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SSG-98k: Austria Repurposes German Sniper Rifles

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In the aftermath of World War Two, the Austrian Army was basically disarmed and disbanded. When it was allowed to reform in the 1950s, it needed new armaments, and in 1958 it adopted the SSG-98k as a new sniper’s rifle. This replaced the leftover German K98k snipers that had been used by the small post-war Austrian police and border guard forces.

Essentially, the SSG-98k was a surplus German Kar 98k Mauser with a new 7.62x51mm barrel (Austria was not a NATO member, but used the NATO cartridge), a cut-down stock, commercial Pachmayr recoil pad, and a Kahles 4x31mm ZF-58 scopes. A variety of base rifles were used for these, from very early pre-war German Mausers through post-war French-occupation Mausers.

The SSG-98k served for about ten years, being replaced in 1969 by the much more advanced Steyr SSG-69. Some remained in inventory into the 1980s.

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