Thursday, December 15, 2005

New Addition...

I passed by a new Big 5 and stopped in to take a look at the sales. They had one K31 for $99. I saw some little dings on the underside of the stock and some scratches and wear near the butt. The worst bits of damage were two gouges, although the area was less than the size of a pinky fingernail. The handguards looked pristine. There was finish on nearly all of the wood, except near the buttplate. What type of finish is standard for these guns? The guards looked relatively unfinished, but the rest of the stock looked lightly finished and slick, was it shellac or something else? No cosmo or any other residue on the stock.

All metal parts had grease on them, except for the magazine. I detached it and saw some slight green residue on the plate. I assume copper fouling. I pressed the plate up and down and it seemed to move easily, no sticking. The bolt was sticky, but I expected that. It took a little force to return it. Although I'm left handed and that could have been part of the problem with working the bolt. I saw no damage or pitting on the bolt. The top of the receiver has very miniscule pitting near the Swiss badge, otherwise it looked like new.

Unfortunately, the new store didn't have a bore light. I had to pull back the bolt and try to hold it up to the light to get a look down the barrel. Not enough light to see everything, but I could clearly see it had rifling. I saw no pitting or any other damage or residue, but it was dark, so I can't be sure. The front sight had a coating of grease, but apparently no damage to the ears and the sight itself was clean. It seemed rather small. How tall are the sights normally? I did notice that the sight was resting on an angled base. I never noticed that before. Does that make it easier to adjust? The barrel bands were a little rough, they seemed to be the worst part of the equipment. I didn't look at the trigger as I forgot to ask the salesman to remove the lock. Yeah, I know, I just didn't think about it at the time.

The sling was apparently original, it was a light brown well used leather. The only cartouche or other marking I saw was on the right side of the stock. It appears to be a number one in a circle.

I wasn't sure what to do, it looked nice and the straight pull bolt was relatively easy for me as a left hander to use. It seemed relatively clean, so I wouldn't have to do a major clean up on it. I decided to take one more look over it and noticed that the magazine, bolt, and receiver all had the same serial number. I've heard about rebuilds that mismatched parts, but I wasn't sure if that was the way the K31s were. The matching serial numbers clinched the deal for me and I put it on layaway.

I checked the serial number on Swissrifles.com and it appears the rifle was built in 1950. Perhaps it only had one owner. If I end up completing the purchase, I'll take a look under the buttplate and see if there's any info on the citizen issued the rifle.

Was this a good buy?

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