The Karbiner 98, Kurtz or short carbine model 98 was adopted in 1935 as the standard rifle of the Wehrmacht, or German army. Despite numerous attempts to replace it with automatic weapons, it's reliability and relative ease of manufacture assured that it remained standard issue throughout the war. It is the final descendent of a long line of German bolt action weapons.
The Mauser lineage began in 1811 with the establishment of an ordnance factory in Oberndorf, the Royal Wuerttemberg Rifle Factory, on the Nectar river in Germany. In 1867 Wilhelm and Paul Mauser developed a turn-bolt action breechloading rifle. This was adopted by the German army in 1871 ad the Geveher 71. This was the first rifle with the distinctive three-position wing safety. In 1884 this rifle, in 11mm, was fitted with a tubular magazine. In 1897 the Mauser brothers were given control of the factory, farming Waffenfabrik Mauser AG. By 1898, a five round double-stack fixed box magazine was developed. This was incorporated in a rifle in 7.92mm, adopted in 1898 as the Geweher 98.
As time went on the design was improved and shortened, and the bolt was bent. This basic design was used by many countries, including the United Stated in the Springfield model 1903. This is largely because of the simplicity, reliability, and speed of the action.
K98k Mausers are generally marked by a code and date on the top of the receiver. See here for codes information. The code corresponds to the manufacturer. Almost all the parts are marked with Waffenamts that correspond to an inspector. See here for Waffenamt information.
After the war, millions of Mausers were captured by the Russians. There were mismatched, refinished, reassembled, and put into storage. These often have the various swastikas peened out.
Home | Mauser Index | Mauser Accessories | Mauser Photos | 7.92x57mm | Enfield | Mosin | Links