OK, I've been posting this around lately and no one seems to know what the deal it with it. But someone suggested posting it here as this board is credited with having the largest number of experts.
I bought this old Mauser twenty or so years ago from an estate sale where there was a lot of other WW2 memorabilia. I won't go into the alleged back story behind the rifle right now other than to say that the family claimed that it was one of the many things that their father had brought back from the war in Europe, but at the time, I thought that it was a typical bring-back. It was only later when I acquired other Mausers that I noticed that something was weird about this one--it's 4" shorter than any of the others.
Every other Mauser that I have has a 23" barrel. This one is 19". It's properly crowned at the muzzle (not just something that someone hacked off) and the serial number on the barrel matches, as does every other piece on the rifle, including both the stock and the short handguard.
I recently got curious enough to check into this and figured that someone somewhere would know why this rifle was short. It seems to be puzzling everyone that I've asked thus far. So I'll pose the question here...what do I have here? Any thoughts are appreciated. Here are a few pictures of it posed below a "normal" K98k.
This is not an import-stamped faux tanker...it's all matching 1939-dated, right down to the capture screws, trigger, bands, etc. So why is it short?