Special Report

Every World War II Sniper Rifle, From 19th Century Relics to Late War Models

Curiosandrelics / Wikimedia Commons

Sniper rifles gained in popularity in World War II as the need for long-range engagements became more pressing. As such, many countries, from Axis to Allied powers, developed sniper rifles and specific units for these types of engagements. In the time leading up to the war, countries stockpiled huge caches of sniper rifles, some that had been in use since the beginning of the 20th century, or even the late 19th century, and others that had just been developed for the war.

To identify the oldest and newest sniper rifles used in World War II, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a catalog of sniper rifles from Military Factory, an online database of military vehicles, aircraft, arms, and more. We listed the rifles according to when they entered service. Supplemental data on country of origin, manufacturer, range, firing action, cartridge, and feed of the ammunition each rifle used also came from Military Factory.

The Mosin-Nagant 1891 is one of the oldest rifles on this list. Fielded by the Soviet Union, it is a bolt-action rifle with an effective range of just over 1,600 feet. The Soviet Red Army as well as Polish and Hungarian forces used the Mosin-Nagant in the war. As one of the oldest sniper rifles at the time, it was battle tested. Also, it was a favorite of the deadliest sniper of all time, Simo Häyhä, also known as “White Death.” (These are the deadliest snipers of World War II)

On the German side, the Mauser Karabiner Kar 98k was the sniper rifle of choice for many soldiers. Introduced in 1935, it was the standard-issue rifle for German soldiers, but it was adaptable enough to be outfitted with a telescopic sight for sniping purposes. The gun is chambered for 7.92x57mm Mauser rounds. (Today, these are the 16 sniper rifles used by the U.S. military.)

Notably about this list is that most of the sniper rifles on it are bolt-action, although a few of the later models are actually gas-operated with semi-automatic capabilities that later generations of guns would go on to incorporate.

Here is a look at the oldest and newest sniper rifles of World War II.

22. Mosin-Nagant Model 1891
> Year introduced: 1891
> Type: Bolt-action service rifle / carbine
> Used by during WWII: Soviet Union, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia
> Manufacturer: Tula, Izhevsk, Sestroryetsk
> Firing action: Manual bolt-action
> Maximum effective range: 1,640 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 7.62x54mmR, 7.62x53mmR, 7.92x57mm Mauser, 5-round internal magazine

[in-text-ad]

21. Krag-Jorgensen
> Year introduced: 1894
> Type: Bolt-action service rifle
> Used by during WWII: Norway, United States, Germany, Denmark
> Manufacturer: Kongsberg Vapenfabrikk / Steyr Mannlicher
> Firing action: Manually-actuated bolt; repeat fire
> Maximum effective range: 3,000 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 6.5x55mm M94 Norweigian Krag, 5-round internal magazine

20. Lee-Enfield
> Year introduced: 1895
> Type: Bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating service rifle
> Used by during WWII: United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada
> Manufacturer: Royal Small Arms Factory
> Firing action: Manually-operated bolt-action system
> Maximum effective range: 1,640 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: .303 British (7.7x56mmR), 10-round detachable box

19. Mannlicher Model 1895
> Year introduced: 1895
> Type: Bolt-action service rifle
> Used by during WWII: Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, Czechoslovakia
> Manufacturer: Steyr / Femaru Fegyver es Gepgyar (FEG)
> Firing action: Manually-actuated straight-pull bolt; repeating
> Maximum effective range: 1,320 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 8x50mmR Mannlicher, 5-round internal magazine

18. Mauser Model 1898 (Gew 98)
> Year introduced: 1898
> Type: Bolt-action service rifle
> Used by during WWII: Germany, Czechoslovakia, Belgium
> Manufacturer: Mauser
> Firing action: Manually-operated bolt-action system
> Maximum effective range: 1,640 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 7.92x57mm Mauser, 5-round internal box magazine

 

17. Mondragon Rifle
> Year introduced: 1900
> Type: Semi-automatic service rifle
> Used by during WWII: Germany, Mexico, Japan
> Manufacturer: Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft
> Firing action: Gas-operated, rotating bolt, manual bolt-action
> Maximum effective range: 1,804 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 7x57mm Mauser, 8-, 10-, or 20-round box; 30- or 100-round drum magazine

16. Springfield Model 1903 (M1903)
> Year introduced: 1903
> Type: Bolt-action service rifle / sniper rifle
> Used by during WWII: United States, United Kingdom, Taiwan
> Manufacturer: Springfield Armories
> Firing action: Manually-actuated bolt-action
> Maximum effective range: 2,000 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 30-03 (7.62x65mm), 30-06 (7.62x63mm) Springfield, 5-round internal box magazine

15. Arisaka Type 38
> Year introduced: 1905
> Type: Bolt-action infantry service rifle
> Used by during WWII: Japan, United Kingdom, Thailand, Soviet Union, China
> Manufacturer: State Arsenals / Arisaka
> Firing action: Bolt-action
> Maximum effective range: 1,475 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 6.5x50mm, 5-round internal box magazine

14. Ross Rifle
> Year introduced: 1905
> Type: Straight-pull bolt-action service rifle
> Used by during WWII: Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union
> Manufacturer: State Factories
> Firing action: Manual pull, bolt-action system
> Maximum effective range: 1,800 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: .303 British (7.7x56mmR), 5-round magazine

13. Enfield Pattern 1914
> Year introduced: 1914
> Type: Bolt-action service rifle / sniper rifle
> Used by during WWII: United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, Soviet Union
> Manufacturer: Enfield Lock
> Firing action: Manually-actuated bolt-action system
> Maximum effective range: 2,400 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: .303 British (7.7x56mmR), 5-round stripper clips

12. M1917 Enfield (American Enfield)
> Year introduced: 1917
> Type: Bolt-action service rifle
> Used by during WWII: United States, United Kingdom, China, France
> Manufacturer: Winchester / Remington
> Firing action: Manually-actuated bolt-action system
> Maximum effective range: 1,640 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 7.62x63mm, 6-round magazine

11. FEG 35M (Mannlicher M1935)
> Year introduced: 1935
> Type: Bolt-action service rifle
> Used by during WWII: Hungary, Germany
> Manufacturer: Femaru Fegyver es Gepgyar (FEG)
> Firing action: Manually-actuated bolt action
> Maximum effective range: 2,400 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 7.92x57mm Mauser, 5-round internal box magazine

10. Mauser Karabiner Kar 98k
> Year introduced: 1935
> Type: Bolt-action service rifle
> Used by during WWII: Germany, Finland, Denmark
> Manufacturer: Mauser
> Firing action: Bolt-action
> Maximum effective range: 1,969 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 7.92x57mm Mauser, 5-round internal box magazine

9. Type 24 (Chiang Kai-Shek Rifle)
> Year introduced: 1935
> Type: Bolt-action service rifle
> Used by during WWII: China, Taiwan
> Manufacturer: State Arsenals
> Firing action: Manually-actuated bolt-action; repeat fire
> Maximum effective range: 1,640 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 8x57mm IS (7.92x57mm Mauser), 5-round internal magazine

8. MAS 36
> Year introduced: 1936
> Type: Bolt-action service rifle
> Used by during WWII: France, Monaco
> Manufacturer: Manufacture d’Armes de Saint-Etienne
> Firing action: Manually-operated bolt-action system
> Maximum effective range: 1,125 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 7.5x54mm, 5-round internal box magazine

7. Winchester Model 70
> Year introduced: 1936
> Type: Bolt-action sniper rifle
> Used by during WWII: United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada
> Manufacturer: Winchester
> Firing action: Manually-actuated bolt-action system
> Maximum effective range: 1,000 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: .30-06 Springfield, 3-, 4-, or 5-round capacity

6. Arisaka Type 97
> Year introduced: 1937
> Type: Bolt-action sniper rifle
> Used by during WWII: Japan
> Manufacturer: State Arsenals / Arisaka
> Firing action: Manually-actuated bolt-action system; repeat-fire
> Maximum effective range: 2,500 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 6.5x50mm, 5-round internal box magazine

5. Arisaka Type 99
> Year introduced: 1939
> Type: Bolt-action sniper rifle
> Used by during WWII: Japan, China
> Manufacturer: State Arsenals / Arisaka
> Firing action: Manually-actuated bolt-action system
> Maximum effective range: 2,500 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 7.7x58mm, 5-round internal box magazine

4. Tokarev SVT-40
> Year introduced: 1940
> Type: Self-loading, semi-automatic rifle
> Used by during WWII: Soviet Union, Finland, China
> Manufacturer: State Factories
> Firing action: Gas-operated, semi-automatic
> Maximum effective range: 1,640 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 7.62x54mmR, 10-round detachable box magazine

3. Remington Model 1903
> Year introduced: 1941
> Type: Bolt-action sniper rifle
> Used by during WWII: United States
> Manufacturer: Remington
> Firing action: Manually-actuated bolt-action system
> Maximum effective range: 900 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: .30-06 Springfield, 5-round supply via stripper clip

2. Walther Gewer 43 (G 43 / Gew 43)
> Year introduced: 1943
> Type: Self-loading, semi-automatic rifle
> Used by during WWII: Czechoslovakia, Germany
> Manufacturer: Carl Walther Waffenfabrik
> Firing action: Gas-operated, semi-automatic
> Maximum effective range: 1,640 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 7.92x57mm Mauser, 10-round detachable box magazine

[in-text-ad-2]

1. M3 Carbine
> Year introduced: 1944
> Type: Sniper carbine rifle
> Used by during WWII: United States
> Manufacturer: Inland Division of General Motors
> Firing action: Selective-fire; gas-operated, short-stroke piston
> Maximum effective range: 900 ft.
> Cartridge, caliber, and Feed: 30 M1 Carbine, 15- or 30-round detachable box magazine

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.