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Old 10-03-2019, 12:22 PM
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Vintage Optics



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Anyone collect optics of yesteryear?

I own several vintage optics which I use on my hunting rifles. Two of the brands that I am always on the lookout for are the Denver-made Redfields and Pentax Lightseekers.

When I first got into the Redfields (way before Leupold bought the name) You could find gently used Golden 5 Star scopes for well under $200. The glass in these scopes is outstanding for that price. Additionally, I like the 'tombstone' ranging reticle. I have 4 of these fine scopes and they work every bit as good as scopes costing 3 times what I paid for them. Unfortunately, word has gotten around about the value of the Denver-made Redfields, and prices have gone way up.

Another vintage scope that I look for, but have only found 2, is the Pentax Lightseeker XL. A buddy of mine turned me on to these in 2008. He had one on his Rem 700 PSS. I was impressed by the clarity and color. Apparently these scopes were made by Burris, except for the glass, which was made and coated by Pentax in Japan, and are the equivalent of the Burris Signature Select with slightly better glass. These are not so well known and can still be found at bargain prices.

What other vintage optics do you like?
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:39 PM
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Well, there's vintage and then there's vintage. We obviously have different ideas about what that means.
But, yes, I am into vintage scopes; anything from the the late 19th century up to 1980''s. I have lots of older Weavers, Redfields, Kollmorgens, Lymans, Tascos, early Leupolds, early Burris', and a smattering of others (Zeiss, Pecar, Kahles, Norman Ford, Bausch&Lomb, Unertl, Litschert, etc.)
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:10 PM
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I think they're all cool, however we define "vintage". Have a couple 3200s, couple Super-Targetspots, a Litschert (on a Win M-95 in .30-40), and a Hensoldt 2.75x in G&H side mount on a M-54 Winchester. Plus some less ancient Redfields, El Paso Weavers, and Lyman Permacenters, too. All good stuff.

Their optical qualities are showing their age, but I would trust any of them to make hits once zeroed. Can't say the same for alot of new stuff.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:10 PM
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I just bought an old Redfield 1-4 5 star of eBay and got it in the mail yesterday. and I have to say the glass is very nice. never even looked through one before always heard they were nice. it looks brand new no signs of rings every being put on it. I paid a little more then I wanted $119.00 but I think it was worth it. I got it for one of my AR's and its got a duplex reticle and should be fine for that purpose.

these are pics from the auction:




Last edited by lone gunman; 10-16-2019 at 02:27 PM. Reason: pics added
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:18 PM
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I have a couple of vintage Weavers. A K4-60B from the early 1960's and a V7-1 from the mid 1970's. I like those all steel Weavers.

Last edited by Pa22Rimfire; 10-15-2019 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:29 PM
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Iím always glad when I get an interesting older scope. I try to find out where they best belong
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Old 10-03-2019, 10:01 PM
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Does a 3 digit sn Unertl (likely from the 1st couple years he made them) 1 1/4" target 10x count? Complete with caps, recoil spring, extra fine wires and the Lyman 5A type mounts he used before 'his mounts'.
Came on a smallbore target rifle from the same period that I still have.
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Old 10-04-2019, 04:50 AM
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I'm old enough that scopes I bought new are now called "vintage".

Late '70s, made in Colorado Redfield Widefield (remember the TV screen?) 1.75-5x. Still perfect, not mounted, don't want to beat it up on an AR.
Weaver steel-tube K4, also late '70s, still perfect on one of my son's guns.

Two '80s Japanese Tascos, a 3-9x32 (unmounted) and a 6-24x40AO mounted on my 1987 tang-safety M77V 220 Swift.

I've never had the money for expensive scopes but all those have better glass than what you'd expect at their price point.
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:52 AM
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One of these days I'll buy a Unertl 20X to go on one of my 52 Winchester just because that's what should be on them.

I do still have a Redfield 3-9 Widefield Metallic Silhouette that I bought ne in 1977 with my Model 70 Winchester in 30-06, I was 16.
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:35 AM
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My favorite vintage scopes (I guess I'm vintage too) are the Unertls. I have two of the 2" Ultravarmint 15X mounted on Winchester 52 D and B guns. I have the 2" Unertl Target in 20X on a Winchester 52E. The D and E 52s are used regularly in our local club matches and perform extremely well....frequently besting custom made benchrest guns. The old stuff can still perform as well as looking cool.

Last edited by pump .22s; 10-04-2019 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:06 PM
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I bought a Marlin 56 lever-action just because it had a Marlin Micro-vue 4x scope on it. It looked like they had always been together. Optics still clear and the size of the scope matches the .22. I always look for older Leupolds and steel Weavers at gun shows.
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Old 10-04-2019, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy99CL View Post
I'm old enough that scopes I bought new are now called "vintage".

Late '70s, made in Colorado Redfield Widefield (remember the TV screen?) 1.75-5x. Still perfect, not mounted, don't want to beat it up on an AR.
Weaver steel-tube K4, also late '70s, still perfect on one of my son's guns.

Two '80s Japanese Tascos, a 3-9x32 (unmounted) and a 6-24x40AO mounted on my 1987 tang-safety M77V 220 Swift.

I've never had the money for expensive scopes but all those have better glass than what you'd expect at their price point.
I have a couple of those old Redfield Wide-field scopes bought new in the mid 1970s. They are decent scopes but both of mine have lost their inert gas charge and now fog up when I take them out. I need to find someone who can put new seals in them because they are currently useless.
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Old 10-04-2019, 05:39 PM
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A few years ago I ran across an ad for a company that repairs vintage scopes but their minimum prices were high, probably more than the Redfields are worth.
https://ironsightinc.com/index.php?r...mmon/reedfield

I do like mine and want to keep it and will probably mount it on a .22 but I really prefer the MOA reticles of modern scopes.

Last edited by Randy99CL; 10-04-2019 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:01 AM
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I've got a couple of Feckers, Balvar24's, Litschert, Super Target Spot, some Unertls, and a Pechar.

Pechar worked for Fecker much like Unertl before starting up before the war.
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pa22Rimfire View Post
I have a couple of vintage Weavers. A K4-60B from the early 1960's and a V7-1 from the mid 1970's. I like those all steel Weavers.
Update. I just added another Weaver to my collection. It is a K4-C3 from the late 1960's. This was one of the earliest Weaver's to use the Dual-X reticle. No rust, dents or worn blueing.
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