K31 Swiss Identification Tag Find – K31 Karabiner

How I came to own a K31 Swiss Carbine and what I found when I took it apart. July 2016 update: I have just acquired reloading dies for the 7.5×55 […]

Schmidt-Rubin K31 Swiss Carbine military surplus Rifle

How I came to own a K31 Swiss Carbine and what I found when I took it apart.

July 2016 update:

I have just acquired reloading dies for the 7.5×55 Swiss round and look forward to working up loads for better accuracy in my reloading press. I am thinking about accessorizing this one a bit with a scope mount, muzzle brake, and maybe a recoil pad (click here for Brownells link to these).

December 2015 update:

With so many reviews in the queue it took a several months to squeeze the K31 Swiss into a range session. Last night I nearly skipped the K31 Swiss, as it was getting late and we had a few more higher end scopes that just arrived for review and I needed to shoot before dark. And I have to admit that I was a bit “gunshy” of the K31 Swiss after reading that it had rather stout recoil. I have never been a fan of steel recoil pads on rifles that thump. Luckily, I put the K31 Swiss in the Hyskore Dual Damper Shooting Rest Schmidt-Rubin K31 Swiss Carbine military surplus Rifle first shots ez2c target(review link) on the Hyskore Ten Ring portable shooting bench (review link) and gave it a try. To be honest, the rest does such a good job at absorbing recoil that I couldn’t tell how bad the recoil was/wasn’t…. but I could tell that the round hit nearly exactly where I aimed on the paper 50 yards away. Not bad,  considering this was a new sight picture for me. Inspired by the result in the rest I decided to tightly shoulder the K31 and learned 2 things:

  1. This K31 Swiss is dead-on at 100 yards, as I rang the 8 inch AR500 gong over and over.
  2. Schmidt-Rubin K31 Swiss Carbine military surplus Rifle in the queue for the Hyskore Dual Damper shooting rest

    K31 Swiss Carbine military surplus Rifle in the queue for the Hyskore Dual Damper shooting rest

    If you hold the buttstock firmly in your shoulder, the recoil of the big 7.5×55 Swiss cartridge (Brownell’s link) isn’t that bad at all. It actually had more of a push than a kick.

But you are not a “collector”?!

I had never thought of myself as a “collector”. Certainly not a gun collector.
I have various rifles and pistols, but each has a specific purpose and fills a functional role.
The idea of buying guns to simply take up safe space and occasionally look at… well, it never appealed to me…
Until I saw a video of a Mosin Nagant that someone had “sporterized”. Upon acquiring a Mosin to update with a modern stock, trigger, muzzle brake, scope mount, scope and paint job, I immediately got lost in the various stamps hidden all over the rifle, each one giving a hint to the story and possible historical significance of of that particular rifle.
I was hooked. *A few months after writing this article I applied for and received a Curios and Relics (C&R) FFL to facilitate my new addiction. 🙂

12-Schmidt-Rubin_K31_Swiss_Carbine_Rifle (12)

Um… is this a Mosin article, or a K31 article?

As part of the “Mosin Modernization Project” series that will appeared here on Gear-Report.com, I have acquired 3 Mosins. The second turned out to be a Finnish Hex receiver rifle that I don’t feel right about cutting up to modernize. A long string of manufacturers have sent parts for the Mosin Modernization Project. So many parts that we will update 2 Mosins. With the Finn Mosin out of the picture, a 3rd Mosin was needed as the donor for the 2nd Modernization.

Getting warmer…

Ken at Rock Solid Industries introduced me to his Mosin supplier, who only had 2 Mosins left from their last batch of 1800. The boss had pulled these two for his personal collection. However, the sales guy was able to talk him out of one of them. While sorting out shipping arrangements I asked about other interesting guns that might fit into Gear Report’s budget and was introduced to what he called the “Schmidt-Rubin K31 Swiss”. I could add the K31 to my order and it would only increase the shipping charge by $5. Being a sucker for a bargain, I spontaneously agreed to bring a K31 Swiss into the family… and then immediately went to research and figure out what I had just bought. Well, imagine my surprise when i learned that “Schmidt-Rubin” is not associated with the K31 Swiss Karabiner at all.

Enter the K31 Swiss

16-Schmidt-Rubin_K31_Swiss_Carbine_Rifle (16)On a whim, I bought a “Schmidt-Rubin” K31 Swiss rifle from the importer that supplied one of the Mosin Nagants for the Mosin Modernization project.
The Mosin and K31 Swiss arrived yesterday. I took a few minutes at lunch today to take the K31 Swiss apart to see what marks I could find. Decoding the stamps is fascinating to me, as it is on my 3 Mosins. Since the History Channel no longer shows much history, I’m getting my history fix by buying old military surplus rifles. 🙂

This K31 Swiss carbine was made by SIG (from stamps on the stock, receiver and barrel) in 1938 (from a stamp on the bolt) and kept by the soldier that it was issued to (from stamp on barrel), Hermann Schawalder (from the ID tag I found under the butt stock plate! Picture attached). (According to http://www.swissrifles.com/proofs/)
From the K31 ID tag, line by line (According to http://www.swissrifles.com/sr/tags/) :

  • Schmidt-Rubin K31 Swiss Carbine military surplus Rifle Identification TagSerial number of the rifle is 590344
  • Hermann Schawalder was born in 1921
  • Hermann served with 34th PZAW (Panzerabwehr), an Anti Tank unit
  • Hermann lived in Winterthur
  • Hermann’s address was 38 Neuwieseustrasse.

That is it for now. I may write more when the 7.5×55 Swiss ammo (Brownell’s link) arrives and I see how it shoots. Not sure if I will write a full review since this is a 77 year old rifle and I have no idea if anyone else finds this sort of old stuff as interesting as I do. I have several more pictures and will take more next time I take the rifle apart. Let me know in the comments if you would like to see more about this rifle, or any of the other old milsurp rifles I have access to.

So, what cool, old firearms that tell an interesting story do you have?

Sadly, I am finding these old rifles history so intriguing… I may end up with a safe just for historical rifles.

Gallery of K31 Swiss images:

About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits.

A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps http://MGECOM.com acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management.

Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.