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Privatization markings on Swiss rifles (22.08.2020)


A Swiss soldier had "his own" rifle. The rifle was and is permanently assigned and he takes the rifle home during the period of service, which in former times lasted until the age of 50 and older (today still until shortly after 30). After the end of the period of service, the conscript was allowed to take the rifle into his property free of charge, which is called privatization here.
A soldier could also be equipped with several rifles in a row; in Landsturm, the last phase of service, older models were often assigned. With the era of Assault Rifle 57 the assault rifle was taken back at the end of the service and instead a Modell 1931 Carbine was given to the soldier as property. In the era of the Assault Rifle 90, privatized Assault Rifle 57 were handed over at the beginning.

With the transfer of the rifle into the ownership of the former soldier, the privatization mark was made stamped into the rifle. Until 1964 the letter "P" and the year of privatization (two digits) were stamped on the system housing. After 1964 only the letter "P" was stamped. On the Modell 1931 Carbine the letter "P" was stamped on the barrel root.
Privatized Assault Rifle 57 and Assault Rifle 90 have the serial fire capability deactivated during privatization. The parts necessary for full auto and burst firing were removed from the lower receiver and any existing attachment points (axles) were cut out. The control curve of the bolt was also milled off.

Of all Swiss army rifles there were also models that were produced for the private market. Many private shooters bought such rifles. These rifles have the letter "P" as part of the weapon number. Also the serial numbers are in a different number range than the army guns. Therefore, in the case of private weapons, the "P" is found directly before the weapon number and is part of the weapon number. See pictures of private weapons.


Privatization marks

The privatization marks have changed over time. Roughly the following markings can be distinguished:

Letter "P" over year (with or without dividing line):
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Letter "P" in front of the year (separated with or without a dot):
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Letter "P" without year (usually without dot, but also with), used after 1964:
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Difference between privatization and refurbishment markings

Often the privatization marks are mixed with the refurbishment marks. The refurbishment markings on the rifles (except the Modell 1931 Carbine) are always right below the serial number of the bolt housing and are cleanly engraved. In the pictures below you can find several examples. The refurbishment marks are described in more detail in this article: Refurbishment markings on Swiss rifles


Privatization marks on Modell 1889 Infantry Rifle

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Modell 1889 Infantry Rifle, #7780, privatized in 1933, marking "P 11".Modell 1889 Infantry Rifle, #194945, privatized in 1919, marking "P" over "19".Modell 1889 Infantry Rifle, #38369, privatized in 1919, marking "P." over "19".Modell 1889 Infantry Rifle, #158761, privatized in 1922, marking "P." over "22".
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Modell 1889 Infantry Rifle, #3710, privatized in 1925, marking "P." over "25".Modell 1889 Infantry Rifle, #175680, privatized in 1933, marking "P 33".


Privatization marks on Modell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle

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Modell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle, #298775, privatized in 1936, marking "P" over "36".Modell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle, #281446, privatized in 1936, marking "P 36". This rifle has been refurbished in 1906 (marking ". 6" below the serial number).Modell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle, #349281, privatized in 1937, marking "P 37".Modell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle, #335533, privatized in 1952, marking "P 52".
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Modell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle, #258877, privatized in 1954, marking "P 54". This rifle has been refurbished in 1904 (marking ". 4" below the serial number).Modell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle, #258403, privatized in 1954, marking "P 54". This rifle has been refurbished in 1909 (marking ". 9" below the serial number).Modell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle, #281385, privatized in 1955, marking "P 55". This rifle has been refurbished in 1908 (marking ". 8" below the serial number).Modell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle, #303518, privatized in 1957, marking "P.57". This rifle has been refurbished in 1909 (marking ". 9" below the serial number).
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Modell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle, #336370, privatized in 1957, Markierung "P 57".Modell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle, #270915, privatized in 1963, Markierung "P 63". This rifle has been refurbished in 1910 (marking ". 10" below the serial number).Modell 1896/11 Infantry Rifle, #242330, privatized after 1964, marking "P" without year.


Privatization marks on Modell 1911 Infantry Rifle

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Modell 1911 Infantry Rifle, #349106, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year.Modell 1911 Infantry Rifle, #354826, privatized in 1953, mark "P. 54".Modell 1911 Infantry Rifle, #396850, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year. This rifle has been refurbished in 1926 (marking "N26" below the serial number). The privatization mark is very closely stamped; however, the two different types of markings are clearly visible.Modell 1911 Infantry Rifle, #398654, privatized 1959, mark "P 59". This rifle has been refurbished in 1930 (marking "30" below the serial number).
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Modell 1911 Infantry Rifle, #415268, privatized after 1964, mark "P." without year. This rifle has been refurbished in 1926 (marking "WF26" below the serial number).Modell 1911 Infantry Rifle, #426964, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year.Modell 1911 Infantry Rifle, #452884, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year.Modell 1911 Infantry Rifle, #457120, privatized in 1958, mark "P.58".


Privatization marks on Modell 00/11 Carbine

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Modell 00/11 Carbine, #98, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year.Modell 00/11 Carbine, #3978, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year. This rifle has been refurbished in 1934 (marking "34" below the serial number).Modell 00/11 Carbine, #7701, privatized in 1960, mark "P 60". This rifle has been refurbished in 1938 (marking "38" below the serial number). The privatization mark is unattractively stamped above the repair mark.Modell 00/11 Carbine, #10211, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year.
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Modell 00/11 Carbine, #21740, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year. This rifle has been refurbished in 1936 (marking "36" below the serial number).Modell 00/11 Carbine, #22696, privatized after 1964, mark "P." without year.Modell 00/11 Carbine, #23238, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year.


privatization marks on Modell 1911 Carbine

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Modell 1911 Carbine, #31478, privatized in 1964, mark "P.64". This rifle has been refurbished in 1934 (marking "34" below the serial number).Modell 1911 Carbine, #107856, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year.Modell 1911 Carbine, #109421, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year. This rifle has been refurbished in 936 (marking "36" below the serial number).Modell 1911 Carbine, #111570, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year.
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Modell 1911 Carbine, #119145, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year. This rifle has been refurbished in 1937 (marking "37" below the serial number).Modell 1911 Carbine, #145392, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year.Modell 1911 Carbine, #162870, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year.Modell 1911 Carbine, #169828, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year.
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Modell 1911 Carbine, #172725, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year.Modell 1911 Carbine, #209535, privatized after 1964, mark "P" without year.


privatization marks on Modell 1931 Carbine

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Modell 1931 Carbine, privatized after 1964, mark "P".Modell 1931 Carbine, privatized after 1964, mark "P".Modell 1931 Carbine, privatized after 1964, mark "P".Modell 1931 Carbine, privatized after 1964, mark "P".
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Modell 1931 Carbine, privatized after 1964, mark "P".Modell 1931 Carbine, privatized after 1964, mark "P".Modell 1931 Carbine, privatized after 1964, mark "P".


privatization marks on Assault Rifle 57

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Assault Rifle 57, # A826544, privatized, mark "P" on the lock housing. This rifle has been refurbished in 1990 (marking "90" on the system housing).Assault Rifle 57, # A826544, privatized, mark "P" on the trigger housing.Assault Rifle 57, # A826544, privatized, mark "P" on the trigger housing.


privatization markers on Assault Rifle 90

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Assault Rifle 90, # A 2080042, privatized, mark "P" behind the full weapon number (upper receiver).Assault Rifle 90, # A 2080042, privatized, mark "P" behind the full weapon number (upper receiver).




Private rifles, serial number from the private series


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