I’ve been looking forward to shooting one of the local 2-Gun Action Challenge Matches with a Swiss straight-pull rifle for a while now, and had the chance this past weekend. I was debating between using a Gewehr 1911 (the older style long rifle) or the K31 (newer carbine variant), and so I left it up to a vote of folks of the Facebook page. They chose the K31, so that’s what I shot.
The K31 has the advantages of being shorter and lighter than the G11, and it also has a rear sight that is calibrated down to 100m, where the G11 rear sight begins at 300m (which would have required a bunch of estimated hold-unders for a match like this). Both rifles have 6-round detachable magazines, fed by 6-round waxed cardboard chargers. There are bandoliers and ammo pouches available for those chargers (general clip pouches don’t work because the 6-round capacity makes the Swiss clips too large to fit in most other nations’ web gear) but I didn’t have that gear available for the match. I just kept the clip in my pants’ cargo pockets, which definitely cost me some time.
Other than ammo storage, I found the handling on the K31 to be excellent. It is superbly accurate; any missed shots were entirely my own fault (I admit I have not practiced roll-over prone with a bolt gun much…or ever). The action was 100% reliable in the dust and sand, which is more than I can say for the SMLE I previously used in a similar match. Reloading was smoother and faster than with traditional type stripper clips – overall an outstanding rifle.
Overall I placed 31st out of 45 shooters, which is a pretty decent result for being the only one using a bolt action rifle. 🙂