Mauser Kar. 98k Receiver Codes

by
posted on April 22, 2014
qa-mauser1B.jpg

Q. Lately, I’ve seen a number of ads for surplus Mauser Kar. 98k carbines. Many of the firms that place these ads offer to hand-select certain receiver codes for a fee. What do these codes represent?

A. As a security measure, the German military assigned alpha-numeric factory codes to producers of military equipment, including small arms. It was hoped that these codes would reduce their vulnerability to sabotage, raids and air attack.

Factory codes for the Mauser Kar. 98k went through several changes during the design’s production run. The first series is sometimes referred to as the “S prefix,” wherein the manufacturer is represented by a number, and the year of production is represented by a letter. In 1936, letter suffixes was dropped and the year of manufacture was stamped into the receiver ring. Some production runs carried all four digits of the year, others just the last two. For some reason, Berlin-Suhler (BSW) was never brought into the “S prefix” system.

In 1938, the S prefix was dropped, but the numeric factory codes remained in use until 1940 when the Germans began switching over to two- and three-digit letter codes. This switch was relatively gradual; many factories did not complete this transition in markings until 1941. The letter code system stayed in use until the end of the war.

-Glenn M. Gilbert

Originally published September, 2006

Latest

Springfield pistol handgun with red-dot optic
Springfield pistol handgun with red-dot optic

Are Pistol Iron Sights Destined For Extinction? 7 Experts Answer

Nearly every major manufacturer offers optics-ready handguns, and it’s convinced some that pistol iron sights are destined for extinction. We asked seven of the industry’s foremost if they’re indeed on the endangered species list. Even they can’t come to a consensus.

Preview: Galco High Ready Chest Holster For Smith & Wesson M&P

Galco has released a new line of High Ready chest holsters, geared specifically for Smith & Wesson M&P semi-automatic pistols.

5 Signs Of A Bad Gun Range

Follow Frank Melloni as he gives five examples for what to look out for when trying to avoid a bad shooting range.

The Armed Citizen® Aug. 12, 2022

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Rifleman Q&A: Colt Derringer

My great grandfather carried this Colt swing-open derringer for years. Is this a real Colt or a reproduction?

NRA Gun Of The Week: JP Enterprises JP-5

Watch American Rifleman staff on the range this week with a version of the JP Enterprises JP-5, a competition-ready, pistol-caliber carbine in 9 mm Luger.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.