American Rifleman - November 2021 - 57

Nothing gets
beyond this
VAULT
DOOR
Despite never being utilized by the military beyond the seven test guns, the
Model 1898/Cataract rifle represents the first step toward the development of a
purpose-built telescopic-sighted sniper rifle. The Springfield Model 1903 rifle with
a Model 1908 Warner & Swasey " Musket Sight " (above) would go on to become the
U.S. Army's first standardized scope-equipped sniper rifle.
Following the favorable report of the test board, the fi ndings were forwarded
to the Chief of Ordnance on June 14, 1900. It is reported that the rifl e
used in the test was subsequently sold to the Cataract company.
Upon receipt of the report, the Chief of Ordnance approved the manufacture
by Springfi eld Armory of six additional Model 1898 Krag rifl es fi tted with
Cataract telescopes for fi eld trials. In the summer of 1901, four of these rifl es
were sent to Manila in the Philippines and one each to Fort Leavenworth,
Kan., and Fort Monroe, Va. The testing consisted chiefl y of fi ring on regulation
targets at known ranges and comparing the scores with standard Krag
rifl es (without telescopes) fi red by the same marksmen.
The results of the testing were varied. Some of the soldiers involved in
the testing were quite enthusiastic about the performance of the telescopeequipped
rifl es-others complained that the offset position of the scope,
which was necessitated by the upward ejection of the fi red cartridge cases,
was cumbersome and uncomfortable. It was reported that a couple of the
Cataract telescopes suffered damage during the testing, including front lenses
that were dislodged due to the force of recoil.
After the conclusion of the fi eld testing, further development of
telescopic-sighted Krag rifl es was dropped, even though there were
demonstrable advantages to the use of telescopes. In 1901, the assets of
the Cataract Tool & Optical Co. were acquired by the J. Stevens Arms &
Tool Co., which may or may not have had any bearing on the decision to
drop further consideration of the Cataract telescopic sight. Regardless, the
primary reason for not pursuing the matter further was the ongoing development
of the Model 1900 bolt-action rifl e that eventually culminated in
the adoption of the famed Model 1903 Springfi eld a few years later.
Five years after the adoption of the Model 1903, the Army tested and subsequently
adopted a telescopic sight for the rifl e. However, this sight was totally
unlike the Cataract design tested with the Krag. Developed by the Warner &
Swasey Co., the " Model of 1908 Musket Sight, " was of a rather unusual prismatic
design and was small and compact as opposed to the long and slender
Cataract scope. A slightly improved " Model of 1913 " Warner & Swasey sight was
the standard U.S. Army sniper rifl escope, teamed with the Model 1903 rifl e,
during World War I, but it was dropped from service in the mid-1920s.
Only seven Model 1898 Krag rifl es fi tted with the Cataract telescopic sight
were ever fabricated under U.S. government auspices and were never utilized
by our armed forces beyond the limited testing in 1900-1901. Nevertheless,
the Model 1898/Cataract rifl e was, however haltingly, the fi rst step toward the
future development of purpose-built telescopic-sighted rifl es for our armed
forces. It has the distinction of being America's fi rst prototype sniper rifl e of
the 20th century-even before the term " sniper " came into vogue.
Rifl e courtesy of Author's Collection
AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG
NOVEMBER 2021
1-877-214-4470
snapsafe.com
57
C
®
Vault Door.
Its
v
theft and unintended intrusion.
http://www.snapsafe.com http://www.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

American Rifleman - November 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - November 2021

Contents
American Rifleman - November 2021 - Cover1
American Rifleman - November 2021 - Cover2
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 1
American Rifleman - November 2021 - Contents
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 3
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 4
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 5
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 6
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 7
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 8
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 9
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 10
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 11
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 12
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 13
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 14
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 15
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 16
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 17
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 18
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 19
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 20
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 21
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 22
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 23
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 24
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 25
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 26
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 27
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 28
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 29
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 30
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 31
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 32
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 33
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 34
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 35
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 36
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 37
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 38
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 39
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 40
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 41
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 42
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 43
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 44
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 45
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 46
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 47
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 48
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 49
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 50
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 51
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 52
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 53
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 54
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 55
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 56
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 57
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 58
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 59
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 60
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 61
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 62
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 63
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 64
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 65
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 66
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 67
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 68
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 69
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 70
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 71
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 72
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 73
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 74
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American Rifleman - November 2021 - 76
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 77
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 78
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 79
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 80
American Rifleman - November 2021 - Cover3
American Rifleman - November 2021 - Cover4
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