Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
BCM
Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
User Panel

Posted: 5/7/2010 7:10:18 PM EST
As we know, the original "Colt Scope" has been around in one form or another for nearly as long as the AR-15.



My question is: Who made the VERY original "Colt Scopes" and how and where did the design move along from the beginning.



For instance, did Armalite make the originals, did they farm it out? Did Colt get the very early ones from an American vendor? Or A.I. from the Netherlands???



I have a friend with a very, very old one and we are trying to determine the history....



If it is interesting enough, I will get the scope, box and papers and post pics.
Link Posted: 5/7/2010 7:32:29 PM EST
[#1]
The first ones were made in USA.
I don't know the manufacturer.
The later ones were Japanese.
I think they were Hakko.
Link Posted: 5/7/2010 7:35:36 PM EST
[#2]
Were these ever issue to troops??  I know that back in the day, by and large, scopes were frowned upon in the regular Army...but did any ever make it to the field?



Can you tell I am trying to make sure my buddy knows what he truly has and has not???




He has an old Colt Scope that has a claimed  history of coming from the Army and possibly from Vietnam....I am dubious but I am not knowledgable enough to say "yea" or "nay".



That is why I have you guys!!!!
Link Posted: 5/7/2010 8:58:25 PM EST
[#3]
Yes, they made it to the field, but not with regular troops.
Link Posted: 5/8/2010 4:17:36 AM EST
[#4]
1) The first "official" scope set for the AR15/M16 was the Delft scope made in the Netherlands, this scope was a slightly modified version of the one originaly designed for the AR10 & fitted to a mount specifically for the AR15/M16, the mount was marked "Colt-Armalite" & had a Colt a part #, the scope wasn't mkd Colt, they were purchased by Colt from the Netherlands & supplied along with the 601's (& possibly some 602's), the scope & mount are both shown in the original Colt AR15 (601) manual & the original Air Force 601 manual. These are believed to be 63 & earlier.
2) The next "official" scope for the AR15/M16 is the seemingly common Colt marked scope on the "standard" mount, these scopes were made for Colt & marked Colt on them, the line:
  1) early (64 or so) 2.75x, mfg under contract to Colt by Realist & marked Colt "made in USA", reportedly the Army bought a number of these w/the inverted post reticule & there's a version w/the standard crosshair reticule which also showed up & were used on rifles in VN, a lot of these scopes were used there but were "private purcahse". A bit later these were made in 3x or marked as such, it's believed Realist made some 3x's but since they were contract scopes it's hard to "pin them down". There are a few of these scopes marked "Armalite" but not Colt, these scopes were actually bought from Realist by Armalite for the AR18/AR180 between 1965-1970 & are identical to the Colt scopes & will attach directly to a Colt mount, the mounts for the AR18/AR180 are different than the mount for the AR15/M16 but the pattern for the mounting screws are the same, Colt dropped "Armalite" markings from AR15 products in 63 (during 602 production) & these scopes are post 63.
3) In the mid-late 60's Colt switched their scope contract to a Japanese Co, reportedly Hakko, 67-68? & these scopes are marked Colt 3x, Realist had begun developement of ART (auto range telescopes) in an attempt to sell them to the Army (& commercially) at this time & it's not known whether this influenced them dropping the Colt scopes or Colt simply got a better price for their contract scopes to be sold w/AR15's/M16's from the Japanese Co.
4) The next version is the more common Colt 4x, again mfg under contract to Colt by the Japanese, early to mid 70's.
To "sum up", the Delft scope sets & early inverted post Realist scopes are reportedly the ones actually purchased by the Army on a small scale but any of the above scopes could have been used as they were actually a commercial product & available & many were privately purchased & used in VN along with a lot of other commercial scopes, Realists, Redfields etc, there was ongoing attempt by the Army during the war (officially & "unofficailly" by in theatre armorers) to develope "useable scope mounts/scope combinations for use w/the M16. I saw a number of different combinations myself there in 71-72, all "unofficial" but used non the less.
Link Posted: 5/8/2010 6:05:31 AM EST
[#5]
1) The first "official" scope set for the AR15/M16 was the Delft scope made in the Netherlands, this scope was a slightly modified version of the one originaly designed for the AR10 & fitted to a mount specifically for the AR15/M16, the mount was marked "Colt-Armalite" & had a Colt a part #, the scope wasn't mkd Colt, they were purchased by Colt from the Netherlands & supplied along with the 601's (& possibly some 602's), the scope & mount are both shown in the original Colt AR15 (601) manual & the original Air Force 601 manual. These are believed to be 63 & earlier.

2) The next "official" scope for the AR15/M16 is the seemingly common Colt marked scope on the "standard" mount, these scopes were made for Colt & marked Colt on them, the line:
1) early (64 or so) 2.75x, mfg under contract to Colt by Realist & marked Colt "made in USA", reportedly the Army bought a number of these w/the inverted post reticule & there's a version w/the standard crosshair reticule which also showed up & were used on rifles in VN, a lot of these scopes were used there but were "private purcahse".

A bit later these were made in 3x or marked as such, it's believed Realist made some 3x's but since they were contract scopes it's hard to "pin them down". There are a few of these scopes marked "Armalite" but not Colt, these scopes were actually bought from Realist by Armalite for the AR18/AR180 between 1965-1970 & are identical to the Colt scopes & will attach directly to a Colt mount, the mounts for the AR18/AR180 are different than the mount for the AR15/M16 but the pattern for the mounting screws are the same, Colt dropped "Armalite" markings from AR15 products in 63 (during 602 production) & these scopes are post 63.

3) In the mid-late 60's Colt switched their scope contract to a Japanese Co, reportedly Hakko, 67-68? & these scopes are marked Colt 3x, Realist had begun developement of ART (auto range telescopes) in an attempt to sell them to the Army (& commercially) at this time & it's not known whether this influenced them dropping the Colt scopes or Colt simply got a better price for their contract scopes to be sold w/AR15's/M16's from the Japanese Co.

4) The next version is the more common Colt 4x, again mfg under contract to Colt by the Japanese, early to mid 70's.

To "sum up", the Delft scope sets & early inverted post Realist scopes are reportedly the ones actually purchased by the Army on a small scale but any of the above scopes could have been used as they were actually a commercial product & available & many were privately purchased & used in VN along with a lot of other commercial scopes, Realists, Redfields etc.

There was ongoing attempt by the Army during the war (officially & "unofficailly" by in theatre armorers) to develope "useable scope mounts/scope combinations for use w/the M16. I saw a number of different combinations myself there in 71-72, all "unofficial" but used non the less.

Link Posted: 5/8/2010 7:53:46 AM EST
[#6]
Lots of good pics of early improvised scope mounts in, THE Long Range War, Sniping in Vietnam  by, Peter R. Senich. I've got no way to scan any or I'd post pics. The same chapter has info on the Delft scope and early Colt scopes. Lots of info about the XM21, ART scopes, night vision, MAC suppressors....you guys need a copy of this book if you don't already have it.
Link Posted: 5/8/2010 9:28:13 AM EST
[#7]
Quoted:
Lots of good pics of early improvised scope mounts in, THE Long Range War, Sniping in Vietnam  by, Peter R. Senich. I've got no way to scan any or I'd post pics. The same chapter has info on the Delft scope and early Colt scopes. Lots on info about the XM21, ART scopes, night vision, MAC suppressors....you guys need a copy of this book if you don't already have it.


+1  Great reference.  I can scan something if needed.

Link Posted: 5/8/2010 11:11:05 AM EST
[#8]
Link Posted: 5/8/2010 11:58:37 AM EST
[#9]
Quoted:
The Japanese Colt 3x scopes are late 1960s vintage?  As noted elsewhere I have one but don't recall when I got it other than "long, long ago."  And that they fairly quickly went to 4x scopes.  I also remember rarely using it.  

Mine has the duplex reticle which I believe ads creditability to being a Colt and not a replica.  The thick posts are pointed and the thin cross hairs join the point tips.  Directs the eye the center of the scope.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/10/Reticles_vector.svg/480px-Reticles_vector.svg.png

–– Chuck


I have an early Japanese 3x20 and if it hasn't been through VN, it sure looks like it! I was pleased to get it, as I was looking at the Israeli scopes that APEX had for sale but waitied too long to buy. Mine ahs the duplec reticle also. For what it is, it's a great scope - I keep meaning to look for a spacer to put in the hole that passes through the carry handle to tighten things up a bit.

FWIW< I saw an early Realist/Colt scope on GB that had 3 days to run and was already $330! I need to go back and check it out - but that is a lot for what you are getting, IMO. IIRC, I paid $83 shipped for my 'beater' and no one else bid.

Link Posted: 5/8/2010 1:22:56 PM EST
[#10]
Somewhere in my rapidly expanding pile of "stuff" I have a photocopy of a US Army report on the use of the early Realist scopes on M16 rifles in Viet Nam. An author who used to be a business partner gave it to me after discussing my inverted reticule Realist 3X scope.

Yes, IIRC, the report specifically mentions Realist.

No, they were not overjoyed with the performance, but considering the era, the rapid issue of the weapon, and the many other things that were working against the M16 at the time, I wouldn't reject the concept of the short carry handle mounted scope.

I can picture in my head where it is but it might not be there anymore. If I can find it, I'll type up some of the more significant info (dates, brand names, issues).
Link Posted: 5/8/2010 5:19:25 PM EST
[#11]
Damn, Guys!!!



PHENOMENAL info here!!!



I really appreciate it!!!!



Now I am gonna have to snoop a bit more!!!!




Link Posted: 5/8/2010 10:03:20 PM EST
[#12]
Left to right: Made in US, early Japanese, later Japanese, even later Japanese:

Link Posted: 5/9/2010 4:06:36 AM EST
[#13]
An error occurred on the server when processing the URL. Please contact the system administrator.

If you are the system administrator please click here to find out more about this error.