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Thread: Reloading for the Swiss Rifles

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  1. #11
    Really Senior Member RC20's Avatar
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    Thank you on the Berger VLD, I will look into those. Did not know. Really fortunate being in AK the guy sent me the GP11.

    Pierre: I am one of those Americanized people of Germanicon decent (oddball almost all Krauts in our background until the current generation) - my uncle found one Polish lady who married one of the ancestors, had to be a story there.

    I have a bit of high school German, Gutten Morgan! Vie Getts ? (and I apologize for the spelling which I don't do all that well in English either)

    I am well read so I have at least a decent background on the rest of the world.

    Keep the pictures, I like them. I had a lot of world wide friends when I was part of a motorcycle group forum, we can share some I think without going off track (the moderators will let us know) - finding people that share your interests is rate for me so this is a treat. My wife is an artist and while I only do stick figures I know good work when I see it.

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  4. #12
    Member Pierre's Avatar
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    My Schooling was in Graphics, but I sidelined as a portrait engraver in the late 60's. It's a very long story, and I do have a few claims to fame in that world. My Hemingway portrait hangs in the museum in Florida.



    Many others were commissioned by Abercrombie & Fitch, among others. Famous qand infamous Indian portraits from the Wannamaker expedition etc, but....... the story is too long for a forum like this, so............. Kicking Bear, Chief Joseph etc.





    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Let's get back on topic.

    This is a touchy subject in some circles, so I'll do my best to avoid any coloration of the history.

    I've been working with Swissicon rifles since the late 50s. I've been developing load data since 1963 as the manuals then extant were erroneous in their representation of both pressures and strength of the receivers. For whatever reason, the manual publishers were basing all of their load data on the Schmidt Rubin model 1889. The GP11 cartridge was the issue cartridge for the Schmidt Rubin beginning with the 1911sr. This is the same cartridge issued today for the PE57 autoloader and the predecessors, 1911, k11, k31 and the Sniper zfk3155.

    Does it not then stand to reason that the 1911 and k31, being designed to fire the same cartridge as the PE57, would have receivers of a strength equal to the modern autoloader? Would it surprise you to know that the factory in Bern offered the k31 in 7.5 Swiss, .308, 30/06 and 300 Winchester Magnum? It still is. You can buy one today from the Hammerli facility. But I digress.

    Early reloading manuals assumed that the bolts on the 1911s, k11s and k31s were identical to the 1889. Not so at all. The 1889 could NOT stand the pressures developed by the GP11 and therefore the publishers relegated all data and warnings to all of the Schmidt Rubins! Gross error! I discovered this error very early on, called Bern, spoke to an armourer, explained my theory, he agreed and I began a lifelong search for the commercial accuracy loads for the SRs. BTW......... I found it. In fact a number of them.

    The locking lugs on the earlier SRs were at the back of the bolt itself. This meant that the case head of the cartridge was largely unsupported, but with the advent of the 1911 the lugs were moved midway up the bolt proper and provided more than enough support for the case head. The 1911 receiver was also substantially stronger than the 1889, in fact strong enough to allow importers in the late 70s/early 80s to convert a large number of imported 1911s to .308. CUP for the 7.5 is around 42,000. The .308 is 50,000+, so that should also tell you that the 1911 receiver/bolt combo is plenty strong.

    The k31 amd the zfk3155 have the strongest of the bolt/receiver combinations. The locking lugs were moved forward right to the head of the bolt. The 30-06 and 300 winmag are no problem for this rifle. Enough preface.

    The dies.
    I was asked to develop a forum for these rifles about 4 years ago (1999). I spent a tremendous amount of time educating new SR owners who had not a clue as to proper load data or accurizing. (I won't get into the accurizing thing at this point) Having been supplied with load data, a number of these folks began reloading the caliber. Within one month I had 3 incidents of "gas blow-by" from those using Lee 7.5 Swiss dies. The bolt of the SR provides a channel directly to the rear, allowing blow-by gasses to "kiss" the face of the shooter! Three more incidents followed with another 4 months. FAR too many for coincidence.

    Lee makes an excellent die. I've also been told that the circumstances surrounding the SRs don't happen with all Lee 7.5 dies. I don't know. I also have never had an interest in testing these dies. There's no point. I do assume that there is an inherent problem with using the die for this caliber. I can tell you that my son is not allowed to use Lee dies for reloading his 7.5 Swiss brass. In the past 5 years not one single incident of blow-by has ever been reported to me on swissrifles.com involving RCBS 7.5, Redding Comp or Hornady dies. There are others that work well too. Take your pick.
    I can't tell you how many thousands of rounds in that caliber I've reloaded in 55 years or so, but its a bunch. Never one single failure involving the die has occurred.

    I'm loathe to retype the whole thing here as its quite long, but please do read the reloading for the 7.5 Swiss page before proceeding with reloading for your rifle. It will give you needed insight into the whys and wherefores.

    Thank you..... Pierre St.Marie

    *NOTE: Its been at least 4 years since I've heard about a Lee problem with this caliber. Maybe it's solved. Latigo *
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    To be Continued:

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  7. #13
    Member Pierre's Avatar
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    ...... and yes, obduration and low load pressures were taken into consideration. That was not the reason.

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    Really Senior Member amadeus76's Avatar
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    I haven’t started reloading for my Swissicon rifles yet but do for all my other calibers and will for the 7.5 soon. One thing has always confused me tho. I see dies for ‘7.5 Swiss’ and ‘7.5 Swiss (K-31)’, often by the same manufacturer. What exactly is the difference and do I really need separate dies for the K-31 and the 1911/K-11?
    ———————————
    Side note... I just scored a K-11 last week. Now I have one of each variant!

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    Contributing Member Ovidio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre View Post
    My Schooling was in Graphics, but I sidelined as a portrait engraver in the late 60's. It's a very long story, and I do have a few claims to fame in that world. My Hemingway portrait hangs in the museum in Florida.
    Well Pierre, you're really gifted.
    I'm admired!
    34a cp., btg. Susa, 3° rgt. Alpini

  10. #16
    Member Pierre's Avatar
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    Amadeus, you really don't need different dies. In the past 4 or 5 years Mfg's have come out with "specific" dies for the caliber. I really don't know how I survived with just RCBS for some 50 years. LOL
    But there is a factor involved. .287 brass can be easily resized to 7.5 and in the G11 series of rifles it works perfectly. That brass in a k31 will fail to extract about 1 time out of 25. The rim is just a bit smaller than the 7.5 brass. We now use Redding, but........... That first die some 15 years ago cost me $585.00 because it didn't exist at the time and had to be custom made. Now I see they're around $140 or so for the Deluxe set. The Bushing sizer is another $55 or so. We just happen to be big Redding Competition/Bushing die fans.

    You can just use the RCBS for everything, but that advertising hype is rather tempting, eh?

  11. #17
    Member Pierre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ovidio View Post
    Well Pierre, you're really gifted.
    I'm admired!

    Danke sehr!

  12. #18
    Member Pierre's Avatar
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    RC20, I went back through your observations and all I can say is that what I posted is specific to the 7.5x55 cartridge specifically. I know factually that everything I posted is correct and has worked for me for 55 years and for thousands of Swissicon rifle shooters/reloaders for the time I've been putting all of this on line since 1998.
    I've always said that "nothing is cast in stone" and arriving at a very successful formula by whatever route one takes is the end objective for all reloaders.

    And there is this oddity: "The k31 and it's mates, the 1911, k11 and the rare (in the US) zfk55 Swiss Sniper Rifle are a rarity in another category. A Military series of rifles designed around a specific cartridge for accuracy and performance.

    The intent of this cartridge/rifle mating was to hit a human in the kill zone at range and they performed as intended. Not many production rifles are capable of doing that. The very great majority of these rifles perform

    Are there rifles that outperform it? Of course there are, but none of them are a standard military issue firearm designed around a dedicated production cartridge for that rifle.
    The purpose of this missive is to illustrate that there are differences between issue rifles and custom made and custom tuned rifles."

    Not a cartridge designed for a rifle, but a series of rifles designed around a cartridge. Not caliber..... cartridge. That also means that the rifle has likes and dislikes based on the cartridge it's fed.

    Back with more. Wrists gave out, Sorry.

  13. #19
    Really Senior Member RC20's Avatar
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    Some great information that could be lost and cut and paste into a document the history section so I have it and can pass it on.

    Clearly the Swissicon came out with a heck of a cardie in the GP11 and I will contend well ahead of its time.

    Hadn't thought about guns designed around cartridge, chicken and egg thing. Clearly the Swiss had it right and built guns after that it worked with and for.

    As for reloading, I have done it and there are some oddities that I don't sweat. I just segregate brass and load separate for the two guns I shoot the most. The 1911 I will get to when I retire!

    I use PPU brass as its available and reasonable cost. You could get it with PVI rounds as well but will be labeled NNY.

    I have yet to get the K31 to shoot well, but have hopes and might spring for the Berger bullets to try. I had a load of the Berger Juggernauts I got on sale that was working but it fell out of whack for unknown reasons. Down in the MOA area. sigh.

    It will shoot about 1.5 MOA with the GP11, but don't want to use the last of mine as they are kind of a reference (and pulled them and weighted the powder though I know that has been done as well). Also let me look at the bullets.

    Had no clue the K31 would be offered in other calibers, now there would be a buy!

  14. #20
    Member Pierre's Avatar
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    RE17 is the powder you're looking for. It's made in Switzerland in the same old facility as the GP11 powder. Near as I can tell the only thing that's changed since the beginning is the coagulant. It's distributed by Alliant.

    This is my Son's personal rifle. His own proven load developed with a VLD projectile. A "proven load" for us is 20 targets with 5 rounds each with fully repeatable groups.







    At 100 yards.......... and this is what we expect with all of our Swissicon Rifles with a dialed in load. Data is not usually identical with different powders or projectiles. Each rifle has it's own logbook by serial number and every shot is logged in with pertinent data and chrono SD's.


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