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by Ken Ramage
Specifications: Wm. Malcolm 8X USMC Sniper Riflescope
Model – M8USMC
Tube diameter – 3/4 inch
Power – 8X
Available mount adjustment: Elevation — over 125 MOA total; Windage — 60 MOA each side from center.
Objective Dia. – 31mm
Field of View @ 100 yards – 11 feet
Eye Relief – 3.16 inches
Length – 23 inches
Weight – 25.4 ounces
MSRP – $549
An Introduction to a New-Old Sniper Scope
The Civilian Marksmanship Program develops and promotes shooting games featuring the US arms of WWI and WWII. The latest CMP game is the Vintage Sniper Rifle competition. Two-man teams compete in this rifle event; a shooter and a spotter who work together putting rounds on target at 300 and 600 yards.
Each team member fires 10 rounds at a target exposed for only 20 seconds per shot. When the shooter completes his 10 rounds, he switches places with the spotter. Now the next 10 rounds are fired within the time constraints, and finally the stage of fire is finished.
Then the teams pick up their gear and move to the final distance and repeat the routine. A total of 40 rounds for record are tallied and the event results determined.
And this is where the new Leatherwood Malcolm USMC 8X sniper scope comes in.
Introduced at the 2012 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, the Leatherwood/Hi-Lux Wm. Malcolm 8X USMC sniper scope is the newest ‘old’ scope on the market, and joins three other externally-adjusted rifle scopes in the vintage Wm. Malcolm line of sniper scopes. This latest model is actually more of a recreation of the 1940 WWII-era Unertl 1 1/4-inch Combination Target Scope, now nitrogen-filled and with modern multi-coated optics, than a replica of a particular Wm. Malcolm sniper scope. The Marines used the 8X Unertl in the Pacific during WWII, and later in both Korea and Vietnam.
This new Leatherwood sniper scope, approved by the CMP, is marked with the Malcolm name over the USMC-Sniper designation, and carries an individual serial number, as did the original USMC sniper scopes. When installed on a rifle with the optimum center-to-center mount spacing of 7.2 inches, the windage and elevation adjustment mechanisms deliver 1/4th-inch impact shifts at 100 yards.
The sniper scope I received for review was an early production specimen (#171) that had recently done tradeshow exhibit duty at the St. Louis NRA Show. The sniper scope had the recoil spring installed, verboten under the CMP sniper match equipment rules. Corbett Leatherwood tells me the sniper scopes are currently shipped with the recoil spring uninstalled, but in the box — perfect for the high-power rifleman and CMP competitor. However, down the road they may offer the sniper scope both ways — with and without the recoil spring installed.