Adventures in Surplus: Mid-war “CE44” German Kar 98k

Today’s rifle is a German Karabiner 98k, made by JP Sauer in 1944 and marked with the appropriate receiver code, “ce”. This is from the final year of JP Sauer production of the K98k, before they transitioned to making the MP44 instead. It gives us a chance to look at how production standards changed over the course of the war, and see a fine example of what German soldiers were being issued as their eventual defeat became inevitable.


  1. Right though isn’t getting sniped on, by folks “mortaring” 7.62x39mm led behind a rock firing upside down at an angle. They are simply not playing fair, to be shot by 5.56mm at a legitimate distance. Cheating. Turbaned lives matter etc.

  2. Horses for courses; there is no “modular” gun, that does all. As there is no plane, tank, or anything else. The term is a money saving experiment in what bollocks can we dare to sell, to idiots.

    • What exactly is the connection between your 9 out of a total of 11 messages so far in this thread and the thread subject of a “ce44” Kar. 98k ?

      • Message one; off topic ignore if you wish. “Anyway don’t take that tone with me, I’ve been ranting on here for… For, more than 5 years, for example; thus zip”

        So do, if you wish.

        • Ok. I accept I go on a bit, but it was legitimate to the 1st post.

          Right you talk K98; it was an interesting video.

      • jPeelen, if he hadn’t been bogarding that joint you’d understand.
        Indica, if I’m not mistaken…

      • You are certainly right, but K98 is kind of worn-out subject. So why to by upset, if someone comes with “off topic” idea?

        Most of ideas/ events in real life are “off topic”. All we do is react to them. It keeps us on our toes.

  3. Really stupid question: Given that German infantry combat relied more upon the platoon’s general purpose machine gun for killing power, why was the K98’s components (iron sights, bolt body, barrel bands, and even the stock) not simplified for increased production years earlier just to save on materials? I mean, it’s not like the random grunt with a rifle can expect to hit a person-sized target a kilometer away in the middle of a fire-fight…

    • Offhand, the Germans didn’t plan for a prolonged conflict so they initially failed to rationalize their industrial production until late in the war when they were feeling the pinch. By 1943 the warring fiefdoms had been eliminated and steps were being taken to simplify products.Leading to the kar 98k kriegsmodell, an emphasis on stamped small arms like the MP40 and MP44 as well as cruder finishes elimination of rubber inserts in tank tracks and even redesigning Wehrmacht tunics with plain pockets in place of pleated pockets.

    • “(…)why was the K98’s components (iron sights, bolt body, barrel bands, and even the stock) not simplified for increased production years earlier just to save on materials?(…)”
      When supply of K98 made before war combined with similar short rifles chambered for 7,9×57 mm captured in Czechoslovakia and Poland dried in III Reich?

      • I think the main issue from Garman point of view was, that the war turned after 1942 from offensive to defensive one. They were loosing tons of war material daily, with no chance for substitute rather than making expeditiously thinned down versions – such as this rifle shows us.
        And that was, as I believe, message of this video.

  4. Anyone who wants to understand WW2 in general , and German wartime production production in particular simply has to read “The Wages of Destruction” by Adam Tooze. I’ve read many books about the conflict. This is the one I wish I’d read first.

    • I fully agree with you regarding the book by Tooze. It came rather late, being published in 2006.

      • +1 on the recommendation of Tooze. I think it had to come so late to beter “digest” all the data and have enough emotional distance to better assess it all. All IMHO of course.

  5. Somewhat related: Although the rifle in the video has been manufactured in Suhl, where the firm had been located since its founding in 1751. After the war J.P. Sauer & Sohn resetteled to Eckernförde fleeing from the Soviets. In a surprising move the factory in Eckernförde is going to be closed and all operations apart from service and sales are being moved to the USA and Switzerland. Although in 2018 modernizaitons had been completed and a branch office of the german proof house had been re-established at the factory. Citing “locational disadvantages for business” in Germany.,sigsauer228.html

    My guess is, that the losing out on recent bigger police contracts and the civlian market not being that big in Germany to begin with plus the coming tightening of restrictions in Germany and the whole EU made look future business look not so good. being dismissed from the future Bundeswehr rifle competition, because of ITAR was the icing I guess. But that last one was a good deciison IMHO, because the dependency on US export regulations could have meant serious headaches in the future that fully local german suppliers do not pose. (Although I suspect it was written this way in the requirements to advantage H&K actually.)

    J.P. Sauer founded his gunsmith shop in 1751 in Suhl. There goes 230 years of german gunmaking tradition. The brand JP sauer & Sohn had moved manufacture of hunting guns to Isny where also Mauser hunting and Blaser are situated. all owned by the same L&O Holding, that owns also SigSauer AG in Switzerland, SIGSauer USA and quite a few other brands:

    So it sort of, kind of still exists, but direct line of tradition has been broken now.

  6. First-class video, Ian. We currently offer Karem and Steves Karabiner Volumes 2A and 2B books on our website,, along with hundreds of other militaria and firearms reference books.

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