American Rifleman - April 2011 - 96

militAry model 70
continued from p. 83

A July 1967 American
Rifleman article by Frank G.
McGuire, "Snipers-Specialists in
Warfare," reported: "The 8X telescopic sight was chosen in World
War II when it was teamed with the
'03 rifle. These scopes now used in
Vietnam are the same scopes on
newer rifles. Some of the snipers
now in Vietnam were not yet born
when the telescopic sights they use
were employed in a different war.
'In the early 1940's,' says a Marine
Corps spokesman, 'we were advised
that a Unertl 8X scope on the
Winchester Model 70 was the best
sniping combination, but the '03 was
available in quantity, so we used it.'"
The Model 70 rifles sent to Vietnam for use as sniping arms were
from the stocks originally procured for Marine Corps match use,
chiefly from George Van Orden.
This was confirmed in McGuire's
article: "The rifle team of the 3rd
Marine Division had been using
the Model 70 with the heavy barrel
and the heavy Marksman stock.
... When the need arose for more
Model 70s the rifles procured by
Brig. Gen. Van Orden, including
Smith's championship-winning
rifle, were shipped to Vietnam as
supplemental equipment."
Peter Senich gave additional
details regarding the use of the
Model 70 sniper rifle in Vietnam in
his excellent book The One-Round
War: "Glass-bedded and accurized
by Marine Corps Rifle Team Equipment Armorers (RTE), the Model 70s
fired .30-06 M72 match ammunition
having a 173-grain, boat-tailed bullet.

In some cases, Douglas barrels were
fitted to the Winchester actions to
attain optimum accuracy. A limited number of 3X to 9X variable
power 'Marine Scopes' of Japanese
manufacture saw early use, but target
mount, 8 power Unertl telescopes,
unchanged basically from those
first adopted in 1941, were fitted to
the Model 70s as were many of the
original World War II Unertl contract
scopes, which had survived official
obsolescence and the post-Korean
War surplus sell-off. ... While the
USMC used the Model 70 to greatest advantage during this period, a
limited number were also employed
by Army personnel for sniping, and
Model 70s with silencers mounted on
them were utilized for covert operations in Southeast Asia."
James O. E. Norell's article "A
Century Of USMC Sniper Rifles"
(August 2007, p. 44) related some
interesting information by retired
USMC Maj. Edward J."Jim" Land,
Jr., regarding the Model 70 rifles
that were used by the Marines in
Vietnam circa 1966: "Land first
scrounged 12 Model 70 sporting
rifles that had been procured by
Special Services for deer hunting
at Camp Pendleton. Through the PX
system in Okinawa, Land's NCOs
bought mounts, rings and scopes.
The second lot of rifles used by
Land and his teams in Vietnam
were also Winchester Model 70
target guns in .30-'06 Sprg. that
had been originally purchased [as]
'across-the course' bolt guns for the
National Matches. They were mothballed after NRA changed match

RA11

84 A

pril

2011

www.AmericAnriflemAn.org

U.S. Marine Corps photo


http://www.AmericAnriflemAn.org

American Rifleman - April 2011

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American Rifleman - April 2011 - 1
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