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The Originals

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2004 at 17:55
Chris Farris View Drop Down

Joined: October/01/2003
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 7844

Scopes were used for long shooting as early as our Civil War. The first receiver-mounted scopes appeared at the turn of the century. European models were expensive, but the J. Stevens Arms and Tool Company sold a 16-inch 5X scope for $24. Around 1930 a 24-year-old Texan named Bill Weaver designed a 3X scope he called the 330. At $19, it was an instant hit, despite its complex mount. Lymanís legendary 2 3/4X Alaskan came along in time to equip U.S. snipers for the second world war. As Hitler mustered his troops, a Zeiss engineer working on lenses found that a thin coat of magnesium fluoride on lens surfaces reduced light loss. After World War II his discovery spread to a growing number of scope-makers. One was the Oregon firm of Leupold & Stevens. Marcus Leupoldís first riflescope, the Plainsman, came along in 1947. A couple years later Leupold would pioneer the use of nitrogen in a vacuum-purged scope to prevent fogging. During the 1950s only a few of the early scope companies withstood competition from Weaver, Leupold, Redfield and Bausch & Lomb. Japanese imports followed, to tap an expanding market in budget-priced optics. As U.S. hunters jettisoned iron sights, then demanded the best in scopes, European makers (Zeiss, Swarovski, Schmidt & Bender) came stateside too.


Courtesy of Harris Publications

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