ZF41-41/1 Production Years

@@I have estimated the production years of ZF41 series scopes as shown in the diagram below. The explanation follows.

ZF41 production years

1) pre-1941:
@@Some early ZF41 Type1(*1) were made. They had no designation (only marked 'Z.F.'), no manufacturers code cxn (marked 'Busch Rathenow'). Later, ones still having no designation but with the code appeared (only bmj and cxn).

2) early 1941:
@@ZF41 Type1 marked 'Z.F.41' on production.
  • Merkblatt dated 26 Aplil 1941 has a picture indicating Type1 (from the rain shield).
  • Most of the scopes with the lubricant code 'K.F.'(*2) were made between 1940 and 1941.
  • K98k-Zf41 was introduced officially on 14 July 1941(*3).

3) early-mid 1942:
@@ZF41 Type1 on full production.
  • These scopes have the lubricant mark 'O'(*4).
  • The K98k-Zf41 manual (dated 10 Februray 1942) has pictures of the ZF41 Type1.

4) late 1942:
@@ZF41 Type2 (and ZF40(*5)) on production by cxn.
  • Early ones were marked 'O', but most of them were marked the lubricant code '+'(*6).
  • The only known picture of the ZF40 mounted on a G41 is from a document dated 17 November 1942(*7). Hard to see, but it seems to be same type as ZF41 Type2 or ZF41/1.

5) early 1943:
@@ZF41/1 (and ZF40) on production.
  • There are the name "ZF40+", "ZF40" and "ZF41/1" on a document dated 16 April 1943(*8).
  • There is a document from early 1943 saying the ZF41/1 was originally designated 'ZF42' but later finally 'ZF41/1'(*9).
  • Merkblatt 25/4 dated 15 May 1943 has pictures from D136/1 showing Type1.

6) mid-late 1943:
@@ZF40 and ZF40 were canceled orders and reworked into ZF41 or ZF41/1.
  • The production of G43 started at least from October 1943. The production of G41 and ZF40 can be thought to have ended earlier.

7) from 1944:
@@The production quantity of ZF41/1 decreases obviously
  • The document stating the final delivery date for ZF41 and ZF41/1 is 31 December 1943 exists(*10).
  • From the research, the cxn made ZF41 Type2 are encountered most often.On the other hand, ZF41/1 are more scarce. It is hard to think cxn ZF41/1 were on full mass-production.
  • The manufacturer cag and dow seems to have ceased the production of ZF41/1 within 1943. No 'triangle' are seen.
  • The lubricant code 'triangle' seems to be introduced in mid-late 1943. The scope which has a triangle added next to the '+' code (which indicates the later alteration) can be observed, but the scope which has ONLY the triangle remains scarce. This means that at the point when triangles were added (when the triangle was adopted), the ZF41 scopes were already not on mass-production.

@@Since the number "40" reminds the year 1940, many people believe early scopes were marked "ZF40" and then reworked into "ZF41" or "ZF41/1". And is written so in some books. But all evidence reveals the production of ZF40 were as shown in the diagram below.

ZF41 production years 2


(*1) What is 'Type1'? See this page.@@ >>Types and Differences of ZF41
(*2) The code 'K.F.' indicates the scope is greased with cold-resistant Invarol, which can be used to -20 degrees C. Reference vi, p.216
(*3) Reference C, p.74
(*4) The code 'O' indicates the scope is greased with the vacuum grease (Vakuumfett) 1416, which can be used to -40 degrees C. Reference vi, p.217
(*5) For info on ZF40 and ZF40, see >>ZF40 Markings.
(*6) The code '+' indicates the scope is lubricated with cold-resistant instrument grease (Instrumentenfett) 1442, which can be used to -40 degrees C. Reference vi, p.217
(*7) Reference F, p.306
(*8) Reference C, p.97
(*9) Reference F, p.186
(*10) Reference F, p.185