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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Sniperscope Rifles/Telescopic Rifles


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I'm just reading a reprint of 'Trench Standing Orders 1915-16, 124th Infantry Brigade' and noticed something that caught my interest.  In section 1, Reliefs, paragraph (k), dealing with trench stores it gives a list of stores to be handed over on relief and includes Sniperscope Rifles.  In the next subsection, stores not to be handed over, it includes Telescopic Rifles.  I am curious as to the difference in the two types, as I assume the terms sniperscope and telescopic refer to the sighting arrangements and would have thought they would have effectively been the same.  Has anyone else come across this before and can enlighten me?

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It is possible that the SNIPERSCOPE rifles referred to a version of optical sights like the Lattey or Gibbs optical sights. These were individual magnifying lenses which were attached to the rifle sights (can be seen here) Whereas the Telescopic Rifles would be rifles with the (now) conventional telescopic sights attached which were more likely to have been adjusted to the individual marksman (and hence not handed over).


I suppose the place to check would be "Sniping In France" and I will have a look at my copy when I get home


Edited by 4thGordons
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The "sniperscope" generally referred to rifles fitted with the extension frames on the buttstock and remote trigger release to enable them to be fired from below the parapet.  Some form of periscopic sighting system was also usual.   Not being zeroed to one marksman, they could be handed over in that way.  We read that early in the war telescopically-sighted rifles were often handed over as trench stores also, but with time more sensible policies prevailed.

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Thanks for the replies, some very interesting information there.  I was assuming, somewhat rashly, that both terms referred to rifles fitted with telescopic sights, I wasn't aware of the other types of optical sight.  This site is a mine of information!  It might also clear up something that has interested me for a number of years; in' Covenant With Death', John Harris mentions a rifle fitted with an orthoptic sight.  I had never heard the term before, or, indeed, heard it since, I wonder, now, if that would have been one of the optical sights in your replies.

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