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Posted: 11/29/2004 7:43:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/29/2004 7:46:48 PM EDT by GreenTalon]
I posted this first at www.swissrifles.com, but many of AR15's regulars are not infected with swiss-flu yet.  I thought I should repost here for them.

This is the first k31 I bought in April ($89 special).  It was my first purchase on the C&R license.  An all matching 1936 walnut beauty with some pretty hefty buttwear thru Aim surplus.  It is in very good mechanical shape.  Though the stock is rough, it's honest wear and it pulls me into it's history.  Here are a few pictures of it.







As you can see the stock was heavily used.  Any way I saw the soldiers info tag and with some help from Draganov01 and the swissrifles.com tag info, I searched and found Erich Sidler's address in Switzerland, and with Draganov01's translating ability sent a letter in Swiss-German to Erich.  I sent the letter around October 10th.  

Fastforward to yesterday 11-20-2004, I recieved a letter (dated 11-14-04) from Erich.  












Well, I am very happy to say the least, its pretty neat that I now have the history of my 1936 K31 since the rearsenal in 1952.

If you don't have any Swiss rifles (1889/11,G11,K11,K31) I advise you not to get one, cause they multiply quickly.

My whole swiss collection (1936 and 1956 K31)  couple bayos with correct scabbards and frogs (oops, frogs weren't bought yet when that picture was taken), and some holemakers.  


Link Posted: 11/29/2004 7:53:13 PM EDT
Translated Letter:

Dear Mr. Lehning,
You have written to the right Erich Sidler. Thank you very much for your
letter and the photos of my first rifle, which was issued to me in 1953 at
the very beginning of my duty to the Swiss Army in Winterthur.

It would be real interesting to learn, how this rifle found its way to the
USA. But unfortunately i'm not able to tell you anything about this. The
rifle was in my posession for only a few years. In 1958 the soldiers were
issued the Sturmgewehr (Stgw 57) and the old carbine went back to the
arsenal. I'm a little surprised that the name tag wasn't removed before the
rifle was sold to a private person.

I remember the dings and scratches on the wood. They occured when we were at
training of house-to-house fight in 1953 while removing barbwire.

The infos you found on the name tag are correct, except for the date of
birth which is March 25, 1936.

I enclose two photos out of the time i was posessing the rifle, one from the
military service 1959 and current one.

Considering your name and your perfect german i assume, that you have
immigrated to the USA some time ago.

I am married, have a daughter and two granddaughters. Since 1997 i am
retired. My passion is driving motor boats and from time to time i'm still
teaching boat driving on the lake of Zurich.

I wish you a pleasant future with your hobby.
Sincerely
Erich Sidler

(I'd like to credit and thank Karl AKA Draganov01 with translating the original letter I sent and the translation above of Erich's response.)
Link Posted: 11/29/2004 7:59:40 PM EDT
Now that is a cool story.
thanks for sharing.
Link Posted: 11/29/2004 8:41:27 PM EDT
Awsome!

I think  I know what I'm getting for christmas now!!

-Jason
Link Posted: 11/29/2004 8:55:02 PM EDT
Now that's friggin' awsome bro!!
Link Posted: 11/29/2004 9:37:39 PM EDT
I agree.

Link Posted: 11/29/2004 9:59:36 PM EDT
Sounds like you write a nice letter.  I have a couple of rifles with tags but I hate to send some babblefished german letter.

It would be nice if someone posted a nice german form letter.<G>

Dennis Jenkins
Link Posted: 11/29/2004 10:36:34 PM EDT
wow
Link Posted: 11/29/2004 10:39:22 PM EDT
spectacular...i venture to guess that you will NEVER sell that rifle.
Link Posted: 11/29/2004 10:41:35 PM EDT
That is really cool
Link Posted: 11/29/2004 11:09:28 PM EDT
That is AWESOME!

Just think how spectacular to know a rifle's owner, to speak with its history and have a record to carry with that rifle forever!? I'm envious.

Both my K-31's had tags, but were very vague and I have not been able to track their owners down, even with the help of a friend in Switzerland. Someday soon I hope to, but it's a daunting task as both my rifles are pre-1940 guns and it's likely their owners are elderly or deceased.
Link Posted: 11/30/2004 3:00:24 AM EDT
I saw your post over on Pierre's board. That is one great thing about the k31, tracking down the original owner. I'm waiting to here back about my k31 fromt he original soldier/citizen.
Link Posted: 11/30/2004 9:24:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/30/2004 1:06:07 PM EDT
WAY cool. Im gonna have to buy one now.
Link Posted: 11/30/2004 1:56:05 PM EDT
Sweet...

The K-31 I have, did not have a tag with it......

I would love to know the history behind it.

BUT now I have a excuse to buy another, in hope of getting one with a tag.....
Link Posted: 11/30/2004 2:38:51 PM EDT
I got two letters fired off, I found both owner's of our K31's. I just hope that they are still alive.
Link Posted: 11/30/2004 5:55:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/30/2004 5:56:00 PM EDT by GreenTalon]
Pighelmet:

Did your k31's tags have an AHV Nummer (their Social Sec. # equivelent).  If so, there is a place on the www.swissrifles.com page with how to decode date of birth from the AHV Nummer.

Hope it helps, good luck getting a letter back from both.  The more I look at my 2 fine examples of swiss precision machining, the more I want a rifle from each model they produced.
Link Posted: 11/30/2004 6:30:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pighelmet:
I got two letters fired off, I found both owner's of our K31's. I just hope that they are still alive.




How long ago did you mail the letters?
Link Posted: 12/2/2004 12:40:33 PM EDT
great, another damn rifle to buy and feed.

txl
Link Posted: 12/2/2004 2:34:04 PM EDT
I mailed them a few months ago. One guy speaks Italian. I know about the ahv numbers.  I doubt that I'll hear anything. I put pictures of the rifles in the envelopes, and a short letter. Even if the guy doesn't read English, he'll know whats up by the pictures.
Link Posted: 12/2/2004 5:18:44 PM EDT
That's just too cool.
Link Posted: 12/2/2004 5:54:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/2/2004 5:54:53 PM EDT by SWS]
The K-31 is a C&R superstar.  

Mr. Hans Sekinger's rifle that I'm now the proud custodian of:



Mr. Sekinger's original "deed" to the rifle:

Link Posted: 12/2/2004 8:06:32 PM EDT
SWS: I noticed your rifle was born 2035 rifles ahead of mine.  Thats pretty close in a class of 450,000+ rifles.  Haven't looked it up yet but is that in 1936 or 1935?

Thanks again all for the comments, I hope everyone who collects has at least 1 K31 in their collection.

It is almost a crime that a weapon that fine and smooth should sell for pennies on the dollar like it does now.

If only the ammo could be had as cheaply
Link Posted: 12/2/2004 8:40:33 PM EDT
I believe 1935.

Made at Eidgenoessische Waffenfabrik, Bern.
Link Posted: 12/6/2004 6:03:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/19/2004 5:05:46 PM EDT
Is there a list or database (will check swissrifles.com) of names found under buttplates?

My grandfather served in the Swiss military way back when. My dad's on a bit of a Swiss kick now, he's purchased a  K31 carbine and a full size Schmidt-Rubin. He's very fond of saying those Swiss rifles are made the way a Schweitzer would build them... Great triggers etc.

Anyway... Anyone know of such a list?

Thanks
jim
Link Posted: 12/26/2004 6:37:29 PM EDT
Excellent thread. (What a great segment of ARFCOM, the C&R section!) I'd like to pick up one of the K31s, too, but until reading this thread, hadn't cared much. But now....
Link Posted: 12/27/2004 11:56:44 AM EDT
Do the swedish mausers also have this tag? Im debating between a Schmidt rubin and a Swede mauser.
Link Posted: 12/27/2004 12:06:43 PM EDT
I do belive the collector value of that rifle has increased!

Link Posted: 12/27/2004 5:55:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Slimjim:
Do the swedish mausers also have this tag? Im debating between a Schmidt rubin and a Swede mauser.



In the time-honored ARFCOM tradition, "Get Both!"
Link Posted: 1/2/2005 6:58:09 AM EDT
My husband gave me a K31 for Christmas.  The screws on the buttplate are pretty mangled, so we haven't been able to remove it yet.
Link Posted: 1/2/2005 9:11:31 PM EDT
That's a neat story!  Every used rifle has one, but very few are able to tell it.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 1:11:32 PM EDT
Thanks for all the nice comments fellas.

I still can't fathom paying the same money for a K31 and its beautiful machining, or a m91/30 (though I am buying one of those soon to go with my Hungarian M44).  Guess that goes to show its all supply and demand just like 8th grade economics said.

Ah well, now if only I had $$$ back when m1903's and M1Garands were $50-100.  (don't even know if I was alive then was born in 1973, anyone know what 1903's and M1's were going for then???)


ymmv
Steve L.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:04:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GreenTalon:
Thanks for all the nice comments fellas.

I still can't fathom paying the same money for a K31 and its beautiful machining, or a m91/30 (though I am buying one of those soon to go with my Hungarian M44).  Guess that goes to show its all supply and demand just like 8th grade economics said.........



Since the Swiss have been neutral for so long the K31 doesn't have the battle history of the M91-30.  And the fact that 7.5x55 isn't available by the case cheap hurts the demand.  The ammo situation made me pass up K31 in favor of a M38 Mosin....I didn't handload & knew I could buy Wolf/Barnaul/etc 7.62x54R any day of the week.  I still kick myself for not getting the K31 thoug (not enuff money to "get both").
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 9:21:51 PM EDT
Ah well, now if only I had $$$ back when m1903's and M1Garands were $50-100. (don't even know if I was alive then was born in 1973, anyone know what 1903's and M1's were going for then???)

I can tell you when I was 18 in 1986 bly sky imported garands for 89 each.  carbines and o3's also.  everyone thought they were junk.  A guy from my town bought about 700 garands carbines and 03's and put them in the basement.  forward to 2004- he retires and just pulls 10 off the top and takes them to the local gun store.  all are sold that week for 6-8  hundred each (springfield garand 600 and postal meter carbine went for 800 the rest somewhere inbetween) .  hell of a 401-K his plan is to sell a few each month to cover misc bills.  and the mortage he took out in 86 will be paid off in 2006.  
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