7.5x55mm Swiss Ammunition
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History of 7.5x55mm Swiss Ammunition
The 7.5x55mm Swiss cartridge was designed by Swiss Army Lieutenant Colonel Eduard Rubin in 1889. The rifle in use by the Swiss military at the time was a 10.4x38mm rimfire rifle. The smaller diameter bullet (.304 inches) was one of the original forays into the high velocity, smaller and lighter bullet school of thought among military rifle builders and governments. The Swiss Army fielded the cartridge in 1889 using the Schmidt-Rubin Model 1889 rifle. One interesting aspect of the cartridge is the 211 grain round nose, steel capped bullet is that is was paper patched, although not uncommon at the time, it did make manufacture of the ammunition more time consuming.
Over the first thirty or so years of the cartridge’s life, it went through several modifications to keep pace with new technologies and components. Eventually in 1911 the GP11 variation was introduced. The accuracy of the GP11 is proven as this variation is commonly used in target competition with great results. This round was introduced in 1911 and continued in service until approximately 1990. Inintially introduced as a bolt action cartridge, this rimless, bottleneck cartridge would end its service life being used in the select fire Stgw57.
Today, ammunition is manufactured by a few companies, to include: Hornday, Wolf and Prvi Paritizan. The most common load is the 174 grain spitzer point. The bullet has a muzzle velocity of approximately 2500 feet per second and generates over 2500 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. The Swiss military GP11 ammunition is loaded slightly hotter and uses the same bullet traveling just over 2600 feet per second.
Today the 7.5x55mm Swiss is most commonly seen in the United States in surplus Swiss K31 rifles. Although not as popular as some other bolt action rifles of the same time period, the K31 performs admirably for hunting and target shooting.
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