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Sherman tank optics

Bob Hudson

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Picked up few trunks recently that included optics for WWII-era tanks: the M4A1 periscope, a replacement prism for the M4, M6, M8, M9, M4A! and M8A1 periscopes, and the M38A2 telescope which I read was used "during the Second World War to find azimuth and sight M3 and M6 75mm guns mounted on Chaffee light and Sherman medium tanks."


The periscope:






The prism:





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Now the interesting one, the M38A2 telescope:







Okay does that scope look familiar?




As written elsewhere, these scopes, "were also used in the 1977 film, Star Wars, as scopes on Stormtrooper blaster rifles (modified British Sterling L2A3 sub machine guns."


The Star Wars propmasters likely had no problem finding as many of these as they needed if new ones of these were as common as the periscopes and replacement prisms still are.

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There have been lots or replica Star Wars Blasters, but below is my scope superimposed on an actual prop from the 1977 movie. You can see that the finish has worn on the prop, revealing some of the original brass. My scope still has the spring-loaded bracket attached (and my finger now has a band-aid from where the spring popped loose and came down on my fingertip with at least the the force of a mousetrap).



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Just learned about this. Apparently the M38 was used in ANH, and the M40 during ESB and later. Seems it's driving the prices of such optics up for builds, much as the camera flashes that were used to make lightsabers. Here's an auction that ends in an hour for an M38, at $202 and interested in seeing if it spikes at the end



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