8X USMC Unertl Serial 1775

cplnorton

Private
Belligerents
Apr 28, 2012
177
125
49
39
Van Wert, Ohio
Every once in a while I come across something that I just think is really special. This is one of those items. I was contacted by someone who said they had a really salty USMC Unertl they wanted to sell. I was interested as usually almost all Unertl scopes found look NOS. Ones that look fielded are rare. Also I personally like them salty because they match the condition of my Unertl Sniper rifles. When they are mint they look off when you put them on a salty rifle.

Anways he sent me pics and as soon as I saw the serial, I was like I will take it! If you are a Marine, there is no explanation needed. But to those who didn't serve, 1775 is the year the Marine Corps was founded and it's sort of a really special number to us.

It is also very fitting that serial 1775 is super salty. Just like a Marine should be. :)

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sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Apr 21, 2007
4,902
585
219
in yooperland
Every once in a while I come across something that I just think is really special. This is one of those items. I was contacted by someone who said they had a really salty USMC Unertl they wanted to sell. I was interested as usually almost all Unertl scopes found look NOS. Ones that look fielded are rare. Also I personally like them salty because they match the condition of my Unertl Sniper rifles. When they are mint they look off when you put them on a salty rifle.

Anways he sent me pics and as soon as I saw the serial, I was like I will take it! If you are a Marine, there is no explanation needed. But to those who didn't serve, 1775 is the year the Marine Corps was founded and it's sort of a really special number to us.

It is also very fitting that serial 1775 is super salty. Just like a Marine should be. :)

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Re: "really salty" I would say that scope has probably done some cussing and swearing all by itself.;):p
 
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cplnorton

Private
Belligerents
Apr 28, 2012
177
125
49
39
Van Wert, Ohio
Do you know mfg date?
If they were received in serial number order, which all evidence seems like they were, this one would have been built in 1943.

The same with the rifle. But the rifle was probably built a few months earlier than when the Marines would have recieved this scope.
 

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
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Feb 23, 2010
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The Snobbiest Town in The Snobbiest State in the N
Not sure I even knew Unertl was active that early... but that is superlatively awesome!

Great score... great scope... great post!

Thanks for sharing and an amazing bit of history!

You know... if you ever want to send it somewhere for posterity... the USMC Museum takes donations! I have a painting there that I donated that was kind of a huge deal for them.

Once you tire of it... or if you would like your name associated with an exhibit... it can be arranged. And some things belong in public collections... at least eventually.

Cheers,

Sirhr
 

cplnorton

Private
Belligerents
Apr 28, 2012
177
125
49
39
Van Wert, Ohio
Not sure I even knew Unertl was active that early... but that is superlatively awesome!

Great score... great scope... great post!

Thanks for sharing and an amazing bit of history!

You know... if you ever want to send it somewhere for posterity... the USMC Museum takes donations! I have a painting there that I donated that was kind of a huge deal for them.

Once you tire of it... or if you would like your name associated with an exhibit... it can be arranged. And some things belong in public collections... at least eventually.

Cheers,

Sirhr

I have the only M1 Garand rifle known that is a battlefield Pickup from Iwo Jima. The Marine Corps museum was after it for a while, even telling me they would display it next to the flag. I offered to loan it to them, but they said they could only take it if I gave it to them.

I did consider it for a while as I think it's something that should be seen. But it's also a really hard thing to give up. lol

But yeah John Unerlt became active in the late 1930's. I first see a mention of him in around 1938 in the Marine Docs. I think he worked for Fecker before that.

I'm sure others are better suited to talk about that. I don't study John so much as what he did for the Marines. I'm sort of a one trick pony on what I study. ;)
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Apr 21, 2007
4,902
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in yooperland
cplnorton and sirhrmechanic,

John Unertl came to the U.S. in 1926 and went to work directly for John Fecker. He was apprenticing in Germany in an optics company, but they didn't have enough business at the time so he emigrated here. He finished his apprenticeship with Fecker.

Fecker pursued military scope contracts some, but his real money was in building observatory telescopes. Unertl left Feckers employ in 1934 and started his own company to pursue military scope contracts. He showcased his talent in the civilian target market. It was a tough go for him as he wasn't big, but his quality was there. And, of course, the military's fickleness of what they want this week and what they want next week. And, they want it at closeout sale price. It's hard to convince the military to buy on a value basis for cost, rather than a cost basis alone.

Anyhow, while we know his work mostly through his scopes, the company eventually ended up making high end optical instruments and aircraft gunsights for the military. This was the majority of their work.
 
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jbell

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Jan 16, 2010
3,776
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Lewiston, ME
That is a special rifle scope combo right there! On the subject of the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, if you have not ever been it is worth it. I have been a few time and always welcome the chance to stop in. Same with the Army Infantry Museum at Ft. Benning.
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Apr 21, 2007
4,902
585
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in yooperland
That is a special rifle scope combo right there! On the subject of the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, if you have not ever been it is worth it. I have been a few time and always welcome the chance to stop in. Same with the Army Infantry Museum at Ft. Benning.
I went to the museum when I was in the Army there. They probably have a lot more stuff than when I was there.
 
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YF12A

Private
Minuteman
Dec 13, 2017
76
58
24
Awesome combo! Glad someone here got it and did right by it. My favorite Uncle was/is a WW2 Marine. There is a reason the family calls him "the old Curmudgeon", with all respect due.
 
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