View Full Version : Ammo availability vs. Coolness.

December 29, 2009, 09:16 AM
Alright, I don't reload; is it even worth it to get a K31? It seems like everyone thinks they're going to stop making ammo for them. Should I spend a bit more on a good Enfield, or should I get a good K31 now while they're about 100 bucks less than a comparable Enfield (and the K31 has the accessories!)

I don't buy guns unless I can shoot them, and if there's not going to be any ammo I can't shoot them. I don't want to reload and even if I did there's no room in my tiny apartment for the setup. Also, if ammo runs out for a gun, doesn't that generally bring their value down? With so many K-31s being sold, it seems as though the ammo manufacturers would keep making ammo for them.

Also, are Finn Mosins generally considered "better" than the cheapo Ruskies going for 100 bucks nowadays?

December 29, 2009, 09:31 AM
Also, I found a Canadian made Lee Enfield L 2A1 Ishapore Bolt Action Rifle that appears to be made for .308; is this true? Or has it simply been re chambered. If it is original I'm going to jump on it. I would post a link but JoeSalter doesn't seem to provide real addresses. The web page for the gun just says JoeSalter.com

December 29, 2009, 10:15 AM
Man, what a can of worms :D

Somebody else is going to have to speak to the K31 ammo situation - I don't collect them.

As to the Soviet versus Finn Mosin Nagant business, Finns are considered to be more collectible because there aren't nearly as many in existence as their Soviet brethren. In aggregate, the Finns tend to be more accurate than the Soviet Mosins because the Finnish arsenals took more care in rebuilding the rifles than the Soviets did - it was, I guess, a quality over quantity game.

On a rifle to rifle basis, though, there's no telling which will shoot better. If your aim is to collect the rifles, you just have to decide where your focus is. The rifles are priced based upon scarcity, which is why you'll find a Soviet model selling for a quarter of the price of a Finn.

Ishapores were originally chambered in .308. I'm pretty sure that none were made in Canada.

December 29, 2009, 10:30 AM
the Indian Ishapore arsenal 7.62x51NATO Enfield rifle receivers were made of a tougher steel alloy than the .303 No.1 MK III* that they are based on.
And even they shouldnt be shot with maximum load .308 winchester ammo-
which has higher chamber pressures than military 7.62 NATO.
I dont know how there would be any canadian linkage to a post war Indian
made rifle. if somebody took a canadian .303 receiver and put a .308 barrel on it I wouldnt touch it If it were free!!!!!! kabooooom!!!

ammo for the K31 isnt scarce, and is made by civy companies as well. in tx a place called military gun supply in fort worth tends to always have it in stock, as well as the rifles.

December 29, 2009, 11:17 AM
It seems like everyone thinks they're going to stop making ammo for them.

Who's going to stop making ammo for them? Norma? Prvi Partisan? Hornady?

December 29, 2009, 11:57 AM
1. The K31 is still in limited production in a number of chamberings including GP11, 308 and 30-06.
2.There are a ton of K31s chambered for GP11 around the world with some in use for hunting guns in Europe. There are also other rifles chambered for the round.
3.The GP11 is shot out of collectors K11s and K31s almost exclusively in the US.

They are still being shot enough that I think some ammo will be commercially produced for quite some time. Will ammo prices go up as surplus runs out? Of course. So will 7.62X54R and 7.62X25. GP11 will probably be one of the first to run out though. My impression is that there are no more K31s or GP11 in Swiss arsenals at this point. Since the round is pretty much only shot by collectors stateside it may not be imported to the US as widely as it is available in Europe, although I doubt it.

In conclusion, GP11 or 7.5 Swiss, may not get any cheaper but I don't think it is going anywhere anytime soon.

December 29, 2009, 12:18 PM
Also keep in mind, and I don't shoot long range high power but this is what I have heard many places,

GP11 is a pretty high quality round. Basically equivocal to the match 30-06 round the US military produced(I forget what it was called). You are going to have a lot of trouble finding the same quality loading in any similar rifle round for a similar price.

December 29, 2009, 02:23 PM
I am still finding GP11 at around 60 cents per round.
There are a number of manufacturers of 7.5 Swiss around. It isn't hard to find. There is a market for this ammo so I would not worry about it not being made anymore.
The K31 is one of the most consistently accurate surplus rifles made. My two serve me very well.
And yes, the Finnish mosins are consistently much better than the Soviet mosins. The currently available Finnish M39's are on a par with the K31 in terms of accuracy. You'll also pay about 2-3 times more money for a Finn unless you are lucky enough to find a seller who doesn't know the difference.

December 29, 2009, 02:32 PM
Alright, I've made a decision; kinda.

This one... (http://www.simpsonltd.com/product_info.php?cPath=350_351_379&products_id=13778&osCsid=8637a6b4d1704a3468b9293edb58f0d8)


This one. (http://www.joesalter.com/lgdetail.php?f_qryitem=13163&Search=search)

December 29, 2009, 03:42 PM
Whelp, just placed the order for the K31 :-).

December 29, 2009, 07:44 PM
The matching bayonet should be cool!

December 29, 2009, 09:26 PM
Honestly, Foggy, that's the main reason I got that gun; I want a huge, giant knife!

December 30, 2009, 11:01 AM
Cripes, you can get a K31 much cheaper at SAMCO.


December 30, 2009, 11:32 AM
Cripes, you can get a K31 much cheaper at SAMCO.

Samco is cheaper but without the matching bayonet which is really tough to find.

Wrothgar I think youll be really happy with the K31.Theyre great shooters.

December 30, 2009, 11:34 AM
Yeah, I know I can get them "cheaper", but this one includes all the stuff with it; sling, muzzle cover, bayonet, and frog, all matching and original. The only thing it probably won't have is the soldier's name under the butt plate, but maybe it will!

December 30, 2009, 01:30 PM
You can't go wrong at that price. Once the recession is over and these rifles gain in popularity, the price will only go up. The way I figure it, when you get to the point that you either have to reload or buy commercial, the only rifles that will be popular to shoot will be the accurate ones. Who wants to shoot expensive inaccurate rifles? The K31 will probably be one of the most desireable firearms.

December 30, 2009, 11:17 PM
What are your experiences with the surplus GP11 ammo?

December 31, 2009, 12:54 AM

GP11 is the highest quality service ammunition extant.
I know of no other service ammunition that was ever
built to it's standards, except for perhaps some speciality
ammo for snipers.

Unless you handload, you will not be able to obtain finer
ammunition than GP11 for your K31.

As far as costs, it is no higher than desirable 30-06 service
ammunition like HXP, Lake City, etc.

I've shot a lot of it over the years, and I love shooting it.
Accurate and very consistent.

This is a GP11 cartridge and a pulled GP11 projectile on
top of this Sierra box --


December 31, 2009, 01:04 AM
very cool; I just bought a 60 round pack and its cheaper (per round) than the wolf stuff.

December 31, 2009, 11:33 AM
Yep, I don't believe there is anything commercially made that is better than GP11. I buy pretty much any that I find that is reasonably priced.

December 31, 2009, 12:29 PM
the k31 has one of the formitable looking bayonets known....its one bad Victorinox! and they arent cheap by themselves....when I picked up one for mine it was a $130.:) only warning as a new K31 owner, you will have to practice taking the K31's bolt apart for cleaning a couple of times before it makes sense.

December 31, 2009, 01:23 PM
So, now that I'm waiting for it to come in, anyone here mind telling me about the action? I know it is a straight pull, and I've seen it shot... but what is that big ring on the back for? Also, is there a safety? How do you take the bolt out; do you just pull the trigger and pull it out the back like a Mosin? For a cleaning brush, should I use a 7.62 Nato/.308? Thanks!

Also, this is something I should have asked a while ago; when cleaning a rifle, do you insert the rod through the chamber or through the business end of the barrel?

December 31, 2009, 01:56 PM
...but what is that big ring on the back for? Also, is there a safety?

You answered your own question. ;)

Here's some stuff on my Schmidt 96/11 (http://cosmolineandrust.blogspot.com/2007/08/schmidt-rubin-gew-9611-like-swiss-watch.html). You will also like SwissRifles.com (http://www.swissrifles.com/sr/index.html).

Ignition Override
January 1, 2010, 01:14 AM

The "Joesalter" website (they are in NH) lists lots of Lee-Enfields. They sold me my first LE. Lots of his items are shipped from his Canadian business.

You might also enjoy skimming over their other military rifles/handguns and widely-assorted militaria, whether British, American, German.

Anybody in or near NH who doesn't already know about firm this might soon be in trouble, especially with a wife ("Why do you need another one?":o).

January 1, 2010, 10:30 AM
I've been looking at JS for a while now, and I just had to make a decision between a K31 and LE; the K31 just won out.

January 1, 2010, 01:09 PM
While they may not export GP11, depending on shifts in policies, the Swiss do have a bit on hand ( millions of rounds ). The USA is their best customer.
I would imagine the supply will continue for quite awhile. Money talks.

January 1, 2010, 01:19 PM
Yeah, I may have to start stocking it up; it was cheaper per round than the wolf stuff!

Also, do they make stripper clips or extra magazines for the k31?

Further, no one answered my questions about cleaning the k31.

January 1, 2010, 08:58 PM
I clean with an otis system. It is always better to go breach to bore. If you have to put a rod in the other way be certain to use a guide.

Extra magazines are available occasionally, but very expensive. Some simply buy an extra rifle to get a mag.

Sportsmans guide has clips. I hate to buy surplus items from them as i have found their description of items to be terribly misleading/wrong.

January 5, 2010, 11:41 AM
Soooo, what brush should I use? .308?

January 5, 2010, 11:45 AM
Yup. A regular .30 cal bore brush is what you need.

January 6, 2010, 01:00 PM
it is a true .308 bore, which is great for reloading purposes.

January 6, 2010, 02:47 PM
And even they shouldnt be shot with maximum load .308 winchester ammo-which has higher chamber pressures than military 7.62 NATO.

That is not a true statement. Pressures are nominally within 2KPSI. I posted the research on this board a couple of years ago.

January 6, 2010, 03:14 PM
There ARE things such as the heavy 220gr and Norma Lite Magnum in .308 that I still wouldnt shoot though a converted No4 or a Ishapore.....I have a Enfield book that has a great section on locking lug damage and receiver headspace changes on the 7.62x51 Enfields. No, not going to blow up...but will batter things on the upper end of the pressure side.

Now,If you talking about a Ruger M77 or Winchester M70, Remington 700 its not a consideration at all, and you are correct.

January 6, 2010, 03:39 PM
Alright, stop talking about reloading; this thread is supposed to be about my awesome new rifle that should be here by Friday :-).

January 6, 2010, 04:13 PM
Also, do they make stripper clips or extra magazines for the k31?

I've not seen any traditional stripper clips for it. The Swiss used what's more considered a 'charger' than a clip - it sort of looks like an upside-down magazine with a slot for your thumb to push the rounds down into the rifle.

January 6, 2010, 04:15 PM
Yes they make stripper clips...and on occasion you can get a spare mag(the soldiers only used strippers)

January 6, 2010, 08:14 PM
Yes they make stripper clips...and on occasion you can get a spare mag(the soldiers only used strippers)

They look like this. Waxed cardboard and foil. Meant to be used once and discarded.

January 7, 2010, 03:21 AM
they are overengineered for single use in typical swiss fashion, so they acually
last quite a while if you don't step on them ect.

January 8, 2010, 11:27 PM
I got the K-31 in today; its got something in the barrel, looks like some kind of greese, but I don't thin its Cosmoline; anyone know what it is and how to get rid of it? I dont' think its cosmoline because it seems to be a bit more, i dunno, grease like and less glue like.

Ignition Override
January 9, 2010, 12:44 AM

As long as the Swiss, with so much ammo to export, don't cave in to the recent insane British/European desire to destroy more old rifles and ammo,
our K-31 fans could be in luck.
"Classicarms" (in NC) now sells a number of Swiss rifles, surprisingly along with Lee-Enfield #4s and Czech Mausers (8mm), which have the lion crest/emblem.

Yesterday I watched two videos in German (understood little), which were posted at either 'Gunboards' or 'Surplusrifle'. It was probably a Mauser 'thread'.

In one, the police in Bern, Switzerland invited citizens to turn in old guns for destruction. People were line up in front of the police bldg.
The second, also showing people in a 'Schlange', was in the German state of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony) with the same thing, maybe just in one city. There seemed to have been no compensation for the reception of so many guns and knives in either video, which were posted by a guy in Germany.

A friend here who left Germany twenty years ago told me that it is the terrible trauma of two world wars which creates the German desire to get rid of weapons.

But the Swiss have been neutral for so long, due to the mountains and their huge militia/Army Reserve. In '77 I saw a guy riding his bicycle on a Zurich street, with a military rifle strapped across his back:cool:. Riding around with it is much cooler than just Having fancy gear on an AR-15/10.

January 10, 2010, 03:16 AM
if somebody took a canadian .303 receiver and put a .308 barrel on it I wouldnt touch it If it were free!!!!!! kabooooom!!!

Since only No. 4 rifles were manufactured in Canada, and in relatively peaceful conditions (as opposed to the Brits who were being bombed on a regular basis), and those very same No. 4 rifles were converted to .308 by the Brits who held them as a reserve arm for the L1A1s, I don't see where this "kaboom" is coming from.

January 10, 2010, 03:19 PM
Where can I find an article about interpreting the numbers and symbols on a K31? I want to find out where and when mine was made. I checked surplusrifle.com and it didn't have anything.

January 10, 2010, 05:57 PM


January 11, 2010, 03:21 AM
Gawd, that Simpson Ltd. site is off their friggin' rockers. $195 for a normal CAI Mosin Nagant!?! Big 5 sells 'em for $89.95! :confused: I would take my chances with J&G instead.

January 11, 2010, 03:21 PM
domain info lists joesalter contact info as

joesalter /AT\ joesalter


January 20, 2010, 03:46 PM
I have both the enfield 2A and the swiss K-31. The swiss was a good choice. There not going to stop making ammo for it. Too popular. I noticed when I first received the 2A it had a warning tag NATO AMMO Only. I have realy only shot reloads in it. I don`t know what factory loads would do? I don`t want to try. Also the enfield was a cosmoline mess and the metalic parts were originaly painted with some kind of enamel paint. I had a lot of cleaning to do. Good shooting with the K-31. :D

January 20, 2010, 11:06 PM
Hey Rothgar, has anybody mentioned the little "prize" in the buttstock?
Remove the buttplate and you should find a plastic tag with the name, town, and military unit of the person the rifle was issued to. There are a lot of sites on the web with ways to find the information on it. Some people have even contacted the original owners who were amazed how much iinterest someone had in their old rifle.

January 21, 2010, 06:22 PM
Cheapshooter; I tried to get to it, but My screwdriver started striping the, uh, place you put the screwdriver into the screw? I don't know what part of the screw that's called. I didn't want to cause permanent damage, so I stopped, but I want to find it SO BAD!!!!!

Another question; underneath the barrel is something that looks like a bayonet mount or a hook or something; what in the world is that? Its not the bayonet lug, I know where that is, cause I've got the bayonet.

January 21, 2010, 08:57 PM
Another question; underneath the barrel is something that looks like a bayonet mount or a hook or something; what in the world is that? Its not the bayonet lug, I know where that is, cause I've got the bayonet.

Thats a stacking hook.Its used for stacking rifles together in those little tee pee looking things when they arent in use.Kind of like this:


January 22, 2010, 04:49 PM
Sooooo, any ideas on getting the buttplate off my K31?

January 23, 2010, 12:34 PM
The only suggestion I would have is to have someone hold the rifle, or support it some how so you can use both hands. Get a good quality screw driver that fits the slot perfectly, and gently tap the back of the screwdriver while you apply pressure to turn it.