Another interesting factoid I found

Collecting World War One rifles.

Those early rifles are long!

I have a few rifles – the long rifles, not carbines – are too long for the common rifle case sold currently. The 1892 Krag-Jorgensen rifle is 49 inches long. The 1891 Argentine Mauser rifle is 51 inches long (actually it’s probably in millimeters; I haven’t measured or figured it in millimeters yet). The 1911 Swiss straight pull in 7.5×55 mm is close to 52 inches.

It wasn’t until the Second World War military rifles shortened a bit to what most of think of as normal. In fact, the K-98 Mauser has the “K” prefix which means ‘Kurz’, ‘short’ in English. The original 98 Mauser rifle was just over 49 inches with a barrel nearly 30 inches long. The 98K – a later variation and common in WW2 – was shortened to about 43 inches over all and a 23 inch barrel. However, with smokeless power the velocity and kinetic power levels were more than adequate.

All that aside, I have several rifles for which I just don’t have carrying cases! I can wrap them up in old blankets for taking to the range and such, but this development is ‘curious’. I’ll have to think of something. I hope I don’t have to make some from plywood or such!



Filed under Firearms and their use

5 responses to “Another interesting factoid I found

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:
    The k98 in 8x57mm, is a very nice rifle. Before the flood, I owned one and it was remarkably accurate, and the only rifle where within 30 minutes of taking it out, I always filled my tag. I used to take it out early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Rifle was ugly as sin, but as sweet as they come to shoot, and it was no prom queen. Every kind of weather, it was in, and always functioned. I had a Lyman 57 receiver aperture mounted and removed the ladder sight. Nothing else was done. Ran it for almost 30 years. Flood salt water destroyed it.

  2. Bryan McGilvray

    A personal favorite, the Springfield Model 1903 is a bit shorter at 43 inches, a length that was deemed good ’nuff for both infantry and cavalry use. It predates World War I.

    • Yes, it does predate WWI. And it follows the first military smokeless powder cartridge (8mm Lebel) by roughly seventeen years; the cartridge by twenty years (the M1906 round). I am amazed by the competence and inspiration (no other word fits there) for the 1898 Mauser and the 1903 Springfield (akin they are).

      I have to jump in with you and announce the M1903 Springfield as (one of) my favorite rifle(s) as well. The designers/specifiers of the rifle had the foresight and intelligence to avoid a thirty inch barrel. As you point out, no need for a separate carbine. (And easier to find a carrying case.)

  3. Stuart Naulty

    Kurz does mean short as in 9mm Kurz (we call .380 acp.) However, doesn’t the K in K98 stand for Karabiner (carbine?) Please don’t label me as the troublemaker. 🙂

    • Can I label you a smarty-pants? No, you’re right, of course; the K in M98K or K98 indeed is an abbreviation for ‘karabiner’ or ‘carbine’ (more or less) in English. The K98, used in WWII was several inches shorter in barrel length than the initial M98 Mauser. It is still not what would be considered a ‘carbine’ by the standards of the day – if nothing else, no ‘rifle’ distinguished from the “K” version was issued.

      At the same time “kurz” does mean ‘short’. Frankly, I must have a slipping drive belt and simply integrated them. Feel free to keep me accurate.

      I still can’t find gun cases for the long rifles.

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