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At a time when rifling and breech-loading was just being implemented in military weapons, the old habits of promiscuous fire still reigned supreme. Though most troops would still fire in wild volleys, hoping to hit someone on the other side, a few troops on both sides of battle would aim their shots with more distinction. With greater reach and precision, it was possible to pick a target and take that sole target out. Most of the time, that target would be an officer if at all possible.
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. 

Today's main story takes a brief look into just one side of international arms dealing during the Civil War. The American Civil War lasted 4 years and 27 days, stretching from 1861 to 1865. With the South being more devoted to agriculture than the manufacture of arms, how did they manage to stay so well armed during the war? The answer, as you might have guessed, lay in the trade of cotton overseas. 

  • 3 min read
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.
I’m sorry to say that the tall tales and cinematic moments are largely just that. While I can’t say that the Wild West was the rootinest tootinest place for a duellist, I can share a couple other notable duels. 
  • 5 min read
The story of The Winchester 1873 rifle is not one of startling, ground sweeping change. Instead, it was a series of well-made decisions that boosted this rifle to great popularity, at a time when people in the Wild West were looking for a rifle just like it. 
We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. ... Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”
General Logan, 1868
  • 4 min read
The 1903 is a rifle. Chambered in .30-06 (‘thirty ought six’), it’s made of wood, metal, and a firm butt plate and weighs a bit over 8 ½ lbs. It’s a bolt action rifle that has been around since (you guessed it) 1903. Originally named the “United States Rifle, Caliber .30-06, Model 1903”, it’s now colloquially (and officially) named the “Springfield M1903.”
It wasn’t until the first day of 1776 that 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...
  • 4 min read
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.
  • 4 min read

“I believe there is still room for tradition in this society, even as we race forward toward the 21st century. A tradition we must keep alive is the setting aside of a single day each year to honor the veterans of this Nation. And this day should remain the same, and should not be changed around to suit some arbitrary holiday schedule.”

Dominick Daniels, Representative NJ

  • 4 min read
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.
  • 8 min read