Springfield Sniper Rifle vs. K98 Sniper Rifle

September 24th, 2005  

Topic: Springfield Sniper Rifle vs. K98 Sniper Rifle

So which sniper rifle is the better sniper rifle? Which one has the better accuracy? Which one was more deadly? And I'm not sure if they both have the same bullet size or not? Do they have the same bullet size or do they both have diffferent sizes? So what do you all think is the better of the two? Post your opinions here.
September 25th, 2005  
Umm... i think that i'd have to go with the Springfield for all of them but i'm not quite great with bullet sizes and such so you'd have to ask someone with the expertise of finding bullets and stuff lol that's just me tho!!!!

September 25th, 2005  
Oh.....Well, I'm not sure what I think about which one is better. I don't know that much about em. But I'm just really interested in knowing which one was the better one.....So c'mon people, post what you think.
September 27th, 2005  
Karabiner 98k

Type Long Rifle
Calibre 8 mm Mauser
Barrel length 600 mm
Ammunition 7.92 x 57 mm
Magazine 5 rounds internal
Action Bolt-Action
Length 1110 mm
Weight 3.7 to 4.1 kg
Rate of fire approx 15 round/min
Muzzle velocity 745 m/s
Effective range 500m

A bolt-action rifle with Mauser-type action holding five rounds of 7.92x57 mm on a stripper clip with an internal magazine. It was derived from the earlier rifles, namely the Karabiner 98b which had itself been developed from the Mauser Model 1898. The Gewehr 98 or Model 1898 took its principles from the Lebel Model 1886 rifle with the improvement of a metallic magazine of five cartridges. See Mauser for more.

The rifle was noted for its good accuracy and effective range of up to 500 meters. For this reason it was also used with a telescopic sight as a sniper rifle which extended the effective range to about 800 m when used by a skilled marksman. The 98k had the same disadvantages as all other turn-of-the-century military rifles: being comparatively bulky and heavy, and the rate of fire was limited by how fast the bolt could be operated. It was designed to be used with a bayonet and to fire rifle grenades. A version with a folding stock was introduced in 1941 to be used by airborne troops.

Since it was shorter than the earlier carbines, it was given the designation Karabiner 98 Kurz, meaning Short Carbine Model 98. It was the standard rifle, though submachine guns were often preferred, especially for urban combat where the rifle's range was not very useful. Towards the end of the war the 98k was being phased out in favor of the MP44, which fired a less powerful round but could be used like a submachine gun in close-quarters and urban fighting. Despite this, the Mauser Kar-98k rifle was still produced in large quantities by the Germans and was still an effective and potent infantry rifle in the final days of the Second World War until Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allies in May 1945

During World War 2, the USSR captured millions of Mauser Kar-98k rifles and re-arsenaled them in various arms factories in the late 1940's and 1950's.

One of the reasons behind the Soviets keeping these rifles after World War 2 was that they needed the rifles to arm their soldiers in case another war occurred and the Soviet Union was invaded again. The Soviets suffered a serious shortage of rifles and infantry weapons during World War 2 when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union and the Soviets didn't want to go through the same situation of being short of infantry weapons again, especially with the Cold War beginning after World War 2 ended and the level of hostility that arose between the Soviet Union and the United States during this period of time. Another reason was that the Soviets wanted to support various communist guerrilla forces and newly-established communist governments around the world during the early Cold War period with a supply of cheap, surplus, military firearms like the Mauser Kar-98k and the Mosin-Nagant series rifles and carbines. The provision of firearms like the Mauser Kar-98k and the Mosin-Nagant was one way that Moscow could support these organisations and governments until they trusted them enough to provide modern infantry weapons like the SKS carbine and the AK-47 rifle.

One example of the Soviet Union providing the Mauser Kar-98k rifle (as well as other infantry weapons the Soviets captured from the Germans during and after World War 2) to her communist allies during the Cold War period occured during the Vietnam War with the Soviet Union providing military aid to the armed forces of North Vietnam and to the Viet Cong in South Vietnam. Among the weapons that the Soviets provided to the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong were Mauser Kar-98k rifles which the Soviet Union had captured from the Germans during and after World War 2.

A considerable number of Soviet capture Mauser Kar-98k rifles (as well as a number of Mauser Kar-98k rifles that were left behind by the French after the French-Indochina War) were found in the hands of Viet Cong guerrillas and North Vietnamese soldiers by US and Allied forces alongside Soviet-bloc rifles like the Mosin-Nagant, the SKS and the AK-47.

In the years after World War 2, a number of European nations, that were invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany, used the Mauser Kar-98k rifle as their standard issue infantry rifle, due to the large numbers of German weapons that were left behind. Arms factories like Fabrique Nationale in Belgium, Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka (CZ) in Czechoslovakia and the Zastava plant in Kragujevac, Serbia, Yugoslavia, continued to produce the Mauser Kar-98k rifle after 1945. From 1950 to 1965, Zastava produced a near-identical copy of the Kar-98k called the Model 1948 (M48) which differed only from the German rifle in that it had the shorter bolt action of the Model 1924 series of Mauser rifles. Yugoslavia sold many of these rifles to Algeria, Egypt and Iran during the 1950s and '60s. Many surplus M48s have been sold in the USA, Australia and Canada in recent years.

A number of non-European nations used the Mauser Kar-98k rifle as well as a few guerrilla organisations to help establish new nation-states. One example was Israel who used the Mauser Kar-98k rifle from the late 1940's until the 1970's.

The use of the Kar-98k to establish the nation-state of Israel often raises a lot of interest among people and rifle collectors today with many Jewish organisations in Palestine acquiring them from post-war Europe to protect various Jewish settlements, and to carry out guerrilla operations against British forces in Palestine. The use of this weapon, closely associated with Nazi Germany and The Holocaust by early Israel is viewed with some irony.

The Haganah, who later evolved into the modern-day Israeli Defence Forces, was one of the Jewish organisations in Palestine that brought large numbers of Mauser Kar-98k rifles and other surplus arms from Europe during the post-World War 2 period.

The Israeli version of the Mauser Kar-98k rifles differ from the original German version in that they have had all of the Nazi markings and emblems removed and replaced with Israeli Defence Force and Hebrew markings as part of an effort to ideologically "purify" the rifles from their former use as an infantry weapon of the armed forces of Nazi Germany. The Mauser Kar-98k rifles produced by Fabrique Nationale post-World War 2 have Israeli Defence Force markings on the rifle as well as the emblem of the Israeli Defence Force on the top of the rifle's receiver. The FN-made Kar-98k rifles with the IDF markings and emblem on the rifle were produced and sold to Israel after Israel established itself as an independent nation in 1948.

During the late 1950's, the Israeli Defence Force converted the calibre of their Mauser Kar-98k rifles from the original German 7.92mm rifle bullet to 7.62mm NATO after the Israeli Defence Force adopted the FN FAL rifle in 1958. The Israeli Mauser Kar-98k rifles that were converted have "7.62" engraved on the rifle receiver and burned into the heel of the rifle stock for identification and to separate the re-chambered Kar-98ks from the original 7.92mm Kar-98ks that were still held by the Israelis.

The Kar-98k rifle was used by the reserve branches of the Israeli Defence Force well into the 1960's and 1970's and saw action in the hands of Israeli Army reservists during the 1967 Six Day War and the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

The Mauser Kar-98k rifle (in all of its guises and origins) is very popular among many rifle shooters and gun collectors the world over. The Kar-98k rifles that were used by Germany during World War 2 are highly sought after collector's items in many circles.

The Israeli Mauser Kar-98k rifle are popular with many rifle shooters and military rifle collectors due to the rifle's historical background as well as for the rifle's low recoil and the rifle's ability to use the 7.62mm NATO (.308 Winchester) round due to the low cost of commercial .308 Winchester ammunition and ex-military 7.62mm NATO ammunition on the market today and the widespread use of the 7.62mm NATO (.308 Winchester) round among target shooters and hunters alike.

As of 2005, the Mauser Kar-98k rifles that were captured by the Soviets during World War 2 and refurbished during the late 1940's and early 1950's have appeared in large numbers on the military surplus rifle market. These have proven popular with buyers in the United States and Canada, ranging from ex-military rifle collectors to target shooters due to the unique history behind the Soviet capture Mauser Kar-98k rifles.

Springfield M1903

The Springfield 1903 rifle (designation United States Rifle, Caliber .30, Model 1903; also known as the M1903 Rifle or simply the M1903) is a bolt action rifle of the United States of the 20th century. It was officially adopted as a service rifle on June 19th 1903, and was officially replaced as a service rifle by the faster-firing semi-automatic M1 Garand starting in 1936. The M1903 saw notable use in WWI and WII, and as a sniper rifle in Korea and Vietnam; furthermore, it remains in use as a civilian firearm and among some drill teams into the 21st century.

There were four main variants given official nomenclature, though there are a number of important sub-variants.

M1903 (1903) developed for the .30-03 (30-45) cartridge. Used original Type S stock.
M1903 (1905) changed from a rod type bayonet to the knife type Model 1905 bayonet and to the improved Model 1905 sight.
M1903 (1906) modified again to specifically fire the new M1906 .30-06 cartridge ("Ball Cartridge, caliber 30, Model of 1906")
M1903 Mark I (~1918) (modified for specific use with the Pedersen Device)
M1903A1 (1929), changed to a straight stock with different pistol stock grip (Type C stock)
M1903A2 (1930s-40s) basically a stripped A1 or A3 used as a subcaliber rifle with artillery pieces.
M1903A3 (1942) modified for easier production with stamped metal parts and somewhat different grip and stock. (late model Type S stock; no finger grooves)
M1903A4 sniper rifle (1942) A M1903A3 modified to be a sniper rifle using a M73 or M73B1 2.2X telescope and different stock.
There are two main other types, various training types, and competition versions such as the National Match types. Aside from these there are some other civilian versions, experimental versions, and other misc. types. Due to the duration of its service, there is also a range of smaller differences among ones from different periods and manufacturers. One caveat is that M1903 rifles made for 30-06 could still fire .30-03, but not vice versus (hence the need for conversion).

In regards to its military use, it is important to note that during WWI it was actually outnumbered by the M1917 Enfield for much of the war. Also, during WW2 many remained in use early on, especially in the Pacific (generally replaced as M-1 Garands became available), in addition to service (along with other weapons) as a sniper rifle and to launch rifle grenades

The 1903 adoption of the Springfield bolt-action was preceded by nearly 30 years of struggle, politics, and lessons learned from the recently adopted Krag (production of it began in 1894), previous bolt-actions like the Lee models, as well as some new concepts being introduced at the turn of the century. The 1903 not only replaced the various versions of the Krag, but also the Lee Model 1895 and M1885 Remington-Lee used by the Navy and Marine Corps, as well as the remaining trap-door Springfields (Model 1873). The Krag was on its way to replacing the older weapons entirely, but experience with the Krag in the 1898 Spanish American War and other conflicts during the period would result in a re-examination of the firearm. While the Krag had been issued in both a long rifle and carbine, there would be only one Springfield type; this was a break from existing trend. The two main problems usually cited with the Krag were its magazine and its inability to handle higher chamber pressures for higher velocity rounds. The 1903 would improve on this, and also include many features of its own.

Which of these was more important is a matter of debate, as is the impact of the Mausers encountered in the 1898 war. What is known is that the Mauser design that competed in the 1890s competition with a stripper clip magazine was defeated by the Krag (as well as many other designs) with its rotary magazine reloaded one bullet at a time. Note that a special sort of stripper clip for reloading the Krag magazine all at once came later. Also the Mauser model in the trial had about the same muzzle velocity as the Krag. After the Krag's adoption, however, there was a trend to higher cartridge power, such as the Model 1893 Spanish Mauser (adopted after the U.S. Krag) which gained a higher muzzle velocity (about 2300 ft/s) from a unique 7x57mm Spanish Mauser cartridge.

However, the Spanish rifle is only notable in retrospect; the U.S had noted that Spain and other countries were moving to higher power cartridges, and were mulling higher powered rounds in the Krag before the late 1890s. The experience against the Spanish Mausers, such as demonstrated during the Battle of San Juan Hill, confirmed this, though analyses of the battle do vary.

The Army attempted to introduce a higher load cartridge in 1899 for the existing Krags, but its single locking lug on the bolt could not handle the extra pressure. It was around the same time that work on a new rifle began, that could handle the higher pressures. Interestingly, both the Krag and the M1903 would have a magazine lock that could stop the rounds in the magazine from feeding (allowing an individual round to be fed). Among other reasons, this is especially handy when firing rifle grenades that require a blank cartrdige; a regular bullet then does not get pushed up.

The ballistics were actually not that much different, especially at closer engagements, and smokeless powder was a feature of both firearms. They also both had rounded bullet heads; pointed heads were first adopted by the French and later on other rifles (Pointed, or spitzer head bullets was done Mauser rifles later). The smokeless powder was only advantage over the older black-powder rifles still used in the war (on both sides of the conflict), such as issued to volunteers and the local militia. The fact that the U.S. was adopting a new rifle after a few years was not actually much of an oddity, as many nations were switching to new firearms in this general period.

The situation in the 1890s from which the 1903 resulted itself stems from a previous period going back nearly thirty years. Since the late 1870s, the Army had been looking for a replacement for the existing service rifle of the average soldier, the trap-door Springfield (i.e. the Model 1873). The Army was rather under-funded during the period so the regular soldiers were usually stuck with model 1873, though a variety of bolt-action rifles and carbines were also used to varying degrees, and more wealthy soldiers often bought commercial weapons. The Army budget in 1865 was over a million dollars, but this had rapidly tapered down with end of the U.S. Civil War; the Army budget in 1892 was less than 50,000 dollars a year. The need for a new rifle had become apparent, especially with a switch to a smokeless powder going on (started by the French in 1886). The bolt action Lee rifle in 1879, which had a newly invented detachable box magazine, was adopted in the 1880s in limited numbers by the Navy. A few hundred 1882 Lee Models (M1882 Remington-Lee) were given a trial by the Army during the 1880s, though it was not formally adopted. The Navy went on to field the 1885 model, and later, a rather different style Lee 1895 Model (a straight pull type). Both the 1895 and 1885 would see service in the Spanish American war along with the Army weapons. The detachable box magazine used on the Lee rifle was invented by James Paris Lee, and would be very influential on later designs. Other advancements like the aforementioned smokeless powder had made it clear that a replacement was needed. This lead to the 1890s' competitions that resulted in selection of the Krag over 40 other types (including the Mauser design). The Krag types entered production in 1894 after a delay, but would be officially replaced about ten years later by the M1903. The Krag rifles were slowly replaced during the first decade as new rifles became available.

There are various reason given about why development started on a Mauser based design; the rifle is often said to have been developed due to observations of actions during the Spanish American War, in which Spanish troops were armed with Mauser Model 93 rifles. As mentioned, these were deemed superior to the U.S. Krag-Jørgensen rifles, either attributed to their magazine design or the ballistics of the round. The Mausers were fed from a stripper clip, which tends to allow for faster reloading by novices. While the U.S had actually fielded some removable magazine fed weapons earlier in 19th century (such as the Spencer, or the various Lee Models), the Krag was the existing Army service rifle and its 5 round magazine had to be reloaded one bullet at time. The magazine can actually by reloaded nearly as fast as low capacity strip feeder by a skilled user, but not normally by less trained soldiers. The other issue was that while the Mauser trialed in the 1890s had a muzzle velocity of about 2000 ft/s (600 m/s) (about the same as the Krag), the latest designs being adopted by other countries had gone to higher velocities and the Krag could not handle the increased loads for higher velocity. The extent of the actual effect of the Mausers on the war is a matter of debate, for example only the Spanish regulars had the Mauser 93, while other troops had older single-shot weapons. Whatever the extent, the Army leveraged the events to garner support for a new rifle.

The basic timeline is that work began on creating a rifle that could handle higher loads and adopted some of Mauser's features, began around the turn of the century by Springfield, with a prototype produced in 1900, and going into production in 1903, thus gaining its nomenclature. There was actually an interim rifle that almost entered production, the Model 1901. Springfield was sure enough that the Model 1901 would be accepted that they began making some parts, but it was not accepted and further changes were asked for. The design was further modified and accepted, type classified and entering production in 1903.

By January 1905 over 80,000 of these rifles had been produced at the federally-owned Springfield Armory. However, President Theodore Roosevelt objected to the design of the bayonet used (a rod-type) as being too flimsy for combat. All the rifles to that point consequently had to be re-tooled for a knife-type bayonet, called the Model 1905. A new improved Model 1904 sight was also added.

The retooling was almost complete when it was decided another change would be made. It was to incorporate improvements discovered during experimentation in the interim, most notably the use of pointed ammunition, first adopted by the French in the 1890s and later other countries. The American rounds with this feature to be used in the Springfield were designated "Cartridge, Ball, Caliber .30, Model of 1906"; this is the famous .30-'06 ammunition used in countless small arms to the present day. The rifle's sights were again redone to compensate for the speed and trajectory of the new cartridges. The round itself was based off the .30-03, but rather than a 220 grain bullet fired a 2300 ft/s, it had a 150 grain pointed bullet fired at 2800 ft/s (813 m/s); the case neck was a fraction of inch shorter as well.

Additionally, tests revealed that the design was effective with a short, "cavalry-style" barrel of 24 inches (610 mm) in length, so the decision was made to issue shorter rifles to the infantry as well, an innovation during a time when long rifles for infantry were the norm.

As a whole, these changes led to a vastly efficient and deadly shoulder arm. Some dubbed it the "weapon of the silent death," since a person could be struck by its bullet before ever hearing the weapon's report.

WWI History
By the time of U.S. entry into World War I, 843,239 of these rifles had been produced; however the demands of the war spurred the production of an additional 265,620, not nearly enough to train and arm American troops. This prompted production of 2.5 million of the U.S. Model of 1917, also in .30-06 caliber, but from a British (Enfield) design. The 1903's similarities to the German Mauser were so numerous that the U.S. government was compelled, until World War I, to pay royalties to Mauserwerke. A settlement was reached after the armistice. It was ironic, as the Mauser design itself had been plagiarized from French and British designs, see Mauser.

After the end of World War I, several thousand unserviceable Springfield rifles were collected from the field and re-assembled from their interchangeable parts, some at ordnance depots in France, and others stateside.

World War II
World War II saw another jump in production of the Springfield, with manufacturing taking place at the Rock Island Arsenal and by private manufacturers Remington Arms and Smith-Corona Typewriter, in addition to the Springfield Armory. It was produced as the M1903A3, a variant of the 1903A1 simplified for mass-production. The most noticeable difference in this revision was the replacement of the collapsible rear sight mounted to the top stock, with a smaller, simpler rear sight mounted near the bolt assembly. Indentations on the sides of the lower stock were also omitted.

The rifle was used by the U.S. military only in the opening years of the war, however, before being phased out in favor of the M1 Garand. It is noted that US military units like the US Marine Corps and the US Army Rangers preferred the M-1903 and the M-1903A3 rifle over the M-1 Garand on the claimed grounds that the M-1903 and the M-1903A3 were accurate, hard-hitting at long ranges, and the rifle didn't have the problems the M-1 Garand had. A persistent myth about the Garand is that it makes a potentially deadly loud metallic 'ping' when the clip is automatically ejected out of the rifle after the 8th and final round is fired. This is said to be a problem in close combat because the noise told the enemy that the solider was reloading. In fact, the ping, while real, is much quieter than the act of firing the weapon. Since one-on-one combat is extremely rare, it is likely that the 'ping' noise was a nonissue in almost all situations.

It remained in service for snipers (using the M1903A4) and grenadiers (using the M1 rifle grenade launcher). It should be noted that the M1903A4 could only be reloaded one bullet at a time, due to the scope position directly over the action, which prevented charging (loading from 5-round stripper clips) the magazine.

Due to its balance, it is still popular with various military drill teams and color guards

The Springfield rifle model 1903 was 27 7/8 in (1.098 meters) long and weighed 8 lb 11 oz (3.95 kilograms). A bayonet could be attached to the tip. The bayonet blade was 16 inches (406 mm) long and weighed 1 lb (0.45 kg). After the 1906 re-fit the rifle fired the .30-caliber model 1906 cartridge. There were four standard types of cartridge:

Ball cartridge — consisted of a brass case or shell, primer, a charge of smokeless powder, and the bullet. The bullet had a sharp point called a spitzer bullet, and was composed of a lead core and a jacket of cupro nickel, and weighed 150 grains (9.7 g). The bullet of this cartridge, when fired from the rifle, had an initial velocity of 2700 feet per second (820 meters per second).
Blank cartridge — contained a paper cup instead of a bullet. It is dangerous up to 30 meters.
Guard cartridge — had a smaller charge of powder than the ball cartridge, and five cannelures encircle the body of the shell at about the middle to distinguish it from ball cartridges. It was intended for use on guard or in riot duty, and it gave good results up to 180 meters. The range of 90 meters required a sight elevation of 410 meters, and the range of 180 meters required an elevation of 590 meters.
Dummy Cartridge — this was tin plated and the shell was provided with six longitudinal corrugations and three circular holes. The primer contains no percussion composition. It was intended for drill purposes to accustom the soldier to the operation of loading the rifle.
The rifle was sighted for 2,500 yd (2,300 meters) and had a point-blank range of 500 yards or meters. The maximum range of the ball cartridge, when elevated at an angle of 45°, was 4890 yd (4.47 km) .

The rifle was a clip-loader and could fire at a rate of 20 shots per minute. Each clip contained 5 cartridges, and standard issue consisted of 12 clips carried in a cloth bandolier. When full the bandolier weighed about 3 lb 14 oz (1.76 kilograms). Bandoliers were packed 20 in a box, for a total of 1,200 rounds. The full box weighed 45 kilograms.

The following table gives the approximate maximum penetration in various materials.

Penetration of a Rifle Bullet. Material At 200 yards
180 meters At 600 yards
550 meters
Commercial steel 0.76 cm 0.25 cm
One-inch broken stone, gravel 12.2 cm 10.9 cm
Hard coal between 1-inch boards 23 cm 18 cm
Brick masonry, cement 5.6 cm 3.0 cm
Brick masonry, lime 6.1 cm 3.0 cm
Sand, dry 23 cm 31 cm
Concrete, 1-3-5 7.6 cm 5.1 cm
Oak 69 cm 30 cm
Sand, wet 38 cm 33 cm
Pine 66 cm 30 cm
Earth, loam 51 cm 41 cm
Grease clay 152 cm 81 cm

For single shot, 150 rounds concentrated at one spot will break a 23 cm wall of brick masonry at 200 yd (180 m).

The smooth bore of the rifle is 7.62 mm in diameter. It was then rifled 0.1 mm deep, making the diameter from the bottom of one groove to the bottom of the opposite groove 7.82 mm of the barrel.

The rifle included a leaf that could be used to adjust for range. When the leaf was set down, the battle sight appeared on top. This sight was set for 500 meters and was not adjustable. When the leaf was ranged it had four sights. The extreme range sight at the top of the sight was set for 2875 yd (2.60 km) and was seldom used.

The open sight at the upper edge of the drift sight was adjustable from 1400 yd (1.28 km) to 2750 yd (2.51 km). The open sight at the bottom of the triangular opening in the drift sight could be adjusted from 100 yd (90 m) to 2450 yd (2.24 km). The scales for the various ranges were listed on the sides of the leaf. On the right front end of the base of the sight is the windage screw. This could be used to adjust the wind gauge, and each graduation was termed a "point".
September 27th, 2005  
Wow...interesting. Thanks for the post, CanadianCombat.
September 28th, 2005  
my vote gets the Springfield, mainly just cause its made in America, but i think it looks a lot more like sniper rifle then the K98

Actually, I think the Ghewer sniper rifle is better than the Springfield, but the only knowledge i have of the Ghewer is from playin Medal Of Honor on my PS2

September 28th, 2005  
This would be my choice during WWII.

M-1903A4 (1942) was a M-1903A3 specially modified for use as a sniper rifle with the addition of a M73 or M73B1 2.2X telescope. The M1903A4 had a full pistol grip stock. The M1903 was an accurate rifle with an effective range of 600 yards (550m). The M-1903A4 was used during World War II, playing a part in the Normandy invasion in June 1943, until the M-1C and M-1D model Garand replaced it. The M-1903A4 was also used to a very limited extent during the early years of the Vietnam war.


September 29th, 2005  
Honestly I like the K98 better. I have little knowledge of both though.
September 29th, 2005  
Originally Posted by Kevin
Honestly I like the K98 better. I have little knowledge of both though.
Actually, I've read a lot about the K98 and it is given higher marks than any other sniper rifle of the time.
September 29th, 2005  
I think I like the Springfield better than the K98.