Rifles are an inseparable part of the firearms industry and have played major roles through world history. Whether for the purposes of combat, peacekeeping, or self-defense, rifles are one of the most important inventions of this modern era of warfare. They are a game-changer, without a doubt. From break-action to bolts and levers, up until the modern semi-automatic rifles, there is no denying that the advent of rifles has revolutionized the way we handle firearms, the way we hunt, and the way we wage war.

Some of the earlier rifle designs, such as those made by Gatling, Colt, and Browning, are still used as the basis for modern-day weaponry. Say what you want about the business of war and firearms, these were men of great vision and immense foresight. Their designs were works of superb engineering, and it is for this reason that they are held in such high regard, even after all these years.

Mauser History

Mauser has been producing firearms for armed forces since 1870. The founders, Paul and Wilhelm Mauser, were in the arms industry since boyhood. Their father was a gunsmith, and when Paul was conscripted to the German military, he was quickly assigned to weapons design and manufacturing. The Mauser Model of 1871 was adopted by the German Armed Forces and was the first in a line of highly successful firearms which the Mauser brothers engineered for the German Empire. Wilhelm died in 1882, leaving Paul the task of leading the company forward. And that he did. Since the late 19th / early 20th century, Mauser rifles have been manufactured and distributed to military forces around the world. They also have enjoyed their well-deserved status of being a trusted and acclaimed civilian firearm.

Mauser c96

A semi-automatic pistol, chambered in 7.63x25mm (and 9×19 Parabellum), which was produced from 1896 to 1937, and which remained in active duty until the middle of the 20th century. It is a gun which produced a slew of imitations and replicas all over the world. The c96 has an integral box magazine in front of the trigger, and it fits 5 rounds + 1 in the chamber. Compared to other pistols of the age, the Mauser c96 was superior in many ways: barrel length, quality of penetration, and design. Plus, the 7.63mm was probably the finest round at the time, and Mauser was wise to use that chambering. Mauser produced about one million c96 pistols over the years, many of which saw combat action. It became a personal favorite as a military sidearm and was used in many wars, conflicts, and even assassinations. It was said that British officers were particularly fond of it.

Many forces ordered a version of the c96. Among those nations were Turkey, Italy, France, Prussia, Austria, and of course Germany. The only country to use it as an official service sidearm, though, was China. There were many variants of the c96 which were produced over the years. Dozens and dozens, some licensed, some not. Compact versions, varying grips, and panels, barrel sizes, semi-auto and full-auto options.

FUN FACT! – the c96 was used as the basis for Han Solo’s blaster in the original Star Wars film.

Mauser C96

Mauser K98k

Officially titled “Karabiner 98 kurz”, the K98k is a bolt-action rifle. It is chambered in 7.92x57mm Mauser. It’s predecessor, the Karabiner 98, was first created in 1898, and its successor – the kurz, meaning “short”- was produced for service in 1935. It was adopted by the German military that year and still remains in service of several armed forces.

It was the primary service rifle of the Wehrmacht until the end of World War II in 1945. When the war ended, many K98k were seized by Soviet forces, and later distributed as military aid firearms. For this reason, they will still make an appearance every now and then, when a conflict breaks out somewhere in the world. It is estimated that a total of 14 million K98k rifles were produced by Mauser. Like many other Mauser rifles, it is also fed by a clip of 5 cartridges or one-by-one.

Mauser K98K

Gewehr 98

Also known as the M98 or G98, this bolt-action rifle was a favorite of the Germans. First designed in 1895 by Paul Mauser, it was the German service rifle from 1898 to 1935, whereupon it was replaced by the K98k. The Gewehr 98 is chambered in the popular 7.92x57mm Mauser cartridge. The plans for the Gewehr 98 were handed out to different armories, who produced many of them for the German forces. It was manufactured for 20 years, and it is estimated that 9 million units were built by various manufacturers.

Until the year 1903, the G98 used M/88 cartridges. After that year, it made way for the 7.92x57mm. Like its brothers, this rifle uses an internal 5-round box magazine and is fed by an external 5-round clip. With one round in the chamber, it equals 6 rounds ready to go. The 29.1-inch barrel was considered highly accurate, which is why the model was adopted by so many nations and forces. Like other Mauser rifles, this one was also subjected to copying and replicating. Some of these were licensed, some were not. Some were manufactured by Mauser, some were not. Different chamberings and designs made their way all over the world, particularly after the end of World War I. Many rifles were modified or developed, based on the original G98 model.

Gewehr 98
Modern Gewehr 98

Gewehr 43

This one was short-lived, but it managed to make an impression. Designed and produced during World War II, in 1943, the Gewehr 43 is a semi-automatic rifle which was designed by Walther, and made use of Mauser 7.92x57mm cartridges.

After Germany invaded the Soviet Union, it seized many firearms. One of those was the SVT-40 rifle. When the German forces saw it and analyzed it, they recognized its superiority and went to work designing an infantry rifle based on the earlier German G41’s and the Soviet SVT-40 gas-operated system. In 1944, the German military began using the G43 – rename Karabiner 43 – as its primary infantry rifle. Over 400,000 are estimated to have been built over the 3 years of its production. Originally, the rifle was intended to be fed a 5-cartridge clip into its internal magazine system, but it ended up being a real advancement in modern warfare, as it was fed by a 10-round detachable magazine OR a stripper clip.

Gewehr 43 rifle
Gewehr 43

8mm Mauser

Without ammunition, a rifle is simply a piece of wood and metal. Effective in close quarter combat, especially with a bayonet, but without ammo, it is not fulfilling its primary objective, which is to fire projectiles at the target. Since the advent of rifles in the mid-19th century, cartridges of all types, shapes, and sizes have been designed and manufactured. One of the most prominent rifle cartridges is the Mauser 8mm, or 7.92x57mm Mauser.

The 8mm Mauser is a rimless rifle cartridge, which was adopted by the Germans in the early 20th century. Nowadays, it is more popular as a hunting or sporting cartridge, but for a while there, it was the number one military cartridge in the world. Many governments used the 8mm Mauser and produced various rifles chambered for the round, long after the Germans were forbidden to use it themselves (following their defeat at World War I, and the signing of the Versailles peace treaty).

Among the producers of 8mm Mauser-chambered rifles were: Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Mexico, Austria, and China. The 8mm Mauser cartridge itself was very popular as well, and it was used by Spain, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Iran, Turkey, China, Egypt, Yugoslavia, and various formerly-German African colonies.


Nowadays, Mauser continues to produce high-quality hunting rifles. Their modern collection includes the M18, M12, M03, and M98. These are chambered in a wide variety of calibers and come in very unique and eye-catching designs. Their slogan is: ‘don’t buy a rifle, own a Mauser.’ For nearly 150 years now, Mauser has been supplying the world with some of the best small arms in the business. Today, the tradition continues, and Mauser is considered to be a worthy and well-advised investment, whether as a collector’s item or as an addition to a hunter’s arsenal. The materials may change, and the machinery may be more modern, but the heart and soul of any Mauser rifle – new or old – is the traditions and values of excellence put forth by the Mauser brothers back in the 1800s.

We hope you enjoyed this Gunivore Rifle Review

You may also like our reviews on the Mosin Nagant, M1 Garand, & Makarov Pistol.

Sam M

Sam is an avid firearms enthusiast who loves sharing his knowledge and experience with fellow gunivores.

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