My Collection#: 19-0067
Czech VZ (Model) 24 infantry rifle
Caliber 8x57JS (8mm Mauser)
Made for Czech army
1938 just in time for German takeover of Czechoslovakia
Serial number 6014 V4
Marked E3 Czech Lion 38
Bore is above average for these rifles, with dark grooves and strong rifling and about average crown for these rifles. Blue about gone. Smooth metal.
This rifle once had the lion crest of Czechoslovakia on the top of the receiver, but is mostly scrubbed off now. This was meant to serve the Czech army, but that did not last long because thanks to the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact and British and French dilly-dallying Germany invaded the country and took it. My theory is that the rifles bearing Czech marks were gathered up by the Germans and sold to Romania whose government and King were pro-German and ended up allied with Germany.
Some of these rifles were originally ordered by the Kingdom of Romania and can be identified right away by the crest of King Carol II on the receiver. Most of these crests were ground off by somebody, perhaps the Romanians after Carol was run out of Romania. Some Czech crests were ground off as well.
King Carol (pronounced “Karl” as in Karl Marx, not “Carol” as in Carol Channing) had his own history, but was still king as Nazi Germany became more and more powerful. Romania had its own storm trooper organization, known as the Iron Guard, which more and more strongly opposed the king and supported the Nazis. The struggle between the two finally reached a head when Karl executed the Iron Guard leadership and assumed dictatorial powers. This satisfied few, especially the Germans, who forced his abdication in 1940 and his exile from Romania, taking with him as much of the wealth of Romania as he could carry, much of that being the product of the extensive Romanian oil fields.
Romanian General Antonescu took over as head of state and sent the Romanian army off to the East with the Germans through Northern Bukovina, Bessarabia (modern Moldova, which along with Northern Bukovina was annexed by the Russians through the Nonaggression Pact), through Ukraine to Stalingrad which was under attack by the Germans. Romanian and Hungarian forces were guarding the Western flanks of the two German armies which were attacking the city. The Russians crossed the Volga and encircled the whole schmeer, severely smashing the Romanian and Hungarian, then the German forces. I like to think that this rifle was there during the huge and awful battle. If it wasn’t those Romanian forces were equipped with the same rifles.
Bore condition shows much use and has dark grooves and strong rifling. The crown is about average for these rifles, and the rifle should be an OK shooter. No cleaning rod, as is usual.