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Old June 9, 2020, 01:16 AM   #1
Polinese
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1903a4 scopes.

From what I understand the Lyman Alaskan was designated the m73 scope but when they couldn't get any they went with the Weaver 330 as the m73b correct?

Later the Lyman became the m82. Were any Lyman scopes used on the 1903a4 sniper rifles during ww2? If so does anyone have information on when they would have become available?
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Old June 11, 2020, 09:28 PM   #2
HiBC
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I'm not a museum curator,but this is close.

The 1903A4 went to war with the Weaver 330.

Later in the war,the Lyman Alaskan was recognised as a better scope.

It was going to replace the Weaver 330. A substantial order for Lyman Alaskans was put in.IIRC,it was MAYBE 3XXX .

So,on paper,the Lyman Alaskan achieved being an accepted 1903A4 scope.

But the war was ending,the need was going away,and the order was canceled.

Once again,I'm not an expert,this could be partly wrong,But the M1D was destined to be the next gen sniper rifle.

It seems to me the basic Alaskan design was retained,but it was "militarized"
with a sunshade,eye cup,and turret covers.
I believe the contract did not go to Lyman,but another outfit that had "Ford" in the company name.
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Old November 26, 2021, 01:10 PM   #3
Randy A
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I know this is an old post but just saw it. The OP is correct, the 1903a4 program original intent was to use the M73 Lyman Alaskan. Bausch and Lomb was the glass producer for Lyman and the holdup, they were all contracted up and Lyman couldn’t meet the production numbers because of it. Early test models had the Lyman’s and that is why the tail of the redfield jr base had to be stepped and beveled. With the scope foreword mounted (turrets in front of the front ring) the ocular lock ring and ocular bell hit the base. So the bases were stepped and beveled so that the ocular and lock nut were able to be up to the rear ring if needed.

The Weaver 330C was a last minute substitute and resulted in Weaver contacting retailers to send back any scopes in stock to fill the contract. Also the substitute suffix of B1 was tagged onto the noumenclature, hence M73B1, which itself identifies it as a substitute. Also, with the M73B1 there is no reason for the tail of the scope base to be stepped and beveled.

Anyhow, ordnance directives specified to use the M73B1 if stock was available, if not, they were to use the (now available) M81,82 or even 84. All this being said, the 330/M73B1 was “not” the preferred scope and was not a very good scope either. They were notorious for getting moisture in them, fogging and then getting black mold specs inside. Quite a number were sent in for repairs. Purely my own speculation but I believe that M81s and M82s were very likely seen on an A4 before the end of WWII, a number of people say Korea, but I suspect a few prior to that.
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Old November 27, 2021, 08:44 AM   #4
4V50 Gary
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Randy_A is correct. B&L was the lens supplier to both Weaver and Lyman. On top of that, the need for binoculars, bombsights, optics for tanks, ships had higher priority than rifle scopes. Even Weaver could not supply scopes as fast as Remington could make rifles. Remington at times had unscoped rifles which they could not deliver to the army because there were no scopes for them. That meant inventory that Remington didn't want.

All this is discussed in my book on WW2 sniping (to be releaased in 2022). BTW, about 100 Lymans went to Canada and were mounted on the No. 4 Mk I (T).

I'm fortunate to have both a Weaver 330 and Lyman Alaskan.
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Old November 29, 2021, 06:20 PM   #5
Polinese
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Thanks for the additional info guys! So whenever I get around to building my WW2 1903a4 clone a lyman scope would be perfectly correct, even if it was a rare sight (pun intended)
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Old November 30, 2021, 12:41 PM   #6
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Correct! I found a Lyman Alaskan in the box for my 1903A4 clone.

IMO,its a nice scope! Post and crosshair. I developed an appreciation for old Lyman scopes.

I intend no disrespect for the honest and correct Weaver 330 scope, but its not far off the older 3/4 tube mediocre .22 scopes I used as a kid.

The Lyman Alaskan is a definite step up,and there is documentation its a legit 1903A4 scope.
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Old December 4, 2021, 10:01 PM   #7
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@HiBC - picture of original Lyman Alaskan box please?

I got my Alaskan when I bought a sporterized 03. The owner told me that her father was at Springfield Armory when he ordered it and they sporterized it for him. It had a G&H QD scope mount for it with the Alaskan. Detaching it allowed for a Redfield 48 rear aperture sight installed. The front sight blade was left "loose" so it could be sold for a mere $15! I have the paperwork from CMP and when I contacted the National Park at Springfield and they confirmed his presence as well as the dates he was there and the house he lived in.
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Old December 5, 2021, 06:30 PM   #8
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Sorry to say I don't think I preserved the box.
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Old December 10, 2021, 04:18 PM   #9
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Oh the noes.

I had the box my scope came in and author Peter Senich wanted an image which I provided. When he died, his wife threw away enough material for three books! She should have asked a writer to finish them and gotten something ($$$) for her husband's work.
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