Using the Swiss K31 to Hunt Whitetail Deer

Using the Swiss K31 to Hunt Whitetail Deer

Swiss K31 was created in May of 1931 by Eidgenössische Waffenfabrik and was used in the Swiss armed forces from 1933 to 1958. The K stands for “karabiner”, next to its predecessor the Schmidt-Rubin, it was leaps and bounds better. The K31 was chambered in 7.5x55mm which was made up of a 174-grain bullet going at 2560 fps. This round is very effective at long ranges, which is what gave this rifle its edge. The use of the classic 7.5x55mm round coupled with the K31’s better design, it is able to hit targets reliably at more than 550 yards.

Key Features of the Swiss K31

The K31 is famous for its straight-pull action system. With this action, you only have to pull the bolt straight back to eject the spent shell, and then straight forward to chamber the next from its magazine, cock the striker, and lock the action. This is unlike most bolt action systems where you have to manually twist the action and pull back. This straight-pull action reduced the amount of movement and work the soldiers had to preform, ideally increasing the rate of fire.

It also had unique open iron sights that were adjustable from 100 to 1500 meters (109-1640 yards). The back sight simply slides up or down to the desired range. If you chose a far range like 1500 meters, in order to line up your adjusted sights, you would have to tilt the gun up. This adjusted for bullet drop and took out the guesswork for soldiers in combat, and likely saved lives.

Is It a Good Choice for Deer Hunting?

The Swiss K31 is a great reliable rifle chambered in 7.5x55mm (also known as the GP11). This cartridge is just bigger than a .308 and can definitely take down big game. Plenty of hunters swear by the reliability and accuracy of the Swiss K31 as a hunting rifle. This weapon is a definite go to and could be used to hunt bear, moose, elk, and definitely whitetail deer.

Figure 1: Two 7×57 cartridges (left) next to a 7.5×55mm / GP 11 (mid), .308 Win (right) and .223 Rem (far right)

Specifications of The Swiss K31

Mass4.0 kg (8.82 lb) empty
Length1,105 mm (43.50 in)
Barrel length652 mm (25.67 in)
Cartridge7.5×55mm Swiss
ActionStraight-pull bolt action
Muzzle velocity780 m/s (2,559 ft/s)
Effective firing range 500 m (547 yd)
Maximum firing range5,500 m (6,015 yd)
Feed system6-round detachable box magazine A rifle grenade launcher was available from 1944 on.
SightsIron sights or telescopic sight

The Accuracy of The Swiss K31

It is almost scary how accurate this rifle is at long ranges with plain issue iron sights. Like I mentioned before, the iron sights of this rifle reach out to as far as 1500m. Although it is unlikely that you will be able to see a target that far away, and you will also be battling the wind. You will also have to take into account the rotation of the earth known as the Coriolis effect if you are shooting at distances of 915 meters(1000 yards) or more.

With the quality of the iron sights on this rifle, you do not really need a scope to get to long ranges but adding one may help you become more precise. You can not go wrong with the highly-rated and affordable Vortex Optics Copperhead 4-12×44. It allows for up to 12x magnification and will allow you to really take advantage of this accurate rifle.

If you want to check out a showcase of this rifle’s accuracy, watch this video by 9-Hole-Reviews,

Price & Availability of the Swiss K31 Rifle & The 7.5x55mm Cartridge

Seeing as there were over half a million of these rifles produced, it is not very hard to find them in the open market. You can get one in good condition for around $400 and depending on the model and rarity of some of the variants, some will cost over $1000. The $400 is well worth it for a rifle of this quality. Not only have they held up for over 50 years, but they will continue to do so for over 50 more if you take care of them.

The 7.5x55mm cartridge is a bit expensive at around 64¢ – $1.60 per round depending on which type you get. Good luck finding these in American stores, but you can easily find them online with a quick search.


For the price, it is hard to beat the quality craftsmanship of the Swiss K31. This reliable and accurate gun can take down any big game in North America and if you are questioning whether to get one for hunting whitetail, the answer is a definite yes.

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