View Full Version : Swiss K31s

April 22, 2012, 08:36 PM
So I went to a gun show today (Syracuse, NY) and was looking around a table with a bunch of Mosins and heard some guys talking about Swiss K31s. I've heard of them before and thought they were a neat little rifle. Supposedly they're really accurate and usually decent guns. The straight-pull bolt also seems really interesting as well.

So I've got a few questions-
1) Are most of these guns that are still around still in storage condition (cosmoline, etc)? Call me crazy, but I love cleaning guns up and watching them "come back to life", so to speak.

2) What is the average price for one of these guns? I am perfectly fine with it having some dings and such, adds character.

3) Is there enough of these guns around where I shouldn't feel bad working on it (refinishing stock, etc)?

Thanks in advance.

April 22, 2012, 08:54 PM
I have two of these rifles and they are accurate and are made like a true swiss watch.

I will answer your questions one at a time.

1: Most of the surplus ones have drastically dried up, especially in my neck of the woods, and yes they clean up nicely. Most have like new bores due to the fact that the Swiss did not fire corrossive ammo through them.

2: Average price in my area is $250.00 and up. (dang why didn't I buy them when Big 5 had them for $79.99 about 8 years ago?)

3: DO NOT! and I repeat DO NOT!!!! alter these in anyway, shape form, or fasion! They were not made in high numbers like the Mosin or even German Mausers for that matter. Keep it original.(that's just me. some may disagree and say "If you paid for it, do what you want", but I say keep it original)

Hog Red
April 22, 2012, 09:02 PM
i recently paid 250 and 275 for two in excellent condition without the normal beaver chewing on the butt of the stock. starting to see asking prices in the 350 range now at shows. also noticed that many of the online companies no longer have them in stock, i believe these are collectable sleepers that are going to really take off in value. i prefer the walnut over the beech stock but that's just me. get one and you wont regret it.

the rifleer
April 23, 2012, 09:16 AM
Its basically a precision rifle worth a $1000 if it was built today, but because its just a surplus rifle in most people's eyes they sell for about $300 right now. They are crazy accurate. The ammo for them is match grade and most will shoot about a 1 inch group if you do your part.

I can't say enough about the k31, they are truly awesome rifles. Another huge plus is you can mount a scope on them with a St. Marie scope mount. They are rock solid and do no alter the rifle. Most clamp on scope mounts suck, but these are very good and are worth every penny.

April 23, 2012, 09:33 AM
1) They never really were coated in that much cosmo. Nowhere near as much as some others I've seen (like the Eastern Bloc stuff). The stocks are usually in so-so condition (the stories I've seen involved the butt freezing to the snowy ground and being kicked loose, causing gouges), but they're serviceable enough.

2) When I got mine they were going for $150. Now they seem to be $250-300, which is still a good deal. The only catch is ammo- the GP11 (the Swiss surplus stuff) isn't as plentiful as it once was, but it is very accurate and great for practice. Hornady does make a factory soft point load for it, and if you get some brass (Hornady makes it, I think Norma might too), it uses regular .308 bullets, so you have a wide variety of reloading choices.

3) I agree with the "don't refinish it" comments. If you want to make another stock, fine, but these aren't as plentiful as some others surplus rifles that have been sporterized. I cleaned mine up with some Murphy's Oil Soap and used some Saddle Soap on the leather slings, but that's it. I did mount a clamp-on scope mount to one of them, and it really does shoot well.

April 23, 2012, 02:58 PM
I put mine in a new stock from Boyds. Mine was an arsenal refurbish(sadly no tag under the buttstock as a result), so the stocks actually look good but I wanted something a little more comfortable. Its just a matter of swapping it back to return it to original form. These rifles are amazingly accurate, I put a set of diopiter sights on mine and it'll group better than 1" if I do my part right. Pri also makes brass for 7.5, it good quality and inexpensive.

April 24, 2012, 02:18 PM

April 24, 2012, 02:51 PM
I have 8 of them plus a barreled action and a 1911 and a K11.

The least I paid was about $210 + s/h and the most was $500 + s/h. But I have seen some excellent bore, excellent stock, diopter sight, for sale up to +/- $1300

There were over 1/2 million produced primarily from 1933 - 1958 and then into the 70s primarily for commercial sales to target shooters.

My expensive one was a 1957 that had been refinished. 2nd lowest year of manufacture was '57. To refinish, to restore or to leave intact?? I opt for careful restoration to original issue condition. Look on the Swiss rifle website for how to do that. There is a correct procedure and finish and I suggest doing it the recommended way AND be careful to preserve stock cartouches.
Also, the website has the correct way to tighten/adjust action and barrel band screws to improve accuracy. If a K31 isn't shooting well improper screw tightening is usually the reason.

You can find walnut stocks and beech stocks. Some walnut is tiger striped and that seems to command a higher price.

The #1 criteria should be the condition of the bore. Most are good but some are noticeably better with very sharp rifling. Stocks can be beat up but stocks can be redone. Look at the bore and mechanical condition.

These can be MOA or under weapons but do not expect that.
Ammo to have is the GP11 and should be stockpiled in case lots. Online it runs about $280 per 480 rd case. GP11 is ostensibly match quality. 7.5 x 55 Swiss ballistics are very similar to a 7.62 or 308. The freebore on a K31 is very minimal so if you reload you should use a gauge to determine seating depth.
Best accuracy is usually found with 175 grn or 168 grn VLD type bullets.

You can buy clamp on scope mounts if you desire.

These do great in military vintage matches but obviously the success lies with the shooter. In class..........they're probably the best although Swedish Mauser guys might disagree. If you have a K31 and use GP11 and are an average marksman you will have a good time and do well.

Look online at Simpson Ltd as they have about 15 pages of them listed with pictures. My advice is to by the absolute best you can least afford!!

Old Swiss (I think) saying..."Pay a lot for quality and you only cry once."

April 24, 2012, 03:47 PM
I love Swedish Mausers in 6.5x55, even though I only own one. I plan on getting another one in the future. I own a couple other random surplus rifles as well.

That being said, the K31 is the only surplus rifle I have TWO of right now...and I'm not a collector. Even *I* realize a good rifle when I see it.

April 25, 2012, 04:25 PM
Quite accurate. As in one-hole...

Bought my son one for Xmas, and I installed a Swiss Products mount (d&t, and that was the hardest steel I've ever come across on a receiver) with a Bushnell 10X tactical.

Swiss quality is evident in the lack of machine marks, etc. I think they're a great value. Now, I've just gotta work up some handloads, gonna be using the same 175 grain SMK's we use in his Savage .308 for long range.

April 25, 2012, 07:03 PM
Do not refinish the K31. They aren't rare, but they weren't produced in endless quantities either.

$300 or so seems to be the going rate and they do continue to increase in price.

As someone mentioned, they are very accurate, well made rifles and, so I've read, would certainly cost around $1,000 to make today.

These guns are so accurate, I'm not sure I'd sell mine for $1,000 and I paid $175 for mine.

April 25, 2012, 07:27 PM
I've read that the cost to make them today would be $2-3,000. These rifles were kept by Swiss men in their warm homes, and used regularly in training. Therefore they do not come in cosmoline.

I have successfully made both 1 inch groups scoped, and hit a 5 foot gong at 1200 yards using the ladder sight.

April 25, 2012, 11:52 PM
Fairly certain they are still made in Europe maybe by Husqvarna and retail there for about $2500. That would mean their production cost would be somewhere around $1200.

I think there is a 30-06 single shot and 308 produced.

There was a website advertising them a few years back at least.

Willie D
April 26, 2012, 03:56 PM
I like my k31 a lot but I sometimes wish I had never bought it.

- Hard to find caliber that you are forced to stock up on because you never know when you'll run into another box

-rifle is heavy

-scope mounts and rings will set you back $100 (minimum, for junk rings)

-diopter sights cost more than the rifle

-bolt throw is looong

-felt recoil is surprisingly harsh

-funky ergonomics

All that said I've never been able to get rid of mine because I really like shooting it, the accuracy is very nice, and the rifle has some intangible quality that I really appreciate (and I still have ammo stocked up).

The K31 is a true classic but I wince every time I read someone recommending them for a particular application (hunting, long range) where a modern rifle would do the job better. Against the field of surplus rifle they excel, against modern guns they are like using wooden golf clubs in the PGA.

Lastly from the production standpoint you often hear how much they would cost to make today. That is less a reflection of the value of these guns but rather the incredibly labor intensive manufacturing processes these required. There was an extraordinary level of hand fitting and precision but also as I understand, an incredible amount of difficult machining.

So there is my ringing endorsement;) They really are a neat piece to own and they won't be making any more so by all means get one and enjoy - but know what you are getting into.

April 26, 2012, 04:59 PM
"....-rifle is heavy"
-"..felt recoil is surprisingly harsh"

-"..funky ergonomics"
"...The K31 is a true classic but I wince every time I read someone recommending them for a particular application (hunting, long range) where a modern rifle would do the job better. Against the field of surplus rifle they excel, against modern guns they are like using wooden golf clubs in the PGA...."

I disagree with every one of these points from Willie D.

April 26, 2012, 05:14 PM
Husqvarna makes K-31s!!!!! I don't think so. Never ever, but I could be proven wrong. The Hammereli company(in Switerland) used to make variants of the 7.5, including a 300Mag. But currently I think not. If they are still being made, you will need a fat check. Best

April 26, 2012, 07:59 PM
I will agree that the rifle is heavy, but that makes it a joy to shoot with very manageable recoil. It certainly makes a fine hunting rifle and should excel at long range shooting.

April 27, 2012, 09:09 AM
3) Is there enough of these guns around where I shouldn't feel bad working on it (refinishing stock, etc)?

There are still plenty available on the market, but I think the consensus is to keep the rifle stock for its historical value. If you want to enhance it a bit, try the boyd's stock. At least you'll have the original stock if you decide to go back to original configuration (for military shooting competition).


April 27, 2012, 09:23 AM
Willie D. statements are all true but I think the comparison between the K31 and a modern rifle is a bit skewed.

You don't compare a 1965 Mustang to a 2012 Mustang. You get a 65 Mustang for it's historical/collectible value and drive it daily if you wish. As with the K31, it is more than capable for hunting, plinking and long range shooting but it's a C&R rifle first, then whatever you wish it to be is secondary.

Once you breakdown (especially the bolt) a K31, you really appreciate the design and quality of materials of the superb Swiss made rifle in comparison to today's mass-produced rifles.

April 27, 2012, 11:41 AM
The recoil with one varies quite a bit, from standing to bench.
It's the stock, more than the rifle.
From the standing position, it's downright nice.
From the bench, a padded shoulder protector makes the difference.
It's kind of tempting to add a cushy recoil pad to the stock, but it would look funny as heck.

April 27, 2012, 04:44 PM
Willie D...

The Swiss Products d&t mount was inexpensive (well, at $50 for a strip of machined aluminum goes, I guess it was expensive), but I used B-Square's ring adapters so I could use my standard 30mm Warne Rings for the Bushnell scope.


They've worked very well. No slip...

Why in the world don't they mill this with a Picatinny rail instead of this 3/8" dovetail crap? I never heard of a 3/8" dovetail mount until this...

April 27, 2012, 06:41 PM
"...Willie D. statements are all true..."

No, they are not.
Recoil is certainly not harsh. I have shot most of the great military bolt actions. The K31 is not bad at all for me, either from the bench or standing. I would consider it similar to a Mauser 98k or Springfield. Not as rough as a Mosin 44.
The bolt throw is very smooth and fast...can't see how it could be called "loooong".
Weight of the K31 is given at 4kgs, which is 8.8lbs...right in the ballpark of most of its contemporaries.
In my opinion, the design, and materials used to manufacture the K31 make it superior to most any common bolt action.

April 28, 2012, 03:39 AM
I believe Lonnie is correct that Hammerli is the current producer.
I also think Husqvarna produced, or at least marketed a lot of rifles under their brand.

April 28, 2012, 04:51 PM
So does anyone have a currently made 31 from Hammerli? Or any pics of a 31 from Husqvarna. I'd like to hear/see more.Best

I just scanned the Hammerli web site some. As I don't read/speak Swiss/German, I looked and saw no indication of 31s. It seems Hammerli was bought out a while back by a conglomerate which apparently owns Walter, Husqvarna and others. Until I can find other info, I believe that the last new production 31s were made over two decades ago.

April 28, 2012, 06:53 PM
I seem to think that a corporate forerunner of Sig would have been involved in their production. But it has been a while since I have visited the Swiss Rifle forum. But not Huskvarna.

April 28, 2012, 08:53 PM
Sig and Hammerli were seperate manufacturers that supplied barrels and actions I believe, but not completed rifles for W-FBern, the Swiss government weapons factory. Both were very much involved in the 31s and earlier production of Swiss arms. There were many other contractors suppling other parts for the Swiss gov factory. W-FBern is no more. Hammerli used to advertise K-31 rifles in a number of calibers for sale in gun magazines. I haven't seen their ads for along time. I've never seen Sig offer 31s for sale. Maybe they did and I never saw them.Best

April 30, 2012, 12:59 PM
When i said I was certain Husqvarna sold rifles I meant any rifle, not just 31s, although I am less sure I have seen mention of husqvarna produced K31s.

Have you seen an IBM Garand? Weird production things happened in WWII

May 1, 2012, 10:47 AM
I've always liked the barreled action of the K-31. But, I don't like the stock. Does anyone make a nice quality aftermarket stock for the K-31? Before you purists get upset, it's not like I'd throw away the original stock.

May 1, 2012, 11:57 AM
I immediately put a slip-on recoil pad on mine (also helps increase the LOP). That rifle also has an outstanding trigger on it.

May 1, 2012, 07:51 PM
Does anyone make a nice quality aftermarket stock for the K-31?

Boyd's are OK- mine required a lot more inletting work than it should have, but they're a solid value, and they'll stand behind their product.


May 2, 2012, 07:14 AM
I might like to have a K-31 in a Boyd's walnut stock.

jolly roger
May 14, 2012, 08:47 PM
Always wanted a K31 and just picked up a beautiful one the other day that my LGS had on consignment. Tag said $500...then I saw it came with 800 rounds of ammo. Saw ammo...400+ of GP11 and 20 20 round boxes of Prvi...did some ammo price checking on my phone. Figured that was an overall deal. Done! That puppy will shoot too.

May 15, 2012, 08:43 AM
Man O' Man, you got a free gun.

May 15, 2012, 09:34 AM
A free gun and not a bad deal on the ammo at all.

Nicely done- enjoy the rifle.

May 15, 2012, 09:42 AM
OK, this is what the Swiss say from Swissrifles. All of the arsenal K31's are gone, the one's we see are from gunsmith's in Switzerland buying privately held K31's, waiting until they had some quantity, and selling them. That worked for awhile. Now, K31's are beginning to be difficult to find in Switzerland.
- In other words, buy now or cry later, they're gone.

May 16, 2012, 03:02 PM
Considering ratty Mosins are going for $300 these days (hey, I'm a Mosin fan, just sayin' they're overpriced for what they are), the K-31 is an incredible value.
Gonna try to buy a few more...

May 16, 2012, 08:33 PM
I immediately put a slip-on recoil pad on mine (also helps increase the LOP). That rifle also has an outstanding trigger on it.

Yes, the trigger amazing. :cool:

The K31 is a true quality piece with basically .308 ballistics. Lots of fun and very effective. Perfect for people who like something different.

May 17, 2012, 01:52 AM
5 years ago I came across a k31 on the consignment rack. Unchewed walnut stock with forend tiger-striping, 98% finish, original sling, an extra magazine, and all for $250. I bought it immediately. No haggling, no hemming and hawing, I don't think there was more than 30 seconds between me laying eyes on the rifle and me pulling out my wallet. It was a great deal even back then and it's still the best gun purchase I ever made. And of all the firearms I own it's the only one that comes close to being irreplaceable. I'm sure there are thousands of fine grade k31s but there are very few in the market.

The engineering and craftsmanship are umparalleled in the realm of surplus rifles except for perhaps Swedish Mausers. The trigger is exceptional, the action is smooth, and the reputation for accuracy is well deserved.

GP11 is probably the best surplus ammunition ever produced. Cartridge consistency is nearly on par with modern match grade ammunition. And it can still be bought in bulk for around $0.60 per round.

May 18, 2012, 09:20 PM
I reload for mine using 7.62 bullets, 43gr 3031. YMMV...

James K
May 19, 2012, 07:55 PM
To answer Johnwilliamson's question, no I have not seen an IBM Garand and never expect to as there were none. IBM made M1 Carbines, not M1 Rifles. The makers of the M1 rifle in WWII were Springfield Armory (the government factory in Springfield, MA), and Winchester. In the Korean war era, Springfield again made them, plus H&R and International Harvester.

(Now I have done it!!! I called that rifle the M1, for which Amsdorf will jump in with his crushing sarcasm and air of superiority and inform me that no one ever called it by that evil name, only by the name of the inventor. Forgive me, Oh Great Military Expert, sir.)


May 19, 2012, 08:46 PM
my first gun was an old holland and Holland super 30. This was not a classy gun .The old German number was still faintly on hte cocking piece so it appeared to be converted WWI mauser. The address was Holland and Holland 98 New Bond Street.

What was this thing? an HH Edsel? It was supposed to have been bught in Bulawayo in hte late 20s or early 30s