The Swiss have maintained neutrality through two of the largest wars fought in the worlds history. As a result of their dedication to mechanical prowess and amazing ability to produce extremely accurate firearms, their surplus rifles have the benefit of being lightly used and generally in extremely fine condition.
These firearms are often overlooked by those individuals seeking generally inexpensive, accurate, reliable and long lasting firearms for survival/prepping purposes. The surplus ammunition is available, as is several varieties of after market ammunitions for hunting and more. The surplus ammunition is widely seen as being match grade. The rifles themselves are extremely accurate, repeatedly winning military surplus matches and shooting accurately past 2400 yards in one case (open sights) and with a solid finger on the trigger, 1000 yards is an easy reach.
I personally shoot a 12″ gong at 5-650 yards regularily and do so with easily repeated accurate precision. I would have no problem hitting small through large game at 100-400 yards and easily putting game down with one shot. Javelina, an easy to use benchmark in Arizona due to its status as varmint allows tests of this. Bearing in mind, Javelina are quite tough creatures, this is no small feat even for experienced hunters.
The trajectory of the 7.5×55 round is flat and hard hitting even at 1000 yards. With standard milsurp rounds of 174 grains having the following ballistic characteristics.
The GP11 is a unique and well designed cartridge. Outwardly the cartridge case appears smaller than the .30-06 Springfield and similar to the 6.5×55 and the 7×57. Closer inspection reveals that the rim and head diameter at 12.6mm (.496”) and 12.5mm (.493”) respectively are larger than the .30-06 at 12.01mm (.473”) and 11.49mm (.470”). Although the .30-06 is longer at 63mm (2.5”) the 55mm (2.185”) GP11 Swiss military cartridge case has identical powder capacity to commercial Winchester .30-06 brass. In fact if the GP11 case were the same length as the .30-06 it would hold approximately 10 grains more powder.
Additionally we find,
Typical velocities to expect from the 25.6” barreled K31 without exceeding recommended pressures are 2900fps with 150gr bullets, 2750fps with 165 to 168gr bullets, 2600fps with 178-180gr bullets and 2400fps with 200gr bullets. The GP11 uses standard .308” projectiles giving similar performance to .308.
Of course, contrary to some individuals beliefs you can load this round hotter than some expect if you are a handloader. The action, barrel and firearm (K31) will take it. Though I would not suggest doing so with any variants other then the Karabiner 31 (K31).
Regardless, I would trust my life to this firearm and indeed by selecting it as my top choice for accurate distance and hunting needs I am doing so.
The Mosin is going for similar prices these days, and are after much work capable of 4 or 5 inch 100 yard groups. If you can find a decent Yugo or Argentinan Mauser for under $600 you will be fortunate and Springfields? Well, the 30-06 while being a hard hitting round has abismal ballistics in comparison, though many a shooter uses the .308 version quite well. Lastly, my second favorite surplus firearm the Lee Enfield MkIV in .303 is amazingly accurate, fast shooting and very much a favorite. With the exception of ammunition costs being extrodinarily expensive, it would be a great firearm.
And so, this is why I have chosen the Swiss 7.5×55 specifically, K31 as my chosen bugout, survival, hunting rifle in large caliber.
Free the mind and the body will follow