7.5 Swiss Rifle Ammunition


What are the differences between the 7.5 Swiss rifle rounds? The Schmidt-Rubin 1889 rifles are “obsolete calibre” rifles in the UK, meaning that they can be bought, sold and owned without any sort of restrictions, as long as they are owned as a “curio or ornament”. However, the later series rifles are classed as any other rifle. Is the ammunition interchangeable?


The 1889 shot a paper patched bullet (GP90 or GP90/03) the M1911ff shot the GP11 which is the spitzer cartridge still made in Thun for competition.


Thanks for that.

Was it a paper patched lead bullet?


A cupronickel-jacketed lead core bullet I guess, looking at the pictures:
A member of our club has one on his collectors permit. Transferred it from his active shooters permit because of the rare ammunition.


[quote=“mausernut”]A cupronickel-jacketed lead core bullet I guess.

Actually, the paper patched portion of the bullet is bare lead. The nose cap is made of nickel plated iron.


Do a search here:
theswissriflesdotcommessageboard … topic/6808
There is a slight difference in body taper.

I’m looking for chamber prints for the two rounds.



Thanks for the responses. So it looks like the UK government didn’t accidentally put a fairly modern calibre rifle on the antiques list.

Does anyone in the USA shoot the 1889? What do they do to source cases / bullets?


There is also a model 90/23 cartridge which employs the original type case and a jacketed round-nose bullet. It is, I believe, appropriate for the pre-1911 arms. Until the last twenty years or so this was the only version of the Swiss 7.5 m/m rifle cartridge seen in shooting quantities in the U.S. Jack


Please could someone post some photos of examples of these rounds.


I shot a deer this fall with my model 1889. I loaded my own though :)
Worked just fine


Does this picture help you?

(L) to ® are;
7.5mm Gew Patr 90. This has a 53mm caselength and a paper-patched lead bullet.
7.5mm Gew Patr 90/03. This also has a 53mm caselength, a paper-patched lead bullet, and as Schneider has already said, a steel cap over the bullet nose.
7.5mm Gew Patr 90/23. The caselength has now increased to the usual 54mm. Cupro-nickel jacketed bullet.


A minor note on the GP 90/23 cartridges; as issued they had a wax seal at the case mouth. Many have lost this seal over the years as it is very soft and easy to wipe off.


I found myself glued to this post, great job everyone. I love Jim’s time progression comparison. You actually made me excited about Swiss guns and their ammo. And thanks to hunters for turning thousand $$ guns into $100 sporters without which I’d not be able to afford my collection.


Thanks for the photos.

Were the 1889 rifles held in reserve and still used if they manufactured the more modern style ammunition for them from 1923? When did they stop manufacturing these rounds?

Vlad - Are these rifles really that expensive in the USA? They start at around £325 in the UK. The only problem is you can’t legally fire them if you own them as an unlicenced collectors item. Do you shoot yours?


Falcon: The 1889 model and other pre-1911 types were still available in Switzerland well after 1911, probably for cadet and other second-line use or just for a war reserve. I’m not sure that all the 90/23 ammunition was produced at Solothurn in 1923 but evidently the bulk of it was. As I said in the previous post when the 1889s were imported into the U.S. circa 1960 they were in the main accompanied by the 90/23 ammo bearing the 1923 production date. Jack


Falcon, I have a terrible confession to make. I rarely shoot anything but 7.62x39 and 7.62x54R with occasional 9mm and 8mm Mauser, and 0.22 with my son. It is purely a familiarity with SKS/AK and Моська (Russian slang for Mossin-Nagant) and lack of cleaning time which drives me into this choice. So, I NEVER fired a Swiss gun. I am ready for my punishment.


The GP 90/23 ammunition was also loaded in 1924. I only have the one 1923 date (12) but I have months 1 through 8 of 1924. I have heard that this was sort of a make work project for Solothorn who seems to have made all of it. Has anyone else heard that?


Phil: I’m not surprised they’re mostly dated 1924 & that’s what I get for doing this off the top of my head–probably my specimen is one of the 24 dated rounds too. Yes, I’ve heard this was make work too. It would be interesting to read a full history of this operation, including its ties to firms outside Switzerland. Jack


Were any machine guns made in this calibre? Believe it or not, I could also own one of them in the UK as long as it was made before 1939 and is chambered for an obsolete cartridge such as the 7.5 x 53.5 Swiss.


Just as long as you don’t have a single round of live ammo for it…