With origins dating back to World War I, the German Army's famous Kar 98k ("Kar", short for "karabiner", which translates to "carbine") is a direct descendant of the 1898 Mauser Gew 98 rifle - the standard rifle used by the Empire German troops on their way to World War I. In carbine form, the stock and barrel of the base rifle design were shortened to reduce overall length and create a more manageable long gun - at the expense of some range and range accuracy. Defined by models such as Type 1898 (Kar 98), Type 1898a (Kar 98a), and Type 1898k (Kar 98k), the carbine form survived in circulation long enough to allow extended combat service during World War II (1939-1945).
As the standard infantry rifle of the Germans.
The Kar 98k is the standard wartime model of the German Army, available under the new manufacturer's brand. When it debuted in 1935, the K designation was used to mean "short" as the rifle retained its shortened carbine length - even shorter than the previous A model. Another subtle design element that sets the Kar 98K apart from the original Gew 98 rifle and earlier Kar models is the recessed fore grip for better handling.
The bolt handle also swivels down instead of out, reducing the chance of the weapon getting caught on clothing or brushes.
The Kar 98k was mass-produced as the war progressed, but has never been modernized since its introduction, limited by the capabilities of German resources, which were increasingly used to produce armored vehicles and fighter jets. The trustworthy Mauser action is well-constructed and sturdy, giving the German infantry a model comparable to the British Lee-Enfield rifle model, which features opposite foxholes and mounts.
When the Americans went to war with their Springfield M1903 bolt-action rifles, their standard rifle quickly became the self-loading M1 Garand, which increased the infantry's eight-round magazine rate of fire.
The Kar 98k is also suitable for sniper roles with its scope mounted above the receiver. The overall functionality of the carbine remains the same, while the telescopic sight allows accurate shooting at range.
If concealed properly, a single sniper can hold an entire squad of enemy infantry at bay for hours or even days.
The Kar 98K also has the inherent ability to fire rifle grenades to clear houses. Standard German infantry bayonets can also be mounted under the barrel in true WWI fashion. The Kar 98k ended up being the last bolt action rifle Mauser produced for the military.
The HUB-23 silencer can be mounted on the barrel to create a noise-reducing variant of the carbine.
It is widely distributed around the world in licensed and illegally copied forms - from China and Croatia to Vietnam and Yugoslavia. Both Germany's enemies in France and the Soviet Union used this type. The nascent state of Israel also became one of the many users of weapons.
Manufacturers other than Mauser include Erma Werke, Sauer, Berlin-Lubecker Maschinenfabrik, Gustloff Werke, Steyr-Daimler-Puch and Waffenfabrik Brunn.
- Close Combat (CQB) / Personal Protection
- Manual Repeat Shot
- remote precision
- Frontline infantry/gunner
1,110 mm (43.70 in)
610 mm (24.02 in)
Front and rear irons; optional optics.
Bolt Action Rifle
2,822 ft/s (860 m/s)
1,969 ft (600 m; 656 yd)
Kar 98K - name of the basic production series