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Sniper Rifles of World War II
The History of Mauser The name Mauser is one of the oldest names in firearms. From the end of World War II through the late s, many thousands of Mauser rifles hit American shores via the surplus market. While many were preserved in their original military configuration, a great number were sporterized for hunting and target shooting.
The action made for an economical sporting rifle build when compared to sporting rifles built by Remington, Winchester, and Savage. Typically, the barrel was replaced and the stock either modified or changed out to what is known as a sporter stock. These rifles were popular and chief alternatives to newly manufactured domestic made hunting rifles.
The older sporterized rifles were often converted and housed in stocks of questionable origin. While there are many that reflect master craftsmanship with regard to caliber conversions, trigger work and handmade stocks; the majority were put into the cheapest stocks that could be found or had the original military stocks cut and altered.
Photo Source: Paul Mauser Archive. Not only was it one of the most widely distributed military bolt-action rifles in history, but it has influenced the designs of many modern bolt-action rifles over years later.
They also manufactured, or had manufactured under license, tens of thousands of what are known as small ring Mausers such as the 91, 93, 94, 95 and 96 models. The action is strong enough to handle belted Magnum cartridges such as the Winchester Magnum. This made them an ideal candidate for sporting rifle conversions. It has small differences such as the handguard and sights and a straight bolt handle as opposed to the turned down version found on the 98K.
Their lower price made them desirable for the art of sporterizing.The best Mauser was also the original, copied by every major rifle maker and never beaten. It was and remains first in strength, reliability, accuracy, and safety.
Built for the rigors of combat, the K98k served its users well for a lifetime. The final long-slide, side-mount model of the renowned German Army sniper rifle of World War II used both scope and iron sights. The first of the long-eyed Relief Snipers—the original scout rifle—is copied even today. One estimate of the number of Mauser rifles produced is an astounding million. Many believe that the Germans marked every rifle with a secret factory code, a date code, and military inspection stamps with proof marks, depending on where the rifle was manufactured.
More rifles were built that were intended for other countries as well. The famous Nazi eagle—both with and without an associated inspector number—appeared on rifles produced during These two markings were stamped on various individual parts depending on when and in which factory the rifle was manufactured. Of particular interest are some sniper rifles that make use of the original long-eye relief system.
They are the famous ZF models with the long-eye scope mount built into the rear sight base. Some sniper rifle models have high turret mounts, while others have the German long claw-type mounts. Even today, Mauser rifles are highly regarded globally for their strength, reliability, and legendary accuracy.
Mauser senior married inand the couple eventually had 13 children. Another Mauser, son Franz, immigrated to America in and worked at E. Peter Paul Mauser was drafted into the Prussian Army inbecoming an artilleryman at the Ludwigsburg arsenal, where he began his own career as a gunsmith.
Using the Dreyse needle gun as a model, Mauser developed his own rifle with a turn bolt mechanism that cocked the gun as it was manipulated by its firer. At first, this weapon also used a firing pin that fired a rear ignition cartridge. The company was moved to Leige, Belgium, the following year, but when the French showed no interest in a Chassepot model, the partnership was dissolved.
By mid, both Mauser brothers, Peter Paul and Wilhelm, returned to Oberndorf, where they continued developmental work on the new rifle. Thus, the Mauser did not come on line until February 14,in the early years of the new German Empire. The delay had been occasioned by the military, which required a design change to the safety lock. While official government arsenals and larger German industrial firms received contracts for actual production of the new weapon, the Mauser brothers were awarded an order for 3, sights, produced by the Xaver Jauch factory starting on May 1, After the brothers received a contract formore sights, they bought the Royal Wurttemberg Armory in the Neckar River valley, and there they built an Upper Works in That same year, they received another contract to manufactureModel 71 rifles.
They also had a trio of factories in Oberndorf under a new partnership formed between the brothers and the Wurttemberg United Bank of Stuttgart in Saxony, one of the new federated German states within the empire.Although supplemented by semi- and fully automatic rifles during World War II, it remained the primary German service rifle until the end of the war in Millions were captured by the Soviets at the conclusion of World War II and were widely distributed as military aid.
The Karabiner 98k therefore continues to appear in conflicts across the world as they are taken out of storage during times of strife. In February the Heereswaffenamt Army Weapons Agency ordered the adoption of a new military rifle. The Karabiner 98k was derived from earlier rifles, namely the Mauser Standardmodell of and the Karabiner 98b, which in turn had both been developed from the Gewehr Since the Karabiner 98k rifle was shorter than the earlier Karabiner 98b the 98b was a carbine in name only, a version of Gewehr 98 long rifle with upgraded sightsit was given the designation Karabiner 98 kurzmeaning "Carbine 98 Short".
The pattern 7. It was found that the s. Patroneoriginally designed for long range machine gun use, produced less muzzle flash out of rifles that had a shorter barrel and also provided better accuracy. Because of this the S Patrone was phased out in and the s. Patrone became the standard German service ball cartridge in the s.
The Karabiner 98k is a controlled-feed bolt-action rifle based on the Mauser M98 system. Its internal magazine can be loaded with five 7. This change made it easier to rapidly operate the bolt, reduced the amount the handle projected beyond the receiver, and enabled mounting of aiming optics directly above the receiver. 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.
The metal parts of the rifle were blueda process in which steel is partially protected against rust by a layer of magnetite Fe 3 O 4. Such a thin black oxide layer provides only minimal protection against rust or corrosion, unless also treated with a water-displacing oil to reduce wetting and galvanic corrosion.
The impractical "Langevisier" or "rollercoaster" rear sight of the Mauser Gewehr was replaced with a conventional tangent leaf sight. The Karabiner 98k rear tangent sight was flatter compared to and does not obstruct the view to the sides during aiming as the Langevisier long sight.World War II sniper rifles were often updated World War I models made better with new telescopic sights and upgrades to make them more easily employed in combat.
Photo: U. Army via Imperial War Museum. The bolt-action weapon used a five-round internal magazine. A German sniper with a Mauser 98 and his spotter. Photo: German federal archives. The weapon as a whole had a revolutionary design that was copied by others across the world. German troops carried it in both world wars, but many other countries have used it. Photo: British War Office Capt. But the No. The British military fielded a sniper version with a 3.
The Australians used the older No. Photo: Public Domain. The Soviet version of the Mosin-Nagant was a update of an enormously successful weapon. Inthe Soviets began modifying new Mosin-Nagants as sniper weapons by reconfiguring the handles to receive telescopic sights and lighter triggers.
While the stocks warped in some weather, its accuracy made it a choice of snipers on both sides of the conflict anyway. Check out the Weaponology video below to learn more about these weapons. The rifle portion begins at In the IRR?
The military may want you back if you served in one of these jobs. Articles 4 of the deadliest rifles used by snipers during World War II. The US Navy is leaving a carrier strike group at sea to keep sailors from catching the coronavirus.
Naval aviators talk the dangers and thrills of taking off and landing on an aircraft carrier.German standard infantry rifle Mauser Karabiner 98K History, development, service, specifications, statistics, pictures, video and 3D model. The weapon is still in good condition and ready to fire rounds. Karabiner 98k Kar 98k Type: Infantry rifle. This model was an improved version of that designed in for the Chilean Government and featured a third locking lug at the rear of the bolt, and a rather unusual tangent back sight in front of the chamber.
The principal change was, of course, the logs of six inches from the barrel, but the bolt handle was also turned down and the wood of the stock beneath cut away to allow the bolt to be grasped more easily. The real sight was also simplified. This became the standard infantry weapon during World War One and afterwards completely replaced the Gewehr 98 rifle; in its postwar version it was re-Christened the Karabiner 98a.
During the early s one or two small changes were made in the design, largely, as usual, to facilitate mass-production, and the resulting weapon was adopted as the standard rifle for the new Wehrmacht in as the Karabiner 98k.
It was produced by the million in a number of factories, and production continued until the end of the war insince the development of automatic rifles, like the Sturmgewehr 44never reached the point at where the production of the Mauser 98k rifles could be terminated.
The principal differences are that the foresight is enclosed in a tunnel, and the butt-plate is of a cupped form which encloses the end of the butt for a depth of half an inch or so.
Production ofrifles from weapon factory Brno for German mountain troops and paratroopers. Kar 98B: This bears no resemblance to the 98K. It is, in fact, no more than a Gewehr 98 rifle with its bolt handle turned down and with some improvements to the sights.
Cleaning the Karabiner 98k. A WW2 picture of the grandfather of the author of this websites during his service in the German Wehrmacht from This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
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How to Tell What Type of a Mauser I Have
Email Address. Kar98k — other side view. View of Kar98k left side. Karabiner 98kurz short of the Spanish Cavalry top and Karabriner 98k in standard size. Mauser 98k with round trench magazin. Mauser 98k with trench magazin at shooting range. Aiming with the Kar 98k. Kar 98k with rifle grenade launcher. German infantry, armed with 98K rifles as well as grenade throwers, take a position near Brest-Litovsk in the first stage of Operation Barbarossa.
Infantry company with Mauser Karabiner in Paris, autumn The German Mauser 98K rifle. Service statistics Mauser Karabiner 98K data Manufactures basically Mauserwerke AG, but innumerable factories built the rifle during the war Production delivery since Kar 98k since Final delivery May Production figure c. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Search for: Search. Ariska Rifle Meiji Battle Pistol.
Beretta sub-machine guns.The military sniper came into being back at the turn of the 18th century. The first true sniper rifle is generally thought to be the British Whitworth rifle invented in by Sir Joseph Whitworth, under commission from the British War Department. It was a single-shot muzzle-loaded 45 caliber percussion-fired rifle with an accurate range out to 2, yards.
Around 13, of them were built between and The bore of the barrel was hexagonal with a 1 in 20 inch twist. The bullets were long for the caliber and they were hexagonal instead of round. They fit very tightly in the bore and had much less friction than round bullets fired through standard rifling. Sniper rifles advanced in design through the Franco-Prussian War ofwhen the first bolt-action breech loading rifles became available. The French had the Chassepot 11mm bolt action rifle; the Prussians the Dreyse This was the initial battle on what was to become the Western Front.
By the end ofarmies on both sides had stalled their advance. So began a war of attrition. During this period snipers were utilized by both sides to pick off any soldier who exposed any part of his body for a period of three seconds, or less. The War to End All Wars named in error, as was proven a few years latersaw Germany and Great Britain make great strides in snipers and sniper rifles up to the end of the war in As the s closed, it became obvious that the old animosities were leading up to another global conflict — this time much greater that the last one.
Germany was re-arming at a rapid rate. Great Britain still had stocks of its P Mk1 T sniper rifle left over from the first conflict. Japan had a number of different sniper rifles, including the 6. The United States had dropped most of its sniper programs between the two wars. There was only a small training school at Camp Perry, Ohio. However, the Marine Corps had always prided itself on its marksmen and encouraged target practice on an individual basis. This changed when a sniper program was initiated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina at the end of Schilling Co.
This is the best known of all Mauser rifles. In the early months ofthe decision was made to produce 18, G98 Rifles with scope sights as sniper rifles. The mount had to be high enough for the soldier to be able to load the magazine, run the bolt back and forth and flip the safety catch. This rifle carried into World War II in its sniper role.
Germany then modified the G98 by changing the rear sight to a flat tangent, removed the stacking hook, cutting a slot in the butt stock for a sling, and bending the bolt handle down. This became the K98k. They used the basic K98k platform in different varieties.
By the end of World War II five such types had been employed. First type — short rail system 2. Type Three is the turret mount system both high and low 4. Type Four is a long rail mount 5. Type Five is a claw mount. The various systems were used at different times and sometimes employed concurrently.
Magnification ran from 1. The 4x and 6x were the most used as the 1. This mount was used during the s by German police.The word "Mauser" can refer either to the German weapons manufacturer, the Mauser-Werke Oberndorf Waffensysteme GmbH, or to the series of bolt-action rifles the Mauser-Werke manufacturered for the German armed forces.
Mauser exported their design to several nations, so identification of the nationality of a Mauser rifle is important for collectors. Mauser also manufactured a series of pistols and semi-automatic rifles which are much easier to identify than the ubiquitous m and m series rifles. Examine the rifle for an import stamp located along the barrel; this stamp should state the weapon's caliber, model and country of origin. Many imported rifles are stamped according to federal regulations and that stamp will settle your identification process quickly.
Examine the rifle for any other identifying markings on the receiver and on the stock; the original armorer may have stamped the rifle with markings identifying the factory of manufacture.
These markings are often used to identify surplus rifles. Match the cartridge the rifle fires with a likely country of origin and model. Mauser-pattern bolt-actions were manufactured in countries including Germany, Turkey, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Belgium, Argentina and Chile, so the round the rifle fires can help you identify the rifle's origins and model, like the Argentine, Argentine, SpanishChilean and the Swedish Mausers fire 7.
Determine whether your rifle is a Gewehr 98k or Karabiner 98k if your rifle fires 7. These rifles were the famed standard-issue rifles of the German army through the first and second World Wars; should the rifle have a two- or three-alphanumeric code on the top of the receiver, the rifle is most likely a Gewehr 98k or Karabiner 98k.
These numbers are the ordinance codes of German manufacturers. Items you will need Mauser rifle. Weapon Identification Examine the rifle for an import stamp located along the barrel; this stamp should state the weapon's caliber, model and country of origin.