Swiss K31: Stunning

Ledzep

Chancellor
Jun 9, 2009
1,482
265
83
Black Hills
#1
I've always heard people rant and rave that K31's were the "swiss watch" of the milsurp world, how they would easily cost $1000-2000 or more to make to the same level of quality today, yadda yadda... I've handle a few briefly and thought they were cool enough, but never got too serious about them because I was only really interested in rifles from combative parties in WWI and WWII.

Last week I bought one, a 1935 Walnut-stock all matching example with a no-d&t scope mount and Weaver K4-W scope. Over the last several days I've been looking it over very closely and have been just blown away at the craftsmanship and execution of manufacture. Most of the parts in the bolt have small peens from being hardness tested for QC. Surface finish is smooth but not polished over; sharp. The striker appears to have been machined, heat treated, then ground to final dimensions. The bolt as a whole is pretty brilliant and I can't fathom how such a piece was made in 1935 on manual machinery with such great final fit/finish. The bolt/extractor doesn't change orientation-- the sleeve rotates around it to lock into place and it appears there are corresponding helical surfaces on the breech face of the barrel that interact with the front of the locking lugs.

Taking the handguard off showed an evenly spaced free floating barrel channel up until the last inch or so of stock, which was a perfect contoured match to the barrel. The damn rear band retainer leaf spring is held into the stock with an escutcheon! Not just a peg in a hole as seen with Mausers, Mosins etc... The handguard and stock fit together and line up extremely well and it's surprisingly beefy and comfortable.

The trigger is awesome. A long, butter smooth first stage followed by the crispest, cleanest breaking "heavy" (over 3lb) trigger I think I've ever felt. I got the package for $500 and now that I've seen what all is going on here I'm kicking myself for not buying a few of them @ $179-250 a piece. Just incredible stuff-- hard to wrap my mind around all of this for a military service rifle. The gentleman I bought it from said he's got some GP11 and commercial ammo somewhere he's going to try to find it and let me know. I can't wait to shoot this thing.

I'm not sure if I'll keep the scope on there or not. I guess I'll have to shoot it with and without and see how big a difference it makes. As far as notch and blade sights go, these are pretty good. Anyway, just a really cool rifle I felt compelled to share. My knowledge/experience with them is still pretty novice so if anyone has some helpful hints/tricks I'm all ears. One thing I've thought about maybe doing is steaming out a few dings in the stock. The grain, especially towards the back is really nice and would look a lot better without all the small dents. Enough blabbering, pictures! :)

36840053_10156283450780631_4083853787792408576_n.jpg

36843214_10156283450995631_7366338820716888064_n.jpg
 

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
931
322
63
#2
Awesome! I love mine, even if it doesn't get shot much.

If you haven't already, unscrew the butt plate. There is often a paper with the name of the soldier it was issued to in there.
 

steve123

Lt. Colonel
Mar 16, 2008
7,543
371
83
Flagstaff, AZ
#3
I'd turn one into a modern style tactical rifle, including a 25x55 barrel for the new 131 Blackjacks, except they are such a nice rifle as is, and well I'd need 10 round mags.

Love my K-31 too!
 
Sep 14, 2012
125
11
18
42
Savannah, GA
#4
Couldn’t agree more... I’ve only shot mine with cheap PPU ammo but I was easily hitting a 4” plate with irons at 10 meters. And my eyes are starting to go.
 

W54/XM-388

Online Training Member
Oct 1, 2005
2,744
2,422
113
Dallas, TX
#5
For even more fun, go find an original bayonet for it, in excellent condition, then carefully press the release button on the bayonet while looking at the other side of the handle. Then come back and tell us about how impressed you are now.
 

ACK

Sergeant
Nov 20, 2004
230
37
28
So. Ca
#7
Remove the buttplate, you may find a tag. The tag will have the last soldier's information. Some individual's have corresponded with the rifle's last user.

Nice trigger, if you look closely at the receiver you will notice its is not symmetrical, the right side is heavier as it contains the bolt mechanism. The rifling is beautifully made as well as the bluing.
Even today ,with 5 axis CNC machinery it would be a very expensive weapon to replicate. There is workmanship and there is craftsmanship. The K31 exudes the later

The stock looks like beech; first one were walnut.

Year of manufacture:

year.JPG

The K55 was the sniper version. Still looking for one without the cost of a critical organ.
 

Ledzep

Chancellor
Jun 9, 2009
1,482
265
83
Black Hills
#8
No soldier tag on this one. The stock is European walnut for sure. A little light and plain up front but there's some more definitive grain and mild striping towards the butt. Serial number is in the 54xxxx range if I recall and all matching on all parts with a number.

I have only shot 3 rounds of PPU so far and it's very pleasant. It will be a few weeks before I get the chance to do more, but hopefully I can get some GP11 and reloading gear for it soon. The guy I got it from has some GP11 and commercial ammo, we just haven't got around to dealing on it just yet.

37027439_10156286119700631_2628083659424399360_n.jpg
 
Feb 19, 2017
178
38
28
#9
To maintain value of your rifle don't alter finish of stocks, it will shoot just as well as is. Treat yourself and get Swiss Products clamp on muzzle brake, strap on a cheek pad,get as much GP11 as you can find then off you go to the range for BIG fun. I have 4 of em now, had 6 at one time. There is a Swiss Arms forum also which is very informative.
 
Likes: Ledzep

buffalowinter

Rick Jones MAJ, SF (Ret)
Mar 17, 2014
722
718
93
Llano, TX
#11

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sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
10,650
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53
The Snobbiest Town in The Snobbiest State in the N
#12
Buy the Swiss GP 11 surplus...you cannot load better than this. 480 round case for $239. The Swiss designed this for a weird bullet and even the case isn't quite SAAMI spec. I never had any luck trying to handload. The Swiss GP11 at SG ammo is fantastic at at his price, buy a couple of cases, I did.
https://www.sgammo.com/product/surp...-55-swiss-gp11-174-grain-ball-type-ammunition
Will do!

Oh and why on earth would you shoot targets with all that delicious steak on the hoof right in front of you ;-)

Cheers,

Sirhr
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,507
316
83
in yooperland
#13
Stupid cows never get out of the way, ha ha. Out on desert pasture we go to shoot in NV, the cows gotta come see what we're doing. Sometimes gotta drive down and get them out of the way.

Anyhow, Grafs had prvi partizan in stock when I last looked. The one thing I will say about loading the 7.5 Swiss was that K-31's DO NOT like hot ammo. My best handloads were with VV160 @ 46 gr. behind a 175 SMK. The brass isn't great, but when you load light like that it doesn't tear it up too bad.

I also had good luck with RE-17 (imagine that, a Swiss powder that ain't chocolat`) and somewhere in the 43 gr. range. Again, not hot. GP-11 does provide more bump when it comes to recoil and about the same speed. Somewhere near 2600 fps.

Added:
Buffalo-on a nice cool day like it looks in that pic BQ'd steak would be sooooooooooooo......good!:);):)
 
Dec 3, 2009
41
18
8
#14
K31 rifles are great...no question about that. But do not overlook the older 1911 and 96/11's. I've got both and find the older rifles just a bit more accurate. It could be the longer sight radius and that the front sight is farther from my 64 year old eyes.
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,507
316
83
in yooperland
#15
K31 rifles are great...no question about that. But do not overlook the older 1911 and 96/11's. I've got both and find the older rifles just a bit more accurate. It could be the longer sight radius and that the front sight is farther from my 64 year old eyes.
What ammo are you using?
 
Dec 3, 2009
41
18
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#16
I've got a quite a stock of GP11, but truth be told, my handloads of IMR 4064 and 168 gr Hornadys best the GP11. I use PPU brass.

One of my 96/11's


GP11 @ 100 yards





43.9 grs of IMR 4064/168 Hornady @ 100 yards


 
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Jun 13, 2008
773
302
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#17
Even just irons in sling prone, my 1911 was a Minute rifle at 200. Quite a weapon and cartridge for 1918 when everyone else thought they really led the pack.

I had a second magazine that I hand-fitted as well, so I had a pretty good DBM. Better than 14 mags!
 
Dec 3, 2009
41
18
8
#18
Those groups were fired off a sandbag rest with irons.

I've got a "thing" for Swiss rifles...quite a few 1911's, 96/11's and K31's. The one pictured above is one of my most accurate. "Guisan", a Swiss rifle expert ( unfortunately now deceased) looked at my pictures of the barrel and opined that the barrel had been changed at a field-level maintenance facility, probably after it left military service.

The bore is incredible.





The serial numbers stamped on the barrel look like they were hand-stamped, rather than the usual jig stamped.

 

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Likes: kujuak
Sep 14, 2012
125
11
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42
Savannah, GA
#20
I’ve got a K31 in immaculate shape... I probably overpaid for it but considering the condition, craftsmanship, and how quickly they’re drying up I think I’ll be able to look back next year and say I got a bargain. I’ve only got it out to the range once but even with cheap PPU I was able to easily hit a 4 inch plate at a hundred meters. I was quite impressed. I just wish I didn’t have to set the rear sight at 400 to hit 100 accurately.

I have a RS 1911 as well. The trigger on this rifle is amazing... 2.5lbs consistent! Unfortunately I wasn’t impressed with the accuracy. I probably need to tighten up the screws but I haven’t been able to find any information on what I should torque them too.
 
Likes: Calfed
Dec 3, 2009
41
18
8
#21
I’ve got a K31 in immaculate shape... I probably overpaid for it but considering the condition, craftsmanship, and how quickly they’re drying up I think I’ll be able to look back next year and say I got a bargain. I’ve only got it out to the range once but even with cheap PPU I was able to easily hit a 4 inch plate at a hundred meters. I was quite impressed. I just wish I didn’t have to set the rear sight at 400 to hit 100 accurately.

I have a RS 1911 as well. The trigger on this rifle is amazing... 2.5lbs consistent! Unfortunately I wasn’t impressed with the accuracy. I probably need to tighten up the screws but I haven’t been able to find any information on what I should torque them too.
Good that you found an immaculate one. I've got a couple in pretty good shape. I love the K31's that have match stickers on them. I have a couple of them and they are pretty good shooters.

On your SR 1911...is it the G11 (long rifle version) or the K11 (carbine)?
 
Jun 13, 2008
773
302
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#23
The only suggestion I would make in regard to reloading for these rifles is to choose cool powders.

It's not like you can just go buy a barrel in Wisconsin next week...

-Nate
 

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
2,592
1,015
113
San Diego, Ca
#24
Anyone got a good source for once-fired Swiss brass.... Boxer primed? I'd like 300 - 500 empties for my K31 Schuetzen... a gorgeous gun built by none-other than our own @buffalowinter ...

I am dying to work up a load for the rifle!

Cheers,

Sirhr
IIRC, .284 brass can be formed into 7.5 Swiss...That's what the Graf's brass is (original production run still had the "PPU .284" headstamp, but now bears the "Grafs" headstamp).
 
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sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,507
316
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in yooperland
#27
IIRC, .284 brass can be formed into 7.5 Swiss...That's what the Graf's brass is (original production run still had the PPU headstamp, but now bears the "Grafs" headstamp).
.284 brass can be made out of 7.5 Swiss. .284 Win has a rebated rim. Otherwise, that's what Winchester did when they created the .284 in 1958 to compete with the Remington .280/7mmExp./.280, but in a short action the models 88/100. They had brass made that was essentially the 7.5x55 necked down to 7mm and the rim turned down to .473 from .500 so it would fit the same bolt face as a 30-06.

That said, You can neck .284 up and if you maintain proper headspace, the case will center and hold in the chamber and it will fire safely. I prefer to get the correct size rim so it is supported.
 
Jun 13, 2008
773
302
63
#28
.284 brass can be made out of 7.5 Swiss. .284 Win has a rebated rim. Otherwise, that's what Winchester did when they created the .284 in 1958 to compete with the Remington .280/7mmExp./.280, but in a short action the models 88/100. They had brass made that was essentially the 7.5x55 necked down to 7mm and the rim turned down to .473 from .500 so it would fit the same bolt face as a 30-06.
No shit?!
 
Likes: samnev
Jun 13, 2008
773
302
63
#30
Well I'm impressed by that. Winchester took what they KNEW was a great casing, and made an equally-great "wildcat"...which has of course turned into one of the most successful wildcats of all time, the 6.5-284.

But the straight .284 is a wonderful round.

Cool history.

-Nate
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,507
316
83
in yooperland
#31
Well I'm impressed by that. Winchester took what they KNEW was a great casing, and made an equally-great "wildcat"...which has of course turned into one of the most successful wildcats of all time, the 6.5-284.

But the straight .284 is a wonderful round.

Cool history.

-Nate
The .284 is actually making a show now in 1000 yd. guns. IMO, like always should have. The most notable wildcat based off it, which isn't changed much, is the .284 Shehane. But, the basic case will propel a super high BC bullet as fast as one needs to get accurate at 1K+
 
Jun 13, 2008
773
302
63
#32
Schyeah....it's on my list for when I actually build an actual 1,000 yard rifle for me shooting at actual 1,000 yards..

...instead of this AR-15. It gets it done, but not as super-gooder as nearly anything else.

-Nate
 
Dec 3, 2009
41
18
8
#34
One of the great things about the K31 is that you can buy a clamp on scope mount and other doodahs that do not require permanent alterations to the rifle.

My son has a pretty accurate K-31 that he's only shot with iron sights. I've had some Swiss Products gear (clamp on scope mount, muzzle brake, etc) for it for some time, but my son has never indicated any interest in using it. I decided to mount a scope on the K31 and take it shooting. I didn't have much time, so I went to local range, rather than the 1000 yard range that I also belong to (15 minute drive instead of 1 hour).

I clamped the mount on, slipped a Bushnell Elite 5-15 scope on the mount, installed the muzzle brake on the barrel and snapped a cheek rest on the butt. Elapsed time...about 5 minutes.

Here's what the K-31 looks like all tarted up...



After getting it on paper and reasonably lined up at 25 yards, I then set up some targets at 200 yards (the max at that range) and gave it a try. The 200 yard line at the range is very high...it is made so that you shoot over the 100 yard berm, so the targets are about 10 feet higher than the firing line. Plus the bullets pass pretty close to the 100 yard berm as they go over it, which could have an affect on a breezy day, like it was.

At any rate, because of the higher targets and the offset mounting of the scope, it was a challenge to get a good cheek weld on the rifle. I dialed in an elevation adjustment and tried my handloads first. I noted that the point of impact shifted considerable to the right. So much so, that after two shots I felt like I better adjust the scope, lest the rounds land completely off target.



Then the GP11 ... .63 MOA!

 

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Likes: sandwarrior

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,507
316
83
in yooperland
#35
One of the great things about the K31 is that you can buy a clamp on scope mount and other doodahs that do not require permanent alterations to the rifle.

My son has a pretty accurate K-31 that he's only shot with iron sights. I've had some Swiss Products gear (clamp on scope mount, muzzle brake, etc) for it for some time, but my son has never indicated any interest in using it. I decided to mount a scope on the K31 and take it shooting. I didn't have much time, so I went to local range, rather than the 1000 yard range that I also belong to (15 minute drive instead of 1 hour).

I clamped the mount on, slipped a Bushnell Elite 5-15 scope on the mount, installed the muzzle brake on the barrel and snapped a cheek rest on the butt. Elapsed time...about 5 minutes.

Here's what the K-31 looks like all tarted up...



After getting it on paper and reasonably lined up at 25 yards, I then set up some targets at 200 yards (the max at that range) and gave it a try. The 200 yard line at the range is very high...it is made so that you shoot over the 100 yard berm, so the targets are about 10 feet higher than the firing line. Plus the bullets pass pretty close to the 100 yard berm as they go over it, which could have an affect on a breezy day, like it was.

At any rate, because of the higher targets and the offset mounting of the scope, it was a challenge to get a good cheek weld on the rifle. I dialed in an elevation adjustment and tried my handloads first. I noted that the point of impact shifted considerable to the right. So much so, that after two shots I felt like I better adjust the scope, lest the rounds land completely off target.



Then the GP11 ... .63 MOA!

The pics aren't coming through. Are you posting them directly to the site?
 
Feb 19, 2017
178
38
28
#36
One of the great things about the K31 is that you can buy a clamp on scope mount and other doodahs that do not require permanent alterations to the rifle.

My son has a pretty accurate K-31 that he's only shot with iron sights. I've had some Swiss Products gear (clamp on scope mount, muzzle brake, etc) for it for some time, but my son has never indicated any interest in using it. I decided to mount a scope on the K31 and take it shooting. I didn't have much time, so I went to local range, rather than the 1000 yard range that I also belong to (15 minute drive instead of 1 hour).

I clamped the mount on, slipped a Bushnell Elite 5-15 scope on the mount, installed the muzzle brake on the barrel and snapped a cheek rest on the butt. Elapsed time...about 5 minutes.

Here's what the K-31 looks like all tarted up...



After getting it on paper and reasonably lined up at 25 yards, I then set up some targets at 200 yards (the max at that range) and gave it a try. The 200 yard line at the range is very high...it is made so that you shoot over the 100 yard berm, so the targets are about 10 feet higher than the firing line. Plus the bullets pass pretty close to the 100 yard berm as they go over it, which could have an affect on a breezy day, like it was.

At any rate, because of the higher targets and the offset mounting of the scope, it was a challenge to get a good cheek weld on the rifle. I dialed in an elevation adjustment and tried my handloads first. I noted that the point of impact shifted considerable to the right. So much so, that after two shots I felt like I better adjust the scope, lest the rounds land completely off target.



Then the GP11 ... .63 MOA!


I often get that same flier pattern when i shoot my K31 with same set up.It drives me crazy. Any idea why the rifle does this??
 

steve123

Lt. Colonel
Mar 16, 2008
7,543
371
83
Flagstaff, AZ
#37
Probably because of the full length wood stock.

All the different type WW2 vintage rifles I shot had POI shifts as the barrel heated up. It was usually in a vertical trend though.
 

samnev

First Sargeant
Mar 16, 2010
3,801
19
38
Prescott, AZ
#40
IIRC, .284 brass can be formed into 7.5 Swiss...That's what the Graf's brass is (original production run still had the "PPU .284" headstamp, but now bears the "Grafs" headstamp).
Before Graf had 7.5 Swiss brass I reformed several hundred 284 cases into 7.5 Swiss. That was over 30 years ago and they are still going strong. But I don't shot my Swiss rifles anywhere as much now, except for my K31/ZFK Sniper, as my old eyes have hard time with the iron sights
 

D_TROS

Flag-Sword-Cross
Aug 19, 2010
1,360
122
63
North Denver, CO
#44
The "Sniper" version originally was the K31/42 and the K31/43 (IIRC the diff being the magnification on the scope: the 42 was 1.8x and the 43 was 2.8x)
I believe there were less than 2000 total made. Very cool rifles but a pain to get a good sight picture. Ha. Cool feature is the scope objective rotates around to stow it and pops up when you are ready to fire.

It wasn't until the mitd 50's that the ZFK55 was adopted with a different scope and other fun features.

Below is my K31/43. I Just got the brass and dies in so will be shooting it soon.

IMG_8051.JPG
 

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