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K98k Shooting/Marksmanship Advice

Guillaume d'Orange

Senior Member
Hi everyone,

I don't know where to post this, so I will try it here. I looked up for the topic of this post on the forum, but found little (we are talking about collecting, not shooting after all).

First off, I consider myself a beginner shooting the K98k. I have shot satisfying groups at 100m/110y last weekend (I also shoot at 200m/220y with iron sights only) and thought I may learn some interesting things from you gents (and perhaps everyone can learn a bit from the others in the process).

Everyone knows its fundamentals of rifle marksmanship:
Aiming
Breath Control
Trigger Control
Follow-Through

Having said that, I would like to hear from you where you would lay the emphasis to shoot accurately the K98k at long range. The main problem I see is the muzzle climb related to 7.92x57mm.
My lessons learned:
1) Seize the handguard with the support hand as close as possible to the rear band
2) Lean into the buttplate with all your weight as if it is thrust in the shoulder pocket (being in a combat situtation, clinging to life, might help in this regard).

Other topics I am curious about:
- 7.92x57mm ballistics and the adjustable rear sight
- relations between sight picture - Zielbild, point of aim - Haltepunkt, point of impact - Treffpunkt (in das Ziel gehen, Ziel auffsitzen lassen, Ziel verschwinden lassen)
- advice or data from the period

Up to you !
 

k98dave

Senior Member
Shooting the k98 requires the same basic marksmanship practices as any other weapon starting with proper hold, sight alignment with sharp focus of the front sight as opposed to target and/or rear sight, breathing/hold and trigger control. Forget any one or more of these and you not going to have a good day at the range.

If your shooting modern commercial ammo its most likely going to be lighter power/bullet weight loadings than original or mil surplus ammo but I would think still be fairly close to keeping on the paper at 100M if the bore and barrels crown are in good condition. Bench rest and slow fire allowing barrel to cool down some between making 3 shot groups to see what your getting with what ever types of ammo your using.

I reload my own 8x57 and get results on several of my project guns. This was two 3 shot groups each about 1.5 inches

DSCF3243.jpg
 

swjXE

Senior Member
I made a full size copy of the original factory Mauser final acceptance target and Cellon disc and whenever I got a new 98 I'd shoot it with original ww2 ammo to see if it would still pass the original specs. for grouping and P.O.A. If not I would try to do whatever it took to make it pass. I would also try to make reloads that would shoot to the same P.O.A. and velocity as the original ammo. It was a lot of fun for me and I learned a lot. I also realize that all this may have nothing to do with what you're asking about.
:happy0180:
 

Guillaume d'Orange

Senior Member
Hi Dave, hi swjXE, thanks for sharing your views.

Forget any one or more of these and you not going to have a good day at the range.

Right on !

I reload my own 8x57 and get results on several of my project guns. This was two 3 shot groups each about 1.5 inches

Yes, I am not a reloader, but it seems crucial to get the most of your rifle (barrel harmonics, bore condition, etc.)

I made a full size copy of the original factory Mauser final acceptance target and Cellon disc and whenever I got a new 98 I'd shoot it with original ww2 ammo to see if it would still pass the original specs. for grouping and P.O.A. If not I would try to do whatever it took to make it pass. I would also try to make reloads that would shoot to the same P.O.A. and velocity as the original ammo. It was a lot of fun for me and I learned a lot. I also realize that all this may have nothing to do with what you're asking about.
:happy0180:

Damn swjXE, that's serious stuff you're doing ! What's your feedback using the "Anschussscheibe" of TL 1/1003 ? What does a Cellon disk look like ?
My guess (see pic) is that the POA shall be just at 6 o'clock below the black rectangle (80mmx70mm) and thus the POI somewhere in this rectangle. Having all the shots within this area implies an accuracy close to 2.5 MOA, if I am not mistaken. Page 226 of Vol I says (quoting BBOTW) it is the black AND white rectangles that matter to pass the test: some flyers may land in the white rectangle presumably.

EDIT: I've dug up old posts about test firing/test target:
http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread.php?10929-Mauser-test-target
http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread.php?1593-Hauptshu%DF-Waffen
 

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Guillaume d'Orange

Senior Member
About stance and grip, you all know this classic pic taken during the Warsaw Uprising. That's what I had in mind. The soldier has a forward stance, leaning in, he holds the handguard, not touching the rear band, but at least he does not have his support band below the chamber or the rear sight as it is often seen in staged pics. It could be fine having your support hand/support arm close to the body to gain some support but you would have to aim low to hit your target given muzzle rise
 

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Guillaume d'Orange

Senior Member
About POA/POI, I have looked for some info in manuals (Gewehr 98, Gewehr 41, modern Bundeswehr manual). See pics.
My opinion is that the POA was supposed to be below (5cm-10cm? at 100m) the intended POI, which makes sense with iron sights.
In the modern Bundeswehr manual, the pics are the same as 100 years ago, but with G36 diopter sights, POA=POI.

Does anybody have something from the Kar 98k manuals ?
 

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swjXE

Senior Member
I acquired all of my info on the MO final acceptance target from the book "Backbone of the Wehrmacht". I love that target because it has a solid rectangle POI for brass cased ammo and a dotted line rectangle POI for steel cased ammo which always impacts higher. To make the Cellon disc, we would just take a document protector and cut out 120mm disc. Out of 5 shots three had to be within the rectangle and all 5 had to fit within the transparent Cellon disc.

:happy0180:
 
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Intruder196

Senior Member
I reload my own as well. I have found that a 150 grain Hornady bullet with 50 grains of IMR4350 works great. However since these were intended to shoot 198 grain bullets, I have been struggling to find a good load. I gave up on using IMR 4895 as that wouldn't get near the bullseye or even group all that well. I tried another load last weekend using IMR4064 with better results. Anybody use that with success?
 

k98dave

Senior Member
I reload my own as well. I have found that a 150 grain Hornady bullet with 50 grains of IMR4350 works great. However since these were intended to shoot 198 grain bullets, I have been struggling to find a good load. I gave up on using IMR 4895 as that wouldn't get near the bullseye or even group all that well. I tried another load last weekend using IMR4064 with better results. Anybody use that with success?

My test results on three rifles using 150 with 42 grains of 4064. Mild load that's accurate, doesn't punish like 198's.

http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread.php?43544-Range-Day-with-Rescue-Projects
 

Guillaume d'Orange

Senior Member
I acquired all of my info on the MO final acceptance target from the book "Backbone of the Wehrmacht". I love that target because it has a solid rectangle POI for brass cased ammo and a dotted line rectangle POI for steel cased ammo which always impacts higher. To make the Cellon disc, we would just take a document protector and cut out 120mm disc. Out of 5 shots three had to be within the rectangle and all 5 had to fit within the transparent Cellon disc.

:happy0180:

Thanks swjXE, indeed Cellon is celluloid acetate/plastic (I found that out after reading your answer). I asked directly as I thought Cellon was some kind of unknown manufacturer or patented stuff.
I will probably make one, it could be handy and sort of fun.

My test results on three rifles using 150 with 42 grains of 4064. Mild load that's accurate, doesn't punish like 198's.

http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread.php?43544-Range-Day-with-Rescue-Projects

Dave, Intruder, with your reloaded ammo, do you have to adjust your rear sight or your POA in comparison with commercial ammo (196gr/198gr bullets) at the same range ?
 

k98dave

Senior Member
"Dave, with your reloaded ammo, do you have to adjust your rear sight or your POA in comparison with commercial ammo (196gr/198gr bullets) at the same range ?"

Because I use a 6' O clock hold on my target my rear is set slightly higher with the lighter (150) bullet to get me in the 10 ring which is 4" above my POI

With all things being equal, the lighter bullet being faster will impact closer to POI. This sounds odd to most but remember a bullet doesn't fly laser straight but actually rises above the line of sight.
 

GeeRam

Senior Member
I've only shot my Norwegian surrender K98k 3 times since acquiring it a year ago.....twice at 300 yards and once at 600 yrds distance.

Both times at the 300 yrd range, I was due to shoot at the end of our club session, as being electronic targets, we had to let those with the accurate target rifles shoot first to register scores for the club, as there is a chance of shooting out the electronic sensor wires with battle sights at that range. On both occasions at 300 yrds last month and last year, my mate shooting his Lee-Enfield No.5 shot the sensors out, and so, I had no choice but to just have some fun and have a 'mad minute' style blast of 2/3 stripper clips. I couldn't believe my mate did it twice before my turn, and last month I even jokingly said to him "You better let me go before you as you'll shoot the bloody wires out" :facepalm:

I do find with my eyes now, shooting at that range with the battle sights on the K98k almost impossible now, as its more hope and squeeze than any real technique.

So, a couple of months ago, when I tried it at 600 yrds it was with no real hope of anything, but as it was old fashioned human being marking the target, I thought I'd give it ago. Bearing in mind we have to shoot designated UK NRA bull targets designed for heavy barrel civilian target rifle's with micrometer sights etc., not 80 year battle rifles, and my eyesight, I was astonished that I scored 19 out 50, and some of the 7.62 Lee-Enfiled target rifle guys were only scoring mid 20's.....:biggrin1:
Couldn't believe it really.
Using factory commercial PPU Match ammo I had to set the rear sight up to almost 650m for 600yrds, when 600 yrds converted to metres would only be 550m.

All shooting is prone at those ranges in the UK, and the K98k isn't as pleasant to shoot as a Lee-Enfield prone, its clearly designed for shooting standing/kneeling/trench etc with the butt shape.
 

k98dave

Senior Member
"I do find with my eyes now, shooting at that range with the battle sights on the K98k almost impossible now, as its more hope and squeeze than any real technique."

Think your being too hard on yourself, battle sights are designed for "center on mass" hits on a man sized target not 10 ring / X hits at that range. If you have shorter distances available try 100M just to find out how well your rifle and ammo are performing. I myself find the square cut notch of rear sight on G/K43 offers a much better picture than the V notch rear of K98. I have never used PPU but if its like most commercial brands here its loaded down somewhat to keep the product liability lawyers happy.

Re load and Carry On GeeRam :thumbsup:
 
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GeeRam

Senior Member
I've read that S&B ammo is better than the PPU, so will give that a go next time. At the moment I don't really have anywhere to set up for re-loading, but am hoping to have that situation resolved by end of next year, Covid issues permitting. Getting set up to reload 45Colt to feed my Uberti 1873 rifle will be more of a priority.
We do shoot at 100yrds normally as well, but we lost our 100yrds range slots this year due to the shutdown for Covid.
I previously owned another Norwegian surrender K98k, but that was a K98kF1 and one of the ones converted to 30-06 in the 50's, and the mods the Norwegians made to the sights, with the thicker post and U-notch were thus much better than the original German sight picture......zee Germans didn't get everything right :laugh:

I realise that the bull targets we are forced to use for political reasons suck, but that's the issues we have in the UK shooting any old milsurps outside of official comps.
 

Guillaume d'Orange

Senior Member
Funny story GeeRam about your 600 yrds shots, and quite an achievement with iron sights only.

I assume you had to set your rear sight at 550m instead of 650m, as you were aiming (very) low to be able to see your target at that range.

About commercial ammo,
S&B ammo at 196 grs are clones of the S-Patrone (the standard one during WWI):
https://www.sellier-bellot.cz/en/products/rifle-ammunition/rifle-ammunition-fmj/detail/120/
Whereas PPU ammo at 198 grs have FMJ Boat Tail bullets, much like the s.S-Patrone of WWII:
https://www.prvipartizan.com/search_rb.php?id=A-213

PPUs have a slightly flatter trajectory at long range, thus less need to aim low IMHO.

As Dave rightly said, the best thing is to reload and, yes, these rifles were designed to put acceptable groups in a human-size target (a head at 300m, a chest at 400m, see pic from a WWI manual for Gew 98).
 

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GeeRam

Senior Member
Funny story GeeRam about your 600 yrds shots, and quite an achievement with iron sights only.

I assume you had to set your rear sight at 550m instead of 650m, as you were aiming (very) low to be able to see your target at that range.

Other way around, had to set rear sight to 650m for 600yrds which did confuse me a little.

First sighting shot I set it at 550m, but I had someone looking through a spotting scope, and he clearly saw the round strike the earth bank well below the target, so I set the sight at 600m and the 2nd shot just got into the white zone below the black circle, so set it at 650m and adjusted aim down for the subsequent shots.
So, hit the target with shots 2-9 and then pulled number 10 and missed the target completely, so scored 19 with 8 shots.

The old girl done good in my hands :biggrin1:

That's interesting about the S&B and PPU commercial ammo...... :thumbsup:
 

Guillaume d'Orange

Senior Member
Following up on my inquiries about marksmanship, I've researched "Abkrümmen" or trigger pull, although literally it would mean bending or squeezing (I've chosen "squeezing").

I've looked in "Der Karabiner 98k und seine Handhabung" (1936) and in the Reibert "Dienstunterricht im Heere" (1941). Neither of the documents are official Heeres-Druckvorschriften (H.Dv.). The first document is a picture book and it takes into account H.Dv.257 and H.Dv.2a. No mention about H.Dv.240.
There is one thread on the forum about H.Dv.257 (1935):
http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread.php?4264-H-Dv-257-Schu%DFwaffen-98

The Reibert gives more detailed explanations than the 1936 manual, but I attach the pic of the latter manual:

"With the instruction in aiming, grip is practiced, initially with the rifle fixed.
The semi-pistol grip is grasped with the right hand so far forward that the outstretched index finger is on the inner lower side of the trigger guard and can later touch the trigger with the joint of the first phalanx or with the second phalanx when squeezing. The remaining fingers grip the semi-pistol grip tightly, evenly and as far as possible so that the thumb is close to the middle finger. The palm of the hand adapts to the semi-pistol grip up to the wrist.
The way the trigger is pulled until the shot is fired (squeezing) has a great influence on the hit. Squeezing is first practiced with the rifle turned to the right [???].
The index finger takes contact with the trigger with the joint of the first phalanx or with the second phalanx and guides it back in one go by squeezing the two front phalanges until resistance is felt, i.e. one reaches “break point”; then it is immediately continued to pull evenly.
The right hand must remain firmly on the semi-pistol grip up to the wrist and the movement of the index finger must end in a phalanx joint so that it is not transferred to the hand and arm.
After the firing pin rushes forward, keep the index finger in the fully withdrawn trigger for a moment and then slowly stretch it out."

Nothing revolutionary, but I note the tight and even grip, the acknowledgment that grip and trigger pull greatly influences the POI, and briefly keeping the index still at the end of the pull.

EDIT: thinking about it, the small interesting detail may be to keep the index "on the inner lower side of the trigger guard", it reduces the take-up and probably any jerking.
 

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Guillaume d'Orange

Senior Member
Ammunition

Funny story GeeRam about your 600 yrds shots, and quite an achievement with iron sights only.

I assume you had to set your rear sight at 550m instead of 650m, as you were aiming (very) low to be able to see your target at that range.

About commercial ammo,
S&B ammo at 196 grs are clones of the S-Patrone (the standard one during WWI):
https://www.sellier-bellot.cz/en/products/rifle-ammunition/rifle-ammunition-fmj/detail/120/
Whereas PPU ammo at 198 grs have FMJ Boat Tail bullets, much like the s.S-Patrone of WWII:
https://www.prvipartizan.com/search_rb.php?id=A-213

PPUs have a slightly flatter trajectory at long range, thus less need to aim low IMHO.

As Dave rightly said, the best thing is to reload and, yes, these rifles were designed to put acceptable groups in a human-size target (a head at 300m, a chest at 400m, see pic from a WWI manual for Gew 98).

For the reference, specs from Polte for the sS Patrone
Source: https://waffen-welt.de/bilder/DiePatrone7.92x57.pdf
 

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Spectacular

Registered
Shooting the k98 requires the same basic marksmanship practices as any other weapon starting with proper hold, sight alignment with sharp focus of the front sight as opposed to target and/or rear sight, breathing/hold and trigger control. Forget any one or more of these and you not going to have a good day at the range.

If your shooting modern commercial ammo its most likely going to be lighter power/bullet weight loadings than original or mil surplus ammo but I would think still be fairly close to keeping on the paper at 100M if the bore and barrels crown are in good condition. Bench rest and slow fire allowing barrel to cool down some between making 3 shot groups to see what your getting with what ever types of ammo your using.

I reload my own 8x57 and get results on several of my project guns. This was two 3 shot groups each about 1.5 inches

View attachment 250278

Thanks very much!
 

R.W. Parker

Well-known member
K98k Marksmanship

For what it's worth:

Follow-through is especially important when shooting a Modell 98. You could measure that action's lock time with a desk calendar.

The most accurate iron-sight 98k shooting I ever did was with my byf44, pristine bore on that one. This was when I was in my twenties, before corrective lenses.

Range 100 yards, target was a slow-fire pistol bull, shooting was off a couple of bags on the bench. Ammo was assembled in random 30-06 cases that I'd run into a 7,92x57mm FL sizer die and shortened. Bullets were 154gr. Chicom milsurp FMJ. Some guy at Allentown had cases of grungy, 1950s production Chinese ammunition for $50/m. (Cheapest bullets ever, I should've bought all he had!)

Propellant was whatever extruded IMR-type that the Chicoms had stuffed in that grungy old ammo. While pulling the bullets, I merely weighed a few of the original charges and set my Ideal measure to throw the same. Waste not want not, right? Heck, I was just a stupid kid!

5-shot groups with those handloads hovered around 1.5 MOA. But when I really hunkered down and got serious, I put 4 shots of that stuff into a group about .600-inch. The fifth shot opened the group to an inch. My 6 o'clock hold on the target bull put the POI at the top of the black.

Seeing this, my friend Jim asked to try my rifle. We were both young journeyman toolmakers at the time, very precision oriented and enjoying phenomenal eyesight.

Jim put five rounds into 1/2 MOA, printing a couple of inches higher than me. When I asked him how he did it, he said "You're holding six o'clock on that bull, aren't you?"

"Yes' I replied.

"Well, look at your front sight. Do you see the slight radius at the top?"

I never really noticed it until then, but the front sight DID have a slight radius on top.

"When I looked down the sights of your rifle" Jimmy said, "I immediately noticed that radius. Then I noticed how it mated perfectly with the top of the bull. So I decided to hold at 12 o'clock. When the two radii matched up, I pressed the trigger."

If I looked hard enough, I bet I could find those targets around here somewhere.

Of all the things from my youth, I miss that eyesight the most.

Richie
 

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