While the application of the telescope to the rifle is by no means a new idea, it is, however, more necessary in this age of high-power rifles, whose killing ranges are beyond the accurate perception of the unaided vision. It is, therefore, obvious that the application of the telescope to arms of this type renders them at once serviceable to the extreme limit of their power. The universal employment of smokeless powder in all guns of this sort has opened the way to the adaptation of the telescope to them. A great advantage gained in using the telescope in shooting is the elimination of the opaque or metallic forward sight, which increases in apparent diameter as the distance between the marksman and the target increases, often more than covering the entire object at long ranges.
The principle of the rifle telescope is the same as that employed by the surveyor, who, through the medium of his telescope, equipped as it is with delicate cross-hairs, is enabled to make accurate observations when sighting upon objects at great distances. To be of value, the telescope must be both water and dust proof and always in focus for any range; the field of vision large, flat and clearly illuminated throughout; the cross-hairs must intersect one another at the exact center of the illuminated field and be sharply defined. The mountings securing it to the gun should be universally adjustable, and so made that repeated firing with heavy charges will not jar the telescope, or in any wise alter its relationship with the bore of the gun, and yet leave no parts protruding to catch the clothing or underbrush. The telescope must be so mounted upon the gun that it can be set quickly and easily for the required ranges and to compensate for errors due to wind.
The fact that these telescopes are practically universal in focus renders it possible for those who in a moderate degree are either near or far sighted to use them perfectly without the presence of glasses. Those after big game in the mountains or on the plains, where distances are great, will find the telescope invaluable in locating and: killing it,: the wide, clear field allowing great range in sighting moving objects. The different varieties magnify from three and one-half to twenty diameters, and have such marked illumination that in feeble and uncertain light objects which would otherwise escape the notice are quite distinctly seen. Objects invisible to the naked eye after dusk are thus rendered clearly visible. For target shooting with the modern, high-power guns at long range, the stronger powers are most suitable, while for hunting, the lower ones are preferable.
Farrow, Edward S. American Small Arms; a Veritable Encyclopedia of Knowledge for Sportsmen and Military Men. New York: Bradford, 1904. Print.
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