Schmidt-Rubin 1896/11 Rifle
Model 1911 Rifle
Serial No: 292237
As early as 1903 there discussion about the adoption of
a lighter, easier to handle rifle, with increased velocity cartridges.
It had been determined that there were severe ballistic shortcomings to
the 89/96 action /GP90 cartridge combination. In late 1907, the Swiss
Rifle Commission gave permission to Waffenfabrik Bern to create 200 rifles
for testing purposes. The rifle were built with the following configurations:
Fifty rifles with 1889/96 Barrels firing GP90 cartridges
Fifty rifles with 1889/96 Barrels firing GP90 cartridges, and re-milled
Fifty rifles with 1889/96 Barrels and new cartridges and re-milled cartridge
fifty rifles with new barrels and new cartridges
Other modifications included the removal of the magazine cut-off, improved
sights, and an integral rifle rest. While the integral rifle rest was
discarded as superfluous, the testing otherwise proved successful.. This
led to the authorization of the creation of 900 Rifles and 100 Carbines,
for the purposed of testing the new GP08 (later redesignated GP11) cartridge.
The 1908 Rifles and Carbines were fitted with Model 1889/1900 style 6
round magazines, and improved sights. The 1908s also had several unique
features, not found in other Schmidt-Rubin models. The locking lug sleeve
of the 1908’s bolt had three circular holes, presumably for weight
savings purposes. In addition, the relief cuts on the top of 1908s receiver
were of different length, with the longer cut set along the center of
the receiver, with the shorter cut off to the side. On all other Schmidt-Rubins,
the relief cuts were of equal length, and both cuts were equally offset
from the centerline of the receiver.
By around 1907, the Swiss knew the old GP90 cartridge was inferior to
those being adopted by their neighbors. So they started testing a new
round. They built the 1908 series for this purpose. The 1908 has some
unique feature, not seen in other Schmidt-Rubins, including three holes
in the bolt. Testing showed the VGP08 cartridge produced significantly
better results than the GP90 cartridge. Consequently, the VGP08 cartridge
was adopted as the GP11 cartridge.
It was determined that the 89/96 could easily be converted (Model 1889s
could not) to handle the new cartridge by re-barreling the rifle.
1889/96s were converted to 1896.11s buy replacing or modifying the following:
A new barrel was added.
Already fitted the the barrel were new front and rear sights.
A pistol grip was grafted onto the stock of the rifle.
The new rifles were also fitted with 6rd magazines, similar to the 1889/1900
pattern magazine, minus the reinforcing ridge, although the magazine did
include a bolt hold-open feature for when the magazine was empty.
A new trigger-guard was fitted to accommodate the new magazine.
However, it took several years for all the 89/96s to be converted to 96/11
and 1911 Rifle production continued until 1918.
Swiss soldiers are roughly classified into two categories, elite and reserve.
Elites are under the age of 30, reserves are over the age of 30. Any trooper
reaching reserve status, whom had a 89/96 during the changeover period
was issued a Model 1889, and kept it for the remaining term of his service.
Raw recruits, were issued Model 1889s as well at this point in time, and
were later issued 96/11s or 1911s.
This rifle is one of the original Model 1896 rifles upgraded to the Model
1911 standard, which is easily identified by the grafted pistol grip
& original scallop adjacent to the trigger guard for the magazine
The Original Soldiers Name tag is still stored under the butt plate
Unusually the Butt has a rack number & military
location of St Gallen
St Gallen is situated in the northeastern part of Switzerland in a valley
about 700 meters (2,300 ft) above sea level. It is one of the highest
cities in Switzerland and thus receives abundant winter snow. The city
lies between Lake Constance and the mountains of the Appenzell Alps
This is a 1903 dated example, which is in excellent
including the bore.
Matching Serial numbers & comes with an original Leather Sling