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M98kF1 ZF41: Norway Recycles Germany’s Worst Sniper Rifle

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When Germany capitulated at the end of World War Two, several hundred thousand German soldiers were stuck in Norway (thanks to the efforts of the Norwegian Resistance preventing them from moving south to reinforce against Allied landings in Normandy). These solders’ arms were surrendered to the Norwegians, and they formed the basis of Norwegian Army and Home Guard armaments for many years. With hundreds of thousands of K98k rifles to choose from, the Norwegians were able to pick out plenty in good condition. This included 400 ZF41 DMR/sniper rifles that were kept intact and taken into Norwegian service. Three different branches used the rifles, and they are marked on the chamber with either HAER (Army), FLY (Air Force), or K.ART (Naval Artillery).

In 1950, Norway began to get US military aid in .30-06, and they decided to rebarrel these Mausers to that cartridge. The process began in 1952 and they were all converted by the end of 1956. The new barrels are marked “KAL 7.62”, for 7.62x63mm. There was only a small amount of experimental further conversion to 7.62mm NATO. The ZF-41 models like this one were also given a new serial number tag riveted onto the scope mount with the rifle’s serial number (150001 through 150400).

Converted Mausers served in the Home Guard until the early 1970s, when they were replaced by the AG3 (HK91).

Video on German use of the ZF-41 optic:

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