The SIG company of Neuhausen Switzerland spent the 1920s, 30s, and 40s working on developmental semiauto rifles to sell both to the Swiss military and abroad. One of the experimental models in the succession of designs was the Model U, of which 16 were made in caliber 7.5x55mm Swiss. It was a gas-tappet operated action with a tilting bolt, and included a permanently mounted 1.8x optical sight on the left side of the receiver (the same type as used in the K31/42 marksman’s rifle). The Model U was made in 1942 and 1943, to typical Swiss levels of quality and precision. Like the designs both before and after, it was a valuable iterative step for SIG but not a rifle which would find any military or commercial sales.
Looks promising but it needs a little more work. Does anyone want to try fitting a bolt cover to keep mud out? And how could the action be improved with respect to cost-effectiveness? I could recommend using stamped parts in low-stress areas…
Tiny correction, Industrie was always spelled with an “I”, in many German fonts of the time, a capitol “I” just looks a lot a a “J” though, which confuses many anglophones. See the “8x57JS” misnomer for 8x57IS for another example.
“German fonts of the time”
It is know as Alte Schwabacher, here is example:
UPPERCASE I and UPPERCASE J differs slightly so can be confused.
As historical tidbit: Nazi Germany banned that font, because they found it to be Jewish
Why would you even know that. I bet your a nightmare to face in a pub quiz. U is sometimes represented as V I think in ye olde paintings, why was that is a V easier to paint?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastarda Hey look, maybe this is the origins of the term bastard. An “outcast” or such, well you learn something everyday.
“V easier to paint?”
Not to paint but to carve in stone.
For more data about U V history refer to: http://medievalwriting.50megs.com/scripts/letters/historyuv.htm
Thanks. Oh yeah… He he. (He he = lol)
You guys really gotta get yourselves a hobby…
Crochet: 15 hours, till I realised how to do a slip knot… And I’d known all along. But on the needle “Baby Jesus” anyway, once that’s past it’s ace.
In theory… Grrrrr! Better than a Ps3. 4 whatever. What! It’s, RELAXING.
Like what? I can’t see any hobby that doesn’t get the neighbors angry… especially the last time I flew a kite. The cranky neighbor shot it down with 12 gauge birdshot and demanded that I pay for the ammunition!
I like sushi.
Hack up a fish, and eat it raw, raaa! Or buy it, in a packet.
“Listeria and stuff, cook things…”
“The cranky neighbor shot it down with 12 gauge birdshot and demanded that I pay for the ammunition!”
There exist special 12 gauge ammunition designed to counter such targets:
This seems to be far descendant of chain shot as used during Age Of Sail to destroy sails.
It also looks like a modernized “linked buckshot” system.
(but the previous one is forbidden for hunting or defense purpose)
S and F also work in Italian, the third Swiss language.
And probably rätoromanisch too…the very uncommon fourth. Italian only in Ticino, eh what?
I’m not quite sure why they’d bother with the tilting block, other than it being not unlike the BAR lockup.
Their “straight-pull” K31 rifle action, essentially a turnbolt with an extra campath to provide turning motion when you pulled on the operating handle, was already halfway to a practical gas-operated rifle, needing only a gas port and piston to move the operating rod backward and a spring to push it back into battery.
All of which could have been produced on their existing tooling, unlike this prototype.
The K31 action would require several modifications before it could become the basis of a self-repeating system. First of all, the trigger group would need to move away from the bolt so that the user’s hand and eye would not get mangled whenever the bolt cycled on its own. Next, one would have to modify the receiver to cover the bolt so that mud doesn’t get in (AK or AR-15 styled receivers?). And then we have the elephant in the room: how to set up the gas system. Putting the gas cylinder below the barrel is intuitive, but then the operating rod would have to go around the magazine. Putting the cylinder on the right or left side of the barrel will have some balancing issues. Putting the gas cylinder on top of the barrel would be the best for having the operating rod push on the bolt, but would the Swiss want to move the iron sights far above the barrel? And do we have to mention the complications of annular gas systems? With all of that considered, what would be the best approach? Should we abandon the traditional rifle look and just make a new semiautomatic design that shares only the barrel, bolt, and magazine with the original K31?
“halfway to a practical gas-operated rifle”
Swiss Schmidt-Rubin spawned Selbstladegewehr System Richiger although it was not gas-operated, see photo: https://www.forgottenweapons.com/m1-garand-development/swiss-rychiger-rifle/
There also apparently existed self-loading rifle codenamed M1944 which can be seen here: https://www.forgottenweapons.com/rifles/swiss-m1944-semiauto/
which was spawned by K31, but not further data are available
Seems a very well made rifle constructed precisely to prevent serial production.
“precisely to prevent serial production.”
Finally they ended with SIG 510 automatic rifle, citing Modern Firearms
represented one of the finest and most expensive automatic rifles ever issued to any army in the world.
I am starting to worry about Ian
Its scary when he says a rifle like this isn’t complicated
Or is it me just getting old
The operating principles aren’t complicated but the assembly of parts in this case require expert craftsmanship!
Give it to the Soviets, they would find the way to simplify it.
Or they would “prove it was inferior” to the AK by crushing it under a broad gauge train. Last time I checked, Russians tend not to buy Swiss guns!
“Give it to the Soviets, they would find the way to simplify it.”
I would say is it hard to tell what would happen, if they would… get it (I found that thing lying on the ground). Everything might happen from: that part is apparently not needed so throw it away, giving similar result to:
to we tried to test it, but we can’t find ammunition which will fit.
As side note: there was reversed situation – see Swiss SVT knock-off:
k31 semi auto: good point eon. i think you mean to use the k31 as a starting point, and not as a swiss howell smle conversion. what strikes me as odd, is that in 42/43 the swiss must have gotten all the semi auto rifles used by the different combatants, and still they come with this expensive model. i know they were not involved in ww2 and could afford a quality item like this, but still.