At that time, I had the hots to build an expensive custom rifle using a Czechoslovak Mauser action; I wanted a Czechoslovak action because the experts claimed they were one of the best if not the best old-world craftsmen therefore their Mauser actions were the smoothest. I kept looking for a beat-up rifle, but couldn’t find one I felt comfortable destroying. Samco to the rescue with their M98/29 barreled receivers. A knowledgeable lady I talked with told me most of them had been taken from used rifles, others were from a cache of mostly used, but serviceable parts received with the imported rifles. She felt if all I was interested in was the action any of them would be just fine. I ordered one thinking a full-length Czechoslovakian action with unusual markings would make a solid and unique custom rifle foundation, and by using a barreled receiver I would not be destroying a complete rifle. I immediately began looking at aftermarket barrels, trigger assemblies, and custom stocks. I found and bought an expensive American walnut custom stock channeled for a sporting barrel, was making a final caliber decision, and about to order a trigger assembly when the barreled receiver came in.
I could not believe the condition the barreled receiver was in; no rust, but some fading of the bluing on sharp edges probably from storage. It had an awesomely bright clean bore. I decided instantly there was no way I was going to damage this piece of mechanical perfection, and knew I had a new mission to put it back into military configuration. Over time I found an original stock and bayonet, the stock was missing a barrel band and I could not find one anywhere. I had a vz24 stock set with bands, unfortunately the vz24 stock was too thick at the mounting point so while it was the correct screw-in locking type it was too big for the longer slim M98/29 stock. I had a Swedish M96 stock set with bands so I tried its barrel band; perfect fit, but wrong type, the M96 band required a spring latch. Man, I really wanted to shoot this rifle and reasoned since the stock and bayonet serial numbers didn’t match each other and neither matched the barrel and receiver serial number the rifle I was putting together would have no collector’s value anyway so using the Swedish band to allow the rifle to be shot would not make any difference. I cut the spring grove and drilled the mounting pin hole into the stock for the Swedish band.
I said this was a somewhat sad story because on the good side I started with a barreled receiver rather than damaging a completed M98/29 rifle, and most importantly in the end l had a fully functional rifle that became my favorite Mauser rifle to shoot; strictly from a shooting point of view I placed my built M98/29 a little higher than my correct 1899 Swedish M96/38.