K-31--straight-shooting table leg


June 6, 2003, 01:04 PM
Well I finally took the plunge and grabbed one of the prime-condition K-31 Schmidt-Rubin rifles that's been floating around. Technically, it's very different from the true Schmidt-Rubins I've seen sporterized around town. The originals had a VERY long bolt body, with a long thin hammer out front and locking lugs in the back. Not a terribly strong setup.

The K-31's are a complete re-design, and probably represent the ultimate in straight-pull technology. At first, the carbines appear very ungainly. The stock is strange looking. It reminds me of an antique table leg more than a rifle stock. It's also quite thick and very round. Once you start carrying and using the rifle, though, you realize how well balanced the piece is. It reminds me of an FN-49 or a Garand in the way it feels and handles.

The GP 11 ammo is probably the nicest surplus ammo I have ever seen. In most militaries it would not be standard issue, but would be reserved for the snipers. Each round is even sealed around the bullet. The down side is it's not too cheap ($20 for a brick of 60 here). The plus side is, Graf & Sons is just now coming out with Boxer brass for the cartridge. It uses .308" bullets and apparently likes IMR powders, so there are a lot of reloading options.

The rifle's accuracy is well known. Even without a rest, mine was shooting very nice groups at 100 meters. There were some strings, but those were due to my own problems getting used to the sight picture. The sights are nice, but a bit different from the standard "V" notch. The K-31 has more of a deep "U" notch. Mine was hitting about two inches right at 100 meters, but it looks like the front sight can be adjusted for windage. I fired some prone and some off-hand. Off-hand the rifle doesn't feel as heavy as its 8+ pounds should. Recoil is somewhat stout, since the rifle tends to kick straight back. It feels about like a .30'06 from a standard hunting rifle.

The straight pull action is awesome. The first six shots I kept lowering the rifle to cycle. Then I forced myself to stop, and the rifle began to cycle with no conscious effort on my part. The push-pull action is completely natural. I was able to maintain a sight picture through all six shots for the next several magazines. I have no idea why this action isn't used more here. It combines the best of a lever and bolt action.

My K-31 is from about 1944. The name of its previous owner was in the buttplate, and I quickly located his son by email. Others have had good luck getting in contact with the former owners. This is one of the best things about these rifles. As far as I know they are the only rifles where this is even possible. Try finding the last military owner of your Mauser or Mosin!

Once I put on my alpenflage my conversion to the Swiss side of the Force will be nearly complete.

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Dave R
June 6, 2003, 08:12 PM
:cool: :cool: Two cool. I'm jealous. Good range report. Almost as much fun as shooting one for real.

June 6, 2003, 08:27 PM
These things are going for $150 and under. Pound for pound it's probably the best buy ever for a C&R rifle. The complexity of the action, the accuracy of the rifle, and the excellent Swiss engineering mean it would cost lord knows how many thousands to re-make such a rifle. The current straight-pulls coming out of Europe (a few are made under the Mauser lable) look like toys in comparison.

So don't be jealous--get one :D

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