Flag Mausers of Turkey and The Ottoman Empire
Skip Navigation Links


The Turkish contract models


The Ottomans placed there first order with Waffenfabrik Mauser for 550,000 rifles patterned after the Gew. 71/84 bolt action rifle. This black powder rifle was to be chambered for the 9.5x60R military round. The Ottomans eventually terminated this contract and made the switch to smokeless powder after accepting 270,000 of these rifles.


This rifle was somewhat similar to the German Imperial Army Gew. 88, in that it had a charger loaded, 5 round, single stack internal magazine. However, this was completely a Mauser design. It was chambered for Mauser's new 7.65x53 smokeless powder cartridge. The Ottomans received 280,000 1890 rifles, the remainder of the 1887 contract.


As soon as the Ottomans saw the Spanish Modelo of 1893, they placed an order for 201,00 rifles in the new configuration. Chambered for 7.65x53, it was virtually identical to the Spanish model, except for the magazine cutoff. Those that remained in Turkish hands were converted to 8mm in the 1930's.


Again, the Ottomans kept pace with the German army and ordered new rifles in the pattern of the Gew. 98. These were chambered for 7.65x53 and had a few other changes that kept the rifles similar to their previous purchases. These are intermediate length actions and a bit shorter than the standard 7.92, 98 action. This is a large ring small shank (LRSSM) rifle. The straight bolt handle has a distinctive tear-drop shape. The stock will have a pistol grip. The rear receiver bridge will have a "high hump" at the clip loading point. This hump was necessary to support the unique stripper clip used at the time. There was also two carbine versions of this rifle with 21.65 and 17.72 inch barrels. When converted to 8mm this is often called an 03/38.

Turkish Standardized models

The model names given to these classifications are likely to be factually incorrect. However, these are the current common names used in print and are usually what the importers are calling their rifles.

Model 1938

The Turkish Republic updated their old rifles to a common configuration commonly know as the Model of 1938 and all in 8x57 Mauser. While actually starting the conversions in 1933 any rifle converted to this standard is commonly called Model 38. It appears that every rifle they had was converted to 8mm including Gew.88,  Gew.98, 1893 and 1903.


As they became isolated during WWII they began assembling their own rifles from accumulated parts. While little is publicly known about this, it appears that all Turkish assembled rifles are marked K. Kale, for the arsenal where they were assembled. It also seems to be the case that, for the first time, receivers and parts were made in Turkey and assembled starting in 1940. This is a large ring small shank (LRSSM) rifle.

38/46 Short Rifle K.Kale

Another standardization rifle that is the same as the 1938 standard, but in a short rifle length. See Sample

03/38 Short Rifle

Another standardization rifle that is the same as the 1903 conversion to the 1938 standard, but in a short rifle length. These will not always have a turned down bolt. See Sample

1954 ATF Marked Rifles

The Turks rebuilt a bunch of rifles in 1954 using some WWI Gew 98's. These have had the receiver ring shortened to make a hand guard holder. These may not be the safest rifles to shoot due to the shortened receiver but I've not heard of any problems.

Other common models used

GEW 88

Germany provided her ally, the Ottoman Empire, with thousands of Gew. 88 rifles during WWI. While technically not a Mauser rifle, the Gew. 88 is often treated as if it were of Mauser design.

GEW 98

Germany and Austria also provided the Ottoman Empire, with thousands of Gew. 98 rifles during WWI. After WWI Turkey bought new 98 pattern rifles from CZ. And, after WWII Turkey acquired Kar 98K rifles on the open market.

Kar. 98AZ

A carbine length 98 style rifle that was commonly given to Turkey in WWI. These appear to have been reworked a bit and are often sold as Model 38/46 Short rifles.

Kar. 98K

After WWII, the Turks must have acquired quite a few K98K rifles and reworked them. These will also be sold as Model 38/46 Short rifles.


The Ottomans must have captured quite a few Enfields from the "visiting" British Empire forces at Gallipoli. Some of these were converted to 8mm by the Ottomans and Turks and they called these "tufiki ingilizi" or "English rifle".

"Pseudo" M1903

The Ottomans and Turks appeared to have acquired a fair number of these rifles. These are very similar to the Model of 1903, except they do not have a real high hump on the receiver bridge, but rather a nicely made piece of metal that is attached with screws to give it that high hump look. These are certainly made from some of the various South American contract rifles made before WWI.

Czech 98/22

The Turks bought quite a few of these rifles which were mostly compatible with the M1938 standard. These are going to be large ring large shank receivers, and marked with either the Czech Army crest or the BRNO 3 line stamp. The Crest information explains how to tell the difference between an original Czech Army 98/22 and a BRNO contract rifle which was produced a few years later and sold to Turkey, China and others. Rifles with the 3 line BRNO markings are the commercial model 98/22 built for resale. When the Czech Army had an adequate supply of newer short rifles (VZ 23's and VZ 24's) to outfit their troops, they sold their older 98/22 s to the Turks. See Samples