One of the most recognized names in military sniping during the Vietnam conflict was Marine Corps sniper Gy/Sgt. Carlos Hathcock. During his two tours, he was credited with 93 confirmed kills. The rifle he relied on for very precise long range shot placement was a Model 70 Winchester, of .30-06 caliber, topped with an 8x Unertl scope. The accompanying USMC photo shows Hathcock in Vietnam, sighting in on a distant target.
Scopes of this design, with micrometer-click external adjustments, were once favored by long range precision shooters, and quite a few different scope manufacturers offered very similar models. Today, an original USMC marked scope in mint condition can sell for as much as $5,000 to $6,000. With the current interest in shooting and competing with vintage-style sniper rifles, a working standard model scope in very good condition can still bring $2,000 or more.
Leatherwood/Hi-Lux Optics is now adding an extremely well built 8X USMC-SNIPER model to its Wm. Malcolm line of vintage-style riflescopes. Not only will this scope match the originals for extremely precise adjustment of windage and elevation, the new made scope also offers the advantages of modern lens making, with fully multicoated lens surfaces for maximum light transmission. This scope offers the brightest, clearest and sharpest optics ever in a riflescope of this design.
The scope will be marked with the Wm. Malcolm name over the USMC-SNIPER model designation, and each will be serial numbered, as were the original USMC models. The Marine Corps utilized this style of scope on sniper rifles during World War II and Korea, commonly relying on the old World War I vintage .30-'06 Sprg. M1903A1. Modified specifically for sniper use, the World War II rifle was also known as the USMC Model 1941 Sniper Rifle. During the Vietnam War, some of the earlier snipers, like Hathcock, continued to rely on the external adjustment "target scopes" the Corps adopted during World War II.
The new Wm. Malcolm 8X USMC-SNIPER captures the look, the precision and the accuracy capabilities of riflescopes of this type. With an MSRP of $549, it is far more affordable than a serviceable original from the 1940s, or even the 1970s, when they were still in production. Like all Leatherwood/Hi-Lux Optics, the Wm. Malcolm USMC-SNIPER model comes backed by a limited lifetime warranty.