Mauser, begun as Königliche Waffen Schmieden, is a German arms
manufacturer. Their line of bolt-action rifles and semi-automatic
pistols have been produced since the 1870s for the German armed
forces. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries,
Mauser designs were
also exported and licensed to a large number of countries which
adopted them as military and civilian sporting firearms. The Mauser
Model 98 in particular was widely adopted and copied, and is the
foundation of many of today's sporting bolt action rifles.
1.1 Early years
1.1.1 US Patent
1.1.2 Model M/71
1.1.3 Acquisition of the Königlich Württembergische Gewehrfabrik
2 Civilian market
Mauser firearms pre-1945
3.1.1 Mauser-Norris Model 67/69 rifle
3.1.2 Model 1871 and derivatives
3.1.3 8×57mm I and IS cartridges
3.1.4 Models 1889/90/91 and Experimental Model 92
3.1.5 Spanish M93
3.1.6 Swedish M1894 rifle
Mauser Model 1895
3.1.8 Model 1896
3.1.9 Model 1898
3.1.10 G98 derivatives
3.1.11 Type A, Model B, Model K, Armee-Model C, Africa Model
3.1.12 Model M and model S
Special range rifle
3.1.14 Karabiner 98k
3.1.16 Gewehr 41
3.2.1 C1896 Pistol
Mauser 1910 and 1914 pocket pistols
Mauser Model 1934 pocket pistol
3.3 After 1940
Mauser firearms after the Second World War
6 See also
9 External links
Founded as Königliche Waffen Schmieden on July 31, 1811 by Frederick
I. Originally located partly at Ludwigsburg and partly in
Christophsthal, the factory was transferred to Oberndorf in the former
Augustine Cloister. Andreas
Mauser was the master gunsmith
there. Of his seven sons who worked with him there Peter Paul
Mauser showed an outstanding ability to develop methods of operation
that were faster and more efficient. His older brother Wilhelm assumed
many of his father's duties as he became ill.
Peter Paul Mauser, often referred to as Paul Mauser, was born on 27
June 1838, in Oberndorf am Neckar, Württemberg. His brother Wilhelm
was four years older. A brother, Franz Mauser, traveled to America in
1853 with his sister and worked at E. Remington & Sons.
Peter Paul was conscripted in 1859 as an artilleryman at the
Ludwigsburg arsenal, where he worked as a gunsmith. By December 1859
he had so impressed his superiors that he was placed on inactive
military service and assigned to the royal factory at Oberndorf. Paul
engaged his older brother Wilhelm in working on a new gun system in
their spare time after work. Paul was the engineer and designer but
Wilhelm took on the task of manager for their interests with the
Paul's first invention was a cannon and its ammunition. His ability to
produce both the gun and the ammunition for it was followed during his
entire career and made him unique in this ability. Following the
success of the
Dreyse needle gun
Dreyse needle gun (Zündnadelgewehr) Paul turned his
energies to improving on that design and producing a new one. Paul and
Wilhelm had separated due to differences during this time. After Paul
developed a new turning bolt design Wilhelm was impressed enough to
rejoin the business and succeeded in obtaining the financing to
purchase machinery and continue development. While the original needle
gun used a pin that pierced the base of the cartridge to ignite the
primer in the middle,
Mauser soon developed a needle that ignited the
charge at the base, a superior design.
Locally the Dreyse Needle gun had just been adopted so the brother
turned to the Austrian Ambassador to try to sell their gun. He
forwarded their new gun to Vienna for testing. It was here that
American Norris of the Remington company saw the new
design. In 1867 Norris hired the
Mauser brother to go to Luttich to
work on a new design. He also stipulated that patents were to be taken
out in his name and that a royalty would be paid to the Mauser
brothers for rifles sold. Norris was convinced that he could sell the
design to the French to convert their
Chassepot rifles. The
Mauser patent was taken out in the United States. Remington was
outraged at the behavior of Norris and never made an effort to sell
the new rifle.
Based on the Dreyse needle gun, he developed a rifle with a turn-bolt
mechanism that cocked the gun as it was manipulated by the user. The
rifle initially used a firing needle; a later version used a firing
pin and a rear-ignition cartridge. The rifle was shown to the
Austrian War Ministry by Samuel Norris of E. Remington & Sons.
Norris believed the design could be adapted to convert Chassepot
needle guns to fire metallic cartridges. Shortly thereafter, a
partnership was formed in Oberndorf between Norris and the Mauser
brothers. The partners went to
Liège in 1867, but when the French
government showed no interest in a
Chassepot conversion, the
partnership was dissolved.
Paul Mauser returned to Oberndorf in
December 1869, and Wilhelm arrived in April 1870. Before leaving
Luttich, the Mausers insisted that he submit the rifle to Royal
Prussian School of Riflemanship. The results were impressive and
Wilhelm was invited to the arsenal at Spandau.
Peter Paul and
Wilhelm Mauser continued development of their new rifle
in Paul's father-in-law's home. The
Mauser rifle was accepted by
the Prussian government on 2 December 1871, and was accepted for
service until 14 February 1872, after a requested design change to the
safety lock. The
Mauser brothers received an order for 3,000 rifle
sights, but actual production of the rifle was given to government
arsenals and large firms. The sights were produced at the Xaver Jauch
house starting 1 May 1872. After an order for 100,000 rifle sights was
received from the Bavarian
Rifle Factory at Amberg, the Mauser
brothers began negotiations to purchase the
Armoury. A delay in the purchase forced them to buy real estate
Neckar River Valley, where the upper works was built
that same year. A house in Oberndorf was also rented to fulfill the
Acquisition of the Königlich Württembergische Gewehrfabrik
Königlich Württembergische Gewehrfabrik
Königlich Württembergische Gewehrfabrik was acquired on May 23,
1874, after an agreement between the
Württemberg government and the
Mausers to produce 100,000 Model 71 rifles. The partnership of Mauser
Brothers and Company was formed between the
Stuttgart and Paul and
Wilhelm Mauser on February 5, 1874. By 23
May 1874, the
Mauser partnership had three factories in Oberndorf.
Wilhelm Mauser suffered from health problems throughout his life,
which were aggravated by his frequent business travels. A combination
of these led to his death on 13 January 1882. The partnership
became a stock company with the name of Waffenfabrik
Mauser on 1 April
1884. The shares held by the
Württemberg Vereinsbank and Paul
Mauser were sold to Ludwig Löwe & Company on 28 December 1887,
Paul Mauser stayed as the technical leader. Ludwig Löwe &
Company was fifty per cent owner of Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de
Guerre, a company formed in 1889 to manufacture
Mauser rifles for the
Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken
Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken A.G.
(DWM) was formed on 7 November 1896, as a merger of Ludwig Löwe &
Company A.G., Deutsche Metallpatronenfabrik A.G.,
Rheinisch-Westfälischen Powder Company, and Rottweil-Hamburg Powder
Mauser A.G. was formed on 23 April 1897. After World War
II, DWM was renamed Industrie-Werke Karlsruhe A.G. (IWK).
Mausers were readily adapted as hunting rifles; in Africa, safari
rifles were often made from Mausers. These rifles were often
rechambered in larger rounds up to and including .50 caliber
(12.7 mm). The adaptations usually consisted of shortening the
foregrip and barrel, rechambering to accommodate popular British
rounds, and minor alterations to the action. In the late 19th century
and early 20th century, companies that made alterations were generally
Commonwealth-based. Several proprietary big game rounds were
specifically for hunting large and dangerous game. Today, large and
small bore Mauser-derived rifles are made all over the world for the
civilian market and are popular with hunters.
Surplus military Mausers, many in mint condition, have also entered
the civilian market, to be purchased by collectors and gun owners. A
considerable number of surplus Karabiner 98ks were available after
World War II, and some were used by Schultz & Larsen in Denmark as
the basis for target rifles. Some of these are still in competitive
use, although with the benefit of new barrels.
The strong following enjoyed by surplus military Mausers is partly a
testament to their reliability and quality of manufacture.
Additionally, the widespread availability and comparative low cost of
surplus military ammunition has served to continue their use by
shooting enthusiasts. That being said, vintage surplus ammunition
usually requires specialized cleaning regimens to prevent aggressive
and rapid metal oxidation caused by corrosive salts (moisture
attracting) contained in their priming compounds. Care must be taken
to thoroughly and promptly clean and neutralize these salts after
firing corrosive ammunition, lest the weapon suffer metal and
The first Western-made handguns introduced into South Asia were made
Mauser company, and the term has entered the lexicon in India
and the surrounding regions, to mean any heavy pistol.
John Rigby & Company developed four distinct rounds for its Mauser
safari big-game rifles (.275 Rigby, .350 Rigby, .416 Rigby, and the
Česká Zbrojovka manufactures various
Mauser 98 variants, the most
notable being the
Safari Magnum, the .375 H&H Magnum, and
the .458 Lott.
SIG Sauer makes a
Mauser M98 rifle chambered in several medium and
magnum chamberings and a M98
Safari rifle, chambered in .416 Rigby,
.450 Dakota, .458 Lott, and .500 Jeffery.
Zastava Arms manufactures several 98
Mauser variants, the best known
of these being the LK M70 and M85 series, in various popular calibers
ranging from .22-250 to .458 Winchester Magnum. A number of the LK M70
slightly modified versions have been widely sold in other countries.
Carl Gustav Sweden national armory took over the manufacturing of the
M94/96 and the famous target rifles CG63 and CG68.
Husqvarna Vapenfabrik made M94-96, variant M38, M38-96, and many other
civilian variations; Model 46 (46A,46B, and 46AN) in cal. 6.5×55mm,
9×57mm and 9.3×62mm; Model 640 (646 – 6.5×55, 648 – 8×57IS,
649 – 9.3×62) without the thumb notch. They used FN action for
later models 640 and 140 series. The cross-over model 1640 Improved
Mauser (over the M96) is a cross between the M98 and M96. They also
produced the 1900 actions.
Fabrique Nationale de Herstal
Fabrique Nationale de Herstal made a M98 series, the early production
being small ring and later large ring of "C" (early) and "H" (late)
design. The FN actions were also used by Sako of Finland as their
Hi-Power rifles, by Browning on the early Medallions, as Husqvarna
small ring model 146 and large ring late model 640, and by Kodiak
Arms, Connecticut. Many other arms manufacturers used the FN action.
Mauser firearms pre-1945
Mauser-Norris Model 67/69 rifle
Between 1867 and 1869, the
Mauser brothers and Samuel Norris developed
a single-shot bolt-action rifle. The caliber and number produced are
not known. Ludwig Olson wrote that an example had at one time been on
display at the
Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The
rifle was patented in Austria by Samuel Norris on 24 December 1867.
The bolt head did not rotate, a feature chosen by
Paul Mauser to
"protect the heads of paper cartridges from friction and possible
damage while locking the bolt, and to provide a non-rotary seat for
the extractor when metallic cartridges were used."
An improved version of the rifle used a coil spring wrapped around the
firing pin and a safety and a cocking piece attached to the rear of
the firing pin. This rifle was shown to the Prussian
government, and after some design changes to the safety, was accepted
for service as the Infantry
Rifle Model 71 on 14 February 1872.
Often considered a close relative of the
Chassepot rifle, and
borrowing Dreyse's turning-bolt action lock, still the most innovative
features of the new weapon were the work of Peter Paul Mauser.
Model 1871 and derivatives
Mauser Model 1871
Mauser Model 1871
Mauser Model 1871 was the
Mauser brothers' first rifle. It was
adopted by the
German Empire (except for the Kingdom of Bavaria) as
the Gewehr 71 or Infanterie-Gewehr 71 (I.G.Mod.71 was engraved on the
rifles). Production began at the Oberndorf factory for the infantry
version, which fired a black powder 11×60mm round from a long
850 mm (33 in) barrel. Shorter versions were introduced with
the 700 mm (28 in) barreled Jäger and 500 mm
(20 in) cavalry carbine.
Slightly modified versions were widely sold to other countries, firing
bullets that would today be considered very large, typically 9.5mm to
11.5mm. Such large bullets were necessary due to the limitations of
black powder, which hindered velocities. Serbia designed an improved
version of the Model 71 in 10.15mm, made in Germany and called the
Mauser-Milovanović M1878/80. In 1884 an 8-shot tubular magazine was
Mauser to the Model 71/84. The Turkish model 1887 rifle was
the first of a series of rifles produced for the Turkish Army. Its
design echoed that of the German Gewehr 71/84 service rifle: a
bolt-action weapon with a tubular magazine beneath the barrel. The
Turkish contract specified that if any other nation ordered Mauser
rifles with more advanced technology, that design would be substituted
for the Model 1887 to fill the remainder of the Turkish order. This
clause was utilized after Belgium adopted the Model 1889 rifle.
8×57mm I and IS cartridges
In 1886 the French Army introduced the Lebel Model 1886 rifle, which
used a smokeless powder cartridge.
Smokeless powder allowed smaller
diameter bullets to be propelled at higher velocities, with accuracy
to 1,000 yards (910 m), making most other military rifles
obsolete. Like the
Mauser 71/84, its disadvantage was a slow-to-load
eight-round tube magazine.
The German Army adopted the best features of the Lebel for the Gewehr
88, also known as the "Model 1888 commission rifle", along with a
Mauser action and a Mannlicher-style box magazine. The
Karabiner 88 was the carbine version. Both would be updated in the
early 20th century and saw limited use in World War I. The Gewehr 88
was not actually a
Mauser designed and engineered rifle.
The Gewehr 88 was built for the new 8×57mm I with a 0.318-inch
bullet. The I and IS designations are used to differentiate the two
bullets used with the same basic cartridge. The actual diameter of the
8.1mm is 0.318898 inches. Commonly known today as the "8 mm
Mauser I", it was used for later
Mauser rifle models. This was not a
Mauser designed and engineered cartridge. The 8×57mm I incorporated
the advantages of smokeless powder and higher velocity found in the
Lebel. It was rimless, which allowed smoother feeding for both rifles
and machine guns. The original bullet had a round nose and was
relatively heavy by modern standards but was typical of early
smokeless powder small bore military designs. Several redesigns,
including the adoption of the spitzer bullet of 153 grains weight
(later 198 grains weight), led to a change in the rifling groove depth
from .10mm to .15mm to solve problems brought about by the greater
velocity and the 8×57mm IS or 8×57mm JS 8.2mm or 0.323-inch bullet.
This bullet, with a sharp point (and later in the 1930s a boat tail),
brought the cartridge to its eventual potency. Only later .323 caliber
Gewehr 98 or converted Gewehr 88 and
Gewehr 98 rifles
could safely fire the larger 8×57mm JS rounds.
Mauser 8×57mm IS or ISR (8.2mm or 0.323-inch) cartridge cannot
safely be fired out of a rifle designed for 8×57mm I (8.1mm or
0.318-inch). The increased pressure from the larger cartridge may
cause a catastrophic failure of the firearm. A qualified gunsmith can
verify the correct chambering by slugging the barrel. The mark and
caliber applied by the proofing house may also be utilized to properly
identify the correct caliber of the rifle.
The R included in this style of designations indicates a cartridge
with a rim, which functions better in some types of rifles, especially
drillings and other types of combination guns. These often have
slightly lower power to match the weaker actions present in some of
these rifles. Many such guns continued to use the smaller 0.318
diameter bullet until this practice was outlawed by
Hermann Göring in
the early 1940s in his role as chief huntsman of the Third Reich.
Particular care is often taken to determine the actual caliber of such
guns before firing them.
Models 1889/90/91 and Experimental Model 92
Mauser Model 1889
Mauser Experimental Model 92 in caliber 8x58R. This rifle took part in
the rifle trials that led to the Swedish Mauser.
Mauser brothers finished work on the Model 71/84 in 1880,
the design team set out to create a small caliber repeater that used
smokeless powder. Because of setbacks brought on by Wilhelm Mauser's
death, they failed to have the design completed by 1882, and the
Rifle Test Commission (Gewehr-Prüfungskommission) was formed.
The commission preferred to create their own design. Paul Mauser
created two different variations of the same rifle, one with a stock
strengthened with a barrel shroud and a traditional design following
the layout of the 71 series in hope he might be able to overturn the
commission's decision, or at least sell his design to the Kingdom of
Bavaria, which adopted its own arms. The two rifles became known as
the 89 Belgian (with a barrel shroud) and the 91 Argentine (with a 71
layout) Mausers, identical in their function and feed system. The main
features were the ability to use stripper clips to feed the magazine
(a revolution in rate of fire), and its rimless 7.65×53mm Argentine
ammunition, advanced for the time.
The system proved impressive at the 1884 Bavarian Arms Trials. Both
firearms were a success, but decision-makers were not convinced that
the stripper feed was superior to the en-bloc system employed by
Mannlicher. In response,
Mauser started small-scale production of the
design in an effort to interest foreign nations, but failed to
convince any of the European major powers.
The Belgian attache, however, urged his government to contact Mauser,
hoping the design might give them a chance to found a domestic arms
industry. The heavy-barreled
Mauser with the barrel shroud resulted in
the founding of arms manufacturer FN Herstal. FN could not keep up
with orders, so they outsourced production to the Birmingham Small
Arms Company in England.
The Belgians' talks with
Mauser prompted the
Ottoman Empire to
consider the design. In the end they ordered their own simpler
variation of the 91 Argentine
Mauser known as the 90 Turkish. While
this was taking place, the Argentine Small Arms Commission contacted
Mauser in 1886 to replace their Model 71s; since they wished to keep
retraining of their armed forces to a minimum, they went for the
Mauser 91. As with other early Mausers, most such arms were made by
Ludwig Loewe company, who in 1896 joined with other manufactures
to form Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken.
All variations used the same 7.65 mm round-nosed cartridge. Many
parts were interchangeable, with the exception of the bayonets of the
89 and 90/91; the barrel shroud made the bayonet ring too wide. The 89
Mauser rejected by Germany in 1884 entered service in 1940 with the
second-line units of Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
Mauser claw extractor was introduced in the Model 92.
Several variations of this model participated in rifle trials for the
U.S. Army of that year; the Norwegian
Krag–Jørgensen rifle was
Mauser Model 1893
Mauser Model 1893
Mauser Model 1893 is a bolt-action rifle commonly referred to as
the "Spanish Mauser", though the model was adopted by other countries
in other calibers, most notably the Ottoman Empire. The M93 introduced
a short staggered-column box magazine as standard, holding five
7×57mm Mauser rounds flush with the bottom of the rifle,
which could be reloaded quickly by pushing a strip of rounds from the
top of the open bolt. It still had only two locking lugs.
Swedish carbine Model 1894
Swedish M1894 rifle
Main article: Swedish Mauser
The armies of Brazil and Sweden were issued the Model 94. The similar
Model 1895 was sold to Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, China, Persia, and the
South African states of Transvaal and the
Orange Free State
Orange Free State (Boers). A
safety feature offered by the Model 1895 was a low shoulder at the
rear of the receiver, just behind the base of the bolt handle, which
would contain the bolt in the unlikely event that the front locking
lugs sheared off due to excessive pressure. South African Mausers were
highly effective against the British during the Second Boer War;
these proved deadly at long ranges, prompting the British to design
their own Mauser-inspired high-velocity cartridge and rifle. These
Mauser carbines and rifles—especially the Model 1895—can be
easily identified by the letters "OVS" (Oranje-Vrijstaat [Dutch for
"Orange Free State"]) either marked on the weapons' receiver ring and
the stock directly below, or otherwise carved into the right side of
the buttstock. The British
Pattern 1914 Enfield
Pattern 1914 Enfield with a Mauser-style
lug might have replaced the Lee–Enfield, but the exigencies of World
War I prevented this from happening. The Lee–Enfield continued to
see service until it was replaced by a semi-automatic weapon after
World War II. The Germans had faced the U.S. M1917 rifle during World
War I, which was the Pattern 14 rifle adapted to fire the U.S. .30-06
cartridge of the American M1903 Springfield rifle.
Mauser Model 1895
Mauser Model 1895
Mauser Model 1895
Mauser Model 1895 adopted as Fusil
Mauser Chileno Mo 1895. by
Chilean forces, is a bolt operated magazine fed rifle using the
7×57mm Mauser cartridge. It is the first major modification of the
Mauser Model 1893
Mauser Model 1893 and was produced by Deutsche Waffen und
Munitionsfabriken, known as DWM, and
Ludwig Loewe Company during the
period of 1895–1900
Main article: Swedish Mauser
Swedish rifle Model 1896
On 3 November 1893, the
United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway adopted
6.5×55 mm cartridge. As a result, the Swedes chambered their new
service weapons, the m/94 carbine and m/96 rifle, in this round. The
rifle action was manufactured relatively unchanged from 1896 to 1944,
and the m/94 Carbine, m/96 Rifle, m/38 Short Rifle, and m/41
Sharpshooter models are known by collectors as "Swedish Mausers". They
are still sought after by military service rifle shooters and hunters.
Initial production of the weapons was in Germany by Waffenfabrik
Mauser, with the remainder being manufactured under license by
Bofors Carl Gustaf factory. The m/38 short
rifle was produced by Husqvarna; additional m/38s were converted from
Model 96 rifles.
"Swedish steel" is a term for the steel used by the German Mauser, and
later by Swedish manufacturing facilities, to make the m/96 rifles.
Swedish iron ore contains the proper percentages of trace elements to
make good alloy steel. Thus, though lacking the industrial base
necessary for mass-producing steel and iron, the Swedish steel
industry developed a niche market for specialty high-strength steel
alloys containing nickel, copper, and vanadium. Swedish steels were
noted for their strength and corrosion resistance and were especially
suited for use in toolmaking, cutlery, and firearms. When
contracted to fabricate the initial production runs of Swedish Mausers
in Germany due to production delays, Sweden required the use of
Swedish steel in the manufacturing process. The Swedish Ordnance
Office continued to specify the same Swedish steel alloy in
Swedish-made Mausers until the last new-production m/38 barrelled
actions were completed in 1944.
Mauser Model 98
Main article: Gewehr 98
In 1898 the German Army purchased a
Mauser design, the Model 98, which
incorporated improvements introduced in earlier models. The weapon was
originally chambered for the M/88 iteration of the
and officially entered German service as the Gew. 98 on April 5, 1898.
This remains by far the most successful of the
Mauser designs, helped
by the onset of two world wars that demanded vast numbers of rifles.
Noticeable changes from previous
Mauser rifle models included better
ruptured case gas venting, better receiver metallurgy, and a larger
35.8 mm (1.41 in) diameter receiver ring compared to
Mauser "small ring" bolt action designs that had 33 mm
(1.30 in) diameter receiver rings for additional strength and
Mauser incorporated a third "safety" lug on the bolt body to
protect the shooter in the event that one or more of the forward
locking lugs failed. In 1903 the
Mauser S Patrone "spitzer"
(pointed) round was introduced. This was in response to the French
adoption of a pointed and boat-tail bullet, which offered better
ballistic performance. The bullet diameter was increased from
8.08 mm (0.318 in) to 8.2 mm (0.323 in). This
improved cartridge copied the pointed tip design instead of the
previous rounded nose profile. Pointed rounds give bullets a better
ballistic coefficient, improving the effective range of the cartridge
by decreasing aerodynamic drag.
Most existing Model 98s and many Model 88s were modified to take the
new round, designated "7,9mm" or "S Patrone" by the German military.
Modified Model 88s can be identified by an "S" on the receiver. Due to
the possibility for overpressure from the undersize barrel, the
spitzer round cannot safely be used in unmodified guns, particularly
with Model 88 rifles.
Paul Mauser died on 29 May 1914, before the start of World War I that
August. The war caused a spike in demand for the company's rifles. The
98 carbines were sold, as well as an experimental version with a
twenty-round, rather than five round, box magazine. The extended
magazine was not well received, however.
A number of carbine versions known as Karabiner 98s were introduced
and used in World War I. Some of these were even shorter than the
later K.98k. These carbines were originally only distributed to
cavalry troops, but later in the war to the special storm troop units
Many military rifles derive from the M98 design. Some of these were
German-made by various contractors other than Mauser:[citation not
M1902, M1912, M1924 & M1936 Mexican in 7×57mm
M1903 Turkish in 7.65x53mm
M1904 & M1912 Chilean in 7×57mm
M1912 Colombian in 7×57mm
M1904 Portuguese in 6.5×58mm Vergueiro
M1906 Swedish in 6.5×55mm
M1908 Brazilian in 7x57mm
M1908 Uruguayan in 7x57mm produced by the Deutsche Waffen und
M1909 Argentine in 7.65×53mm
M1910 Serbian in 7×57mm
M1924 Chinese in 7.92×57mm
M1943 Spanish short (not to be confused with the M93 Spanish Mauser)
7.92×57mm manufactured in the Spanish arsenals. Will have "La
Coruna" or the Spanish Air Force Eagle stamped on the top of the
receiver. Virtually identical to the K98k.
vz. 98/22 Often made from G98 parts, rebuilt in the BRNO factory in
Mauser 1918 T-Gewehr
Mauser 1918 T-Gewehr was the world's first anti-tank rifle—the
first rifle designed for the sole purpose of destroying armored
targets. The weapon, essentially an enlarged G98, fired 13×92mm
(.525-caliber) TuF (Tank und Flieger, "tanks and aeroplanes")
semi-rimmed cartridges. In May 1918, the
Mauser Company began
Mauser 13mm Tank Abwehr Gewehr Mod. 18 in Oberndorf
Following the collapse of the
German Empire after World War I, many
countries that were using
Mauser models chose to develop, assemble, or
modify their own G98-action rifle designs. The most prolific of them
were the Czechoslovak M1922 CZ 98 and M1924 CZ vz.24 and the Belgian
Fabrique Nationale M1924 and M1930, all in 8×57mm.
The Belgians and Czechs produced and widely exported their "Mausers"
in various calibers throughout the 1920s and 1930s, before their
production facilities were absorbed by
Nazi Germany to make parts or
whole rifles for the German Army. Strictly speaking, these were not
"Mauser" rifles, as they were not engineered or produced by the German
To take advantage of the widespread and popular German single-shot
8.15×46mmR cartridge for use in a military firearm, a modified Gewehr
98 referred to as a "Wehrmannsgewehr" was designed. These were made
primarily as single shots; some only had a wood block in the magazine
space. These became the 1936 Olympic team rifles for the Germans.
The top of the receiver on an 8.15x46r Wehrmannsgewehr
As the restrictions on production were increasingly ignored by the
Germans in the 1930s, a new Mauser, the
Mauser standard model, was
developed from the rifle-length Karabiner 98b. It was nominally
intended for export and civilian sales. While many standard model
rifles were indeed exported, it was meant primarily for use by the
revived German military. It rapidly evolved into the Karabiner 98
Kurz, which was adopted by
Nazi Germany as the standard infantry rifle
in 1935 and saw service until the end of World War II.
Type A, Model B, Model K, Armee-Model C, Africa Model
A series of very successful hunting rifles were developed in the first
decades of the 20th century. The
Rifle Type A was the
top-of-the-line sporting rifle of the early 20th century. The Model B
(B for Büchse) and Model K were sport rifles offered in many
configurations. The Model C, made from 1903 to 1930, was a cheap rifle
made to accommodate a range of cartridges for hunting. The Mauser
Africa Model, introduced around 1904 or 1905, was used mainly by
settlers in Africa.
Model M and model S
The Model M was introduced in 1914. A Model S (S for stutzen or short)
was also offered.
Special range rifle
Special range rifle was a commercial product introduced in
1925 and sold in the United States. It was intended for high accuracy
range shooting. The company also produced a .22 caliber training rifle
during this time frame.
Karabiner 98k in mint condition, made in 1940. From the collections of
the Swedish Army Museum
Main article: Karabiner 98k
Karabiner 98k "Mauser" (often abbreviated "K98k" or "Kar98k"),
adopted in the mid- 1930s, became the most common infantry rifle in
service in the German Army during World War II. The design was
developed from the Karabiner 98b, one of the carbines developed from
the Model 1898. The K98k was first adopted by the
Wehrmacht in 1935 as
their standard issue rifle, with many older versions being converted
Mauser M1916, or
Mauser selbstlade-karabiner (self-loading
carbine), was a semi-automatic rifle that used a delayed blowback
mechanism and fed from 25-round detachable magazine. The process of
developing a semi-automatic rifle cost
Paul Mauser an eye when a
prototype suffered an out-of-battery detonation. The mechanism was
quite delicate, working reliably only when completely clean, which
made the rifle unsuitable for infantry use. However, the Imperial
German Flying Corps adopted the rifle for its aircraft crews in 1915,
and more generally in 1916. Aerial combat provided the clean
environment the rifle required and its semi-automatic capability was
an advancement over bolt-action rifles.
However, the rifle had another flaw; it was expensive to make. The air
service turned to the Swiss-produced Mondragón rifle, which was
tested by the army and though less accurate than Mauser's design, the
rifle was approximately three times cheaper. The widespread adoption
of machine guns then made all self-loading rifles obsolete in the air
Gewehr 41 (
Mauser version) semi-automatic rifle
Main article: Gewehr 41
Gewehr 41 rifles, commonly known as the "G41(W)" or "G41(M)", were
semi-automatic rifles used by
Nazi Germany during World War II. By
Wehrmacht issued a specification to various manufacturers,
Mauser and Walther submitted prototypes that were very similar.
Gewehr 41 models used a mechanism known as the "Bang" system
(named after the designer of the M1922 Bang rifle). In this system,
gases from the bullet were trapped near the muzzle in a ring-shaped
cone, which in turn pulled on a long piston rod that opened the breech
and re-loaded the gun. Both models also included inbuilt 10-round
magazines that were loaded using two of the stripper clips from the
Karabiner 98k, utilizing
Mauser rounds. This in turn made
reloading relatively slow. The
Mauser design, the G41(M), failed as
it, along with its G41(W) counterpart, suffered from gas system
fouling problems. Only 6,673 G41(M) rifles were produced before
production was halted, and of these, 1,673 were returned as unusable.
Mauser C96 in 9mm Luger
Mauser branched out into pistol design in 1896, producing the C96,
commonly known as "broomhandle," designed by the three brothers Fidel,
Friedrich, and Josef Feederle (often erroneously spelled
"Federle"). All versions used detachable shoulder stock holsters. Over
a million C96s were produced between 1896 and the late 1930s.
Mauser 1910 and 1914 pocket pistols
Mauser factory, 1910
The 1910 was a small self-loading pistol chambered for .25 ACP
(6.35 mm). It was introduced in 1910; an updated model chambered
.32 ACP (7.65 mm) came out in 1914. Most of these were used
Wehrmacht and the Kriegsmarine. They were also sold
Mauser Model 1934 pocket pistol
left: 7.65mm 1934 Model pocket pistol, right: Browning 9mm (for
This was a small pocket pistol chambered for
.32 ACP (7.65mm) based on
the earlier Model 1910/14. Model 1934 is virtually identical to the
1914 except for the grip, which has a more curved back. It was used by
Kriegsmarine and was also sold commercially.
Mauser HSc was a self-loading handgun introduced in the 1940s. It
was a compact double-action blowback design in .32 ACP. Production ran
from 1940 until the end of World War II, and in the 1960s and early
1970s. The post-war models were also available in .380 ACP.
In 1940 the
Mauser Company was invited to take part in a competition
to re-equip the German Army with a semi-automatic rifle, the Gewehr
41. A number of impractical requirements were specified, including
that the design should not use holes drilled into the barrel to take
off gas for the operating mechanism, thereby requiring mechanisms that
proved unreliable. Two designs were submitted, and the
the G 41(M), failed miserably in testing. It was canceled after a
short production run. The resulting design did not see real success
before it was switched to a simpler gas-operated system in the Gewehr
43. During World War II, the
Mauser factory in Oberndorf was
strategically bombed by the Allies, resulting in the deaths of 26
workers and the destruction of the company's power plant. French
forces entered Oberndorf (which they subsequently occupied for some
time) on 20 April 1945 when the town's mayor and planning committee
surrendered without any resistance; no blood was shed there on that
Mauser K98K stripper clip with 8×57mm rounds.
After the war in Europe, the factory was briefly put back in order to
produce weapons for the now under-equipped and exhausted French
military. The plant was dismantled by the occupying forces for the
purpose of war reparations, most factory buildings (approximately 60%
in total) were demolished and the records destroyed on orders of the
local French Army commander. For a number of years,
manufactured precision measurement instruments and tools, such as
micrometers. Edmund Heckler, Theodor Koch, and Alex Seidel, former
Mauser engineers, saved what they could and founded Heckler &
Koch, which has since become Germany's main small-arms manufacturer.
Mauser continued to make hunting and sporting rifles. In 1994, it
became a subsidiary of Rheinmetall, a manufacturer of autocannons such
Mauser BK-27 and other munitions until 2004, when it was merged
into Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH. In 1999 the civilian manufacture
of hunting, defense, and sporting rifles were split off from
Mauser firearms after the Second World War
Mauser was formally re-established in the 1950s.
A rifle design by Walter Gehmann was purchased, and went into
production in 1965 as the model 66. Some self-loading pistols were
also offered, such as the
Model 66 S
Model 66 P
Mauser SP66 sniper rifle
Model 86 SR
Mauser SP66 – a sniper rifle based on the Model 66. A further
upgraded model was the
Mauser 86 SR.
In the 1995 the firearms division of
Mauser was bought by Rheinmetall
Berlin AG; the sale was completed in 1996 and the company is named
Mauser-Werke Oberndorf Waffensysteme GmbH. Rheinmetall Berlin AG
was renamed Rheinmetall AG in the same year.
In 1999 part of
Mauser was sold to Schweizerische Industrie
Gesellschaft (SIG) (no longer in the arms industry). This became
Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH. The division owned by Rheinmetall was named
Mauser-Werke Oberndorf Waffensysteme GmbH.
Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH
Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH was sold to Luke & Ortmeier Group
during the divestiture by SIG of all its firearms businesses but
remains an operation.
In 2004 Rheinmetall Waffen Munition GmbH was formed by a merger of
Rheinmetall W & M GmbH, Mauser-Werke Oberndorf Waffensysteme GmbH,
Buck Neue Technologien GmbH, Pyrotechnik Silberhütte GmbH and the
NICO pyrotechnics Hanns-Jürgen Diederichs GmbH & Co. KG.
Mauser SR 93 sniper rifle
Model 96 / model 96 S – a straight pull action rifle
Mauser SR 97
Pre–World War II
20 mm FlaK 30/38 cannon
20 mm MG FF cannon—derivative in 1936 by Ikaria Werke Berlin of
Swiss Oerlikon FF
20 mm MG 151 cannon/20
20 mm MG 213 cannon—developed during war but not put into
MK 108 cannon
MK 108 cannon developed in 1940v by Rheinmetall-Borsig
Post–World War II
27 mm BK-27 cannon
30 mm RMK30 cannon
Heym Express Magnum
Note: The reference from Sportsmansvintagepress is a reprint of the
Mauser Rifles and Pistols 
^ a b c "
Mauser History". mauserguns.com. Retrieved 28 February
^ Tong, David. "Where It All Began: The
chuckhawks.com. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
^ a b c d e f "Wilhelm & Peter Paul Mauser".
sportsmansvintagepress.com. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
^ Olson 1976, pp. 1–3.
^ Olson 1976, p. 3.
^ Olson 1976, p. 4.
^ a b c d Olson 1976, p. 5.
^ Olson 1976, pp. 5–7.
^ Smith 1990, p. 14.
^ a b c Olson 1976, p. 9.
^ a b Olson 1976, p. 10.
^ a b c d Olson 1976, p. 22.
^ Smith 1990, pp. 54–55.
^ Smith 1990, p. 17.
^ Venola 2010.
^ Walter, John (2006). Rifles of the World. Krause Publications.
pp. 307–310. ISBN 0-89689-241-7.
^ Robert, Ball (2011).
Mauser Military Rifles of the World. Gun Digest
Books. pp. 73–76,255. ISBN 1-4402-1544-8.
^ Johnson, Melvin M. Jr. (1944). Rifles and Machine Guns. New York:
William Morrow & Company. p. 89.
^ "The company background". gehmann.com. Retrieved 10 March
^ "THE MAUSER 77". revivaler.com. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
Mauser 86 SR sniper rifle (Germany)". modernfirearms.com. Retrieved
10 March 2017.
Mauser SP66 sniper rifle (Germany)". modernfirearms.net. Retrieved
10 March 2017.
^ Kant, Joop Van de. The
Mauser Parabellum 1930-1946, Analysis of a
Million Luger Pistols. HaKa Arms Publications Co.
^ a b "The
Mauser History". mauser.com. Retrieved 28 February
^ "Rheinmetall Weapon Munition GmbH". rheinmetall-defence.com.
Retrieved 28 February 2017.
^ Smith, W.H.B. (2014).
Mauser Rifles and Pistols. Sportsman's Vintage
Press. ISBN 978-1940001241.
"C96 Broomhandle". mauserguns.com. Archived from the original on April
22, 2012. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
Olson, Ludwig Elmer (1976) .
Mauser Bolt Rifles (3rd ed.).
Montezuma, Iowa: F. Brownell & Son.
Sams, Stanhope (August 1, 1898). "The Krag-Jorgensen Gun: It Is
Inferior In Many Respects To The
Mauser Used By The Spaniards". The
New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
Smith, W.H.B. (1990) .
Mauser Rifles and Pistols. Prescott,
Arizona: Wolfe Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-935632-94-1.
Venola, Richard (September 23, 2010). "Plezier Mauser". Retrieved May
Folleto descriptivo del Mosquetón
Mauser 7,62, trasformado de 7 mm.
2nd ed. Madrid. 1969.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mauser.
Mauser Bolt Rifles FAQ
Luger Artillery and
The website from Mauser-Waldeck Safes
Paul Mauser Archive web site by Mauro Baudino and Gerben van
Nazarian's Gun's Recognition Guide: A member of NZR Para (PMC) with a
somewhat modified K98k
Nazarian's Gun's Recognition Guide FN 98 Manual (.pdf)
Documents and clippings about
Mauser in the 20th Century Press
Archives of the
German National Library of Economics
German National Library of Economics (ZBW).
1918 T Gewehr
Rifle Type A
Model M Stutzen
KK Model 201
98 Infantry Rifle
98 .375 Holland and Holland
98 .416 Rigby
M03 Anniversary Model
Model 72E Field
6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser
7.63 x 25mm Mauser
7.65 x 53mm Mauser
7 x 57mm Mauser
9 x 25mm Mauser
9.3 x 57mm Mauser
9 x 57mm Mauser
10.75 x 68mm Mauser
11 x 60mm Mauser