The story starts with Howard Grubb, a son born into an already-prominent telescope family. Under the name of the Grubb Telescope Company, Howard went on to build refractor telescopes for a number of observatories across Europe, powered by his family’s electrically driven clock drives. In 1900, Howard premiered his latest invention - a reflective sight for small arms.
Peale proved precision optics were possible, but painful. Chapman and James championed cold-drawn chassis. Malcolm made masterful glass coatings and commercially successful scopes. Warner and Swasey’s scopes went to war, but wrestled with mechanical issues. Winchester’s scopes went to war too, but better because of better blocks. Bausch & Lomb made good glass for a while, then great glass with Zeiss’ knowledge. Stevens stuck with domestic glass and bought Winchester tooling, but was bought by Savage and then Lyman. Fecker, friend to Warner and Swasey and Bausch and Lomb, fielded fine optics, and rings with clicks. Lyman found Fecker’s opticians to be useful hires, while Unertl left Fecker on his own.
As ubiquitous and varied as rifle scopes are today, there was a time when a “Riffle with a Tellescope to it” was quite a sight indeed. Don’t worry folks, we’ve got more puns in store for you. We’ll take a look into the very early history of rifle scopes.
It wasn’t until the first day of 1776that a sometimes-inventor named Charles Willson Peale would make the leap from ‘looking at something far away’ to ‘sending something that way.’ Working alongside David Rittenhouse, a prominent astronomer, Peale set out to point telescopes at less heavenly targets...
The first usable spider silk reticles were invented in either 1639, 1662, 1755, (a little before) 1785, or in 1802, each with their own unique spin. Considering that Rittenhouse and Peale’s 1776 “Riffle with a Tellescope to it” was the first recorded scoped rifle shot… and that this is a rifle scope blog... it’s reasonable that Rittenhouse would get credit for the first ‘practical’ application of a spider silk reticle.
There was very little development in the field of sniper rifles and telescopic sights post WWII to Vietnam. We take a deep dive and examine the major events that eventually led to development of the Army Sniper Program and standardized sniper equipment.
In 1855, Wm. Malcolm opened the world's first true riflescope manufacturing company in Syracuse, NY. Several things set his scopes apart from all of the custom built scopes that had been produced prior to that time.
This is an excerpt from and article/report just published on the NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING
This particular rifle, and telescopic rifle sight, was built by master riflesmith Morgan James, of Utica, NY in probably the late 1850's or early 1860's - and saw service during the Civil War as one of the very first telescopic sight (a.k.a. riflescope) mounted military sniper rifles, or as they were known then, aSharpshooterrifle