Looking to buy a K31


December 18, 2006, 10:42 PM
Who has the nicest rifles? I see G, VG, Exc...but dont know what that base it off of. If someone who has ordered a few could give their experience , that would be great.


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December 19, 2006, 10:12 AM
Ill let you know when mine gets here. The store I ordered mine from said he just ordered several for a guy...didnt request hand select or anything and he said they were the best he's seen, stocks looked next to new. When I ordered mine I asked for a hand select, the place he ordered it from said they have no "hand select" ones, they are all very very nice. The guy at the store that I ordered mine from, and Ive heard this a few times is that he's never seen one with a bore that wasnt like glass, hes seen them with thier stock beat up a little, but never with bad metal. Ill ask him where he is ordering them from and ill let ya'll know. I piad $190 out the door.

December 19, 2006, 12:34 PM
Don't really know who's got the best of what's left. As with most things surplus, the very best generally go out the door first. By this time I seriously doubt that any of the major importers have anything in near-pristine condition left for sale.

The only condition standards that I'd personally trust are the NRA's. At least they remove a lot of the purely subjective elements from the equation, which is where most folks seem to get crossed up. Your idea of what constitues "VG" and the particular dealer's might be very different. Unless the ad directly references the NRA standards, you really have no way of knowing what their actual grading criteria are. When in doubt, you'll save yourself a good deal of potential hassle and disappointment with a phone call and some direct questions before you buy.

There's also a good deal of variation in how the various jobbers do their "hand selection". Some will go through the entire lot on arrival and sort them out into lots by general catagories of condition, some will take it a pallet at a time, and some will just grab the best looking one of what's currently at-hand. Unless you know something about how the particular outfit does it, it's pretty much a crap shoot as to what you'll actually get for the extra cash.

The Swiss stuff is something of an anomaly in the surplus arms world. The way the Swiss military does things is very different from the rest of the world in general and Europe in particular. Virtually all Swiss males receive military training, serve a period of active duty, and are in reserve units for most of their adult life. They are (or were) required to keep their issued weapon(s), basic gear and a quantity of ammunition in their homes and requalify with them regularly. They are also responsible for maintenance and upkeep, which helps explain why the condition of the bores and working elements of these rifles remain so consistently nice. They tend to show a lot of cosmetic handling wear from drill and exercises, but not where it really counts.

IMO, these are the finest military surplus rifles as far as quality of manufacture, general accuracy, condition, and value-for-the-buck to come here since the Swedish Mausers of a few years back. Once you shoot one, I don't think you'll be disappointed with your deal.

December 20, 2006, 01:09 AM
Thanks, so the ratings and "hand select" are generally a ashetic thing.
Got it.


December 20, 2006, 01:51 AM
For the K31 specifically, you'll generally find the following things:

Perfect, pristine bore. The Swiss were VERY particular about this. I have yet to see one that wasn't great, and most are like-new.

Excellent condition bolt. Inside and out, the bolts usually appear like-new as well.

Poor condition stock. The Swiss were also apparently notorious for not caring at all about the external appearance of the rifle, and there are stories of the soldiers cleaning the hobnails on their boots with the stocks. The other story goes that they stacked them in the snow, so that part of the stock was weathered much more heavily. The most beat-up area is usually down by the buttplate. You can see anything from deep gauges to dents to nothing at all. I have a walnut and a beech whose owners clearly didn't subscribe to the abovementioned tactics, and have great stocks. The remaining walnut is still pretty good.

Good blueing. For whatever reason, it's usually pretty good - 75% and up. Although I've seen them with almost all the blueing gone as well, it seems to be more uncommon than not.

December 20, 2006, 06:14 AM
This is why the stocks are dinged and gouged...(picts from Guisan)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y206/jd46561/th_stoc4.jpg (http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y206/jd46561/stoc4.jpg)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y206/jd46561/th_stoc3.jpg (http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y206/jd46561/stoc3.jpg)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y206/jd46561/th_boot.jpg (http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y206/jd46561/boot.jpg)

December 20, 2006, 08:45 AM
Those pics are great! I think the serious K-31 collector will be sure to get some of those brutal hobnail boots and that helmet that makes you look like an idiot as soon as you put it on. :)


December 20, 2006, 10:27 AM
I have two off gunbroker and one from AIM. They were all supposed to be walnut but one of the gunbroker guns, of course, was not. The AIM was bought just a couple months ago. It's the best.
I won the Texas Vintage Military Championship with the birch stocked on, and it shoots to the left about a foot at 200 yards. Had to hold off.

I'd be interested in hearing if someone found some perfect ones. Nice gun. Cheap.

December 20, 2006, 10:34 AM
I just got one of the hand select walnuts from AIM, and it is pretty much perfect.

Bore is VG, finish is VG-, stock is good++, has a few minor dings. S/N works out to 1941.

Haven't had it to the range yet.

ClassicArms also looks to have some very nice ones.

December 20, 2006, 11:28 AM
Blackfork, The Swiss used Walnut and Beech for there stocks. Also, there is light colored Walnut , which might fool somepeople. Walnut was used from 33-45. Beech from 45-58. Take off your buttplate, the stock year will be there.

Nice rifleTexlurch.

December 23, 2006, 11:35 PM
Hey, sorry to open the thread again. A lot of great info though.

I just found out i will be getting a K31 from AIM for Christmas!! Well, at least have one ordered for me. It will be a beech stock, so i guess a newer one.

My question is, should I pay the extra $10 for a HP, or is there really no need? I will sand and restain the stock, so that isnt a big deal. I mostly concerned with the "shootability" as they have a excellent reputation of great bores and nice blueing.



December 23, 2006, 11:39 PM
If you're going to refinish anyway, I wouldn't spend the extra $10 for hand pick. The bluing on all of the AIM examples I've seen is very good, and the bores are near perfect.

December 24, 2006, 01:06 AM

Happy Holidays


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