1) When was the K98 designed?
A: The original GEW98 was designed in 1898. The K98 is a shorter version of the GEW98 and was introduced in 1934.
2) Who designed the K98?
A: German firearms designers Paul and Wilhelm Mauser designed the Mauser line of rifles.
3) What caliber does the K98 fire?
A: The K98 fires the 7.92x57mm round. It is most commonly referred to as the 8mm Mauser cartridge.
4) What does the K stand for in K98?
A: The K stands for Karabiner. This means “carbine” in German. A carbine is a short version of a rifle. The K98 is a shortened version of the GEW98 long rifle.
5) How many countries produced the K98?
A: The original K98 was produced by Germany only. There were, however, many countries across the globe that produced their own versions of the K98. Some of these versions are direct copies, while others incorporate changes to the original design. There is an excellent book called “Military Mausers of the World” that covers the history of Mauser rifles from around the world.
6) Was the K98 chambered in any other calibers?
A: The K98 was only chambered in 7.92x57mm. Many countries chambered Mausers in other calibers though. The calibers include, but are not limited to, 6.5x55mm Swedish, 7x57mm, 7.65 Argentine, 8x63mm Swedish and 7.62mm NATO.
7) What is the difference between the J-bore and S-bore Mausers?
A: The J-bore has a diameter of 0.318 and the original cartridge fired a round nose bullet. The S-bore has a diameter of 0.323 and a new spitzer (pointed) bullet was introduced for the cartridge.
8) How many factories produced the K98 in Germany?
A: From 1934 to the surrender of Germany in 1945, a total of seven factories produced over 14 million K98s.
9) Can I mount a scope to my K98?
A: Yes. There are several ways to mount a scope to a K98. The original mount required drilling and tapping the left side of the receiver. The side mount offset the scope enough so the bolt handle would clear and was high enough so the shooter could still use the iron sights. Original and reproduction side mounts can be found, but the originals will bring a premium price that often costs more than a rifle. There are also one- and two-piece, top-mounted scope bases available from companies like Leupold and Weaver. These require drilling and tapping the receiver and due to bolt handle clearance issues, extra-high rings will need to be used or the bolt handle will have to be modified by a gunsmith. Another type is the scout scope mount. This mount replaces the rear sight of the rifle and requires no gunsmithing, but does require the use of a long eye relief scope.
10) Are there replacement stocks made for the K98?
A: Yes. Several companies including Butler Creek manufacture replacement stocks for the K98. Stocks can be had in wood, laminated wood and synthetic materials.
11) How many rounds does the K98 hold in its magazine?
A: The K98 holds five rounds of 7.92x57mm ammunition in its internal box magazine. There was a magazine extension developed for the K98 that added 20 rounds to the original five. This extension is called the Trench magazine. The idea was that the extension gave the soldier in the trenches extra rounds to help fight off an enemy charge.
12) How collectible is my K98?
A: Collectibility of a particular rifle depends on many factors. When it was manufactured, where it was manufactured, the overall condition of the rifle, the particular variant, has it been modified, are all parts present, are all parts matching numbered and if it was a wartime bring back or a recent import will all affect the collectibility.