What should I know before buying a Schmidt Rubin?
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Thread: What should I know before buying a Schmidt Rubin?

  1. #1
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    Default What should I know before buying a Schmidt Rubin?

    Hi folks, new to the forum and looking to acquire my first Schmidt Rubin.
    As the title says, what should I know? with a few added questions.


    • Of the 1896/11, M1911 and K31, which are more accurate?
    • Which of these are more desirable, collectible or sought after?
    • Is a certain year of manufacture (determined by serial number) more desirable than another?


    Numbers matching (including furniture) will be my goal, but what about import marks, are they worth much more without?

    I think the straight pull bolt is a unique design and have read these guns are well machined and accurate.
    Would love to hear from you experts to help guide me through my selection.

    Thank you
    Last edited by Colorado68; 02-03-2017 at 07:21 PM. Reason: Type-o

  2. #2
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    Just a chap who has all multiple samples of all three, compete with them in Swiss matches and work on them:

    JG96/11 and G11: advantages:

    1) Very historic, used in WWI and WWII, made from 1897 to around 1919. Last rifles private out of service around 1964. Approved for competition with diopter sights in 1973.
    2) easiest to use service sights, the rear is further away from the eye than on the K31, longer line of sight, as such it is a lot easier for an older shooter to shoot well with the existing sights.
    3) For whatever reason the longer barrel seems to make the recoil seem less than on any of the carbines.
    4) a lot of the wood is really nice one you clean it up and give it a few coats of Swiss stock finish.
    5) parts are still available on Nurmrich and Springfield Sporters, K31 parts take a lot of contacts to replace parts that fail, they are very hard to find.
    6) easier to adjust the front sight for windage, on the K31 you need a special tool
    7) the sling swivel is mounted on the bottom of the rifle, not the side, most Americans find it easier to use the sling for support (initially) that the K31, it takes special technique with the K31 to use the sling for support and not see a significant displacement due to sling pressure.

    Disadvantages:

    1) The rifles are harder to set up with genuine Swiss match sights
    2) Some of the rifles have warped stocks from drying out, though that can be fixed with raw linseed oil mixed with turpentine.
    3) It is easier to get a dog in the long rifle than in the K31. Typical issues are more worn bores and for rifles stored in basements, split red bolt knobs.
    4) The bolt operation is not quite as smooth as the K31.
    5) The inherent accuracy is close to the K31, in fact unless you ad match sights you will have a hard time telling the difference, but the Swiss official studies indicate the JG11 is less accurate than the K31. For those who doubt, search the Swiss rifle forum, the results from the 1934 comparative trials are posted there someplace.
    6) The light wood stock of the long rifle is very sling tension dependent, more so in my opinion than the K31. While may seem counter intuitive, one you master the correct method of sling support with the K31, I think mistakes in sling tension with the K31 are less of an issue than with the JG11, there is less displacement with variable sling tension with a correctly held K31 than a JG11. If you are over 60 it does not really matter as you are allowed to support the rifle in many of the matches.

    K31 advantages:

    1) The knowledge on tuning these rifles is readily available, not so for the long rifles (other than adjusting triggers).
    2) More common to find a rifle tag in the K31, more likely to be able to track down the soldier and or his family, though it is generally considered mildly rude to do so.
    3) k31 in my opinion is the best looking of the Swiss straight pulls.

  3. #3
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    Despite common thought on the boards the only Schmidt Rubin is the model 1889. The model 1896 is a Vogelsgang Rebholz and the ones up to the K31 are mods of the 96 version. The K31 was designed by Colonel Adolf Furrer who also designed a lot of other neat stuff. He liked toggle actions. Col Schmidt designed the original straight pull that was adopted by the Swiss Army in 1889 and Major Rubin designed the bullet used in the ammunition.

    The K11 and the K31 are about the same overall length but due to the shorter action length on the K31 it has a longer barrel. All the rifles shoot really well. Pick one to start with because you'll end up buying more than one different version. The long rifles have a longer sight radius which makes it easier for us old codgers to keep the sights lined up tight. I like them all.....along with the semis like the Stgw 57, the Stgw 90 and the TB 41.

    Lots of good info here and on the SwissRiflesdotcom board too.

    Frank

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  5. #4
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    My 2 cents:

    1. Accuracy is a toss up. I've got all the rifles you mentioned plus a K11, and can't really tell a difference in accuracy. Maybe the K11 is a little harder for me to be accurate with due to the shorter sight radius.
    2. Most desirable IMO is the K31, just because they are getting harder to find in good shape, and because of their reputation as a great shooter. The K31 also tends to sell for a $100+ more than the others. a K11 in good shape would be the next hardest to find, and also the next most expensive. Some of these sell close to the price of a K31. The 96/11 and 1911 tend to be easier to find, and a little cheaper.
    3. There is not a particular serial number/year of manufacturer that affects value of these rifles like some other military surplus guns. I would concentrate on condition, and try to find one that is all matching..........which is pretty easy for Swiss rifles. Getting one with a troop tag under the butt plate is a bonus. Some of the stocks are in pretty rough condition on these guns, but the bores are typically pristine.
    4. No import mark is always a plus. Some of the recent K31 imports have a very ugly billboard import mark on the receiver. I actually sent one of theses back to AIM Surplus, because I just could not stand to look at that import mark. I'm kind of wishing I'd kept it now that I'm seeing prices go up and up.

    You won't be disappointed with any of your choices. I'd just keep and eye open for any of the above, and snag a nice one when it shows up. They pop up for sale on this forum occasionally, but you have to be quick, since they sell fast.

  6. #5
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    Re bolt operation. I can't agree with Fritz on this one. I have both an M1911 Langgewehr and a K11, and when correctly lubricated, both of these have noticeably smoother bolt operation than any K31, also suitably lubricated with grease.

    I would suggest you grab the first rifle - K11, M1911, or K31 - that crosses your path in fine condition. You are more likely to come across a M1911 or K11 with a walnut stock in decent condition than a K31 these days.

  7. #6
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    Thanks you guys. I have my eye on one and will report back if I get it.
    In the meantime I'll be researching Swiss match opportunities in Colorado.
    One other question, how do the Schmidt Rubin's compare in accuracy to the Swedish Mauser's 7.5 vs 6.5 ? I'm guessing the Swiss has more punch and just as accurate.
    I truly appreciate the replies and knowledge provided.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado68 View Post
    Thanks you guys. I have my eye on one and will report back if I get it.
    In the meantime I'll be researching Swiss match opportunities in Colorado.
    One other question, how do the Schmidt Rubin's compare in accuracy to the Swedish Mauser's 7.5 vs 6.5 ? I'm guessing the Swiss has more punch and just as accurate.
    I truly appreciate the replies and knowledge provided.
    It's not a valid comparison. Swiss GP11 service ammunition is still available, but Swedish M94/41 is not made any more, and it is not found in quantity.

    The Swedish Mauser was intended to range effectively to about 600 meters; the M41b to 800 meters. The M1911 and K31, with GP11, can range to 1000 yards and beyond. "Milprileb" shoots a K31 regularly at Quantico and is bored by its predictable performance at 1000 yds.

    If you reload, the competition becomes more intense. It is no coincidence the Creedmoor rifles use a 6.5 mm bullet. The M96 requires attention to the fact it has a very fast twist, and its receiver and bolt are not made to be hot rodded. Excessive loading results in over spinning the bullet, which can shed its jacket if MV is excessive, and generates pressure that subjects the rifle to stresses that can damage it.

    I have shot my M96 with a load that approximates the Swedish M94/41 ammo against a K31 with GP11, and on a good day both can get MOA at the 300 yards that is my club's maximum range.

    I have also fired my CG63 against a K31 with the Swiss Products diopter. The CG63 has somewhat slower rifling more compatible with higher velocity ammunition, and it does splendidly with Prvi Partizan 120 gr Match ammo. (The PPU Match ammo is not just marketing hype. The meplats of the bullets are uniformly finished.) The K31's performance varies more noticeably depending on the year of GP11 I shoot; some years seem to shoot tighter than others. With a good batch of GP11, the diopter K31 is the equal of the CG63 at 300 yards. But generally, the CG63's 29" barrel and the excellent PPU 120 gr Match can be relied upon to group a bit tighter.

  9. #8
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    Shot this 100 yd 10 shot group today at a local match with my IG1911 using Nosler 155gr custom competition and 42 gr of 4064.

    The temp was at least 40 degrees colder than when I sighted this load initially and with no sighters allowed my first two shots were in the 8 ring and 9 ring at 5:30 respectively. By the 3rd shot I had adjusted the hold over and allowed for the slight left to right wind and proceeded to put 6 consecutive shots in the x ring. Began to lose concentration by the last 2 shots and just missed the x with the 9th shot and flubbed the final shot into the 9 ring at 9 o'clock.


    Shooter imperfect-IG1911 amazing. I've got an m96 that shoots really well also but in my case I think my IG1911 is ever so slightly more accurate with the handloads I'm currently using.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #9
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    1000 yds: Yes I do. Its not difficult with scoped K31 and GP11 or my GP11 clone hand loads.

    Here is my answers to Colorado 68 who has interest in Swiss Rifles. Here is a example of a K31, iron sights and GP11 ammo. The rifle was bought at gun show and taken to range. I have witnesses to all of what I say below:

    100 yds: 2 rds touching at point of aim.. stopped...further shots are waste of time. Silly sub MOA results.
    300 meters: 3 rds shot: 2 inch group. stopped...waste of time to go further. This is .6 MOA results.

    Next week, at 600 yd line: 3 rds shot: 6 3/8 inch group, 7 mph winds, iron sights GP11 ammo. This is a hair over 1 MOA results. Did not shoot again at 600 yds as I am sure the rifle can go under 1 MOA...so why waste my time and ammo. The rifles accuracy is proven to me.

    Okay so there is 8 shots fired out of a K31 (all matching numbers, 1946 mfg), rifle never shot before by me... and results speak for themselves ...by a 69 year old with aging eyes.

    The rifle : 8 shots..DONE. It needs no further commentary. Its not been shot since, but I guess I will take it to 1000 yds and shoot iron sights and kick the can here. I won't bother with 800 yds, why half step...just go to 1000 and be done with it.


    Rifle is boring. Rifle is representative to the kinds of accuracy guys on this board often encounter and is why they all love these rifles. Butt ugly rifles but rewarding on performance. One has to work hard to not do well with a K31

    You will often read of owners here on the board comment they fail their K31 rifles accuracy potential but when these shooters are doing their part, they shoot awesome results.

    "MWT" in thread above this proves this point today. When he cleared the cobb webs out of the attic, he was tearing that X Ring to shreds... he shot well indeed .
    Last edited by milprileb; 02-05-2017 at 10:49 AM.

  11. #10
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    A few years ago you could get a numbers matching (they tend to be numbers matching) Swiss rifle in pretty amazing condition for not much money, but as the surplus market has dried up the prices have been going up very quickly. I would say let your luck guide you. If you see any of the four a 96/11, k11, k11 carbine or a k31 in really good original condition at a good price buy it, eventually you will buy them all. Be carful of a refinished rifle. I always look to see how well the butt plate fits as a sign of heavy sanding. It should be flush or slightly recessed. Also look at the finger groves, they should have sharp edges were they meet the flat of the stock. Refinishing is a real temptation on a rifle that has a beaver chewed stock. Personally I would prefer a stock with good color and dents to a stock that had few dents, staining and loss of color around the butt plate. Sometimes they have been shot while not in fully in battery and there is to much play in the bolt, due to damaged lugs. Obviously the crown and muzzle area can be very worn by excessive weekend soldier cleaning, Although I have one that is quite worn and pitted at the muzzle and shots ok, but that has to make the accuracy a more passing thing as the years go by.

  12. #11
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    The safest answer is to get a K-31. They are simply boringly accurate, unless you happen to find one that has an abused bore. Easier to find aftermarket accessories of quality manufacture. I am growing to love my SP diopter set.

    A few caveats on these rifles. The K-31 is a rewarding rifle to reload for, but requires some attention to bullet selection and seating depth. Due to the geometry of the throat, you will need a very sleek bullet profile in the heavier weights and a relatively short COL. I've found the Nosler 155 to work quite well to 300m. The older models will not have this issue, and can utilize longer COLs with more rotund ogives. The notes on sling tension above if you intend to compete in CMP matches as well as Swiss matches. They tend to zero significantly high. Diopter sights or a tall blade for the G11/96-11, K-11 will correct this. I've heard this is due to Swiss doctrine of a low aim point, but this is likely hearsay.

    Check any model for significant cracks in stocks. Check the bore, especially at the muzzle. Purchase a significant quantity of GP11 soon. It is a dying breed. Shoot and enjoy.

    As for Vs the Swedish M96, I can speak to this in terms of CMP vintage rifle shooting. I've used both extensively in this application. Given good handloads and shooter, both will win matches and pins. If limited to factory ammo, the K-31 has the advantage due to the high quality of the GP11. There is quality 6.5x55 ammo available, but it tends to be spendy. The Swede will punch you a little less, but will walk a touch in rapid fire. I've also done better offhand with the K-31 than the Swede, but my slow fire and rapid prone and sitting tend to run higher with the Swede.
    Last edited by Polaris; 05-21-2017 at 10:14 PM.

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