The Cross-Eyed Rifle

posted on March 21, 2017

This feature appears in the April ‘17 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.  

The National Firearms Museum collection was recently enhanced with the gift of this unusual bolt-action—an incredible Winchester Model 70 rifle that came with impeccable provenance to John T. Amber, an arms industry giant and editor of Gun Digest from 1944 to 1979. Those three decades were filled with hunting trips to many lands, with impressive stories to match. Amber’s failing sight and the eventual loss of vision in his right eye led to the creation of this rifle, chambered in .280 Rem. with the scope offset to the left, designed so that he could continue to shoot right-handed while sighting with his left eye.

Beginning with a pre-’64 barreled action that was fitted with a special scope base from Conetrol Mounts, and continuing with a scooped-out and slightly bent buttstock, this one-of-a-kind Model 70 rifle was one of Amber’s prized possessions during the twilight years of his life. The gun was featured in the 1981 issue of Gun Digest. 

The NRA National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va.; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo.; and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, N.M.; each have fine selections of historic arms on display. Admission to each is free, and donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, visit, phone (703) 267-1600 or email [email protected].


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