The Karabiner 98 Kurtz, or Kar 98 for short, was a bolt action rifle that was standard issue to general German infantry in WWII. (Kurtz means short in German) It fired the 7.92x57mm Mauser round (sometimes known as 8mm mauser or .324 cailber) from a 5 round internal magazine, being one of the final developments of the line of Mauser rifles. Five rounds could be quickly loaded using a stripper clip. The rifle was also based on WW1 Gewehr 98, but made it easier for fast moving infantry to carry and operate. The Kar 98 was known for great reliability and range and was used by the German Army throughout the entire war in all theatres, despite more advanced rifles has been introduced in WW2, many German soldiers still use Kar 98K until the end of the war. Ironically, many of its enemies also adopted Kar 98 or its design. The K98 is often regarded as the best bolt-action rifle ever made, its action has been regarded as perhaps the single most influential rifle design ever made, the Germans were still produced them until the end of the war. Because virtually every bolt action following the Mauser's invention had adopted its design, even today, almost all modern bolt action rifles (civil and military) are all followed the Mauser pattern.
Suggested Tactics and Gameplay Edit
In Brothers in Arms the Kar 98 is the most common German infantry weapon throughout the games. Although the player never starts the game with a Kar 98 (unless the player chooses to loadout with the weapon via the Rendroc 'customloadouts' mutator), it can be picked up and used if desired. In early stage of Road to Hill 30, Baker won't have enough armament to finish the mission, Kar 98 is the best choice for longer ranges the M1911 cannot reach. Also you will need to rely on this rifle if all of your weapons are out of ammo. A scoped version also make an appearance in several levels such as "Purple Heart Lane" in Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 or "Hell's Corners" in Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood.
The Kar98 is best used at a distance, being one of the more accurate weapons in the game though it still has a considerable amount of recoil. It is recommended that you use the M1 Garand if you have a choice though, as the Garand has a much easier iron sight to use, even if it does have more recoil and is less accurate. The scope, which cannot be mounted at your choice and is only found at certain levels as a useful sniper rifle. It's a particularly entertaining challenge to snipe down enemies from a distance with the scope. It can be a tricky weapon to learn how to use but is rewarding once mastered, it's the second best Sniper rifle in first two games, the best in the first two games is the M1903 Springfield, which is extremely accurate and lethal. The Scoped Kar 98 is also used by the enemy, the effect is the same though. Kar 98 does more damage than the M1 Garand in the unmodded version of BIA, it often needs one or two hits to kill an enemy, headshot is not always needed for an instant kill. In Hell's Highway, the Kar 98 and M1 Garand has the similar range and accuracy, the Kar 98 was outclassed due to its slower rate of fire, but the Kar 98 is good in the hand of an bolt action rifle expert or the players want some heavy punch, the rifle should serve you just as well as the M1 Garand.
At close ranges though, the Karabiner is close to useless. Note that since it uses a bolt-action design, the player needs to pull back the bolt each time a shot is fired, thus giving you less time to fire back at the opponent while he has plenty of time to mow you down while you are reloading. If you are ever caught with a Kar 98 at close ranges, you should either switch to another weapon of better capacity (even the Garand would be useful) or simply melee the enemy. Skilled players can kill one enemy with one Kar 98 shot (They will be pinned down for a while after one of them is killed) and retreat, so if you mastered Kar 98 you can be very lethal, and even no need to worry about ammunition, due to the effeciency of the Kar 98. In Hell's Highway, you can trade Kar 98 with M1A1 Carbine, to give you better ranged performance, especially the Kar 98 in Hell's Highway is almost always one hit KO, its possible to wipe out an entire enemy squad with one magazine. Remember you need a few second to aim the Kar 98 while dug in, you should use sub-machine gun or automatic rifle in these situations or the MP 40 wielding opponent can easily gun you down.
In older games, while under fire, your aiming with this weapon will be messed up, you have to get back to the cover and try to shoot your opponent at different position, the Kar 98 like most other rifles, are hard to use while you are pinned. Also the Kar 98 will always need to be steadied before firing, thus you will have a better chance of hitting your mark.