Evolution of the Karabiner 98k, From Prewar to Kriegsmodell

  • Published on Nov 7, 2018
  • www.forgottenweapons.com/evolution-of-the-karabiner-98k-from-prewar-to-kriegsmodell
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    The Mauser Karabiner 98k began production as an excellent quality rifle, with every nuance of fine fit and finish one would have expected form the Mauser company. World War Two had barely begun by the time a few compromises began to be made to maintain production, however - and by the end of the war the K98k was a mere shadow or its former self. As with the similar deterioration in quality with Japanese Arisaka rifles, the critical mechanical elements of the K98k were just as safe and functional at the very end as the were at the beginning - but the ancillary aspects came crashing down. One might argue that these changes should have been made from the beginning; that issuing an infantry rifle made to the same finish as a fine commercial sporting arm is a silly waste of resources…
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Comments • 1 029

  • HaVoC117X
    HaVoC117X Day ago

    @ Ian aka Gun Jesus.
    1. Wallnut ist much lighter than plywood
    2. If you look through your sights and put up your range scale, you will look at the bottom, that's why it has a range scale on the bottom as well. Otherwise you have to move the gun around, if you want to be able to see the scale.

  • HaNaMe G
    HaNaMe G 2 days ago

    “That is something so counterproductive that nobody’s going to do it.”
    Nambu Type 94: “Hold my Sake.”

  • HANSILOL lol
    HANSILOL lol 2 days ago +1

    Wer sucht auch den deutschen Kommentar

  • Goose McBruce
    Goose McBruce 3 days ago

    Kar98k Devolution*

  • Dan Mack
    Dan Mack 3 days ago

    I have a Russian capture Kar98K with a mix of pre-war and early war parts, the stock has the flat butt plate and a big piece of wood spliced in where the toe of the stock was damaged, my Romanian-issue vz.24 has the same butt plate and the exact same repair, honestly surprised they didn't design a "cup" butt plate for their rifles after WW1.

  • Heiko Panzlaff
    Heiko Panzlaff 7 days ago

    Interesting ! Just bought an Israeli issued kar 98 K made by FN converteed to . 308 win what has: Bajonet lug, the butt plate with the dissasembly hole and the engraving at the rear of the front sight. So a mix of all versions...

  • Sven Patrick Becker
    Sven Patrick Becker 8 days ago

    Excellent Video, top notch as usual!
    I just want to add two points i noticed:
    1. The graduation on the back of the rear sight was not just a useless cosmetical addition, it was actually used to set the range while in the prone position. The same feature can be found on pre war export models (Portugal 1937 contract for example) and on mid war german rifles.
    2. The ditiching of the cleaning rod has had nothing to do with the expected life span of a front line solider. It was ditched because it was rarely ever used to clean the rifle but as a stacking hook to make nice rifle pyramids. For cleaning, soldiers up to the end of the war were issued a rifle cleaning kit containing amongst other items a segmented pull through cain. This chain was used to clean the rifle barrel using cleaning cloth.

  • Mikey Mike
    Mikey Mike 9 days ago

    I have a Russian capture with a laminated stock, but with a flat buttplate. Ideas?

  • Kizo Mi
    Kizo Mi 21 day ago +1

    Yes, that's true in 45 they hadn't that time and the belief that the Wehrmacht soldiers would make it as long! The 95% of lost soldiers (incl all special units and guard types) died at the Easter Front!
    I know that from the end of 44 and 45 the German Families whose family members got a marching order to the western front (the smallest amount of soldiers and the young and old) where hopefull and released that they hadn't to go to the East!
    Especially after the first talks and agreements in the beginning of 45 and before the end of the war!
    The Eastern Front was a Death Sentence almost guaranteed!

  • Dan Teller
    Dan Teller 29 days ago

    Ian, dude. You print the numbers on the bottom of the leaf sight so you don't have to pull the rifle out of firing position to adjust your range. Very handy when you're prone.

  • dragonkingofthestars
    dragonkingofthestars Month ago +2

    i imagine at some point some guy spent the whole war making Karabiner, then one day picked up a 35 model, and a 45 model and cried.

  • The last Fablefenix
    The last Fablefenix Month ago +1

    Your forgetting Canada, they gave there soldiers rifles that would break when shot and throw the bolt or shell back at the head of the soldier most of the time going through the eye into the brain

  • Michael Paul
    Michael Paul Month ago

    The reason the cleaning rod was deleted is because they had transitioned to using the cleaning chain included with the issued cleaning kit in a tin, the Reinigungsgerat 34.

  • Strelnikov
    Strelnikov Month ago +1

    The range markings are on the bottom because, when you're in the prone pinned down by machine gun fire, you don't want to stick your head up to see the top of the sight leaf. With numbers on the bottom, you can theoretically adjust your range without moving your head or the rifle.

  • JohnsonTheSecond
    JohnsonTheSecond Month ago

    1950 third reich not bothered to even shape the rifle, hands volkssturm a wooden rectangle with a barrel and a boly

  • FrenchTaunter12
    FrenchTaunter12 Month ago +2

    Right when this Video was published I was in the process of assambling my own K98 (all inert parts, no fireing function and no real barrel) from original parts. I had trouble finding good reference material to decide which parts would fit and what to look for.
    Literally a day later this Video emerged and basically solved all my problems.
    Thanks, Ian. It was a real fun Project and you and your Videos are the main reason I could pull it off.

  • milcoll73
    milcoll73 Month ago

    the biggest bit of foolishness was equipping your troops with technology of the last century near the middle of this century.

  • codemiesterbeats
    codemiesterbeats Month ago +1

    Early model "en churmany vee must have ein screw to hold the screw"
    lol the late model could have been called the "zwei x vier"

  • Mr Ćømmêñtęr
    Mr Ćømmêñtęr Month ago

    Just like an ubisoft gameplay trailer.

  • circus time
    circus time 2 months ago

    I have a mod 98 with know bolt dissy hole. 1938 rifle, great shooter

  • Limpet Arch
    Limpet Arch 2 months ago +1

    The mid-war model was probably their best. Retains the pre-war quality to some degree but accomodate the best changes from a production standpoint. I don't blame them if the mid war wasn't fast enough but cmon they already heavily simplified ...

  • shane moore
    shane moore 2 months ago +2

    even scraping the barrel by late 1944, German guns still looked evil

  • Meles meles
    Meles meles 2 months ago

    Well, there is one serious mistake. The bolts of Kriegmodells were without the "rib". The bolt of your Kriegsmodell is most probably from earlier production.

  • Corn - Colonel Cornelius Cornwall

    blimey didnt realise (no Z) that it was the russians and the americans fighting the germans then :)

  • Fraser McIntyre
    Fraser McIntyre 2 months ago

    Ooohh lah lah how very high quality...

  • Alessandro Bientinesi
    Alessandro Bientinesi 2 months ago

    Very interesting video!! Thank you!!

  • Nathan Johnson
    Nathan Johnson 2 months ago

    "Dear Lord, the Russians are coming! Make more rifles!" - The Poles, Germans, Americans, British, etc. etc......

  • Andrew Ince
    Andrew Ince 2 months ago

    The Wehrmacht had the best kit. It was immaculate. Unfortunately that is why they lost. Firstly such fine gear took too long to build and too many resources. Secondly, it was more finicky. Think M1928 Thompson VS an M3 in a mud and grit test. That leeway allows some dirt to build up before causing failures. Atop that, the complexity of Wehrmacht kit made repairs and servicing harder. I'm sure many of you have heard what a pain in the arse changing a bogey wheel was on a Tiger die to the overlapping design.
    There is a final problem with Wehrmacht gear, tiny oversights. A great example is on the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke BF-109 fighter (Later Messerschmitt) and is best highlighted when compared to the Focke-Wulf FW-190. The BF109 has a much narrower undercarriage than the FW-190. May not seem important however this led to the BF-109 being more hazardous when taking off and landing from rough airstrips. Accounts show that many planes and pilots were taken out of action by incidents relating to the unstable design. Early in the war the Luftwaffe had a fair few experienced pilots, some had the bonus advantage of having owned the civilian Bayerische Flugzeugwerke BF-108 Taifun, at the time the fastest single prop aircraft and the basis for the BF-109, but most had never flown before especially later in the conflict.

  • Leander Straub
    Leander Straub 2 months ago

    This unnecessary work of stamping the range markings on the underside of the rear sight is still (or again) done with modern German guns still using such kind of Iron sights, for example the MG3 and the (for ceremonial use still commissioned Kar98k)

  • James J. Ryan-Schmechel

    not enough tru-oil on planet earth for that Kriegsmodell varient

  • IceY
    IceY 2 months ago

    The markings on the underside are not unnecessary.. if youre in a trench, you can change the setting while still aiming and you dont have to move the gun down or worse, your head up...
    Greeting from Germany... i would love to own one of those icons, but...forbidden without serious license....

  • Heads Full Of Eyeballs
    Heads Full Of Eyeballs 2 months ago

    I would assume that one reason for the perhaps impractically high production quality early on is that these guns were made by private manufacturers who were used to producing, as you say, fine commercial sporting weapons. The idea of just straight-up running out of wood and metal and time wouldn't have been prominent in their minds at the start.

  • Cooter Snooter
    Cooter Snooter 2 months ago

    Why have a fancy rifle? They are German! They went into battle in Hugo Boss uniforms, tanks by Porsche, trucks by BMW and planes by Mercedes...why would they NOT go into battlefield with a fine, polished weapon as well?

  • Assasinsplaylp
    Assasinsplaylp 3 months ago

    the little stick actually was not for cleaning it was for putting the rifles together like a pyramide

  • big Ingo
    big Ingo 3 months ago

    why did you not use the big magazine for the kar98k in WWll

  • varun009
    varun009 3 months ago +4

    1939: milled everything
    1946: stamped panther

  • Terry Stephens
    Terry Stephens 3 months ago

    Thanks for another entertaining episode 😃👏👏👏👏👏

  • Maximilian Schmitz
    Maximilian Schmitz 3 months ago

    4:22 there are no cleaning rods there were used to stack 3 of them together so the weapons could stand up and were not laying in the mud. The actual cleaning tool was found in the bag of the soldier

    • Jmac 500
      Jmac 500 2 months ago

      They were cleaning rods, that's why they're threaded at the end

  • Prince of Logic
    Prince of Logic 3 months ago

    If I had been a private in the German army and was issued an early version of the rifle, I’d be a very happy person for having a high quality rifle.

  • New Jones
    New Jones 3 months ago

    Bombs away

  • Fede Medina
    Fede Medina 3 months ago

    Ver ist ze vashin rod?
    Hanz ze russians are coming shut ze fuck up and get ready you won't live enough to vash zat

  • balraj singh
    balraj singh 3 months ago

    Wow nice once I was see here in this video who you make at kar 98 k mauser you spoken an laugh at you had one very bad condition kar 98 k mauser his Stoke was very tuff. May be five years ago an now thanks for this video

  • tsering dorjee
    tsering dorjee 3 months ago

    Without a single shot u want likes

  • rizka arifiandi
    rizka arifiandi 3 months ago +1

    "Hanz, where iz de bayonet lugs ?"

  • Rico Chet
    Rico Chet 3 months ago

    sorry. but that the underside of your "rangefinder" is marked with the same markings like the upper side, is quite Need if you dont wonna move while changing the sights. You only have to open the rear sight and match the lock and klamp it back down. on the later carbines you actually have to move the whole gun to ensure that you choose the right range. It makes a lot of sense... cause it was a longrange rifle. in WW2 that changed quite a bit and the soldier is more commen, to shoot with the lowest Setting. so you dont Need the proof. and at Long range Shooting you had enough time to watch from above or move the gun. (Dont Forget, the karbine is developed do to the experiences of WW1)

  • polpterusdelhezi
    polpterusdelhezi 3 months ago

    4:32 those things are not cleaning rods, they are used in the field to connect 3 rifles while staying upright, so the mussle points into the sky and dont get dirty. unfortunetly i dont find a photo on google, if i do i update. look here at 02:08.ru-clip.com/video/eweuHcUx4WQ/video.html

  • David Aitchison
    David Aitchison 3 months ago

    Laminated stocks are "stronger and quicker" to produce as you mention and also, they don't warp.

  • Snoogen11
    Snoogen11 3 months ago

    I wonder if during WW2 german soldiers were scavenging fallen soldiers rifles, to try and get the older versions.

  • Nick Kinny
    Nick Kinny 3 months ago +1

    Your explanation really touch me "Russians are coming more just whatever it takes make more rifle"😂😂😂
    And also that third Kar98 looks like unhealthy person 😂

  • Danimal Von
    Danimal Von 3 months ago +3

    My K98k is S/42G, no. 3303.
    They're sisters!

  • Durgwin Von Bismarck
    Durgwin Von Bismarck 3 months ago +3

    it isn´t that stupid to engrave the underside of the rear sight, you wouldn´t have to take the rifle from from the target you just change it comfortable while laying on the ground

    P.S.: i apologize for my gramma im from austria

  • R Langer
    R Langer 3 months ago

    I have a 1941 BCD model, just thought I'd put down some of its features. It still has the H shaped milled barrel cap, no sight cover, plywood stock, military markings and swastikas, ranges on both sides of the sight, and a cupped butt end.

  • Draugre
    Draugre 3 months ago

    I was told you use bolt action rifles as clubs instead of bayonet fencing with your opponent, the bayonet is just a knife anyway

  • Matt Delmonico
    Matt Delmonico 3 months ago

    When does your book release for general sale?

  • Lord of Romulus Lord of Romulus

    They left the bayonet off? Pff... No wonder they lost. (Not saying they lost because of this.) Bayonets are one of those items everyone keeps thinking and assuming they are not practical, rarely used, and soon to phase out. Each time people learn, as soon as they remove them, how actually useful they are and why they are still around.

  • Kevin De Bondt
    Kevin De Bondt 3 months ago

    This is why there aren't many pre-war walnut tree's left in Belgium. All cut down by the Germans

  • Bothand Nether
    Bothand Nether 3 months ago

    The quality of the "worker" declined as well,
    - from citizen to prisoner to slave

  • Detox Langley
    Detox Langley 3 months ago

    A sheer pleasure listening to you.

  • int 2
    int 2 3 months ago


  • Br1koo
    Br1koo 3 months ago

    My god, the Walnut Kar just looks stunning.