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Old 08-01-2020, 07:07 PM
canoeguy canoeguy is offline
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Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....  
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Default Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....

I found an old Life magazine at a yard sale the other day, dated February, 1968, It has some fascinating pictures of Marines at the airfield in Khe San. One of the pics shows "A 19 year old Marine Sniper and his team identifying targets at the edge of the airfield", quotes from the picture caption. A good picture of the rifle and scope, what do you think it is?



It was a pretty good article, identifying the siege situation these Marines endured, Charlie just outside the wire, mortaring any aircraft attempting to land. One C-130 was lost to mortar fire while the Life magazine reporter was there, with much loss of life:

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Old 08-01-2020, 07:16 PM
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Remington 700 .308, 3x-9X Redfield?
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:22 PM
Injunbro Injunbro is offline
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Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....  
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A few Winchester Model 70 .30-06 were used early in the war. Can't remember what scopes.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:28 PM
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Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....  
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My guess would be Model 70 Winchester fitted with 8 power Unertl scope, It was what Carlos Hathcock used, although the 1903 Springfield, that was the favorite sniper rifle in WWII and Korea, was still very much a favorite with the same scope.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:49 PM
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Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....  
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I can’t tell what rifle is, but that looks like 3x9 scope. Early they had some m70s before they got in the groove with Rem700 308s issue they had some civilian market rifles.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:00 PM
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Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....  
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That's not a Remington bolt handle, I'd bet it's a Winchester, long action, and that appears to be a fixed, not a variable scope. I'd bet on a Unertl also.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:18 PM
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Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....  
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Difficult to identify it positively from that picture. The M40 Remington in .308 with a Leupold scope was more or less the standard USMC sniper rifle in Vietnam, but there were others used, often the Winchester M70. Hathcock used a .30-'06 M70 with an 8X Unertl target scope (external adjustments).

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Old 08-01-2020, 09:04 PM
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Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....  
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My two cents: USMC Model 40, a Remington 700 short action in 7.62 NATO with a 3X9 Redfield.

Remington made a few thousand of these maybe 20 years ago as a tribute to their contribution to sniping in VN. A friend has one, but is still looking for an original USMC Redfield for it. We had the Redfield 3X9 on our M21 sniper rifles (M14NM with the Redfield), but with an articulated mount for ranges from 300 to 900 meters. The scope power equaled the range when zeroed properly. I.e. 6X was 600 meters.

The USMC match armorers developed the Model 700 (possibly using the above rifle) into the M40A1 sniper rifle after VN and used the latest Unertl scopes on them. They were superb scopes and were more traditional in design than the older long Unertls. As I recall, they were 10 power with the USMC mil radian reticle which has finer mil dots than the Army reticle.

My unit had some cross pollinezation with a USMC unit's snipers in the late 80s and we ran a couple of train ups with them. Good fun that was and I actually preferred their M40s to the M24 SWC that we had just adopted.

Stole the below photo off of the Internet. It's a duplicate of the rifle in the OPs post and is from the VN era.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:27 PM
rockquarry rockquarry is offline
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It's apparent some here are completely unfamiliar with Unertl scopes and have likely never seen one. Per my original post, and I could certainly be wrong, I think the scope depicted in the photo is a Redfield 3x-9x variable. There is no similarity between that scope (with internal adjustments) and a Unertl (with external adjustments) and a scope tube twice as long as the Redfield.

The Carlos Hathcock rifle was a Model 70 Winchester .30-06 with an 8x Unertl. That's from memory; haven't read the book in twenty-five or thirty years, but I've used Unertl scopes for decades and still have five.
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Old 08-02-2020, 01:14 AM
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Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....  
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Here is a similar rifle to what Gunny Hathcock used. It is a Winchester Pre 64 Model 70 in 30/06 with a long Unertle on it.

The USMC long Unertles date back to WWII and were mounted on 1903 Springfields. They were finally declared surplus during and after the VN War.

Later Unertles on the 40A1 and later varients had internal adjustments compared to the long Unertles of the original M40 with the mount adjustments.
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Old 08-02-2020, 01:16 AM
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According to Peter Senich The One Round War page 151 the sniper is L.CPL A Miranda , spotter (C) is L.CPL D Burdwell and the LT is A.Bodenwiser. The rifle is a Model 700 with a Redfield 3-9 with a Redfield jr mount. Thanks for giving me the chance to remove the book from the shelf
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:58 AM
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Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....  
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The original scope pictured isn’t a Unertl and the bolt doesn’t appear to be that of a 700. Pic is likely from late 1965/early 1966 (unless photo really is from KS) and of a Redfield on a .30-06 Model 70.

I believe the correct nam era Model 70 would’ve been a medium HB in a Van Orden stock (which is more like a sporter stock than a varmint type).
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:00 AM
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Note Scharfschuetzer's photo in post 8 shows the Remington bolt handle, a flattened checkered bolt end that is common to all Remington 700's. Would still think the original photo is a Winchester Mod 70.
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:03 AM
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Based on the time frame, location and use by a Marine sniper my money is on the rifle being a Remington M40 with a Redfield 3X9 scope.

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Old 08-02-2020, 09:12 AM
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Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....  
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I blew the photo up and can say this is a Model 70 Winchester rifle and I think the scope is the old 3x9 Redfield. Those redfield scopes has three rings on the eyepiece that were "stippled" or "checkered" and I think I can see that the eyepiece is not smooth, so I vote Redfield for scope
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Old 08-02-2020, 10:10 AM
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I couldn’t ID the rifle because of bolt handle and end of forearm. The scope is not a Unertil. The mount/ base is visible and clearly Redfield. Unertil did make some internal adjustment hunting scopes but this is not one of them.
They had trouble with stocks on Rems warping. I did see a few Win 70s with 3x9 scopes in 308. Looked straight from sporting goods. I was told these rifles came from Special Services. That is the outfit that lends out sports equipment on military posts.
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Old 08-02-2020, 10:12 AM
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Definitely an M40, a modified Remington 700 short action in 7.62 NATO (note the safety and receiver shape). The scope is a Redfield 3X-9X Accu-Range, which were mounted in Redfield Sr one piece bases and Redfield 4-screw rings. The initial Accu-Range scopes had a matte anodized finish and were marked 1” TUBE , but later replacements were standard commercial high gloss.

The scopes allowed ranging out to about 600 yards. There were 2 horizontal stadia wires above the croosshairs that were used to frame the target by adjusting the magnification ring. As you adjusted the power, a small graduated scale projected into the bottom of the field of view. The scope was initially intended for deer hunting and you would frame the deer, back to brisket. The military framed the enemy chin to belt buckle.

The internal graduated scales were plastic and that was a major flaw. If you allowed the objective lens to point at the sun, the flag would start to melt, similar to the way kids fry ants with a magnifying glass.

When Remington released a run of M40 Commemoratives, the 3x9 Accu-Range scopes were bring around $1000. Last I looked, they’re down to around $400-$500. The front lens was constructed of 2 pieces glued together and the adhesive tended to get hazy with time. Iron-Sight scope repair can fix that for about $100, but the lead time is about 12 months. I’ve had a number of them over the years and still have at least one stashed away.

Here's a later commercial version. The graduated scales moves up or down ad you turn the magnification ring, to provide a reasonable estimate of the distance.

Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....-000_0318-jpg

Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....-000_0319-jpg

Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....-000_0329-jpg
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Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....-000_0318-jpg   Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....-000_0319-jpg   Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....-000_0329-jpg  
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:12 AM
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The Marines frequently found different ways to get things done, and my experience was in the Army so may have no bearing on the discussion.

In 1969 the primary "sniper rifle" in US Army inventory was the Model 70 Winchester "target" version, 26" heavy barrel, caliber .30-06. These were processed by the US Army Marksmanship Training Unit gunsmith shop, actions were glass-bedded, barrels free-floated. Scope mounts were two-piece steel (probably Redfield). Unertl scopes were the standard of that time, and I saw these rifles mounted with scopes of 6X, 8X, and 20X with adjustable objective rings (parallax correction).

The marksmanship phase of Army sniper training was conducted on the MTU range. Qualification standards were 100% at 600 yards and 90% at 1000 yards. Those who qualified went on to the field training phase (infiltration, exfiltration, camouflage, field survival) and took the rifle they qualified with along in a heavy aluminum case.

The second rifle was a specially prepared M14 7.62NATO with heavy barrel, glass-bedded fiberglass stock, bipod mounted, National Match tuned trigger, and 6X Unertl scope. If my memory is correct, the rifle was referred to as XM-21. Qualifications were required to 600 yards (I don't remember the minimum score requirement).

The starlight scopes were relatively new at that time (and remained classified). MTU gunsmiths were experimenting with scope mounts for the M14, and rumors indicated that they were engaging man-sized silhouettes up to 500 yards at night.

All MTU weapons were supposed to be returned to the facility at 2000 rounds for servicing in the shop.

In addition to Army personnel at the MTU facility I saw Navy, Air Force, and Marines attending the training.
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Old 08-02-2020, 01:55 PM
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Round knob, hollow bolt handle.
Plus,,
You have enlarge the pic greatly,,, then you can see the 'hitch' or step in the Winchester Mod 70's extractor lying alongside the right side of the bolt. It shows as a shadow line perpendicular to the length of the extractor.

The Remington 700 is not a controlled feed action and does not have a Mauser/03 Springfield style non-rotating extractor lying on the outside of the bolt body.
Just an imbedded coil spring powered claw at the front of the bolt face,,like a lot of .22's actually

I'll go with Win Mod 70 .

I admit to knowing nothing of Sniper rifles and optics (in general).
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Old 08-02-2020, 03:43 PM
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Carlos with Winchester M-70 and Unertl scope. Chuck Mawhinney with Rem-700 and Redfield 3X9.
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Old 08-02-2020, 05:32 PM
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As "bummer" mentioned in his post, the Marines were identified in Senich's book. The dust cover on that book has the same three Marines enlarged to fit edge to edge and it's very obvious that the rifle is a first issue M40 with the Redfield 3x9 scope and mount!
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Old 08-02-2020, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homie View Post
As "bummer" mentioned in his post, the Marines were identified in Senich's book. The dust cover on that book has the same three Marines enlarged to fit edge to edge and it's very obvious that the rifle is a first issue M40 with the Redfield 3x9 scope and mount!
Homie is correct. The shooter is identified in Senich's book "The One Round War - USMC Scout-Snipers in Vietnam" as L.Cpl. Albert Miranda, 19, of El Paso, TX. Center is L.Cpl. David Burdwell, 20, of Wichita Falls, TX. On the right is Lt. Alec Bodenwiser of Portland, OR. The rifle is an early Remington M700/M40 with the Redfield 3x9 scope. Frankly, I thought at first glance that it was a M70, but most of M70's that I have seen (not all) had the longer Unertl target scope.
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:01 AM
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s&w chad (post 17) gave a nice description of the Redfield scope. Here's what I remember from reading about the scope and rangefinder when it first came out. Redfield determined that the typical VC combatant measured 18 inches from the belt line to the collarbone and designed their range finder to use that figure. Simply place the rangefinder wires on the VC and then twist the magnification to make him fit. Then read the range at the bottom of the picture. (They also claimed the normal deer...chest to back...measured about 18 inches for civilian use.)

I was able to spend some time in the desert about 20 years ago with one of those scopes. We rigged up an 18 inch target and moved it around to various ranges out to about 350 yards and compared the Redfield estimates with lasered measurements. They were close enough.

Ed
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Old 08-03-2020, 12:49 PM
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Thst definitely looks like a Model 70 bolt handle to me. Full disclosure, I have owned control feed Winchester model 70's as well as Model 700's. Ain't no way that is a Model 700 bolt handle
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Old 08-03-2020, 01:01 PM
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Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968..... Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....  
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Default Sniper Scope Reticles

While the original post was just to ID the Remington rifle and the Redfield scope, it has evolved into a general discussion of rifles and scopes so I thought that I'd add the following to my two posts above regarding the reticles used by the US Army from VN to the GWAT. I used the ART II reticle and the Mil Dot reticle during my time behind rifles.

I also use the Redfield 3X9 Acurange as a sporting scope due to my familiarity with it from the service. S&WChad in Post 17 does a good job of describing it, so I won't repeat his good work.

If you want detailed info on the Army sniper rifles and advanced marksmanship, you can find it in FM 23-10 (1974) and the later TC 23-14.

The Army reticle when I retired used a combination of the mil dot and the WW I/Draganuv PSO ranging reticle in a Nightforce scope. These scopes were mounted on the Mk 13 SWS rifle (Another Remington 700 based rifle). I don't have a photo of it, but imagine a mil dot reticle with a Draganuv PSO reticle at the bottom of the field of view.

The ART I and ART II work with a variable power scope (either the 3X9 Redfield or the 3X9 Leatherwood in the US Army) as they increase or decrease the size of a known size object in comparison to the reticle and then give the range as a function of the number on the scope power ring. On the M21 sniper rifle (M14NM) the elliptical cam on the power ring also raised or lowered the rear of the scope to set the range/trajectory to what the power ring read.

The Mil Dot works in scopes to measure the angle in mil radians to a target of a know size:. I.e. Target size / mils X 1000 = range. Or for example: 1 meter / 2 mils X 1000 = 500 meters.

The ART I, The ART II and the current Mil Dot reticles.
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Old 08-03-2020, 01:19 PM
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I have all the books referenced above and quite a few more on sniping during the VN era and believe that is a Remington M40 system. If one looks at the picture of the rifle in question and the one Hathcock is aiming, which is known to be a long action Model 70 .30-06, the action on the gun in question, which would be a short action .308 if a 700, is much shorter in appearance. From my readings there were no Winchester .308s in the Marine sniper inventory, all were target grade Winchesters in .30-06...

Bob
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Old 08-03-2020, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAJUNLAWYER View Post
Thst definitely looks like a Model 70 bolt handle to me. Full disclosure, I have owned control feed Winchester model 70's as well as Model 700's. Ain't no way that is a Model 700 bolt handle
I agree that the handle doesn’t look like a commercial 700, but the Model 70 was not used to build M40’s. The USMC M40’s started out as a 40X/700, but a lot of modifications were performed by USMC armorers in Quantico, using component parts from a number of suppliers. They had a free- floated non-checkered stock, a heavier recoil lug, an upgraded trigger and a steel triggerguard... just to name a few. The actual spec’s are not readily available and were probably classified. I don’t know if the bolt handles were one of the modifications, but I’m pretty sure they were just brazed on and that’s a simple enough change to make. Many of the custom builders today who use 700 actions change the bolt handles.

Note the bolt on this USMC photo of a sniper in Hue’. I guess all the photo attributes of the OP’s photos could be wrong and the USMC description of the rifle in this photo could be wrong, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Can you identify this USMC Sniper Rifle and Scope? Khe San, 1968.....-d364f62a-974a-4f70-b811-d2af82468f71-jpeg
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Old 08-03-2020, 01:54 PM
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I can't remember at the moment when Winchester began making a short-action (.308 length) Model 70 action, but it hasn't been all that long ago. Winchester chambered the .308 in the Model 70 Featherweight in the early '50s, but they used the same length action that was used for everything else for decades.

If someone already mentioned this, I apologize, but there is an excellent article in the April 2011 edition of the AMERICAN RIFLEMAN, "The Military Model 70" by Bruce Canfield, a military arms expert and certainly the best overall writer this magazine has had in a long time.

As for the non-Remington-looking bolt handle in the photo of the Remington 700 rifle at the beginning of this post, I wouldn't put too much faith in what something "looks like" during an era of almost endless military modifications and experimentation. Bolt handle configuration is a very simple alteration.
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:37 PM
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American Rifleman | Long-Range Warriors: The USMC M40 Rifles
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:40 PM
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While Unertl scopes have been discussed here generally, no one has gone beyond a cursory mention.

I've always been amazed that Unertls were used in severe, military combat situations. While these are excellent scopes even today (they've been out of production for twenty-five years), Unertls are quite fragile in comparison with more modern internally adjustable scopes.

There are several exposed surfaces on Unertl scopes subject to being contaminated by grit, dirt, dust, rainwater, etc. The entire tube, parallax adjustment and locking ring, and threaded lens caps are all blued steel and would likely rust very easily. Overtightening anything on a Unertl is risking breakage.

However, optics are excellent. Parallax adjustment works as well as anything we have today, but the actual adjustment is not an exercise in convenience. Some condemn the small field of view, but this is more of an academic "easy-chair expert" criticism than something real.

I haven't fiddled with this in a long time, but as I recall, scope adjustments are very repeatable and one will likely find the "feel" of Unertl "clicks" more positive than on any other scope. I've tried removing and re-attaching a Unertl (very quick and simple process that can be done without tools). Seems like the zero is retained or is very close after re-attaching, but I can't recall for sure; haven't done it in a while.

I suppose the military users of Unertls were well-versed regarding the previously mentioned shortcomings of these scopes and took great care in handling them.
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:57 PM
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Folks, this is a winchester bolt and control round feeding, as others have stated, you can see the shadow of the extractor.
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Old 08-03-2020, 06:34 PM
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Let me respond to a few points and questions that have been posted without being crass or obtuse.

Regarding the blown up photo above: That really is a short action Remington. Key indicators are: No external claw extractor and the Remington safety. The Winchester used in VN was a standard length, had an external claw extractor and the safety was mounted on the striker housing and not on the trigger assembly frame. I'll post a photo below.

To back stop my observation:

As noted above, The Winchester short action did not appear until the "push feed" style of actions. I believe that they did not appear until the G series of serial numbers, about 1968 if my memory serves me, but it could have been 1964 and the pre G serial numbers, although I've not seen one in that range. Again, these original short actions were push feeds without the rotating external claw extractor. I do not think that any of these post 63 push feed Winchesters were ever used by the USMC or the Army.

The Pre 64 Winchester (the type used by the USMC) had only one action length and bolt throw was controlled by an extension or lack of one on the extractor collar. It ran along the length of the left side raceway and controlled bolt through by limiting the return distance of the bolt throw. Magazine length was specific to either short (308, etc.), medium (30/06 or 270) and long (300 and 375 H&H Magnums). The magnums also had a modified bridge in order to shoehorn in the longer magnum length cartridges and magazines, but the receiver length remained the same as all other Pre 64 Model 70s. It is noticeably longer than the action in the photo.

Remington on the other hand, came out with a short action (after the Model 30 was discontinued) with the Model 722 in the late 40s. The short action 722 design evolved into the short action Model 700, 40X and eventually the military Model 40 rifles.

Just for fun: Regarding the old long Unertles: They are an absolute treat to use on the range or the prairie dog fields. As noted though, they are fragile and care must be taken at all times with them. Another issue with them in the tropics (or Camp Perry in the summer) is that they are not sealed against the weather.

There was a synthetic material carrying case issued with them for transport when they were not actually on a rifle. One can make a similar carrying case for them out of PVC pipe with threaded caps.

I currently use three Unertle scopes on my varmint and match rifles as well as the Redfield version, the Model 3200.

This is a transitional safety from a Winchester match rifle made in 1947. Later Model 70 safeties had an extension dropping vertically down to improve the thumb's purchase. Either way, it is noticeably different from the Remington 700/40X/M40 safety.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:24 AM
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interesting article that showed up on the internet this morning, complete with several photos, the 2011 National Rifleman article on the Model 70.
American Rifleman | The Military Model 70: A Forgotten Sniper Rifle
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:40 AM
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I would have guessed Rem 700 from time frame but picture is so poor I can’t say from it what it is. I always had a sharp eye for this kind of thing and never saw a old model 70 in RVn. Only a few from late 60s manufacture with 3x9scopes.
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