Well, I found a K98 for a price that didn't make my stomach turn too many flips. Although there has to be something slightly obscene for paying a new rifle price for a vintage war surplus rifle.
The marking is DOU 43, so it is a tad rougher than an earlier production rifle, but not so late in the war I have safety concerns. Strong rifling, which looks very clean without pitting. Nazi markings ground off so it destroys any collectors value, but since it will be further desecrated with a reproduction short side rail and ZF39 as another "Vintage Sniper" competition rifle, I think it meets my needs nicely.
Do I need another sniper rifle? No, but everybody needs a hobby.
Comparing the K98 to the Savage Axis it becomes clear where a smart prepper would spend their money, and it wouldn't be on the Mauser. The Axis will shoot tighter, have better tolerances, and much more easily accept an optic, and the SR models accept a suppressor.
But sometimes it is fun to tinker with old stuff, old trucks, muscle cars, vintage saxophones or guitars. Sometimes the "intangibles" of history make the extra expense just seem worth it. It isn't logical, or rational, but it is an oh so human concept.
Tam may carry the "Platonic ideal of a pistol in plastic" but still lust after antiquated straight pull Austrian war rifles. In fact the only gunny I know that doesn't seem affected by the "history bug" is Joe Huffman, but I have a deep suspicion that the STI Eagle he carries is something he sees just as the natural progression of the 1911 platform and probably wonders about us idjits who bought one in "single stack" configuration.
I've fired sniper rifles made by Remington, Savage, and Barrett (military service has it's perks, and the Barrett is one of them). All of them will shoot tighter than any WWII era sniper rifle (except the Barrett, with the ammo we feed it it is a 3 MOA system at best, but when the holes are .50 inches themselves, you don't mind so much). So why am I wasting resources on an old rifle? Because somehow it is worthwhile in my world. I don't want to be a Nazi sniper, but I do want to own a rifle set up in that configuration. Eventually I'd love to get a 1903A4, but that may have to wait for a few more paychecks to get tucked away for a rainy year.
And if anyone asks for pictures, just google "K98" it looks just like the rest of the several million made by Germany....