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1930s German Rearmament: JP Sauer’s Pre-K98k Rifle

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When the German Army announced in 1934 that it would be adopting a new standard rifle, the JP Sauer company jumped at the chance to submit a model for consideration. Auger has a complete production line for the Mauser pattern rifles, having produced Gewehr 98s during World War One, and it had access to Mauser’s “Gewehr für Deutsches Reichspost” rifles that were clearly the basis for what the Army wanted. So Sauer didn’t just submit a model for Army consideration, they actually put it into full production without waiting for the Army’ decision (Mauser did the same).

As it turned out, the Sauer rifle differed from the final K98k standard only in its barrel band retention system. After this pattern was announced in June 1935, the company transitioned its production to meet those details. The rifles already made were still taken into military service, though.

This example is marked S/147/K, indicating Sauer production in 1934. It I the highest known serial number of this year, and a beautiful example. It is all matching, and still has very good finish and very nice stock markings. A really interesting piece of the story of German 1930s rearmament!

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