Swiss k31?


August 22, 2009, 08:02 PM
SO... local shop has a K31 in remarkable condition. The gun looks new!!!! It is amazing that a gun that was issued in 1940 (as stated on the "tag" under the butt-plate) could be in such great shape. The bolt design seems extremely inovative and just completely different than anything I have seen.. I have heard that the K31's and the 7.5x55's are a potent and extremely accurate combination.

So I am curious as to the opinions of this rifle.
Are they as accurate as their reputation? What are they worth? And how on earth do those cardboard looking clips work:confused:?

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August 22, 2009, 08:18 PM
This rifle is Swiss not Swedish. These are some of the best made,most accurate mil-surps available. $250+ is usually a good price. Cardboard clips?

August 22, 2009, 08:22 PM
Wow...I cannot believe I did that...yes, SWISS K31 LMAO...yeah... the cardboard clips... quite similar to stripper clips for an sks... the gun comes with two cardboard (though extremely thick!!!!) and metal clips for reloading the mag quickly. one of the most bizzare things I have seen.

August 22, 2009, 08:30 PM
They are great rifles, and while I wouldn't necessarily call the 7.5x55 "potent", it is a nice round. Certainly, if one were to hunt with it, you could easily dispatch most of the game on this continent, but I don't think it is as good a round overall as the .30-06 when looked at from the perspective of "potency".

Also, not Swedish. Swiss. Big difference, obviously. Branching off a bit, the Swedish Mausers are a delight. The K31 are pretty accurate rifles across the board, but the Swedish Mausers are better. It is not unheard of to get sub-MOA performance out of them. Plus, the 6.5x55 Swede round is a pretty good round.

Back to the K31, if your interested, buy it. Out of all my milsurps, it is my favorite to shoot, because that straight pull bolt is just fun to work with. They are more accurate than I can shoot, and I have made hits, from a rest, from surprisingly far distances (out to 500 yards). From more moderate distances, say 100-200 yards, I have shot real, real close to MOA with the GP-11 surplus ammo. I assure you, you will enjoy the rifle, depending on the price. I actually am not sure what a good price for them is anymore, but the last I looked, around $200.00 for a shooter was about right. Also, there are commercial loads available for them if you cannot find or run out of the GP11 ammo.

From a sportsmans perspective, you certainly could hunt with one. There are scope mounts available. I have never looked, but I am sure you can find sporterized examples of them. Personally, this is one milsurp rifle I do not like to see sporterized, particularly if it comes with the previous owners tag, as you indicate this one does. While all milsurps hold a certain amount of nostalgia and respect for the soldier that carried them for me, this is the one rifle where you can commonly find a name and unit. Some guys have actually found the previous owners and chatted with them.

In any event, unless it is priced over the moon, I heartily recommend the rifle.

August 22, 2009, 08:36 PM
thank you for All your input Timbokhan, and I know the gun is Swiss... bit of a Freudian slip I guess... ha...

August 22, 2009, 09:00 PM
The cardboard stripper clips are the most unlikely and AMAZINGLY useful features in the world of stripper clips.

They work AWESOMELY, and far easier than any other stripper I've used. You just can't screw up the reload. They drop into the top of the receiver, press down -- gently even -- and the rounds pop into the mag without a fuss. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it may be easier to reload a K-31 with those cardboard stripper clips than it is to reload a Garand.

The cardboard is very durable, too. You can soak those things in water and they don't get soft or fall apart. I've got a dozen or so I've used for years. I've never had to toss one out, though they must wear out eventually, right?

Very cool system. Very cool rifle. Accurate as all heck. I've shot 1" (measured) 100 yd. groups off the bench with the iron sights and surplus ammo. I've also won a couple of our surplus rifle side matches with one, largely thanks to the cycling speed and reload speed. It has been (jokingly?) suggested that we aught to shoot three divisions instead of two: 1) scopes, 2) iron, and 3) K-31 -- just to keep things fair. :D


August 22, 2009, 09:06 PM
if ya'll keep this up you are going to talk me into buying this gun.... will be my first milspec rifle if that is the case.

August 22, 2009, 09:23 PM
Sheesh, you'll never regret buying a K-31. The level of craftsmanship is just unreal. The bolt is a mechanical marvel. Not complicated, exactly, but weird and cool.

The safety is the only thing about these rifles that's not (looking for the right word...) "optimized?" It doesn't matter much, probably, but it is not quick and simple to engage/disengage.

The triggers will put most modern factory rifles to shame. Crisp and LIGHT. (Careful with that first shot! It will surprise you!)

A real rifleman's rifle.

It's almost a shame that rifle design was evolving on toward the semi-autos by the time the K-31 was really in use. It feels, to me, like the pinnacle of fighting-bolt-rifle evolution.

They are a joy to shoot. Which, considering the Swiss people's love of shooting competition, is not surprising.


August 22, 2009, 09:36 PM
the more I read... the more I am seeing just that... a hell of a rifle... guess one is destined to be in my collection.. hopefully this one soon enough....

August 22, 2009, 09:55 PM
Other than finding ammo (which is a bit of a challenge but not unsurmountable), I have never heard a bad word about them. Many consider the K31 to best milsurp wood and steel repeating rifle that money can buy.

August 22, 2009, 10:13 PM
From what I've heard, they're considered by the vast majority of folks as quite accurate and well put together for a surplus rifle.

Both mine and the one my buddy received looked like an angry Swiss who was tired of KP duty took a chain to the stocks (walnut, I believe). The metal, however, was in excellent shape with most of the blueing looking great. A little sand paper, linseed oil and elbow grease brought mine to a "like new condition".

August 22, 2009, 10:40 PM
K31's are among the best milsurps you can buy. I've never met anyone who regretted buying one.
Around the way, I've heard that the stocks get beat up around the buttplates because Swiss sentries set them in the snow....who knows, either way, they are wonderful rifles.

August 22, 2009, 10:44 PM
the one that peaked my interest is seriously one of the best looking riftles I have seen... it is almost impossible to believe it is 70+ years old. there is not a scratch or ding anywhere on the stock, the metal and blueing is immaculate. and there is a case and a half of ammo to boot...

is this me about to buy this gun?

August 22, 2009, 10:53 PM
PT1911,enjoy YOUR new K31!

August 22, 2009, 10:55 PM
Good God Man!, dont catch the Swiss flu!, or this will happen to you and you will go broke!. ARRRGGG!.
Nah!, actually you made an excellent choice in a weapon. Buy it and enjoy it. ( ( ( (

August 22, 2009, 10:57 PM
I have three. I've gotten a lot of enjoyment out of each one. If you buy one make sure to hit the Swiss Rifle Website. Many good tips. Reloading can be done w/ .284 or Prvi Brass.

I have since put a scope on this one with the Clamp On Side Mount. It requires no drilling/tapping or taking off any sights. Shoots great.

August 22, 2009, 11:00 PM
Most literature about the K31 says that the reason for the beat up stock near the but was because they would use the butt of the rifle to knock the snow off their boots. Thats why many K31's are rough around the butt area.

August 22, 2009, 11:09 PM
so I am curious... with the straight back bolt design, (ingenious IMO) what sort of cycling are you capable of doing in comparison to a traditional bolt... almost seems unfair as sam1911 said above

August 23, 2009, 10:41 AM
so I am curious... with the straight back bolt design, (ingenious IMO) what sort of cycling are you capable of doing in comparison to a traditional bolt... almost seems unfair as sam1911 said above

It is very fast. A practiced hand can operate a conventional bolt gun very rapidly. Enfields, which cock on closing thus giving a spring action boost on opening, are about the fastest conventional bolt action.

Col. Cooper, I believe, wrote a bit about the proper fast action technique for a turn-bolt which involves a very smooth cupped-hand waving motion that, if you're practiced up, can be accomplished in well under a second.

The K-31 (and other straight-pull bolt guns) will shave some fraction of a second off that, and will do so while requiring a little less "finesse" because you don't have to change or rotate your grip on the bolt handle.

They are also fast because they're so smooth. Not that a good turn-bolt can't be smooth, but there's usually some "slop" in the bolt ways and the inherent extra banging around of the bolt lugs finding their way into the ways. The K-31's bolt feels like it's riding on rails. No slop -- just the smooth glide of a precision machine.

Having said that, I've never run side-by-side tests against a timer to see what my split times would be.


August 23, 2009, 01:07 PM
Don't you just pull and turn the finger ring to make it safe? That's what I do, and I wouldn't call it difficult at all.


If a K31 is to be your first milsurp it's a good place to start. Be careful that you don't end there though, as it seems that jdnumerals above may have allowed to happen to him. :)

There ARE other good ones...

August 23, 2009, 05:03 PM
Don't you just pull and turn the finger ring to make it safe? That's what I do, and I wouldn't call it difficult at all.

Yup! That's it. No, it is not difficult. But it is not in the same league of intuitive and easy as, say, the safety of a Garand or M1 Carbine -- or even an SKS, or an Enfield.

Now, when compared to the wing safety on a Mauser or Springfield, it's in the same ball-park, though still noticeably less-intuitive.

Like those two rifles, but a bit worse, it's not the kind of safety that you leave engaged until the last moment before a shot. You aren't going to flick it off in the split second as you raise the rifle to fire.

With that pulling, twisting, it isn't the sort of thing you want to have to do in a big hurry. Which is why I point it out. Everything else about the rifle is efficient, fast, and an an improvement over other bolt-action rifle designs. By that token, one would expect to find the K-31 to have a safety something like an SKS, or M1 Carbine, but better. Something smooth and positive, but effortless. Instead it seems like an oversight.


August 23, 2009, 06:00 PM
Yeah, I'll go along with it not being the quickest or even the easiest to operate.

I was afraid that maybe there was a safey that I'd missed on K31's. I sort of figured out the 'pull and twist' by accident and realized that it kept the rifle from firing so assumed it must be how it was supposed to be made safe.

August 23, 2009, 06:32 PM
The safety is an easy one to master...(try a Mosin one once).
Here is the reason for beat up stocks... ( ( (

August 23, 2009, 06:39 PM
I looked for a long time this morning for the best picture on the subject. Someone posted it a LOOOONG time ago, either here or at one of the other forums I (used to) read.

It showed a platoon of Swiss alpine troops all standing at parade rest outside their pup tents one beautiful Swiss morning at ~10,000 feet up some mountain. Their K-31s were all grounded next to that hobnail boot (like the soldier's stance in the second picture you posted) but they were all in about 2' of snow!

Beautiful rifles, but the butts all look like they were batting rocks with them.


August 23, 2009, 08:41 PM
The K31 IS my first mil-surp, and I've never regretted buying mine for 220 bucks in 2007. The only complaint I have is the fact that I'm having difficulty find ammunition. Otherwise, it's my favorite rifle.

August 23, 2009, 08:46 PM
The K31 IS my first mil-surp, and I've never regretted buying mine for 220 bucks in 2007.
You shouldn't! That's a fine price!

Of course, back in 2005 mine cost me $125, which is an even better deal! :D

But, like most mil-surps, by the time everyone realized what a great deal they were, the price was up and the supply was down. Eventually, we'll all be saying this about Mosins. Probably.

And ammo has always been expensive. Fortunately reloadable brass is common enough now.

-Sam (Who bought a Russian SKS for $212 in about 1992, so knows a bit about paying over the market value for something -- and waiting for the market to catch up and put a smile on your face! :D)

August 23, 2009, 09:39 PM
When I bought my first K31 in 1998, it cost me 300.00. Thats before the big import hit our stores. Now there going back up towards that. Glad I bought more when I did.

August 23, 2009, 11:36 PM
Picked up my first at a gun show for an overprice 139 at the time, late 2003. It turned out to have a fantastic flame walnut stock. It got me so interested that I quickly got my C&R and promptly ordered another 5 ( two stacks of 3) for 70-80 ea. Then got with a group buy on the Swiss RIfles forum and imported a beautiful 1911. I did manage to buy 4 cases of GP 11 and a bunch of boxer primed brass from Graf's so I am in good shape for quite a while.

August 24, 2009, 12:00 AM
And let's not forget one of their best assets, which was leaps ahead of most of the other bolt-action competition. In addition to their fast cycling straight bolt action (one of the few of the era, shared only by the Austrians I believe, in a much worst rifle), they had a detachable box magazine capable of holding more rounds than most rifles of the era. The combination of the higher capacity, faster reloadable box magazine and the straight bolt would make this a fast shooting rifle with a high cyclic rate.

August 24, 2009, 12:37 AM
A friend of mine shot 445 out of 500 this morning with one.
He is a Distinguished Rifleman and Presidents 100 so take that into account.
It was a 200yd reduced match. 6 X's

August 24, 2009, 12:39 AM
Damn..... that is impressive....

August 24, 2009, 12:42 AM
I did see a guy with a left handed model at a vintage rifle match.

August 24, 2009, 12:45 AM
I just shoot some local matches here & there. I have met some very impressive shooters at every one of them. Pistol & rifle matches alike.

August 24, 2009, 12:52 AM
My K31 with no gunsmith scope mount and Cabelas Alaskan Guide 3-9x32mm Scope. I have 200rnds of reloadable PRVI for it to eat and have already purchase the RCBS dies. Great thing is these things shoot .308" pills!

August 24, 2009, 01:02 AM
nice gun you have there... though I dont know about the scope... perhaps a peroid correct scope would comnpliment the gun well... what sort of groups are these guns capable of with a capable shooter?

August 24, 2009, 01:06 AM
I've considered a classic fixed power Weaver scope...

Here's a great article on a scoped K31 much like my setup.

August 24, 2009, 04:26 AM
but it is not quick and simple to engage/disengage.

Maybe not all that quick, but it is simple.

Actually, the ring safety was one of the things that got me interested in this rifle back when my milsurp interest began to blossom. Frankly, it just looked cool. Plus, it is real, real easy to tell when you are on safe or not.

I don't remember exactly and am too lazy to google it now, but keep in mind that the K31 was in service for something like 25 years, until like 1958 or 1959. This, obviously, was at a point where most developed countries had already switched to semi-automatics. I mean, by that point, even the Soviets had gone to semi's! For the Swiss, at least, it was the pinnacle of bolt-action battle rifles, much like the Springfield was the pinnacle for us. What I mean by that is that had the bolt-action continued to be used as a battle rifle, outside of some specific refinements, I don't believe that either we or the Swiss would have changed our rifles dramatically, which I do not believe can be said about the Russians. I love Mosins with a passion, but you can't really classify them as the pinnacle of anything....

August 24, 2009, 08:21 AM
Not having been engaged in a war since 1815 does take some of the urgency away from a country's armament development...

August 24, 2009, 09:03 AM
Can't say enough good things about the k31. Check out pretty much the most comprehensive website for the rifle.

Yup the swiss flu is pretty bad

GP11 ammo is the best for it in my opinion. Cheap and accurate. You can get them from AIMsurplus or Graf&sons.

1,000 yards with open sights

Overview of the K31 Series of Rifles- Part 1

Overview of the K31 series of Rifles- Part 2

August 24, 2009, 10:26 AM
The K31 is a great rifle. I have two, and they're quite accurate.


August 24, 2009, 10:51 AM
Never will I regret paying 220. It was the first hi-power rifle I've ever owned, and probably the rifle I'm most attached to, lol. She shoots like a beaut. I've had a range session where I shot SUB-MOA groups with GP-11!!!! That surprised me. I haven't managed to do that since. But I know for a fact my Swiss Miss can shoot better than I can. If I can find that target I'll scan it and post it up, it's probably in one of the boxes in storage. I've moved twice since then.

August 24, 2009, 09:30 PM
well... guess I've got to come up with the necessary funds.... GEEZ guys.... and here I was thinking you would talk me out of this little beaut.;)

August 25, 2009, 12:23 PM
no no no no no there's no way we'll talk you out of buying a K31! lol

August 25, 2009, 11:45 PM
I have a Swiss diopter target sight for mine that brings out the sniper in me. This thing isn't the prettiest K31, but it will shoot lights out. Makes me look like a hell of a marksman, until I let whomever I'm with take a turn. Shoots 1/2 MOA with GP11 surplus ammo. Build like a Rolex. You'll love it.

August 26, 2009, 01:11 AM
This thread made me go grab the ol K31 from the safe and do some "accuracy mods". Namely I put spacers (small #5 washers) in between the barrel bands so that they don't clamp down on the wood giving the bbl more wiggle room. I tightened the front reciever screw down all the way but backed out the tang screw 1/2 turn so that I can "tune" it next trip to the range.

August 26, 2009, 08:21 AM
Sounds like something I should do with mine, jpwilly. I wanna see how much more accurate it can get.

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