "can". This is a more modern version. The originals were sheet metal with metal retaining clips inside. The sling is a Israeli "UZI" SMG sling.
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Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
What you believe and what is true in real life in the real world aren't necessarily the same thing. And what you believe doesn't change what is true in real life in the real world.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigger hammer View Post
SVT–40 is an excellent writer, far better than I am, he says in a couple of sentences what it takes me many paragraphs to get across,

Last edited by SVT-40; 02-27-2018 at 10:19 AM..
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Old 02-27-2018, 9:21 AM
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More random pic's.

Full FN markings on the left side rail.


Scope adjustment knobs.



Top view of the scope bases. Which are "see through" and allow the use of the rifle's iron sights.


Side view.


Scope.






Manual for the rifle and scope.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
What you believe and what is true in real life in the real world aren't necessarily the same thing. And what you believe doesn't change what is true in real life in the real world.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigger hammer View Post
SVT–40 is an excellent writer, far better than I am, he says in a couple of sentences what it takes me many paragraphs to get across,

Last edited by SVT-40; 02-27-2018 at 11:40 AM..
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Old 02-27-2018, 9:27 AM
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Jim these were "fielded" or otherwise?
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Old 02-27-2018, 9:33 AM
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Great timing SVT!! I was going to start a thread about these myself next week! Still waiting for some parts to arrive, will post pics soon
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Old 02-27-2018, 9:34 AM
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Beautiful example SVT! Where did you find the rubber eye cup?

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Originally Posted by Saigon1965 View Post
Jim these were "fielded" or otherwise?
Saigon,
Yes these lived a hard life and saw heavy use. They have been seen with locally made scope mounts that replace the Wild scope, as shown.


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Old 02-27-2018, 9:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Saigon1965 View Post
Jim these were "fielded" or otherwise?
Some of these are still being used in Israel now. I've seen a few with the original mounts taken off and new 1" mounts installed/welded on. Nimrod scopes were used on them, as well as various commercial scopes
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:04 AM
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SVT-40,

That is the Hebrew letter "Nun" inside the Star of David. "Nun" probably refers to some arsenal I'm guessing.
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:20 AM
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I just finished reading an article about these rifles yesterday. Very nice example you have the SVT.
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVT-40 View Post
These rifles started life as a regular FN made Israeli K98 rifles. In 1966 they were converted into snipers by the Israeli military and had scopes and mounts made by the Swiss company Wild Heerbrugg installed
Out of curiosity, where were you able to find the information about the 1966 conversion? Do you know if these were done in Israel?
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saigon1965 View Post
Jim these were "fielded" or otherwise?
Yes, fielded and very heavily used. They were Israel's first true sniper rifle. Prior to these being fielded the Israeli's were using whatever they could find, which was mainly old ex German snipers or British sniper rifles.

Even after they were surpassed by more modern designs some were given to Kibbutz defense forces for use.

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Originally Posted by Jimja View Post
Great timing SVT!! I was going to start a thread about these myself next week! Still waiting for some parts to arrive, will post pics soon
Great news. I'm sorry I have not called you back... It's on my "to do list". Been very busy with inventory and documentation.

I mentioned in one of my posts above that another board member had one. I didn't know if you wanted to be "outed"... Please post your pic's and whatever else you might have to add. In this thread I would like to see what you got!!

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Originally Posted by 81turbota View Post
Beautiful example SVT! Where did you find the rubber eye cup?



Saigon,
Yes these lived a hard life and saw heavy use. They have been seen with locally made scope mounts that replace the Wild scope, as shown.


The rubber eye cup came with the scope. It's what I have seen on the other Israeli Wild Heerbrugg scopes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimja View Post
Out of curiosity, where were you able to find the information about the 1966 conversion? Do you know if these were done in Israel?
The info is from a member of another board. "Paco" on Gunboards. He is also a member at the FAL Files, and is a super huge FN collector. I believe he is in Belgium.

He provided both the serial number ranges as well as the production year.

There are also two pages in the new book "FN Mauser Rifles Arming Belgium and the World" by Anthony Vanderlinden. specifically about the Israeli FN sniper rifles.

He mentions in his book, that these rifles were the only bolt action sniper rifles in Israeli service up until the early 1980's when they were replaced by the Mauser SP66...

The in Israel production was confirmed both in the book and by Paco.
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Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
What you believe and what is true in real life in the real world aren't necessarily the same thing. And what you believe doesn't change what is true in real life in the real world.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigger hammer View Post
SVT–40 is an excellent writer, far better than I am, he says in a couple of sentences what it takes me many paragraphs to get across,

Last edited by SVT-40; 02-27-2018 at 10:54 AM..
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamGoldstein View Post
SVT-40,

That is the Hebrew letter "Nun" inside the Star of David. "Nun" probably refers to some arsenal I'm guessing.
Cool thanks!! I assumed it was something like that. A "1" or "I" would have been to simple!!

I assume you read Hebrew? If so can you translate the label on the front of the scope case?

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Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
What you believe and what is true in real life in the real world aren't necessarily the same thing. And what you believe doesn't change what is true in real life in the real world.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigger hammer View Post
SVT–40 is an excellent writer, far better than I am, he says in a couple of sentences what it takes me many paragraphs to get across,
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:57 AM
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SVT, your collection never ceases to amaze me. I've been hawking your profile just waiting for the day that you decide to part with an FN49.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:16 AM
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A few more pic's.

You can see the "see through" feature on the rear scope base.


Barrel markings showing this barrel was made in February of 1958. The Israelis used barrel blanks obtained from FN to produce their Mauser barrels. Which according to Vanderliden's book took place in Israel and not Belgium.

There are a few different dates found on these barrels. It would also be common for these rifles to go through a arsenal refurbishment and have their barrels replaced.

All Israeli K98 type rifles went through overhauls between 1955 and 1960 where they were re-barreled and changed in caliber if needed from 7.92 to .308




Based on the wear on my rifles bolt It's readily apparent that these rifles were heavily used.


The Israelis also renumbered bolts as they needed to keep head space in the proper range. The bolt of my rifle is a FN replacement bolt as it has it's markings on the top bolt flat, and not on the back of the bolt handle as was FN's usual placement.

I have another FN made Israeli Mauser in my collection with it's numbers matching original bolt. These are very rare to find though.



This FN proof mark on the bottom of the rifles cocking piece shows it passed proof at FN in the first "trimester" of 1953.






Don't know what this number "158" stamped into the front "H" band indicates. This would not have been a part which FN or the Israeli's would have had a serial number on. It is a FN made part, as it has a FN partially boxed "2" stamped into it indicating it passed proof at FN in 1952.

It will be interesting to see if Jimja's rifle has a number stamped in the same location???



Rear sight has a FN proof. Fourth "trimester" production in 1953.


US military WWII issue sling markings.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
What you believe and what is true in real life in the real world aren't necessarily the same thing. And what you believe doesn't change what is true in real life in the real world.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigger hammer View Post
SVT–40 is an excellent writer, far better than I am, he says in a couple of sentences what it takes me many paragraphs to get across,

Last edited by SVT-40; 02-27-2018 at 11:57 AM..
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Old 02-27-2018, 2:08 PM
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Here are a few photos of my rifle. Not nearly as nice as SVT's above, this is one of the more recent imports. Most likely this rifle had another ~20 years of service in Israel after SVT's rifle was imported into the US in the early 1990's

As SVT mentioned above, this is one of the other three scope/receiver matching ones known, the bolt is Israeli matched to the rifle. The stock is a replacement, with a serial # 200317, but is matched to the receiver by the "5" rack number.












Israeli matched bolt, number stamped on top of the handle





Stock force matched to the receiver with a rack number "5"









The barrel is from March of 1960




#169 stamped on the front band, 11 numbers higher than on SVT's rifle




I also have a mismatched one of these, and one with an Israeli field done camo paint job, a replacement welded 1" scope mount and a 6x Nimrod scope. I'll post photos in a few days when I have a chance to take them

A friend of mine has one, maybe he'll post his here as well. At the next WEGC shoot I plan on shooting two of these for groups, to see how they do. From what I've read these should be around 1 to 1.5 MOA. I'll report back here with the results

Last edited by Jimja; 03-01-2018 at 3:01 PM..
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Old 02-27-2018, 2:23 PM
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saved for more pics
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Old 02-27-2018, 2:23 PM
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saved for shooting results - will update after the March WEGC shoot

Last edited by Jimja; 02-27-2018 at 2:29 PM..
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Old 02-27-2018, 2:24 PM
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Very cool gentlemen.

I was watching this one on gunbroker that sold not too long ago but it quickly went out of my price range
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/735663114

I've had good dealings with the seller but what is your take on it, legit?
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Old 02-27-2018, 2:29 PM
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Originally Posted by huntingsocal View Post
Very cool gentlemen.

I was watching this one on gunbroker that sold not too long ago but it quickly went out of my price range
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/735663114

I've had good dealings with the seller but what is your take on it, legit?
That's legit. It has the Israeli made scope mount for the Nimrod scope.

What it went for is about going rate, maybe even a little less.
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Old 02-27-2018, 2:34 PM
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Great Post, good info and excellent pictures. Thank you for sharing
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Old 02-27-2018, 2:50 PM
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That's legit. It has the Israeli made scope mount for the Nimrod scope.

What it went for is about going rate, maybe even a little less.
Not just the Nimrod scope, different commercial 1" scopes were used as well from what I've heard/read

While the rifle is legit, finding a Wild Heerbrugg scope for it would be nearly impossible (if you wanted the original scope for it). The last 6x Nimrod scope I've seen sell sold for $900 + shipping

https://www.gunbroker.com/Item/741770608

I've never seen a Wild Heerbrugg scope for sale, but I'd imagine it would be significantly more expensive
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Old 02-27-2018, 2:53 PM
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Damn thats a beautiful rifle.
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Old 02-27-2018, 3:08 PM
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A little more history:

These K98 sniper rifles were upgraded during the 1973 Yom Kippur War with the M14. The M14's were fitted with cheek risers, plastic stocks and came with the 6x40 (a 10X40 was also made) Nirmod scopes made in Japan by a subsidiary of Koor Industries, an Israeli firm.

In 1997 the M14 was replaced by the M24 which became the standard IDF sniper rifle in regular infantry units. The M14 sniper rifles, as well as these K98's, are still used in reserve units, police, and civil defense organizations

Since these M14's were select fire rifles, they were never imported into the US for civilian sale. However, a few parts kits were imported and were made into replica snipers using the original parts by Springfield Armory

Here is one I was considering buying:

https://www.gunbroker.com/Item/743320274


Specially marked receiver (Auction photo)





I couldn't find any nice, clear photos of the k98 in action, but here is a nice one of the M14's


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Old 02-27-2018, 4:29 PM
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Great snipers guys! SVT, The stuff you have is just so...nice, it makes my junk look ordinary in comparison
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Old 02-27-2018, 4:32 PM
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Great snipers guys! SVT, The stuff you have is just so...nice, it makes my junk look ordinary in comparison
Ha!!!

LOL.. All those beautiful Colts and such are just junk and ordinary...

We all have some pretty nice looking "junk"...
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Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
What you believe and what is true in real life in the real world aren't necessarily the same thing. And what you believe doesn't change what is true in real life in the real world.
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SVT–40 is an excellent writer, far better than I am, he says in a couple of sentences what it takes me many paragraphs to get across,
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Old 02-27-2018, 4:49 PM
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I am pretty sure if someone writes something on Israeli Mauser snipers, they will be using your pictures.

Beautiful rifle and as always, great pictures.
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Old 02-27-2018, 4:51 PM
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"Wow" is all I can say. What a beautiful rifle and a great piece of Israeli military history!

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The label simply says "transport case for the Wild riflescope"
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Old 02-27-2018, 5:49 PM
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Since were talking about Israeli sniper rifles, I thought I'd post a scan of an Israeli sniper rifle type which was imported and sold by a company called Armscorp. Armscorp had very good contacts within Israel and was responsible for importing the first wave of Israeli Mauser rifles and parts into the US.

I did some work for them at the time, and was able to get a few of the mint Israeli Mauser rifles from them.

I did not buy one of these "M36" rifles, as the price in 1988 dollars was astronomical, even with my "discount"..... Without scopes too!!

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What you believe and what is true in real life in the real world aren't necessarily the same thing. And what you believe doesn't change what is true in real life in the real world.
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SVT–40 is an excellent writer, far better than I am, he says in a couple of sentences what it takes me many paragraphs to get across,
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Old 02-27-2018, 5:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javaduke View Post
"Wow" is all I can say. What a beautiful rifle and a great piece of Israeli military history!



The label simply says "transport case for the Wild riflescope"
Thanks. I really like collecting Israeli military firearms. I'm not Jewish, however I have a great admiration for the Israeli nation and their struggle for freedom and safety.

Is the writing at the very top of the label part of what you translated? or is it some sort of other designation?

I assumed the word in parentheses was "Wild" ... But thanks for the interpretation.
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What you believe and what is true in real life in the real world aren't necessarily the same thing. And what you believe doesn't change what is true in real life in the real world.
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SVT–40 is an excellent writer, far better than I am, he says in a couple of sentences what it takes me many paragraphs to get across,
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Old 02-27-2018, 6:26 PM
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Talking Israeli Sniper Rifle K98 Mauser

Very Interesting Post..

Thank You for sharing.

Lon E. Light
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Old 02-27-2018, 6:38 PM
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OK this one is especially cool. What do I need to do to inherit this one from you when you pass? Haha



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Old 02-27-2018, 10:29 PM
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Excellent post. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-28-2018, 3:26 AM
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Great thread on a very interesting rifle. Looking forward to a closer look at Jimja's example at the next shoot. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 02-28-2018, 5:06 AM
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Ditto what Beetle Bailey posted.

Thanks for sharing the pictures and background.
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Old 02-28-2018, 7:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beetle Bailey View Post
Great thread on a very interesting rifle. Looking forward to a closer look at Jimja's example at the next shoot. Thanks for sharing!
I'll bring it as well as the Camo with the 6x Nimrod scope, you're more than welcome to shoot them both
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Old 02-28-2018, 8:21 AM
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Thanks so much for sharing Gentlemen. Most interesting read.
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Old 02-28-2018, 2:23 PM
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A great read, well done.
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Old 02-28-2018, 2:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javaduke View Post
"Wow" is all I can say. What a beautiful rifle and a great piece of Israeli military history!



The label simply says "transport case for the Wild riflescope"
\

Well, actually: ``telescope "Wild"``
Looks like there is no word in Hebrew for "telecope" so the Israelis spell it's English word phonetically in Hebrew.
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Old 02-28-2018, 2:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVT-40 View Post
Thanks. I really like collecting Israeli military firearms. I'm not Jewish, however I have a great admiration for the Israeli nation and their struggle for freedom and safety.

Is the writing at the very top of the label part of what you translated? or is it some sort of other designation?

I assumed the word in parentheses was "Wild" ... But thanks for the interpretation.
Yes the word in quotes is "Wild", and the word just before that is l'telescope.
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Old 02-28-2018, 3:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamGoldstein View Post
Yes the word in quotes is "Wild", and the word just before that is l'telescope.
That's right Hebrew is read right to left.. Can you interpret the very top row of smaller writing?
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