Markings and manufacturers
Models covered: 6x30 (B-1, B-6, LOMZ type), 8x30 (B-3), 8x40 (B-2), 7x50, 4x50
Models covered: 6x30 (B-6), 4x45, 8x30 (B-8)
* This section also covers the GOMZ factory (far left logo) standardized B-6 model production. A previous section also describes this factory, but only earlier models were covered.
Possible locations of factory markings
Pre-1945 Soviet military binoculars overview
The Red Army and Navy used five models of binoculars, produced by the Soviet optics industry - the 6x30 (most common), 8x30, 8x40, 7x50, and 4x45 (or 4x50). In the mid 1920's a 6x42 model was also produced, but the quantity of production was very low.
One of the manuals mentions BV 6x30 and BV 8x30 binoculars with special eyepiece assemblies, modified for use with a gasmask, and shows their images, but so far no physical examples are known. All mentioned models, except for the 4x45 (4x50), were Porro prisms binoculars. The 4x45 (4x50) were Galilean binoculars (because of the higher percent of light transmission they were considered to be night naval binoculars).
Binoculars were produced by many factories in different configurations, a huge number of variations with unique features and markings styles exist. This section will provide only a brief overview of manufacturers and production patterns. In most cases and during production periods each factory had a unique combination of some specific to this factory features, and a unique pattern of the rubber finish. This allows for the identification of the manufacturer and an estimation of the rough production period (even without looking at the markings).
In the late 1920's to early 1930's the most common model, 6x30, was produced in different designs depending on the manufacturer. This caused huge problems during repair, because parts were not interchangeable. During the late 1930's production was standardized, only one modification of 6x30 binoculars, with code "B-6" remained in production.
Starting in 1940 production was launched at 2 new factories which were focused on this "B-6" model. The binoculars reference page has two sections that describe manufacturers and markings - one will cover older manufacturers, that started production in the 1920's and produced a large variety of models, the other will describe "newer" manufacturers that started production in the late 1930's, they focused on the "B-6" model.
Many of the 1920's-1930's binoculars, in addition to factory markings, can have "А.У.", "У.В.П.", "Г.У.В.П." abbreviations, naval 7x50 binoculars were also marked with "У.В.М.С", "У.М.С" abbreviations. They indicate the military body, which was responsible for the order placement at the factory.
"А.У." - Artillery directorate;
"У.В.П." & "Г.У.В.П." - Directorate of the military devices of the Artillery Directorate;
"У.В.М.С" & "У.М.С" - Naval directorate of the Artillery Directorate.
Main Soviet binocular models
"Г.У.В.П." and "А.У." markings on the 1928 Podolsk factory 6x30 binoculars
"У.В.П." marking on the 1932 6x30 binoculars, Factory of Precise Devices
"А.У." marking on the 1936 8x40 binoculars, Factory of Precise Devices
Binoculars refurbished postwar
Binoculars are a complicated optical device, they often required repairs after intensive use in the field. Many of the pre-1945 produced Soviet binoculars on the market are refurbished postwar examples. Often these binoculars have mismatched parts, tubes from one manufacturer, plates with markings from another, or completely removed factory markings. In some rare cases refurbished binoculars are still in the original configuration, but they are repainted and have repair depot markings on them.
Some repair depots even reproduced factory markings, but their location and style was different from the original factory markings. Binoculars that were repaired and maintained during the prewar and wartime period still mainly remain in thier original configuration
Prewar repaired binoculars.
According to the markings, repair was made by the district base No. 64, Kiev, in 1940.
Postwar refurbished binoculars.
Tubes are repainted, but the binoculars still have original plates - the rubber finish pattern on the tubes match the manufacturer's configuration (the binoculars were produced by factory No. 3535 in 1943).
According to the markings, refurbishment was made by district base No. 38 (MO marking), Kiev, in 1964.
Factory markings, reproduced by repair depots, instead of poorly visible original markings.
Their style and location does not match patterns used by the original manufacturers