It was developed after the Gewehr 98 design full-length bolt action rifle that the German Empire used in World War I. The Germans stuck with the Mauser 98 when they fought in WWII, mainly due to WWI veteran Adolf Hitler's preference, because there were more modern weapons developments being experimented with at the time. The Kar98k basically uses the same design as the Gewehr 98, but is a shortened carbine with more ergonomic features, like a sling hole through the stock, a bent bolt handle for easier rapid firing, a groove in the wood under the bolt for easier working of the bolt, simpler and cheaper rear sights, a sight hood to protect the front sight and a cupped buttplate. Aside from these changes, the 98k was basically just a shorter Gewehr 98. It was a shortened, improved and cheaper version of the Gewehr 98, the original service rifle of the German army. The K98 was adopted on 21 June 1935 as the standard service rifle by the German Wehrmacht. It was one of the final developments in the long line of Mauser military rifles. Although supplemented by semi- and fully automatic rifles during World War II, it remained the primary German service rifle until the end of World War II in 1945. The 98k was so effective, Adolf Hitler would later deem it his personal favorite rifle, even more so than the StG-44, a rifle which he named. The Karabiner 98k is a controlled-feed bolt-action rifle based on the Mauser M98 system. Its internal magazine could be loaded with five 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridges from a stripper clip or one-by-one. Each rifle was furnished with a short length of cleaning rod, fitted through the bayonet stud. The joined rods from 3 rifles provided one full-length cleaning rod. Millions were captured by the Soviets at the conclusion of World War II and the Soviet Union gave them as military aid widely. The Kar98k also was copied by Yugoslavia for their own Mauser carbine, the M48. As such, lots of 8mm surplus ammunition was also made for these rifles by various countries, such as Romania and Yugoslavia. Regarded as one of the greatest rifles ever made, the Karabiner 98k therefore continues to appear in conflicts across the world as they are taken out of storage during times of strife.
PopularityEditThe Mauser-type action is widely held to be the pinnacle of bolt-action rifle design, and the vast majority of modern weapons of this type, both military and civilian, are still based on it to this day. The safety offered by its three-lug bolt and the added reliability of controlled feed (especially favored by dangerous game hunters) are considerable refinements not found in other designs.
Throughout the design's history, standard sized and enlarged versions of the Mauser M 98 system have been produced for the civil market.