The Selbstlader-Karabiner M1916, also known as the Mauser M1916 was the final iteration of a series of semi-automatic rifles produced by the Mauser company in Germany prior to World War I. Development of the weapon began in 1898 with the Mauser Recoil-Operated Rifle and was gradually altered and improved upon past the turn of the century. At the beginning of the great war, the design that would become the M1916 was rejected by the Army, but ultimately adopted by the German Air Corps as an aviator's rifle - the main armament of aircraft before the advent of synchronized machine guns. The M1916 utilized a relatively unusual delayed blowback system of operation.
Although the weapon had a generous magazine capacity of 25 rounds and high mechanical accuracy, its many shortcomings quickly became apparent. Its high manufacturing cost, need for lubricated ammunition, and its frequent malfunctions when exposed to the slightest amount of dirt not only prevented it from reaching the trenches but also made it less suitable in the air when compared to the cheaper, more reliable Mondragon rifle. As a result, only about 1000 of these rifles were obtained by the German army.
The Selbstlader M1916 is a weapon featured in Battlefield 1 for the Medic kit. It made its appearance during the Gamescom Livestream event hosted by EA. The weapon features a high magazine capacity but a relatively slow rate of fire and substantial recoil. The rate of fire is slow enough that the weapon is at a distinct disadvantage at very short ranges. All of this encourages taking slow, aimed shots and taking down each enemy methodically. The weapon is a reliable 3-shot kill at any range and it is quite possible to take down multiple enemies from an unseen position before having to reload.
Furthermore, possibly alluding to its use on airplanes, the M1916 is quite proficient at doing damage to aircraft because of its large magazine. The Attack Plane and Fighter, in particular, are extremely vulnerable to damage from this weapon - aiming for the wings can often cause a plane to crash if it is too low.
Selbstlader M1916 Factory variants can be looted off German soldiers in the War Story, Through Mud and Blood.
Three variants of the weapon are featured in multiplayer: Factory, Optical and Marksman.
The Selbstlader M1916 Factory is the default variant of the weapon. That factor makes this weapon great at long ranges because of its magazine capacity and accuracy.
The Selbstlader M1916 Optical is equipped with a magnified lens sight and a foregrip, allowing for better mid-to-long range engagements and increased aimed accuracy.
The Selbstlader M1916 Marksman variant is equipped with a medium power telescopic sight and a foregrip. Its higher magnification sight grants better accuracy at long-range engagements.