The Best of the Most Famous, the Weaver K4-60B

The 1956 Weaver K4-60B constantly centered reticule scope. Brand new again after 63 years.

The 1956 Weaver K4-60B constantly centered reticule scope. Brand new again after 63 years.

The Weaver Model K4 series was manufactured from 1947 until the close of business in 1984.  No other scope topped more rifles during that period.  It was the most popular and is still the most famous hunting scope ever made.

That said, the K4 had many renditions through its reign.  Between the original K4 exposed adjustment, non-centered reticule in 1947 and the Steel Lite II version with Micro trac available from 1978-1984, there were many attempts to improve the scope itself, and the manufacturing process.  Some succeeded, some failed.

The Weaver story includes many hallmarks.  From the part they played in finally making scopes affordable to hunters, to their part in the war effort, to their ingenuity of design and function in shooting optics.  The K4 was with them most of their years, in good times and in bad.  The series itself was no different.  There were good designs, great designs, and horrible designs along the way. 

Having over 10,000 vintage Weaver scopes in inventory, and of course more than that through our hands, we’ve seen our share of all of the K4 renditions.  Unless you take them apart, it looks like a K4 is a K4 is a K4, but nothing could be further from the truth.

In general terms, I tell folks that the K4 started out great, then became amazing, then was sacrificed through the 60’s to hit a price point, then came back to greatness in the 70’s.  But when you really get into the guts of it, and I mean that literally; when you take the guts out of all of the Weaver K4 series scopes, the difference becomes obvious. 

So which one do we think is the best K4 ever made?  Well, it’s the most understated, underappreciated, most simplistic design of all - the model K4-60Bs.  It looks like the rest on the outside, but it’s nothing like the rest on the inside.

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The K4-60B was introduced in 1956.  It came with a larger ocular and objective for a brighter picture.  The tube was thinned out some, which reduced the weight.  The ocular glass was re-designed.  The glass retainer rings were changed from brass to aluminum.   The most impressive improvement though, was its constantly centered reticule.  Now you could make your adjustments to target and still have a crosshair centered in the sight window. 

Later models of the K4 scrimped in the manufacturing process by placing plastic internal parts into virtually the same tube.  Those parts broke in hunting conditions and with magnum recoil, sometimes without the shooter even knowing it.  Where is the breakoff point?  That started happening immediately after the 60B with the 60C model and continued on through the F Model.  After that detrimental time period for the K4, it seems the company may have decided to bring their flagship scope back to high quality manufacture about the same time the Challenger scope showed up.  I would assume to become their entry-level price point scope.

Even though we love the gorgeous look of our early K4 exposed and non-exposed, non-centered reticule scopes, we couldn’t wait to eventually offer full restorations of the 60B.  Another Weaver scope that we are proud to restore because it is fully deserving of the effort, and for our customer, fully deserving of ownership for collecting and practical shooting.

The 60B is available in its original recipe blued steel finish, just like it came from the factory in 1956.  Each one is fully disassembled, cleaned, blued, and returned to better than factory specs using modern glues, lubricants, o-rings, square gaskets and N2 purging.

Simplistic in look and design, but made with bullet proof components.

Simplistic in look and design, but made with bullet proof components.

James Brion