(15.12.2018)

Refurbishment markings on Swiss rifles

Swiss rifles were the personal weapon of each soldier. This means that every soldier had a rifle registered with him and every soldier kept his rifle at home. Normally, at the end of his service, this rifle became private property of the soldier.

There were situations in which soldiers received another weapon during active duty service. Here some examples:
- The soldier became an officer and was only equipped with a handgun (eg revolver or pistol)
- The soldier was divided into another category (i.e. Landsturm), in which, for logistical reasons older weapons (eg Modell 1911 Infantry Rifle, Modell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle) were used
- The units have been equipped with newer rifles and the old rifles have been rearsenaled and then issued to other units
- The soldier had finished his service, but received an older weapon (eg Modell 1911 Infantry Rifle, Modell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle) as rivate property, because the newer weapon (eg Modell 1931 Carbine) will be kept for logistical reasons.
- etc.

In cases where a weapon was re-used and has been issued to another soldier, it had to be ensured that the weapon was again like "new". For this reason, these rifles were refurbushed in Swiss arsenals and/or Waffenfabrik Bern (W+F). Aftereards the weapon was like new. New barrels were mounted, defective parts replaced, the stock was replaced, all parts have been newly blued.

The refurbishment has been marked differently on the rifles. On straight-pull until (and including) model 1911 roughly four different markings can be found:
- Point year (example: .7 standing for 1907) below the receiver serial number
- Two digit year (example: 22 standing for 1922) below the receiver serial number
- Letter N and two digit year (example: N26 standing for 1926) below the receiver serial number. N means "Neuinstandgestellt" = refurbished
- Letter L and two digit year (example: L26 standing for 1926) below the receiver serial number. It is unclear what "L" stands for
- Letters WF and two digit year (example: WF26 standing for 1926) below the receiver serial number. "WF" stands for "Waffenfabrik Bern".

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Modell 1889 Infantry Rifle, refurbished in 1907Modell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle, refurbished in 1904. In the year of 1904 this rifle was an Modell 1889/96 Infantry RifleModell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle, refurbished in 1906. In the year of 1906 this rifle was an Modell 1889/96 Infantry RifleModell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle, refurbished in 1908. In the year of 1908 this rifle was an Modell 1889/96 Infantry RifleModell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle, refurbished in 1910. In the year of 1910 this rifle was an Modell 1889/96 Infantry Rifle
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Modell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle, refurbished in 1909. In the year of 1909 this rifle was an Modell 1889/96 Infantry RifleModell 1911 Infantry Rifle, refurbished in 1926, marking 26 with prefix "N"Modell 1911 Infantry Rifle, refurbished in 1926, marking 26 with prefix "WF"Modell 1911 Infantry Rifle, refurbished in 1930Modell 1911 Infantry Rifle, refurbished in 1926, marking 26 with prefix "L"
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Modell 00/11 Carbine, refurbished in 1934Modell 00/11 Carbine, refurbished in 1922Modell 00/11 Carbine, refurbished in 1936Modell 00/11 Carbine, refurbished in 1936Modell 00/11 Carbine, refurbished in 1938
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Modell 1911 Carbine, refurbished in 1934Modell 1911 Carbine, refurbished in 1936Modell 1911 Carbine, refurbished in 1937


On the Modell 1931 Carbine , the refurbishment position was marked on the extension of the receiver (receiver tang); most times on the upper side, but sometimes also on the side facing down towards the stock. Three variants exist:
- Abbreviation of the arsenal, which refurbished the rifle (eg "BE" for Bern, "FR" for Fribourg, etc.)
- two digit year (eg 54)
- Swiss cross for further refurbishments

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Modell 1931 Carbine, refurbished by arsenal (Zeughaus) Aarau (marking "AG" on the bottom side of the receiver tang)Modell 1931 Carbine, refurbished 1954Modell 1931 Carbine, refurbished 1955, Swiss cross for further refurbishmentModell 1931 Carbine, refurbished by arsenal (Zeughaus) Zürich (marking "ZH")Modell 1931 Carbine, refurbished by arsenal (Zeughaus) Bern (marking "BE")
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Modell 1931 Carbine, refurbished by arsenal (Zeughaus) Fribourg (marking "FR")