Some USMC Unertl 10X Scope History


The invoice for a 10x Unertl USMC sniper scope from Unertl. The optic was purchased in 1984. Check out that price. The idea of paying 1,097.42 dollars for an optic in 1984 would be met with bug eye stares or loud laughter from the vast majority of people.

The purchased optic mounted on its home. The plywood box below is what John Unertl shipped his optics in. The cardboard box on top of it is what the scope was in and placed in the wooden box.

Above are the tools that came with the optic for adjusting the objective lens. Those flat pieces of metal went into the objective end. The wrenches are for the adjustment turret for elevation.


    • for optical clarity and ruggedness, probably not much better. for everything else, the Unertl 10X is way outdated. It’s a fixed 10 power. which is a major disadvantage.

    • It just hit me this fella looks like he sent this scope to his place of business. So maybe this purchase was made without the knowledge of the household financial officer? Never noticed that before!

  1. Nice! With all the old Unertl and sniping history of late I was actually going to ask if you’d want to do a post about them? Granted I’ve only got the US Optics version and not a true Unertl but I can get some good pictures of it.

    • I’ve had a big article on the 10X planned for a while. But It’s a lot of material to organize and I get lazy. It also doesn’t help that I second guess myself about how big the audience for something like that is compared to how much work I have to put into it. The stuff I work the hardest and spend the most research time on, are the articles that it seems 3 people read.

      • Yeah, the history of it is fascinating I think. Especially the early “acceptance” tests.
        I kept a stash of money I saved on deployments if I ever came across one of the 10X Snipers. I met people that owned one but never one that was selling. I jumped on the USO version before they’d even officially announced it. I had found out happenstance when I called about building a custom scope like they used to back then. Had to wait three years to finally get it. Then the fight between the new Unertl Optical Co started and I had considered getting one of each.
        Have seen some surplus’d scopes for sale I’d love to have but I ain’t that frivolous with my money in my old age!
        I do have a nice printed copy of his patent of it framed in my office at work though. Always a good conversation starter with people that recognize it.

        I’m no professional writer but I can write the mechanical piece if you want to split a post into multiple parts? I’d be one of three that read it. Ha!

          • Right on. I dug up the data sheets and other documents USO sent on them. They sent a couple progress letters during the project too that detailed some of the troubles with the refurb and some changes they proposed to the Marines and a comment or two on the new Unertl dispute. It all took way longer than they had initially thought.

          • by unertl dispute you mean when Unertl sued USO for claiming in ads that they made the 10x sniper scope? th eold owner of USO was a real slime ball, his son runs it now and its apparently a good guy who has done his best to move away from his shitbag dad’s old slimey behavior

          • Yep, exactly. One of the original claims was that USO would make new scope bodies and sell the Unertl marked units. The USO guy signed everything “Dr” but apparently never was. The sheets I have are signed that way too. I met up with the new Unertl crew at SHOT a year or so later. I might still have the legal questionnaire their lawyers sent out. One of the questions I remember was “were you promised an actual Unertl scope?”

            It’s a shame really. I’d really like to have a Unertl marked unit and to see new scopes with a Unertl logo on them. I don’t know how many they actually made but it wasn’t a lot.

  2. The Unertl name was purchased by a fellow named Rocky Green after John Unertl passed away. Grreen’s company bought Unertl, as a turn-key business. That is when Unertl sued USO for using their name in advertising. Dr. Williams original run of 100 MST-100 scopes were made from the unused parts the Marines had in their inventory. When USO got the MC contract to rebuild their scopes, USO was given all of the remaining parts the MC had in it’s inventory (which was substantial) as part of the contract. So, if you have one of the original 100 MST-100 scopes, you have a Unertl with USO’s name on it.


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