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Request for help on Winchester A5 scope
September 27, 2020
3:12 am
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A friend asked me to clean & install cross hairs on a Winchester A5 scope. It's fairly beat up, but the glass is good, so hoping to make it functional again.

I've done this for Winchester 5X & 8X scopes, but this looks a bit different, and I think the reticle on this scope may have been modified/replaced.

I understand that usually there is a screw that you turn IN on the reticle to release/remove it. For this scope, the hole for the screw is there, but it's otherwise unused. Instead, there is a slot cut in the tube, and a screw goes through a half-moon serrated collar, through the slot, and is screwed into the side of the reticle. In this way the screw can be loosened, and the reticle rotated to make the cross hairs vertical.

The reticle is also not what I expected. There are two, and ONLY two, opposing small screws, which hold a disk into place on the face of the reticle. For crosshairs one would expect 4 screws, so could this be for a post reticle? And if so, how do you go about installing one?

Is there any trick to removing the erector assembly? I have screwed the erector assembly locking screw IN, which enables the assembly to be pushed back & forth maybe 1/2". It appears that it should exit from the ocular lens end, but I don't want to push too hard & break a lens.

In the last photo you will see an orifice/light baffle at the rearmost end of the erector assembly, which is only ~1.5" from the rear end of the tube. To the side of the baffle, you will see a small cylindrical "button", which I suppose is for retaining the assembly components, but am wondering if it's somehow used to help remove the assembly.

Also, once the scope is reassembled, I see that there is a little bit of play in the positioning of the erector assembly - i.e., the assembly can be moved back & forth the distance of the "ovoid" hole on the side (see first photo). Is this used for focusing, and if so, what is the proper technique?

IMG_3712.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_3701.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_3702.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_3703.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_3708.jpgImage Enlarger

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Edit:  I found this info on the Lyman 5A:  https://www.lymanproducts.com/media/user/file/l/y/lyman_no.5a_scope.pdf

The 4th page shows a series of reticles which all have a reticle disk which looks like the disk on this scope.  I gather then that for the cross hair installation I just install the cross hairs on the face of the disk?

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September 27, 2020
1:41 pm
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Not just the reticle that's been replaced--looks like most of the original guts of the scope have been replaced by parts from another scope. Original cross-wires were soldered to the brass ring of the reticle--no screws.  Original reticle holder was a cylinder with a slot for the reticle, theoretically allowing them to be replaced easily...except that it was such a bitch to get the reticle holder out of the tube, because it was the designer's brilliant idea to hold the components in place by FRICTION alone, not screws, required a very tight fit of the components inside the tube.  What happened when the inside of the tube became a little dirty, as was inevitable, or corrosion formed?  Meant components had to be driven out with a mandril, which is the only thing you can do, padding the end of it.  If it's moving at all, you can probably drive it out without breaking the lens. 

That ragged slot has been hacksawed into the tube, & the curved piece cut from another scope to cover it up; for squaring the reticle, presumably.

Scope can be made optically functional, but it's beyond "restoration" to original condition.  You have your work cut out for you. 

September 27, 2020
3:34 pm
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Clarence,
Thanks for the reply.

I found some photos of an A5 reticle assembly here (post #4): https://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=24115

So yes, for this scope the original reticle assembly has been replaced with this much simpler tubular brass piece, with the cross hair holder/disk attached by the two small screws, and then the slot has been cut (hacksawed!) to allow the reticle to be rotated/squared.

However, as long as the cross-hairs are put at the proper location, the scope should be functional, assuming the optics are correct.

Which brings us to the rest of the internals: Is there any indication that the erector assembly (the internal "guts") of the scope has been modified/replaced? I haven't found any photos of the erector assembly, but the locking screw in the "ovoid" hole in the middle looks correct.

Have you ever removed these internals, and other than screwing in the locking screw, and pushing the assembly out through the ocular end, is there anything else to removing this?

September 27, 2020
5:49 pm
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btbell said

Have you ever removed these internals, and other than screwing in the locking screw, and pushing the assembly out through the ocular end, is there anything else to removing this?  

Theoretically, no...but you don't know what other changes have been made.  The original inverter cell was attached to a long rod that you were supposed to use to pull it out, but usually it was fitted so tight this wouldn't work & it had to be pushed out with a dowel.  Any catalog during the time scope was in production contains instructions for disassembly--the way it was supposed to work, that is!

If the tube has even the slightest dent between the inverter cell & the ocular end, it's going to take considerable force to push it out.

September 27, 2020
5:57 pm
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What someone did with the British issue scope was replace the tiny original screw, which easily strips its threads if too much force is applied, with a larger screw that holds from the outside of the tube.  This was similar to the improvement made by Lyman when they re-engineered the A5 design into their own 5A.

September 29, 2020
1:59 pm
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Thanks for your replies.  
 
I had three reasons for wanting to remove the erector assembly:
1.  I wanted to see what it looked like, and how it compared to a Winchester 5x.
2.  To ensure all the lenses were as clean as they could be.
3.  The field of view in this A5 seems constricted, and is about half of the FOV of my Winchester 5X.  Also, the edges are not sharp.  It's the same result with & without the reticle installed, indicating that perhaps there is an issue with the erector assembly (is the light baffle/orifice too far back?).  The sight picture is otherwise good, with good focus & sharp cross hairs.
 
I was unsuccessful in finding the disassembly instructions you referred to.  I would be interested to know how the long rod system to pull out the inverter/erector assembly was supposed to work - it's not obvious how it would attach to the assembly.
 
I did try using a wooden dowel to push, but it would hang up when it got to the reticle assembly hole.  There was no obvious deformation of the tube, and it seemed smooth inside.
 
In the end, I just installed new crosshairs, reassembled, and declared victory for now.
September 29, 2020
6:27 pm
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btbell said

 
I had three reasons for wanting to remove the erector assembly:
1.  I wanted to see what it looked like, and how it compared to a Winchester 5x.
There's NO comparison--the 5X is a completely different & superior design.

I was unsuccessful in finding the disassembly instructions you referred to.  I would be interested to know how the long rod system to pull out the inverter/erector assembly was supposed to work - it's not obvious how it would attach to the assembly.

 
Any catalog between 1909 & 1928 contains these instructions (Page 38 in the '25 ed.)  The rod was attached to the side of the cell, which is one reason it was ineffective--the off-center pull (combined with the excessively tight fit) caused the cell to bind in the tube.
 

I did try using a wooden dowel to push, but it would hang up when it got to the reticle assembly hole.  There was no obvious deformation of the tube, and it seemed smooth inside.

 
This shouldn't happen, unless there's a burr on the inside of the tube.
 
 
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