|Model Designation: Karbiner
98 Kurz Caliber: 7.92mm
Overall Length: 1,110mm
Weight: Solid stock; 3.8kg
Laminated stock: 4kg.
Magazine: 5 round, fixed
Front sight: inverted
"V" notch (later models had a sight hood cover)
Rear sight: "V"
notch adjustable up to 2,000 meters
Rifling: 4 grooves, right
hand twist, one turn every 240mm
Safety: 3-way safety lever
on rear of bolt. Left to fire, right to safe, center to load. Markings:
With few exceptions, every K98 was stamped with
manufacturers' code and date on top of receiver.
S. Bianchi collection
In June 1934, the German army adopted the Mauser Karbiner 98 kurz as
the standard service rifle of the German army. It remained in
service until the end of the war in May 1945. Eleven years in
production produced over 14 million K98s, and out of the 14 million
produced, there are over 100 combinations of maker codes and production
years. All of this combined with the fact that the Mauser K98 is one
of the best bolt actions designs of all time, makes the K98k one of the
most collectable rifles of WWII, and perhaps of all time.
Dates, Makers, and Codes :
In 1934 only two manufacturers where assigned to produce the K98k.
These were the Mauser plant at Obendorf, and the firm of J.P. Sauer &
Sohn at Suhl. Mauser, Obendorf was the only manufacturer to produce the
K98 from 1934-1945. Each year later, other makers were added
to produce the K98k, while some makers where dropped due to production
demands or interests in producing other weapons, such as machine guns,
machine pistols, or other small arms that were needed. By 1943 there
were at least 7 factories that were producers of the rifle. Each
makers code, dates, and proof markings for each year are listed below.
- Mauser, Obendorf- S/42K .
- J.P Sauer, Suhl- S/147K
- Mauser, Obendorf- S/42G .
- J.P Sauer- S/147G ERMA- S/27G
- Mauser, Borsigwalde- S/243G
- Mauser, Obendorf- S/42 above date 1936
- J. P. Sauer- S/147 above date 1936
- ERMA- S/27 above date 1936
- Mauser, Bosigwalde- S/243 above date 1936
- Berlin-Lubecker- S/237 above date 1936
- Mauser, Obendorf- S/42, 1937
- J. P. Sauer- S/147, 1937
- ERMA- S/27, 1937
- Mauser, Borsigwalde- S/243, 1937
- Berlin-Lubecker- S/237, 1937
- Berlin-Suhler-Waffen (BSW)- BSW, date 1937
- Mauser, Obendorf- S/42 1938, and also "42"
- J. P. Sauer- S/147 1938, and also "147" 1938
- ERMA- S/27, 1938, and also "27" 1938
- Mauser, Borsigwalde- S/243 1938, and also "243"
- Berlin-Lubecker- S/237 1938, and also "237"
- BSW- BSW 1938
- Mauser, Obendorf- "42" 1939
- J. P. Sauer- "147" 1939 and also no date or
- ERMA- "27" 1939
- Mauser, Borsigwalde- "243" 1939
- Berlin-Lubecker- "237" 1939
- BSW- BSW 1939, and also combined with Gustloffwerke for
- Steyr- Daimler, Steyr- "660" 1939
- Mauser, Obendorf- "42" 1940
- J. P. Sauer- "147" 1940
- ERMA- "27" 1940, and also "ax"
- Mauser, Borsigwalde- "243" 1940
- Berlin-Lubecker- "237" 1940, and also "duv"
- Gustloffwerke- "337" 1940 Steyr- "660"
1940, and also "bnz" 40 date.
- Mauser, Obendorf- "byf" 41.
- J. P. Sauer- "ce" 41
- ERMA- "ax" 41
- Mauser, Borsigwalde- "ar" 41
- Berlin-Lubecker- "duv" 41
- Gustloffwerke- "bcd" 41
- Steyr- "bnz" 41
- Mauser, Obendorf- "byf" 42
- J.P. Sauer- "ce" 42
- Mauser, Borsigwalde- "ar" 42
- Berlin-Lubecker- "duv" 42
- Gustloffwerke- "bcd" 42
- Steyr- "bnz" 42
- Waffen Werke Brunn, Bystrica- "dou" 42
- Mauser, Obendorf- "byf" 43
- J. P. Sauer- "ce" 43
- Mauser, Borsigwalde- "ar" 43
- Gustloffwerke- "bcd" 43
- Steyr- "bnz" 43
- Waffen Werke Brunn, Bystrica- "dou" 43
- Waffen Werke Brunn, Brunn- "dot" 43
- Mauser, Obendorf- "byf" 44
- J. P. Sauer- "ce" 44
- Mauser, Borsigwalde- "ar" 44
- Gustloffwerke- "bcd" 4
- Steyr- "bnz" 44 or "bnz" 4 *
Werke, Brunn, Bystrica- "dou" 44 *
- Waffen Werke, Brunn, Brunn- "dot" 1944 *
- Mauser, Obendorf- "byf" 45 * /**
- Mauser, Obendorf- "svw" 45 */ **
- Mauser, Obendorf- "svw" MB **
- Gustloffwerke- "bcd" 45 * Steyr- "bnz"
- Waffen Werke Brunn, Bystrica- "dou" 45 *
- Waffen Werke Brunn, Brunn- "swp" 45 *
*- Later (higher) serial numbers were issued as
**- Kriegsmodells had rough unfinished stocks and no butt plate.
Some years may have dual maker codes and/or dual dates marked on
During the war several changes and/or alterations were made to the K98.
Most of these changes were simply design alterations that were made to
simplify or increase production of the rifle. Some of these were
totally different model of the K98, including the G33/40. The G33/40 was
basically a shortened version of the K98. The G33/40 was only in
production for 3 years, from 1940-1942. It was produced by Waffen
Werke Brunn, Brunn. It fired the exact same 7.92mm round, and had the same
Mauser 98 action. However, that is where the similarities end.
The G33/40 had several different parts that were not matching with the
K98. These included: the bolt, stock, cleaning rod, sight hood
cover, upper hand guard, barrel bands, sling, and even the bayonet.
Below is an example of the G33/40, that was made in 1941, and
bears the maker's code "dot 1941." Note also in the pictures
below the differences between the standard K98 and the G33/40.
Another example of the changes made to the K98 late in the war is the
introduction of the Kriegsmodell K98. The Kriegsmodell K98 is
basically the most simplified version of the K98. Several design
changes were made to produce the Kriegsmodell. Several items were
completely eliminated, such as: bayonet lug, cleaning rod, bolt
disassembly disk, bolt guide, barrel band spring, and even the locking
screws for the floor plate. Kriegsmodell K98s are usually late 1944 or
1945 production. They will usually have very rough machined parts,
and stocks will be rough and usually unfinished. Below are pictures
Kriegsmodell K98, that was made by Mauser, Obendorf in 1945, and is marked
"byf 45." Note also in the pictures below the differences
between the standard K98, and the Kriegsmodell K98.
All pictures below
submitted by Matt Weber unless otherwise stated
Click on images to
||K98 made by Mauser, Obendorf in 1945, and labeled
"byf 45". Notice the phosphated finish to this piece,
and also notice that the model designation "Mod. 98" has
been moved from the side of the receiver to the top of the receiver.
||K98 made by Waffen Werke, Brunn, Brunn in 1944, and
is marked "dot 1944". Note that this late war K98 is
marked with the full year 1944, and not just the partial year
"44" or simply "4". Also notice the rough
machine markings on this late war piece.
||K98 made by Waffen Werke, Brunn, Bystrica in 1943,
and is marked "dou 43". Typical mid-war production
finish on this piece
||G33/40 made by Waffen Werke, Brunn, Brunn, and is
marked "dot 1941". Note the caliber markings on top of
the receiver, 7,88. Also notice that the upper hand guard wood
wraps around behind the rear sight.
||Comparison of the standard K98 bolt (right), and the
Kriegsmodell K98 bolt (left). Notice the bolt on the right
has typical milled out, oval shaped cooling holes, while the bolt
on the left has round, drilled out cooling holes.
||This picture shows us 2 K98 bolts. Notice that the
bolt on the left is missing the bolt guide. That's because this
bolt is a Kriegsmodell K98 bolt. Notice also that it is parkerized.
The one on the right is a standard K98 bolt, and is blued.
||Two floor plates for the K98. The one on the right
is a milled floorplate. This type can be found on pre-war, and
early war time K98 models. The left one is a stamped floor plate,
and is found on late war K98s. Notice also on this one that it is
also missing the locking screws. That is because this floor plate
is for a K98 Kriegsmodell.
||Two K98 trigger guards.
The one on the right is a
milled trigger guard. Again these are found on pre-war and early
war K98s. The one on the left is a stamped trigger guard, and is
found on late war K98s. Notice again that this stamped trigger
guard is missing the locking screws, which means that this trigger
guard is for a Kriegsmodell K98.
||Front barrel band.
This is a mid-war production
barrel band. It is milled type, but not formed like the
"H" types. Serial number are marked on these, but late
war stamped barrel bands usually won't have serial numbers on
them. This is a 1943 date K98.
||The test firing proof will be located on the aft of
the bolt handle. As shown here.
||Serial numbers on the k98 stocks are usually located
under the stock, half way between the hand grip, and the buttplate.
As shown here.
||Bolt of the K98 shows us 3 serial number locations:
top of bolt, safety lever, and bolt handle.
||Serial numbers as found on the rear sight leaf, and
sight adjustment. Note that very late war K98s might not have any
serial numbers marked on these parts. All early war or pre-war
K98s should have serial numbers on these though! This K98 is a
||Serial numbers for
the reciever and barrel on a K98. Note aslo the acceptance proof
||Serial numbers also found on rear sight base. This
is also a 1943 k98.
||If you look at the top view of the bolt of a G33/40
you will not see any serial numbers on it like was shown on the
top of a K98 bolt assembly. You will notice that you can see the
test fire proof marking on the top of the bolt handle.
||That is because the serial number is located on the
aft side of the bolt turn down handle as shown here.
||Business end of the G33/40 shows us more differences
from the K98. The cleaning rod is shorter.
hood cover is also smaller. Also you will notice that the
barrel is the same diameter throughout, unlike the K98 which has a
wider step for the front sight to mounted to.
||The floor plate and trigger guard assemble, are both
milled types, and are very similar to that of the K98. However,
notice that the G33/40 will not have any locking screws like the
K98 (exception being the Kriegsmodell K98). Notice also, the
hollowed out bolt knob.
||Of couse the G33/40
will be marked as such in the same location on the reciever as the
||Also the rear sight on the G33/40 is much smaller,
and is marked in different graduations.
||Even the barrel bands are different on a G33/40! The
front barrel band appears to be the same as on an early K98, but
you will notice that the band spring is mounted on the left side,
and not on the right side as on a K98! The rear band is totally
different, and has a retaining screw at the bottom of the band.
||Of course the G33/40 will be marked as such in the
same location on the receiver as the K98 is.