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Question on the "eagle/L" markings?
Old 10-29-2003, 06:37 PM   #1
Matt Weber
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Default Question on the "eagle/L" markings?

One thing has been bothering me for quite some time now, and I have been researching it, and am still puzzled by it?

That is the "eagle/L" markings found on K98 rifles. Now unfortunately, I don't have one of these to show you, but I know some of our members do, so perhaps they will help me out with the pics.

First off, lets' talk about the "eagle/L" marking found on the stocks of some K98s. Now, most people and many reference books refer to this marking as a Luftwaffe proof marking. Why? I haven't seen any hard evidence to suggest this?
The Luftwaffe never marked any other firearms this way? Why would they mark a K98 like this? Most of the weapons, (machine guns, SMGs, pistols, and rifles) used by the Luftwaffe will have the exact same proof markings as the Army!
So why are these marked "eagle/L"?

Second, there are several known pistols (lugers mostly, such as the KU luger shown below) and some rifles (K98 in R. Jensens' collection), that actually show a correct Luftwaffe acceptance proof marking on the slide, or reciever!!! (see pic below of the Ku luger with luftwaffe proof marking).
If these "eagle/L" marked rifles were accepted by the Luftwaffe shouldn't they have this proof marking on the reciever then as well?

Third, there are several known rifles (k98s) that have an "eagle/L" acceptance proof on the reciever (see Laws' book on K98s), But these are referred to as Police rifles! This actually makes more sense to me, since many police pisols, and K98 cleaning kits will bear an "eagle/L" proof marking.
So do you think that all of these K98s with the "eagle/L" marking on the stock are actually police marked rifles? and if this is true, then were did someone come up with the idea that these are Luftwaffe rifles?

Can anyone else share some facts on this subject?

Matt
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Old 10-29-2003, 06:46 PM   #2
Gene
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I have two eagle/L marked K98's and the L on the stock does indeed represent the Luftwaffe. H marked ones were for the Heer and M were Kriegsmarine.
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Old 10-30-2003, 07:33 AM   #3
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Gene,

I know that is the popular belief, and I don't mean to insult your intelligence, but what evidence do you have to support that the "eagle/L" is a Luftwaffe marking and not a Police marking?

Matt

PS- Below is a pic for everyone of the "eagle/L" as located on the stocks, which is what I am questioning.
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Old 10-30-2003, 07:48 AM   #4
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Here is a photo showing us a proper Luftwaffe acceptance proof (just like the one shown above on the Ku luger). Notice it is proof marked on the barrel and also the reciever.
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Old 10-30-2003, 07:50 AM   #5
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Now here is an "eagle/L" acceptance proof marking on the barrel of another K98. This is a Police proof marking.

Matt
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Old 10-30-2003, 08:36 AM   #6
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Think about it. Aside from a Waffenamt marking which might indicate an armorer's initial or a certain test that had been performed, what does L have to do with the Polizei? If a stock is so marked it would indicate issue to a Wehrmacht organization, which the Luftwaffe was whereas the Polizei were paramilitary. If L does not mean Luftwaffe, then I'm afraid H doesn't stand for Heer or M for Kriegsmarine. Just my zwei Pfenniger. I'm simply using common sense to arrive at this belief as I don't have any period information that proves it.
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Old 10-30-2003, 09:43 AM   #7
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My eagle/L marked stock on my Luftwaffe K98 is accompanied by a Luftamt on the barrel and receiver. The stock marking is very light. In fact, it took some time to find it. But the Luftamt on the barrel and receiver is no doubt a Luftwaffe proofing of the gun. The stock serial number matches that of the receiver.

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Luftwaffe 98k
Old 10-30-2003, 10:29 AM   #8
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Default Luftwaffe 98k

Matt,
Started digging around in the gun safe and took the following pics.. Pic #1 shows a 98k BYF 41 with the Eagle L proof mark in the stock
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Old 10-30-2003, 10:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff A
Matt,
Started digging around in the gun safe and took the following pics.. Pic #1 shows a 98k BYF 41 with the Eagle L proof mark in the stock
Pic # 2 shows the luftampt marking on the reciever of this same rifle
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Old 10-30-2003, 10:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff A
Pic # 2 shows the luftampt marking on the reciever of this same rifle
Can we all agree that this is a Luftwaffe accepted and used 98k? Pic # 3 shows the receiver of this same 98k with the Luft acceptance stamp
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Old 10-30-2003, 10:33 AM   #11
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I think that there is a progression to the markings. The earliest ones (my model is outside the serial number range found in Law's book) I believe will be found with Weimar Eagles, the Luftamt and the Eagle/L stock proof. As they progressed, the waffenamt replaced the Weimar Eagles and the Luftamt was no longer used. But, the Eagle/L remained on the stocks to signify a Luft weapon. While typing this, I was proven wrong. But I agree, that's a Luft rifle.
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Old 10-30-2003, 10:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff A
Can we all agree that this is a Luftwaffe accepted and used 98k? Pic # 3 shows the receiver of this same 98k with the Luft acceptance stamp
Pic # 4 shows another 98k with the Luftwaffe eagle L? This rifle is a 42/1939
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Old 10-30-2003, 10:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff A
Pic # 4 shows another 98k with the Luftwaffe eagle L? This rifle is a 42/1939
Pic # 5 shows the SN on the receiver with the later style acceptance stamp on this same rifle
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Old 10-30-2003, 10:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff A
Pic # 5 shows the SN on the receiver with the later style acceptance stamp on this same rifle
Here is a pic to compare the two eagle L markings

I think we can safely accept the Luftwaffe acceptance stamp as accurate. I have not actually seen any 98k's with the police style of markings. I always assumed that these 98's with eagle L were indeed Luftwaffe.
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Old 10-30-2003, 10:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff A
Here is a pic to compare the two eagle L markings

I think we can safely accept the Luftwaffe acceptance stamp as accurate. I have not actually seen any 98k's with the police style of markings. I always assumed that these 98's with eagle L were indeed Luftwaffe.
sorry forgot pic
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