The Swiss Schmidt-Rubin Rifle is the name for a variety of rifles made for the Swiss Army that replaced the previous Vetterli Rifles. The rifle takes its name from the designer of its straight-pull bolt action, Rudolf Schmidt, and the designer of its 7.5 mm Gw Pat 90 (GP 90) and the more advanced 7.5x55 mm Swiss (GP 11) ammunition, Eduard Rubin. The three main Full-length models are the M1889 (recognizable that is the only version with locking lugs on the rear of the bolt body), the M1896 (shorter than the M1889), and the M1911 (developed for the 7.5x55 mm Swiss (GP 11) cartridge, pistol grip, improved sights, and a 6 round detachable box magazine).
The most prominent feature of this type of rifle is the straight-pull bolt action, which, similar to the Mannlicher system, allows reloading with a powerful but fast pull-push motion. The Schmidt-Rubin bolt-action rifle, including the famous K31 Rifle, was the main battle rifle of Switzerland and was gradually replaced by the Sturmgewehr 57 assault rifle from 1959.
Schmidt-Rubin Model 1889
The Model 1889 was the first straight-pull repeating system of the Schmidt-Rubin rifle series, introduced with the predecessor cartridge 7.5×53.5mm, which is rather rare today. The M1889 ended the era of black powder in the Swiss army. Furthermore, the rifles were equipped with a 12-round magazine, which was supposed to increase the firepower and could also be used as a single-loader with a magazine cut-off. The introduction of a new repeating rifle, proposed by the Bundesrat (federal council) and approved by the National- and Ständerat (national council and the council of states) in June 1889, brought a successor to the Vetterli Rifle.
The M1889 was issued to the troops in 1891 and was manufactured until 1897. Small changes in the lock housing and the lock led to the Model 89/96. After the introduction of Modell 1911, the M89 was still used by the Landsturm until 1934. It should be noted that the M1889 is not suitable for use with the improved 7.5x55mm Swiss (GP 11) cartridge due to its weaker design (rear breech lugs).
The designation 89/96 or 1889/96 is misleading; it suggests that the Infanteriegewehr 89/96 have been modified from the M1889. This is not the case, the M1889/96 is an absolutely independent design, in which the breech casing and the breech are completely different from the M1889. Unfortunately, the erroneous designation is used in the technical literature.
Almost all M89/96 rifles introduced in the army were changed into M96/11; only about 1,280 pieces are said to have remained in their original condition, a certain number of which may have been destroyed or lost in advance. Also, the M89/96 infantry rifle has the magazine and sights of the M1889 rifle, but already has the straight-pull breech with the forward locking mechanism of the later rifles. For this reason, it made economic sense to convert these rifles to the M96/11 Infantry Rifle.
(1889 - 1897)
- Type: Battle Rifle
- Caliber: 7.5x53.5mm Swiss (GP 90)
- Weight: 10.80 lbs (4900g) empty
- Length: 51.25 inches (1301.75mm)
- Barrel length: 30.7 inches (780mm)
- Capacity: 12 round detachable box magazine
- Fire Modes: Bolt action
The Schmidt-Rubin M1889 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:
|Fusilier Wipf||Swiss soldiers||M1889 or M1889/96||1938|
|The Legend of Tarzan||Casper Crump||Major Kerchover||2016|
|Samuel L. Jackson||George Washington Williams||With a scope|
|Belgian and Force Publique soldiers|
Schmidt-Rubin Model 1911
The M1911 Infantry Rifle was formally introduced in 1913 to replace the old infantry rifles. Production ran from 1913 to 1919, and a total of about 127,000 long rifles of this type were produced. It was above all the Schützenvereine (marksmen's clubs) that wanted to hold on to the full-length rifle, as it was more accurate at 300 meters than the shorter carbine. For this reason, they pushed for the development of the M1911 in parallel with the development of the Karabiner 11. It was based on the previous rifles of the Swiss Army and, like the K11, did not represent a huge innovation in weapons technology. The K11 is smaller, lighter, and still deadly accurate, it became a favorite of the swiss army and its popularity contributed to the design of its successor the K31. Production of the K11 included the conversion of the M1900 model and M1905 short rifles to the newer specifications of the carbine. For this reason, the earlier short rifles are rarely found in their original condition.
While the production of the carbine continued until 1933 that of the M1911 rifle stopped in 1919. After the end of the production of the long rifle, rifle stocks that had already been produced were still in stock ready for use. In the following years, these were adapted and shortened so that they could be used on newly produced or refurbished K11s. However, some long rifles made for private owners were still produced, which have production dates (on breech and stock) of 1924 and 1925. These often have a special woven sling instead of the military leather one. Also, many private rifles have a plaque in the stock bearing the name of the owner. The gun dealer who sold the private gun is often engraved on the breech. Approximately 184,000 carbines were produced. For preliminary tests on the upcoming Karabiner 31, the so-called Dicklaufkarabiner based on the K11 were already produced around 1929.
The Model 1911 was manufactured by the Eidgenössische Waffenfabrik Bern (W+F). The barrels were also made by SIG and the company Hämmerli und Hausch (H&H).
(1911 - 1919 (Rifle), (1933) (K11))
- Type: Battle Rifle
- Caliber: 7.5x55mm Swiss (GP 11)
- Weight: 10.14 lbs (4600g) empty; 8.59 lbs (3900g) (K11)
- Length: 51.57 inches (1310mm); 43.42 inches (1103mm) (K11)
- Barrel length: 30.7 inches (780mm); 23.30 inches (592mm) (K11)
- Capacity: 6 round box magazine
- Fire Modes: Bolt action
The Schmidt-Rubin M1911 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:
|Fusilier Wipf||Paul Hubschmid||Reinhold Wipf||Rifle with Dolchbajonett 1889 and 1899||1938|
|Robert Trösch||Hans-Rudolph Meisterhans|
|Max Werner Lenz||Jakob Hungerbühler|
|Heinrich Gretler||Heinrich Leu|
|Swiss and Italian soldiers||Rifle and carbine|
|HD-Soldat Läppli||Alfred Rasser||Theophil Läppli||1959|
|The Boat Is Full||Swiss soldiers||Carbine||1981|
|Case Grüninger||Swiss border guards||Carbine||2014|
|Clara Immerwahr||French soldiers||Carbine||2014|
|General Strike 1918||Raphaël Tschudi||A Swiss soldier||Rifle with Dolchbajonett 1899||2018|