View Full Version : K31 disappointment

August 18, 2010, 11:20 PM
I know, it sounds almost blasphemous. The thing is, the K31 is almost universally praised as being likely the finest rifle in its class. It is highly regarded for its accuracy, quality construction, and excellent fit and finish. It has been said, that if such a rifle were made today, it would sell for over $2000. I was pretty excited about getting a rifle with such an extraordinary reputation. When I got mine, I almost immediately disliked it. The balance was odd, it seemed too thick and bulky, and the straight pull bolt felt quite unnatural. After I cleaned the rifle up and oiled it, the rifle grew on me a little... after all it's hard not to like an old military rifle that's clean, in good working order, and with a shiny bore.

Naturally the next step was to try firing the danged thing. Fired 30 rounds through it. The rifle seemed to live up to its reputation for accuracy and it has a fantastic trigger, but still felt awkward, odd, not that comfortable; it didn't seem to point naturally. After firing 3 mags or so, the bolt became a bit difficult to work. Even my Mosin doesn't have a sticky bolt problem, and yet the K31 seems to? What's up with that? Does this rifle just take a lot of getting used to? Is it just over-rated? Or just a poor fit for me? As of now, the plan is to put maybe 90 more rounds through it, so if I get more comfortable with it... otherwise, may trade it off for a nice Mauser of some kind.

August 19, 2010, 05:26 AM
you may try useing a good gun scrubber on the bolt, i had a problem with a k-31 being very hard to work. i took the bolt out and spreyed the hell out of it several times, alot of gunk came out and after it dripped dry i lubed it with a lite coat of kroil, works very smooth now. eastbank. ps clean the locking resesses in the action to.

August 19, 2010, 06:00 AM
Go here first. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM63_UjYr_8
Once disassembled, clean completely and then use our fingers to very lightly grease the parts. No oil! Use a very light silicone or graphite grease, then wipe off any excess. Reassemble and go to Camp Perry where a whole raft of k31s can be found among the top placing shooters.


August 19, 2010, 08:24 AM
I am sorry you were disappointed. I had heard the same stories of extraordinary accuracy, so I was excited to finally get my new K31 to the range last Tuesday. I set up at 50 yards just to see where I would end up on the paper. Using GP11 ammo and a GI ammo can as a rest, I could almost cover 4 of 5 shots with a nickel - the fifth was my fault and ended up about 3/4 of an inch left of the others. Safe to say I am not disappointed.

August 19, 2010, 09:00 AM

De-mothballing these veterans is a situation where patience is a virtue. Soak the bolt in mineral spirits for a week. Flush it. Good to go.

If you thing the pointing is odd, shoot some old fashioned long barrel muzzle loaders for awhile. You'll thing the K-31 is a dream to hold on the target afterward.

August 19, 2010, 09:32 AM
I'll give ya $100 for it. lol

I've watched every youtube video and i've come to the conclusion that every K31 gives the occasional flyer.

August 19, 2010, 09:39 AM
Once disassembled, clean completely and then use our fingers to very lightly grease the parts. No oil! Use a very light silicone or graphite grease, then wipe off any excess. Reassemble and go to Camp Perry where a whole raft of k31s can be found among the top placing shooters.


The Swiss manuals well tell you to use oil only. Many of the Swiss guru's well tell you to use oil only. My experience is oil well cause a sticky bolt. Clean and lightly grease the bolt and it should be butter smooth for as long as you care to shoot. I use both usgi grease and Tetra gun grease, both work just fine.

August 19, 2010, 10:43 AM
If you have the time to read it, and really want to know why these 80 year old rifles have generally pristine bores with sharp lands & grooves and minty bolts and why the Swiss used grease and not oil...... read this. Its an education in why a 1930 k31 bore is pristine when a 1990 .30 caliber rifle barrel often looks like a rocky road with a bore-scope.
Read the last post.


And more extensive info for the real k31 affectionados. http://theswissriflesdotcommessageboard.yuku.com/search/text/?q=k31+barrel+grease


August 19, 2010, 09:53 PM
I've watched every youtube video and i've come to the conclusion that every K31 gives the occasional flyer.

Actually an occasional flier is typical of a recently shot-out barrel. You can't see it just looking down a bore, but a borescope in the throat will generally tell the story. When my M1A's first barrel went south, for example, it would get maybe one flier in twenty. Just enough to drop a 10 or an X to a 9 and stop me from cleaning my slow fire stage and make me think maybe I'd messed up. Then, after another hundred rounds or so, it got to be more like one in ten before I finally was sure it wasn't some tick I'd developed and I ordered a new tube from Kreiger. Most people think the groups just get evenly bigger when a barrel comes to the end of its accuracy life, and if you keep it up long enough, they do. But that's not usually how it starts unless the accuracy loss is due to muzzle funneling from using steel cleaning rods from the muzzle.

August 19, 2010, 11:54 PM
Grease eh? Will have to give that a try...

Course, that won't help with the awkwardness and bulkiness of the rifle!

August 20, 2010, 05:28 AM
Automattenfett or Waffenfett is really the secret for storage, long or short term. The receiver should be completely cleaned and the entire bolt should be disassembled and completely cleaned on a k31 just coming in.
Typically after a k31 is shot, the grease is swabbed into the bore while its still hot. Its then left alone until the next shooting session or until taken out of storage, and that's exactly why those k31, 1911, k11 and zfk55 bores are in such great shape. As secrets go its not much of a top level type, but when you see today's results of that kind of treatment and storage since the early 1900's you have to admit that something worked.
Then only equation I've seen is vintage rifles stored in Cosmolene, but that's a lot tougher to get out and you sure don't want to use it after every shooting match.


the rifleer
August 20, 2010, 12:45 PM
One of the reasons that i love my k31 is the simple fact that is isn't like most guns. Sure the accuracy was a huge plus, but it just looks kinda odd and makes people wonder what the heck you have. I like the fact that its just a tad bit on the unordinary side. :)

August 20, 2010, 03:19 PM
Ok, not knowing anything about K31s except how to spell it, I will make a fairly ignorant suggestion:
Could you cure the "unnatural balance" issue with an aftermarket stock? Then you have a sweet, natural pointing shooter.

BTW, my buddy LOVES his K31.

August 20, 2010, 07:35 PM
An aftermarket stock may help, but I don't wanna bubba an old military rifle, even if it's one I don't like a whole lot. Would sooner trade it or sell it off to someone who may find it a better fit.

August 20, 2010, 07:38 PM
I must admit when I first saw one in the gun shop in person I was surprised how wide the stock was. But after a bit I found it to be very intuitive for me.

August 20, 2010, 07:52 PM
The K31 is finicky about the bullet being too far out of the case. You did not mention if the bolt was hard to open or close.

Hard to close, the bullet may be too long overall. Too hard to open, might be grease in the bolt stopping it up.

Another thing is that the rifle was meant to be opened and closed with a slap of the bolt handle, not a grab and pull. Once you get used to how to open and close the bolt with a slap, you can also pull the neat trick of catching your brass in your hand on the way down, or in a hat with a turned up brim.

The Doc is out now. :cool: (2 K31's and happy with them)

August 20, 2010, 08:04 PM
if you're anywhere along I84 in Oregon I may take it off your hands if you want to unload it some day. I run out there quite regularily. I am however terminally cheap. lol :D

August 21, 2010, 02:00 PM
Doc, let me explain why that is not only unnecessary, but an extremely bad idea.
My Family owns and operates Swiss Products. We manufacture aftermarket accessories for Swiss Rifles. One of our products is called the LHO, or Left Hand Operating rod.




Note the bolt operating rod on the near side attatched to the LHO bridge. This is a critical part of the system and in it's unaltered state the bolt knob is a part of it, and therein lies the very reason you do not want to slap that handle.

These two points on the lug, A&B are not inherently weak, but are the common place for the Op-Rod to fail if its going to with repeated undue harsh use. Keep in mind the age of these rifles. We typically weld the LHO bridge to original Op-Rods, so we have intimate knowledge of the steel and its limits.
(Thanks Guisan)

We have Swiss Rifles here in the armoury, and I mean we have a lot of them, all kinds. When in correct mechanical condition not one of them requires undue force to cycle. Extraction is crisp and smooth, and running a correctly profiled cartridge into battery is smooth, effortless and a few at most requiring a solid push for the last 1/16" of bolt travel.

If your bolt is clean and your cartridges properly sized, seat depth correct for the rifle you'll have no problem running a cartridge smoothly into battery. If you ahve to slap them in or out, you have a problem and one most likely easily solved.

Rapping on the bolt handle with anything at all to remove a stuck case is a sure way to stress that op-rod and lug. Never, ever use a mallet or anything else on a k31 bolt handle.
So how do you remove a stuck case in a Swiss Rifle?

Try this:
You need to apply strong rearward inertia to the entire bolt, not just the handle.

Take the rifle in your left hand, holding it by the mid-foregrip. Place the edge your right hand (like a karate chop) against the bolt handle or you can grip it firmly with your fingers (not quite as effective with that type of bolt), or you can use a small block of wood in your hand to put downward pressure on the bolthandle. Raise the rifle about 18" off the ground and bring it down quickly, rapping the buttstock sharply against the ground while putting hard downpressure against the bolt with your right hand. Do it more than once if you need to, but I can tell you that its worked very time for me for as long as I've been reloading no matter what the rifle. If its a turn bolt action, rotate the bolt handle up and do the procedure. The AR10 is done the same way but just grip the bolt handle like you're extracting a cartridge and pull down hard while striking the butt on the ground.
Don't do this on concrete for obvious reasons.


August 21, 2010, 03:10 PM
People are just hinged differently.
For me, the K31 is balanced near perfectly.
None better.

August 23, 2010, 07:27 PM
Sorry, ZFK, I don't agree, since, as we all know, ...

... Nothing good comes from lefties! :D

The Doc is out now. :cool:

August 23, 2010, 08:20 PM
That's what I keep telling my left-handed brother in law, Doc. :D
Believe it or not, Doc, Op-Rod failure, albeit not too often is a fact, and the sole reason is the lug breaking, and the root cause of that is long-term unnecessary abuse of that bolt handle.

Swiss armourers are seldom ever wrong about their own k31 design. Take it for what its worth, and slam away! :D
(BTW..... Op-Rods are something that can be purchased, but those too are from the 30's through the 50's)


August 24, 2010, 06:14 PM
I do notice a definite difference in the smoothness of cycling the bolt loaded and unloaded. Smooth as butter when loaded. Feels sticky when not actually cycling rounds.

August 25, 2010, 08:56 AM
I do notice a definite difference in the smoothness of cycling the bolt loaded and unloaded. Smooth as butter when loaded. Feels sticky when not actually cycling rounds.

I'm glad someone else noticed that. Smoother when loaded and even smoother after a little heat from a half dozen rounds. It feels like a Swiss watch at operating temps.

August 25, 2010, 09:46 AM
I know one thing. My rifle was nice and greased up when I got it and it cycled really smooth. I clened the rifle and didn't have any grease so I oiled the bolt just untill the grease I ordered arrives. Now it cycles somewhat clunky. I'm not shooting it like this, hopefully my grease should be here today

September 3, 2010, 12:06 AM
Ended up trading the K31 off to a guy who wanted to add another to his collection of them, and I got a decent Mauser out of it. I already like it far more.

September 3, 2010, 12:14 AM
I would have loved to add another K31 to my collection.

September 5, 2010, 11:16 AM
Thats too bad you didnt get along with the K31 Raftman. In my experience they are far more accurate than any C&R Mauser model I have ever shot, and better built. They are heavy but only because they are over-built but they are amazing at the range. I have never seen a commercial bolt action that is as consistently accurate as any of the 4 K31's I have. I have several K98's, a couple with "new" barrels, M1 Garands setup for CMP matches, a mint Persian Mauser (have had several), and have had a bunch of the Czek Mausers which were unissued for the most part. None of them could touch the K31 with GP-11 even with commercial and handloaded ammo.

September 5, 2010, 11:40 AM
Don't get me wrong, it is/was clearly that it's a fine rifle... but it's like they say, there's no accounting for taste. I don't shoot competitively, I just like old military rifles and think it's fun to shoot them. For my purposes a Mauser is accurate enough and just fits me better.

September 19, 2010, 12:40 PM
I have 4 k98's one is a gi bring back which i have NEVER shot and will keep it that way. I've not had any issues with them and I use one of them for hunting because the waffenamps and symbols have been peened out and scrubbed off so its basically just a good shooting/hunting rifle. I am very curious to get a k31 but they just look so freakin odd! Going off of what you all have been saying as far as the accuracy goes I might give them a shot.