Just a few years ago, these were being imported and sold for as low as $129, incorrectly called “Schmidt-Rubin” rifles. While this price point is long since gone, you can still lay your hands on one of these Swiss beauties for under $350 in most cases. The Swiss round is very similar to the well-known .308 and any purpose that round could be used for is suited for this rifle. Swiss GP11 surplus rounds are available while Hornady and now even Wolf have started to make the loading for these popular surplus snipers. One of the more popular aspects of these rifles is that they often have a handwritten ‘troop tag’ hidden under the butt plate made out with the information of the last Swiss Army trooper to have been issued the gun.
The Karabiner 98k had the same disadvantages as all other military rifles designed around the year 1900 in that it was comparatively bulky and heavy, having been created during a time when military doctrine centered around highly-trained marksmen engaging at relatively long range. The rate of fire was limited by how quickly the bolt could be operated. Its magazine had only half the capacity of Great Britain's Lee-Enfield series rifles, but being internal, it made the weapon more comfortable to carry at its point of balance. An experimental trench magazine was produced during World War II for Model 98 variants that could be attached to the bottom of the internal magazine by removing the floor plate, increasing capacity to 20 rounds, though it still required loading with 5 round stripper clips . While the Americans had standardized a semi-automatic rifle in 1936 (the M1 Garand ), the Germans maintained these bolt-action rifles due to their tactical doctrine of basing a squad's firepower on the light machine gun so that the role of the rifleman was largely to carry ammunition and provide covering fire for the machine gunners. They did experiments with semi-automatic rifles throughout the war (the Gewehr 43/Karabiner 43 entered limited service), and introduced the first assault rifle in 1943 - the MP43 / MP44 / StG44 series. However, the Karabiner 98k remained the primary service weapon until the last days of the war, and was manufactured until the surrender in May 1945.