K31 Rifle

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Karabiner K31 Rifle - 7.5 x 55mm Schmidt Rubin GP-11

The K31 was the first major redesign of the Swiss Schmidt straight pull bolt action design.

Contrary to popular belief, the K31 rifle is not called the Schmidt-Rubin K31. Those men designed the 1889 and 1896 rifles and their ammunition, and they were both dead in 1931, when the K31 was designed. The K31 was actually an entirely new team design by the Eidgenössische Waffenfabrik government small arms factory in Bern, Switzerland under the supervision of Colonel Adolf Furrer.

Design

The principal objection to the earlier models had been the length of the action. With the K31, the action was redesigned to half of the length of the earlier models, being made from lighter metals but still stronger than the previous Schmidt actions. The K31 was also designed to be a standardized rifle that was to replace both the full-length and carbine versions of the Schmidt-Rubin 1911 rifles. The K31 met all the specifications to be both cheaper to produce and more accurate than the longer rifles that came before it, so it was adopted as the official rifle of the Swiss military in 1931. The K31 is fed by a six round detachable box magazine fed by tin, paperboard and resin Phenolic stripper or charger clips loaded with six rounds of powerful 7.5mm Swiss ammunition. The stocks are usually in average condition from being dinged in storage or the snow, but the barrel and bolt assembly are usually in very good condition because the Swiss used a special gun grease known as "Waffenfett" instead of cosmoline or regular gun oil. Since the Swiss are famously neutral, the K31 never actually saw combat, but was issued to troopers and other Swiss government security branches. In fact, some K31s can be found with "trooper tags" underneath the butt plate at the rear end of the stock, showing its former Swiss government user. Most of the K31s, much like surplus Yugoslavian Mausers, have very sharp, strong and pristine rifling, mainly because they were rarely used or in storage, but also because the Swiss used a unique GP-11 entirely non-corrosive ammunition with a strong wax seal around the cupro-nickel bullet. As such, the barrels are not pitted or corroded, and maintain terrific accuracy even today. It remained on active service until 1958 with the adoption of the StG 57. However, as the quintessential Swiss rifle, the K31 remained in the Swiss reserve arsenal until well into the 1990s, and is now a popular military surplus firearm. It is the most well known of the Schmidt-Rubin straight pull bolt action models in the United States and is the one most commonly available in the U.S.A. It is considered by many to be one of the best military bolt action rifles ever made. The K31s can still be found in excellent shape around the world for affordable prices.

Specifications

(1931-1958)

  • Type: Rifle
  • Cartridge: 7.5 x 55mm Gewehrpatrone 11 (7.5mm Swiss GP-11)
  • Weight: 8lb, 13oz (4.0 kg)
  • Length: 43.50 in (1,105 mm)
  • Barrel length: 25.70 in (655 mm)
  • Action: Bolt-action - Straight pull
  • Muzzle velocity: 2,640 ft/s (805 m/s)
  • Feed system: 6-round, detachable box magazine fed by stripper clips
  • Sights: Leaf rear sight, barleycorn-type front sight
  • Number built: 528,230

The K31 Rifle and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
Shining Through Swiss Border Guards 1992



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