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February 2nd, 2021

Seeing History … Through a 100mm Unertl Spotting Scope

Unertl 100mm Team Spotting Scope Dewy's Classic Scopes

This story is about the purchase of a super-sized spotting scope with a notable history. Forum member David Buffington explains how he located a rare Unertl 100mm-objective spotter that had served Team USA in international competitions.

Seeing History … Through a Spotting Scope

by David Buffington in our Shooters’ Forum

It is a rare pleasure to acquire a gun with a history. It is simply extraordinary to acquire a scope – in this case, a spotting scope – that has quite literally seen some of the best shots ever taken. The scope is an Unertl Team Spotting Scope, a beast of a 100mm scope especially made for long-range shooting matches. (For technical details, see:

And recently, I was pleased and proud to become its custodian …

In the AccurateShooter Forum Classifieds my friend, dgeesaman, found an ad for an Unertl “Team” spotting scope, a 100mm beast built by the famed Unertl company specifically for long range shooting spotting. I had tried to find one years earlier, but I had no luck. This time I struck gold. The Unertl Team was being sold by an accomplished shooter, Mike Dunia, and was in excellent condition complete with all the goodies, including the monster travel case you see above.

Now, because of its sheer size – about 60 pounds with the case – this scope is definitely NOT practical for casual spotting, but the image, well, it’s like being there. The image is extremely bright and sharp edge-to-edge with no hint of chromatic aberration. And once you get the beast to where you want to be, setup is remarkably simple, with a tripod, mount and scope all beautifully machined to move smoothly and easily.

Unertl 100mm Team Spotting Scope Dewy's Classic Scopes
Vintage Unertl optics can be purchased from Dewayne (Dewy) Greiner in MN, Classic Unertl Scopes.

The scope was sold to me by Mike Dunia, an accomplished marksman who served with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit and represented San Francisco’s famed Olympic Club in competitions around the world, for example, winning the British Columbia Target Rifle Championship in 2002 and the California Palma Championship in 2003. Dunia has had a notable 50+ year shooting career, starting in college when Dunia was Captain of the Stanford University Rifle Team. The scope was owned by Dunia’s friend, Larry Wilkins, who also served in the U.S. Army, was also an accomplished marksman, and also represented San Francisco’s famed Olympic Club.

Below is a photo of the USA Palma Team in 1995 with multiple Unertl 100mm spotting scopes:

Unertl 100mm Team Spotting Scope Dewy's Classic Scopes

The names of the individuals in this 1995 photo were provided by tool-maker Alan Warner, who was there that day many years ago. In the same Shooters’ Forum thread, Alan posted: “Far left, white shirt and hat, squatting is Burt Rallins. Prone — close left with small scope is me, Alan Warner. Standing in team jacket is Ken Erdman. Next in background is Mike Dunia. The Coach, sitting, is Bob Jensen. The Next coach is Eric St. John. Can’t make out the other coach or shooters. Last coach is Bill Meek.”

Here is just a bit of the vaunted history of the San Francisco Olympic Club (click photo to read full screen):

Unertl spotting scope 100mm San Francisco Olympic Club

Although I do plan to use the scope, I feel an obligation to preserve as much of its history as I can, including, most importantly, the stories of the shooters who used it before it came to me. I should also mention that Wilkins served with the famous “Task Force Smith” at the start of the Korean War. If you’re not familiar with that horrific story of courage, do look it up.

Unertl Spotting Scope Original Cost … And in Current Dollars
What might this line of 100mm monsters have cost back in the day? Well, I’ve tracked down an Unertl price list from sometime after 1963 — we know that because it has a ZIP code in the address — and the price then was listed as $450, but another price list, dated 1994, puts the price at $2,200.

Of course, that’s $2,200 in 1994 dollars. That would be $3,842 in today’s 2021 money, according to So the seven Unertl Team scopes seen here would cost $26,894 at present! — David Buffington

100mm Spotting Scope Operation
Were these scopes used to see bullet holes? Actually that was not their primary purpose. Shot locations on target were shown by shot markers placed by pit workers. But the scopes did serve important purposes, as explained by Forum member Dave Marshall: “You won’t be able to see any bullet holes past 300-400 yards with those scopes. They usually used a fixed 24X eyepiece. I don’t think there is a scope in existence today that can see bullet holes at 1000 yards. [It is possible — but only under very rare, perfect conditions. That said, spotting scopes ARE used all the time to see 1000-yard shot markers and thereby record scores. — Editor]

The main reason those scopes were used [in addition to seeing shot markers] was for better ability to read mirage and the larger objective made it possible to see bullet trace at longer ranges. Once the trace leaves the field of view due to steep trajectory, you can’t see it when it comes back down into the field of view.”

Description of Unertl 100mm Team Spotting Scope by Classic Unertl Scopes
The Unertl 100mm Spotting Scope is a large instrument which was designed to meet the requirements of team coaches to enable critical spotting of long range big bore matches. The coated prismatic optical systems, with a 100mm aperture objective and four element orthoscopic oculars is critically tested and hand-corrected so that the final system will yield matchless resolution. The objective cell has a sunshade which can be extended about 5″ when required and the eyepiece is screw focusing with a fast over-running push-pull travel. Dust covers are provided for each end. Workmanship is of the highest quality and the majority of the instrument is made from aluminum alloy and finished in a light gray wrinkle. The yoke mounting enables easy insertions and removal of the telescope from the yoke and tripod. By tensioning the binding screws the scope can be fixed by locked in position or so set to per-mit scanning of a series of targets. The lower portion of the yoke fits the cylindrical column of a floating action metal tripod. Within the tripod ram is a helical spring which counter-balances the scope and it can be raised or lowered with ease. A wooden carrying case of substantial construction houses the telescope, yoke, tripod and extra interchangeable eyepieces. Standard oculars are 6X, 24X. and 32X.

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February 2nd, 2021

Gun Sales Spike — NICS Checks Up 75% in January 2021 vs. 2020

Gun Sales NSSF NICS background checks Joe Biden H.R. 127

With the Democratic Party taking control of the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and the White House, smart Americans know that aggressive, unconstitutional gun control measures are going to be pushed over the next few years in Washington. There is already a bill, H.R. 127, that would require all gun owners to have a Federal License, to pay $800 annual insurance, and to make the type and location of their guns a matter of public record. (See H.R. 127 Video below). And both President Biden and VP Kamala Harris have said they wish to restrict semi-auto rifles, possibly even with mandatory confiscation.

Given this new political environment, it’s no surprise that Americans are rushing to gun stores in droves. And they are buying vast quantities of firearms of all types — pistols, rifles, and shotguns. There were over 2 million NICS-adjusted gun buyer background checks in January 2021. That’s an increase of 75% compared to January 2020.*

“Americans are continuing to purchase firearms at a blistering pace. That’s undoubtedly connected to President Joe Biden’s plans to attack the firearm industry.

Americans are claiming their Second Amendment rights to provide for their own safety in record numbers.” — NSSF

The NSSF Comments: “January’s NICS figures clearly spell out that the demand of law-abiding Americans to purchase firearms isn’t abating. It is growing. Three of the top 10 weeks and one top 10 single day for the highest number of FBI NICS background checks occurred in January. Taken into context that all but one of the top 10 weeks and four other top 10 single-day records occurred during the 2020, when 21 million background checks were conducted, these are jaw-dropping figures to start the New Year.”

Gun Sales NSSF NICS background checks Joe Biden H.R. 127

Analysis from Mark Oliva, NSSF Director of Public Affairs:
It can’t be discounted that many of these background checks for the purchase of a firearm are attributed to threats by the Biden administration to enact the most radical and far-reaching gun control agenda ever proposed. Americans are continuing to purchase firearms at a blistering pace. That’s undoubtedly connected to President Joe Biden’s plans to attack the firearm industry by undoing and rewriting regulations and executive actions to target the firearm industry, which started with freezing the publication of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s “Fair Access” banking rule. The Biden administration interfered with an independent government agency to further an agenda and perpetuate the illegal Operation Choke Point by farming it out to corporate banks. That was just the opening salvo.

Joe Biden gun control

Mental Lapses by Joe Biden: In the South Carolina Presidential Debate, Biden stated that 150 million Americans have been killed by firearms since 2007. That was completely wrong (it would be roughly 45% of the U.S. population). Biden’s defenders claimed it was a simply an over-statement. At best this stupid error shows that Biden is totally misinformed about gun issues. At worst it shows that 78-year-old Biden is suffering from senile dementia.

President Biden [has also] promised to pursue the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), weaponize the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to revoke licenses for minor clerical errors and ban entire classes of firearms from lawful ownership and tax or seize modern sporting rifles (MSRs), or AR-15 style rifles, and magazines in a scheme that would cost those owners an estimated $34 billion for the privilege to own what they already lawfully own.

And the NSSF notes that while the Biden Admininistration is 100% committed to attacking the rights of law-abiding firearms owners, that same administration “has yet to put forth a single proposal to tackle the crime, lawlessness, rioting and looting that has plagued this nation for the year.” Violence and rioting in the name of “equity” and a socialist agenda seem to be fine with Biden, Harris and their advisors.

* For comparison, the unadjusted January 2021 FBI NICS figure 4,288,240 reflects a 61.7 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,652,263 in January 2020. Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide an additional picture of current market conditions. It should be noted that these statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold or sales dollars. Based on varying state laws, local market conditions and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.

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February 2nd, 2021

How to Shoot Standing — HP Champion Carl Bernosky Explains

Some folks say you haven’t really mastered marksmanship unless you can hit a target when standing tall ‘on your own hind legs’. Of all the shooting positions, standing can be the most challenging because you have no horizontally-solid resting point for your forward arm/elbow. Here 10-time National High Power Champ Carl Bernosky explains how to make the standing shot.

Carl Bernosky is one of the greatest marksmen in history. A multi-time National High Power Champion, Carl has won ten (10) National High Power Championships in his storied shooting career, most recently in 2012. In this article, Carl provides step-by-step strategies to help High Power shooters improve their standing scores. When Carl talks about standing techniques, shooters should listen. Among his peers, Carl is regard as one of the best, if not the best standing shooter in the game today. Carl rarely puts pen to paper, but he was kind enough to share his techniques with’s readers.

If you are position shooter, or aspire to be one some day, read this article word for word, and then read it again. We guarantee you’ll learn some techniques (and strategies) that can improve your shooting and boost your scores. This stuff is gold folks, read and learn…

Carl Bernosky High PowerHow to Shoot Standing
by Carl Bernosky

Shooting consistently good standing stages is a matter of getting rounds down range, with thoughtfully-executed goals. But first, your hold will determine the success you will have.

1. Your hold has to be 10 Ring to shoot 10s. This means that there should be a reasonable amount of time (enough to get a shot off) that your sights are within your best hold. No attention should be paid to the sights when they are not in the middle — that’s wasted energy. My best hold is within 5 seconds after I first look though my sights. I’m ready to shoot the shot at that time. If the gun doesn’t stop, I don’t shoot. I start over.

2. The shot has to be executed with the gun sitting still within your hold. If the gun is moving, it’s most likely moving out, and you’ve missed the best part of your hold.

3. Recognizing that the gun is sitting still and within your hold will initiate you firing the shot. Lots of dry fire or live fire training will help you acquire awareness of the gun sitting still. It’s not subconscious to me, but it’s close.

4. Don’t disturb the gun when you shoot the shot. That being said, I don’t believe in using ball or dummy rounds with the object of being surprised when the shot goes off. I consciously shoot every shot. Sometimes there is a mistake and I over-hold. But the more I train the less of these I get. If I get a dud round my gun will dip.* I don’t believe you can learn to ignore recoil. You must be consistent in your reaction to it.

Carl Bernosky High Power5. Know your hold and shoot within it. The best part of my hold is about 4 inches. When I get things rolling, I recognize a still gun within my hold and execute the shot. I train to do this every shot. Close 10s are acceptable. Mid-ring 10s are not. If my hold was 8 inches I would train the same way. Shoot the shot when it is still within the hold, and accept the occasional 9. But don’t accept the shots out of the hold.

6. Practice makes perfect. The number of rounds you put down range matter. I shudder to think the amount of rounds I’ve fired standing in my life, and it still takes a month of shooting standing before Perry to be in my comfort zone. That month before Perry I shoot about 2000 rounds standing, 22 shots at a time. It peaks me at just about the right time.

This summarizes what I believe it takes to shoot good standing stages. I hope it provides some insight, understanding, and a roadmap to your own success shooting standing.

Good Shooting, Carl

* This is very noticeable to me when shooting pistol. I can shoot bullet holes at 25 yards, but if I’ve miscounted the rounds I’ve fired out of my magazine, my pistol will dip noticeably. So do the pistols of the best pistol shooters I’ve watched and shot with. One might call this a “jerk”, I call it “controlled aggressive execution”, executed consistently.

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