View Full Version : Swiss Precision Quality Schmidt Rubin K31 Carbine

December 13, 2008, 11:41 PM
Did I make a mistake?

I just ordered one of these:

I couldn't help it. At 210, plus shipping and 30 bucks FFL, if it's not a C&R, I'm buying a Swiss made, .308 caliber tack driver, I think. I went for it, thinking I haven't found any others at a better price come up in a LONG time.

I like accurate guns, and, this just looked to good to pass up.
Am I way off? Should I have bought a Mauser 24/47 instead, for half the price? Keep in mind I currently have 30-06, and will have a 308, one of these days...
Or, the more expensive, http://www.samcoglobal.com/images/cart/Sweedish-M38.jpg



December 14, 2008, 12:21 AM

You have done well Socrates.

Every rifle nut should have at least one K31.

The rifles are precision built and the 7.5x55 cartridge
is inherently an accurate design.

The K31 is basically a target rifle disguised as a service rifle.

enjoy your new prize !




December 14, 2008, 03:53 AM
Is there a better, or cheaper source for such surplus rifles???

December 14, 2008, 11:57 AM
They are available at on-line auctions (Gun Broker and Auction Arms), as well as various and sundry on-line estate sales. Whether or not they are cheaper from these sources is a matter of luck and timing.

It helps if you have a C&R FFL, because it cuts down on the cost and hassle of actually getting your hands on one if you win one at the auctions

December 14, 2008, 02:16 PM
The cheapest K-31 I've seen was a private individual trying to sell one at a gun show. The dealers weren't giving him anything for it. I asked him what he'd like, he said $200, we dealt right there on the spot. I got a great gun (walnut) at a great price, he got some cash, we screwed a few grubbing dealers, and the gun is...um...how do I say this...off the books. As in off the government's radar. A non-gun. An all-around great deal.

December 14, 2008, 02:32 PM
Gunshows are another alternative and you don't need a C$R to take possession.

December 14, 2008, 03:21 PM

Not really. I have purchased quite a few K31's and overall the
best and least expensive have been from SAMCO. I always
ordered their "special select walnut". The rifle in the picture
above I got from them. SAMCO has the only large lot of K31
rifles in the US at this time. Most re-sellers that have them
got them from SAMCO. The metal is almost invariably excellent
on the K31's. The stock condition however can vary a LOT. If you
care about looks, buy "special select" or spend a little extra and
pry a nice one out of the hands of a collector.

Socrates asked - Is there a better, or cheaper source for such surplus rifles???


December 14, 2008, 07:05 PM
Thanks for the great comments. I'm looking forward to having a swiss tack driver, and, since it's .308, that gives me 30-06, 7.62 X 54R, and 7.5 x 55 Swiss, which means it will be pretty easy to buy bullets.:D

December 14, 2008, 07:15 PM
One thing, Socrates--most 7.62 x 54R rifles have a nominal bore diameter of 310.5-.312. You can use .308 bullets, but will likely experience diminished accuracy and possibly increased bore wear.

You may want to slug your bore and use bullets of a size appropriate to your results.

December 14, 2008, 07:33 PM
A couple things that might be worth your time to read



1MOA is not uncommon for these rifles when using Swiss GP11 surplus ammo and often better with Hornady or Norma. Prvi Partizan, Wolf Gold (repackaged Prvi) and FNM are not typically as accurate, but they are cheaper than Hornady or Norma and provide Boxer-Primed Brass cases.

Also, If you want a really accurate Mosin, look at a Finnish M39. 1MOA or less is not uncommon with good ammo (i.e. Lapua 7.62x53R) and these rifles have .308 bores.

December 14, 2008, 08:51 PM
You are right about the K31/GP11 combo.


Also, If you want a really accurate Mosin, look at a Finnish M39. 1MOA or less is not uncommon with good ammo (i.e. Lapua 7.62x53R) and these rifles have .308 bores.

Not so sure about this. I haven't slugged any of my m39 bores, but I've always heard that the M39's were 3.095-.311 bore size. I thought that the only .308 size Finnish bores were some of the early 91-24's.

Have always heard that if the barrel is marked with a "D", it is .310-.312

December 15, 2008, 03:54 AM
I did allot of research awhile back on the k31 and $200-250 seemed about average. Often, though, the good deals required shipping. I got one for $240 at Cabelas and I believe it originated from SAMCO. Also, mine has walnut but the wood is not nearly as nice as the Doctor's.

December 15, 2008, 08:37 AM
The Swiss rifle is an incredibly fine quality surplus gun. It was a steal when they first came in and were selling relatively cheaply. I sold mine, however. I just could not fully warm up to the action and the ammo choices were pretty limited at the time. Did not shoot it a great deal. If it is your piece of cake, you can't go wrong. IF you can still get a nice one, not the raggedy ones that show up now. I more or less have stuck with the Swedish rifles as a quality surplus Mauser. Little more ammo choices too. Much nicer guns than the Mosins, whose only advantage is being dirt cheap, for a centerfire. The Swiss guns ook like they were made like fine custom guns, almost. Flawless execution of the design.

December 15, 2008, 09:50 AM
Anyone have a good place to find some 7.5 x 55 surplus ammo, either reloadable, or not?

December 15, 2008, 10:51 AM
AIM surplus


Graf and Sons






Ammunition to go


Sportsman's Guide


Ammo Man


Cheaper than dirt


J & G sales


December 15, 2008, 12:08 PM
Thanks for that list. A few on there I did not know about.
Maybe we should get a sticky going on here with a list of C&R firearms dealers and a list of accessory providers.

December 16, 2008, 07:40 PM
I just traded into a walnut stocked K31 to go with my Gew.96/11. Can't wait!

December 16, 2008, 10:15 PM
If it is your piece of cake, you can't go wrong. IF you can still get a nice one, not the raggedy ones that show up now.

Some of those raggedy ones can be a wolf in sheep's clothing. I picked mine up in a local shop for $90 a couple of years ago. The blueing is thin and the stock has its fair share of bumps and dings, but she still shoots like a dream.

SP Shop Foreman
December 17, 2008, 03:45 PM
Brownells also has k31 accessories.



The Lovemaster
December 18, 2008, 05:08 PM
Nice rifle! Now you need a Swede to go with it.

December 19, 2008, 12:45 AM
The Swiss Schmidt-Rubin K31 Carbine
By David Tong

The Swiss, knowing that their neutrality might put them at odds with European aggressor nations, have always been a nation of rifleman. To this day every Swiss male serves in the military, either full time or as a reservist, from age 18 to 42, and has a fully-automatic rifle in his residence should an unlikely call to arms ever occur.
They have always been technical innovators in regards to weapon design, even if some of their solutions have not been adopted by any major power. The Karabiner 31 is a case in point.
Messrs. Schmidt (designer of the original rifle action) and Rubin (designer of the smokeless powder cartridge it used) developed a straight-pull, bolt action rifle that the Swiss adopted as their Model 1889. It differs from the usual turn bolt action in that the motion to work the action is a straight pull backward followed by a straight push forward, rather than the up and back, forward and down motion to which the rest of the world is accustomed in its bolt guns.
It does so by using a cam pin, much like that of the AR-15/M16, which imparts rotational motion and primary extraction (the initial removal by rotation of the spent cartridge case) of the bolt from its locked to an unlocked state. The stated advantage of the straight-pull system is to better allow for rapid, repeat fire from concealment or cover without exposing the rifleman's arm and position. The disadvantage of the system is its primary extraction; lacking the normal turn bolt's great rotational leverage imparted by the shooter's arm, a neglected or dirty chamber can theoretically tie up the action. However, most authorities agree that the consistency of manufacture of both rifle and ammo, along with the drilled-in care Swiss NCOs imparted to their troopers made this a non-issue.
The system served through two major variants, the Model 1889, and the later Model 1911, both using the so-called "GP90" 7.5X55mm cartridge. The earliest versions used a round nosed projectile, while later versions used a spitzer bullet. Both were loaded to a maximum average pressure (MAP) of less than 40,000 c.u.p., well below the MAP of the later K31's ammunition. 7.5mm bullets for the rear-locking Model 1889 and 1911 rifles are no longer available.
The K31 made its debut in the Swiss military in 1935, and along with the change in ammunition came changes to the basic rifle action as well. Earlier Schmidt-Rubin rifles featured rear locking lugs, with the majority of the bolt length behind the magazine. To accommodate the higher-powered GP11 cartridge, Swiss ordnance redesigned the bolt system to include forward locking lugs, and its concurrent repositioning of the bolt over the magazine when locked and in battery, thus shortening the action.
Here are the basic specifications of the Karabiner 31:
· 43.6" OAL
· 25.65" barrel
· 6 round detachable box magazine serial numbered to rifle
· Bayonet (ideally but rarely) serialed to rifle
· 582,000 produced between 1933-1958
One thing that is not commonly known is that the K31's bullets are not "7.5mm," but actually .307" (essentially 7.62mm). This simplifies reloading, since standard .308" bullets may be used. Interestingly, the Swiss have always specified non-corrosive primers in their Schmidt-Rubin ammo, which with the customary good care means that most surplus rifles will have barrels in far better shape than is the norm for a smokepole of this age.
As was common practice for the day, the K31 had an open, sliding tangent type sight mounted ahead of the receiver, graduated from 100 to 1500 meters. Windage "adjustment" was achieved by drifting a unique, diagonally dovetailed front sight that was available in several sight heights for fine elevation changes. The sights were the then common inverted "V" in front, with a U-notch rear blade.
Unlike rifles manufactured by the major powers, the Swiss rifles did not suffer wartime production exigencies. The quality of the manufacture was never a question, and just one look at the bolt system during field stripping will tell you why. K31s are at once both easier to strip completely, without tools, and more difficult to routinely "field strip," because of the need to line up parts correctly to ensure that the cam system operates.
About the only manufacturing economy the Swiss took was the use of a beech, instead of the earlier walnut, stock and handguard. All metal parts show a very high level of finish machine work, with no rough tool marks evident even below the stock line. The trigger is your typical two-stage military type, but again due to high quality materials, heat-treatment, and proper fitting it breaks cleanly at about 5 pounds after the initial slack is taken up.
Separating the barreled action from the stock shows this quality of manufacture. Both handguard and stock feature a full serial number, and the main bedding block under the receiver ring rests on a metal shim (available in several arsenal thickness') to ensure a stable platform and consistency of bedding for accuracy.
As is usually the case with military bolt guns, the barrel is not free-floated. Instead, there is an inch-long contact point at the forward end of the stock, presumably not just for accuracy but also for bayonet use. Switzerland was probably the last country in Europe still using a bolt action rifle as their principal infantry weapon in the late 1950s.
I have not yet taken the rifle to a rifle range for accuracy testing at measured distances. In informal shooting from the bench (and offhand), it shoots quite well using Swiss surplus GP11 cartridges. Incidentally, this is the same ammo used by individual marksmen in matches in Switzerland, a far cry from what every other nation does. Recoil is about what you'd expect a .30-06 power level round to be like, firm and not helped by the usual curved steel buttplate.
I've fitted mine with a lace-up leather comb riser from Brauer Brothers, which raises my eye for a proper cheek weld, and have also purchased but not yet installed a Picatinny rail that displaces the rear sight leaf. This will enable the use of a long-eye-relief optic much like German WW I and WW II sniper rifles. At this point, I'm thinking about using the Burris 2-7X pistol scope, which will both allow for wide field of view snap shooting in our dense Oregon woods, as well as for the longer-distance precision a fixed power "Scout" scope would not be able to provide.
The rifles themselves are cheap and plentiful as of this writing (2005) and are available from many sources in Shotgun News. You can expect to live with about "80%" condition of the stock furniture, but usually with an immaculate barrel and bolt. Ammo costs are not great, roughly $0.40 per round for Swiss surplus, which is Berdan primed. There are sources of Boxer cases, most notably a short production run of Hornady hunting ammo, in 165 grain BTSP guise, as well as pricey Norma brass.
If you are hankering for something a bit unusual, yet practical for target shooting and hunting most North American game animals, a K31 is far from the worst choice you can make. Depending on your sense of humor, it might be a pretty good one.

December 19, 2008, 07:33 AM
FWIW, that article is a bit incorrect in that the Schmidt-Rubin Gew.1911 does indeed fire the GP11 cartridge and not the GP90. (Hence the name.)

December 19, 2008, 12:28 PM
Also, the author calls it a Schmidt-Rubin, which it is not. I believe those two guys were long dead by the time K31s were designed...

December 20, 2008, 10:06 PM
Seems to be favorable according to this:

December 21, 2008, 10:42 PM
Pretty bloody funny.:D
witzerland has not been invaded in 800 years, because every man and most of the women are issued guns which they keep at home. Imagine a government that not only allows but INSISTS its citizens keep military grade weapons. That's points right there. Even more, they hold quarterly Schuetzenfests, at which shooting, carousing and drinking are expected. And it's entirely possible you will have your ass handed to you by a 13 year old girl shooting a select-fire StG90 assault rifle that she carried to the range from school, slung across her back while pedaling her bicycle. Swiss GIRLS are better men than most allegedly-male American liberals.

There is a story, possibly apocryphal but awesome nonetheless, that a ranking German (possibly the Kaiser) was visiting and watching the Swiss military on their summer maneuvers. He asked the Swiss commander, "How big a force do you command?"

The Swiss general confidently replied, "I can mobilize one million men in twenty-four hours."

The German asked, "What would happen if I marched five million men in here tomorrow?"

The Swiss replied, "Each of my men will fire five shots and go home."

Note that Switzerland was not invaded during either World War, and still used an updated version of the same bolt action rifle from 1889 to 1959, and kept it in reserve service until 1980.

The Swiss K31 carbine is…well, the Swiss Watch of rifles. It is precise, sturdy, accurate, powerful and unusual in having a straight pull bolt action. It might as well be semi-auto, if a gas tube had just been added. But the Swiss are traditionalists and not afraid of it.

The K31 packs a kick. It fires a 7.5 mm Swiss round that is expensive, because it only comes from Switzerland and it's only available in match grade. There is no non-match grade Swiss Ammo. Swiss soldiers don't miss. This is why they've never had to demonstrate the fact. Invaders fear a mountain range full of snipers.

December 26, 2008, 10:41 PM
1889 Schmidt-Rubin

It's replacement was the Schmidt-Rubin Series of rifles. There were several models in the Schmidt-Rubin Series, including the 1889, 1896/11, 1911 Rifle and Carbine, and the K31. The Schmidt-Rubin series was issued from 1889 to 1957, and many K31s stayed in service for decades afterwards..

SP Shop Foreman
December 27, 2008, 08:06 PM
The k31 is not a Schmidt Rubin.


December 28, 2008, 07:28 PM
How about just plain
"K31" based on the S&R design?

SP Shop Foreman
December 29, 2008, 09:14 AM

and........... http://www.swissrifles.com/sr/faq/

Q. How was the K31 improved?

The action was almost completely re-done. In fact technically, the K31 is not a Schmidt-Rubin at all, although it is still a straight-pull. The K31 action was shortened and the locking lugs were moved to the front of the bolt. This created a stronger action, and allowed the length of the K31 to be the same length as the 1911 carbine, yet still have a 2" longer barrel. The K31 was adopted in 1933 and stayed in service until 1958.


December 29, 2008, 08:00 PM
I paid way less than $200 for mine less than 2 years ago. Shop around. I see them at gun shows for $200 or less all the time.

Last time I was out with the Karabiner, I shot a 1.1 inch group at 100 yards. Here is the great part - I did it with iron sights! Now, considering that I have lived longer than half a century with less than 20/20 vision, I thought that was pretty darned good. My shooting buddy kept saying I was missing the target, until he walked downrange with me and counted 5 holes. :)

A lot of guys feel that the walnut stock is more desirable. I will admit that they have a richer color than the beech stocks, but don't pass up a deal on a beech stocked Karabiner. The beech makes for a better stock. It is denser and responds to humidity much less than the walnut. It is also a tougher wood. You can bang it around and not get dings in it. Personally, I prefer the beech stocks for looks, too, but then, I have always preferred blondes.

December 29, 2008, 09:40 PM
I should've stayed out of this thread.

Ever since I put that FN-49 together my mind has been running through the "what should I get for my C&R collection" thoughts.

I don't even have a C&R collection.

I'm thinking that is gonna change. These swiss rifles are just to sweet.

So, is Samco offering them at the lowest price? Or should I keep looking? I noticed J&G sales doesn't offer them anymore. Seems they are starting to dry up, and I want mine, along with a Nagant 91.

Dang, but those are sweet swiss rifles. The craftsmanship....:eek:

December 30, 2008, 09:23 AM
Samco appears to be the cheapest, plus they offer slings and cleaning kits. I don't know if the others do as they don't mention it.

December 30, 2008, 11:03 PM
I guess this is relevant. It's 17 days later, and, Samco has not charged my account, or shipped the rifle. NOT a Merry Christmas.:mad:

December 31, 2008, 02:22 AM
Their homepage says because of high order volume add an extra 15-20 days for processing orders. Too bad, but the wait will be worth it for a k31. Looks like Samco needs to hire a few more employees.


The Lovemaster
December 31, 2008, 11:56 AM
Oh yeah, the wait is worth it. My K31 is a tack driver, and I've only ran a box of factory ammo through it so far (waiting on my dies from Midway). Those rifles are so choice.

December 31, 2008, 12:46 PM
(waiting on my dies from Midway)

Who sells bullets for reloading this cartridge?

The Lovemaster
December 31, 2008, 01:36 PM
To the best of my knowledge, these rifles shoot .30 caliber bullets. My Sierra manual recommends slugging the barrel, though, because apparently bore diameter varies between guns.

SP Shop Foreman
December 31, 2008, 02:00 PM
.30 caliber, virtually NO difference between bores other than normal barrel wear. Sierra .308 165gr is what a lot of us shoot.

Archives from the SP owner.





December 31, 2008, 04:58 PM
.30 caliber, virtually NO difference between bores other than normal barrel wear. Sierra .308 165gr is what a lot of us shoot.

That's great. I load for a couple calibers that already use that same .30 cal bullet.

Does anybody make reasonably priced brass for this cartridge? All I can find is Norma, and it's bloody pricey.

SP Shop Foreman
December 31, 2008, 05:59 PM
And there are others I'll post when I find them again.


January 6, 2009, 01:00 AM
I ended up with ammo, and no rifle.:mad:

My debit account was charged by some scam magazine company 4 times, right after the first. To get the bank to back the filing, I had to cancel the debit card, and, that was the number that was used to charge my rifle with Samco. As of today, the 1/6/09, they had still not charged an order placed on 12/13/08

I'm currently waiting for a new card from the bank. NOT fun.

For what it's worth, all of this happened thanks to a bizrate.com computer card buy. As close as I can remember,
they had a 'surveyscam' where you had to deselect a bunch of magazines, or, you auto get free mags, and, as of the first, are then signed up for the mags they pick.

I canceled out of the survey, but, I suspect by placing the order, in the 'legal agreement' that I thought pretained to the actual items I selected, I some how gave them authorization for their scam.

If they send you the magazines, you can't return them.
Post office won't go for that.

You can try and call them, but, it took about 2 hours to finally get through their bull.
They promised to return the money. Sure. Checked the statement the next day, and, rather then a refund, they added another 44.00 charge to my account.

The charges show up as, for example
TWX*n2KSXN*SI MAGAZINE 800-205-9198

The 4 charge around over 100 dollars. If they sent out such charges to enough people, they could have a short term loan, for as much as they want, since the legal system would take forever to catch them, and, with debit cards, they actually have your money, at least for about the 2 weeks it takes for the bank to credit it back. Also, it took about 2 hours at WAMU for a manager to finally get through and file the report. WHAT a pain.

January 6, 2009, 10:52 AM
Shread the magazines, get a suitably sized box to put it all in & tape one of those *post paid* cards that fall out of magazines (or the postpaid envelopes from credit offers) to the outside & send it off. I occassionally send AMEX my old motorcycle tires as it beats paying the $5 disposal fee the shops charge.... A few months back I sent some morgage company 2 gallons of used engine oil... :cool:
If they're going to send me crap, I'm going to return the favor...;)

January 9, 2009, 04:08 PM
The company refunded 3 of the 4 charges, and, my bank is covering the other, and filing a complaint.

New card came in, but, thanks to work being a bit slow, I'm going to have to put the purchase on hold...

January 9, 2009, 07:05 PM
I'm sure that there are many excellent forums out there for discussing various debit card scams and such.

This one is about Curio & Relic Firearms.