Original Swiss First Model 1889 Schmidt-Rubin Magazine Infantry Rifle - Matching Serial 148879

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The first Model Schmidt-Rubin rifle was designed and approved in 1889, with production running between 1891 and 1897 at Eidgenoessische Waffenfabrik (Swiss Arms Factory), Bern, with a total production of about 212,000. This means that all model 1889 Schmidt Rubin rifles are pre-1899, and considered antique under Federal Law. As this is rifle serial number 148879, we estimate this rifle was produced in 1894-1895.

This example is in very good condition, with a great look, and only moderate signs of age and use. Serial number 148879 is present on all components of the rifle including the bolt & magazine, with shortened number 879 even being stamped on all parts of the rear sight and several other components including the butt plate. Some parts, such as barrel bands, do not usually have serial number markings. We would consider this to be an "ALL MATCHING" example and it's a great one!

There are multiple Swiss Cross proof marks on the metal components of a gun, which are in very good condition, with most of the original finish present. There is some oxidation and wear on the bottom of the magazine and trigger guard, as well as on the left side of the sight. The bolt is still bright steel, with minimal staining, except on the handle, which looks to have seen minor moisture exposure. The red fiber bolt handle has some cracks, but is still solid.

The rifle cycles securely, with a very satisfying "clunk-click", and a crisp dry fire. The magazine cutoff/release lever works correctly as well. The magazine itself looks functional, though we have no way to test the feed system. It has a metal clip installed on the lever as well, which when in place prevents the rifle from being put into single shot mode. The bore is in excellent condition, with a bright finish showing crisp lands and grooves, showing little to no signs of use. There is just the faintest hint of a primer ring on the bolt face.

The stock does have some small dents, chips, scratches from storage, but it is still quite attractive and a lovely light amber color. It also has a lot of tiger "flamed" figuring in the butt stock, which really pops in the light. There is a small letter B on the spine of the butt stock. The rear sight is fully functional, and both sling swivels are present and move freely. The only real discrepancy is that the band spring for the barrel band is missing, however it is still firmly in place due to screw pressure.

Overall this is a very attractive rifle in very good condition, which will look great in any collection. Ready to display!


Years of Manufacture: 1891-1897
Caliber: GP90 7.5×53.5mm Schmidt-Rubin
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 30 1/2 inches
Overall Length: 51 Inches
Action type: Straight-pull Bolt-Action
Feed System: 12 Round Box Magazine with Cutoff

More on the Model 1889 Schmidt-Rubin

The Model 1889 was the first in the series of Schmidt–Rubin rifles, which served Switzerland from 1889 to 1953. The rifle takes its name from the designer of its action, Colonel Rudolf Schmidt, and the designer of its ammunition, Colonel Eduard Rubin. The straight-pull bolt action allows the user to pull the bolt straight back to unlock the action and eject the spent cartridge in one motion, and push the bolt forward to chamber a round, cock the striker, and lock the action. This is as opposed to a traditional bolt action, wherein the user must lift the bolt handle to unlock the action before pulling the bolt back.

The rifle is roughly musket length, with a free-floating barrel, 12-round magazine and wood stock that extends almost to the tip of the barrel. The Schmidt–Rubin 1889 was an advanced weapon for its time, and was one of the first rifles to use copper-jacketed ammunition as its standard ammunition. The GP90 7.5×53.5mm round designed by Col. Rubin in 1882 was revolutionary in that most of the bullets used in Europe at the time, except for the Mle 1886 Lebel rifle metal-jacketed 8mm bullet, were around .45 inches as opposed to the .308 inches of the Schmidt–Rubin ammunition. Strangely enough, the round was "paper patched" meaning that the bullet was surrounded by a piece of paper, much like the cotton patches placed around a musket ball. Paper patching the round was supposed to aid in the lubrication of the bullet.

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