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K98k Rifle Data

Karabiner 1898 Kurz
The K98k Lineage
Some Mauser Variations

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Karabiner 1898 Kurz

Picture by A. J. (Bart) Temmink
[View Image in German] or [View Image in English]

Caliber: 7,92mm (8mm)
Length: 43.6 inches
Weight: 8lbs 9oz
Barrel: 23.6 inches (600mm), 4 grooves, right hand twist
Feed System: 5 round integral box magazine
System of Operation: Mauser turn bolt
General Comment: Best military bolt action rifle of all time.

The Karabiner 1898 Kurz was the last of the long line of Mauser rifles used by the Wehrmacht (Germany Army). The K98k designation translates to: short carbine 1898 model.

The origins of the Mauser rifle family date back to the late 19th century. The weapon was introduced by order of the German Emperor in April 1898 as the Gewehr 98 (Rifle). This rifle became the standard infantry weapon of all German forces. A modified, shortened version of the rifle (K98K) was introduced into the Wehrmacht in 1935. K is for Kurz which means "short" in German. Therefore, the length was shorter than the WWI Gewehr 98, had a different front sight, and had a curved, rather than straight bolt action handle with a fixed internal magazine of five rounds.

Every soldier who fought for Germany in the Second World War trained with this rifle. In fact for many this was their only weapon throughout the war.
The K98k could also be used as a sniper rifle when a ZF41 2.5x Scope or a ZF42 5x scope was attached. The K98k could also fire both explosive and armor piercing grenades by the attachment of a shot cup to the end of the rifle. This was done by one man in a rifle squad who was trained to set up and fire them.

The Wehrmacht entered World War II with a total number of 2,769,533 K98k rifles. The cost per Mauser was 70 Reich Marks. The practical rate of fire was 15 rounds per minute. The K98k served the Wehrmacht well, and underwent several changes during the 10 year period that it was produced. Various changes were made in an attempt to reduce production costs and to increase actual production. A total of 14 million rifles were produced. This weapon, despite plans to replace it with weapons of greater firepower and lower production costs, remained the primary infantry weapon for the entire conflict.

K98k et al

1) Stripper clip holding Five 7,92x57 rounds
2) Bayonet
3) Cleaning tin of the "tobacco tin" type and cleaning chain with bore brush

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The K98k Lineage


  1. The first rifle is a World War I Gewehr 98 with a 29.1 inch barrel.

  2. Secondly is the Karabiner 98b which still had the 29.1 inch barrel but has the turned down bolt and new rear sight.

  3. Thirdly is the Karabiner 98a the first with a 23.6 inch barrel. However it still has the full handguard.

  4. Fourth is the "Gewehr für Deutsche Reichpost" or rifle for the German postal service. It is very close to the K98k but has a short lower band retaining spring and single band retaining pin.

  5. Last is the Karabiner 98k which was the last major rifle in this line.

    Note that many of these rifles were later converted to the K98k pattern.

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Some Mauser Variations

M48 Rifle:
The M48 Mauser was manufactured in Yugoslavia in 1948 and is very similar to the German K98k. Note the turned down bolt handle.

VZ/24 Rifle:
The Czech VZ/24 rifle was manufactured in Czechoslovakia and is very similar to the German K98k. Note the straight bolt handle.

A Yugoslavian M24/47 rifle. The model 1924 refurbished in 1947. Intermediate length, large ring 8mm Mauser.

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