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Schmidt–Rubin 1889



The Swiss Infanterie Repetier Gewehr M1889, or the Infantry Repeating Rifle Model 1889, along with its M90 7.5 x 53.5mm smokeless powder cartridge, marked Switzerland's transition from the black powder era. This rifle, although introduced in 1889, didn't reach the troops until 1891. It featured an innovative straight-pull, bolt-action system, a 12-shot detachable magazine with a cut-off for single loading, and could be fully loaded in a mere three seconds using disposable resin-coated cardboard charger clips. The deeply crowned muzzle and full-length stock were meticulously designed to minimize barrel deflection and damage.

Designed by Colonel Rudolf Schmidt and utilizing Major Eduard Rubin's smallbore metal-jacketed bullet cartridges, the M1889 was a product of Swiss ingenuity. By 1890, the Swiss had settled on Rubin's 7.5 x 53.5mm cartridge, the Gewehrpatrone 1890 (GP90). This round fired a 211-grain round-nosed, steel-capped, lead bullet, combining elements of both the old and new eras of firearms technology.

The M1889 rifle's 31.7" barrel delivered a respectable muzzle velocity of 1,970 fps, significantly improving effective range compared to its black-powder predecessors. However, its unique rear-mounted locking lugs in the unusually long bolt presented an inherent weakness. This design flaw would later prove challenging to upgrade for higher pressure ammunition.

Despite its limitations, the M1889 played a pivotal role in Swiss military history. Later models, such as the M1889/96, saw significant improvements, ultimately replacing the original M1889 in active duty. 

Origin: Switzerland
Manufactured: 1889-1953
Manufacturer: Waffenfabrik Bern

Type: Semi-Automatic Carbine

Caliber: 7.5x53.5 Swiss
Barrel Length: 780mm (31
Action: Straight Pull, Bolt-Action

Magazine Capacity: 12 Detachable Box Magazine


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