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Thread: Dunlops 1948 book discussing zf-41 adapter plate

  1. #1
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    Default Dunlops 1948 book discussing zf-41 adapter plate

    I know this is a old thread but so is this book .
    I get fantasy pieces but in 1948?
    Roy Dunlop author of "Ordnance went up front" describes this adapter as seen in the desert war in 1942.
    Is it possible these adapters were tried prior to the solder mount we all know and love?
    The picture printed on page 71 does not have any wood removed from the stock. I know the photo is blurie in this photo of the book but I can see it in my copy.
    This book is a must for those who do not have it (if you can find it).
    Are we open to an opinion from a guy who was put on the front lines purposely to exam as many of the enemies weapons as he could?
    Or am I reading this wrong?

    I am hoping these copies of his book are legible.
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    No War Eagles For You! mrfarb's Avatar
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    Here's the problem - from the ones I've ever seen, it's clear that they are not original. Also, from what I've been told, these slide on adapters are not rigid enough to actually keep zero on a scope that is mounted to them. Firing the rifle causes the adapter to move, ever so slightly, and thereby throwing of any accuracy. So if that's the case, what good would they be?

    Is it possible that the adapters were made? I guess you could make a case for it, but to date I have yet to see an original. That and the aforementioned issues with accuracy. The ZF41 system was not well received by the troops, and certainly wasn't any kind of sniping system.

    I'll add that even books from 1948 can be wrong. Hell, books written on German stuff in 1945 could be wrong, the War Departments own manual on the Germans has some flaws in it. People are fallible, and to think everything in print is infallible is probably naive (I'm not suggesting you are by the way, in general). He states they found plenty of scopes but few rifles for them, is it possible some enterprising GI (or POW) made adapters for the scopes? Do you really believe that the troops removed the adapters before surrendering? It's not an easy proposition. Also, in his own words, "I only saw one of these outfits and didn't get a chance to examine it closely".
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    Mr farb
    Thank you for the input.
    I don't have the answers but I found Roy Dunlops comments very interesting for its time ,place and context.
    Don't know ,just asking.
    If you look at the authors bio he was highly regarded in his day and certainly had access to a lot of weapons and knowledge .
    From my prospective ,its not so much of what he actually inspected as it is the page and a half he spends writing about the mount sometime prior to the books 1st publishing in 1948.

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    Ordnance Went Up Front is a good book in many ways, but I will agree that it's based largely on one guy's memory, and it wasn't written during the war. However, his description of the device is very specific, and it matches the goofy things we see floating around, which makes me pause for a second. Likewise, there is the rifle without a cutout on the stock. Could it be a replacement piece of lumber? Maybe, we don't know, but it would give some weight to it being a weird field conversion.

    However, if they were real, there would be records of them. Blueprints. Order sheets, installation guides, anything. There would be original examples studied in wartime aberdeen reports, there would be originals in museums somewhere, and we would have more than one source that shows that they existed.

    So I would say they aren't real, but that opinion is based only on what we don't have, not on what we do have.

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    Nirvana
    Well said. It does make you think if there is one report out there maybe there is another.
    Unfortunately, I have to make a mortgage payment every month ,so I wouldn't be the one digging into Aberdeen's records any time soon.
    Just found it interesting and thought I would share.
    Thank you

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    Community Organizer Hambone's Avatar
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    I've read the Dunlop book, twice actually. I have it somewhere. The thing that I got a kick out of most about it was him describing things then which we know much more about now. It reminded me of an Indian describing something he had never seen before for the first time, such as a jet aircraft: "big silver pointed nose bird with no flapping wings moves quickly through the air making the sound of loud wind with smoke coming out behind."

    The same is true here. He sounds like he is describing the Zf.41, not the "adapter" (certainly not the ridiculous fake in BB2). The pictures, which are very poor, probably illustrate an original with a replaced stock and something cobbed together for a pic, such as a Zf.41 mount affixed to the top of a base for "illustrative" purposes. While the Zf.41 is not that much to write home about, Dunlop and his contemporaries had yet to grasp the concept of the "scout" rifle with long eye relief as later embraced by Elmer Keith, which is common today with low magnification / no magnification and red dots.

    I would also point out the genesis of the "Zf.41 adapter." Back in Richard Law's formative collecting period, the 1970s-1980s, there were mountains of those little Zf.41 scopes in the cans, unused, cheap, surplus, but no rifles to put them on. That's why we see them turning up in the oddest places (such as on a Luger) with all manner of jacked up mounts, welded, etc., to hold them. I remember at the first Greater NO Militaria Show, in maybe 1993, a guy had about 20 of those Zf.41 scopes in the cans, selling them cheap. I also remember a beautiful matching ce 42 that some idiot ruined by having a gunsmith weld a "Zf.41 rail" on it.

    In short, the Zf.41 "adapter" is a fantasy piece which, as a result of its silliness, would never have gotten past the novelty concept as far as contemplated use of any kind. Understanding the Zf.41 and its limitations make this glaringly obvious. Certainly Dunlop would not have described it as "sturdy".
    “Not every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose.” - Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, 1933-1945

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    Moderator² Loewe's Avatar
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    Some comments from a knowledgeable collector:

    The scope he shows is positioned only for the purpose of showing what it looked like (more or less)—the rifle is a standard 98k; the scope likely the souvenir he brought back from Africa on his person (in one or another pockets of his combat jacket). That’s the reason no wood is removed. If you look closely at the image you can see the scope is a bit (maybe a quarter inch) higher than it should be. No big deal. Bob

    Only thing I could add to these remarks is the observation that whatever he says about the rifle and its mount are based on his best conjecture with maybe a too quick view of a real zf41 added in. He did get the scope OK, and his was possibly the first one in the U.S. Bob

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