The Israeli K98k Mauser

Most everyone knows that the Israeli’s were given a hodgepodge of weaponry. They were flooded with thousands of left over K98 Mauser rifles after the war, and used them to great effect.

In the 1950’s when they adapted the FN-FAL as their service rifle, they had the Mausers converted to 7.62x51mm.

That made sense for several reasons. First, the 8mm Mauser rifles were pretty worn out; and since they were using 7.62 ammo, they needed uniformity. Second, Instead of having 8mm for the mausers and 30-06 for the Browning MG’s, they needed to use one basic rifle round to resolve supply issues. Third, their largest military supplier switched to the what would eventually be known as the 7.62×51 NATO standard.

While they were converting the Mauser rifles over, they would carve, “762” into the stock for a quick ID on which rifle used which ammo. I could go into more detail but that’s a brief history of the German Mauser being pressed into service for Israel.

That brings me to our Israeli Mauser. In the 1950’s Israel contracted with FN to have more made. They used left over German parts but the barrel and receiver were newly made by FN, chambered in 7.62x51mm, and sported the IDF receiver crest.

This is the model we acquired. It was made in 1958 and someone along the line heavily refinished the rifle. The stock is a standard German stock that sports a very thick layer of varnish.

Compete Rifle IDF Mauser

The metal shows signs of pitting but that’s very common as many of these rifles left Israel and were sent to Central and South America in the late 60’s and 70’s. They were poorly treated and eventually made their way to the US surplus market.

Notice the “white out”. That is sun light reflecting off the heavy, gloss clear coat.

Our example shows that abuse but whoever refinished it did a really good job. The milsurp collector and/or purist will hate it being refurb’d. But from our point of view as a shooter and reference gun, it works for us.

The rifle is in great shape but the bolt has some slop in it so a headspace check is in order; but other than that, it’s ready to hit the range. Add another milsurp, “308 conversion” to the rack in the armory.



“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Freezer Meat

Freezer Meat

Staff Writer at
Writer at Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast.

Freeze is our resident All-American hunter, shooter, gunsmith and military surplus collector. When he is not processing his own game or running the smoker, he focuses on Com-Bloc weapons and Black Powder Shooting.
Freezer Meat

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  • We looked a long time for a 308 IDF Mauser that had good markings but didn’t look like it has been run over by truck. Since this example was refinished, it was priced appropriately as a reference / shooter grade rifle.


  • guns2317

    Pretty nifty history lesson there, learned something new. It is fascinating to me that the Israeli nation used so much German material (among other countries) at their infancy. Pretty neat in my book.

    How much would something like that Israeli converted K98 with the IDF engraving run for on the market?

    • I don’t claim to be an expert on them. Or at least knowing even what makes them “desirable” to those knowledgeable. But I have watched prices for a year or two.

      Right now, they are getting stupid expensive. I’m regularly seeing them listed (didn’t say selling) for 700-800-900.

      We didn’t pay anywhere near $900 for ours.

      I know personally that the big IDF crest on the receiver is pretty neat. And that helps value. But…

      You can get into some pretty esoteric collecting when looking at IDF mausers. Consider the following….

      A Weimar Republic / WWI German Mauser that survives The Great War. Upgraded by the Nazi’s to the K98 standard for use in WWII. Then taken in by the Israelis for use in their conflicts.

      And markings showing all 3 events on the same rifle. WWI, WWII, Creation of Israel.

      Literally Nazi markings on a IDF gun. The mind boggles at the reality of that!

      It has been my observation that many of those trifecta guns are usually in 8mm. And for years the cool-kids didn’t give the 7.62 guns much cred. Now that seems to be changing.

      I wanted a 7.62. I wanted a IDF. I wanted a shooter. And I didn’t want it looking like it went the long way around to Jerusalem! This one fit the bill. since it has been fluffed, that pushed the collectors away. I suspect the high-gloss coating hurt it the most.

      Open market prices: I say 475-600 for one that looks in good milsurp shape is a solid price.

      The 475’s will look like they were used in a Zombie movie and anything much above 6 better have some crazy markings on it.

      IMO anyway.

      Hope this helps.


  • MickeyG

    Nice weapon.

    • Thanks, Mickey. Expect to see video of it ringing steel in the next few weeks.


      • MickeyG

        Great, can’t wait to see how it shoots.

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