Adventures in Surplus: A WW1 & Weimar Police Kar98a Carbine

I have been wanting one of these rifles for a long time, and with this example I think I have found a fantastic example. This is a Kar98a carbine made in 1918 and used in World War One, and then refurbished by the Weimar government and used by police forces. It probably remained in police use through World War Two, eventually brought to the US as a souvenir of an American soldier. This is a great example of a rifle with many decades of individual history that can be read from its markings and characteristics.


  1. For years, a friend and I kept seeing this one gunshow dealer who had literally crates of refurbished Russian military surplus bolt-action rifles. They looked to be in good shape and price was reasonable. We finally agreed that next gun show we’d both buy one.

    We saw that dealer at subsequent gun shows, but he never again had those rifles.

  2. The history of a weapon’s service can be a interesting as to development of the weapon.

  3. I missed the Closed Captions. πŸ™

    A fascinating piece of weaponry! Ian has always had the BEST gun video presentations. All that remains to be done is some way to photograph the bore condition of these arms. πŸ™‚

  4. Another fact that Ian did not mention is the K98 AZ is a small ring Mauser rifle similar to the 1983 Spanish and 1896 Swedish Mausers.

  5. The Kar98AZ was an excellent choice for this journey into the auction world. From the initial explanation of the appraisal process, through to bidding, acquisition and finally the forensic examination, as always it was expertly presented and very interesting. Thanks Ian. I look forward to seeing your prize back in action out on the range.

  6. Is there any particular reason why the Germans stopped producing Kar 98a’s besides the limitations of the Versailles treaty? Is the Kar 98K that much of an improvement?

    • Not being a member of the german arms committie of the day or a proper member of the mausers are great collectors club ill take a stab as i own a couple of each πŸ˜‰

      It was most likely about speed and economy in manufacture.

      The 5 “major” differences are
      Nosecaps – the az has a 4 piece hinged component, the k a single piece retained by a flat spring.

      Fwd sling swivel – the az is a std style sling band however it is retained by a screw throught both sides and there can be a steel pipe reinforcing in the stock to prevent overtightening, the k has a std sling band retained by the same flat spring as the nosecap.

      Stock – the az has essentially a full length stock, the k is approx 4″ shorter saving on timber, there are also no finger grooves meaning less manufacturing time for these 2 cuts.

      Handguard – the az handgaurd is full length and thin (not 91/30 nagant thin though) and can be prone to warping and damage the k is shorter and only covers the area by the sight where the off hand may contact.

      Foresight – the az uses a winged forged base with a square windage key into which the foresight is dovetailed, an absolute pain to adjust and make not even mentioning the hook for the muzzle cover, the k uses a much simpler 2 piece foresight, a base and a post that is easily adjusted with just a hammer πŸ˜‰

      This just a small number of the changes however the savings in manufacturing time, wasted raw materials would be significant. The weight savings would be realitivly minor though.

      I love shooting my az it makes my k feel like bus after driving a car all day.



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