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Thread: MarColMar CETME LV/S in Detail

  1. #11
    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
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    The rear sight on the scope is a totally nonadjustable aperture held on by two 2mm socket screws:

    Notice that there are shims between the sight and the scope body. The scope for rifle 140 is shimmed too but the shimming is thinner so there must have been an honest effort to actually zero the back up sight to the optic.

    The front sight is a blade molded into the scope body:

    A comparison of the front sights between the two scopes gives us more evidence that they did actually zero the backups to the optic:

    The one on the right (rifle 139) is ground down quite a bit while the one on the left (rifle 140) is only slightly ground. My guess is that, straight out of the mold, the front sight is fully rounded. The sight radius is right around 4 inches.

    A closeup of the objective lens:

    Much like the American ACOG, the SUSAT has an angled hood projecting out from the objective lens to help prevent glare and lens shine. Image quality through the British glass is crystal clear with no distortion. If this unit had a picatinny compatible mount, this would probably be at least a $1000 scope.

    A detail photo showing part of the bottom left side of the scope:

    I think "AVL" is the manufacturer's code. If my research is right, the SUSAT was made by two companies, Avimo and United Scientific Instruments.
    1988 is the year of manufacture.
    We can also see the serial number: 102739
    I think the red socket screw was used to nitrogen purge the scope. The other socket screws visible are assembly screws.

    Another showing part of the bottom right side of the scope:

    We can see another red nitrogen purge screw and a couple more assembly screws. The squares containing the numbers 3, 6, 9 and 12 are part of a larger grid numbered 1 through 12 and labeled "MOD RECORD". I have no idea what that means. Because this scope has been zeroed to the rifle, I am not keen on removing it from the mount to reveal the rest of the markings on the bottom but thanks to this video done by The Armourer's Bench ,, I can tell you what is there but hidden from view.
    In addition to the rest of the MOD RECORD grid mentioned above, there would be a "Broad Arrow" property mark (->) showing British military ownership and acceptance for duty.
    There is also the NATO stock number (NSN) for the SUSAT scope by itself (as in sans the mount): 1240-99-967-0474
    Below the NSN would be: "SIGHT UNIT SMALL ARMS TRILUX L9A1". "L9A1" is the British designation for the SUSAT scope unmounted. The "L12A1" referenced earlier is the designation for a SUSAT mated to the mount shown in this article. Yes, it's clear as mud. It's a British thing.

    This picture shows that there was obviously either more than one mold or more than one cavity in a mold used to make scope bodies:

    Notice that the scope shown at the bottom of the picture has circles molded into it in front and behind the rounded center portion of the scope while the scope at the top of the picture lacks this detail.

    Here, we see a closeup of the elevation wheel at the rear of the scope:

    The hex nut is used to zero the elevation. When MarColMar shipped the rifles out to me, Dave Bane sent me an email telling me that they are in the process of designing and manufacturing a scope adjustment tool and that one would be sent to me once they are finished. My guess is that the tool will be capable of turning the elevation zeroing nut.

    As for the elevation wheel, it is graduated from 300 to 800 meters in 100m increments. Below is a series of photos showing each of those settings.

    This setting on the wheel includes a raised bump where the number "3" is stamped. This allows the shooter a tactile cue in low light conditions.

    the 400m setting:




    And finally, 800m:

    You may have noticed the "D" and "U" stamped into the mount. This has to do with zeroing the elevation. Obviously, the "D" stands for "Down" while the "U" is "Up" but, because I am unwilling to play with the adjustments because this unit has already been zeroed, I cannot tell you whether these marking refer to the sight post or the point of impact. I'm sorry to tell you that you're on your own with this one.

    I still have more to cover with this scope but it's getting late so I'm going to call this a stopping point for tonight. Ill be back soon though. See you soon!

  2. #12
    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    Detail of the windage adjustment on the left side of the mount:

    The little gold medallion on the bottom of the scope body with a radiation symbol is notice that the sight contains tritium.

    And the adjustment on the right side of the mount:

    To make an adjustment, the first thing you do is loosen the nut on each side of the mount. Next, you back off one slotted screw before tightening the one on the opposite side. Once you get it where you want it, you tighten both nuts. I had a 1955 Royal Enfield motorcycle for 13 years that surprisingly never left me stranded. When making adjustment and just generally performing routine maintenance I often thought to myself....."Yes, this works but those zany Redcoats sure went about it in a most distinctly British way." I feel that way right now.
    The little gold medallion on the bottom of the scope body is hard to read in this picture but it's marked in red "12-87" meaning the tritium was installed in December of 1987.

    Here's a front view of the mount illustrating the windage adjustment:

    The adjustment screw locknuts are visible on either side of the upper part of the mount. At center of frame, you can see a hole with a lug projecting up into it from the bottom part of the mount. Remember earlier that we discussed the fact that the lower part of the mount is rigidly fixed to the rail on the rifle while the upper part can pivot up/down for elevation adjustment and pivot left/right for windage adjustment? Well, when you loosen and tighten the adjustment screws, they work against the lug and move the upper mount side to side. I'm sure there are specifications for how much a full turn of the adjustment screws will move the point of impact at 100 meters but I do not know that number.

    The next two pictures are a right side view at the extreme rear of the mount showing the upper part of the mount's movement relative to the lower part as you rotate the elevation wheel. The first picture shows the wheel set to 300m while the second one shows the wheel set to 800m:

    I like these pictures because they illustrate just how little movement is required to make a big difference at range. With most scopes having all of the adjustment being internal, you never get to see this. I just thought it was neat so I figured I'd share it with you.

    In this picture, I've removed the tightening clamp from the mount:

    It is important to remember that the mount is made of cast alloy and NOT steel. The threads you see in the mount are steel helicoil inserts but that doesn't mean you can go gorilla when you tighten down the wingnuts. You only need to snug them up enough to lock the mount on the rail.

    The tightening bolts have circlips on them to secure against loss:

    But there is never really a reason to completely remove the tightening clamp from the mount as just loosening them is enough.

    The wingnuts themselves are plastic and allow the tightening bolt to slide back and forth inside as you tighten and loosen the clamp:


    The next thing I want to look at is the knurled illumination knob found on the right side of the scope body:

    This knob rotates 90° and originally had a tritium light source imbedded in its axle. That tritium was removed prior to export from Britain but it was already dead anyways. If this knob was turned fully clockwise, the sight post would not be illuminated. As you turned it counterclockwise, the bottom of the sight post would be exposed to more and more of the tritium and get brighter and brighter reaching full illumination when the knob was rotated 90°. At that point, the knob would hit an internal stop and turn no farther. The 2mm socket screw facing to the rear serves as both the internal stop and the knob retaining screw.
    If we remove it:

    We can pull the illumination knob free of the scope body:

    And remove it altogether:

    If we shine a flashlight into the ocular lens and look into the hole where the knob was fitted, we can see the bottom of the sight post lit up:

    And if we crank up the flashlight to full power, we can even see a bit of the internal cavity:

    There isn't much to see but I'm easily amused.

    Here is the illumination knob after removal:

    Starting from the right we have the knurled knob, a rubber o ring to keep out the elements, a slot for the stop (which is noting more than an extension on the end of the securing screw) and finally, the cavity in the axle where the tritium vial was secured with what appears to be silicon judging by the white remnants. Other than the o ring, this whole thing is a single part made of machined aluminum. Notice that the securing screw has a white substance in its threads. I'm assuming this served both as a sealant and a form of locktite.
    You can buy little tritium vials online and I'm sure it would be very easy to restore the illumination feature for this scope but I have no plans to do so. Really.....what would be the point?

    Just for the fun of it, we'll finish up by taking a quick look at the SUSAT compared to the ELCAN M145:

    Both are 4x optics and both have their adjustments located on the mount instead of internally. Because of this, both are pretty large. Both have their elevation wheel and windage adjustments in approximately the same places but the ELCAN windage is adjustable by simply turning one screw.

    Here is a front view:

    I've removed the Signature Reduction Device from the ELCAN but left the laser filter in place. Notice that both have an upper and lower mount that interact in very much the same way.

    This last picture is a rear view:

    The M145 uses a an LED light source with multiple intensity settings and has a true reticle etched on a glass plate instead of the SUSAT's acrylic post. The ELCAN is a much more sophisticated optic but, to be frank, all of that sophistication is probably overkill. As for optical clarity, I see no discernable difference between the two. Yes, the SUSAT is a old design but it's still an excellent optic for it's intended purpose.

    So that's it for this one. I really, really like the CETME LVS. It's a typical MCM rifle in that its Quality of build and attention to detail are outstanding. But it's atypical in that MCM has teamed it up with a first class optic that is almost impossible to find state side and faithfully recreated an uber rare cold war marksman's rifle. These two elements combine to create a recipe that I really find agreeable to my military rifle tastes. In other words, if the MarColMar L, LC and LV rifles are a tasty mint green milkshake on a hot summer's day, the new LVS is the cherry on top! I'm really looking forward to getting this one to the range and I'll report back once I do. I sincerely hope you enjoyed this and I want to thank you for taking the time to read it! We're done for now.

    I wrote this for you Mom. I'll see you in my dreams!

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