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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the search for what scopes the 03A4 had on it after WWII.
Sounds easy right ? Not so fast, you pursue this and you get opinions
and you get "What CMP allows". You get answers about what WWII
03A4 had on them. .. yeah but that ain't my question. I want to know
what scopes the A4 was issued with during Korean War..nothing more.

For instance: The Kollmorgen Bear Cub scope. It was used on some M1 sniper
rifles in Korean War I am told but is not legal for CMP competition. Okay...was
it used on the A4 rifles in Korean War ...and who are the sources for that fact ?

If anyone has references and can share some knowledge , pls post . I want to
create a "Historically Correct example / reproduction type Korean War era A4
using a Gibbs 03A4 repro as the basis of the project.

Not a WWII era but a Korean War era example rifle and please forget what CMP
allows out of it. Just historically correct for Korean War period.

Thundering Coyotes.....this project has really become a mega can of worms !!!!

I am reminded why I got a Molot PU sniper ...it was dead right for WWII,Korea and VN wars
and no BS, no errors and no alibi...no opinions , just historically correct for all those wars.
 

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I am in the search for what scopes the 03A4 had on it after WWII.
Sounds easy right ? Not so fast, you pursue this and you get opinions
and you get "What CMP allows". You get answers about what WWII
03A4 had on them. .. yeah but that ain't my question. I want to know
what scopes the A4 was issued with during Korean War..nothing more.

For instance: The Kollmorgen Bear Cub scope. It was used on some M1 sniper
rifles in Korean War I am told but is not legal for CMP competition. Okay...was
it used on the A4 rifles in Korean War ...and who are the sources for that fact ?

If anyone has references and can share some knowledge , pls post . I want to
create a "Historically Correct example / reproduction type Korean War era A4
using a Gibbs 03A4 repro as the basis of the project.

Not a WWII era but a Korean War era example rifle and please forget what CMP
allows out of it. Just historically correct for Korean War period.

Thundering Coyotes.....this project has really become a mega can of worms !!!!

I am reminded why I got a Molot PU sniper ...it was dead right for WWII,Korea and VN wars
and no BS, no errors and no alibi...no opinions , just historically correct for all those wars.
can of worms... Not sure you'll ever find out. It'll be fact vs. opinion.
 

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Mark...ya killing me .......hopefully there are pictures somewhere that will put eyes on the truth.
I'm looking for pics now. After a short search most of what I see, thanks to the excellent Navy Combat Photographers;), are Marines with the M1941 and Unertl scope. The M1c was also used by the Marines. I'm gonna look at Brophy's book next.
Can ya tell I'm Navy/Marine team biased?
 

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From what I know there were at least 8 different scopes used (maybe more ?) I have had the opportunity to talk to several Vets that transitioned from WW2 to Korea and some that served Korea to Vietnam and they all remember when you total it up to 8+ scopes. Weaver K4-60B to the 330c and Unertls of many flavors. Not to mention the bear cub and who knows what else?
 

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Hello Milprileb. I've seen some pictures of 03A4's with the M82 (Weaver 2.5X) and M84 (M1D) type scopes for Korea. The pictures were in Senich's Marine Scout sniper book. I was thinking of doing the same to my 03A4 for a Korea display.
 

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Reference: The Md. 1903 Springfield Rifle and Variations by Joe Poyer 4th edition.

Poyer says the Lyman manufactured Alaskan scope was used. Variations M73E1, M73B1,M81 and M82.

Poyer says a small number of 03A4's were equipped with the M84 sight and sent to Vietnam in the early conflict.
 

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For the M1903A4 Snipers Rifle:

M73 (Lyman Alaskan) - approved Dec 42 - not delivered before end of production - Remaining stock authorized for use on an "exhaust stock basis" 30 Oct 1956 ORD 8 SNL B-3
M73B1 Approved Dec 42 and remained principal A4 scope until the 1970's or later
M73B2 (French firm OPL) About 500 manufactured in Paris after liberation and used experimentally (extremely rare)
M81 (Lyman Alaskan with cross wire reticle, steel sunshade & rubber eyecup - Remaining stock authorized for use on an "exhaust stock basis" 30 Oct 1956 ORD 8 SNL B-3
M82 (Lyman Alaskan with tapered post reticle, steel sunshade & rubber eyecup -Remaining stock authorized for use on an "exhaust stock basis" 30 Oct 1956 ORD 8 SNL B-3
M84 Specifically identified as the approved alternated for the M73B1 - 30 Oct 1956 ORD 8 SNL B-3

Some commercial Weaver 330C's and 330 Scope-M.8's were used in very early deliveries but never items of issue.
36265 Lyman Alaskans were ordered with deliveries to commence in Sept 43 running to july 44. Only a relatively small number were delivered and those were used on M1C's.
Someone evidently lobbied the CMP hard and got them to approve the "Stith Kollmorgen 4XD in USMC format" (in other words the Telescope MC1) for this year's vintage sniper games. The only reference that I am aware of that suggests this scope was used on an M1903A4 is J.C. Harrison's "The Collectible '03'. Every other reference suggests the Kollmoregn scope was acquired by the Marines for use with their version of the M1C (MC 1952). Supposedly these were not fielded until 1954 and not used In the Korean War. So from my perspective using the Stith-Kollmorgen Bearcub or any Kollmorgen on the A4 is a very gray area.

The citations above referencing ORD 8 SNL B-3 are the earliest official documents i have been able to locate. Its possible some of these scopes were used in Korea. What i would find convincing would be combat photographs or other real documentation.
 

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M1903A4

Pictures of Mine.
 

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Great summation Jim. I had sent much of that data by email but your summation is so much better.

I would like to lump some of the scopes together for anyone who missed the details, but the M73, the M81, M82 and B prefix commercial Alaskans are all based on the commercial Alaskan and essentially the same except the commercials and ?M73, may be minus a sunshield and the the M82 will have a post reticule. Most Alaskans will have a crosshair.

Also, the M73b1, M73b2 and M8 are all based on the Weaver 330C. The M8 will have a post reticule.

Nice rifle Bill, especailly the wood.

It is still unclear to me if the CMP authorized the Bear Cub scope on the A4 or only the MC1 military version of the scope. I read a little on one forum, probably CMP, and it was a sore point with the M1C shooters as it appears that the commercial Bear Cub can not be used on an M1C or or MC1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Mike , why would CMP authorize a scope (Bear Cub) if it was never issued / used by military on A4 ?

If CMP grants any scope of 4x power, then its gamesmanship time and it s not a vintage military sniper match any more.

I just want to know what was issued and used (don't care what CMP likes or dislikes) on the A4 and keep the subject clearly on military issue/ MILITARY use.
 

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Have at least two interesting articles in American Rifleman from WWII. Seems a number of different commercial scopes and rifles made it over to the Pacific theatre. One was a first hand account of a Marine using his own hunting rifle to bag deer and Japs on New Caledonia.

If you really want the answer - it was "any" decent commercial scope available to the public at that time.

Now try and differentiate what was available then.
 

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Skip, Tom has a good point but for your purposes go by Jim's guidelines. You gotta have something that will pass muster at your range. I am not sure if the M84 was ready by 1953 so it may be out of the picture.

A bit of topic, but I noted that my old unit, 5th SFGA, got at least 2 more Nam CMHs today. That was 2 of the 3 living so awarded and I do not know the current total amoung those posthumously. In 1975, the 5th had the most CMHs given to a unit in US Army history yet is was extremely small by Army standards. Besides, John Wayne was in the 5th along with Jim Hutton.
 

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Mike, thanks for the comments. But just one minor point the M73B2 was not based on the Weaver 330C. It was designed and manufactured by the French firm Optique et Precision de Levalliois. It was designed to be mounted in special 3/4" rings designed to work with a modified Redfield Jr. mount. The scopes windage and elevation adjustments are controlled with annular rings similar to those used on the German Zf-41 and Swedish Aga. It is also an unusually heavy scope considering its overall size. The serial numbers on the M73B2's seem to have been sort of inserted into the same series used for the last of the M73b1's and the Lyman manufactured M81's and M82's. Wollensak manufactured M82's seem to have started over with a new series of s/n's.

regards,
Jim
 

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Milprileb, The USMC started looking hard at the Stith Bearcub in about 1950 to be used on the M1C as a replacement for the M1903A1 w 8x Unertl. Having made the decision to go with a semiauto rifle i find it hard to believe the USMC would have suddenly switched gears and started putting the Stith Kollmorgen Scopes on an A4. It would nice if the CMP decision process was a little more open.

Regards,
Jim
 

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Thanks Jim. I was unaware of that the French scope was that different. Very intersting.
Mike, if you can get a look at Phil Sharpe's "The Rifle in America" (1947 or later) he goes into the M73B2 in some detail. One of Peter Senich's US sniper books does as well. A couple of years back when the Bruce Stern Collection was up for auction an A4 with an M73B2 went for over $12,000.

Now CMP lists the M73B2 as an acceptible 'as issued' scope However, the rules are silent as to the acceptability of the straight M1903 snipers used in WW1 (i.e. straight,GG stocked rifles with Warner Swazey m1908 or m1913 scopes, or with Winchester A5 scopes). Not intending to go on a rant but the rules, starting with the USA and Germany, could use a rewrite.

JIm
 

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The CMP rules are all mixed up and unfair. They clearly favor US rifles IMO. They allow so many different scopes on the 1903 variants it is mind boggling, and some were not even close to have been issued, like the Weaver K2.5. There are so many reproduction scopes for the US rifles now too, so it makes it very stacked in favor of US rifles. There are Weaver 330, Lyman, Unertls and M84 replicas. Other Unertls with 8X or less power are also OK if they have the same tube size as the USMC Unertl. There are reproduction barrels sold by CMP. It is no coincidence that when ones looks at pictures of the National finals for Vintage sniper rifles, way over half are US rifles.

The Japanese snipers are at the biggest disadvantage IMO. Essentially no reproduction scopes are available and the scopes and mounts are one piece. The scopes are very expensive and very few collectors will shoot them once much less enough to compete. Since the Weaver K4 can be used on many of the German rifles and on the British rifles it makes no sense that they could not be used on the Japanese rifles using the simple mounts Don V. has made that will accept a set of Weaver rings. Having a wider variety of rifles on the line would make it more interesting IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Mike, I noted our guys got MOH and yes, the stats are 5th Special Forces Group have more MOH awarded than any other unit in history. That all said, the 3 that recently were awarded the MOH were DSC awardees. The thin line between a DSC and MOH is almost invisible. That a review saw it differently and MOH awarded, is more validation that the actions for valor were so close and a different set of eyes saw MOH over DSC. Nothing to do with minority , race etc being an issue.
We don't have such issues in SF but if Big Army does in award process, then maybe justice happened for the others who got the MOH.

Awards don't have race or other info on them. So unless some jerk failed to write up a soldier (or any service member ) for a just reward, the only way for an award not to be approved is the board does not see it meeting criteria. The board sees paper on the action. There is no rubber stamps going on for DSC and MOH. Sad stuff about awards is so many troops deserve an award but the witnesses did not survive to write / recommend it. It also helps if the writer of recommendation is a great writer. Sadly some got BS w/ Valor due to a write up done poorly when a Silver Star ought to have been awarded for the valor performed.
 
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