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  1. #1
    Member NearSightedSniper's Avatar
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    GP11 rumor...

    I read somewhere that there will be another batch of GP11 ammo coming into the country. I read this a few months ago & cannot remember where. Can anyone confirm?

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    Senior Member Pierre's Avatar
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    Maybe I can help clarify that. This is an old response posted on a different forum.
    The new production is still Berdan primed and crimped, but without the old wax storage ring.
    ================================================== ===
    Two years ago (in Jan 2016) when the restart of GP11 production occurred, the Swissicon military officially had 170~168 million GP11 rounds left, with a burn rate of around 18 million rounds/year, between match shooting and vehicle MGs, (which was the only place it was still used in service). Presumably at the end of 2018 the quantity on hand will 132~130 million rounds. With no addition this is likely enough stock to last ~7.3 years. That said each year the use of GP11 in 300 M competition drops due to both declining active shooters and conversion to 5.6 GP 90 caliber weapons. The total MG 51 vehicle stock is not published, but given the heavy vehicle stocks is likely around 2 to 3,000 guns total (134 active Leopards 2 MG, each,200 CV9030, 1 MG each, etc) so a good percentage of the ammunition ~ 15million, is shot in matches each year.

    As a comparison, in 1993~5 the total stock was around 700 million GP11 cartridges so in ~21 years they burned through ~532 million cartridges, or around 25.3 million per year. But the STGW57 was still a primary arm in 1994, as was the MG 51, the STGW being effectively out of service by 2005 and the MG51 retired out of infantry use around 2005~2006, so the burn rate in the early years was closer to 30~35 million per year, declining down to the current 18 million per year. For example in approximately 2008 it was estimated the stock would last for 16 more years, yet at the end of 2018 there is around 7.3 years left, if no additional stocks are added. So the domestic burn rate is slowing. How much of a decline remains to be seen, but to discuss that would be an entirely different topic.

    The last year of regular production was 1994, so the youngest date codes previous to the new post 2016 lots are 24 years old. The oldest lot on record still around are in the 1985 to 1987 range. According to RUAG decisions made around 2008, ammunition lots older than year 1986 were to be exported, the rest retained for use. That would seem to imply that ammunition older than 25~30 years is not generally issued for domestic use, though I seem to recall some clubs reported having ammunition dated 1987 being issued in 2017. That said in 2015 the clubs in Switzerland were using ammunition dated at 1992, and the general rule was each year code lasted around 2~3 years prior to advancing to the next year production. In comparison when the K31 exports started to come in around 1999 to 2005, the ammunition sold with them was dated in the 1978 to 1979 period, only being 19 to 26 years old. Interestingly in the last major export lot, most of the ammunition was dated in the 1982 to 1984 time period. In that case the majority of the ammunition was 32 to 34 years old when exported in 2016. Interestingly a small quantity of the 2016 export was from lot 157-92T, (Thun 1992 lot 157) or only 24 years old.

    So what does all of this mean: Well it all depends on what is done with the older 1980s lots still in existence . Do they shoot them in MGs, at clubs or export the now 30+ year old ammunition? The price they obtain at Swiss club shoots is around 1/3 of a Swiss franc (at least back in 2015) per round or around 33~34 cents per round at current exchange rates. I believe that the time expired lots are sold on the world market for around the price to the club or around .3 franc, or were in the late 2016 time frame when the last stocks were sold off. But now that new ammunition is being made, the RUAG replacement cost is closer to .58 to .68 Swiss franc per round (no exact figure published, bracketed based on various estimates).


    What that means for another major sale of GP11 remains to be seen. With 132 million cartridges left there is certainly some 1985,1986, 1987 and 1988 ammunition lots still to be had, but if they sell if for 1/3 of a franc or 2/3 of a franc is the big question, as well a how much of it do they sell? Like it or not, within a 6 year period the surplus sale of GP11 will likely end permanently as the pre 1994 stocks will be by then mostly expended and what remains will be sold for match shooting both in Switzerland and Auslander clubs as well as any remaining vehicle MG use. But given past experience it is highly possible in the next few years to see the detritus of the late 1980s ammunition lots sold.

    As to quantities , well the big 2016 sale was over a million rounds. Tracking of the quantities for sale in the US alone showed at the end of 2016 there were still 1,200 cases left for a total of 576,000 rounds for sale, sale of which had begun around May of 2016. The sales rate from Dec 2016 to July 2017, projected backwards indicated no les than 1.2 million rounds were available for US sale in the late spring of 2016. That large RUAG sale of ammunition in 2016 also went to Canadaicon and Germanyicon, so the total quantity was larger still maybe as much as 1.5 million rounds.

    If it does come in folks who have a long term interest in this ammunition should consider buying for their long term needs. Most of the fellows I know who are active competitors did so in the 2016 import lot, or belong to a active Auslander club that has secured a supply sufficient for 10 or more years. But even if cost is not an issue, there are limits on the length of time such stocks can be stored and still be usable under the best of circumstances.

    Folks have reported that GP ammunition dated in the 1955~58 time frame showed poor ignition within the last 2 years while ammunition from the early 1950s being dead (all primers bad). Austrian patrone 58 dated in the 1976 to 1978 period, with the same Sinoxid priming have shown irregular ignition in some lots in the past year (2018). It seems likely the real service life of GP11 stored correctly is on the order of 50 to 60 years. Given match use is adversely affected by weak primers (plays hell with vibration patterns), a safe bet for anyone planning to make use of these cartridges in competition is that they be less than 45 years old when expended. (10~20 percent safety margin). Which means the ammunition imported in 1979 should be expended prior to 2024 while the 1992 fodder, the youngest ammunition reported imported, by 2037. That assumes the ammunition has been stored in low temperature and the humidity proof wrappings remain largely sealed. I do know some fellows who have done just this and have plans to expend their many stashed cases over a 15 to 18 year period.

    While many of the chaps in the shooting clubs have enough to last them for the remainder of their active competition (at least the wise ones who put it away the last time ammo could be had for $234~239 a case), the new fellow will have to reload. Eventually the chap who salted away large stocks will also have to do so as well. The 7.5 Swiss case is nearly ideal for a replication of the 30-06/7.62 Nato 300 M ISSU load, a 168 grain bullet at around 2,200 or 2,300 FPS with RL 15 will preform well out to 300 M with low peak pressure and low bore wear. Also easy on the shoulder

    ================================================== =============================

    That being said.......... The very short history of the reloadable boxer brass happened as follows.
    ================================================== =============

    RUAG Boxer Swiss National Match brass......... the finest on the planet.
    Ok. So here's how the American reloading part of it began for the k31, the G11's, the zfk55 and the Pe57. I don't remember the year, sometime in the 90's but a lot of shooters on the various Swiss Forums and elsewhere will remember better than I do because they bought it from me.......... My memory has gotten terrible......We brought in some 10,000 Ruag Swiss National Match Brass, but before that, I called Grafs and three other outfits asking if they'd like to front this buy and handle it themselves. "What? 7.5x what? For what rifles? never heard of them"..... So....... we brought it in.

    Within two weeks the whole bunch was gone. I called Grafs again. "What?!? You sold it all already?" Yep...... and I'm about to bring in another 50,000 of the same brass, and another 150,000 as soon as that's gone. I expect about a month. "Wait, wait wait! Do you want us to handle that?" I put them in direct touch with Ruag in Bern, and......... that's how it all began for US reloaders. I have an awful lot of Norma brass here, but if you really do a lot of reloading, you already know how soft Norma brass is.

    I can't remember how much RUAG brass we have, but if you anneal every 5 cycles, you're going to be working on that first 200 brass for an awfully long time. I have yet to have any RUAG brass fail on me, and you can guess how many rounds I've sent down range here over the past 18 or 20 years since we did that first import............ That incredible boxer brass was cut off for export maybe 10 years ago when RUAG began their Commercial Loads for saleS to Europe. Can't remember for sure , but that's when Grafs began working with PRVI Partisan for brass and loaded cartridges and our own 18 year association with Graf's began.

    Now the last reserves run of GP11 in 1995 are nearly gone, but RUAG began a new run two years ago. It's still that great Swiss National Match brass and still labeled GP11, but it's also still Berdan primed. The wax ring is gone since log term storage is no lo9nger necessary, and the crimp is also gone. The last firearm in the Swiss Army requiring the crimp is the MG51, and that will very soon be replaced by the FN Minimi, so........ no crimp required for the 7.5x55 caliber with all the select mode rifles no longer in service.
    Last edited by Pierre; 10-19-2019 at 01:18 PM.

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  6. #3
    Member NearSightedSniper's Avatar
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    Thank you for that Pierre. It was a very interesting read.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre View Post
    If it does come in folks who have a long term interest in this ammunition should consider buying for their long term needs.
    My thought's exactly. If it ever does come back I'm gonna try to buy 10-15 cases. It'll just depend on how much I can afford to buy. I have a little more than 2 cases left. But I do plan on adding a ZFK 55 to the herd in the very near future. I also want to add a 1911 carbine & a 1896/11 Infantry rifle

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    Quote Originally Posted by NearSightedSniper View Post
    Thank you for that Pierre. It was a very interesting read.



    My thought's exactly. If it ever does come back I'm gonna try to buy 10-15 cases. It'll just depend on how much I can afford to buy. I have a little more than 2 cases left. But I do plan on adding a ZFK 55 to the herd in the very near future. I also want to add a 1911 carbine & a 1896/11 Infantry rifle
    It is available from one US source, Edelweiss, but it’s not $200-300 a case anymore...

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    Member NearSightedSniper's Avatar
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    WOW!!! On sale for $425 a case!!!
    I didn't expect that, when I read your comment I thought $325 - $350.
    If it ever does come back in I knew it wouldn't be under $250 a case like it use to be but I never thought it would be over $400 a case.
    Oh well, supply & demand I guess. Maybe I'll just buy 2 60 round packs every few weeks to lessen the pain!!!

    Thanks for the heads up


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    Really Senior Member amadeus76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NearSightedSniper View Post
    WOW!!! On sale for $425 a case!!!
    I didn't expect that, when I read your comment I thought $325 - $350.
    If it ever does come back in I knew it wouldn't be under $250 a case like it use to be but I never thought it would be over $400 a case.
    Oh well, supply & demand I guess. Maybe I'll just buy 2 60 round packs every few weeks to lessen the pain!!!

    Thanks for the heads up
    Once again... A reminder of why every serious shooter should have a reloading set up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amadeus76 View Post
    Once again... A reminder of why every serious shooter should have a reloading set up.
    I intend to remedy that some time next year.

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