American Rifleman - November 2019 - 54

M1903A1 RIFLE WITH UNERTL USMC RIFLESCOPE

HISTORICAL

Adopted by the Marines after Pearl Harbor, the combination
of the M1903A1 Springfield with a Unertl riflescope was
arguably the finest sniper rifle of World War II.
BY BRUCE N. CANFIELD, Field Editor
t was not until several years after the
adoption of the U.S. Model of 1903 rifle
that the first U.S. Army sniping rifle
was standardized. In 1908, some M1903s
were fitted with a rather unusual prismatic
telescopic sight, the "Musket Sight, Model
of 1908," made by the Warner & Swasey Co.
followed by a slightly improved version,
the "Model of 1913." Both were mounted
on select '03 rifles by Springfield Armory.
During World War I, the standard U.S. Army
sniper rifle was the M1903 fitted with a
W&S M1913 scope. They saw a fair amount
of combat use during the war, although
reports of their actual effectiveness were
mixed. By the mid-1920s, the M1903/W&S
sniper rifles were withdrawn from use by

the U.S. Army and National Guard, and
most were sold as surplus. From the mid1920s until World War II, the U.S. Army
did not have any telescopic-sighted sniper
rifles in inventory.
The U.S. Marine Corps took an entirely
different course regarding sniping rifles.
Several years after their adoption of the
M1903 rifle, the Marines acquired some
Winchester A5 commercial riflescopes.
Unlike the Army's unusual Warner & Swasey
prismatic sight, the A5 was a conventional design with ocular and objective
lenses, but windage and elevation adjustments were made via the rear mount. The
Marines initially procured the Winchester
A5 scopes not for sniping use, but for the

The Marine-issue Unertl sniper riflescope was
transported in a Micarta carrying tube (below).
Markings on the Unertl USMC sniper riflescope
include an "8"-indicating 8X magnification.

54

NOVEMBER 2019

AMERICAN RIFLEMAN

U.S. Marine Corps photo



American Rifleman - November 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - November 2019

Contents
American Rifleman - November 2019 - Cover1
American Rifleman - November 2019 - Cover2
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 1
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 2
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 3
American Rifleman - November 2019 - Contents
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 5
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 6
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 7
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 8
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 9
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 10
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 11
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 12
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 13
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 14
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 15
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 16
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 17
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 18
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 19
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 20
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 21
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 22
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 23
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 24
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 25
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 26
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 27
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 28
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 29
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 30
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 31
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 32
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 33
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 34
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 35
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 36
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 37
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 38
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 39
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 40
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 41
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 42
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 43
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 44
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 45
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 46
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 47
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 48
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 49
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 50
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 51
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 52
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 53
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 54
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 55
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 56
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 57
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 58
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 59
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 60
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 61
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 62
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 63
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 64
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 65
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 66
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 67
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 68
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 69
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 70
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 71
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 72
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 73
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 74
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 75
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 76
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 77
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 78
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 79
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 80
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 81
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 82
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American Rifleman - November 2019 - 84
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American Rifleman - November 2019 - 88
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 89
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American Rifleman - November 2019 - 91
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 92
American Rifleman - November 2019 - Cover3
American Rifleman - November 2019 - Cover4
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