M/937: In the 1930’s Portugal wanted to update its small arms inventory and replace its famous 1904 Mauser-Vegueiros. Portugal liked Mauser rifles and placed an order through Mauser Werke Germany for 100,000 K98K rifles in 8mm Mauser aka 7.92×57. This order was made and began delivery in 1937. In 1937 the first 50,000 units began shipping to Portugal and were designated m/937 and would be standard production rifles nearly identical besides crests to the rifles that the German Wehrmacht used. Portugal also received m/937A units in a quantity of 50,000 units which would have a few minor differences like an enlarged front sight and extra sling swivel. Portugal liked the rifles so much they placed an additional order for 50,000 units in 1941 in German military configuration. These models are the m/937B. Of these B units 60,000 were produced and 10,000 were requisitioned for German military use for the war effort.
Kar98K: German Karabiner 98 Kurz History: The Kar98K is arguably one of the most infamous and sought-after German military weapons in the world. This rifle goes by many nicknames which include and are not limited to: ( Karabiner 98K, Kar98K, K98K) What is interesting is this rifle is often confused for the “K98” which really is a reference to the Polish K98AZ & K98A, a similar rifle but not quite the same. The Poles were not the only nation to produce Karabiner 98 derivatives and copies. Austria (part of Germany) along with Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia also produce copies.
This rifle served the entire length of WWII and even in many nations after the war. It is iconic for shortening the overall length of the world famous Gewehr 98 rifle and firing the powerful and accurate 8mm Mauser (7.92×57). The rifle fought alongside fully automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons. It was interesting because much of the German military wanted to advance to the autoloading platforms however, German leadership prevented this in many aspects. As a result this may have had some influence on the German defeat in WWII and many of these K98 rifles were captured by the Soviet Russian forces and their Eastern allies. Many of those rifles were scrubbed of their German origins and rebuilt. Many of these rifles were put into storage or given as military aid; because of this the rifle saw some use after WWII and are still used by honor guards in Germany today. Austria even rebuilt these into special sniper rifle versions. Interestingly enough the Kar98K was actually given to Israel as War repreations and the rifles were rechambered for 7.62×51 NATO however many of the Germany markings were not scrubbed, unlike what the Russians did. As stated, the Kar98K is likely the most well-known and desired Mauser rifle especially within the 98 family. It utilizes the smooth and incredibly strong Mauser 1898 action but shrinks it into a nice compact carbine size. The rifle uses an internal magazine that can be loaded via single feed or stripper clip. The rifle has a bolt hold open feature to let the user know they are out of ammunition. These rifles turned down the straight bolt knob that were used commonly on Gew98 rifles and VZ 24s. The rifles went through a series of stock designs. Prior to WWII the rifles were solid one-piece stocks which later became laminated to save manufacturing time. At one point even plywood laminate stocks were used as they resisted warping and did not require the same maturing process. Kar98 stocks are sought after for their beauty and high-quality craftsmanship they have a wide variety of woods which include German Oak, walnut, beech laminate and even elm. Late in the war effort when Germany began losing momentum and numbers the famous Kriegsmodell was made. It was a simplified war model of the K98K and was made to speed up production and output of the rifle. Bayonet lugs were removed, cleaning rods were removed along with the disassembly disc as the commanding powers saw Maintenace as a lost cause at this point. Metal and wood were finished to significantly lower standard than before (Originally early Mausers are seen as even higher quality than Swiss rifles… and that is saying something!) The gas hole relief was removed and drilled into the bolt guide. This is also historically where phosphating parts took over from bluing as it provided better corrosion protection and took much less time. To this day the Kar98K is still chased by collectors for its incredible display of history, with so many different models and productions a lot about WWII can be learned by examine one of these rifles. The rifles are still popular for sport shooting and hunting around the world.