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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/14/2002 1:03:03 AM EST
I got my C&R license a few weeks ago and promptly ordered a couple of $89.95 K31 rifles from AIM. I didn't notice at the time that AIM also has the ammo at $168 for 480 rounds, but I got a case from Sportsman's Guide for $179.97 and only had to pay the $5.00 heavy/bulky fee since I had a free shipping code.

One of the rifles I got has almost new metal, but one of those really ugly beech (I guess) stocks. Beech is supposed to have excellent qualities as a gunstock material, but sure doesn't age gracefully. A few dents and it looks all rough and shaggy. The other rifle I got shows much more wear to the metal finish and bore, but has a fairly decent walnut stock. Although the bore shows some use, it is still shiny as can be.

Looking these things over, I noticed right away that both have GREAT trigger pulls. Better than any other military rifles I've ever handled, except maybe certain Garands. The back sight seems to have too shallow a notch for my taste, and maybe it is a bit too close to the eye (reminds me of my SKS) but I really like the range adjustments starting out at 100 meters instead of 200 or 300 meters like some old rifles.

Mechanically, this design actually looks a bit scary to me. Were it made by Spain or Argentina or China instead of Switzerland, I think I'd be afraid to shoot the thing. The bolt body is not one piece, as I had assumed, but consists of an outer sleeve with the locking lugs and a non-rotating inner core that has the extractor and bolt face. Thus the locking lugs are attached to a relatively thin-walled tube, and I imagine heat treatment must be a critical issue. Also, there was no apparent thought given to gas venting in the event of a failed case head. Any gases that escaped in such an occurance could fly right back through the ejector slot, down the left-hand locking lug raceway, out through an unfortunately-placed slot in the bolt plug flange, and come straight back into your eyes.

Also, it seems to me the stock is greatly weakened by an internal cut made necessary by the oddball side-mounted magazine catch design.

I think the Swiss could have made a much better rifle by adding a safety locking lug at the rear of the bolt, drilling some gas vent holes in the bolt and receiver, changing the safety design to eliminate the slot in the bolt plug flange, and going to a more conventional magazine catch at the rear of the magazine. And making 20 round magazines standard.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 1:05:36 AM EST
Yesterday I took my walnut-stocked rifle out for a trial. All I could find for targets were some smallbore ones that measure about 6x8 inches overall. I stapled one up on my home shooting range, which is about 170 yards. Despite my criticism of the design, such is my confidence in Swiss manufacturing that my very first shot hit on the paper. Though I was tempted to shut my eyes. The result of firing 3 magazines full was that "most" of my shots seemed to be going into a 4 inch circle, with a few flyers due to my poor abilities and the swarms of flys that were attacking me. This is actually as good as or better than I've ever done before with iron sights at this range.

This is one quick working action. If my bullet-chasing dog hadn't been running around loose on the range and requiring constant attention I could have really racked off some shots. And recoil was milder than I expected. My 8mm Turkish Mauser kicks me hard enough that shooting it isn't really all that much fun. But this Swiss rifle seemed to give more of a push, and didn't leave me feeling the least bit sore.

Now, if ammo was just cheaper I'd be all set. I was thinking a conversion to 6.5x55mm would be great. It's about the same length and shape cartridge, in the same pressure range. The surplus ammo situation for the 6.5 isn't great either, but at least reloading is considerably more practical. And that would REALLY be sweet to shoot.

I'd have to say shooting this rifle has dropped my opinion of the Swiss considerably. What kind of dirtbags would sell off nice rifles like this without at least wearing out the barrels first?
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 4:09:18 AM EST
Thanks for the review.

I hear MANY favorable recommendations on the K31's over at the FALfiles C&R forum.

Think I'll get me 1 or 3
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 5:17:00 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/14/2002 5:28:35 AM EST by Ralph]
I've got one my self, and this spring won "Sharpshooter" class & $25.00 with it at a military bolt gun match at my range,(200yds open sights,prone, offhand) if you want to reload for it this can be done as well by using .284 win brass and reforming it by running it through a 7.5 swiss die,Bullets, despite it being 7.5mm it will digest .308 dia bullets easily, and accurately (Bore dia on mine is .307) I've been using serria 168 gr HPBT's,and 43.00 gr imr 4064, they shoot very well, look under the buttplate, there might be a tag in there with the name of the last person that rifle was issued to, often it will have his address, and sometimes his phone #,( put it back in there and don't lose it, the Swiss consider this bad luck, as they think of it as the rifles soul) Go to www.swissrifles.com lots of info there,Lastly, don't worry about the stregnth of your rifle the Swiss have been using Schmit-Ruben's for a long time they're a lot stronger than you think, 7.5 swiss is in the same catagory as a .308, one thing on loading, these rifles have no leade in the chamber, the rifleing starts at the end of the chamber So,you want to make sure your loads are not jamming into the rifleing,your O.A.L. should'nt exceed 2.890
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 5:52:53 AM EST
Thanks for the review, Fuzzbeam. I sent AIM my C&R last week, and I think I'll be ordering one of these rifles and a case of ammo soon
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 8:39:26 AM EST
These K31s clean up very well, shoot very accurate and have excellent bores thanks to the Swiss not using corrosive ammo. For $89 delivered, the best milsurp deal out there.

Link Posted: 7/14/2002 10:05:18 AM EST
I reload for the 7.5 k31 I have. True 7.5 bullets are hard to find, but the diameter is .308. Here's where it gets tricky, the actual shape of the 7.5 is a very tapered bullet, as opposed to the more rounded shape of the .308/.30-06. What happens is that if you seat the .308 bullet to the specified depth for a 7.5, the bullet will stick in the front of the chamber (forcing cone?) and if you try to eject a loaded cartridge, you end up with a bullet in the chamber, and powder in your action. I'm still working on the max depth for various bullets. Great rifle though. Lee sells the dies.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 7:10:05 PM EST
I forgot to mention that my walnut stocked K31 was shooting a bit low, and even on the 200 meter setting was hitting a bit below the bullseye at 170 yards. But that's easy to fix by filing down the front sight slightly.

Today I took out my ugly stocked one. Shooting at a paper plate, the first 5 shots missed completely and hit high and to the left about a foot. I beat on the front sight some to (partially) correct the windage problem, but couldn't see any real easy way to adjust the elevation. I was thinking to file some off of the corner of the rear sight slider, but the slider seems glass hard. Anyway, I just aimed about 6 inches below the bottom of the target and fired off 7 more.

I guess the one on the right side was my fault. The other 6 went into about 3 inches, which is not too bad considering the aiming problems.

I noticed before that the walnut stocked rifle had a small "+" mark on the dovetailed base of the front sight blade. I had assumed this was an inspector's mark in the form of a small version of the Swiss cross. But comparing the two rifles now I can see the ugly stocked one has a much shorter blade and it's marked with a "-" sign. I'm thinking now that this is how they adjusted elevation; perhaps there is a "0" marked blade of intermediate height?
Link Posted: 7/15/2002 2:25:23 PM EST
Best peice of advice I can give you is to go over to the siwss site and ask around,I'm sure I read over there that yes, front sights DO come in diffrent heights, the slider on the rear sight SHOULD move easily,up and down, Are you squeezing the button when you try to move it? (I know it sounds dumb) does the slider have some cosomline or other crud stuck in it? Removing, (or for that matter moving) the front sight is almost impossible without the tool designed just for that,please don't use a hammer and punch of some kind on it, you'll likely mess up the front sight, I've seen front sight tools for sale in shotgun news, Sarco, I think, had them,But check around at the siwss site, those boys over there really, really, know this rifle, and are more that willing to help.
Link Posted: 7/15/2002 2:54:19 PM EST
I love these rifles.
Very powerful cartridge for what it is.
Accurate, ammo is expensive.
I ordered 960 rounds from aimsurplus and only treat myself to this weapon every now and then.

I spent the extra money and bought one from Big 5 sporting goods so I was able to choose from like 8 of them.

I found one with new blueing and it is re-barreled. The bore is like new.
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