Originally Posted by SSGN_Doc
In perspective of today's actions it isn't that special anymore.
In the historical perspective it also happens to have been the bolt action that brought together the features that were incorporated and mimicked and then tweaked to make most if today's modern bolt actions.
In 1898 it offered two large front lugs which gives good lockup and strength to handle some pretty high pressure rounds. The independent extractor claw which gives good controlled feeding and positive extraction. The staggered box magazine that could be reloaded with stripper clips. The bolt handle acting as a third safety lug. A large gas shield at the rear if the bolt to shield the shooters face from gases in the event of a pierced primer. Gas vents in the bolt body to redirect the same gasses in the event of a pierced primer. The three position safety that allowed for unloading with the safety on.
All if these features coming together in a single rifle design at that time was significant enough that not a lot changed for over 100 years since the design.
I'm sorry, BUT, it IS very special still. The 98 is still highly sought after as the basis for custom sporters. I have several custom sporters based on the Mauser action and I like them better than the M70 Win. and the M700 Rem's I also have.
BTW, the bolt handle DOES NOT act as a third locking or safety lug on the M98. There actually is a smaller locking/safety lug just forward of the bolt handle that is smaller than the front two massive locking lugs. If you have a M98, go look at the bolt and you will see what I am referring to.