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Zastava Arms M48

M48 Mauser

The M48 Mauser is a post World War II Yugoslavian version of the Belgian Fabrique Nationale designed Mauser Model 1924 short rifle which was produced under contract by the "Kingdom of Yugoslavia" beginning in 1928 and ending with the Nazi occupation in 1941. After World War II, the Yugoslavs took this design and incorporated modifications based upon Germany's Mauser Karabiner 98k. Although similar in general appearance to that of the German rifle, many of the parts of these two rifles are not interchangeable, especially the bolt and related action parts. The main difference between the M48 and the K98k is that the M48 uses an intermediate length receiver. They are usually easily identified by the top handguard, which extends behind the rear sight and ends just in front of the receiver ring, although this feature exists on other models as well. M48's are regarded as a military surplus firearm and can be collected in the USA, Canada and Australia.


There are three main versions of the M48.

M48: 1950-1952 - The initial version of the M48, with full crest and all machined steel parts.

M48A: 1952-1956 - Inclusion of stamped parts. the M48A used sheet metal stampings for the magazine floor plate. These changes sped production while lowering cost. The critical bolt and receiver which contain the pressure of the burning propellant within the cartridge case retained the same material requirements and design tolerances (i.e. were machined from forged steel) in the A and B variations.

M48B: 1956-1965 - Additional sheet metal stampings incorporated. The most critical factor to understand about this model is that it continued to be stamped on the receiver ring M48A. There was no change in markings. The specific changes in parts is unverified but include stamped barrel and H-bands and the magazine spring follower. The most significant change and external appearance whereby the M48B may be identified is the trigger guard. Whereas previously, the trigger guard/mag well were machined from a solid billet of steel, it was changed to an assembly fabricated from stamped parts. The new trigger guard has a rib running around the exterior of both sides. While the exact number of changes made to this model have not been specified, the impact on production in 1956 were extensive and drastically reduced the number produced that year. There was a specific reason for this. From 1956 on, all M48 production was intended solely for export.

M48BO: 1956-1965 - The "bo" stands for "bez oznake" and translates roughly as "unmarked" or "without markings." These were identical to and manufactured concurrent with the crested M48B but were not stamped with any national or manufacturer's markings.

M48/63 - Zastava Arms currently (2011) manufactures the M48/63 sporting rifle which is a short barreled variant of the Model 1948 rifle

Type: Bolt-action rifle
Place of origin: Yugoslavia

Service history

In service: 1948 – present
Used by: Yugoslavia, Egypt, Algeria, Iraq
Wars: Yugoslav wars

Production history

Manufactured By: Zastava Arms
Designed: 1948
Produced: 1950–1965
Number built: 1,224,000+
Variants: M48, M48A, M48B, M48BO


Weight: 3.9 kg (8.6 lb)
Length: 1105 mm (43.5 in)
Barrel Length: 597 mm (23.25 in)
Cartridge: 7.92 x 57 mm IS (8 mm Mauser)
Action: Bolt-action
Muzzle Velocity: 760 m/s (2,493 ft/s)
Effective Range: 547 yd (with iron sights), 875 yd (with optics)
Feed System: 5 round stripper clip, internal magazine
Sights, rear: standard V-notch, adjustable to 2,000 meters in 100 m increments
Sights, front: hooded, inverted V
More information on Zastava Arms guns
Zastava Arms M48 Reviews