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3,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In this post, we'll be taking an up close and personal look at MarColMar's recently released CETME LV in 5.56/.223. For those of you not familiar with the CETME Model L, it was made in Spain and served as their standard 5.56mm infantry rifle from about the mid 1980's through the mid 1990's until being replaced by the German manufactured G36 rifle. BUT, this is not a History lesson so I'll leave it at that.

Fast forward until a few years ago when a little north of 10,000 5.56mm CETME rifles were removed from storage in Spain, scrapped and sold to the US market as parts kits. Of these, MarColMar ended up with approximately 10,000 kits in three versions. They are, from top to bottom, the LV, L and LC:

The vast majority of the kits were the standard fixed stock "L" version designed to be used primarily with iron sights and although many (but not all) did have a rear sight tower capable of having a scope mount attached, the optic mount seems to be vanishingly rare at this point. If you have one, please let me know as I'd LOVE to document it. If you are interested in the standard "L" version rebuilt by MarColMar, I wrote about one of those in-depth earlier this year and compared it to both a Hill and Mac kit rebuild and an original intact Spanish specimen. Just type the following into your favorite search engine and you'll immediately find links to it on multiple sites:

MarColMar and HMG Cetme L a Detailed Comparison

Also acquired by were some of the "LC" version. The primary difference of this version compared to the standard "L" model is a collapsible butt stock intended make it more compact for movement or stowage. Of the approximately 10,000 kits acquired by MarColMar, only 645 were of this variety. If you are interested in reading about the LC, I encourage you to read the article I've just recently written about this version. It can easily be found on this very forum by searching "MarColMar CETME LC (Carbine) In Detail". I enjoyed writing it and I hope you enjoy reading it if you are so inclined.
The third version, known as the "CETME LV", is what we will be looking at here. The CETME LV was intended to be used as a marksman's rifle and had a STANAG scope mount permanently welded to the receiver. Only a very few of this version (145) are being built by MarColMar.

SO...who is MarColMar? Well, rather than get it wrong, I'll just quote their website:
"MarColMar Firearms is an FFL / SOT / and Class II Manufacturer that specializes in bringing important historical military firearms back to life - for both collectors and shooters. Founded by Dave Bane in Richmond Indiana in 2007, MarColMar has been committed to merging modern manufacturing methods and materials, with surplus military parts, to recreate the most accurate, high quality, and reliable firearms available to the consumer market.
Our past projects and collaborations with other fine industry leaders, has resulted in some of the finest semi-auto firearm shooters and collectables, all of which have rapidly increased in demand and value – such as the Semi PKM, the Bulgarian AK-74, our milled Uk vz 59, and the UKM. Our latest project, the CETME L, will now expand our limited production – high quality philosophy - to a broader market, allowing many other enthusiasts to access our products and designs, and enjoy them for generations."

And here is a link to their site:

Now, if it sounds to you like I'm advertising for MarColMar (I often use MCM for brevity) that's because I absolutely am. BUT I'm not advertising because they asked me to or because they are paying me to or because they are giving me free stuff. NOPE. I'm doing this of my own accord because I bought one of their CETME L's and was so absolutely Impressed with the Quality of their product, the Quality of their customer service and the Quality of who they are as people and a company that I feel compelled to get the word out about what kind of feast they are bringing to the firearm hobby's table. If you want to learn more about that, I again invite you to read the article I did earlier about the standard CETME L by typing the following into your favorite search engine:

MarColMar and HMG Cetme L a Detailed Comparison

Have you read so much at this point that you're ready to go to sleep? Well wake up because it time to start looking at pictures. We'll start at the beginning.....the box:

When your new rifle arrives, this is the first thing you'll see. There isn't much to's a cardboard box. But it's a nice sturdy one.

On the end of the box, you'll find a sticker letting you know what's inside:

The Serial # line should be pretty obvious as to what it is.
The next line is the model. Notice that there is a fourth one (TAC) I haven't mentioned. That's because it isn't available yet. I'm pretty sure we all know what a "TAC" version will be though. Just know that such an animal, while I'm sure it will be the bomb, didn't originally exist. Tacticool is as American as apple pie!
Next is color. I chose green because that's the color they all were originally. But you can also order your rifle in Black, Grey or Flat Dark Earth.
Next is furniture. Again, I chose green because it's what would have originally been used in Spanish service. You can also order black or Flat Dark Earth.
The next line is marked "Rail". Since this rifle is custom designed to mount an optic already, that option is not available on this model. But if you choose to have one on either the L or LC model, MCM will ship your rifle with a perfectly aligned picatinny rail mounted on top the top of the receiver running from the front of the rear sight all the way to the front of the receiver.
The last line is marked "HB". You can specify either an original style pencil barrel or a larger circumference heavy barrel.

Upon opening the box, you'll find your new buddy well packed in form fitting high density foam:

In addition to the rifle, you also find some other stuff which I have laid out for the picture. At the extreme left is the manual. We'll get a closer look at that in just a bit. Next to the manual we have a warranty card. Immediately to the right of that is a tag that was attached to the trigger guard informing you that you might shoot your eye out if you aren't careful. Below that are break-in directions. Continuing right, we have an action lock and, finally, at the extreme right is a standard US GI aluminum magazine made by Okay Industries.

The stickers inside the box top are contact information for MCM and another warning label. You can never have enough warning labels.

Here's a detail shot of the break-in information:

While I haven't shot this rifle yet, I have shot my L model quite a bit since purchasing it in early 2019 and it has yet to give me any problems. It's pretty much run like a Singer sewing machine since day one.

Let's take a closer look at the manual. I'm not going to post every page but trust me, it's well done. It's actually two manuals in one. The first half was done by MCM and covers some really interesting stuff. Besides the usual how to disassemble and how to clean sections, there is one on the History of the original rifle and some really informative text about the production of this new AMG including which parts are new US made. The second half is an English translation of an original Spanish manual complete with lots of pretty color pictures.

Some examples of the MCM half:

Some examples of the translated Spanish half:

After checking out the extra stuff, it's time to take a look at the rifle. we'll start with a right side view:

Yes, it looks weird without an optic on it but we'll see various different ones on there a little later. For now, I'm just showing it to you as it comes from MCM.

And the left side:

At this point we need to address what you are looking at. I mean, is this a kit build or a new made reproduction. Well, it's both really. If you refer to the pictures of the manual above, you'll see on page 11 just which parts are original Spanish and which are new made in the US. To paraphrase my earlier piece on the standard model:

"Simply putting a parts kit back together to make a legal functioning rifle was not good enough for MarColMar. They have built a reputation over the years for crafting what could essentially pass for a new firearm out of a decades old retired and torch cut pile of surplus parts. They only select the best parts kits to begin with. Then they carefully modify the design to make it an ATF compliant semi-auto while preserving the look and feel of the original. This includes in-depth testing and ongoing development until they are satisfied that the end product will look, feel and function at least as well as the original was intended to. While sorting through the kits and developing the prototypes, any components which do not meet their aesthetic or functional standards are reproduced using the best possible materials so that they are as good or better than original factory parts. Only once they have everything finalized and sourced do they move on to production. MCM feels it's far better to delay a release date in order to work all the bugs out of design and logistics than it is to release a flawed product on time. Production itself is done using the most modern methods (including a welding robot on the Cetme L, LC and LV) and materials. The end result is a firearm that looks and functions as good or better than the originals did decades ago. According to Dave Bane, that's always been their standard way of doing things and that's the standard they've held their new Cetme L/LC/LV's to as well."
The only caveat I would apply to the above quote is that the MCM rifle actually exceeds the original rifle in Quality of both build and function. When I originally wrote that, I hadn't actually held or fired an original example. That is no longer the case.

That's it for this post. In the next, we'll begin looking at details starting at the muzzle. I sincerely hope you check back to read some more and if you like it, please let me know. It's always nice to hear that someone enjoys the fruits of your labor. See you soon!

3,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After an unfortunate hiatus.....we're back. And, as promised, we start at the muzzle:

Spain produced these rifles with both a three prong device as seen above and an enclosed birdcage style. Consequently, the parts kits that MCM rebuilt the rifles from may have either; it's just luck of the draw.

Here's the left side of the front sight base:

I don't know if it's cast or forged but I'm assuming it's the latter. Whatever the case, you can see lightening cuts done to it do bring down the weight. Also visible in this picture is the ring style front sling swivel and the HK style push pin that holds the front of the handguard in place. The rectangular lug sticking out the front of the sight base is for mounting the bayonet. On this rifle, the bayonet mounts above the barrel.

Here's the rights side:

You can clearly see where the bayonet mounting lug has a lozenge shape milled into the bayonet lug. That where the hook on the bayonet engages to hold it in place. We can also see the other end of the handguard retaining pin and the internally mounted spring that holds it in place.

Here's a closeup of the front sight post:

While the front sight base is an original part, the post is newly manufactured by MCM. They did this to make adjustments more precise and easier to adjust. On an original post, the detent plunger secured the post from rotating by extending into the adjustment holes. MCM redesigned the post so that the detent engages ridges on the bottom of it. You can still use a bullet tip (or a standard AR15 sight tool) to make adjustments but you don't have to depress the detent first. It is important to note that the sight base has been re-tapped for the new production post so an original will no longer thread into the hole.
Confused? Hopefully not.....but just in case you are, below is a picture showing MCM's redesign on the left compared to the original arrangement on the right. It should clear up any confusion you might have:

Also notice that the MCM post is much thinner than the original. This was done for more precise aiming. Originals were made in several thickness with one being as thin as the MCM post. The original shown is the widest that sas made to my knowledge. If you look very closely, you might notice that it once housed a tritium insert. Some original posts were set up for tritium and some were not. The same is true of the rear sight leaf.

Next up, we're going to look at the furniture. Rather than use the original stocks, handguards and pistol grips, MCM decided to replace the originals with new made in the USA parts. You may ask why. I know I did at first. Well, I've personally looked through some of the original stocks:


and pistol grips:

and I can confidently report to you that they were ROUGH. There is NO WAY I would use those surplus parts an a remanufactured rifle that otherwise looked (and was) essentially new. Not only were they beat up and multiple shades of grey and green, but they were also deteriorating. So, MCM faithfully copied the originals using Nylon 66 and contracted a casket manufacturer in Indiana to produce all new furniture. Now, let me tell you, I'm an extremely detail oriented guy and I scrutinize every little detail on things. To say I was highly impressed by how accurately MCM has reproduced parts made approximately 35 years ago when plastic manufacturing was a different world would be an understatement. "Amazed" would be a more descriptive adjective. MCM did such a good job that, aside from the fact that the new parts are marked MADE IN USA, almost nobody could tell the difference unless you carefully compared the two side by side. Hey! That's a good idea. Let's do just that.

We'll start with the stock.
In these first two photos, the MCM part is shown below an original:

I included the recoil springs too in the first picture. MCM has had new springs produced because the originals were old and tired. The rubber butt pad is shaped a little differently but I have seen slightly different butt pads in pictures of original rifles so there must have been some variation including ones that looked like the one MCM has produced. The color is slightly different but I have seen all kinds of variation on originals too so the MCM color looks fine to me. The MCM exhibits less shine but it's not made of the same polymer either so I can't expect it to have the same shine now can I? Look at the form though! As far as I can tell, every single angle, every nuance of the various edge radii has been reproduced perfectly.

Here, are looking into the front of the stocks with the MCM on the right:

Again, everything is perfectly reproduced.

One is a mirror image of the other. MCM is on the right:

Besides the geometric features, this picture also illustrates the slight difference in surface texture between the two. While the Spanish stock is not perfectly smooth either, the MCM is just a hair more textured. Without both in hand though, I doubt most people would notice a difference.

This picture illustrates the fact that even the mold ejector pin markings or in nearly the same place:

If you look very carefully you may notice that an original stock has a perfectly uniform color while the MCM does exhibit just a hint of hue variation here and there.

Even the sprue mark is in about the same place along the bottom of the stock:

This shows some real attention to detail and things like this really matter to purists. A big thumbs up to MarColMar here!

The MCM butt pad is at top:

MCM used allen screws for attachment. The flat head screws shown on the original pad are replacements by Hill and Mac Gunworks (HMG). Originals would have been slotted too but with a phosphate finish.

Butt pad removed:

Both stocks have brass inserts for the screws with the originals being hex shaped and the MCM one being round. The lower cavity is identical between the two but there is some slight variation in the shape and size of the upper two. Meh, you never see it anyways.

Manufacturer's mark:

Interior side of butt plates:

Both have steel inserts.

Next up in furniture on floor two we have handguards. Before we look at the handguard itself, I want to say something about the finish on the steel heat shield and the take down pins.

Here is the heat shield with the MCM above:

Both have a phosphate finish but the MCM one is a dark grey while the original finish is much lighter. ALL original steel parts on MCM rifles have been refinished to appear as new.

The take down pins are a good example of why MCM decided to refinish rather than leave them as imported:

Maybe some poor lost HK is out there in the wilderness looking in vain for its take down pins with absolutely no idea that they were stolen long ago by the Spaniards. I don't know. The two longest ones are for the stock and the shortest one holds the front of the trigger box in place. The remaining one is for the hand guard.

Moving on to the polymer part of the handguard, here we see the rear with the MCM on the left:

Notice that the mold is clearly different from the original as is evidenced by the mold lines. However, unless you are crazy detail oriented like me, the two are going to look identical. Again, MCM has done a wonderful job here at staying true to the original form.

Front with MCM still on the left:

Mold lines between the two are near identical.

Right side view. MCM is on top:

Notice that the mark where the sprue attached is in almost the exact same place.

Left side view MCM on top:

As with the stock, the mold ejector pins are in the same area. The various details are almost dead on with the largest difference being the ends of the small finger grooves. The ends of the MCM grooves rise up like ramps to meet the main surface of the handguard while the original ends stop abruptly in a 180 degree radius. This is an example of one of those things that matters not one bit but I did say that I'm extremely detail oriented!

Interior of handguard:

Again we see that the original used hex shaped brass inserts as opposed to round ones on the reproduction. I didn't bother to take a picture but the heat shield is held in by hex screws on the MCM and simple slotted screws on the original. They will not interchange as originals used metric threads as opposed to standard on the MCM. I didn't mention it earlier but it's the same story with the butt pad screws.

Manufacturer's mark:

The last piece of furniture we need to look at is the pistol grip. As with the rest of the polymer parts, they did a fantastic job and only real sticklers for detail will notice any differences between the MCM made part and an original.

First up is the left side. MCM part is on the left:

The raised ribs between the grooves are slightly rounded on the original while they are flat on the reproduction. Also notice that the original has a mold ejection pin mark starting in the fourth groove down, running over the fourth rib and into the fifth groove while the MCM has no such mark.

Right side:

The MCM grip has two ejector pin marks, one large one above the grooves and one small one at the bottom front. The original has no such marks.

Looking down into the top of the grips, we see that they are pretty much identical. MCM is still on the left:

Front of grip. MCM is on top:

Both show a mark in approximately the same place where they were removed from the sprue.

Bottom and bottom/rear 3/4 view of grips with MCM on top:

Mold lines differ somewhat between the two. but all of the contours are just dead on.

Last grip picture showing the manufacturer's mark. The star shaped pattern around the allen head bolt hole is where a star shaped lock washer digs in:

That's it for this post. In the next one, we'll look at all the welds on the rifle. I'll see you tomorrow night!

3,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As we did with both the CETME L and the CETME LC, we'll now begin to look at all the various welds on the rifle and we'll start with the left side rear sight/optic mount welds:

MCM uses a robot to do all of the welds and cleans them up by hand anywhere they think necessary. In general, the idea was to replicate the look of original welds rather than make them disappear or be as perfect as possible; a task which MCM completed in exemplary fashion. The rear sight on the LV is identical to that found on both the L and the LC. All parts are interchangeable among the three models. This includes the bolt hold open assembly too. The only difference is the sight base itself which, in the case of the LV is designed to allow any STANAG compatible optic to mount. We'll look at the rear sight, hold open and optic mount a little later.

Moving forward along the left side, we come to what I call the left side button weld:

This weld affixes the receiver to the top of the milled steel part that serves as the rear of the magazine well and the full-auto blocking plate.
Just below the weld is the head of the push pin that serves to hold the front of the trigger housing in place and below that is the magazine catch.

While we are in this area, we might as well take a look at some of the markings on the left side of the receiver:

The serial number and selector markings are very crisply stamped and filled in with paint just as they would be on an original specimen. The "V" in the serial number prefix is for the Spanish word 'visor". Literally translated, that means "viewfinder" but in this context , it roughly means that it's an optics compatible model. As for the selector markings, they have been anglicized. In the original Spanish, you would have "S" for Seguro (Safe) and "T" for Tiro a tiro (Shot for shot or Semi-auto). Also, on an original rifle, you would have a third selector position at the bottom marked "R" for Rafaga or Burst. The ATF says "NO" to that last one.

Weld at bottom left of magazine well:

A look at the markings on the left side of the magazine well:

If my research is correct, "ET" stands for "Ejército de Tierra" (Land Army). Note that an original rifle is not marked "CETME L" but rather just "CETME". This was an ATF requirement and NOT an oversight on the part of MCM who REALLY put their time into perfectly recreating all of the little details on their rifle as closely as possible to an original. For reference, here are the magazine markings on an original rifle:

Next up is the left side weld at the rear of the trunnion:

MCM purposely changed this weld from original specs in order to eliminate gas blowback exhibited on original examples. On an original rifle, this weld leaves part of the trunnion exposed as seen on in this right hand side photo: AMG/P1170109_zps3hoopmsc.jpg.html
Welding over the entire area, while not as pretty, eliminates the possibility of gas blowback and makes for a more enjoyable shooting experience.

Left side cocking tube welds:

Weld at front of magazine well:

Weld on tight side of cocking tube:

Weld at top of cocking tube:

Right side trunnion weld:

While you can't see them, there are also two button welds running vertically along the side of the trunnion underneath the rectangular reinforcing rib. This is one of those welds that's dressed by hand after the robot is finished doing its thing. Notice also how nice and crisp the various folds and piercings in the sheet metal are. MCM's work is as good as any I have seen on any HK and many Swiss rifles as well. Absolutely beautiful work MarColMar!! Stuff like this is why I really do consider your work on the level of mechanical Art.

Button welds on the right side of the receiver:

We can also see the end of the push pin holding the front of the trigger housing in place and the magazine release button. Again, notice how crisp the folds are in the receiver stamping.

Here is the logo that MCM designed specifically for their CETME rifles as a tribute to the original Santa Barbara logo:

And for comparison, here is the logo for Santa Barbara, the original manufacturer of the CETME L:

Welds on the right side of the rear sight/optic tower:

The ribbed button is for the manual bolt hold open (again, we'll look at that in detail later) and the round wheel is for windage adjustment which we will also discuss at length when we look at the rear sight leaf.

A close up of the empty casing deflector flare on the ejection port:

This detail is probably the most sophisticated detail of the receiver stamping and MCM did a fine job replicating it.

Two detail shots showing how nicely the reinforcement rib running along top the receiver mates up with the relief cuts at the front and rear of the sight tower:

And we're going to call this a stopping point for tonight. In the next post, we'll look at the rear sight details, continue with some welds you can only see when the rifle is disassembled and then move on to internals. And don't forget that later we're going to look at both the day and night vision optics this rifle was originally designed for and some alternatives that will work just as well. In the meantime, keep your powder dry and your mind focused. See you soon!

3,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The windage adjustable rear sight on the LV is the exact same one used on the L and the LC. It's a two position flip sight with settings for both 200 and 400m.

Here, we see the 400m aperture:

Originally, the "4" would have been filled in with white paint but MCM doesn't do that for some reason. I wish they would but it's not hard to do at home so it's really a nonissue. The aperture is small so your sight picture is somewhat dark and limited.

Here is the 200m setting:

If you compare this aperture to the one above, you'll notice that this one is larger but it was not that way when it left Spain. MCM bores them out a bit to make the sight picture more user friendly. It's a welcome modification that really helps at the range.

A front oblique detail shot showing the 200m sight deployed:

The sight is a simple affair. It just rocks back and forth on its axle and tension is applied by a piece of spring steel underneath.
The round knob looking thingee is the windage adjustment wheel. This and the sight axle (which is actually a screw) are new made parts because the originals were fragile and easily broken. MCM found that the vast majority of the parts kits had the tip of the axle broken off where the roll pin that was used to fasten the wheel to the axle passed through. They improved the design by eliminating the roll pin and instead used a set screw to engage a divot in the axle. more broken axles!
To adjust windage, you simply use a bullet tip to press in the detent (seen above in the bottom hole on the adjustment wheel) and turn the wheel. Turning it clockwise moves the point of impact to the right.

A wider angle view of the rear sight:

A front oblique view of the entire rear sight base:

While the large oblong holes on ither side of the sight base may look like they are designed to be used as a handle, I think their real purpose is to let light so that you don't have a dark sight picture. They also allow you to get your finger in there to flip the sight. If you ask me, it's not really a very good design because when you have an optic attached, it's pretty fidgety getting your fingers in there. Maybe I just have fat fingers.

Here's a top view of the sight base:

It is important to note that this is NOT a rail but rather a mounting point. There is no quick change capability to switch from one optic to another like you find today. Whatever device you are using must be held on with two screws. Now, it's very precisely dimensioned so that any STANAG mount will, in theory, perfectly fit with no movement. All things being equal, you can unscrew the daytime scope at dusk, mount the night vison unit, tighten the screws and BLAMMO!!! you're good to go. Then, when the sun comes up, you can unscrew the NV device and reattach the daylight scope with it still holding zero. If this seems weird and goofy to you remember that this was designed in a different era; one before picatinny rails and such. Yes, there were ways around doing things this way (e.g. HK's claw mount system) but, for whatever reason, this is the route Spain chose. For a collector, this is all part of the LV's charm. And the simple fact is with only 145 of this model being produced, collectors are the folks buying it. If you want modern modularity, a standard L version with a picatinny rail is the way to go.
Okiedokie that's it for the rear sight.

Moving on to welds that you can only see when stuff is disassembled, here is a look at the bottom front of the receiver with the handguard removed:

The weld running up the front of the magazine well continues all the way to the front of the receiver but it's been ground smooth so as not to interfere with the handguard. The hole you see near the front of the receiver is the barrel retaining pin. Unlike dad's old hunting rifle, the barrel is not threaded in but rather press fit into the trunnion and a pin passed through to hold it in place. While this is standard practice on many rifles now, it was rather novel when first used by the Germans during the war on the G/K43 rifle.

Here's another view of the front of the receiver with the handguard removed:

To anyone who owns a roller delayed blowback rifle, this is a familiar site. Those Krauts sure were clever!

Here's the right side of the front sight with the handguard removed:

Notice that the only thing holding it in place on the barrel other than friction is one roll pin. Hey, it works! The other hole is where the handguard retaining pin goes. Also of note is the fact that the front sight is not affixed to the cocking tube. This allows the barrel to be semi-free floating. Without the handguard in place, it's fully free floating. I think it's neat how some areas are either milled or scalloped in order to reduce weight. When you look at parts such as the front sight base, you can really see how much thought and design goes into all the various parts. These things aren't thought up by dummies and someone took a lot of pride in designing this. And having interviewed the folks at MCM, I know they put a lot of thought and pride into resurrecting it.

In this picture, we have disassembled the rifle, removed the trigger box and were looking at the bottom of the receiver focusing on the rear of the magazine well:

While the front and sides of the magazine well are part of the receiver stamping, the rear is a milled part welded in place. Not only does this give rigidity to the receiver itself, it also serves as a solid mounting point for the magazine catch and push pin holding the front of the trigger box in place. The magazine catch spring is clearly visible.

At the bottom rear of the receiver we also have another milled part (the rear trunnion) that does double duty as a receiver strengthener and a mounting point for the stock retaining push pins:

Although you can't see it because MCM dressed the welds so well, the sheet metal receiver straddles the trunnion.

Only by looking at the extreme rear of the receiver can you tell that this area is not a monolithic part:

While we're back here, notice how perfectly symmetrical the receiver cross section is. This thing is as perfectly built as any HK I've ever owned/handled and that's no exaggeration.

A view from the rear of the receiver looking forward internally:

In the middle of the picture is the breach and a circle of light as we look down the barrel. You can just make out three of the chamber flutes. If you've bothered to read this far, I don't need to explain their function because you already know. The rear of the trunnion is visible as a thick walled square box around the barrel. Above the trunnion is the cocking tube tunnel and below is the milled block that is the rear of the magazine well. Again we see the magazine catch spring too. The window of light on the right side towards the front is the ejection port. I never get tried of looking at these kinds of pictures. They are just so outside the realm of what we are used to looking at on a daily basis that I find them inspiring.

That's it for tonight. In the next post, we'll start with the bolt and I'll explain the manual bolt hold open device too. See you then!

3,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Next up is the bolt group:

The similarity to an HK is obvious but then I would expect it to be since the locking principle is identical.
The rear of the bolt carrier is markedly different than an HK though in that it has a long stem welded to the rear of it that engages with the front of the recoil assembly:

Here's a bottom view of that stem showing that it's hollowed out so that the hammer can swing up to hit the firing pin:

You can't see the rear of the firing pin though because it's been removed. It would protrude from the small hole in center of the picture.

On the top right side of the bolt carrier, some of the metal has been machined away to create a step:

That step is what the manual bolt hold open catches on. Let me go back to a previous picture to explain:

Just like an HK the CETME does not automatically lock the bolt to the rear when the magazine is emptied. So if you wish to do so, you have to do it manually by first using the charging handle to pull the bolt assembly fully to the rear. Then, while holding the charging handle to the rear, press in on the tombstone shaped button shown above on the right side of the rear sight tower. Then, while holding button in, return the charging handle to the forward position. Done. If you wish to disengage the bolt hold open, simply press the button shown below that is located on the left side of the receiver and the bolt assemble will run home. The proper procedure is to use your finger, NOT the palm of your hand:

A detail shot of the bolt group disassembled:

It is disassembled just like an HK. You may have noticed that I really haven't covered how to field strip the rifle in this article. That's not an oversight but a choice. First of all, it comes apart almost exactly like an HK does save for the trigger box. Second, disassembly is well covered in the manual and anyone reading this most likely already knows how the rifle comes
apart anyhow. If anyone REALLY wants me to cover a step by step field strip, just let me know and I will add it.

Locking lever detail:

Front of bolt carrier:

If the finish looks rough, that's on purpose. MCM perfectly copied the original rough phosphate finish. Where it needs to be smooth it will be after just a couple of range visits.

Bottom of bolt carrier showing "GEN2" scalloped cuts done by MCM to enhance reliability:

The first MCM rifles lacked these cuts and had a tight magazine well. As a consequence, some magazines would not fit in the magazine well. In order to rectify that problem while retaining reliability, MCM enlarged the magazine well and added these cuts. Below is a comparison shot showing a modified GEN 2 bolt carrier (at bottom) compared to an unmodified original (at top):

A close up of the added scallop cuts:

Firing pin and spring:

Locking wedge:

Front oblique view of bolt head:

The original extractor spring has been replaced by one made of chrome silicon, the absolute best money can buy.

Rear 3/4 view of bolt head:


Top showing the roll pin that secures an internal bar holding the rollers in place:

Right side:

Left side:

Next is the trigger box and selector switch. Like the twit that I am, I forgot to take pictures of those parts on this rifle. However, I DID take pictures of them on the CETME LC and they are identical so they will serve as an adequate stand in here. sorry about that.
Unlike an HK where you remove the selector switch and the trigger box (complete with the trigger group) can be removed from the trigger housing, the CETME has no separate box. Instead we just have a trigger box that contains all the mechanical bits. Here is the left side:

Rather than modify original trigger boxes to semi-auto only, MCM has opted to manufacture their own box. Both new and originals are made of aluminum. The trigger group itself is modified original with new made springs. The mechanics of it are very similar to an HK.

Right side of the trigger box:

At the front you can see that part of the side is relieved:

This mates with a piece of steel welded into the receiver designed to prevent the insertion of a full-auto trigger box:

You nefarious types might be thinking, "what's to keep me from just modifying a select fire box to fit?" Well, you can do that but you'll be milling away the area where the trip lever needs to be in the process. MCM really thought this out so just enjoy it the way it is.

Part of the modifications to the trigger group included modifying the selector switch:

In addition to reducing the circumference of the end of the axle (their trigger box will only accept this reduced size axle), it was also modified so that it cannot be moved to the full-auto position.

The recoil assembly:

If you look carefully, you'll notice that this is comprised of two separate springs. The long one is the recoil spring proper and the short one is the much heavier buffer spring.

Here is a close up of the buffer spring:

Contrary to what you might read on the internet, the retaining nut seen above has NOTHING to do with buffer adjustment. MCM has used blue loctite to keep this thing from loosening and getting squirrely. Check it every time you clean your rife after shooting. It should not loosen. If it does, retighten it until the nut is flush with the threaded rod.

The front of the recoil assembly showing the cup that engages the stem sticking out the rear of the bolt assembly:

This picture shows the internals mounted to a receiver flat in what would be a locked and ready to fire position and is the closest I can provide of a phantom view:

The stock is also shown relative to where it would be mounted. This picture clearly shows how the recoil assembly interacts with the stem welded to the rear of the bolt carrier and it also show you just how deep it nests in the stock. As an aside, the grandfather o the CETME L, the WWII vintage STG45 also had a stem between the recoil spring and the bolt carrier. In this aspect, the CETME very closely replicates the STG45. VERRRRYYY interesting!!

As long as the recoil assembly is, this is all of it that sticks out of the stock:

One last shot of the CETME LV showing it field stripped:

I've mounted an example of the early handguard in this picture. If you want to learn more about that handguard, check out the article I did on the CETME L where I cover it in detail. As for the scope shown in the photo, it's an original example made by ENOSA in Spain and intended to be used on this rifle. Keep reading and we'll cover it in detail starting in the next post. Until then, head out to the range. It's good practice in case you need to use your skills to defend the Republic! I'll see you soon!

3,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Next up are the ENOSA optics the CETME LV was intended for. Both a night vision unit and a daylight scope were produced and we'll be looking at both. ENOSA is an acronym for the now defunct Empressa Nacional de Optica S.A. or National Optics Company S.A..
We'll start by looking at the case used to transport and store both scopes.

The top of the case:

It's molded of a thick, high impact plastic with a rubber airtight gasket and form fitted Styrofoam inserts. It is also equipped with a pressure equalizing valve.


The ridges on the top and bottom are used to stack cases securely.


Other side:

Rear showing the hinges:

The reinforcement ribs allow you to stably stand the case up on end.


There are various things to look at here.

The spring loaded handle:

It's made of plastic but is held on by a pressed steel cover. The bulges you see in the cover house springs that are wrapped around the handle axle and provide spring tension to keep it from flopping around.

This label is made of aluminum:

I don't know if there is adhesive on the back of the label or if it's only held on by the tape. My guess is that it is adhesive backed but someone put tape over it because it was getting loose but that's only a guess.
Maleta Tirador roughly translates as "Marksman's Case" or "Shooter's Case.
FUSIL=Rifle so this scope set was mated with a CETME LV serial number 00445
The serial number of the night vision sight (VNP-009) is 1387
The serial number of the daylight scope (Model F) is 2791.

This sticker refers to the VNP-009:

5855331031265 is the Nato Stock Number for this unit.
Below that is its description which roughly translates as Night Vision Optic for Man Portable Weapon.
At the bottom is the unit's serial number again (1387). I do not know what "U. SUM: EA" means.

The other sticker is for the daylight scope:

It has the same sort of information as the other label so I'm not going to spell it all out again but it is interesting to not in the description that it specifically states that this scope is fitted with a NATO adaptor. That's because this scope is (an educated guess here based on reading the manual) capable of being fitted with different adaptors depending on what kind of weapon it is being fitted to. The manual is just vague enough to give me the impression that the ENOSA Model F was fitted to other thigs besides just rifles. The same is true of the VNP-009.

The pressure equalizer valve thingee is operated manually and can be left sealed or open.
Screwed down and sealed:

Unscrewed and open:

It's a captive screw and cannot be removed.

The clasps are of simple molded plastic and rely on elasticity rather than mechanics:

Each clasp just snaps over an "L" shaped lug molded into the lid:

Upon opening the case, you are presented with a variety of goodies, each of which we will cover individually and in some detail:

Notice that there are several empty cavities in the styrofoam. I don't know if that's because some accessories are missing or whether this insert housed different things based on what sort of weapon the scopes were issued with. The Model F scope makes absolutely no mention of a case in its manual and while the VNP-009 does illustrate a case, it's a case for just that unit and is quite different from the case pictured here. Soooo, we're left to guess and yours is as good as mine.

A closeup of the rubber gasket mounted around the circumference of the lid:

Contents removed:

There are three manuals; one for each sight and one for a standard CETME L. The small bag to the right of the rifle manual contains cleaning supplies and the large bag is the carry bag for the VNP-009. My assumption is that the number "2441" written on the bag is the serial number for a different scope but I often assume wrong. Just ask my honey.....she'll tell you!

That's it for now. We'll pick up with the cleaning supplies bag in the next post. See you soon!

3,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Let's take a look at the cleaning kit bag and what's in it.
Here's the front:

It's made of a tightly woven nylon and held closed by a velcro strip. Exciting isn't it?

The back is only slightly less exciting:

Here are the contents laid out:

The large off white square is what I assume is a general cleaning cloth but it sure feels just like a miniature fancy-dancy sit down restaurant napkin. I sure wouldn't use it to clean lenses and for all I know, it's not even supposed to be in there. The manual for the Model F references a fine hair brush and a cloth rag, nothing else and nowhere does it give you a breakdown of supplied cleaning supplies or even mention a regulation cleaning kit. The VNP-009 goes into only slightly more detail and actually mentions a cleaning bag, a brush and cleaning paper. It also says "To clean the rest of the unit, use a brush and a damp cloth, avoiding the use of solvents or abrasive substances and dry it before being placed in the case". I guess they assume you'll use common sense and you already know how to properly clean stuff; not necessarily a recipe for success.
The green rectangle is a flannel cloth. The blue rectangle is a pack of cleaning papers and I'm certain this is actually supposed to be in the bag. Above that is what for all the world looks like a makeup brush but I'm sure that's an issued item too. The hex wrench is for tightening the mounting screws. There is something very curious about that little guy; you'll understand what I mean in a minute. The last item is a semi hafd bristle brush which you would NEVER use on a lens. I guess it's for general cleaning and I once again have no idea whether or not it's a regulation bit.

This is the hex wrench:

Notice it's NOT metric but rather 3/16". "UNBRAKO", while today an international company, was founded in the US many decades ago. The socket head cap screws used for mounting both scopes are 3/16" and will also accept a T20 Torx bit. The cap screws also have UTS threads. I really believe (though I have no proof) that this is due to the VNP-009 being sourced in the United States and NOT built in Spain. If you were to tear the VNP-009 apart, I bet you'd find that all of the fasteners are UTS because it was built in the US.

Plastic brush marked "ALMA":

I didn't bother taking closeups of the other brush as it is devoid of markings.

Back of cleaning paper pack:

It reads "ENOSA National Optics Company S.A.".


Open showing contents:

This is like a notepad and you just tear one off the top as you need it.

This is the rifle manual:

I'm not going to go into any detail on this as it isn't really germane to this conversation. Maybe some other time. I only include it here because it was in the set.

VNP-009 front cover and a couple pages:

Page 5 covers the general specifications of the unit:

Note that the case dimensions shown refer to one that was made to only house the VNP-009 are NOT accurate to the case shown in this article.

Page 6 shows the case from Page 5:

Item 3 shows six AA batteries but only four are required, two for the intensifier tube and two for the reticle.
Item 4 is the manual.
Item 5 is a screwdriver but one is not included nor would it be useable to mount the unit on the CETME LV. The manual is somewhat vague in some areas because it was adapted to use on various different weapons. For example, Page 7 Section 3 is titled "Mounting on Weapon". The instructions in their entirety are:
"Affix sight to mount.
Affix the appropriate mount (depending on the weapon) to the sight using screws and washers 1 and 2 (see Fig.2)."
It's all very technical stuff! The manual just assumes you know what you are doing. Now, to be fair, it does get more specific when it gets around to explaining how to use the controls so it's not a bad manual. It's just somewhat generic in spots so that they could use one manual for different applications.
Lastly, Item 8 is simply listed as "cleaning kit bag" with absolutely no description of contents. They should have had me write the manual and we wouldn't have these problems. HAHA!

This is the manual for the Model F scope:

I have translated these manuals and might post them at a later date. They really aren't that exciting nor do they cover anything you probably don't already know if you have any experience with any rifle scope currently on the market. Besides, I'm going to explain the salient stuff as we look at each one anyways.

Page 6 covers the technical data:

This manual is also pretty generic with regards to mounting nd I suspect that's because it too was used on a variety of different weapons. I really hate to use the term "weapon" when writing about this stuff but that's what's written in the manuals. There may have been a time when these things were implements of war but I prefer to now see them as artifacts. Please excuse me.

Inside the Model F manual was this tag with an almost hard as rock rubber band attached:

Here's a better look at it:

This is a repair tag. The title at the top tells us this scope was issued to the 49th Infantry Regiment "TENERIFE". This regiment has a proud History and I recommend that you visit their webpage as a starting point to learn more about those who served in it:

The rest of the tag reads as follows:

"Unit: 2nd Company
Material: ENOSA scope
Number: 2791 (this is the serial number of the scope we will be looking at next)
Defect: Cover missing, 1 washer missing"

And the scope is, in fact, missing the lens cap and one of the two lock washers for the mounting screws. Stuff like this really is neat because it adds a human touch. It reminds us that people actually used these items as tools and depended on them to keep them safe and defend their country. It's History that you can hold in your hands and I find it absolutely fascinating!

So that's it for now. Next, we'll look at the Model F. Time to go nite-nite!

3,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
This is a right side view of the daytime use scope that was intended to be mounted on the CETME LV, the ENOSA Model F:

It's 4X magnification.

Left side:

240mm long (approximately 9.45 inches)

Top view:

Range adjustable to 1200 meters (about 1312 yards)

Bottom view:

And weighs 580 grams (approx. 20.46 ounces)

Objective lens:

Ocular lens with rubber eyecup removed:

A tag with a duplicate of the sticker on the front of the case was zip tied to the mounting adaptor:

The zip tie was carefully removed for these photos and then reattached afterwards so you won't see this tag again.

The reticle:

The optics are extremely clear on this unit; not quite as clear as the various G3 scopes I have made by Zeiss/Hensoldt and Karl Kaps but very clear nonetheless.

Manufacturer's mark and serial number at the top rear:

There isn't much left but if you look closely, you might notice remnants of white paint in the lettering and numbers.

Here, we are looking at the left side:

Front is to the left and the unit has been canted on its side so that we can clearly see the "NATO Adapter" which is sandwiched between the rings and the scope body. The two splined 3/16" screws are what holds the whole assembly to the mounting point on the rifle; there is no quick disconnect. The manual says that when reinstalling the Model F after having removed it (i.e. to replace it with the VNP-009 for night use), you need to fire three test shots at 100 or 200 meters and re-zero if it is off by more than 5cm at 200m. After having been spoiled by the HK quick disconnect system for years (remember, all of this was BEFORE picatinny rails and all that modern tacticool jazz), this seems to be a pretty poor way of doing things if you ask me. Now, to be fair, when you press the whole assembly (scope, rings and NATO Adaptor) onto the rifle's mounting point prior to inserting the mounting screws, there is literally ZERO movement so it is entirely possible that what is written in the manual is nothing more than an unnecessary verification that was ignored in practice. I simply don't know. But even if it does hold perfect zero every single time, having to break out a hex wrench and fiddle with loosening and tightening screws to go from daylight to nighttime capability is a little shortsighted and fidgety in my book. Fortunately, these relics are nothing more than fun range toys anymore so it's no longer a real world problem.

A closeup showing a silver colored locating pin on the bottom of the ring to ensure that the adaptor and ring are properly aligned:

Both rings have this pin.

Another detail shot illustrating that the adaptor has a saddle machined into it to further aid in proper alignment:

Remember that the Model F was apparently also used in other roles besides just a rifle optic so there were presumably different adaptors for different applications.

This is the top mounted range knob:

The little hole just above the "0" contains a locking screw. To zero for range, you set the knob (which has tactile detents every 100m) to the desired range and a target at that range. Adjustment is easiest if you are sighting at 100m and you are set to that distance when the "1" on the knob faces the rear of the scope. Then you fire your test shots and measure (in mm or cm) impact deviation from aiming point. Next, you loosen the locking screw. The distance between each index mark on the top of the knob is 1.4mils or 14cm at 100m. While holding the knob from moving with one hand, use your other hand and a flat bladed screwdriver to turn the large adjustment screw at the top center of the adjustment knob.
Turning the adjustment screw clockwise raises the point of impact.
There are NO detents with regards to this screw so it is infinitely adjustable and the slot in the screw is used as reference vis a vis the index marks. After making the adjustment, fire several more test shots and readjust as necessary. When you are done, remember to tighten the small locking screw in the side of the knob. Now, at least in theory, the range knob is accurate out to 400m when using 62gr. rounds loaded to NATO specs.

On the right side of the scope is the windage adjustment:

It is adjusted in similar fashion to the range knob except that the distance between each index mark is 1mil or 10cm at 100m.
Turning the adjustment screw clockwise moves the point of impact to the left.
Note that the main body is not marked. That's because it cannot be turned. In other words, windage is ONLY adjustable by using two screwdrivers, a small one for the lock screw and a larger one for the adjustment screw. Once it is set, there is no possibility of windage adjustment on the fly as you are used to seeing on pretty much every other scope you will encounter. Why ENOSA did this is a mystery to me but that's the way it is. And with that, you now know exactly how to zero your ENOSA Model F. Wasn't that FUN?!?

In this picture, we see the objective lens with the rubber "protector" in place:

There is supposed to be a rubber lens cover attached too but remember that the defect tag said it was missing. The empty slot you see on the side is where it would mount.

Here we see it removed:

The little ridges seen molded into the inner circumference help to dissipate glare.

This is a detail shot of the rubber eyecup:

It's obviously made out of good quality rubber because it's still supple and pliable after 30-35 years. Man, I'm getting old. To me, the 80's seem like they were just yesterday! Anywho, the eyecup is molded in the exact length necessary to place your eye the proper distance from the ocular lens. It does have a design flaw though in that there are no air vent holes piercing the body of it. So if you press your eye up tight to it, it suctions to your face! Of course, it would be easy to drill a couple little holes in it to alleviate that problem but our job here is to preserve, NOT modify!

Okiedokie. I think that about covers the Model F. Next time we'll look at the VNP-009 night vision scope. Until then, hug you dog and tell your loved ones how important they are to you because you never know how many more chances you'll get to do those things and moving on to the next great Adventure with regrets left over from this one spoils the launch! May God look after you my friends.

3,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Before we look at the VNP-009 itself, we'll look at its carry bag for use in the field. Why this one has a bag and the Model F was not provided with one is unknown to me but that's how they seem to have done it.

Here is the front of the nylon bag:

The text roughly translates as "Night Vision Sight VNP-009EE". There were two versions of this scope, 009 and the 009EE. Although they are very similar, there are differences. However, I can't tell you what those differences are because I only have one to look at and my research has turned up conflicting information so I am not going to speculate. I can't even tell you with 100% certainty which version this one is but I assume it's not the "EE" variant because the nomenclature tag is not marked as such. All I can do is present to you what I have in front of me.
As I said earlier, I don't think this is the original carry bag for this unit because the number written on the bag, 2441, does not match the scope. Maybe it's not a serial number but I'm betting it is.

Back of the bag:

Metal zipper pull, both sides:

Markings on the plastic D-ring used as an attachment point for the shoulder strap:

The carabiner hook is plastic as well.

The D-ring on the other side is marked exactly the same so I didn't see the need to take a detail picture of that. There is no carabiner attachment on this side. Rather, the sling is permanently attached:

I'm guessing that the zip tie once served as an attachment for an identification tag that was removed. The ID tag for this scope was loose in the carry case:

Just as we saw with the Model F, the sticker on this tag is identical to the one stuck to the outside of the case. If you remember from earlier, I mentioned that I did not know what the text on the bottom of the sticker meant. Well, a member of the Spanish Armed Forces, who calles himself Sampedro online, has since explained it for me. Here is a direct quote from him:

"In the NOC label, the notation "U. SUM: EA" refers to the unit of origin (Unidad SUMinistradora) of the last time it was sent from one unit to another. The label format is recent (by recent I mean post-2000).
But, unless it's a different code, "EA" stands for Ejército del Aire (Air Force).
Could be that they provided these scopes to an Army regiment after getting the G36 (they made the transition faster, being less rifles), but it would be quite unusual. The story after the path some items go can be very curious and interesting. "

Sampedro, thank you for both your service to your country and your gracious explanation to a lowly man such as me sir! I write this stuff in the spirit of wanting to both learn and share and you have helped with each!

For no other reason than to document it, here is a picture of the bottom of the bag:

I had to lean it up against the scope case to get the picture and that might add a bit of confusion as to what you are looking at. Sorry about that.

This is a rather poor picture looking into the unzipped case showing that it has a built in storage pouch for cleaning accessories:

Just like the cleaning accessories bag we looked at earlier, this his held closed by way of a velcro strip. Unlike the one we looked at earlier, this one is completely empty.

VNP-009 and lens caps removed from bag:

The plastic cap at the top of the picture is a simple lens cap and it is mentioned in the manual. The only purpose it serves is to protect the lens from getting funky and to protect the intensifier tube form a moron switching the unit on in the daytime. The other "cap" is actually a daylight filter that not only protects the glass from getting dirty but it also allows the unit to be used during the day. Absolutely no mention of this is made in the manual and, in fact, this is a US made part used on the GEN 2 AN/PVS-4 scope. It was in the bag when it was imported so I'm confident in my assertion that is was in use by the Spanish Army.

Here's the exterior of the filter:

The funky shaped bar attached to a center axle is rotated to vary the amount of light permitted entry to the objective lens during the day.

And the interior of the filter:

Type SM-D-850315-1 into your favorite search engine and gee, what a surprise, you'll find that this is a US Gooberment part number for an AN/PVS-4 night vision scope. Further, Cage Code 80063 brings up US Army Communications as a starting point. Gee, I wonder who supplied Spain with this part?

So what the hecks is the purpose of this filter thingee?? Not everyone reading this is night vision equipment savvy so to those readers who are, please bear with me. Skipping all the technical jargon, I'll just say that a night vision scope is an electronic light amplification device that is meant to be used only at night. So turning it on in daylight can overload the electronics (referred to as the "intensifier tube") and essentially burn it out. That is a bad thing. Still there are times when you might wish to use it during the daytime, such as when you are sighting it in to a rifle. Well, to do so, you have to very much restrict how much light is allowed into the objective lens and that's exactly what a daylight filter does. Let's go back to the exterior shot of the filter:

Notice that there is a series of holes around the circumference of the filter. There are three sets, each consisting of a small hole, a slightly larger hole and a third, still larger hole.

Now, let's look again at the interior of the filter:

Here we see six holes, three medium sized ones and three large ones. The medium sized ones are plain ol' holes but the large ones have very dark glass in them. Think of them as dark sunglasses. Also notice that there is an arm projecting out from the center of the filter. It rotates as you turn the bar on the exterior of the filter and it clicks into each of the small machined divots you see. There are also two limiter pins protruding from the face of the filter to keep you from rotating the arm too far one way or the other. Although you can only see 5 divots, there are actually six and the arm is currently clicked into the first divot. We'll call this "Position 1" and this position allows the least amount of light through the filter and into the scope. Got it? I hope so because that's a clear as I can explain it.

In this picture, a bright light representing daylight is being pointed at the bottom exterior of the filter:

The arm is still set to Position 1 which allows the least amount of light to pass through the filter and into the scope's objective lens. Notice that we see a small circle of light in the center of the dark glass. If this were outside on a bright sunny day, all three pieces of dark glass would have an identical circle of light. This is enough light to allow the scope to operate in a bright, sunny environment. If we were to remove the filter in this environment with the scope switched on, the intensifier tube would be overloaded and burned out..... as in destroyed, ruined, toast, kaput. This next sentence I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH. NEVER, EVER insert batteries or turn the scope on during the day unless the filter is in place and set to Position 1 as doing so can very easily destroy your scope!!!! Go back and reread that before proceeding please.
But what if it's not a bright sunny day? What if it's cloudy bright, the filter is set to Position 1 and I can't see a thing when I look into the ocular lens?? Well, then you switch to Position 2:

This allows more light into the scope. If that's still not enough, switch to position 3:

Position 4 bypasses the dark glass and instead allows the small hole on the exterior of the filter to line up with the medium hole on the interior:

Position 5 continues to allow yet more light in:

Position 6 is the last one and it allows the most light possible into the scope with the daylight filter on:

In reality, by the time you are at Positions 4, 5 and 6 you cannot use this scope during the day. These positions are only used at night in an urban environment. But this is not a treatise on how to use a night vision scope so I'll leave it at that. If you take only one lesson from the above commentary, let it be that you only want to allow the minimum light necessary into the objective lens necessary for the unit to do it's job. Any more than is necessary is too much and you're killing the life of the intensifier tube which has a finite service life. Every single photon which enters the tube shortens its life so do yourself a favor and only allow as many into it as are necessary for you to see what you are trying to look at. Got it? I hope so because I'm tired of harping on it!

This picture shows the VNP-009 with the daylight filter in place:

The filter has a rubber gasket around its circumference and holds onto the scope by both friction and a rib molded into the gasket that locks into a corresponding groove in the scope body. This thing is not coming off unless you are consciously trying to remove it

Here we see the simple lens cover in place:

It is held on by friction only and WILL come off if caught on something. My recommendation is that you never use this one and leave the filter in place because, should this cover fall off when the scope is switched on during the day, you can kiss your intensifier tube goodbye.

Here is the naked objective lens:

NEVER, EVER have batteries in the scope during the day without the filter in place. At this point, that should be obvious.

And that's as far as we're going tonight. In the next post, we'll look at the scope in detail. I'll explain in layman's terms how to use it so that, if this is your first night vision device, you can confidently enjoy it without fear of screwing it up and I'll also explain how to zero it. I'll see you then!

3,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Left side of the Gen 2 VNP-009 scope with front towards the left of frame:

You read that right, this is a Gen2 unit and I believe it is most likely made in the Unites States or, at the very least, of US and British components. The entire front lens block is essentially identical to an AN/PVS-4 and all controls are in English. The feel and operation of it is also smoother and, for lack of a better term, more sophisticated than the Model F scope. The Quality of the image is also as good as US Gen 2 equipment of the era. The round lug with marked with an arrow and "RT" (the abbreviation for "RIGHT") is the windage adjustment and it clicks as you turn it with a coin or similar. Each click counterclockwise moves the point of impact 2.5cm to the right at 100m. The Spanish word for "Right" is "Dereche". Farther back, the two vertical tubes are the left side battery compartment which holds two AA batteries.

Right side:

On this side we see the right side battery compartment. It too holds two AA batteries.


Just as we have the windage adjustment on the left side, we have the elevation adjustment on top. "DN" means "DOWN". In Spanish "Down" is "Abajo". Each click counterclockwise will move the point of impact down by 2.5cm at 100m. Note that neither the windage nor elevation are quick adjustment knobs as they can only be adjusted by means of a tool (the manual says to use a coin and that makes sense because the slots are so wide that a regular screwdriver would be impractical). This thing was not meant for precision shooting but rather to be used against a man sized target at night. It is generally sighted in at a particular range and you use Kentucky windage and Arkansas elevation beyond that. There are some other things of interest in this picture but we'll look at those a bit closer in just a bit.


All we have going on here are the covers for the left and right side battery compartments and the NATO/STANAG adaptor mounted to the lugs molded into the scope body by way of two slotted screws. It is here we will begin looking at things in detail.

Here we see a side detail of the rear lug and NATO adaptor:

If you compare this adaptor to the one mounted on the Model F scope, you'll immediately see that it is different and purpose made for this scope. But, just as with the Model F, this scope can be mounted on different adaptors to be used in different applications. Towards the right of frame can be seen one of the splined cap screws used to mount the unit to the CETME LV. Just as on the Model F, these cap screws are also tightened using a 3/16" hex wrench.

Here's a look at the bottom front of the NATO adaptor (the rear is an almost identical mirror image):

Starting on the left, the two blocky finger-like projections fit over the front edge of the mounting point on the rifle to precisely locate it in the proper position front to back on the rifle.
Moving right, we see the hex-head cap screw used to mount the unit on the rifle and then we come to the slotted screw used to attach the NATO adaptor to the scope. Also notice the two machined steps on either side of the cap screw, each running from front to back and ending in an inside radius. The purpose of these steps is to precisely align the adaptor side to side with the mounting point on the rifle.
The adaptor on the scope and the mounting point on the rifle's rear sight base are so perfectly machined that there is absolutely NO movement front to rear or side to side when you fit them together. Theoretically, this means it will maintain zero no matter how many times the optic is removed and remounted. But we don't live in a theoretical world now do we? Please don't think I'm trying to bash this setup and I'm sure it works very well but I cannot help but think that repeated switching out of optics in a real world field setting is a less than ideal design. I just don't think it's very practical.

If the above is at all confusing to you, just study the two pictures below. They show the bottom of the scope adaptor and the top of the mounting point on the rifle one after the other. By comparing them, you'll easily see how everything fits together:

Here's a closeup of the left side battery box cover:

The right side cover looks the same. It's marked for polarity so that you don't put the batteries in the wrong way around. The little ball chain keeps the cover tethered so you won't loose it. The phillips screw only serves to attach the chain and has nothing to do with holding the cover in place. However, the phillips screw IS screwed to the cover retaining device which is itself a thumb screw. Lots of screwing going on here...….
To remove the cover, just loosen the thumbscrew by turning it counterclockwise a few times and off it comes:

The thumb screw is captive and cannot be removed from the cover. Note that it is also off center. This prevents you from attaching the battery box cover the wrong way around. A rubber gasket is to the inside of the cover to seal the battery compartment.

On top of the scope body, there are three controls. Facing towards the right side of the unit with markings visible from the rear is the power control knob

It is shown in the "OFF" position (white dot and "0"). ALWAYS make sure that the knob is in this position before you insert batteries and ALWAYS ensure that it is returned to this position as soon as you are finished using the scope.
--Turning the knob to the next position, a red dot and white "l", turns the intensifier tube on but the reticle lamp is still off. This position is used only for observation at night as you will see no aiming point. NEVER EVER turn the knob to this position without either the lens cover or the daylight filter set to Position 1 in place AND the GAIN knob turned to its lowest setting. If you turn the unit on in bright light, artificial or natural, without the lens cap or filter in place, you will, at a minimum, drastically reduce the life of the intensifier tube. Even worse, you may outright burn it out and trust me, you do not want to know the labor and expense of replacing it. You have been warned! As for the GAIN knob, keep reading for instructions regarding its use.
--Turning the knob to the last position, a red dot and white "R", turns on both the intensifier tube and the reticle. This position is used for aiming and firing. NEVER turn the knob to this position unless heeding the warning above. Additionally, ensure that the reticle brightness knob is turned down to its lowest setting (keep reading for more on that).
--When you are finished using the VNP-009, ALWAYS return the power knob to the "OFF" setting.

Facing to the rear with identification markings visible from the left side are the RETICLE and GAIN knobs:

The knob marked "RET" controls how bright the reticle is. Any time you are ready to turn the reticle on, make sure the knob is turned counterclockwise as far as possible first. This is the lowest intensity position. The knob has no detents and is infinitely adjustable. Turn the intensity up only as high as is needed to clearly see the reticle. If left at too high a setting for too long, it WILL damage the intensifier tube. When finished using the reticle ALWAYS return the knob to the lowest intensity setting.

Here we see both the reticle brightness knob (on the left) and the GAIN adjustment knob (on the right) set to minimum:

The GAIN adjustment is best described as a fine tuning knob for image intensity and contrast. In essence, it's a rheostat that adjusts how much power is supplied to the intensifier tube. Turning it clockwise raises the setting. The higher the setting, the more the photons entering the objective lens get amplified and the brighter the image. So why wouldn't you always want the brightest image? Well, out in the boonies with little ambient light, you do want the gain turned up. However, in a more urban area with more ambient light or on a moon lit cloudless ight, having the gain set way up may give you too bright an image resulting in a washed out image with little contrast. This is also hard on the intensifier tube. Consequently, ALWAYS have the GAIN knob at its lowest setting when you power on the scope and slowly turn it up until you have a clear image, no more. Additionally, ALWAYS return the GAIN knob to its lowest setting before powering down the scope.

--IMPORTANT: ALWAYS set the GAIN first followed by the reticle.

--IMPORTANT: ALWAYS store the scope with batteries removed, lens cover or daylight filter set to Position1 in place over the objective lens, power knob in the "OFF" position and both the GAIN and RETICLE knobs set to minimum. Additionally, place the VNP-009 in its nylon storage bag prior to placing it in the transit case.

--NEVER point the scope at the sun even when powered off and, just to be safe, don't expose the objective lens to bright light for at least 15 minutes after switching the unit off just in case there is any residual power in the intensifier tube that needs to bleed off. Older Gen 0 and Gen 1 tubes held a charge for a while after being switched off and were still light sensitive. I don't think that's the case with a Gen 2 but it can't hurt to err on the side of caution.

Follow the above directions and your VNP-009 will last you many, many hours of use. In fact, unless your are using the thing all night every night, it'll probably last your lifetime. Just always remember that every single photon the intensifier tube processes kills it just a little bit. These things have a finite lifespan no matter how much care you give them but there is no sense in being careless. Always think before touching any controls and really KNOW what you are doing before you do it.

There is more to cover and we'll continue on in the next post but the above covers the most important topics with regards to not destroying your VNP-009. But I need to get to bed for now. I'll be back tomorrow or the next day.

3,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
On the left side is an anti-idiot sticker in both Spanish and English:

The aluminum identification label lists the model and serial number:

A closeup of the elevation adjustment on top:

And a detail shot of the windage adjustment on the side:

The black circular doohickey in the center of the objective lens is the cover for the reticle housing and its associated electronics.:

The cover can be removed for reticle bulb replacement or to switch out the reticle plate for a different pattern one depending on the use (i.e. rifle, anti-tank rocket, shoulder fired anti-aircraft missile, etc.). No, we're not going to disassemble that for kicks. To the right of frame you can see the windage adjustment rising from the side of the scope and a rod projecting out the back of it and into the reticle housing. Although you can't see it, the elevation adjustment is set up the exact same way.

Here's a closeup of the internal adjustment rod referenced above:

As you turn either the windage or elevation adjustment, the rod turns and moves the reticle plate either side to side and up or down. It's that simple.

Although some of the reticles can get quite elaborate, the Spanish opted for a simple chevron and two horizontal lines:

The manual makes absolutely no mention of the purpose for the horizontal lines and only references the chevron as the "aiming point". If the were going for minimalism, I'd say they achieved it!

At the back of the scope you'll find, shockingly, an ocular lens so that you can see things:

The rubber eyecup is just the right length to ensure proper eye relief.

I've removed the eyecup here for clarity:

There are two focusing adjustments back here; one for diopter adjustment and one for focus.

Here is a more oblique and closeup view of those adjustments:

The diopter adjustment is the rearmost of the two and rotates clockwise/counterclockwise. What you do is turn on the reticle with the objective lens cover in place and rotate the splined adjustment ring until the reticle is in sharp focus. Done.
The other adjustment is the focus ring. It's the larger toothed one towards the front. It can be focused from 20m (about 66 ft.) out to infinity. For this one, all you need do is turn it one way or the other until what tyou are looking at is in sharp focus. Done. Most of the time, you're obviously going to have it on the infinity setting.

In this picture, I've placed the eyecup over a flashlight to highlight the fact that is has a vent hole in it so that you don't suction your eye to the thing like you can with the Model F eyecup:

A front comparison view showing just how big the Gen 2 VNP-009 is compared to the Model F:

The length between the two is almost the same though:

"Owning the night" is a large, heavy affair!

I forgot I took the following two photos and I should have fit them in earlier sorry about that.
The first one clearly shows that the mounting cap screws are compatible with either a hex wrench (3/16") or a torx bit (T20):

The second is a general closeup of two of the cap screws and their lock washers:

The one on the left is from the Model F and uses a more common style lock washer while the other is from the VNP-009 and uses a toothed one.

3,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
All this talk of rifles and scopes is useless unless you see what the stuff looks like together. While the LV was intended to be used with the ENOSA getups we looked at above, the fact is, pretty much anything that is STANAG compatible will work just fine. Let's look at some examples.
We'll start with the ENOSA Model F.
Left side:

Right side:

Front oblique:

And rear oblique:

Various places now, I've read where people complain about how high the scope sits. Well, I got news for that time, this was generally considered normal. No, you don't get a cheek weld when using the optic BUT you can still use the irons is necessary and that was generally a government requirement. Besides, these were meant to be used as marksman's rifles, NOT sniper rifles. Not matter hw low the scope is mounted or how good the trigger is (and these had stock triggers), you were only going to get standard rifle accuracy out of these things. The point of the scope was to be able to engage at slightly longer distances.
For comparison purposes (and this is FAR from scientific!), let's look at the rise on the LV compared to a few of its western contemporaries.
First the LV again:

An HK:

SIG 510:

And finally, an Armalite AR180:

I should have thrown a Colt in there too but I somehow forgot. Anywho, ALL of these rifles have significant rise but that was normal back then. You get used to it.

Next up it the ENOSA VNP-009.
Left side:

Right side:

Front oblique:

Rear oblique:

Straight on:

It's a biggun'. In the 80's, they were all big!

So you say you don't have an ENOSA. That's OK because these rifles work very well with one of the easy to find and plentiful surplus G3 scopes floating around. This next one is a Karl Kaps 4x jobber that I bought some years ago cheap. They have gone up some in price but they are still very reasonable considering the Quality. These things are so well built, your grandkids will be using them! This one is also now zeroed to the rifle and it's what I'll be using in the spring for some accuracy testing.
Left side:

Right side:

Front oblique:

Rear oblique:

Now, this scope is calibrated to the 7.62 NATO round so the distance setting will only be accurate at the range I've zeroed it to but that's OK because this thing is a range you anyways. These scopes were made with 5.56 ballistic cams but they are rare. Mr. Estes Adams used to make replicas of the cams but, sadly, he has passed on to his next life. He was a good man. May God grant him the peace he has earned.

This next one is a West German surplus Gen 1 Z51 night vision scope. These babies are SCHWEEET! Built to last with a picture Quality approaching that of a Gen 2 unit, they are a bit hard to find but prices are quite reasonable when you find them. I can tell you from experience, these jobbers sit so high that they are most comfortable using the opposite eye you are used to using. It's weird at first but once you get used to it, the reliable Z51 works like a charm.
Left side:

Right side:

Front oblique:

Rear oblique:

Straight on:

HEAVY baby....HEAVY!!!

This next one is an enigma. Rumor has it that this thing was designed and built to be smuggled into East Germany for clandestine use by anti-communist dissidents who called themselves the Neuwerwolffreiheitskampher Bataillon and the rifle with scope was known as the Werwolfs Nachtjagergerat M1945
Here's the left side:

Right side:

Shown with illumination lamp battery replicating the illustration in the uber top secret manual which I just happen to have a copy of:

Front oblique:

Rear oblique:

Straight on:

Of course, all I just posted about this thing was 100% completely fabricated for no other reason than to be goofy. In reality, this unit is a Gen 0 B8-V built by Zeiss-Eltro back in the 1960's. While it's heavy, cumbersome and you are literally tethered to your rifle by way of the belt mounted 6V power pack for the illumination lamp, it was cutting edge back in its day and the image quality is surprisingly good even today. It might be crude but it works!

Of course, you may want a more modern option than any shown here for your CETME LV. Well, all you need to do is buy yourself a STANAG to Picatinny adapter online and BLAMMO!!! You can then use whatever modern optic you want. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of one of those adaptors.....I'm old school buddy!!!

Well, that's it for now. The LV was a modern rifle back in the 80's. Yes, it's antiquated by today's standards but it shouldn't be judged by those. Instead, it should be looked at for what it is, a faithful reproduction of the original CETME LV. So long as you remember why MCM reproduced it, you'll be a happy fellow for buying one. An added bonus is that, if my guess is correct, these will increase in value significantly as the years pass. Simply put, if you buy one expecting it to compete with today's modern optic ready rifes, you're going to be sorely disappointed. BUT, if you buy one for the love of retro and, to a lesser degree, investment purposes, you're going to have a grin on your face every time you pick up your little LV buddy. My advice is to buy it!!

MarColMar is in the process of producing the Model LV/s which is a reproduction of the rifle built specifically for the Spanish Marines and comes complete with a 4x SUSAT scope. Of course I want one and when I get my hands on it, I'll post it here as an addendum. Until that time, I hope to see you at the range! Be safe, be happy and tell your Mom you love her; she deserves it!!

Thanks Mom......for everything!!

3,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sorry, I just noticed this post Peter. The Enosa scopes are out there but they are rare now. As far as I know, only 1 shipment of them came in as surplus and they disappeared quickly. I'm looking for a set myself because the one I show above was a loaner.

Also, I said I would update this article with an addendum when I got an LV/S. Instead, I wrote an entirely new piece on that rifle. The LV/S quickly became my favorite CETME for range use because it pairs VERY well with the SUSAT. . Here is a link to it:

MarColMar CETME LV/S in Detail | Gunboards Forums
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