Original U.S. WWI Warner & Swasey M-1913 Sniper Scope with Mounting Bracket for M1903 Springfield in Leather Case

Item Description

Original item: Only One Available. This design was known as THE FIRST "OFFICIAL" SNIPER SCOPE" that was issued to snipers in the First World War. After the introduction of the Mauser-based M1903 Springfield Service Rifle, it was proposed that telescopic sighted rifles be available to selected marksmen. An experimental rifle telescope, designed by Ambrose Swasey, a co-founder of the Cleveland, Ohio firm of Warner & Swasey was selected.

It was an unusual prismatic construction which had the advantage of allowing a wide field of view at the relatively high magnification of 6x. The Model 1908 Warner & Swasey sight was constructed of black painted brass and steel and weighed a hefty 2 1/4 pounds. Warner & Swasey company markings and the serial number of the sight were stamped on the left side of the scope body and two brass plates were fastened to the top of the sight which contained firing and adjustment data.

The telescope was offset to the left side of the receiver so that the ‘03 could be clip-loaded and fired normally. This location also allowed the standard iron sights to be used with the scope in place. The scope performed well, however it did have some issues, particularly problems with keeping the adjustment steady, and the eyepiece “sticking” to the face of soldiers due to suction. The problems encountered with the M1908 sight eventually resulted in the development of a modified design which was intended to improve the situation – The Model of 1913 Warner & Swasey Musket sight.

This new design introduced holes in the eye cup, which previously had been a field modification to prevent suction. The magnification was reduced slightly to increase brightness, and the range adjustments were made easier to hold in place. There were also dovetail adjustment screws added to maintain a tight fit, which replaced the “shims” that soldiers used with the M1908.

This fine example of the Model 1913 scope is fully marked, the black finish partly worn showing much of the brass beneath. The mounting bracket is still attached and ready to mount to you M1903 rifle! The range data plate is still attached and legible, and the left side of the sight still has the manufacturer’s markings:

MODEL OF 1913 No.6281
PAT. FEB.13-06.MAY 22-06.DEC.15-08

Still providing a good image with built in cross hairs, lens needing a good internal clean however but still usable. The scope comes with its sight rail mounting bracket in place, which is intended to be mounted on the left side of the M-1903 Springfield Rifle. The rail itself looks to be totally unissued, or possibly a replacement. Originally these would have the serial number of the rifle they were issued to marked in the dovetail, however it is worn away on this example.

Unit comes in its original heavy leather belt case with markings still partially apparent on the back. Exceptionally RARE and hard to find, the rubber eye cap is unfortunately absent, almost certainly due to over 100 years of deterioration.

Ready to display!

  • This product is available for international shipping.
  • Eligible for all payments - Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX, Paypal, Amazon & Sezzle


Cash For Collectibles