Karabiner 98k

From Academic Kids


The Karabiner 98k was a bolt action rifle adopted as the standard infantry rifle in 1935 by Nazi Germany and one of the final developments from the long line of Mauser rifles.



A bolt-action rifle with Mauser-type action holding five rounds of 7.92x57 mm on a stripper clip with a internal magazine. It was derived from the earlier rifles, namely the Karabiner 98b which had itself been developed from the Mauser Model 1898. The Gewehr 98 or Model 1898 took its principles from the Lebel Model 1886 rifle with the improvement of a metallic magazine of five cartridges. See Mauser for more.

The rifle was noted for its good accuracy and effective range of up to 500 meters. For this reason it was also used with a telescopic sight as a sniper rifle which extended the effective range to about 800 m when used by a skilled marksman. The 98k had the same disadvantages as all other turn-of-the-century military rifles: being comparatively bulky and heavy, and the rate of fire was limited by how fast the bolt could be operated. It was designed to be used with a bayonet and to fire rifle grenades. A version with a folding stock was introduced in 1941 to be used by airborne troops.

Since it was shorter than the earlier carbines, it was given the designation Karabiner 98 Kurz, meaning Short Carbine Model 98. It was the standard rifle, though submachine guns were often preferred, especially for urban combat where the rifle's range was not very useful. Towards the end of the war the 98k was being phased out in favor of the MP44, which fired a less powreful round but could be used like a submachine gun in close-quarters and urban fighting.

To see where the rifle fits in with other Mauser rifles, see Mauser

Combat use

Post WW2

During World War 2, the USSR captured millions of Mauser Kar-98k rifles and re-arsenaled them in various arms factories in the late 1940's and 1950's. One of the reasons behind the Soviets keeping these rifles after World War 2 was that the Russians wanted these rifles to arm their soldiers just in case another war occurred. The Russians were short of rifles to arm their soldiers during World War 2 and they didn't want to go through the same situation again. Another reason was that the Soviets wanted to support various communist guerillia forces around the world during the early Cold War period. The supply of cheap firearms like the Mauser Kar-98k and the Mosin-Nagant series rifles and carbines during the early Cold War period was one way that Moscow could support these organisations until they trusted the organsations enough to provide them with modern infantry weapons. During the Vietnam War, a number of Russian Capture Mauser Kar-98k rifles were found in the hands of the Viet Cong by Allied forces alongside Soviet-bloc rifles like the Mosin-Nagant, the SKS and the AK-47.

In the years after World War 2, the Mauser Kar-98k rifle was used by various nations as their standard issue infantry rifle with a number of European nations that were invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany during World War 2 using the Kar-98k rifle due to the large amounts of German weapons that were left behind by the Germans. Arms factories like Fabrique Nationale in Belgium and Zbrojovka Brno of Czechoslovakia continued to produce the Mauser Kar-98k rifle after 1945.

A number of non-European nations used the Mauser Kar-98k rifle as well as a few guerillia organisations used the Kar-98k rifle to help establish new nation-states. One example was Israel which used the Mauser Kar-98k rifle from the late 1940's until the 1970's.

The use of the Mauser Kar-98k rifle to establish the nation-state of Israel is one that raises a lot of interest with many Jewish organisations in Palestine acquiring Mauser Kar-98k rifles from post-war Europe to protect the Jewish settlements from attacks by Arabs and to carry out guerillia operations against the British forces in Palestine as well as their use of an infantry rifle that was associated with and used by the armed forces of Nazi Germany, especially the use of the rifle by the Nazis during The Holocaust.

The Haganah, who later evolved into the modern-day Israeli Defence Forces, was one of the Jewish organisations in Palestine that brought large numbers of Mauser Kar-98k rifles from Europe during the post-World War 2 period.

The difference between the original Mauser Kar-98k rifle and the Israeli Mauser Kar-98k rifle is that the Israeli Mauser Kar-98k rifles have all of the Nazi markings and emblems removed from the rifle and were replaced with Israeli Defence Forces and Hebrew markings to ideologically "purify" the rifles from their former use. The Mauser Kar-98k rifles produced by Fabrique Nationale post-World War 2 have Israeli Defence Forces markings on the rifle as well as the emblem of the Israeli Defence Forces on the top of the rifle's receiver.

During the late 1950's, the Israeli Defence Forces converted the calibre of their Mauser Kar-98k rifles from the original German 7.92mm rifle bullet to 7.62mm NATO after the Israeli Defence Force adopted the FN FAL rifle in 1958. The Israeli Mauser Kar-98k rifles that were converted have "7.62" engraved on the rifle receiver and burned into the heel of the rifle stock for identification.

The Kar-98k rifle was used by the reserve branches of the Israeli Defence Forces well into the 1960's and 1970's and saw action with the Israeli Army reservists during the 1967 Six Day War and the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

The Israeli Mauser Kar-98k rifle is popular with many rifle shooters and military rifle collectors due to the rifle's historical background as well as for the low recoil and ability to use the 7.62mm NATO (.308 Winchester) round.

As of 2005, the Soviet armoury rifles have apepared on the military surplus rifle market. These have proven popular with buyers in the United States and Canada for ex-military rifle collectors and target shooters due to their history.

External Links

German Mauser Kar-98k rifle




Israeli Mauser Kar-98k rifle



See also

Template:WWIIGermanInfWeaponsfr:Karabiner 98k ja:Kar98k zh:卡尔比勒98k毛瑟枪


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