How To Identify A Mauser Rifle – Differentiate Between The Various Types

Mauser rifles are named after Peter Paul Mauser, a German who had experience in an arms plant. Soon, he joined the German army and designed rifles. His bolt-action rifles are popular to this day and are called Mauser rifles.

How To Identify A Mauser Rifle

Mauser’s first design was a single-shot bolt-action rifle of 11 mm. This laid the foundation for many other designs. In fact, they were exported to other nations as well and were used to make different arms. Mauser also has semi-automatic rifles and pistols to his name.

Since his designs went international, collectors are keen on identifying Mauser rifles and their nationality. If you are one of them, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will walk you through pointers that will help you with identification.

How To Identify A Mauser Rifle

Make sure your Mauser rifle is with you and follow the steps below:

  • Check the barrel of the rifle. You should see an import stamp there. The stamp will have all the important information including the country of origin, model of the rifle, and the rifle’s caliber. This stamp is the easiest way to identify the rifle.
  • The receiver and stock may have additional markings that will help you understand the model and caliber.
  • Look at the original armor too. It will give you details about the factory where the rifle was manufactured.
  • If you are unable to identify the country of origin, you can crosscheck with the cartridge that you use. For example, if you are using Mauser-pattern bolt-actions, you will know for sure that the rifle is from Belgium, Turkey, Argentina, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Germany, or Chile. So the rifle fires can tell you which country the rifle came from – Spanish 1893, Swedish 1896, and 1909 Argentine are some examples.
  • On top of the receiver, if you see an alphanumeric code, it is mostly from a German manufacturer because these codes indicate Karabiner 98K and Gewehr 98K. They are both ordinance codes.


The answers you are looking for are on the rifle itself. You just have to look closely and examine with focus to identify your Mauser rifle. If all the tips above fail and you are still unable to identify the rifle, we suggest that you head over to an expert for help. Rifle experts have their own ways and tools of identification. All the best!

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