R.E.L. C No. 67 MK. I sniper scope

Canadian soldier holding his sniper rifle.
Sloppy Sam himself, Sgt. Don. B. (Sam) Urquhart, in Korea. The rifle is a rare No. 4 MK. I* (T) made by Small Arms Limited, Long Branch (two words) Ontario in 1945. The scope is a C No. 67 MK. I.

The C No. 67 Mk. I is one of the rarest of the Canadian made sniper scopes.

In 1943-1944 Canada experimented with some new sniper scopes that were simpler and lighter than the British No. 32 telescope that Research Enterprises Limited (R.E.L. ; REL) was then manufacturing for the No. 4 MK. I* (T) sniper rifles being manufactured nearby at Long Branch at Small Arms Limited (and later by Canadian Arsenals Limited). 

The experimental scopes were in 3.5X (3-1/2 power of enlargement) and 5X. The 3.5X were called “Gimball” at first. I do not know why. About 16 experimental scopes were made in 1943 and 1994. I own the first one made in 1944, Gimball 3.5X serial number EXP. 01-44

Although the testing troops in the U.K. loved the 5X scope and recommended it highly, the “powers that be” said no, it was too powerful. The scope was ahead of its time. Note that today, sniper scopes magnify to much higher levels e.g. 16X. 

R.E.L. then went into limited production and manufactured 104 of the 3.5X scopes. The British numbered these in the system as C No. 32 MK. 4. Canada objected saying that they were a totally new design, not a variation of the No. 32 scope. When Canada adopted the scope, the nomenclature was changed to C No. 67 MK. I. Most of the scopes appear to have had the old numbers milled out and new numbers added. 

Of the 104 scopes made:

  • Most of the No. 32 Mk. 4 / C No. 67 Mk. I scopes were fitted to the 80L8xxx series of No. 4 Mk. I* (T) sniper rifles. Clive Law believed that 100 were so mounted. 
  • One, serial number not known to me, was fitted to a presentation sporter style No. 4 Mk. I* rifle given to Major Hahn. 
  • 10 scopes went to the U.K.
  • 2 scopes went to India
  • 2 scopes went to Australia
  • 2 scopes went to the USA
  • 88 stayed in Canada

KNOWN FATES: 

  • # 1-C turned up in the U.K. and is now in a Canadian collection.
  • # 2-C on 80L8055 in a private collection.
  • # 9-C on 73L7794 then 80L8007 in the U.K. Present status unknown. 
  • # 10-C on 80L8004. Sent to U.K. for trials. Preserved at Warminster. This is the most photographed one. 
  • # 28-C on 80L8045. Scope, bracket and mount survive in a private collection in the U.K. 
  • # 52-C turned up in Winnipeg in the barracks box of a Korean War veteran and it is now in my collection. Now paired up with 80L8006.
  • # 57-C found near Ottawa on Scout Sniper Rifle serial number ASC-43-3
  • # 63-C Survives. 
  • # 69-C DESTROYED by a bad armourer.
  • # 72 C on 80L8032. Tested in the U.K. Had aluminum caps on turrets. Present status not known. 
  • # 83-C Stat us not known. 
  • # 104-C, the last one made, survives in a private Canadian collection and appears to have never been mounted on a rifle. 

HISTORICAL PHOTOS

C No. 67 Mk. I serial number 52-C in Colin MacGregor Stevens’ Collection

The experimental Gimball 3.5X scope is shown mounted on this rifle, but the experimental scope SN EXP.01-44 and its experimental bracket (SN ASC-85-3) are scheduled to be used on my experimental Scout Sniper Rifle SN ASC-84-4. I am in search of a bracket for a C No. 67 MK. I so that I may mount mine on this rifle. I am also in search of a mount (the lower part that is permanently attached to the rifle) to mount the experimental scope and bracket on my Scout Sniper Rifle. 

 

Link back to my page on the Lee-Enfield No. 4 MK. I (T) sniper rifle