• Guide to Russian Optics Manufacturers

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    Guide to Russian Optics Manufacturers

    *** Hotlink to original Gunboards thread (click here) ***

    I was preparing an initial guide but it kept growing so, this is the first installment of the very rough "compressed" Cliff notes version...

    Everything I'll post has been taught to me by a few very well knowledgeable people in the field. Vic, Marcus and later Dmitry for the most part. Dmitry is a large help with his translation of Russian articles.

    A lot has been learned on my own by books and of course the internet.

    If any photo belongs to a member and wants it removed or given credit, please let me know and the appropriate action will be taken. As well as any corrections in the data presented that I may have messed up on.

    The Soviet hammer, sickle and star was adopted in 1923 and finalized in the 1924 Soviet Constitution.

    The Soviet coat of arms is found on pretty much all of the optics. The exception being the KOMZ rifle scopes. It consists of the hammer, sickle and star above or mixed in with the manufacturer's logo.

    Novosibirsk Instrument-making Plant (NPZ)

    A brief history of the company is that they were founded in 1905 as factory #19 in Krasnogorsk (aka factory #69 as of 1933, aka NKOP (НКОП), aka Krasnogorsk factory) but was moved to it's final location in Novosibirsk.

    Examples of their serial numbers are prefixed with N, NA ,NB and then the production number. I believe they started over the prefixes for each year of producing the PE model 1931 (PE) scope. Meaning you can have a 1933 scope with a serial prefixed by N, NA and NB as well as a 1934, 1935, 1936 dated scopes with serials prefixed by N, NA and NB

    Their original logo was the basic pentagon shape.

    However when used on optics it appears elongated and pointing in towards the Soviet coat of arms at an angle.

    1933 PE

    NPZ binoculars feature the same logo as seen on these 1940 6x30 and 1945 7x50 examples


    In 1936 the Soviets contracted with Karl Zeiss in Jena, Germany, to set up a microscope production plant in Leningrad. That firm was called Progress, and they were quite successful.

    Examples of their serial numbers are prefixed with either Nº, №A- or №Б- and then the production number.

    Their logo was a flat-convex lens.

    There are some 1937 manufactured examples of the PE model 1937 scope (PEM) that exhibit a Progress logo with an interrupted line.

    SVT scopes have the year of manufacture located under the factory logo.

    PU scopes have either the year of manufacture or 91/30 located under the factory logo.
    Examples of PU scopes also exist with 91/30 under the coat of arms with 19 on the left of the coat of arms and year of manufacture on the right.

    Examples of the Progress marked SVT and PU scopes include:

    Progress shared PE model 1937 scope production with FED, the Kharkov optical factory mentored by NKVD (aka NKVD factory #3) in 1939.

    Kharkov Machine-Building Plant (FED)

    This is their military logo which appears as a "broken" lens

    All examples I have seen are dated 1940

    Kazan Optical-Mechanical Factory (KOMZ)

    History of KOMZ can be read at About Company • English version • KOMZ

    Their logo is a polygon which represents a lens/mirror and an arrow which represents light being reflected.

    Examples of their serial numbers exist with the two digit year of manufacture as the prefix followed by the production number.

    Unlike the rifle scopes, KOMZ binoculars did have the coat of arms as well as the full year of production marked.

    1946 and 1947 6x30's

    Another KOMZ 6x30 shows no date and it's serial is prefixed with the letter B. Did KOMZ use prefixes prior to marking the date of manufacture? Or did they start using prefixes after marking the year of manufacture? If someone knows please let me know.

    Krasnogorsk Mechanical Plant (KMZ)

    Good history of KMZ can be found here ACP - Introduction to KMZ

    Their logo is a stylized Dove prism

    They are the makers of the rare aluminum PU scope.

    Their serial numbers are prefixed with N and then the production number. I have seen one example have the year 1941 under the serial number but the photo is poor quality to verify if it is genuine.

    KMZ binoculars show the year of mfg and the serial number. Two examples of 6x30 binoculars, only 1 year apart. Both are marked on the right hand side where as most Russian binoculars are marked on the left hand side. First shows the Russian coat of arms and date, 19[Coat of Arms]45r with a serial number prefixed with №. The 1946 mfg binoculars is free of the coat of arms and no prefix to the serial. Would this be a non military produced 6x30?

    Factory 297 located in Yoshkar-Ola.

    Their logo, like NPZ's, utilized a pentagon except the coat of arms is inside the pentagon.

    Examples of their serial numbers are prefixed with either the first two digits of the year of mfg and then the production number. Other example shows the full year of manufacture with a serial number prefixed by N and then the production number.

    State Optical-mechanical Plant (GOMZ)

    Founded in 1932 near Leningrad, the GOMZ factory is one of the oldest of Soviet optical companies.

    Their logo also uses the popular pentagon and arrow representing a ray of light being reflected.

    Traceability on their binoculars is prefixed with N and what I believe is the two digits representing the year of mfg followed by the production number.

    In the case of these 6x30 it would be 1941

    Zagorsk Optical Mechanical Plant (ZOMZ)

    They were located in present day Sergiev Posad, formerly known as Zagorsk.
    History can be found at "ñàéò îàî çîìç"

    Their logo is a joining of the three lenses

    Maker's of the widely used TR 4 periscope that the snipers used.
    A pristine example of the maker's mark on eckmann's 1942 TR 4

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    This article was originally published in forum thread: Guide to Russian Optics Manufacturers started by Badger View original post
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