Swiss Rifles for Sale

I have a couple Swiss straight-pull rifles more than I need, so I’m selling a couple to put money into other things. If you’re interested in any of them, please email me at – thanks!

SOLD PENDING FUNDS – Gewehr 1889 (#1). The Gewehr 1889 was the Swiss replacement for the Vetterli, and the first Schmidt-Rubin straight-pull design adopted. It uses a fixed 12-round magazine and is chambered for the 7.5×53.5mm GP90 cartridge. It is not safe to use with modern GP11 ammunition (although Swiss military regulation did allow its use in emergencies), but the 7.5×55 brass need only be trimmed down a hair to be used for handloading a model 1889 rifle. This makes the 1889 a pretty easy rifle to produce ammunition for (standard bullets and powder, and easily-acquired modern brass). Since production of the 1889 pattern rifles ended in 1897, all of the are legally considered non-gun antiques, and can be shipped directly to you without needing an FFL.

This particular Gewehr 1889 is in great shape, with an outstanding bore and no mechanical issues. The trigger is crisp and light, the magazine cutoff works smoothly and easily. This rifle was manufactured in 1893, and is marked “P07” on the receiver, indicating that in 1907 is was removed from military service and sold to a reservist. Asking $350 shipped.

SOLD PENDING FUNDS – Gewehr 1889 (#2). Same type of rifle as above. It also has an outstanding bore and a light and crisp trigger letoff. This one was also manufactured in 1893, and the stock has canton markings that I have not identified. Asking $350 shipped for this one.

SOLD PENDING FUNDS – First up, an Infantrie-Gewehr M96/11. This was an 1896-pattern rifle retrofitted to the 1911 pattern, to use the 6-round detachable magazine, the new GP11 cartridge, updated sights, and other improvements. I have not shot this particular one, but they have an outstanding reputation for accuracy thanks to excellent sights, a free-floating barrel, and excellent trigger.This 96/11 has a good bore (not perfect; it is shiny but does appear to have some pitting) and is missing the barrel band retaining clip (see photos). The bolt is a bit stiff to operate; it could use a good cleaning. It is marked “LUZERN” on the stock, from when it was issued to the Reserve. In addition, it is marked “P38”, indicating that in 1938 it was taken out of military service and purchased by the reservist to whom it had been issued. Lots of history in this rifle!

This particular one is serial number 231819, which places its original manufacture date as 1898 and makes it a non-gun antique. Of all the legally “non-gun” rifles available that fire modern ammunition, the Swiss M96/11 is undoubtedly one of the finest and most inherently accurate. Asking $450 shipped; no FFL needed.

SOLD PENDING FUNDS – K31 carbine. This K31 was manufactured in 1935 (only the third year of production), and has a superb bore and some very pretty stripes on one side of the walnut stock. It is missing the rear action screw. It does have the name tag under the buttplate from the Swiss reservist who carried it. The tang is marked “59”, indicating that it was refurbished at Bern in 1959. The most modern of the Swiss straight-pull rifles, the K31 is handy, accurate, and reliable. Asking $375 shipped.


  1. Lesson I learned from observing Swiss small arms and geography: Do not invade Switzerland on foot. First problem for invader: terrain disadvantage for most approaches because of mountains.
    Second problem for invader: Swiss soldiers tend to be good marksmen, and their rifles are built to out-perform the competition from most warring parties.
    Third problem for invader: The Swiss Army is made of local militias banding together during wartime, which means everyone is armed. Disturbing, isn’t it?
    Last problem: Invading Switzerland after the 19th century usually encourages the Swiss to threaten the invader with a continental market crash in retaliation…

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if Nazi Germany ever tried invading Switzerland and the Swiss fell after resisting for a period of time, would there have been a catastrophic market crash due to the Swiss messing with the books and other things?

  2. Darn, when do these things pop up right after I’ve arranged to by 2 other rifles. I’ve been fascinated by straight pull rifles for a long time, and the 6.5 cal, especially.

    As to invading Switzerland, an apocryphal story has it that after taking all of Europe, Hitler asked his generals about taking Switzerland, and was told that , yes, it was possible. When he said it should be done, the generals told him that there was one problem, and when he asked what, they told him that he would not have any army left. Yes, it is only a story, but probably true. Switzerland is quite an example, that many people don’t understand. Compulsory active duty military service for 2-4 years, followed by 20 years of reserve duty. Reservists take their firearms home with them and are required to attend training and practice sessions, and are required to turn in their expended cartridges as proof they actually did it. But, they are not limited to that. The ranges are government built, and they provide the ammo needed to train. Compare that to our reserve system, where the arms are ‘secured’ in a locked armory. The only ‘ready reserve’ is our armed citizens. Our government just doesn’t understand.

    • There was one time a phobia in Switzerland as to where they were heading – total bunker mentality. Even they realized, they were “over-fortified”. They could survive even nuclear war, but then with world around them gone – what?!

      • I’ve been to a nightclub/bar in Switzerland That was housed in a shelter, big metal airtight doors included. I was told there is supposed to be a shelter bed for every villager. The doors, inside and out, where in working order, and i was told where supposed to be locked storage area’s. Not sure how much is true, but the doors worked for sure, and the club was not bombshelter themed, so they where not there for looks.

        It was used as a club/bar because the loud music would not disturb the hotel guests above.

        • I have heard same from someone who had been my class mate and later visited with another one who lived in Switzerland. I bet everything was fully functional; that is what Swiss are about.

  3. Swiss people were mostly germans, just like the austrians. After some battles between german princes and swiss local nobles ( from Morgaten – 1315, Sempach – 1386 and Naefels – 1388; among the most important batles ) the german princes lost control over those german speaking people.
    Yes. Göring defied the swiss air force in WWII, but germans sent bf-110s to defy german made me-109s. The result was obvious (thanks God the nazi regime was such dumbass!). Also swiss pilots escorting a B24 to land in swiss soil were shot down by P51s (swiss planes were mistaken as german planes by american pilots).
    Yes… my name. I am a german citizen. That’s why I know a little of the – messy – german history between 800 and 1900 (but I checked a book to remember the battle names). And I don’t speak german – just like a texan shooter (also german) I knew last week at Nardis Gun Club in San Antonio.

  4. Let it be the bunker mentality and whatnot, but you have to give the Swiss their dues: they mean business. I was visting Switzerland in 1994, before before they stood down from the Cold War. As a citizen of the country caught by the history on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain, I thought I’m used to seeing amassed lots of military and military installations, but that week in Thun was an eye-opener even for me.
    The shelters are everywhere, and they are open to all comers. When you close the hotel doors in Europe or America, inside you see fire instructions, perhaps linen inventory and a schematic showing the escape route. In Switzerland you get directions to the nearest air raid shelter, with alternatives for every direction you might take running out…
    Going along the highway you suddenly run across metal flaps not unlike bridge dilatations. After a while I have associated these with red squares painted on the sides of the bottlenecks in the road. Every time the road was in a mout, in the narrowest point you had the squares on the walls and those flaps. I asked a Swiss what are those. Well, the squares are places to put explosives in, and the flaps cover reinforced concrete pipes, into which rails are inserted. Some point this way, some point that way, making a nice criss-crossed hedgehog – and then sides are dynamited on top of them to form a neat barricade.
    If you happen to visit a rural area, ask your hosts for a chance to visit the fire brigade shed. These sheds are pretty standard things, look like prefabricated garages. You’d find one or two stalls hold fire trucks, while the rest usually contains the local militia’s tools: some trucks, APCs, assorted mortars, recoilles rifles, AA cannon or MANPADS, MG mounts… All kept ready, waiting for a call to arms to be broadcasted. Within two hours of mobilization the local militia is not only assembled, but kitted out, orders given, positions taken, at the nearest bottleneck the rails are inserted, red squares charged, wired, all ready to go KABOOM.
    All males of military age have all their uniforms and kit at home, ready ammunition reserve is exchanged periodically, service piece kept clean and oiled. Not so long ago suicidals tended to hang themselves from the chandelliers rather than shoot themselves with the government weapon – that would be a gross misuse of a military property, duh, things unheard of since the Vikings! Now it all gone to the dogs, even in Switzerland.
    I remember passing by the barracks on my way in and out. During the weektime, the barracks were buzzing with life, car parks were full. On weekends: not a living sole, tumbleweeds crossing the parade grounds. Cadre carpark: Beemers, Volkswagens, Japanese cars, some FIATs, Fords, Opels, an older E-Class Merc or two. Enlisted carpark: new S-Class Mercs, Porsches, Jaguars, a Bentley, and a Ferrari (the first time I have seen a Ferry up-close was in Thun’s barracks enlisted car park! OK, just a Testarossa, but a Ferry all right).
    Some other flashbacks: a 500 meters long underground ARTILLERY shooting range. And not for some dinky 20-mm style artillery: no, Leopard 2 120 mm and M109-style archie. As a matter of fact, on the day of our visit, they were just shooting the new 140 mm gun for the Swiss modification of the Leo 2… This range was built because some tree-huggers have observed that this diny little bird or other is not laying eggs, presumably because of the noise from the artillery range. Well, Thun for one is a home to the Europe’s longest serving artillery regiment, booming their cannons over this particular meadow since early 1500s, but the frigging birds waited 450 years to stop laying their eggs, mind you. Anyway, the parliament took pity of the poor things and the Army built two underground ranges, 200 and 500 meters for the Thun’s ordnance research institute (and the artillery regiment, and the Thun ammunition factory) for some stupendous amounts money. And you know what? The birds. They didn’t returned. They relocated to the tank shooting range 10 miles further down the highway. Guess they were used to the noise and felt unsecure without it…
    And the parting shot about the bunker-fever. I have found a militaria store and of course raided the manual rack. I’ve bought, like, two or three dozen. A plenty. Anyway, they had there a Swiss army’s ‘Enemy Armies’ (Fremde Heere) hardware recognition manual, in two volumes. Vol.1 Fremde Heere Ost – all the Warsaw Pact stuff. Vol.2 Fremde Heere West – the NATO stuff. Ah, it’s so good to sit aside, watch purple cows and see the big boys out there going at each other, while munching on a Gruyer fondue and waiting for the cuckoo-clock to go off.

  5. I can see Ian, that you sold all of posted rifles – congratulations! I was bit tempted to call for K31, I really like that gun. However, two things were in the way. One was the fact I have no more space in my vault left (and cannot buy bigger one, since space in the basement is limited). Second is that although long guns do not fall into registration any longer in our province, I still would need a purchase permit which I do not have any more (just possession). Kind of lame excuse, oh well.

    • Denny, I’m not 100% familiar with the Canadian firearms laws that apply to you, but what would it take to renew or re-establish your purchase permit, if you don’t mind my asking?

  6. That explains Cuckoo clocks, sneaky…

    They are devices for activating booby traps, take it off your wall at 14.50hrs…

    14.59.59hrs tick, CUCKOO! BOOM!! Wee bird pops out and knocks over a grenade leant against a wall with the pin out.

  7. Leszek makes a very good point about Switzerland as a whole. They were, and are, prepared for unforeseen eventualities, which also gives them a certain peace of mind, which in turn shows in a more relaxed yet confident attitude towards life in general. All my Swiss friends, regardless of regional and ethnic origin, seem to display this same carefree yet steadfast outlook, a tribute to the aforementioned preparedness. There are few, if any, substitutes for solid sensibility.

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