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Posted: 7/19/2003 8:00:08 PM EDT
These are both great military rifles. Each has a powerful bullet. They are both legends.

Let's compare these two great combat rifles. In an old school combat situation which rifle would be the most reliable, enduring, and affective?

I didn't compare the K.98 to the Garand because I felt they were two different concepts. I wanted to compare two bolt-action rifles that had seen combat.
Link Posted: 7/19/2003 8:16:35 PM EDT
Effectively, I think the Springfield would have the edge, as the traj. of the slightly lighter round would be flatter, but it still gave a freight-train load of power with it. Funtionally, it was as fast and easy to use as the K-98K. However, the sights were target sights, and slow to use in combat. Ergonomically, the straight-grip of the first 03s and 03A3s were a bit hard to hold, but the later ones with the C stock improved upon this.

There is a common saying - The Americans built a target rifle. The Germans built a hunting rifle. The French built a shitty rifle. The British built a COMBAT rifle.
Link Posted: 7/19/2003 8:19:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Blackjack272:
Effectively, I think the Springfield would have the edge, as the traj. of the slightly lighter round would be flatter, but it still gave a freight-train load of power with it. Funtionally, it was as fast and easy to use as the K-98K. However, the sights were target sights, and slow to use in combat. Ergonomically, the straight-grip of the first 03s and 03A3s were a bit hard to hold, but the later ones with the C stock improved upon this.

There is a common saying - The Americans built a target rifle. The Germans built a hunting rifle. The French built a shitty rifle. The British built a COMBAT rifle.



I hear that. I have a World War I .303 by my side as we speak. That rifle has a mule's kick and a bull of a bullet. I'd love to have a fully auto Vicker's .303.
Link Posted: 7/19/2003 9:53:28 PM EDT
The GEW 98/98k is by far the better bolt action battle rifle. Very reliable, accurate, rugged and tough.

The 03 is a nice rifle BUT, it has a almost useless and flimsy rear sight for combat use, the front sight is also flimsy compared to the 98 and the stock is really weak at the wrist.
Link Posted: 7/19/2003 10:24:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/19/2003 10:25:14 PM EDT by -Duke-Nukem-]
I think that the accuracy edge falls to the 03 Spring. However, you can't deny that a broken-in K98 Mauser action is one of the smoothest (imho only the Enfield is faster and smoother), most robust bolt actions to ever be mass produced. Unlike so many other German designs, the K98 is not overly complicated, and it was definitely combat worthy in WWII.

The sights on the two guns are the flipside of each other--the Mauser sights are unflappable, you can bash them around and as long as you have a a front sight hood to protect the front sight you have fine combat accuracy. The 03 sights, while finely adjustable and very precise, gummed up easily, and of course if you get mud in the rear aperture you are screwed until you can find something to clear it with. To a certain extent this is true of all guns however.

It really is an apples to apples comparison, isn't it?
Link Posted: 7/20/2003 4:45:56 AM EDT
The action on both the Springfield and Mauser are virtually identical. The US government paid some royalties to Peter Mauser for using the action, bolt, and stripper clip design. We can view the 03 as a "refined" Mauser.

The rear sight on the Springfield is very fine. One need to have a good set of eyes to shoot the 03 accurately. The major advantage of the 03 is you can adjust for windage very easily on the rear sight simply by rotating the windage knob. To adjust the windage on the Mauser, you must tap the front sight post left or right and it is hard to obtain a fine windage adjustment.

The combat sight on the 03 is designed for engaging target from 0 to 200 meters. During the last Springfield match, I found that the combat sight gives me a POI (point of impact) about 5" lower than POA (Point of Aim) at 200 yard using M2 load. This is probably good enough for combat, but not good enough for shooting high power targets. So I flipped the rear sight up and started using the target sight. The craftmanship on the 03 is superb. I set my target sight to 200, and the POI shifted to about 6" above POA at 200 yards. This means the sight was designed to be used with the 6 o'clock hold when shooting at distance targets.

During the slow fire prone match, I was able to put 7 out of 10 rounds within the X or 10 ring (about 6" diameter) while the other 3 hit the 9 ring for the total score of 97-2X. I believe shooting a perfect 100 point score is totally possible with a good 03. The problem is, this rifle is not mine ... it is a loaner since I dont have one .... <snif> .... now I want one ... <snif>

oz

Link Posted: 7/20/2003 5:19:28 AM EDT
I will have to agree with these posts. If we are talking about the WWI SA it had the flip up sight that was use for longer ranges.You left it down for lets say shorter ranges.It has a V knotch on it in the down position for short ranges.The WWII SA 1903A3 had the M1 Carbine type peep sight that was adjutable for windage and elevation.I like the 03A3 alot better.And like was said its basicly the same design rifle.We copied the Mauser family to make the rifle and was taken to court and made to pay royalties on so many of them.Im lucky anough to own Yugo's 48A's and 1903's & 1903A3's. They are a blast to shoot.WD
Link Posted: 7/20/2003 6:00:49 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/20/2003 6:25:41 AM EDT
i own both.

I prefer shooting the 03. The k98 recoils much harder in comparison and while it is accurate i give the edge to my 03a3.

i just wish 30-06 was as cheap as 8mm.

mike
Link Posted: 7/20/2003 7:04:10 AM EDT
I have both. I rarely shoot my 03 any more because its value keeps going up.

The 03 is more accurate, with the .30-06 round being inherently more accurate. The 8mm is plenty accurate enough.

The 03 is a little more delicate of a design. Tey took some of the tough combat features off the rifle as IMO, I don't think the Americans knew why the Germans made some of the K98 features the way they did. The 03 is a battle rifle, the K98 is a "utility" rifle.

I shoot cheap Turk ammo in my K98 at milk jugs at 250 meters and hit 8/10 all day long open sights. I can do no better with the 03, though it does better on paper, I pound in tent pegs with the butt of my K98 where I would never do that with the 03.

The 8mm has more power than the .30-06 in its origional military loading, but not so much so that you would really notice that much of a difference.

In combat, the K98 is well proven. The only cases of it failing (actions freezing shut) were in the extreeme winters of Russia. Once sunflower oil was brought in, this problem ended.

The 03 was really never combat proven. It was used some in WWII, Korea and even Vietnam, but no where close to the numbers and overall conditions that the K98 proved itself in. I know of few complaints about the 03 in combat, but I know what the Mauser can do.
Link Posted: 7/20/2003 7:20:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2003 12:37:12 PM EDT by raf]
Link Posted: 7/20/2003 10:10:23 AM EDT
From a pure design point of view, the '03 is inferior to the original Mauser design.
The Mauser '98 design is one of those rare "perfect" designs. There is NOTHING that can be done to "improve" the '98 design, and all changes since Mauser invented and perfected it, are to allow it to be made cheaper or faster.
When the '03 was designed, the basic Mauser design was modified to what the ordnance department thought an American service rifle should be.
In order to do that, they actually produced a design that was inferior to the deceptively elegant '98.

The Mauser's bolt lock is a very robust, large pin with a strong spring, both of which are completed covered by the bolt shroud. These just don't give trouble, no matter what.

The '03's bolt lock is a tiny, flat piece of steel with a very tiny spring, both of which are mounted on the side of the bolt shroud, and completely exposed to dirt, grim, and weather.
They fairly regularly gum up, rust, or wear and fail to properly lock the shroud.

The Mauser extractor's front end rides in a dovetail groove. The harder the bolt is pulled, the tighter the extractor grips the case head.

The '03 extractor rides in a non-dovetail groove, and can slip up out of engagement with the case head.

The Mauser's safety is a one piece chunk of milled steel, and is easy to disassemble.

The '03 uses a multi-part assembly with an exposed spring and plunger and requires tools to disassemble.

The Mauser uses a light one piece firing pin with a small, light cocking piece.

The '03 uses a heavy multi-part firing pin assemble, with a massive, and more or less unnecessary cocking piece grip knob.

The Mauser uses a simple, strong ejector/bolt release assembly.

The '03 uses a smaller, weaker ejector, and the complicated magazine cut off/bolt release. To be fair, the cut off concept was still valid in 1903.

The Mauser receiver is deceptively simple, and has a very strong rear bridge.

Although hell-for-strong, the '03's receiver is complicated, and has a weaker rear bridge.

The Mauser stepped barrel is easier to bed, and the bedding system at least potentially offers better accuracy than the tapered '03 barrel and it's tendency to "wedge" in the bedding.

The Mauser stock, and particularly hand guards are stronger than the '03, and offers a better shooter's grip than the skinny straight-grip '03 stock.

Overall, the '03 was superior for the quality of workmanship. The Mauser suffered from manufacture during loosing wars, and quality ran from excellent to "last ditch" poor.
The '03 was always uniformly excellent.

The Mauser sights were too simple, and should have had a windage adjustment. Although simple and fool proof, the sights prevented the rifle from reaching it's full accuracy potential.

The '03 sights were too complicated and fragile, and were incapable of repeatable settings since there were no "clicks" or other positive means of adjusting them.
In fairness the '03 sights were state of the art in 1903.

In sum, the statement that the Mauser was a battle rifle, and the '03 was a target rifle, does have a certain truth. This is understandable, since the period from around the turn of the century up until the era of the M-16, was the era of the "target shooter's" in Army ordnance.
They insisted on accuracy almost to the exclusion of all else. The well-documented development history of the M1 Garand gives fascinating insights into this attitude. There was strong resistance to the M1 because it wasn't accurate enough, and would lead to the old horror of the "target shooter's": Soldiers wasting ammunition.

In the 1903, they got the target rifle they always wanted, and it did serve very well through two world wars, the "banana wars"
and into Vietnam.
It was superior to the Mauser only because of the quality of materials and workmanship.
Link Posted: 7/20/2003 10:18:23 AM EDT
At the outset of combat in the pacific theater in WWII Marines were using Springfields , as the Garand was a new design and had not seen issue to the far flung posts in the Pacific...I have read of Marines declining to take the Garands when they finally became available and sticking with the Sprinfield because the knew they could trust it....

t
Link Posted: 7/20/2003 10:36:41 AM EDT
Raf, you make my point exactly. The '03 was used little in WWI, and all of those other little "wars" do not even come close to even The German experiance in WWI alone. Not to mention the 98s use against the '03 in those little wars, WWII, etc, on up to use of them in the Yugoslavian civil war 10 years ago.

The rifle was never used as much as the Enfield or the 98. It was never used in nearly as rugged of conditions as the 98.

Don't get me wrong, I still like '03, it just came around at an odd time in U.S. history and never had the chance, where as the Germans kept the 98 going long after they should have because they had to.

Faris, I see your point, but remember the Enfield is a Mauser design too, and it would be hard to argue that it was not one of the top combat rifles of all time. The Enfield was weaker because it did not need to be as strong. You could probably argue the same for the '03.
Link Posted: 7/20/2003 12:40:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2003 12:43:02 PM EDT by raf]
Link Posted: 7/20/2003 12:54:00 PM EDT
Well well well! It would appear that the Springfield still has it's proper place with shooters!

I guess the Mauser has it's little following too, but I'm with the M-1903.

Now let's compare the Garand and the Mauser....
GARAND HANDS DOWN.
Link Posted: 7/20/2003 12:59:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Blackjack272:
Well well well! It would appear that the Springfield still has it's proper place with shooters!

I guess the Mauser has it's little following too, but I'm with the M-1903.

Now let's compare the Garand and the Mauser....
GARAND HANDS DOWN.



No, let's compare the Enfield and Mauser instead.
Link Posted: 7/20/2003 1:07:22 PM EDT
I have a 1903A3 that is in decent shape, a dull bore, and it is a blast to shoot. (sub 2" at 100 yards now!!!) A friend has the K98, it is a good rifle, cheap ammo, and fun to shoot as well. I'd choose the 03A3, with a bunch of stripper clips.

Can you imagine using one of these in combat? Repeatedly loading and shooting for hours? No wonder they never climbed out of the trenches, everyone's arms hurt too bad! I do have a question regarding ammo, is the old (50's-60's) -06 ball ammo worth having?
Link Posted: 7/21/2003 7:59:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/21/2003 8:08:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Blackjack272:
Well well well! It would appear that the Springfield still has it's proper place with shooters!

I guess the Mauser has it's little following too, but I'm with the M-1903.

Now let's compare the Garand and the Mauser....
GARAND HANDS DOWN.



I thought we were talking about bolt actions specifically?...
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