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marlinguy
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Old optics
Jun 17th, 2017 at 2:48pm
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Picked up an old long range target scope while at the Denver gun show last month. It is a 33 power, and was used for 800-1000 yd. long range matches. They were made in 1892, and many were damaged or lost during WWI as they were used by artillery troops during the first World War.
Even less of the compact tripods for prone shooting survived. Since they were made mostly of wood, they did not survive the rigors of war time use. This one is complete with it's tripod, and optics are in splendid condition! Really pleased to have found it, and it will make a nice display telescope to accompany my #7 Long Range Ballard in .44-100 Bal.

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Extended length is about 42".

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Vall
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Re: Old optics
Reply #1 - Jun 17th, 2017 at 3:13pm
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That's something!!! All the cool stuff falls your way,  Roll Eyes I didn't see/notice that there. Sad   
So according to what I remember these would have come around shortly after they moved from Creedmore to Sea Girt and the military had their fingers in it? 
Nice find!
  

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J Louis
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Re: Old optics
Reply #2 - Jun 17th, 2017 at 3:17pm
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Vall are there any markings stating who made it. Its a first for me what an amazing find and it will indeed compliment your rifle display very nicely.

JLouis
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Old optics
Reply #3 - Jun 17th, 2017 at 3:27pm
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J Louis wrote on Jun 17th, 2017 at 3:17pm:
Vall are there any markings stating who made it. Its a first for me what an amazing find and it will indeed compliment your rifle display very nicely.

JLouis


There are no maker's marks John, but it has a serial number and is French built. Most of these long range spotting scopes from the 1800's were French.
Had a gentleman come by my table right after I purchased it, and asked if he could look it over. I knew very little at purchase, but he seemed to be quite expert at these. He looked it over, and looked at the serial number. Then he began to get excited and asked me how I came by it, and when I told him I'd just purchased it, and the seller had told me he bought scope and tripod separately, he was amazed! He said that not only was it the correct tripod for the scope, but they were 1892 French vintage. He also told me the tripod was far more valuable than the scope, although both were very desirable.
I just thought it was pretty neat, and very affordable, and fell in love with it.
  

Vall
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Re: Old optics
Reply #4 - Jun 17th, 2017 at 9:00pm
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Vall:

Was this a Friday or Saturday purchase? Most of the really fine stuff friends wound up with were bought on Friday. I didn't make it until Saturday this year and feel I missed out on quite a lot. Will know better for next year.

Flatlander
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Old optics
Reply #5 - Jun 18th, 2017 at 11:13am
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Flatlander wrote on Jun 17th, 2017 at 9:00pm:
Vall:

Was this a Friday or Saturday purchase? Most of the really fine stuff friends wound up with were bought on Friday. I didn't make it until Saturday this year and feel I missed out on quite a lot. Will know better for next year.

Flatlander


This was a Friday before the show opened purchase.
  

Vall
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Joe Do...
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Re: Old optics
Reply #6 - Jun 18th, 2017 at 11:25am
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Nice work Vall.  ... very nice purchase!  Michael Petrov had one of these in his gunroom when I was liquidating.  Like everything else, I listed it on eBay before realizing its importance in creedmoor and long-range matches.

The scopes show up on eBay periodically but I have never seen an original tripod.  ... very cool !

... Joe
  
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Re: Old optics
Reply #7 - Jun 18th, 2017 at 12:32pm
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Joe Do... wrote on Jun 18th, 2017 at 11:25am:
Nice work Vall.  ... very nice purchase!  Michael Petrov had one of these in his gunroom when I was liquidating.  Like everything else, I listed it on eBay before realizing its importance in creedmoor and long-range matches.


... Joe


Don't believe that at such long-range matches, the individual shooter was ordinarily doing his own spotting--his team-mate did so from some position other than laying prone on the ground, as is usually done at BPCR matches today.  Here's one of the many Harper's prints depicting shooting at Creed's Moor.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Old optics
Reply #8 - Jun 18th, 2017 at 12:55pm
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Redsetter wrote on Jun 18th, 2017 at 12:32pm:
Joe Do... wrote on Jun 18th, 2017 at 11:25am:
Nice work Vall.  ... very nice purchase!  Michael Petrov had one of these in his gunroom when I was liquidating.  Like everything else, I listed it on eBay before realizing its importance in creedmoor and long-range matches.


... Joe


Don't believe that at such long-range matches, the individual shooter was ordinarily doing his own spotting--his team-mate did so from some position other than laying prone on the ground, as is usually done at BPCR matches today.  Here's one of the many Harper's prints depicting shooting at Creed's Moor.


A long range shooter during a match would never use the short tripod, as spotting for himself would be a distraction. But in practice a shooter would always need a short tripod, as getting up and down to check his hits would be a real pain. A shooter would never use a tall tripod for practice.
  

Vall
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marlinguy
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Re: Old optics
Reply #9 - Jun 20th, 2017 at 10:42am
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J Louis wrote on Jun 17th, 2017 at 3:17pm:
Vall are there any markings stating who made it. Its a first for me what an amazing find and it will indeed compliment your rifle display very nicely.

JLouis


I'm a bit embarrassed, as I thought I'd looked this old scope over quite well! But this morning I was looking it over again and found the maker's rollstamp! The rollstamp reads as follows:

SELSI
E. VION PARIS
RIFLE RANGE TELESCOPE
Power 33 Times
Made in France

From what I've found, Selsi-E. Vion was not importing scopes into the US until the post WWI era. And before WWII the company name changed to simply "SELSI". Then after WWII the company no longer made their scopes in France, and instead had them built in Japan.
They also made scopes for maritime and astrological use. Since this one is marked, "RIFLE RANGE TELESCOPE" it's obvious it's a long range spotting scope, and not for other use.
  

Vall
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rkba2nd
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Re: Old optics
Reply #10 - Jun 20th, 2017 at 4:07pm
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marlinguy-just for your information, I have a leather covered draw tube telescope marked:  BUSCH /  SELSI / RIFLE RANGE / 35X / GERMANY. It is a much later telescope, I am guessing sometime between the wars. I do use it when shooting single shots at the range, as it just seems to fit. The optics are amazingly good. Yours is a very nice find indeed.  best regards Krag



  

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marlinguy
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Re: Old optics
Reply #11 - Jun 20th, 2017 at 4:56pm
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Is your BUSCH-SELSI a 5 segment scope? I found reference to a Busch-Selsi when trying to find more data on mine. Not sure if the responder was correct (it was the internet!) but he said it was around WWII or after.
  

Vall
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Re: Old optics
Reply #12 - Jun 21st, 2017 at 4:52pm
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marlinguy- Yes it is five segments, and although I didn't measure the length, I would guess about three to three and one half feet. The objective lens is about two inches, and the exit pupil a whopping 3/32 or so. Not exactly a night vision device, but as I said before, the optics are very good. Some years ago I compared the resolution capabilities of a number of optics using Wally Siebert's method using a newspaper. This scope and a pre-war Zeiss zielacht rifle scope held their own with some more modern well known optics. Best of luck in your search for more information and history. Krag
  

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Re: Old optics
Reply #13 - Jun 21st, 2017 at 4:57pm
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rkba2nd,
Please tell us about the news paper test.

Frank
  

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Re: Old optics
Reply #14 - Jun 21st, 2017 at 5:08pm
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marlinguy- as an addendum, I obtained the scope from a gentleman who told me that he bought it back east in the late thirties. I have no way to verify that as it was in the late sixties. Krag
  

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Re: Old optics
Reply #15 - Jun 21st, 2017 at 5:20pm
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frnkeore- Wally's method was really quite simple, used to compare resolution only. It involved only tacking the front page of a newspaper to a target frame at a given distance and comparing the smallest print discernible. Two to three hundred yards seemed to separate the men from the boys.. simple but effective. best regards Krag
  

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Re: Old optics
Reply #16 - Jun 21st, 2017 at 5:38pm
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marlinguy- snooping around, found a scope that appears to be identical to yours, sans the hard to find tripod. It sold, but was listed on EBTH auctions. Thought you might be interested. Krag
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Old optics
Reply #17 - Jun 22nd, 2017 at 1:23am
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rkba2nd wrote on Jun 21st, 2017 at 5:38pm:
marlinguy- snooping around, found a scope that appears to be identical to yours, sans the hard to find tripod. It sold, but was listed on EBTH auctions. Thought you might be interested. Krag


Not familiar with "EBTH" auctions? Who are they?
Nevermind. Google search found them, but not the scope.
  

Vall
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Re: Old optics
Reply #18 - Aug 23rd, 2017 at 7:18pm
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Looks like a Bardou and Son Rifle Range telescope.  I have one.  Decent optics, get's a lot of comments. 

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Re: Old optics
Reply #19 - Sep 11th, 2017 at 11:22am
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If you have no other place to spend your money .... Wink

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Some really kool optical targets.

The nice ones are chrome on glass then etched with lines at known separations.
  
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Re: Old optics
Reply #20 - Sep 11th, 2017 at 11:46am
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I want that last one, for $32 and guaranteed to fine bullet holes at 1000 yards Smiley

Frank
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Old optics
Reply #21 - Sep 12th, 2017 at 12:50pm
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frnkeore wrote on Sep 11th, 2017 at 11:46am:
I want that last one, for $32 and guaranteed to fine bullet holes at 1000 yards Smiley

Frank


Wonder what they mean by "a bullet mark"? I'd be surprised if it would show a hole in paper, but if shooting at steel it could easily show a "bullet mark" from the splatter at impact.
I took my old scope to our summer long range shoot and set it up on a table to view the 990 yd. dinger, and I could see bullet impact marks with it.
  

Vall
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Re: Old optics
Reply #22 - Sep 12th, 2017 at 1:41pm
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Probably a spotters indication.  I doubt wrought iron would make a very durable target and steel was still very expensive.
  

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Re: Old optics
Reply #23 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 5:42am
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we must remember how things were done in the day.
yes good optics would show a bullet splash on a steel target on a clear day. here in oz in bad mirage it is often difficult to see a spotting disc at 1000 yds on the modern paper target.
tall tripods would have been de rigeur.
there was no string shooting in any rifle events up until 1912 when black powder rifles were concerned.
shooters took turn for their shots as with muzzle loaders.
in fact some were still muzzle loading breech loaders quite late, and breech seating was more prominent then fixed ammo.
wiping was done with up to 5 rods for different purposes, and barrels were often oiled and wiped dry after normal wiping.
this was not practical in the prone position, or the more common supine.
you checked your target while wiping and/or breech seating, standing up.
keep safe,
bruce.
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Old optics
Reply #24 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 11:50am
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Great history Bruce, but when you checked, or how often you checked wouldn't change whether you can see it or not. From what I've read, all shooting back then was done on paper targets, and each shooter shooting at an individual target. So you wouldn't have to worry about whose shot it was on your target, unless the fella next to you cross shot at your target.
But I still can't imagine under perfect conditions, seeing holes in paper at the 1,000 yd. distance. Standing behind a telescope, or any position wouldn't change that. I wonder if they had spotters downrange that signaled the hits, and the people with spotting scopes at the line were using them to see the spotter's signal?
  

Vall
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Re: Old optics
Reply #25 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 3:48pm
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I do not remember seeing a .45  bullet hole in a target at even 500 or 600 yards and we have lots of bright days without mirage. 

I even tried setting up a white backer to the side of an aiming point but couldn't spot the shots in the white paper at 500.
« Last Edit: Sep 13th, 2017 at 5:43pm by Schuetzenmiester »  

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marlinguy
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Re: Old optics
Reply #26 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 4:57pm
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Schuetzenmiester wrote on Sep 13th, 2017 at 3:48pm:
I do not remember seeing a .45  bullet hole in a target at even 500 or 600 yards and we have lots of bright days without mirage. 

I even tried setting up a white backer to the side of an Simi g point but couldn't spot the shots in the white paper at 500.


Same here, so I'm guessing they were looking for  spotter to tell them the location, vs. a bullet hole.
  

Vall
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Re: Old optics
Reply #27 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 7:02pm
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here in oz you mostly can't see bullet holes at 300 with a good scope.
in the day at creedmoor ranges at least, a guy hid in a pit with a steel lid, beneath the steel target.
prearranged signals allowed him to come out, mark the shot and score, and take cover again. next shot fired again after a prearranged signal.
on going to canvas targets this system continued. possibly why this is still referred to as "pit duty".
the canvas target was patched out using paper covered with glue made from flour an water. this built up in thickness strengthening the target like paper machet.
the man in the pit was called a "marker".
good scopes were used to see the fall of shot and score.
keep safe,
bruce.
  

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Re: Old optics
Reply #28 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 7:53pm
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I used to shoot at a range that had long range days during the week when most of the guys are working.  300 one week and 500 the next.  The few times I was alone at 300, I believe I was able to spot at least some shots with my Kowa but I really can"t remember for sure.  Spotting .22 at 200 can be difficult on a black target.  I'm sure 300 is the practical limit for .45 holes with a spotting scope.
  

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Re: Old optics
Reply #29 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 10:05pm
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where a lower tripod would have been useful to a creedmoor shooter is when they were about to shoot.
a last look at the mirage can be critical in making a windage adjustment.
of course as well as "any rifle", there were also military events.
these were shot prone on the belly, and some events would have required a scope.
keep safe,
bruce.
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Old optics
Reply #30 - Sep 14th, 2017 at 10:30am
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Personally I think the short tripod would be most used during practice for shooters. A shooter might not always take a spotter along to the range when practicing, and if shooting in the prone position he could use the short tripod too check his shots without moving, or needing a spotter along.
Of course all the old drawings or paintings were picturing matches, so that's what we have as images today. There's got to be a reason these short tripods were produced and sold.
  

Vall
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