Gewehr 98 Run And Gun (The Perfect Rifle)

Ah, the Mauser 98. This is one of my personal all time favorites and I was happy to finally take it to the run and gun course. The Mauser’s action is still in production, and if you own a bolt action rifle (no matter how modern) it is most likely a derivative of the 98. This gun was Mauser’s masterpiece, but lets see her in action!

For more on the 98: C&Rsenal Video on the Gewehr 98.

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Transcript …

– [Voiceover] Hey guys, this is Alex C with TFBTV, and for today’s Run and Gun we’re going to be featuring a Gewehr 98, produced in 1901.

This is a very old Mauser 98, and I must say I’ve been looking forward to this Run and Gun for a long time.

This is actually one of my favorite, if not my favorite rifle of all time, but don’t just take my word for it.

Ian Hogg, who you might recognize as being one of the greatest firearm historians of all time said it was Mauser’s masterpiece.

Every little impovement that Mauser could 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.

There’s just something about the Mauser.

When ammo was cheap back in the day, Well, 762 by 54 R today is kind of the cheap surplus round, but when I was younger, it was eight milimeter.

Everyone was buying surplus Mausers out of big barrels at surplus shops and all that, and it’s just hard not to like these.

They’re very smooth cycling.

So many countries made them, about 100 million were actually made, and if you count sporting models and variants of the Mauser, that number is much higher.

Loading them is also very fast and simple.

Paul Mauser invented the stripper clip, and it was introduced in the ’89 model Belgian Mauser, but you can see how quickly you can throw five rounds in it, as opposed to the Lebel, where you have to painstakingly insert each round, which is a real pain.

Of course a famous derivative seen here is a Karabiner 98 kurz, employed by the Germans in World War Two, but we’re taking a look at a World War One model here.

And I did mention that sporting rifles today are basically Mauser derivatives.

This Kimber 8400, you can see the influence here.

It’s a bridged rifle.

Obviously they amended the stripper clip guide, but it’s easy to see where Mauser has influenced everything in the way of bolt action rifles today, but let’s load up and take it to the Run and Gun course.

We’re going to shoot 25 shots with a total of four reloads.

So let’s see how it performs.

All right guys, here we go with the Imperial Gewehr 98 rifle.

Let’s see how it does on the course.

(clicking) (gun fires) (clicking) (gun fires) All right, guys, so let’s go down range and talk about it a little bit.

All right guys, so that run went okay.

I did miss one.

I pulled one pretty hard.

I could definitely feel it when I was doing it.

I guess I got a little jumpy when I was standing up, but everything on the Gewehr 98 just really works well.

From the way it shoulders all the way up to, there’s simple things like the safety, and even the way I was manipulating the stripper clips as you’ve seen in past Run and Guns where I used stripper clips, everything on this is just so well thought out and very smooth, very easy to operate.

But I’ll put the total hits versus misses here, and let’s go talk about it a little bit more in the room.

So 24 hits, one miss.

I just said this was the perfect rifle and then I had a miss, but I guess hey, that happens to everybody every now and then.

But still, to most people, these will just kind of be a bolt action rifle, but to me they represent the best of what a bolt action rifle can be.

I don’t like the Gewehr 98 sights, I like the later improved sights without the rollercoaster on them.

The rollercoaster sights do a great job kind of blocking what’s to the left and right of your target with those large protrusions, and then the front’s just a simple front sight post that’s not hooded.

The K98ks have a better sight setup.

But if you want to learn more about the Mauser 98, CN Arsenal has done a video where they really do a great job telling about the history of the rifle, the development, the designer Paul Mauser and everything.

I’ll link to that in the description, but at this point I’d like to thank you guys for watching and I’d like to thank Ventura Munitions, our ammunition sponsor, for helping us out with the cost of ammo.

Hope you enjoyed the video, guys, and we’ll see you next time.

(gun fires)


Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


  • Lance

    Try the K-98 next better German design than the old WW1 rifle.

    You keep saying the Mosin Nagant is too inferior. Id challenge you to try a Finish M-28 or M-39 run and gun. Read a good article in surplus arms that showed the Finish Nagants superior to German and there brother Russian rifles. Try it Alex.

    • Darkpr0

      Chances are he probably has. Also, between my Mosin PU and the Kar98k, the Kar98 wins every time. The Mosin is based on inferior technology, and the Russians knew it. It was a weapon selected for its manufacturability versus the SVT series, and nothing else.

      Edit: Both are fantastic fun and I love them both. The Kar98k is just a better crafted tool.

    • LG

      The Kar98K, is a slightly refined Gewehr 98. Only the details of the sight, sling arrangement, and barrel length are different. Mechanically they are identical. Also there were various karbiner 98s under The Kaiser. Just look at the fitting of the action screws. the worst under The Kaiser was above those Kar98Ks in 1944 in 1944-1945.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    I’m not sure about running the trigger with a middle finger for Tubro-Mode.

    What was the weird flinch-then-fire at 2:31? Doesn’t look like a hang-fire, but maybe?

    • iksnilol

      Is påtentëd Scändinavën methød, safed më gråndfathür ågåinst det møösë chargës.

  • Darkpr0

    I’ll admit that controlled feed makes the action smoother by not having to crunch the extractor over the rim, but on most other rifles this isn’t a problem. If you take a M1903A3 and single feed it, you’re basically running a Mauser with push feed instead of controlled feed… And you notice more difference from the increased action length than you do the extractor clipping over. I do like cock-on-open though.

  • Jonathan Ferguson

    An old chestnut I know, but based on your experience Alex, as someone who can run a bolt fast and on the move, is the Enfield much faster to run than the Mauser? I know the geometry allows for good rapid fire in the prone, but I’m curious if this carries over to kneeling & standing (& moving). I suspect a Kar98K with its turned down handle is just as effective in trained hands (heresy).

    • I would say that the Achilles’ heel of the Lee-Enfield system is the chargers which can be less than cooperative (and don’t automatically eject when you bolt forward in my experience). The beauty of using a rimless cartridge really shows in this aspect, but the short throw of the Enfield’s bolt is amazing, as is the optimal placement of the handle.
      I do however believe that the French MAS 36 with its rimless cartridge, short action, excellent bolt handle placement, and amazing stripper clips can be run nearly as fast as an SMLE though (notice I said “nearly”!).

      • Joshua

        was there changes made to the charger bridge on the Lee through the wars?
        I ask because I’ve seen this comment on the Lees chargers not ejecting on several sites now, yet on my SMLE Mk III* the charger bridge has a set of angled relief cuts that allow the chargers to be easily ejected by the bolt head. however I have never tried to run a MkIII, No. 4 or No. 5 with chargers, ia there charger bridge different?

        • Jonathan Ferguson

          Not as far as I know; there is the original two-piece sliding guide, the fixed version, & the slightly different No.4 type; but from memory the latter two work equally well/badly. I think the difficulty in charger ejection is fundamental to the bulky clip design. It’s ironic really; super fast action, flawed charger loading.

          • UnrepentantLib

            Was the clip design driven by the use of a rimmed cartridge? Boy, that was a short sighted decision that caused problems for the Brits for the next 80 years or so.

          • Joshua

            yes and no, when the .303 British cartridge was designed the rimless cartridge was still a long piece from becoming as ubiquitous as they are today, in fact come to think of it I don’t think there was a rimless cartridge in general issue with any militaries of the time. in fact when the Lee action was adopted the rifle charger system had not been introduced, it would be patented and introduced along side rimless cartridges by Mauser with the Gewehr model of 1898 seen in this video. The Lee Enfield’s chargers are actually a revision of their design and while that would put Britain behind the leading edge, similar to France before WWI they were investigating rimless cartridges and like France decided that they did not represent enough benefit compared to the cost of adopting a new rifle to make the move viable. Even after WWII Britain still came to the same conclusion since they had a massive colonial, and then afterward Commonwealth, army to equip, and they had a bolt action rifle that rivaled other nations early semi-automatics in terms of rate of fire and accuracy, As evidenced by the several accounts in WWI of German units who were repulsed by British Rifleman, who came under the impression they had come under fire from light machine guns.
            So while the .303 British and the SMLE rifles were not state of the art for very long, I disagree that they were short sighted, they soldiered on with surprising efficiency long after all of their period competitors had been evidenced to be obsolete.

          • UnrepentantLib

            At the time the .303 Brit was adopted, 1888-1890, the rimless 7.92x57mm, 7.65x53mm Belgian/Argentine and 7.5x55mm Swiss cartridges were being adopted, so I think the way of the future was fairly evident. My understanding (and it could be wrong) was that the reason for staying with a rimmed cartridge was that it enabled an easy conversion of the stocks of Martini-Henry rifles for use in the colonies. True, the British soldiers did wonders with the Enfield and .303, but it seems a bit foolish not to eliminate potential problems.

          • Joshua

            I don’t know how much more I can say on this topic except to go back to my original post; I’ve seen lots of people talking about how poor the Lee-Enfields chargers and charger bridge is, yet on my own Mk III* using period chargers, and modern sporting ammo, I have never experienced the problems that I’ve seen discussed, once I found an illustration on how to load the chargers properly and loaded mine the same, I have never had a rimlock off of a charger, loading singly I have never created a rimlock, pushing the bolt forward on my rifle will reliably eject the charger out of the bridge and off the action, without undo force even. It is possible that there are problems inherent to the rimmed cartridges design, but as Jonathan had put it above, following the original drills prevents the minor issues presented. Rimless ammo might be an objective improvement here, but quite honestly with an extra five minutes of training time you can prevent any issues that the rimmed ammo might present. so from a theoretical stand point yes, rimless ammo would have been better, but, especially with good training, it would have been so minor an improvement as to make the debate rather, remedial.

          • Jonathan Ferguson

            Joshua has the full answer, but in short it’s ‘yes it was driven by rimmed cartridges’ and ‘no, it wasn’t really a problem’. Good drills take care of minor design issues like this, like, say, the charging handle of the AR15. It’s not where we’d probably put it now, but it works, and drills overcome any minor issues it presents.

      • Jonathan Ferguson

        Thanks for the insight Alex.

      • Julius No

        Based on my experience on my no5 and no 1, the clips eject neatly and easily, and with properly loaded clips, load flawlessly.

        No experience on the more common No4s, though.

      • Dave

        MAS 36! Mais oui!

        A melange of good design features: action, rimless cartridge, charger loading, magazine all lifted from Mauser. Sights from M1917. Rear lugs from Mannlicher-Schoenauer. Bolt design from Arisaka/modified Mauser. Short-action, short bolt throw, quick reloads, well balanced. And a sort of Gallic je-ne-sais-quoi that includes little design tributes to the Lebel like the slab-sided metal receiver and three-piece stock.
        And the tres-goofy bayonet.

  • Don Ward


  • danny

    Gewehr 88 next please. I know it’s not a Mauser, but still.

  • Goody

    Reckon you could do a run with a Swede? Bolt on mine is smooth as butter and the lighter round will gets you back on target faster.


    >>Mine is about a hundred years old and still kicking. No lug set back, but barrel showing some wear & tear. Would I run a thousand proof loads through it? Nope, but I wouldn’t hesitate to run hot Norma ammo through it either.

    • The_Champ

      I second this! Bring out a Swede for comparison sake.
      I just purchased a M38 but haven’t had the chance to shoot it yet. The biggest draw of the Swedish Mausers for me is the build quality and wonderful caliber.

  • UCSPanther

    I want to see an M1917 or P14 run and gun.

    • UnrepentantLib

      I second that.

  • iksnilol

    They messed up the Mauser so that they wouldn’t get sued for patent infringment IIRC.

  • Dave

    Excuse my pedantry:

    *Ahem* Most Perfekt bolt-action rifle *action* Ja. Most Perfekt rifle? Doch nein.

    Imperial Gewehr 98: Too long and ponderous, terrible sights, somewhat wonky safety, even if it is very positive. Personally, I don’t know why the same people that deride French arms, and in some cases–like the Lebels slow and cumbersome loading procedure, rightly so–fail to notice that the Berthier had better sights than German rifles, and at least were suitably dark in color while zee Kaiser Wilhelm Ghermans kept the actions of the Gew.98 in the white? Throughout the entire Weltkrieg?

    Of course, I’m glad you like it, which means you really wring the performance possible from it, and made an informative and interesting brief video about it with good results by a practiced shooter. Certainly the Perfekt rifle action is built into sporters today, but better sights, improved calibers, better balance, and more accessible safeties are clearly preferred.

  • Itz Noonyaz

    Suggestion: move the vehicle behind the firing line. Trip etc, and a round may wind up making a mess of a door, window, wheel, engine.