"Well he would, wouldn’t he?"

  • Condition:
  • Make:Samuel B. Mann BOOK
  • Model:'LIGHT AT THE START OF THE TUNNEL - Are rifle scopes off the rails?'

Private User

Seller Type: Private User
Licence # 431-725-90B
Location: ESSENDON NORTH, VIC, 3041
Phone #: *** click to reveal ***
View other listings from this seller


The young Mandy Rice-Davies knew something about human nature, how people tell the odd porky or dissemble when it suits them. But the high-and-mighty of England weren’t the only ones with something to hide 60 years ago, or more recently for that matter.

The scope makers of America had a new product. Their latest models with ‘constantly centered reticles’ were cheap to assemble and made mounting a breeze – but came with a couple of problems.

Before 1957 most scopes had been strong. Some had just two, small moving parts inside and some held the reticle rigidly in Oldham couplings, while others had no internal adjustments at all. The advertising extolled their strength, with good reason.

By the 1960s, though, new models were rarely so secure. Except for Bausch & Lomb’s hammering a scope, ads fudged the strength aspect and concentrated on other matters. Weaver said his reticle was fixed, which it was, and that the adjustments only moved the image to get zero. (What could possibly go wrong?) Conversely, Redfield’s patent claimed its scopes superior because the reticle was part of the new, articulated erector tube, thus maintaining alignment with the lenses inside it (never mind alignment with the ocular and objective lenses, when skew-whiff from bad mounting). Leupold came late to the party but, instead of claiming strength in its new mechanism, just reminded us of the ongoing lifetime warranty.

These days, the erector tubes responsible for that loss of old-time stability are more complicated than ever and, if made of brass to prevent galling in variables' power scrolls, probably heavier. Yet makers and merchants even of cheap models often claim their brands are shockproof.

But they would, wouldn’t they?

‘LIGHT AT THE START OF THE TUNNEL …’ still $20 with 16 extra pages sent by email; the extra pages pasted-in and/or with the stamped reticle, by special order - $30-$40.

The first picture h/w shows the author’s daughter’s impression of Mandy in 1963; the second his own ‘take’ on the day Miss Rice-Davies went to court.

Date Listed: 18/02/2022


Back to top