Zone #26 - Great Firearms - Swiss K-31 Rifle
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recently obtained my C&R License and
have the "bug" bad.
One of the rifles I always wanted to try
was the Swiss K-31, Straight-Pull Bolt Rifle.
I get a couple from AIM and they were just
what I expected: Almost perfect steel and
one, right out of the shipping box.
With a little bluing touch-up and a refinished
stock, you have a new rifle.
the help of my old buddy, Tman, we took
it apart and Tman refinished the stock for
He stained it a dark reddish color, per
bluing just took a little touch up. It came
out just the way I wanted it to.
We used Birchwood-Casey Super Blue. It works
We've tried the regular Bluing, and been
disappointed. Get the Super Blue.
Clean the part well, with either lighter
fluid or carb cleaner. Then use a Q-tip
to "pool" some bluing on the area.
Kind of work in around on the spot until
it get as dark as the surrounding area.
Take your time.
Then, dry the area and wipe clean. Be sure
to coat the area with a light oil. Practice
on less conspicuous areas until you get
good at it.
It's not as hard as some think it is.
is another one Tman finished today with
a "cherry" finish on beech.
from Tman himself:
A number of "purists" seem to
think you should never refinish you K31.
Get a grip folks, it's a hundred dollar
rifle with shooter, not collector value
in this condition. We are really impressed
with the way these rifles shoot but would
like it to look nice also.
Most folks believe the original finish on
the K31 is shellac with some stain added
to the shellac. A very dated and ineffective
finish. The condition of the wood on the
K31 rifles demonstrates it does not hold
up well or offer much protection to the
The most popular top coats with refinishers
of military rifles seem to be boiled linseed
oil or tung oil. I have tried both with
mixed results. Here is the Texas gulf coast,
nothing seems to completly dry. These finishes
look correct and are easy to repair but
often remain gummy long after application.
They don't offer the best level of protection
O_P and I are longtime woodworkers/furniture
makers and have come to rely on poly coatings
to seal and protect wood stocks. I like
water based or alcohol based stains followed
by Wipe on Min-Wax satin Poly applied in
3-4 thin coats and rubbed with steel wool
This gives a "military" look of
low gloss that seals and protects the wood.
The more you degloss, the more military
it will look. I like something in between.
Sometimes, like the stock above, I will
use a Min-Wax oil stain as a top stain coat
for the color I want. The options are unlimited,
just where ever you taste takes you. Takes
about two hours plus dry time in direct
sun to do a stock like this using an orbital
Lots of ways to do this job, this is just
where our experience over about 50 years
has taken us.
For the job, I used a 5" power orbital
sander with 120 and 220 grit discs and a
deft touch. Careful to keep the original
lines and don't make the metal "proud"
to the wood. 5 minutes of hand sanding around
the pistol grip and finger groves. I put
that part in to rankle the "purists"
a bit. I am sure they are writhing on the
floor and foaming at the mouth when they
read this. I would not use this technique
on a pristine military select walnut stock,
you tailor the technique to the job at hand.
Did I mention 50 years of experience practicing?
Wipe on satin poly need not look plastic.
The key is thin coats and 0000 steel wool.
It's all in what you like and what your
decided to take them to the range today
to see if they shot as good as they looked.
These rifles have an excellent reputation
fascinating rifles are in 7.5 Swiss, which
is actually a 174 grain .308 bullet.
Here is a round between a 7.62 X 51 NATO
and a .30-06 Ball round.