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Mystery Vintage Spotting Scope

Printed From: OpticsTalk by SWFA, Inc.
Category: Other Optics
Forum Name: Spotting Scopes
Forum Description: Big Eye Optics
Printed Date: July/04/2020 at 03:52
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 -

Topic: Mystery Vintage Spotting Scope
Posted By: flyer92
Subject: Mystery Vintage Spotting Scope
Date Posted: April/22/2020 at 23:42
Greetings all...newbie here, and glad I discovered this great forum.

I have been casually collecting vintage Bausch & Lomb spotting scopes for the last few years, especially pre-war "NRA" scopes and WWII-era M48 scopes, which are essentially the same thing (see small scope in the photo).  Several years ago, I purchased the larger scope during an online auction because it was cheap, but also because I had never seen one like it.  It came with a 13.5x eyepiece and a 20x eyepiece, as well as a matching capsule to store the one not being used in the scope (see second photo).  Although it is also a B&L scope, it clearly isn't a Balscope Junior or Balscope Senior, and looks like a super-sized NRA/M48 model. Surprisingly, internet research has turned up nothing, and the current B&L staff doesn't seem to know much about optics because they haven't manufactured any in years.  So....just curious if anyone here has ever seen one of these and/or may know what it actually is.  Any info would be much appreciated, and I am glad to take additional photos/measurements if needed.  Many thanks!

Posted By: 3_tens
Date Posted: April/23/2020 at 00:58
Welcome to the OT. You did good working around the 50 post minimum to upload photos. You may be able to get a monitor to make your links hot.  There is a thread on anything goes (boost your post count). When you reach 50 post that will also open the editor tools. Sorry but the rules were there many years ago. The B&L scopes look similar to the scopes we used on the ROTC rifle team in 1970 at UTM. Most were prewar models past down to the school.

Folks ain't got a sense of humor no more. They don't laugh they just get sore.

Need to follow the rules. Just hard to determine which set of rules to follow
Now the rules have changed again.

Posted By: flyer92
Date Posted: April/23/2020 at 08:01
Thanks, and no worries about the rules.  As you said, I still managed to find a way to share the pics with the group, so all is good.  

As for the scopes, it doesn't surprise me that the M48 was issued to your ROTC unit.  These were used in the early days of WWII until the lighter M49 was mass-produced for the War Department, and continued through Vietnam.  Through all that time, the remaining (and heavier) M48s found their way into non-front line roles, such as at ranges, ROTC units, etc.  However, the larger scope is still a mystery, as I have never seen one, and I'm pretty certain it has no military provenance either.  Will update here if I discover anything new, and appreciate your time and attention.  

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