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US ARMY MODEL 82 SNIPER SCOPE MODIFIED DURING A KOREAN WAR ERA ORDNANCE DEPARTMENT PROJECT ONE OF A KIND WITH PROVENANCE:  Recently obtained from the estate of a US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) of Ordnance, this US Army issue Model 82 Sniper Scope was modified during an ongoing project sanctioned by the Ordnance Department to further develop the scopes in the hands of the troops.   

As documented in the accompanying photographs, since his service during the Korean War this CWO had been involved in modifying standard issue and captured weapons to produce a large bore sniper rifle for the army.  It is believed that his first effort occurred in Korea the combination of the receiver from a captured Russian anti-tank rifle and the barrel from a .50 caliber BMG - was a product of his own initiative.  Eventually the story of this rifle, accompanied by the larger photo of CWO Weakley in the snow covered bunker (see below), was published in Stars and Stripes.  His efforts were recognized and the army assigned the CWO to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds where the project was continued (see photograph below).   

This scope, while not shown in either photo, was another effort in the CWOs ongoing continuum of a search for the right combination of rifle and optics to equip a sniper.    

The scope is built on a standard M-82 Sniper Scope, onto which has been added a large brass front optic.  The reticule was taken from a M-86 scope for the 57mm Recoilless Rifle.  The brass adapter threaded onto the front of the scope shows signs of being an Ordnance work shop product and while smooth, doesnt appear to ever have been polished as would be a finished product.  The unit is 19 long, the front optic is 2 in diameter, and weighs 2 lbs., 2.5 ounces.  The optics are clear and provide an 8 field of view at 50 yards.  The M-82 has all of the proper part numbers on the eye piece, adjustment bases and knob covers.  The scope body is likewise stamped with all the proper nomenclature, including a low three-digit serial number, indicating an early production.  The blue finish on the scope is 90% intact with some areas turning to plum.  Overall the scope is in very good to excellent condition and is fully functional. 

This grouping includes the scope, as well as the two period US Army photographs mounted in frames.  The larger photo is mounted on a board backing, measuring 19 x 16 , and has an inscription on the reverse to the CWOs family.  The smaller photo is a standard army Signal Corps photo with an attached caption and measures 7 x 7 mounted inside a 12 by 11 frame. 

The scope alone is not only a desirable, early production M-82 Sniper Scope, but it is a rare piece of Ordnance Department history with the unique modifications.  Coupled with the accompanying information and photographs, this is a very interesting historical set deserving of preservation.  $1050

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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