Let's forget Hype and who won what carrying what for a moment....lets compare the individual rifles.
M98 S/42 1938 (Kar 98) 7.92x57 JS 43.70" OAL EW 8.6 lbs Barrel 23.62" 5 shot magazine
MV of 1940's era 7.9 mm Patr. S.M.K. 177.9 gr 2624 fps 5 shot average my rifle
Soviet MN 91/30 7.62x54R 48.43" OAL EW 8.82 lb Barrel 28.75" 5 Shot Magazine
MV of 1940's era Soviet light ball 147.6 gr 2800 fps 5 shot average my rifle.
Now the measured BC of each bullet is:
German .498 uncorrected for temp and altitude
Soviet .363 uncorrected for temp and altitude
At longer ranges the 7.92 bullet has an advantage
Handling, with or without bayonet the Mauser handles better than the std MN 91/30
Sights I cannot say one is better than the other, provided the sight hood is present on the Mauser, if not then the MN has the advantage.
Accuracy with war surplus at 100 meters both rifles held to about 3 +- inches for 5 rounds, which was probably more due to the shooters and the ammunition than the rifles ( I was running the Chrono that day as well as being the RO)
For issue to a conscript minimally trained army, they rate about the same, since it normally requires a Sergeant's boot placed strategically (usually more than once) to keep the rifles cleaned, until the Darwin effect of warfare thins the herd and clues in the rest, that take care of your rifle and it will take care of you....or until you can pick up an automatic weapon of some type and leave that heavy clunky rifle for someone else.
Fit and finish, pretty comparable up to 1942, then both sides took short cuts.
I like the controlled feed of the Mauser and magazine over that used in the MN 91/30 and the safety
I talked to an older fellow who lives nearby who fought in the Soviet army and he said he never bothered with the safety, because by the time you wrestled off safe some......what he called them is not printable in any language...German grenadier was now sharing your position doing his best to kill you.