|Photo from k98.com|
The Gewehr 98 was the first M98 based sniper rifle, but it would be the K98 version that spread around the world. For any purists who gripe about the g98 not getting its due, feel free to write up your own blog post.
The modifications included a modified safety in addition to the optic and base system. The picture above shows side rail variants, but receiver claw mounts were also used.
After the fall of Nazi Germany, the new state of Israel armed itself with the Mauser rifle, and created their own sniper variant in 7.62x51 using a 4x optic with receiver mounts.
|Israeli K98 with modified stock and 4x optic|
The Parker Hale company used a commercial Mauser action (slightly modified bolt, no thumb cut on the receiver) to create the Parker Hale M82 target rifle, which would see service in the British and Canadian forces. Originally fitted with a 6x ZF69 rifle scope it was optimized for accurate lots of ball ammunition instead of dedicated sniper ammunition by means of a slower than normal twist rate (1:14 twist in some barrels).
|Parker Hale M82 also known as the C3|
Notice how the rings are not placing the scope too high.
|Photo by CASR|
The FN corporation created what I believe to be the first sniper rifle based on a chrome lined machine gun barrel, the FN 30-11. The 20 inch FN MAG barrel was described as "inadequate" by some, although the weapon itself was considered quite accurate when using match grade ammunition. FN went on to make another sniper rifle with a controlled round feed action and chrome lined barrel, the FN SPR A1, which was adopted by the Secret Service.
|FN 30-11 with machine gun barrel and bipod |
and an ugly yet very functional stock
While military forces around the world are moving away from the Mosin Nagant and Mauser based sniper rifles, it is largely because newer platforms have come along that offer countries a "made here" option. The Canadians moved to the Timberwolf, the Brits to the AI platform, and the Finns moved away from the Mosin Nagant to the Sako TRG platform. America's love affair with all things Remington continues to this day.
|Zastava M07, further modified M98 receiver|
I have no idea why they used such high rings.
The truth is that even your average deer rifle with a cheap scope has enough accuracy and consistency to meet the needs of a WWII sniper. The belief that 20 million deer hunters can turn into 10 million sniper teams is sheer madness though, as simply having gear does not impart skill (except in video games). Thin sporter barrels shoot tight enough for three shots, and are often more stiff than long heavy Palma style barrels (although Palma style barrels have much more mass to absorb harmonic energy).
There you have it, Mauser sniper rifles through the ages. This is by no means an exhaustive list. But hopefully it has been as fun for you to read as me to write.