RN 7.5x55 - late dates?


#1

OK, fully admitting my ignorance here . . . .

According to Huon, the Swiss adopted the spitzer type bullet in the 7.5x55 as their standard load in 1911 - oddly enough as the M1911. Why then, as per sksvlad’s previous ID question and specimens I have at hand, were they still producing this in the M1890-style round nose loadings in 1924-5 (based on the specimens mentioned)? Was this to provide ammunition for the M1889 rifles which - and I’m guessing here - were still in the closets of the older citizen-soldiers? Or am I - quite likely - missing something here?

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#2

I am again out of my element here, but will try to shed some light on these rounds, 7.5 x 55 Swiss cartridges made in the 1920s (and perhaps later) with round-nose bullets, even though in 1911 a Spitzer bullet was adopted. As Teak suggested, Model 1889 series Schmidt Rubin rifles were in service at various levels after 1911, but were not suitable for use with the GP1911 ammunition (GP=Gewehr Patrone=Rifle Cartridge). The original GP90 cartridge was upgraded in 1903, but then again in 1923 (the GP90/23). The GP90/23 reduced the bullet weight from 211 grains to 190 grains, did away with the paper patch, replaced the steel-capped lead bullet with a FMJ lead-cored bullet, but still ROUND NOSE, and increased the velocity from 1980fps to 2050fps. For comparison, ballistics of the GP11 cartridge, with spitzer bullet, are published as a 174 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of 2560fps. An article by Heinrich F. Grieder in “The American Rifleman,” February 1956, pp 37-38, chronicles the changes in ammunition, and indicates that at the time of the article, the GP90/23 was still available from Swiss Arsenals in limited quantities, and that this was the ammunition that should be used in Model 1889 rifles. Grieder was a reserve officer of the Swiss Army, and at the time, the American representative for two Swiss arms manufacturers in the U.S.

Some information of the same ilk can be found in “Boletin de la A.A.C.A.M.” (Asociasion Argentina Coleccionistas de Armas y Municiones) No. 60, June 1980. Oddly, the GP90/23 is largely ignored in a German language book on Swiss arms and ammunition, and in other Swiss materials this collector has in his library.

I hope this is of some help. The information is from scholarly sources, but it would be nice to get confirmation or additions and corrections from a Swiss source, or an advanced collector of Swiss ammunition.


#3

John, for someone who professes to be “out of {your} element,” you sure could fool me. In all seriousness, I certainly hope your voluminous reference material is in flame-proof file cabinets and will be preserved for the future as well.

Thank you again for the informative and detailed reply!

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#4

Perhaps this side from our Swiss collectors helps a little.

ch-munition.ch/gewehrpatrone11/gp11frame.htm

Rgds,
Dutch


#5

Dutch - unfortunately, my German isn’t good enough to get a whole lot out of this. It is a shame that it can’t seem to be printed out. It is too difficult to sit at a screen and try to use a dictionary to fill in the blanks left by my poor knowledge of German. The picture of the 09/23 bullet seems to bear out the information I had, however. I couldn’t see much, reading “between the lines” that added to the story. Still, every little bit helps. The bullet pictures were most useful.


#6

Dutch, even more than John, my German language skills are “challenged” (virtually non-existent), but I thank you very much for the link. I also backed out to the main site and bookmarked it - I can easily envisage using it for many reasons.

Thank you!!

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#7

Go to Babelfish at

world.altavista.com/babelfish/tr

and enter

www.ch-munition.ch/gewehrpatrone11/gp11frame.htp

To tranlate the text into English. There are a few technical words not translated but they are for the most part easy to figure out with a background in ammunition.