A brief look at the ratchets of Marine snipers through the years

Over at Guns.com I did a quick geardo rundown of several of the Corp’s modern sniper rigs from the early WWI Rifle, “USMC Telescopic Rifle, Model of 1917” which is basically just a good shooting early M1903 with a fixed Winchester A5 scope through WWII’s updated M1903A-1 model Springfield with a Unertl 8x scope– immediately distinguishable by its long shade on the objective lens– which they designated the M1941 Sniper Rifle, and then the Korean War’s M1C and the various guns of Vietnam.

U.S. Marine firing the “USMC Telescopic Rifle, Model of 1917” which is an M1903 with a Winchester A5 scope. (Photo: National Archives)

“A U.S. Marine Marksman using a telescopic sight and with his Springfield cocked and ready, waits for a troublesome North Korean sniper to pop up so he can pick him off in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea on Sept. 28, 1950. Note the Unertl. (Photo/caption: Max Desfor/AP)

“Pvt. Randall E. Josey, a Marine sniper attached to Co. H, 2nd Bn., 5th Marines, has a bead on a Viet Cong at over 1,000 meters. Using a 3 x 9 power scope, a Remington 700 rifle has accuracy up to 1,100 meters and has been used effectively up to 2,000 meters or more.” June 19, 1967 (Photo/caption: U.S. Marine Corps History Division)

More here.

The mighty, mighty over-boots of war, 74 years ago

Colorized photo of two U.S. soldiers from the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment, behind a Sherman tank at the ruins of Geich, near Düren, Germany, 11 Dec 1944.

Note the well-used Thompson M1A1 complete with simplified sights, M1 helmets without netting, and four-buckle U.S.-issue rubber overboots with tire-tread soles.

The boots, stock number 72-0-452, were made by a number of tire companies to include B.F. Goodrich and Goodyear Rubber Co as well as more traditional shoe companies that specialised in rubber-soled footwear such as Converse and LaCrosse and were based on the pre-war “Royal Walrus” galoshes made by the United States Rubber Company (Uniroyal), which today is owned by Michelin.

Today of course overboots, especially of the arctic type with the pressure port, are commonly just called Mickey Mouse boots.

But, if you were just now feeling cold up, here is an overbooted 9th Armoured Division technician with a little French girl on Valentine’s Day, 14 Feb 1945 to warm your black soul:

1 million ACOGs now in circulation

In 1986, Glyn Bindon, a Ford aeronautical engineer who had previously worked on the F-8U Crusader project, started fooling around with a half pair of binoculars in his Detroit home and soon had the theory down for a project that would produce the Trijicon Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG)– a minimalist battery-free optic that used tritium to provide a red reticle inside a sealed aluminum tube that could be used for rapid shooting in both day and night conditions.

The first 4×32 TA01 hit the market in 1987 and two years later a few were used by the military in the Panama invasion. Then, the SEALs started fielding them in Desert Storm.

Slowly, ACOGs grew more popular around the world with special operations units until 2005, when the Marines ordered 104,000 4×32 TA31’s to equip the rank and file riflemen.

“The ACOG mounted on the M16 service rifle has proven to be the biggest improvement in lethality for the Marine infantryman since the introduction of the M1 Garand in World War II,” later said Maj. Gen, J.N.Mattis, 1st MARDIV, Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In 2005, the Army chose the ACOG 4×32 RCO as their field carry optic and the rest is history– with the 1-millionth ACOG produced by the Trijicon last month.

Congrats.

Hanging by a thread, 45 years ago today

F-4J-34-MC Phantom II BuNo.155743 of Fighter Squadron 92 (VF-92, the Silver Kings) photographed aboard the USS CONSTELLATION (CV-64) on 9 December 1972. Note the crew is no longer aboard, courtesy of their Martin-Baker seats!

“The crew (Lt. J. R. Brooke & Lt. G. B. Bastian) was able to hook up the cable, but the plane at a certain point ‘swerved’ suddenly left to the left of the bridge. The two men were able to eject and were recovered shortly after an SH-3 Sea King, but the poor rhino was hanged as a crooked painting until the return to the port of San Diego.”

It was in this same year that, while on Yankee Station off Vietnam, another VF-92 Phantom, F-4J #157269, flown by LCDR James McDevitt and Lt. Curt Dose, shot down a Vietnam People’s Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 with an AIM-9 Sidewinder.

VF-92 was disestablished on 12 December 1975 but the hapless 155743 was saved, put back into service, and was later even converted to F-4S standard, flying with VF-154 and the Marines of VMFA-312 until 1985 when she was put into storage at the AMARC bone yard. Odds are, she was probably scratched as a target drone sometime later.

“Connie,” on the other hand, remained in service until 2003 and was only recently scrapped at Brownsville, Texas.

100 years ago today: Surrendering the ancient city to a pair of NCOs from London in short pants

The Mayor of Jerusalem Hussein Effendi el Husseini [al-Husseini] (Ottoman), meeting with Sergts. Sedgwick and Hurcomb of the 2/19th Battalion, London Regiment, under the white flag of surrender, Dec. 9th [1917] at 8 a.m., 1917.

The Mayor of Jerusalem Hussein Effendi el Husseini [al-Husseini] (Ottoman), meeting with Sergts. Sedgwick and Hurcomb of the 2/19th Battalion, London Regiment*, under the white flag of surrender, Dec. 9th [1917] at 8 a.m., 1917.

As explained by wiki

During almost continuous rain on 8 December, Jerusalem ceased to be protected by the Ottoman Empire. Chetwode (commander of XX Corps), who had relieved Bulfin (commander of XXI Corps), launched the final advance taking the heights to the west of Jerusalem on 8 December. The Ottoman Seventh Army retreated during the evening and the city surrendered the following day.

The mayor of Jerusalem, Hussein Salim al-Husseini, attempted to deliver the Ottoman Governor’s letter surrendering the city to Sergeants James Sedgewick and Frederick Hurcomb of 2/19th Battalion, London Regiment*, just outside Jerusalem’s western limits on the morning of 9 December 1917. The two sergeants, who were scouting ahead of Allenby’s main force, refused to take the letter. It was eventually accepted by Brigadier General C.F. Watson, commanding the 180th (2/5th London) Brigade.

Jerusalem was almost encircled by the EEF, although Ottoman Army units briefly held the Mount of Olives on 9 December. They were overwhelmed by the 60th (2/2nd London) Division the following afternoon

The offica guard posted at the Jaffa Gate later that day were a little more turned out.

The surrender of Jerusalem to the British, December 9, 1917. First British guard at the Jaffa Gate

*The 19th Battalion, London Regiment (St Pancras), in existence from 1860, was a reserve unit that disbanded in 1961 after being called to the colors for service in the Boer Wars and both World Wars. Its lineage, however, is retained by the London Regiment overall which serves as a four-company TA battalion attached to the Guards Brigade.

Looking for a detachable box mag Remington 870, right from the factory?

This week, Remington debuted a new offering on the tried-and-true 870 pump brings a three- or six-shell detachable magazine to the mix on each of a half-dozen new variants. Each 12-gauge ships with a single proprietary six-shot mag with the exception of the 870 DM Tactical /Predator — which sports Kryptek Highlander camo and is billed as a turkey and hog gun– that includes both a three and a six-shot detachable box, though Remington advises additional magazines will be available for purchase.

Shown above is the 870 DM Magpul, the model first to hit the market, includes a Magpul SGA stock and MOE M-Lok forend with a Super Cell recoil pad. The 18.5-inch Rem Choke barrel includes an extended ported tactical choke and is equipped with XS steel front and ghost ring rear sights, the latter mounted on a Picatinny rail section above the receiver. MSRP is $799

More in my column, and details on the other five variants, at Guns.com.

Of course, some have been in this game for a while. For instance, Black Aces Tactical posted, “Remember. No matter what you see or here tonight or in the days to come, you saw it here first. We’ve been at it for years. We’ve got it nailed.”

The legacy Black Aces Tactical Remington 870 detachable magazine mod…

As for if it evolves into a patent dispute, that remains to be seen.

Just saying.

Drydock love

Here we see some great shots by the very talented USCG LCDR Krystyn Pecora of the Boston-based 270-foot medium endurance cutter USCGC Seneca (WMEC-906) as she nears the end of her periodic drydock availability.

A “Bear” or “Famous” class cutter, her keel was laid on 16 September 1982 at Robert Derecktor Shipyard, Middletown, RI, and she was commissioned in 1986, making her 31 years young.

She shares the name of the old USRC Seneca, commissioned in 1908, a former Warship Wednesday alum.

You can expect Seneca to put another decade or so under her hull before she is ultimately replaced by one of the new, larger Offshore Patrol Cutters, currently in the works. However, with her 76mm OTO Melara, helicopter hangar, economical diesel plant– and originally designed with weight and space reserved for Harpoon, Mk32, a towed array and CIWS– you can expect that she will likely be passed on to a third world ally for a second career.

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