The Swiss Federal Schützenfest (Shooting Party) 2010

Every five years the Swiss get together for a month long shooting competition / party. This year the Eidgenössische (Federal) Schützenfest was held in the city of Aarau. There were 2300 teams made up over over 45,000 individual shooters!

Swiss reader Laurent, who competed in the event this year, explained …

The infrastructure is mainly provided by Army and they were very friendly. This year the competition was held in Aarau (about 25 miles from Zuerich), with four shooting location, Rupperswil (the main one, with 120 shooting lines), Buchs, Suhr and Linsburg. You can shoot with anything that is or was army issued (“Schmidt-Rubin” Mousqueton 11 or 31, FASS57 or FASS90 for rifles at 300 meters, and swiss Luger, SIG P210, SIG-Sauer P22x, SIGPro, Glocks in 9 x 19 and Sphinx for pistols at 25 meters).

Main Entrance
Beer advertisement featuring a gun!
Gun control Swiss style: a yellow sticker
Locker room with assault rifles
McDonalds advertisment featuring targets
Main shooting hall with 120 lanes.
Targets at 300 meters

I have to say that I love the Swiss! Schützenfest is high on my list of things to see before I die.

[ Many thanks to Laurent for sending me the photos. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • CinSC

    Beautiful! It’s great to see the beer and burger gun ads – now that’s healthy gun culture!

  • Jesse

    I’m planning on going back to Oktoberfest in 2011 but now I’m seriously beginning to reconsider and go Switzerland for this. I’ll bring my K31.

  • MrMaigo

    Guns! Brought to you buy Beer and McDonald’s

  • Sir Loin

    That’s the way it should be. They’ve got their minds right.

  • Don

    That is a thing of beauty. There is no reason to fear “guns”.


  • SpudGun

    But how can the Swiss Army find the time to organize such an impressive shooting fest, what with guarding the Pope…and…er?

    Only joking, it looks really great and I am a big fan of Sphinx pistols, plus I met some Swissers on vacation once and yes, they did yodel when they were drunk.

  • JM

    That event is a thing of beauty.

  • I wish I could attend with my K31.

  • Vitor

    Most effective way of defending a country, better than any big carries, F-22s and such for self defense. And much cheaper too.

  • Lance

    Steve buy thtickets for all of us and well bring the guns LETS PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tony Chow

    How easy would it be for a foreigner to participate in this event?

  • Juan

    This gives me a boner.

  • DCanoe

    what does the yellow sticker on the Glock say?
    you’d think mcdonalds and guns would be an American thing :p
    but of course people would get their panties in a knot over it here.

  • Zach

    Shooting festival sponsored in part by Beer…I approve.

  • Zulu

    Every time my enthusiasm to visit Switzerland cools you find a way to stoke it again, Steve.

  • I want to see those McDonalds ads here in the US!

  • A.g.


    “Armeewettkampf” means : “Army challenge” or “Army contest”

  • John C

    Ha- those ads are great!

  • Big Daddy

    I don’t understand why we cannot do that in the USA. What’s the big deal? There are some places that have those kinds of get togethers but not were I live. There should be more things like this all over the USA and let the criminals know that maybe the next house they break into the person has a 20 gauge/AR-15/AK-47 pointed right at them.

    Someone once said the difference between the USA and France was that the French government is afraid of their population and the American population is afraid of their government.

    Our founding fathers were a lot smarter than people think. They had the foresight and thought to protect the citizens from the government.

  • SmilinBandit

    The yellow sticker on the glock says something like (from top to bottom)

    Swiss shooting festival region Aarau
    Aarau 2010
    the dates when its held and at the bottom
    Army competition

  • treefroggy

    I noticed that on the first picture there is an advert for Ohrensause (tinitus)
    help. Is this before or after ? Or maybe a warning ?

  • Mountainbear

    Switzerland is the only country in Europe with such a culture. And Finland too, or at least was. The rest has been disarmed by the political “elite” (take the UK, massive anti-gun laws, yet cops there get shot on a regular basis, hmmmmmm… but that’s for a different time.)

    Swiss soldiers used to get their assault rifle plus 50 rounds of ammo (I think it was 50, correct me if I’m wrong), for at home. The 50 rounds were for the worst case scenario. Should war break out, the soldier had already 50 rounds at home and could fight his way to the gathering points.

    Then one idiot shot someone. One guy. Just one out of thousands of soldiers who had been issued exactly that same package for decades, and quickly the politicians whined and the 50 rounds were removed. They still get the assault rifle.

    Switzerland is really the only country that does that.

    Why do you think Switzerland never had a king or an emperor or a Führer?

    Sure, once they were ruled by us Austrians, but you know what they did? They kicked us out. Peasants with pitchforks smacked down the knights in shining armor. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

    I love the Swiss.

  • Jim

    Can’t the Swiss just /buy/ more ammo? Or is that strictly restricted too?

  • Airrider

    It’s on my list too. Mine too.

  • Mike M.

    See? I want to go and compete in the thing. I’ve got a P210 in the vault.

  • B Woodman

    I’m grinning — I’m smiling — inside and out, my head’s about ready to fall off. A thing of beauty and a joy forever.

    GO SWISS!!