Pictures of ZF4 and parts for ZF4


German 4-power scope serial numbers

ZF4 scopes

These scopes were produced by:
AGFA Kamerawerk, München, code "bzz" - a rare scope. About 3500 made and all marked GwZF4
Opticotechna GmbH, Prerau (Czechoslovakia), code "dow". About 40,000 produced for the Wehrmacht. Most marked Gw ZF4. A few of the last were marked: ZF K 43. BLM used almost exclusively "dow". Walther used in some cases "dow". Opticotechna made about 10,000 ZF4 more marked "dow", but the German marking was lined out, and the scopes were then used by the Czech army. Almost all of these were marked ZF K 43.
Voightländer und Sohn, Braunschweig, code "ddx". The first were marked Gw ZF4. The last were marked K43 and some were double marked: Gw ZF4   K43. About were 73,000 produced. Walther used "ddx".
The Dec. 15, 1944 it was announced that the designation changed from Gw ZF4 to ZF K43 - so the ZF4 suffered also of "the German name games".
This indicates that about 116,500 ZF4 were made for the Wehrmacht. As told elsewhere on these pages about 58,000 G43 ZF4 were delivered from Walther and BLM. The actual use of the scopes was only 50% of the production. Where did the other 50% end? Some were made for the FG42 (marked "L"), some didn't meet the production standards?, some weren't shipped from the factory?, some were destroyed, bombed etc.?

The color of the triangle indicates the internally used grease:
Blue: grease for cold climate, most are seen with a blue triangle
White: grease for temperated climate
Green: grease for hot climate
Many of the last produced didn't have a color at all

A "dow" scope

A late variant - note the phosphated finish.

A "ddx" scope
with the special and not so common marking "L" - for use on the FG42. (Beware fakes are out there)

A "L" fake
A not so cleverly made fake

More pictures of the "L" marked ddx scope
The engraving style of the "L" changed several times

Special ZF4's:
The "Bu" scope
Rare. A special reticle after an idea of Hauptmann Burk, Gebirgsjägerschule Mittenwald.

The "P" scope
Rare. Used on the MP43 with side mount



The elevation drum is marked "P" and the distance between the graduation is more than on the standard ZF4. Consequently the maximum distance is only 600 m. See a couple of pictures more on the MP44 / StG44 site.

The "Threated Objective lens" scope
Presumed to have been made by Voigtländer. Other than the standard triangle marking for the elevation dial, there are no other markings on these scopes. They have a "gas plug" which is typical for the last made Voigtländer scopes. The annular abutment grove is far deeper and set about 10mm to the rear. This makes fitting the standard ZF4 mount or using the standard rubber eyepice impossible, so it must have been a kind of test scope.









Note the original leather, rivets and stitching.

A real FG42 scope
Rare. Marked "L" + FG 42 and a serial number.



The "K.Z.F." scope
Super rare. It's presumed that this scope was used on the K98 for the "Swept Back Mount"

The "Versuch" (Test) scope
The marking is here:
GZF  69V
     037
     ddx
This should mean test #69, serial# 037 - some of these don't have the side adjustment (but this here has)

Pointed versus blunt post
German wartime ZF4s can be found with two types of reticle pattern: "pointed post with horizontal bars", and "blunt post with horizontal bars".
 

One-piece stamped reticle
Voigtländer used on their last production a "one-piece stamped reticle". It should be more sturdy than the first design which proved very fragile with several tiny parts. It's possible to see the construction without disassembly. Look from the front of the scope up against light and note that the sides just aren't up and down, but go at an angle out to the horizontal bars. (The photo is taken from Darrin Weavers book). The lowest recorded number with one-piece stamped reticle is ddx #70092 and it's marked K43. It might be possible to find earlier scopes with the stamped steel reticle (send me a mail). One-piece stamped reticles are always with a "pointed post".


ZF4 used in Czecho-Slovakia after the war
The G43 was used by the Czechs after the war with the designation vz43. After the adoption of the vz52 and later the vz58, the Vz43's were relegated to reserve and training use.
Many of the used scopes were normal ZF4 scopes produced during the German occupation. They have a horizontal line through the markings. Most of these are of the late K43 dow type.


The scope below is a late war dow or a postwar Czech scope. It has a bold arrow.

The scope below is marked with a Czech lion and U 45 (made in 1945 ?) The scope is marked on the left side: ZF K 43  dow   41628. These markings have the horizontal line.


Scopes produced by the Czechs aren"t marked ZF4 but has a number, 4x and an indication of field view 4,5°. Note also vz43 and the 3-letter code: xbk. (A Czech ordnance code). On the left side: Z1 - two swords - 49 and OM262. Note the unmarked drum. The last production year of scopes and mounts for the vz43 is 1949.
 

See below a later production marked with a number, 4x and an indication of field view 4,5°. Note also vz43 and the Meopta logo. On the left side: Z1 - two swords - 49 and OM262. The scope indicates that Meopta was formed in 1949 or before - a pretty rare scope.
 
The last ZF4 type produced in Czecho-Slovakia
It's said that Meopta now has resumed the production of the "ZF4" and also make repairs.
(perhaps a reason for we now see many ZF4 fakes on auctions)
See further down pictures of Czech made scope mounts.

Unmarked elevation knob
This knob is seen on a ddx 51585. The cut in the drum and the 3 screw holes are similar to other ZF4, but the small holding teeth are twice as numberous as normal, meaning that the adjustment is more precise and maybe would not correspond to the numbers found on other scopes.
The clicks are lighter to adjust and not so noisy. The origin of the drum might be a postwar Czech made scope - see above.
A special thanks to Alain

A special thanks to Alain

ZFK 43/1
The successor to the ZF4 was constructed by Zeiss in Jena (Code rln) in the latter part of 1944. A focus knob was included. About 100 were produced and only 6 are known to have survived.
A special thanks to Mike Prucey

ZFK 43/1
See below more photos of the ZF 43/1
A special thanks to Terrill

A special thanks to Terrill

Wooden / fiberboard scope case
A difficult to find accessory

Below photos from two auctions. At the left side from a GunBroker auction and on the right side from a German eBay auction:
         








Metal scope case
Beware: almost all metal scope cases seen for sale are modern reproductions (artificially aged)


Sunshade
Note: Two originals and one repro right
Note two originals + one repro right
Seen on eBay. The seller says this is a repro. If that's correct, it's difficult to tell what's genuine and what's a fake.
Rubber eye cups
Note: Two repro eye cups at the top.
Note two repro eye cups at the top
Leather for the ZF4
Note: One repro at the left and three originals.
Note one repro at the left and three originals
Wood plug for the rubber eye piece
Note: A repro upper left.
Note a repro upper left

Mount lever
One original lever at the right. The latest repro levers are made exacly like the original.
See one original at the right

Scope bands
The lower is a repro.
Note: there are differences between the interlock at the backside. Org.: Cut with an ellipse. Repro: Cut at 90 degrees angles.

Screws for the bands
The right one is a repro.
The right one is a repro

G43 scope mounts
How to tell the difference between real and fake:
I havn't held many scope mounts in my hand. I had a fake. It was very crude made and the centerline of the scope wasn't parallel to the line of the bore. The lever had capital letters (see above). The other is very well made - too well and has WaA214. Repro WaA359 mounts exist also and most repro mounts are round ended. The differences between the WaA214 repro mount and an early square ended WaA214 mount: (First the repro, then the real):
Appearance: smooth, blued - coarse, phosfated
Cradle: smooth - machine lines
WaA214: dull - sharp
Length of slot in the cradle for the rear screw: 12.0 mm - 7.3 mm,
Distance between the slot and the upper side of the cradle: 9.0 mm - 11.0 mm
Length of the cradle: 112.5 mm - 110.5 mm
(Measures from another real round ended: 7.5 mm, 10.8 mm and 110.5 mm)
Latch: slanted - stepshaped
Lever: see above

Differences between Walther and BLM mounts:
Walther:
WaA 359: center
G43 number: rear if the mount is marked with the scope number otherwise on the front end
Style of numbering: stamped on the first - later engraved slant script numbers
BLM:
WaA 214: front end (some of the first - square mounts - had the WaA on the rear end)
G43 number: rear end (some of the first - square mounts - had the number on the front end)
Style of numbering: engraved block numbers

Here you can see the differencies of the cradles


A genuine mount
WaA359 with square edges

Early mount
See below a photo of a very special mount without locking lever for the rail - perhaps for an early Walther rifle?
Note also the early rubber eye cup
A special thanks to Terrill

An early prototype ?
The mount is curved over so that the scope is centered on the receiver. When casting the mount they left an indent for the elevation knob to rest in. Therefore the reticle is level looking through the scope. The only thing they did not calculate correctly was the distance between the bolt carrier and the scope band dowels. It catches by about 1mm or 2mm and that is why the dowel is installed at an angle so the bolt carrier can clear it. It has a eagle/359 proof and was numbered to a rifle.
When it's mounted on the rifle it set lower than the standard mounts and is leveled precisely over the rear and front sights. This give it a more compact appearance, compared to the standard mounts which awkwardly protrude above the rifle.
Is it more probable that it should be used on a MP43 ?
A special thanks to Ted McDonald

A special thanks to Ted McDonald

Czech post war mount
Original German mount, Czech used. "fest", "lose" and the WaA have been removed. The mount is marked "rid" (The Czech continued a similar coding system after the war and "rid" was a Czech code )

Czech post war mount with lion and production year. Note also "rid".


One must presume that these post war mounts are of at least the same quality as the German mounts and of a better quality than most modern repro mounts.



The same scope / mount seen from the left side. Note the low number and different marking on the scope - see more scope pictures above.



At last a "field invented ZF41 mount" ?

A beatiful scoped qve45 with numbermatching mount
The stock is marked ZF  K43 (Does it mean that the rifle was test shooted and found usable as a sniper rifle). Note also the late type of sling.

 

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