German K98k

My first military surplus rifle



In 1898, Paul and Wilhelm Mauser introduced the Model 98 (also called the Gewehr 98) bolt action rifle in Germany.  It was chambered in the new 7.92x57mm round.  The German military quickly adopted the weapon and it was the main battle rifle of German troops in WWI.  A carbine version was also devoloped early on.  It did not see much service until shortly before WWII though.  In the 1930's, after a series of other carbines, the Karabiner 98 kurz (K98k) was born.  This rifle was essentially a Gewehr 98 except with a shorter barrel and a turned down bolt handle.  The K98k was the main battle rifle for Geman soldiers in WWII.  It was used on all fronts and proved to be an accurate and reliable weapon.

The Model 98 is arguably the most popular and most successful rifle design in the world.  It is estimated that over 100 million of the varying versions have been produced.  Many countries all over the world adopted copies of it as their battle rifle.  The 98 action is still being manufactured today in commercially produced sporting rifles.  It's amazing that the exact design of a rifle that was introduced in 1898 is still being used almost 110 years later.

My Rifle

My personal K98k was my first military surplus rifle as well as my first firearm ever.  I bought it at a local gun show for about $160.  It (the receiver and barrel at least) were manufactured in 1941 in the original Mauser factory in Oberndorf-am-Neckar, Germany.  It's a Russian capture weapon.  That means that the Red Army captured the rifle on the eastern front during WWII.  In Russia, it was completely disassembled in an arsenal somewhere, cleaned, and put back together.  Because of this, no serial numbers match on a Russian captured gun.  The rifle was also coated in a preservative grease called cosmoline.  It was then put into storage for future use in a war against West.  My rifle has a laminated stock and the swastikas are intact on the barrel and receiver (the Russians sometimes punched them out).  I also have a bayonet to go along with it.  My grandpa gave it to me.  He fought in Europe during WWII and brought back the bayonet as a souvenier.  I really enjoy shooting this rifle.

K98k Specifications

  • Caliber: 8mm Mauser
  • Length: 43.6 inches
  • Weight unloaded: 8lb 9oz
  • Barrel length: 23.6 inches
  • Magazine: five round internal box
  • Type: bolt action


This is a recording that I made of a K98 bolt being operated.

K98 bolt

Photos (click to enlarge)

NOTE: The X's were put on some pictures by me to obscure the full serial number of the rifle.  It's just a privacy issue with some people.