It was the quintessential German rifle in that war; the M43 was derived from it

A review of the Kar 98k rifle, one of the most famous weapons of World War II

One of the rifles, and we could even say one of the most famous weapons in general of the Second World War was the Mauser Kar 98k bolt action rifle of the German Army.

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Adopted in 1935, the Kar 98k had a 7.92 mm caliber and was renowned for its accuracy. In fact, it is still highly prized as a hunting weapon today, being used with telescopic sights. As its name indicates ("Kar" is an abbreviation for "Karabiner"), the Kar 98k was a carbine version of the famous Mauser Gewehr 98, designed in 1898 by the German arms manufacturer Paul Mauser, being the main rifle of the German Army in the First World War and also one of the weapons used by the national side in the Spanish Civil War.

The success of the Kar 98k led to its continued production after World War II in various countries. A version was made in Spain, the M43, produced at the La Coruña arms factory (hence it was often known as the "Coruña rifle") and which differed from the German model, mainly , for having the bolt lever straight and for having the front sight covered. The Kar 98k and its variants have continued to be used in various conflicts over the past decades: from the Vietnam War to the wars in the former Yugoslavia, including also the Iraq War and the Syrian civilian.

Currently in Germany it is still used in the Wachbataillon, the Guard Battalion of the Ministry of Defence. In fact, the copies of this unit are original from World War II and even kept the eagle of the Third Reich, but in the mid-1990s there was a political controversy in the country because of the which these marks were removed. In this video in German you can see a member of the Wachbataillon showing an original Kar 98k from World War II (specifically one from 1944) with the Nazi eagle removed (the soldier himself explains which is required by law in Germany). You can activate the automatic translation into English in the subtitles, but I can tell you that it is rather deficient:

To get to know this weapon better without having to learn German, I recommend this video published by my countryman Óscar Galansky, presenter of the excellent YouTube channel Tropa Guripa, showing the replica of the Kar 98k manufactured by the Spanish company Denix, with an external appearance very accomplished but it does not fire real or blank cartridges, so it is ideal for collectors or fans of military historical recreation who do not want to complicate their lives with weapons permits (the video is in Spanish but it has subtitles in English, you can activate them in the bottom bar of the player):

A note about what Óscar says about the rail for the bayonet in the Denix model: it is possible to attach one to it, although to do so it is necessary to remove the false drumstick that this model includes (it comes out without much difficulty) and you have to file down the side of the rail a bit.

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