If the Swiss can create the Swiss Army Knife, sure as shootin' they can make a decent
bolt-action rifle. And no, the Schmidt-Rubin is not some kind of Reuben sandwich.
It's a series of Swiss Army rifles in service from 1889 to the mid-20th century.
And all you snipers, this is what I'm talking about!
We all know how ingenious the Swiss are. They've been telling us for centuries.
And they've been taking it to the bank ever since - their banks.
One of their bright military officers, a Colonel Rudolf Schmidt created the straight-pull
action and one of his fellow officers, Colonel Eduard Rubin created the perfect ammunition
for Schmidt's revolutionary shooting iron - the 7.5x55mm.
And what a cartridge it was!
This little baby has a paper patch reminiscent of the cotton patches used for earlier
musket rounds. Reportedly, the paper served as a lubricating, friction-resisting agent
and improved the 7.5x55mm round's downrange accuracy. And by all reports, the accuracy
of that new round - and the Schmidt-Rubin 1889 in which it was fired - was right on.
Rubin's 7.55x55mm round paved the way for new, copper-jacketed ammo.
The Schmidt-Rubin 1889 was manufactured by Waffenfabrik + Bern of Switzerland. It
features a free-floating barrel, about 30 3/4-inches long, a 12-round magazine and a
wooden stock that extends nearly to the tip of the barrel, secured by two barrel-bands.
Not quite your great granddad's musket, the Schmidt-Rubin is shorter and slightly more
comfortable. But it could shoot .308-inch ammo like nobody's business.
The Schmidt-Rubin 1889 was succeeded by a number of models: the 1896, the 96/11, the
Model 1911 and the K-31, a lighter, 6-round version at just 8.8 pounds. The K-31 was
reported to be very reliable and accurate, the culmination of years of weapons production
by the good folks at W+F Bern. I don't know if the Swiss were only wildly optimistic or not,
but the K-31 features an open rear sight that was graduated from 100 to 1500 meters. The
shorter K-31 is just 43 1/2-inches and sports a 25 1/2-inch barrel.
Altogether, over a million and a quarter of the Schmidt-Rubin 1889s were produced,
roughly a half-million of these were the K-31. That said, there must be one or two
laying around, gathering dust that would make sweet-shooting sporterized rifles.