Updated : 17 February 2008

Thoughts on ZF40 scopes

  From the observation of the markings on ZF41 scopes, there seems to be interesting facts concerning ZF40 reworked ZF41 or ZF41/1, as the following.
  1. The ZF40 manufacturers are only cag, cxn, dow and presumably eso.
  2. Those scopes are identical with the late ZF41(Type2) or ZF41/1 except the markings, and no early types (ZF41 Type1) which are shown on G41 manual D191/1 dated 16.2.1943 is observed.
  3. Their way of altering '40' to '41' or '41/1' is different by each scope manufacturers.

     See the pictures >>> ZF40 Markings

  4. The manufacturer cag made only ZF40 (reworked), since scopes originally marked ZF41 or ZF41/1 are not encountered.
  5. From the serial number study;
      cag cxn dow eso
    ZF40*-41 ZF40-41/1
    Lowest Serial# observed 2200 123500 148300 1200 ?
    Highest Serial# observed 6000 128600 153300 15500 2700?
    Estimated production number 6000+ 5000? 5000? 15000+ ?
    It is clear that cxn made some original ZF41 and ZF41/1 between the above serial range.
    The interesting thing is that although the serial number location of cxn ZF40-41 are at the ocular tube, those of ZF41 are all at the center tube until higher serial range (145000-).

  From the facts above, here are some thoughts on ZF40 scopes.
  1. These reworks were done at each factory. (Difficult to think Waffenmeisters or Waffenfeldwebels changed the way of altering by the scope manufacturers.)
  2. Those reworked ZF40 never went out of the factory as original ZF40. (Hard to think the scopes were gathered at the fields and selected by each manufacture to be sent home.) So they were stocked at each factory for some reason until they were determined to be reworked, and then they were sent to the field at last. The reason for this is not clear, but I believe it is concerned with disappointments and production delay of G41. Thus, although the existence of a few ten thousand G41 with mount rails for ZF40, no mass produced G41 fitted with ZF40 were applied, only limited field trials at best.
  3. Even though early ZF41 were made from 1941 (i.e. ones with 'K.F.' markings), the ZF40 were produced much later, mainly in 1943 which is same time as late ZF41 and ZF41/1.
  4. The manufacturer cag and dow must have ceased production soon after the alteration, within 1943.

Info still needed!!

  ZF40 mystery is still unsolved. More information on ZF41 scopes would certainly be a clue. I am still waiting for your information!


German Telescopic Rifle Sights of WWII

List of References
German Manufacturer Codes (Optical Instruments)