Original British WWII Royal British Navy Brass Collimating Gun Sight With Transit Chest By W. Ottway & Co - Dated 1945
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a lovely British Naval Collimator as used for Naval gun sighting purposes. A collimator sight is a type of optical sight that allows the user looking into it to see an illuminated aiming point aligned with the device the sight is attached to, regardless of eye position (with little parallax). They are also referred to as collimating sights or "occluded eye gunsight" (OEG).
The basic layout of a collimator sight is a closed tube with a lens at its open end and a luminous reticle mounted near the closed end at the focus of the lens, creating an optical collimator. The reticle is illuminated by an electronic light source (an incandescent light bulb or, more recently, a light-emitting diode) or by ambient light gathered behind the reticle via an opalescent window or fiber optic light pipe. Collimator sights are a relatively old idea, being used in many forms for almost 100 years.
Collimator sights as weapon sights are considered to be very simple, rugged and low cost devices. They have been used on mortars and field guns since World War I. There have had more modern incarnations such as the Armson Occluded Eye Gunsight (OEG) and the Normark Corp. Singlepoint. These both used a light gathering rod in a protective clear dome collecting ambient light to illuminate a 'dot' style reticle.
Collimator sights have had uses as a small arms sight for low light situations (such as twilight or "room clearing" operations) since there is no intervening optical window that can block the light, allowing the use of both eyes with a relatively un-obstructed field of view. In recent years the introduction of illuminated reflex sights, and even telescopic sights; (for example the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG) using the "Bindon Aiming Concept") have replaced dedicated collimator sights since these other types of sights can be used with both eyes in the role of a collimator sight.
Collimator sights are also used in astronomy as Finderscopes to aim a telescope at a designated celestial object.
This Ottway collimator is in perfect working order with a clear sight picture. We used a flashlight to shine down the “light” window to test out the illumination on the reticle and it is clear as day and without damage. The rubber eyecup on the back has become hard and brittle over the years but is still almost completely intact.
The stampings on the brass tube are deep and still very easily read:
W. OTTWAY & CO LTD
PATT. G. 368**
INNER CIRCLE = 100 KNOTS
MIDDLE CIRCLE = 200 KNOTS
OUTER CIRCLE = 300 KNOTS
The wood transit case measures 18 ½” x 6” x 3 ¾” and has fully functional hinges and latches. Unfortunately the felt padded wood inserts that hold the sight in place are broken, but can be easily fixed if you would wish to do so. The outside of the box is marked with the same pattern number as the sight: PATT. G368**.
This beautiful example comes more than ready for display and further research!
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