The Mauser 98: The Perfect Rifle

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As one of the younger members of the TFB staff, it allows me to have a unique perspective into our great hobby by regularly going shooting with people of all ages and backgrounds, and I really enjoy the diversity. When you go with the younger crowd, the name of the game seems to be accuracy by volume as AR15 rifles spew now costly 5.56 ammunition towards steel ringers or bowling pins. With the older crowd you see more emphasis on accuracy and the stories of their rifles (I really enjoy that part). I like to hear how much people paid for certain guns back in the 70’s and 80’s, and how plentiful certain guns were. From these gentlemen you hear stories about them passing by barrels of pristine Enfields for $20, crates of Lugers, etc, but mostly emphasized is the amount of flawless Mausers that populated every gun shop until relatively recently. The story is pretty consistent; everyone thought that surplus Mauser rifles would be around forever, so everyone tore them to pieces via “sporterizing” or just unfettered neglect after shooting hundreds of rounds of corrosive ammunition. The same goes for surplus 8mm in that nobody ever thought it would go up from $0.08 cents per round and then disappear (given, I have seen people with MG42 machine guns burn through it to make noise and smiles). Now a nice all matching K98k can fetch over $1,000 despite the fact that over 14 million were produced, and yet again us young guys missed out on the opportunity to walk into a gun shop and pick one out of a barrel full of cosmoline soaked pieces of history. However, I was struck with “Mauser-itis” a few years ago and have been trying to acquire as many as possible. The guns featured above are the surplus Mausers I have collected thus far, and 4 of the 5 are model 98s (the top one is a Swedish model 96 that differs a bit from the 98). The Mauser 98 represents what many (myself included) hold to be the perfect rifle. It truly represents the firearms industry’s “Model T Moment” in that is was such an amazing game changer that its acquisition and proliferation began immediately. However unlike the Model T, it is still in production today and still considered the pinnacle of lead projectile delivery systems.

To put it into perspective, just about every centerfire bolt gun today uses a Mauser 98 action and operating principles, often with minor differences (the most common being a small hook extractor rather than the gigantic claw extractor). The genius of its designer, Paul Mauser shines even today because of the rifles longevity. The only other firearm I know of that was produced and utilized for such an enormous period of time was the Brown Bess musket, which was produced for nearly 140 years. But what makes the 98 so special? Well, it is hard to say because it is the quintessential bolt gun with features that seem normal and obvious to us nowadays, but were incredibly revolutionary at the time. For example, moving the bolt’s two main locking lugs to the front seems like the correct placement, but early repeaters either used one lug (like on a Krag rifle) or placed them at the back. This allowed for higher pressure rounds to be fired safely. The ability to be loaded quickly with stripper clips even forced other military forces to reevaluate their own small arms (namely the United States who ditched their Krag rifles for the Springfield 1903, a Mauser derivative). Other elements that made the Mauser 98 stand out were its firing pin (a single piece), controlled feed extractor, cock-on-open action, built in gas vents on the bolt in the event of a case rupture, a three position safety, and a rear safety lug. The rifle was also incredibly accurate, and this was the reason so many gunsmiths turned them into high quality sporting rifles. Today, the 98 is even still made by Mauser in Oberndorf as a fine high quality sporting rifle. I had the chance to handle one of these new examples at the Dallas Safari Club Show a while back, and I was stunned by the beauty of the rifle. Even my father was taken aback (seen here holding the rifle):

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I do not care who you are, that rifle is a work of art and with a price tag of $30,000 it is a truly exclusive firearm that will grace a family (unfortunately not mine no matter how many drinks my father had that day) for generations. As far as the greatness of the Mauser rifle goes, do not take my word for it, but how about some giants in the world of firearm history:

“The Mauser has been called the quintessential soldiers rifle because quite simply it was the best bolt-action rifle ever made.”

-Dana Lombardy

“They (Mauser) couldn’t improve upon the design because they did so much in the way of research and development that the final product is the best that there is.”

-Robert Ball

The Mauser 98 is the King of bolt action rifles; long live the King!

-Chuck Hawks

“It (the Mauser 98) was Mauser’s masterpiece. Every little improvement that Mauser could ever think of, all sorts of little tiny details were added together and they formed what you may call the ultimate bolt action system, and even today companies are still making rifles with that bolt action.”

-Ian Hogg (God rest his soul)

So the experts agree, the Mauser 98 is an enduring masterpiece that will be around for a long, long time. So what makes the Mauser so great? Well, there are many reasons. The characteristics I listed above are enough to make it a great gun, but one thing I wanted to try and see for myself would be ease of training. I asked my friend Chase to help me with the experiment since he had never fired or even held a bolt action rifle.

I grabbed a few boxes of 7.92×57 and my surplus Czech Mauser and we headed to the range. After we arrived we painted the steel ringers at 100 yards and got to it. I gave my friend about two minutes of instruction and that was enough. Chase took quickly to the rifle:

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After working the action a few times and dry firing at the steel, I handed off a stripper clip:

2

It was then time to make some noise. Chase took aim from the shoulder and was ready to fire:

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3

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A shot rang out and produced a very audible ping that I think surprised Chase.

He emptied the rest of the rifle’s internal magazine and hit 4 out of 5. All things considered, I was very impressed!

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I then instructed him to do some shooting off the bench to try and improve accuracy. He stripped five more rounds into the rifle and got to work:

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After forty rounds we had exhausted our supply of 8mm and the gun fell silent. It did however feel nice knowing that I had successfully trained someone to use a Mauser 98 with some proficiency (not that it was difficult).

With any luck, my Mauser collection will continue to grow. I love these rifles and I strongly feel that everyone should own at least one Mauser 98 variant. You can find them online for $250 and up, and some surplus Romanian ammo has been trickling in, which is fantastic for us Mauser lovers.The Mauser 98 has achieved firearm perfection by innovating so much that the gun has remained unchanged in over 100 years. The rifles are strong, accurate, well built, reliable, easy to maintain, easy to clean, easy to instruct with, and above all, fun to shoot.


Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog who was born and raised in Texas with years of experience in hunting, shooting competitions, and general collecting. A degree in History from Baylor University has contributed to his love of both early and modern firearms technology, but Alex is most fond of machine guns and other NFA toys. Alex also owns a firearm manufacturing business licensed to produce title I and II weapons.
You can reach Alex at [email protected].


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  • William Campbell Wommack

    I’ve got a K98 my grandfather picked up in Europe back during the war. Has SS markings and a kill notch on it.

  • John Hughes

    $30k? For real? Do they make 10 a year or something like that?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

      Sporting Mausers have always been that expensive. The difference between a factory big bore sporter and an infantry rifle is like a hand tooled porsche vs a VW bug. Also at the safari show, most rifles are $20,000-$100,000. Hunting is still a gentleman’s pursuit in many parts of the world.

      • iksnilol

        I just can’t understand the finish, the blotchy patina seems so… Unproffesional. If I buy a gun for that much money I want a really good finish on it, so deep blue it looks black (also polished).

        • Blastattack

          Oh my. That is called Colour Case Hardening and is a very fine and fancy procedure done to spruce up rifles. I doubt the Mauser factory would object to a blued finish, but they would certainly dislike you if you described the CCH as a blotchy and unprofessional patinas.

          • iksnilol

            I know what it is, we used it on DIY guns. Stuff like DIY shotguns and SMGs, I will admit it is well done. Still, it screams “Ghetto” or “last resort” to me. I don’t mind it, but it isn’t something I would consider gentlemanly.

  • capybara

    Hate to be that guy but RSO here, shooting a 60 year old high power rifle with no eye protection? Tsk, tsk….

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

      His choice. While he had not shot a bolt gun, he has shot semis for a while.

  • KestrelBike

    My first firearm: Mauser 98K with intact German marks, 1942. My parents gave it to me on my 18th birthday :D
    (And this is after never allowing me to have a bbgun lol)

    • Jeff Smith

      You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!

      Haha, that’s an amazing birthday present!

  • Ben M

    More articles like this, please. Informative and very interesting point of view. As another young guy who is in the throws of ar obsession, I kinda want a mauser now…

    • The Hun

      Yes very good article.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      If you don’t have at least an old Springfield or Mauser and maybe a Garand you’re missing out on a lot of fun.

      • http://196800revolutionsperminute.blogspot.com/ Nathaniel F.

        While retaining a whole lot of money. ;)

  • Cymond

    I’d love to get into milsurp rifles like the Mausers, but they would purely be collectibles for me while at least an AR is slightly practical. Further, I imagine that Mausers will still be available to some degree for many, many years but politicians seem to hate modern rifles.
    Question though: what makes cock-on-open superior? The Enfield’s cock-on-closing always seemed nice to me.

    • Edward Franklin

      It really isn’t superior just different, cock on closing rifles were apparently designed that way to aid in ejection in the event of a sticky cartridge or a rather overheated weapon. It’s part of the reason the Lee-Metford/Enfield family are capable of rather high rates of fire in properly trained hands, nowadays with quality ammunition and a rather noticeable absence of trench warfare the cock-on-closing rifles are merely an oddity but some people still prefer them. My favorite rifles in fact are the Pattern 1914/M1917 rifles, a massively overbuilt Mauser type action with an easily reached safety and cock-on-closing action.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

      Bolt actions aren’t practical? More game in the last century has been taken with Mauser actions that with the totality of other firearms combined I imagine.

  • ColaBox

    Lies! There’s no such thing as perfection. Though if were talking old rifles, I wouldn’t mind a Garand or Carbine in my collection. Garand thumb be damned, I want to shoot.

  • Ken

    I love Mausers, though I no longer own a Mauser 98. I have an unissued condition 1920 Swedish M/96 with a Finnish SA and a USMC 1934 Springfield M1903 that had an unfired 1933 barrel when I got it.

  • Riot

    You can’t call cock on opening an advantage

    Mausers are still amazing

  • Vitor

    The K31 perfected what the K98 started, but doesnt get the deserved attention and could never given how small Switzerland is and how avoided conflicts.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

      Completely different action. And the K31 action draws heavily from the m96 rifle, which cannot even compare to even early Mauser designs.

      • iksnilol

        I heard they still are being produced, though can’t find out anything. Also the Steyr-Mannlicher 1895 is good if you want a straight pull rifle with history.

      • Vitor

        Well, it remained a manual bolt action, but faster without sacrificing accuracy by eliminating the vertical movement and still manage to rotate the bolt. So elegant.

        I personally think that the most innovating aspect of the K98 was the ammo. The standard ammo during WW2 had a 197gr boat tail projectile that was superior to both .30-06 and 7.62×54 and would be considered a very decent sniper ammo even nowdays and that was the ammo that every low ranked private in the german army had access too.

      • Edward Franklin

        The K31 actions shares little with the M96 action, even a cursory examination would make that painfully obvious. From the redesigned floating barrel to the forward locking lugs and the shortening of the action by several inches the K31 is as much related to the M96 as the M91 is to the Gew.88. Heck the only reason the K31 is referred to as a Schmidt Rubin is because of a misconception he designed it.
        Comparing it to the early Mauser actions seems a bit hasty given the early Mausers had poorly designed gas relief systems and tended to handle case ruptures poorly if at all

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

          I guess I should rephrase that.
          I have an M96/11 that shares quite a bit with my k11 and k31 rifles. They are not at all similar to the Mauser design, but they are unique and a great nation trusted them to maintain their sovereignty. Maybe I should do an article on the old Swiss rifles?

          • Vitor

            Better yet, do a test involving you and a partner, one shooting a traditional bolt action and other a straight pull so we could see the difference in the rate of fire and target acquisition. It would be fun and very educative, we would be able to see how difference a straight pull makes (or doesnt make) compared to the traditional action.

    • n0truscotsman

      Hey I have a K31. Bad ass rifle :D

  • Lance

    No Alex the M-98/K-98 where bother great weponsd the AK-47 of bolt action wepons. Who stilll in use in the remingtonaction the Military(M-40,M-24,XM-2010) still uses. Around the Middle East they are found in insergent units still. Its a reliable accurate weapon only rivialed in longevity by the Russian M-91/30 Mosin Nagant. Thanks for a good posting.

    • Tom – UK

      Don’t forget the Lee Enfield, far more of them in Central Asia and Africa than Mausers.

  • Jeff Smith

    Just a few days ago, I walked into my local gun shop and saw a gem on the used gun rack – an all original, matching number, 1945 Mauser K98. I snagged it before anyone else could.

    The price? $199.

    SCORE

    • Raven

      There’s something off about that gun, but I can’t put my finger on it. Cut-down forestock?

      • Jeff Smith

        I thought the same. I beleive the only thing missing is the cleaning rod, but, in doing some research, I think some of the late war models were shipped without them.

        • Brendan G

          What you got there is a “Kriegsmdell”. A late war simplification of the Mauser to speed up production. The missing bayonet lug and cleaning rod are obvious signs. An interesting piece of history. You can check out this link to see if you have the semi or full kriegmodell. http://www.latewar.com/html/kriegsmodel.htm

          • Jeff Smith

            Thanks for the link!

      • Zwerg

        no bayonet lug.

        • Jeff Smith

          +1

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

      Well done! Missing the bayonet lug, but who cares at that price.

      • Jeff Smith

        Thanks, Alex! That gun store has turned up more than a few deals, including a VERY nice 1911 I picked up for $350.

      • Ken

        Not missing the bayonet lug, but was simply never made with one. It’s a Kriegsmodell gun. They were made with various simplifications such as no bayonet lugs, screws to attach the barrel bands, no cleaning rod, various parts being stamped instead of milled, and no disassembly disc (hole in the side of the buttplate instead).

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

          And this is why I love this site. The readers are a serious wealth of info. Thank you sir!

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Oh man you’re killing me!

      • Jeff Smith

        Haha, I was stunned! One of the employees (whom I’m friendly with) asked about the price and said “uhh…..that’s….that’s too low.”

        I didn’t put the gun back on the rack for fear that the price tag would be changed as soon as I did!

    • Dukke1ine

      Actually, the 1945 made ones have pretty poor steel quality as the Germans were loosing the war and hastily producing new guns. The ones you are looking for are the ones produced just before the war started, but are also the ones who are hard to find in good condition.

      This one are also lacking the cleaning rod.

      • Jeff Smith

        Thanks for the info!

      • John

        Poor quality Kriegsmodells are actually quite rare. As the germans were losing WWII they started cutting corners by not including features like the bayonet lug or the dissassembly disc but they refused to sacrifice quality where it counted. Most have average to above quality fit and finish when compared to their contemporaries

  • iksnilol

    Mausers are good, but they are also lacking IMO. I like them, despite their clunkiness (though the one i shot was from 189X). I think people ascribe them legendary traits mainly because they have been around for so long and also because recently they have become rare (at least in the US). Here in Norway, 308 or 30-06 Mausers are common and can be had for cheap. Then again I don’t know whether these are collectable or not since they are rifles from WW2, but they have been converted to 30-06 or 308.

    Also, regarding the Krag’s locking lugs; The Norwegian and Danish version had two locking lugs, the American version eliminated one. Not saying it is recommended to shoot high pressure ammo out of one, just saying the pressure ceiling is taller than what people believe. Main problem with the Krag is POI shift when getting wet (either ammo or chamber). That has been mitigated by competition shooters by zeroing for wet ammo/gun and then using wet or oiled ammo.

    • Blastattack

      In Canada the HAER Norwegian Mausers are prime collectibles and can fetch upwards of $1000 easy. Russian captured mismatch-reworks sell for around $700. So yes, they may well be under-appreciated in your country, but they are very fine and desirable rifle in other places.

      • iksnilol

        Herr in Norway they cost 1000 Nok, which is about 160 USD. They are sorta our equivalent of the Mosin.

        • d_grey

          So, which one of the two mentioned would you say is the better rifle? :)

          • iksnilol

            Both are clunky, relatively accurate and very reliable. Please note that I am talking about rifles that were captured and used by the millitary. So no loving smooth trigger or polished bolt or anything.

            So I would take whichever one I can get ammo for easier.

  • d_grey

    Out of curiosity, which is the better rifle if we were to compare…say the Mauser k98 with the Lee-Enfield MK IV No. 2?

    • hod0r

      The Lee-Enfield was about to be replaced with a Mauser clone (Pattern 13 Enfield). Nobody ever thought about replacing a Mauser with an Enfield. Take that as you will.

      • Tom – UK

        You’re clearly insinuating that the Mauser was a better rifle, the reason the Mauser replacement was considered was because the British Army set a very low standard on marksmenship prior and during the Boer war, the dutch farmers with lots of experience and mauser rifles did very well. The initial thought process of the Army was get that rifle but then learnt ery quickly that they had an excellent rifle but poor training.

        Lots of M16 rifles in use in the Middle East, do the users compare to an American Soldier with the exact same rifle? definitely not.

        • Marc

          Very quickly? The Pattern 13 Enfield was designed a full decade after the second Boer war. Either Brits are incredibly slow thinkers or your rationalization is false.

          • Yellow Devil

            More like lack of funding and priority. Development in small arms was always last, and even though the British Army wanted to replace their Enfields, it took them an extremely long time to muster the political will to do it. Keep in mind to that fighting against opponents other than natives who were better armed (like the Boers) was an anomaly at the time. Than WWI broke out, and it was necessary to keep using the same rifle they already had. Ironically they would never do the planned switch and would soldier on with the old school Lee-Enfield rifles. Similar to when the Soviets wanted to replace all their Mosins with SVT 40s, but Hitler’s invasion put a halt to all production and the Soviets shifted it back to the simpler Mosin.

      • screwtape2713

        It’s not worth much as an arguing point, actually.

        The British plan to replace the Lee-Enfield with a Mauser clone (the Pattern 13) resulted from a plan to switch ammunition from their existing .303 cartridge to a smaller .276 cartridge. The .276 (a 7mm) fired a lighter bullet at much higher speeds and therefore flatter trajectories. The problem was that the new cartridge developed higher chamber pressures than the Lee Enfield action could safely handle – making an entirely new service weapon necessary. (The new cartridge also eroded barrels very quickly, but that was a different issue.)

        The outbreak of WW1 caused the British to shelve the plan to change ammo, and the Pattern 13 in .276 was re-tooled to become the .303 P14 and the .30-06 P17. WW1 demonstrated both that the .303 cartridge was perfectly adequate and that the SMLE in .303 was a superb battle rifle. And since the UK had tons of materiel in the arsenals after the war was over, the issue was never re-visited until an ammunition change was in turn forced by the advent of modern selective-fire rifles.

        The Lee Enfield was an excellent match to its original ammunition, but there has never been any question that the Mauser action is inherently stronger and can safely handle higher chamber pressures.

        After WW2, some .303 Lee Enfields were re-barrelled to fire .308Win/7.62Nato instead. But that really takes them to the limit for safe chamber pressure. By contrast, surplus P14s and P17s were the favourite actions for North American custom gunsmiths to use as the foundation for the early magnum cartridge big-game rifles.

    • Tom – UK

      Lee Enfield No3 Mk1 and No4 Mk1/2 were faster shooting, equally accurate (the No4’s had fully floated barrels and were more accurate over longer ranges), had larger magazines, larger chambers and so were more reliable with dirty ammo and the no4’s had better sights (ghost ring).

      The Mauser has a stronger action (often over exagerated when compared to the Lee Enfield bolt however, but very important given the manufacturing standards of the day!), didn’t use a rimmed cartridge when designed, and was sold on the open market by the Germans en masse to keep their firearms manufacturing capability alive in the years between the wars (they couldn’t have a large army so they sold lots to other people to keep the ability to make a new one quickly).

      • d_grey

        So, judging by your description, the Enfield was inadvertently the better rifle then right?

        • Tom – UK

          Personally I believe so however I am not an expert.

    • n0truscotsman

      The Enfield.

      No dispute. Their firepower was unmatched in the bolt action world.

  • http://www.counter-currents.com Frosty_The_White_Man

    Had a cherry Swedish Mauser from 1905 that I traded off and still miss today. Doesn’t every gun guy have one that got away? So come the next gun show I’m gonna track down her petite sister named M38.

  • Dukke1ine

    The controlled feeding is really what makes this gun. The receivers will litterally be around forever. I Own a G33/45 and a K98F1, both originals, matching serials and original markings.

    The Krags are also great guns… Never handled any of the US made ones though.

    • iksnilol

      The US Krags are weaker due to having one less locking lug. So you need to use lower pressure ammo for them. Also they change POI if the chamber gets wet, so you should write down zero for when the gun/ammo is dry and for when they are wet.

      Other than that, Krags are great guns.

  • Mystick

    I have an old GEM98 retooled for .308. It’s a nice rifle, and shoots quite well. My only complaint is how they chose to mount the scope and the “floppiness” of the bolt when pull back all the way… and the Monte Carlo stock they put on it has been chewed up by the bolt. But like I said, it shoots well, and that’s all I really care about.

  • guest

    Mauser was a great gun for its time, no doubt about that. Owned one but finally got bored with it (1933 model). What my main and only beef with Mauser of today is – the price of their modern hunting rifles. They are literally milking every cent out of that brand name, with absolutely nothing to show for.

  • MountainKelly

    Mausers are great. The first rifle I was given was a $60 M38 Turkish Mauser that was so caked in cosmoline that it took about two days in a solvent tank to unbury the metal parts. Shoots great, has shot great for years. New Mausers are just…. just gorgeous.

  • Mike

    I have one criticism of your article, those two massive blocks of text at the beginning should be broken up into smaller paragraphs. Just my two cents.

  • Jeff Galoolie

    Kids these days with your reverence for history and simple but time-proven technologies… In my day we made everything possible out plastic! It broke and our parents bought another one. And that made me the man I am today.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

      Lol! Awesome.

  • SwordBayonet

    The 98k Mauser is the soccer mom’s minivan of bolt action guns. Big, clunky, reliable, and most importantly, ubiquitous. Arguably, Mauser’s most important innovation was stripper clips, and those certainly were not limited to the 98 family.

    No doubt the 98 works as designed. But “performs to specification” is faint praise. What doesn’t it do? The Lee Enfield has a faster bolt and larger mag, the Mannlicher turnbolts a smoother cycle and a much handier balance, and we won’t even compare straight pulls, a completely different class.

    Want the perfect Mauser? Cock on close, bent bolt, lose the 3 position safety. Keep the stripper clips, add a receiver mounted peep sight, and chamber in a powerful rimless cartridge. There you have it. I think it’s called the US Rifle Model of 1917.

    Or if you must have that “Mauser aesthetic”, buy a Portuguese 1904. All the best pieces of the 98 family without that clunky Mauser action. And even better, if you get the 1904/39 model you can shoot all your leftover 8mm.

    Truly, I don’t mean to dump on the Mauser brothers. They were certainly innovators, and skilled ones. But when you look at what they invented before the 98, it is much more impressive. The 98 is much more of an incremental improvement, albiet a necessary one, and far from “perfect” even if it was quite good.

  • http://196800revolutionsperminute.blogspot.com/ Nathaniel F.

    While at school, we were tasked with converting Mauser 98s to a sporter configuration as part of a project. Most of us tried not to think about the potential crimes against history we were committing. The program creators were all stuck in the mindset of the ’70s, they believed Mausers would be around forever. Many of us in the class had problems due to having access to only poor quality “fished out of a lake” rifles that required us to spend many hours in the welding room removing pitting from the receivers. Some are slow to change; I don’t think this was ever exemplified better than when the head of the department quipped once in machine shop “CNC will never catch on in firearms”. This was in 2011.

    Nevertheless, what I gave up in unmolested relics, I gained in a more intimate understanding of the rifle. It’s a superb piece of engineering, and the Mauser brothers earned their place among the greats of firearms design rightfully.

  • Irish Wheelgun lover

    Haha, im in ireland, where guns are few and far between, /but/ we have a cracking airsoft community and a good mate of mine picked up an airsoft repo of the 98K and its so much nicer to hold than my mosin!

  • snmp

    In fact Masuer 98 is nice hunting rifle but that’s less accurate & rugged than Mosin Nagan, and Less Rugged & more slow than Lee enfield …

  • idahoguy101

    While I’m a Mauser fan I can’t say it’s a better bolt action infantry rifle than either the Mosin-Nagant or the Lee Enfield

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

      Then why did the Enfield and Nagant actions die with the Enfield and the Nagant (for all intents and purposes)?

      • Hyok Kim

        Dear Alex C. I, too, am a fan of Mauser. I read that Arisaka had stronger action than Mauser (actually the strongest bolt action of WW2).

        However, as infantry bolt action rifles, mauser had not outlived Enfield or Nagant. If it had, certainly not by much.

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

          The Arisakas were Mauser actions with a few bells and whistles.

          • Hyok Kim

            Yes, so why no love for Arisaka?

        • iksnilol

          True, infantry doesn’t use Mausers, Enfields or Mosins.

          They are now only used as the basis for target, hunting and sniper rifles (yes, even the Mosins).

  • n0truscotsman

    Mausers are quite a unique animal.
    I’ve always been particular to Finnish Mosins and Enfields, although I appreciate Mausers too.

  • SNNNN

    Yeah, can remember the days when folks gave no thought for these and some
    folks still don’t appreciate then. Recently had the great good luck to buy an FN

    marked 308 barreled IDF Mauser with an almost like new bore. I understand
    some of these were actually assembled for the IDF by FN rather then being WWII

    German rebuilds. No sign of German markings ANYWHERE. Guess the guy needed

    room in his safe for a “modern gun”….his loss 8-] Once the magazine spring was

    replace it works just fine…and shoots even better!

  • gbailey814

    I couldn’t agree more. The Mauser 98 is a rifle that has stood the test of time for a reason. I can’t think of an environment where it hasn’t served a hunter well. I enjoyed your references to other notable writers on the subject as well. Great article!

  • Zebra Dun

    A friend and me co-owned a 7.65×53 mm Argentine Mauser He borrowed half the $25.00 from me to purchase it back in 1976 from a pawn shop to use as a deer rifle.
    We shot that carbine for fun and deer for years, lost touch when we found different jobs in different towns. He took the rifle with him and harvested his first deer at 250 yards and several other deer with it.
    As he grew infirm from kidney problems he was forced to sell it unknown to me and got $45.00 for it.
    I got my half of the money back but I wished more than once I had gotten the rifle.
    I informed he I would have gladly paid him more for it.
    It was a sweet operating Mauser, accurate way out there and hit like a .303 British.
    I saw one like it the other day in a gun shop near me, going price, $900.00 un sporterized, with several others in less good shape for $400.00 still, I wish I had that old rifle.
    It was one nice military dressed shooter.

  • Andrew Haeberlin

    One small correction – the modern company Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH has little to do with the historic Mauser corporation or its facilities in Oberndorf a. Neckar. The original Mauser factory was demolished shortly after WW2, it’s tooling mostly sent to France as part of the post-War settlement, and most of its engineers moved on to new positions with other factories. The current Mauser Jagdwaffen was founded in 1999 and produces guns out of Isny im Allgäu. There is an argument for a corporate familial sort of relation (the new investors did, after all, have to buy the name from someone) but it’s fairly tenuous. There are no Model 98 rifles being produced in Oberndorf a/N today.

    There IS a kinda-Mauser factory in Oberndorf that is still producing under that name, but it’s the heavy weapons division which was absorbed by Rheinmetall back in 2004. I’m a bit hazier on the corporate history of this one, but the division of Mauser that was responsible for light and medium cannon production during the war was later re-founded in Oberndorf; this is the factory that continues to produce aircraft cannons, light naval guns, etc. in Oberndorf today.

    As an aside, the company operating out of Oberndorf that probably has the best claim on being a spiritual successor of the famous Mauser Oberndorf a/N plant is Heckler & Koch. They were founded relatively early in the post-war period in Oberndorf by a trio of ex-Mauser engineers and a lot of its earliest weapons designs were basically revisions of late-war work that was done at the old Mauser Oberndorf R&D section.

  • Secundius

    In 1998/99, a friend of mine talked me into buying a vintage Mauser 7.92-57mm k98 rifle, which I did. The only problem was, I was afraid of scuffing and damaging the almost pristine condition wooded stock. I wasn’t until 2004, in which I purchased a synthetic stock for it.
    For a nearly 100-year old rifle, I fell in love with it. I can see now why the Imperial German’s of WW1 and the Nazi German’s of WW2, had such a great love affair with this rifle. It has great accuracy over fairly long ranges, and its action is cherry. It might not have the sex appeal of an AK-47 or AR-15 Battle Rifles. But for a young shooter just starting of, the Mauser k98 rifles is a winner. And it has a rich history. It’s a pay if forward design, which really should be considered for both young and old, alike.

  • Secundius

    I have a Mauser 98k (7.92x57mm) bolt-action rifle. Its a beautiful rifle, well balanced, excellent handling and performing rifle. I can see why the German in WW1 and WW2 loved it.

    My grandfather, on my mothers side. Lived in Hungary during the Nazi occupation, and was forcibly conscripted into the German Army. And fought at the Battle of Stalingrad and was issued the 98k rifle. He was one of the 8,000 lucky ones out 80,000 captured and returned home after the war, the Soviet Army released their German POW’s. almost 10-years after WW2 officially ended.