So, I'm Considering a K31...


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barnbwt
April 21, 2012, 09:19 PM
I've become somewhat taken with the K-31 carbine, both because of its unique straight-pull bolt action, and since I've heard nothing but good things about them. I was also blown away by how well made they are, especially compared to the Mosins/etc. I usually see. That said, before I decide to part with some cash, I had a few questions:

-My LGS has about 6 in stock, and is asking 325$-415$. The lowest serial (6xxxxx) has highest price, but they all seem about identical in bore quality and function. The highest serial is in the 8xxxxx range, are these superior/inferior to the earlier weapons? Are these prices reasonable? These guns have obviously been on the rack for a while (dust), what are they going for in gunstores these days?

-Since these guns have been on the rack for years (at least the two I'm aware of) are they any issues that could be caused by storage, lots of cycling, or dry-firing? (Trigger has a lot of take up but the second stage was very crisp:))

-Two of the carbines (the lowest 2 serials) have a much darker wood grain, with more pronounced grain striping. Are these the Walnut or Beech stocks, and is one preferable to the other?

-I checked locking lugs and the bolt-handle stud for wear/cracking, since I've heard some tales of issues there, and all rifles look good. Is there anything else I need to be sure to check up on?

-Can these rifles be rechambered (into anything else) without a 1000$+ custom rebuild? Or can a more common cartridge be reformed into the 7.5 Swiss via die or fire-forming?

Thanks for the info guys,
TCB

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Cal-gun Fan
April 21, 2012, 09:56 PM
Well, Idk about brass forming, but brass is readily available and GP11 ammunition, which is basically match grade, is available for about .50 cents a round.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 21, 2012, 10:06 PM
-My LGS has about 6 in stock, and is asking 325$-415$. The lowest serial (6xxxxx) has highest price, but they all seem about identical in bore quality and function. The highest serial is in the 8xxxxx range, are these superior/inferior to the earlier weapons? Are these prices reasonable? These guns have obviously been on the rack for a while (dust), what are they going for in gunstores these days?

That's a typical price, roughly industry standard. Good deal, in my opinion.

-Since these guns have been on the rack for years (at least the two I'm aware of) are they any issues that could be caused by storage, lots of cycling, or dry-firing? (Trigger has a lot of take up but the second stage was very crisp)

None. They're like any other center-fire. And that is the typical two-stage trigger. You will have no complaints. That take up is normal.

-Two of the carbines (the lowest 2 serials) have a much darker wood grain, with more pronounced grain striping. Are these the Walnut or Beech stocks, and is one preferable to the other?

Walnut is more preferable, and I'm thinking they are Beech, but I could be wrong.

-I checked locking lugs and the bolt-handle stud for wear/cracking, since I've heard some tales of issues there, and all rifles look good. Is there anything else I need to be sure to check up on?

Not off the top of my head, but I would check and make sure they're chambered in 7.5 GP11 and not .308.

-Can these rifles be rechambered (into anything else) without a 1000$+ custom rebuild? Or can a more common cartridge be reformed into the 7.5 Swiss via die or fire-forming?

They can be successfully re-chambered in .308, but I'm not sure what the change entails.

barnbwt
April 21, 2012, 10:07 PM
.50 a round? Dang, that's competitive with my .308! I was under the impression it was 2-3x that amount, I'm really tempted now. Guess I'll be buying another set of dies again, who knows, I may dump my 700SPS for this rifle if it shoots as well. Lord knows it's a more interesting piece.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 21, 2012, 10:10 PM
The K-31 is practically a match-grade rifle, anyway. I believe most of the shooters here can get around 1.5 MOA consistently out of theirs any given day. One a good day, in the groove, mine will group just under an inch at 100 yards. Those days are few for me, and I typically get about 1.25 - 1.50 MOA

barnbwt
April 21, 2012, 10:17 PM
I would check and make sure they're chambered in 7.5 GP11 and not .308.


I checked about five times, and for each rifle. I'd have bought all six if they were in .308, for sure, since I already load for that caliber. From what I've read and seen online, the K31's were made in a few other more common calibers, but they are sadly all off the market now, leaving the 7.5 Swiss standard models for us late-comers. I've looked online for a couple weeks and haven't seen any 30-06 or .308 models come up. They would be very expensive if there wer any, I have been told.

According to Google, rechambering to .308 apparently involves adapting a new barrel to the reciever (using part of the original barrel interface, I think) and then reaming the chamber to proper set-back. Unfortunately, this looks like a 1000$ proposition:cuss: Luckily, it sounds like these rifles are great as is, and if ammo is truly available/affordable, I should be fine with the 7.5mm.

Thanks for the feedback ya'll,

TCB

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 21, 2012, 10:28 PM
Anytime. Post pics when you pick yours up. I know you won't be able to resist.

Bojangles7
April 21, 2012, 11:45 PM
Buy buy buy. You won't regret it. They are easily one of the best buys as far as craftsmanship, and ammo, as already stated, is not that expensive. I'm looking to buy a second one to scope and I'm positive it will be the only rilfe I would own two of.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 21, 2012, 11:51 PM
Bojangles is definitely right on that. If I can find a good deal on another one, I'll likely pick up another one.

Phaethon
April 21, 2012, 11:52 PM
My understanding is that despite their 7.5 nomenclature, they can be reloaded with standard .308 bullets. It's just a matter of finding or adapting usable brass. You can buy Prvi Partizan, and I have a vague recollection of someone mentioning fire-forming .284 cases, but I'm sure it's a possibility.

http://www.simpsonltd.com/index.php?cPath=350_351_379&page=1&sort=4a&osCsid=8c41319610e4b853b7b99e627fa791b6

Simpson LTD still has a few going for $250. That's around $290 shipped+transferred depending on how cheap your FFL transfer is. I suppose it might be worth the money to support your local mom-n-pop shop, but I still wouldn't pay a dime over $350. They're incredible rifles, but they can be had cheaper.

Darker wood generally indicates Walnut. It's a purely aesthetic choice, but walnut generally commands a $10-$20 price increase.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 22, 2012, 12:03 AM
Yes, you can reload with .308 bullets. I'm sure you could find an accurate recipe from one of the members here.

rule303
April 22, 2012, 12:03 AM
You won't regret a K31. Walnut stocked models generally bring a slight premium, but aren't any more functional than a beech stocked model. Switzerland, being a neutral country never had the wartime pressure to pump out weapons, so the quality was high throughout the whole production of the K31. There aren't likely many more of these to import, so even if you overpay a bit, the value should increase (10 years ago they were selling for under $100). Brass can be formed from .284 Winchester, but that is harder to find than 7.5x55 lately.

Phaethon
April 22, 2012, 12:08 AM
It's true, the guns that are on the market currently aren't military surplus. They're privately-owned Swiss rifles, sold off the Swiss civilian market and imported here - it was Swiss regulation to allow a soldier to keep his rifle when his military service was over, if he desired. So these represent probably the last of them. That's why most of the guns have troop tags under the buttplate.

If you can, you should get a bayonet to go along with it. They're very nice pieces, and compliment their bigger brothers well.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 22, 2012, 12:13 AM
Mine's military surplus (thankfully) and I see it worth more because of that. I have the troop-tag. I just wish I could have the bayonet and the gear that the rifle was issued with. I have a bayo, but it's an unserialed Victorinox.

http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g350/lj-mosinfreak-buck/Swiss%20K31/100_1282.jpg

shinyroks
April 22, 2012, 12:17 AM
buy all of them, then send one to me...

7.62x51NATO
April 22, 2012, 12:28 AM
K31's are great rifles. As everyone else says, go buy one! (Or three) you will love them. I just got mine in December and got to getting a scope on it. Took it out a couple weeks ago and with Prvi factory ammo it shot .75-1 moa 5 shot groups one after the other. Incredibly asccurate rifle and now I have 60 pieces of brass. One thing you can look for with them is if you unscrew the screws on the buttplate some of the rifles have soldier tags in the buttstock and you can find an online source to decipher what it says and some people have sent the owners e-mails and have sometimes gotten responses! Just something that would be fun to look into, IMO.

Phaethon
April 22, 2012, 12:34 AM
Mine's military surplus (thankfully) and I see it worth more because of that. I have the troop-tag.

Strictly speaking they're all military surplus because all rifles came from the military. I merely make the distinction between rifles sold straight out of Switzerland's armories or through private sales to importers who brought them in by the truckload. I don't see how it would be possible for you to determine the rifle's point of origin.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 22, 2012, 12:46 AM
Strictly speaking they're all military surplus because all rifles came from the military. I merely make the distinction between rifles sold straight out of Switzerland's armories or through private sales to importers who brought them in by the truckload. I don't see how it would be possible for you to determine the rifle's point of origin.

That's half true. There were K31s manufactured solely for civilian purposes. I don't know the serial number ranges, but the SN's are different, and the rifles are generally in 10-15 times better condition to their military brethren.

Soldiers were allowed to keep their rifles, yes. But there were folks who had K31s that didn't serve with them or get them from the military.

dak0ta
April 22, 2012, 01:28 AM
Compared to the Swedish M96 mausers, are the K31's equally or more accuate?

K31's seem like a more accurate platform, but the Swede shoots a more efficient and accurate cartridge (6.5x55).

And I hear that the K11 or G1911 rifles are technically more accurate than the K31.

barnbwt
April 22, 2012, 01:32 AM
LJ, thanks for posting the picture! I take it that is a walnut stocked model (since it's not orange). The two best(est) condition stock models at the gunstore are a walnut and beech. I'll probably end up refinishing either (I'm addicted from my CZ52 rehab project). I'm trying really hard to resist getting both...

I may remember it backwards, but I think the walnut had a much lighter bluing-job than the later beech rifle. Didn't look like wear, just a lighter grey color, almost like parkerizing or something. I don't know if this is typical or even matters, they were all spotless of rust, or even wear. I don't recall seeing any import marks, which if not visible would be fantastic.

I'm not usually one for buying up accessories to go with a gun that will just be used as a gun at the range, but that bayonet is gorgeous, LJ! Almost looks better than the rifle. Those Swiss could have marched all the way to Moscow if they'd wanted, leaving nagant-wielding peasants in speechless stupor:what: yeah, like that

Thanks for the peer pressure guys, I think I'll make a little withdrawal tomorrow :D

(crud, I'll just bet this thing won't fit in my safe, but who'd steal it?)

TCB

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 22, 2012, 01:33 AM
Well, the GP11 round was initially designed for the earlier rifles, but was since adapted for use out of the shorter barrels.

I've never shot a Swede next to my K31 for comparison, nor have I had my hands on one. I can't elaborate on that.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 22, 2012, 01:45 AM
LJ, thanks for posting the picture! I take it that is a walnut stocked model (since it's not orange). The two best(est) condition stock models at the gunstore are a walnut and beech. I'll probably end up refinishing either (I'm addicted from my CZ52 rehab project). I'm trying really hard to resist getting both...

I'm not totally sure, haven't actually had it out of the safe for a while. I'm pretty sure it's walnut, though.

I did refinish mine, more of a restoration, really. Steamed most of the dents out, cleaned it up, and put a more resilient finish on it (sealed with Tung Oil).

I may remember it backwards, but I think the walnut had a much lighter bluing-job than the later beech rifle. Didn't look like wear, just a lighter grey color, almost like parkerizing or something. I don't know if this is typical or even matters, they were all spotless of rust, or even wear. I don't recall seeing any import marks, which if not visible would be fantastic.

It could be wear, it could be park'd. Just gotta take it out of the stock to be sure, you'll be able to tell if the bluing is differing. Really doesn't matter, AFAIK.

Import marks will usually be on the end of the barrel (muzzle end) and on the bolt handle side of the rifle, or on the left side of the receiver. They did real nice work on the importer marks on mine, you can barely see 'em.

I'm not usually one for buying up accessories to go with a gun that will just be used as a gun at the range, but that bayonet is gorgeous, LJ! Almost looks better than the rifle.

Almost is key! lol. And thank you. Like I said, it's a Victorinox un-serialed. Meaning it wasn't issued to the rifle. I purchased it from www.CheaperThanDirt.com, though I'm not sure they still offer it. Worth a look, though.

The fitment of the blade, tang, and guard are just superb. Even the latch to hold the bayo on the rifle is so finely recessed, that you can barely see the line on the other side. I'll post a picture of that when I get home, working now.

Those Swiss could have marched all the way to Moscow if they'd wanted, leaving nagant-wielding peasants in speechless stupor yeah, like that

Maybe if the Swiss had a bigger army and the ambitious mindset that led Hitler to that insanity. However, they were more concerned about the defense of their own soil than conquest of other's. Their soldiers were taught accurate fire.

They could hold up in a mountain pass while an invading army could try and come in, bottle-necking the enemy in the mountain pass. This way, a smaller amount of troops could hold off a much larger force.

Thanks for the peer pressure guys, I think I'll make a little withdrawal tomorrow

(crud, I'll just bet this thing won't fit in my safe, but who'd steal it?)

Now there's some thinking. Get that puppy home and give it a better home than collecting dust. As far as someone stealing it, I couldn't advise you in either way.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 22, 2012, 01:51 AM
Here's a close-up of the bayo, and it's better quality.

As it turns out, you can see on the bayo what I was talking about for the latch recess. You can see it, but some parts just disappear, and you can't even feel the difference.

http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g350/lj-mosinfreak-buck/Swiss%20K31/100_1281.jpg

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 22, 2012, 02:04 AM
K31 Picture Thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=632034)

When you bring yours home, feel free to post pics up in the link above. :)

Snowdog
April 22, 2012, 02:16 AM
They are the most well-constructed military surplus rifles I've seen (and I've seen/own a few).

I'm still open to a trade for mine (for either 1000 rounds of XM193 or XM855) and it includes 2 60-round packs of GP11 (plus a couple loose boxes) should you live nearby and be interested. LOL

Click here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=653370) for the original offer. In the few days since I posted that offer, I have actually located and purchased a comforting amount of both XM193 and XM855. However, more is always welcome.

Anyway, the K31 is one astounding surplus rifle without a doubt.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 22, 2012, 08:30 AM
Snowdog, if I had what you're after, I would be offering you the trade myself. I'm looking for another one at a decent deal.

vaupet
April 22, 2012, 08:44 AM
Hello,

seems like a good deal

I own 3 k31 (one pre war, one wartime and one after) and a 1909 swede.

The early one (dark) are the walnut examples. mostly prewar.
the k31 is more accurate then the swede but I like the swede better because of it's calibre (much lighter recoil)

greetz

Peter

madcratebuilder
April 22, 2012, 09:26 AM
That's half true. There were K31s manufactured solely for civilian purposes. I don't know the serial number ranges, but the SN's are different, and the rifles are generally in 10-15 times better condition to their military brethren.

Soldiers were allowed to keep their rifles, yes. But there were folks who had K31s that didn't serve with them or get them from the military.
The "privately owned" K31's have a "P" added on the receiver ring.

Reports of more GP11 coming from Europe. The GP11 is match grade ammo and many find it difficult to match it's performance hand loading. Priv is great commercial ammo and the brass reloads very well.

The Swiss hardened receivers after 540001 and hardened magazine boxes after 550651. Manufactured at the Eidgenossische Waffenfabrik, Bern (EWB) Switzerland. 1946 they switched from walnut to beech although some remained in stock and were used as replacements. Walnut is generally finished with BLO and the Beech with Shellac.

There are several sight upgrades you can find for the K31, none are cheap.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d37/madcratebuilder/Swiss%20K-31/Grunel_6b.jpg

The trigger is a work of art and easily tuned.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d37/madcratebuilder/Swiss%20K-31/k31trigadj.gif

Good after market support from Swiss Products, scope mounts, brakes, recoil pad adapters.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d37/madcratebuilder/Swiss%20K-31/K2501.jpg

The Swiss snipers are very well made.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d37/madcratebuilder/Swiss%20K-31/k3143001.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d37/madcratebuilder/Swiss%20K-31/sniper01.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d37/madcratebuilder/Swiss%20K-31/k3155full3.jpg

lonniemike
April 22, 2012, 09:59 AM
barn, the 6xxxxx were made from 1940 to 1942 and the 8xxxxx were made from 1944 to 1947. 6's are most likely all walnut and 8's could be beech or walnut. Very few 31s were in 308 and even less in 30'06, 300Mag or other. I think Hammereli(spelling?) only made these variants (and not W-F Bern the Swiss gov assembly factory) for private sales. You would be lucky indeed to find any 31 in other than 7.5X55. Rebarreling would be pricey and most smiths can't/ won't do it. Not quite a full rebarrel, but your rebarrel search probably turned up LRG's site some where in New England and he'll do it for less than 1000. How much less? I do not know, maybe 1/2 or 3/4 of that figure. GP-11 was made for the 11 type actions and all later 7.5 actions. Only the long rifles G1911 types cmay be marginally more accurate than the 31.Best

PDXGS
April 22, 2012, 10:45 AM
K31s are hard to beat for accuracy. I have a mid forties version that looks like hell but shoots as good as I can.
I recently replaced the stock sights with a set of Mojo Sight Systems dual aperture sight to the results below. This was done at 100 yds using GP11 and supported by my arms on a bench...not on sandbags....not bad for a 70+ year-old rifle! BTW, that's a US nickel On the target?
And watch out for Madcratebuilder....he's an enabler of Swiss vintage rifle and Enfield addiction!
http://rubbercow.smugmug.com/Other/Stuff-Junk/i-xVVjtGk/0/L/smugshot9614441-L.jpg

http://rubbercow.smugmug.com/Other/Stuff-Junk/i-vMpW8G2/0/L/smugshot893106-L.jpg

madcratebuilder
April 22, 2012, 01:00 PM
K31s are hard to beat for accuracy. I have a mid forties version that looks like hell but shoots as good as I can.
I recently replaced the stock sights with a set of Mojo Sight Systems dual aperture sight to the results below. This was done at 100 yds using GP11 and supported by my arms on a bench...not on sandbags....not bad for a 70+ year-old rifle! BTW, that's a US nickel On the target?
And watch out for Madcratebuilder....he's an enabler of Swiss vintage rifle and Enfield addiction!
http://rubbercow.smugmug.com/Other/Stuff-Junk/i-xVVjtGk/0/L/smugshot9614441-L.jpg

http://rubbercow.smugmug.com/Other/Stuff-Junk/i-vMpW8G2/0/L/smugshot893106-L.jpg
That's good shooting, no matter what rifle.

I put one of the Mojo dual aperture's on a M24/47 and it made a tremendous difference on my ability to hit anything with it.

That K31 looks familiar:neener:

sixgunner455
April 22, 2012, 02:10 PM
Love my K31. I'd buy another, but I have a couple other things I'd like/need more. Any time I think about getting another, I just buy some more GP11 so I can shoot the one I have more, and call it good.

barnbwt
April 22, 2012, 02:58 PM
Well, I gone an' dunit ageen...

Picked up the Walnut and Beech stock K31's I was eyeballing yesterday, as well as a couple boxes of PRVI for the grand sum of 675$. I don't normally think having duos of a gun is worth it, but the utter lack of replacement parts for a rifle as sophisticated as this changed my mind. I still can't get over how much better made these rifles are compared to anything else in the gunstore, old or new.

Both stocks look decent; better than anything else I've seen for around 300, and there appears to be little to no water damage to the walnut. It looks like I have some refinishing ahead of me. On the walnut rifle, the bolt-sleeve has what looks like a hand-etched serial number, very shallow. I'm guessing this means that bolt was changed out in arsenal, not a big deal since I hear every bolt was so well made they didn't need to be fitted to each reciever (interchangable). If this gun was re-arnsenalled, and is therefore "less fancy" I may use it for a future gun stock project (no worries, I won't do anything permanent) I've been keeping a plank of Wenge around for. Both rifles weigh in at a mere 8.8 lbs unloaded.

I suppose I'll just have to eat ramen for a month or two...before getting the VZ-58...

TCB

vaupet
April 22, 2012, 03:18 PM
Congratz, that really is a nice find.

the damage to the stock, rumour says, comes from swiss soldiers tapping their boots to get the snow of.

If you open the butplate of the stock, chances are you find the name and adress of the swis soldier who was issued the rifle.

Have fun

Peter

LeftRightLeft!
April 22, 2012, 06:31 PM
Hey,

I am looking for a K31 myself, mind letting me in on which gun store you are looking at?

barnbwt
April 22, 2012, 07:04 PM
Mickey's Ammo Depot in Caddo Mills, TX. I don't mind plugging these guys here since they seem to have the best selection of milsurps that I know of nearby. Being the most expensive milsurp in the store (compared to MNs, SKSs, and Turkish(?) Mausers) they don't seem very popular, and have been on display as long as I can remember.

TCB

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 22, 2012, 07:06 PM
Serials of up to 799xxx are still '44. Mines a '44.

And closer inspection reveals walnut.

Good buys, congrats. You'll love em both.

lonniemike
April 22, 2012, 09:56 PM
Electro penciled bolts are often found in 1943 K=31s. Do not go swapping bolts unless you can confirm the bolt type in the rifle now and use another bolt of the same configuration. Look under the removed extractor. There are 4 bolt types: (1) no number at the flat at the end of the bolt; (2) a number 5; (3) a number 10; (4) a number 15. There's a lot of info over at SwissRifles.com BestAll

Welding Rod
April 22, 2012, 10:46 PM
I shot in a 200 yard Old Soldiers match today (got 3rd place with a M1) and the top 2 finishers were shooting K31s. I think the first place score was 297/300 with a generous X count.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 23, 2012, 12:34 AM
The rifles are fully capable of doing so.

TimboKhan
April 23, 2012, 02:05 AM
I have a couple of Swedish Mausers (one of which wiill be going up for sale soon to finance other projects), and a K31. I am not a amazing marksman, but good enough to say that I would be splitting hairs to identify which one is the more accurate rifle, at least in terms of potential. Practically speaking, the K31 wins out for me for one reason: better sights. In the newest issue of GUNS magazine, Holt Bodinson says that the K31 is the more accurate of the two, so take that for what it is worth.

I can say that I prefer the K31 in terms of shooting simply becaues it is more fun to shoot, and overall is the more interesting of the two. Don't get me wrong, I love my Swedish Mausers, and I think they are fantastic rifles. It's just that the K31 has a little more mechanical interest going on, is so very well built and with that straight pull bolt it is different than anything else I have ever shot.

Tempest 455
April 23, 2012, 08:45 AM
Ditto on Mojo sights! :)

madcratebuilder
April 23, 2012, 09:37 AM
Electro penciled bolts are often found in 1943 K=31s. Do not go swapping bolts unless you can confirm the bolt type in the rifle now and use another bolt of the same configuration. Look under the removed extractor. There are 4 bolt types: (1) no number at the flat at the end of the bolt; (2) a number 5; (3) a number 10; (4) a number 15. There's a lot of info over at SwissRifles.com BestAll
For controlling head space. +.005, +.010 and +.015.

fireman 9731
April 23, 2012, 12:24 PM
I wish my gun shop had SIX of them on the rack! I cant find any around here at all. If I could, I would buy them in a heartbeat.

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