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Old September 6, 2014, 10:35 PM   #1
UncleGrumpy
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What brand scopes were around in the 50's?

Hi,

I have a 1949 Winchester Model 70. I want to put a scope on it, but try to keep it period correct. Does anyone remember what brand / model scopes were popular in the late 40's early 50's ?

Cheers
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Old September 6, 2014, 10:37 PM   #2
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http://thefiringline.com/forums/arch...?t-432850.html

Here you go, hope this helps!
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Old September 6, 2014, 11:05 PM   #3
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You can add Redfield and Bausch & Lomb. The B&L scopes had no internal adjustments, so B&L made a special mount that had the adjustments in the mount. Given the often fragile nature of internally adjustable scopes, the B&L idea was not a bad one, and their scopes had a good reputation for being rugged as well as of extremely high optical quality.

I know that it sounds unbelievable today, but at that time, almost all the rifle scopes (and other optical goods) sold in the U.S. were actually made here! German optics were usually considered better, but as noted above, Germany was still getting back on its feet in 1950. By the end of that period, some Japanese scopes were coming in, but they were not high quality, though they were cheap. Tasco was the most common brand name, though there were others.

Jim
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Old September 7, 2014, 09:15 AM   #4
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Unertl started producing scopes in the United States in 1934.
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Old September 7, 2014, 09:23 AM   #5
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Redfield...period would be a Weaver post 4X. The weaver was on a bunch of 50's M70 that I have bought.
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Old September 7, 2014, 09:57 AM   #6
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Stith Bear Cub, 4X and 6X. Litschert.
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Old September 7, 2014, 10:38 AM   #7
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One scope that was fairly popular back in its day, but almost unheard of now is the Norman-Ford Texan, another 7/8 inch tube job. Very high quality, looks much like a Lyman Alaskan, but about half the price now, if you can find one.
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Old September 7, 2014, 10:55 AM   #8
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A 1940's version of the pre-64 Winchester just screams El Paso Weaver K-4.

In 30-06 I believe that was selected as the Alaska State Gun.
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Old September 7, 2014, 11:56 AM   #9
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My Grandads m99 300 savage was topped with a weaver 4x post. Had it refurbished a while back - just like new...

One of these days I will get the two reunited!
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Old September 7, 2014, 02:37 PM   #10
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Most hunting and target scopes were by Lyman of Middlefield, CT.

They made the Supertargetspot which we used on our M52's for gallery and my first hunting scope is the Wolverine which I still have from 1953.

Some had the Kollmorgan Bear Cub scopes made near Deerfield, MA.
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Old September 7, 2014, 06:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Stith Bear Cub, 4X and 6X. Litschert.
Where's my google translator? What language are you speaking?
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Old September 7, 2014, 07:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraigwy
A 1940's version of the pre-64 Winchester just screams El Paso Weaver K-4.
Bingo - give kraigwy a cigar!


...bug
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Old September 7, 2014, 09:43 PM   #13
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Nobody in New England put a weeber on a Winchester M70! LOL

Were talking a pre-64 M70 Winchester rifle here and not cheap stuff.

They put Lymans or B&L's on them. Some used Zeiss but not weeeeber.

LOL
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Old September 7, 2014, 11:19 PM   #14
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weebeer????? Cheap??? Really?
In the 1950's Weavers were very popular for African dangerous game rifles.
An El Paso Weaver was rugged & dependable.
Some years ago I lucked out & bought an El Paso Weaver fixed 4X and put it on my 1895 Marlin. ( $ 80.00 bucks new, sealed in the box, at auction )
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Old September 7, 2014, 11:28 PM   #15
Savage99
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Here in CT we made rifles and scopes. The Weaver was the least expensive scope in that day.

We used Lyman, B&L, Zeiss, Hensoldt, Unertl and Bear Cub.
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Old September 8, 2014, 12:23 AM   #16
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I'll suggest the folks who have first hand knowledge of what scope went on a 1949 M-70 are fading with our Greatest Generation.

My impression of the time,which could be wrong:Back east big game hunting was typically in the woods with iron sights.
The scoped rifle passion was about woodchucks and crows.The ultimate varmint rifle!And the Lymans,Unertls,etc.external adj target scopes.

But as you headed West to Mule Deer,Elk,Pronghorn,Sheep,etc,a bolt .270 or 30-06 set up with a Weaver K-4 was pretty standard.

It would darn sure be a representative correct scope for the time.They are easy to come by,and you can get them serviced.

Looking on E-bay,you can find old Unertl hawks and Falcons,but I don't recall seeing rifles with them installed.There are Lyman All-Americans .
I have an Alaskan and an 8x All American.I like them.

If I'm not mistaken,Kohlmorgen may have become Redfield in some way.I only say that because the scopes look so similar.

I think maybe what shows up on e-bay is also an indicator of what was selected,and what survived.Unless,of course,its NIB or nearly so.

Last edited by HiBC; September 8, 2014 at 12:31 AM.
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Old September 8, 2014, 12:56 AM   #17
UncleGrumpy
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Thanks to all, for the help. I now know what to look for.

The rifle belonged to dad, it is in .270 Weatherby Magnum and is a genuine weatherby modified rifle hence my desire to keep it period correct. I have the beuler mounts fitted but no scope.

Fully tightened up I measure the inside at 0.98" diameter. Would this be for a 1" or 7/8" tube?

Cheers
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Old September 8, 2014, 01:49 AM   #18
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Old September 8, 2014, 08:33 AM   #19
Art Eatman
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0.98? One inch tube.

Weavers may have been inexpensive, but they darned sure were not cheaply built. I put a K2.5 on my '06 around 1951 or 1952. My gunsmith uncle used a K10 on his Gebby-barrel Varminter that he built in the late 1940s.

Had to laugh: Bausch & Lomb advertised that their scopes were so rugged that you could use one to drive a nail. My uncle ordered one for a customer. He took it out of the box, looked through it, and saw that the crosshairs were ess-shaped and way off-center. B&L's might have been strong, but the USPS was stronger.
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Old September 8, 2014, 08:52 AM   #20
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I know you'd like to keep it "period correct" for sentimental reasons but doing so would place you at a tremendous handicap when shooting. Even the low priced scopes of today are superior to pretty much anything available during that period.
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Old September 8, 2014, 09:53 AM   #21
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Lyman Alaskan or All American would be good choices.

Weaver (the old ones, period correct) would be fine, too.

Quote:
"period correct" for sentimental reasons but doing so would place you at a tremendous handicap when shooting.
While true, to a point, I say, "So what?"

Vintage rifles with vintage scopes may not shoot as well (or allow you to shoot well as easily) as modern stuff, but they do shoot as well as the ever did.

And that's the point here.
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Old September 8, 2014, 12:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
tremendous handicap when shooting
Yes, I heard the OP express his desire to shoot long range with his 4x scope too...
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Old September 8, 2014, 03:49 PM   #23
HiBC
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In 1949 a 1 MOA rifle was a rare and treasured thing.Today it is an expectation. 1 1/2 to 2+ moa was a more reasonable expectation for the rifles and ammo of the time.

Bullets were more often flat based.BC's were typically lower,and likely few knew what BC was about.

Almost no one owned a chronograph.There were no ballistic softwares.The Gun Digest or Shooters Bible tables for factory ammo were about the best we had.

Rangefinding was guessing how many football fields.Wind? Wet finger.

400 yds was ,and still is,a very long shot.

A general guideline,1x per 100 yd is plenty for shot placement on big game.

Don't forget,some folks still do it with iron.

The 2 1/2 x Lyman Alaskan on the 1903A4 copy I built was no handicap to take last years pronghorn at 300 yds.

For the practical ranges based on trajectory and a typical skilled hunter,4x was enough magnification while still being useful at closer range.

Still,today,a fixed 4 x is a great choice,its just often overlooked.I notice most ACOGs are 4x or less.

I have a fixed 6x on one of my hunting rifles,and it is more than enough magnification for any pronghorn shot I would take.

I do not feel any need for more power on a big game rifle,today in 2014.

Last edited by HiBC; September 8, 2014 at 04:07 PM.
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Old September 8, 2014, 04:17 PM   #24
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What about a nice Weaver 2-1/2x with post? IIRC the top of the post covers 4" at 100yds. Notice the small diameter eye-piece & unprotected adjustment knobs.



I was born in 1951 so that is a little before my time but I used a lot of those older scopes in my teens. This is my dad's deer rifle that I inherited. I do remember him talking about the Lyman Alaskan as THE scope to have but cost wise it was just a dream. One thing I do remember about the old Weavers though, you'd adjust them, tap them, shoot a time or two & then the reticle would move. But once zeroed, they stayed zeroed! LOL

..bug
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Old September 8, 2014, 04:49 PM   #25
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I'll agree,my experience with the old Weaver sight in could be frustrating.I learned to take the backlash out like using machine tool dials,bump the butt,and I still might use a lot of ammo!!I suspect milsurp receiver bridges ,and base and ring quality issues may have created ring alignment problems.Who lapped,or even checked,back then?

I can say,dragging an elk,rifle slung,I once had my feet go out from under me and my Weaver K-4 got bashed hard.The steel tube had a dent in it.I knew I had to check zero.I fired one round at a spot on an old snag and it was still good.

Literature for the Alaskan said the post tip was 4 in.Center to edge,or 2 MOA,is a useful wind ref.

I agree,the 2 1/2 to 3 x scopes were compact and practical.

His cartridge suggested 4x to me.

Some to be said for the Lyman All American all weather o-ring sealed turret caps.

Last edited by HiBC; September 8, 2014 at 04:55 PM.
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