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3,167 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just got my grubby hands on two of these jobbers today and wanted to give you folks a couple quick preview pictures of the upcoming LV/S reproduction by MarColMar. Rifles just like this were originally made for Spain's Unidad de Operaciones Especiales (UOE) or, in English, the Special Operations Unit. This coming weekend, I'll take some pictures and get to work on showing you guys what new treat MCM has cooked up. It looks like it should be pretty tasty!

Sasha said she wanted to be included in a picture too:

3,167 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Alrighty, I found some time for picture taking this past frigid afternoon so now it's time to commence to writin'. I'm not going to go into every little detail about this rifle because if you're reading this, you've probably already read at least one of my other articles about MCM's line of CETME rifles. As much as I absolutely love these things, I must say that it's getting a little redundant going over the same details over and over. Essentially, the LVS is a standard CETME LV except that the combination rear iron sight/STANAG compatible scope mount has been omitted and a proprietary rail designed for the British SUSAT optic has been installed in its place. Because of this, we're only going to look at what's different on the LVS. If you have not read one of my earlier 5.56mm CETME articles and you want learn about all the little details not covered here, simply type one of the titles listed below into the search function of this forum and you can read until you fall asleep:

MarColMar CETME LV in Detail

MarColMar CETME LC (Carbine) in Detail

MarColMar and HMG Cetme L a Detailed Comparison

Let's begin. When your MarColMar (MCM) CETME LVS shows up, it'll be packed in a standard heavy cardboard CETME box but you'll also get a second box too that's made of styrofoam and contains a British made SUSAT 4x scope:

While the scope is a surplus item, it's in new condition and not some beat up and worn out optic. We'll look at it in some detail a little later.

Once you unpack everything, you should have at least everything shown below:

The rifle is well packed in high density foam. The red tag hanging from the trigger guard is a "Don't shoot your eye out" warning tag. Below the rifle and starting from the left we have the SUSAT scope and its shipping box, a red warranty registration card, a long yellow slip of paper with break-in instructions, a bag containing a sample lubrication bottle, an action lock, instruction manual and, on the far right, a new 30 round GI magazine made by Okay Industries.
Notice above that I said that "you should have at least everything shown". The two rifles shown here are pre-production examples made for SHOT-SHOW 2020 and advertising. Currently MCM is taking orders and regular production has not started yet. By the time you receive yours, there will also be a scope adjustment tool and either an updated manual or a separate addendum to the manual containing information germane to the LVS. When I called to place my order, MCM was kind enough to offer me the option of either purchasing the two pre-production rifles or waiting for regular production examples. To my mind, the answer to that one was a no brainer.

They even left the SHOT-SHOW tag on the trigger guard for me:

I think that's just THE neatest thing!!!

On the end of the box is the "what's in the box" label:

Notice that the serial number is "LV-00139". I'm told that regular production rifles will start at LV-015XX. This is because original Spanish made LVS's were made in that number range.
Below the serial number line is the model line. Notice that "LV" is circled. There is no option on this line for LVS. That's because there were no plans to produce an LVS model initially. However, when MCM found a small stash of new condition SUSAT scopes, they couldn't pass up the opportunity and so the reproduction LVS was born. It's a special edition and they are only making 140 of this jobber. The "S" in the upper right hand corner of the label denotes this model.
Although all original rifles were green, I think MCM will make it in Black, Grey or Flat Dark Earth too if you would like, just as they do with standard models.
Furniture is also available in the original Green, as well as Black and Flat Dark Earth.
The reason "N" is circled for rail is because this line refers to the picatinny rail available on standard models, NOT the SA-80 rail attached to the LVS. Say WHAT?? What the hecks is an SA-80 rail?? We'll go over that later.
The last line is marked "HB" because you can have your rifle built with either an original style pencil barrel or a MCM designed heavy barrel.

Here is a right side view of the rifle with scope attached:

Now, I know what you are thinking and yes, the scope looks like it's sitting up so high it might as well be in the stratosphere. First, it sits as high as it did on an original rifle. Second, it's not as high as it looks. The straight line stock configuration makes it look like it's higher than it really is. Third, you have to remember that these were originally built in the 1980's. Later, we're going to look at the scope rise on the LVS compared to some of its contemporaries and you'll see that it's on par with what everyone else was making at the time. You have to remember that tacticool didn't exist back then. Fourth, recoil on all of the 5.56mm CETME rifles is pretty much nil. You cannot fully appreciate that statement until you shoot one. The recoil feels more like a Ruger 10/22 than it does a .223. The CETME truly is the softest shooting rifle in this caliber I've ever shot. And lastly, these rifles were intended to be marksman's rifles, NOT sniper rifles so the fact that you won't get a cheek weld was considered perfectly acceptable. Once you get behind one of these rifles, you'll see that the rise is a non-issue. If it was good enough for Spain's Special Operations Unit, it'll be good enough for your average Range Rambo.

Left side view:

As I said earlier, we're not going to go into redundant details with this rifle that I've already covered three times on other MCM CETME's. Still, there is one weld detail that I do want to talk about a little bit with regards to this model and that's the rear trunnion weld on the side of the receiver. Since the beginning, I have waxed poetic about how much care MCM puts into building these rifles and I've made it abundantly clear just how near perfectly they have recreated parts such as the stock, pistol grip and forearm. But I've also been vocal about how disappointed I have been with the weld at the rear of the trunnion.
Let's take a look at the welds I'm talking about on an original rifle:

There are two welds here and both were dressed by hand so well that they look like two little ramps. In between those welds you can see that the receiver is pierced revealing the rear of the trunnion. MCM did not like this detail because they said it allows gas blowback when the action opens. To prevent this, they ran a single weld down the entire length of this piercing. Fair enough...that DOES make sense to me. BUT, as shown below on an early production rifle, this was the result:

If you've never seen an original rifle, the above might look just fine to you. But I'm the worst mix of a purist and a detail oriented geek so I really focus on minutia and this weld just drove me nuts. Again, I understand that MCM wanted to make it a single long weld to eliminate the blowback issue but come on, at least dress that weld. I wrote it in my articles and I made it clear to Dave Bane; smooth it out....flatten it....give it something of a bevel as seen on original rifles. Well, I guess I nagged those poor people to the point that they got tired of hearing it because, to my pleasant surprise, here is what the trunnion weld looks like on LV-00139:

LV-00140 looks almost identical. It's still not perfect but it's good enough that I'm a happy dude.

To drive the point home, here's an above oblique view of the trunnion weld on an early rifle:

It's all blobby and rounded looking.

And here is the latest to come out of MCM:

It now has a nice flat angle to it and it better approximates an original weld. Thanks guys! My honey tells me I'm a nag. I guess it's true!

And with that, I'm signing off for the evening. I'll be back tomorrow with more. Bye for now!

3,167 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Let's take a look at the scope rail on the LVS. We'll start by taking a look at an original:

I found this picture on a Spanish auction site. I'm sorry the quality is poor but there were very few LVS rifles ever made so I have to use what I can find.
And here is MarColMar's recreation:

If you ask me, it's a read ringer for an original. I'm told that early LVS rifles had rails dimensioned for the L12A1 SUSAT optic as used on the British SA80 series of rifles. But because this limited optics options, Spain soon changed the rail dimensions to the NATO standard of the time and a new mount was designed for it while retaining the SUSAT scope. I have no idea which rail the rifle pictured has. The scopes that MCM has acquired are of the L12A1 variety.

Let's look at the MCM rail from a different angle so we can discuss what we are looking at:

It's been milled in such a way that it's got slots cut from side to side and front to back in various places. I'll be the first to admit.....I have absolutely no idea what some of this stuff is for. For all I know, MCM might not either but then......they might. I didn't ask. What I DO know is that this rail allows for mounting the SUSAT various places along it to accommodate the shooter.

On the bottom of the mount, there is a spring loaded locating pin sticking down:

By lifting a lever on the right side of the mount, the pin can be retracted:

To install the scope on the rifle, you lift the locating pin and slide the scope onto the rail from the rear until it's approximately where you want it. Then you release the lever and allow the pin to drop into the interrupted slot running the length of the rail. If the pin won't drop, it's because you have the mount positioned somewhere it is not supposed to be. In that case, you have to slide the scope either forward or back until the pin does drop. Once it drops, push the scope as far forward as it will go and then tighten the two wing nuts on the left side of the mount to secure it in place. A study of the rail should make it clear to you that there are three positions you can use. Actually, there are only two. The front position is for an iron sight. We'll get to that in a minute. The function of the locating pin is to keep the mount from walking forward on the rail under recoil.

Here is the scope mounted in the rear position:

The eye relief is only 25mm so you really have to get up on this thing to get a proper sight picture.

And here is the middle position:

In this position, you are really pulling the rifle into you to get the proper sight picture. Now, you can slide it back some in the middle position before tightening the wing nuts but it might move under recoil. I simply don't know because I haven't had this to the range yet. I will know soon though and I'll report back at that time. If you slide it to the rear as far as possible in the middle position, it would look like this:

I didn't take a picture of the scope mounted in the front position because it would be unusable there. I'm almost 100% certain that the front one is exclusively for mounting a removeable iron sight. The original I pictured earlier came with such an iron sight:

It appears to have its own locating pin that very possibly screws down instead of being under spring pressure. It's also clearly making use of the forward position where it looks like it would preserve the sight radius a standard rifle would have.

That's it for tonight but I'll be back real soon like with more. Hopefully you folks are learning new stuff AND having fun at the same time. That's the idea anyway!

3,167 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Let's look at a few views of the rifle with the SUSAT mounted.

Front oblique:

Rear oblique:

Rear view:

Front view:

Detail of the front of the mount and rail fitment:

And the rear detail:

I've read that some think the rise is extremely high on this setup but that's a misconception brought on in part by the fact that the rifle has such a straight line configuration. Below is a picture comparing the CETME to an HK91 with a 1970's vintage Zeiss Diavari mounted:

Notice how much the HK stock drops below the top line on the receiver compared to the CETME. The fact is that the rise on a CETME LVS is quite comparable to many of its highly regarded contemporaries. Let's do a little comparing shall we?

I got all super duper technical and broke out a drafting ruler for the pictures below. While I will not claim that the measurements are spot on 100% gospel, I will say that all are taken from approximately the same angle which means that they are pretty close.

We'll start with a measurement on the LVS:

That looks to me like it's about a 3 3/8" rise from the top of the stock to the center of the ocular lens. Keep in mind that this was the 1980's. Tacticool did not exist yet.

A CETME LV with a surplus Hensoldt 4x:

approx. 3"

HK91 with vintage Zeiss 1.5-6 Diavari:

approx. 3"

AR-15A2 with a vintage Norinco 4x handle mount scope:

approx. 2 7/8"

AR-180 with Armalite 2.75x Hakko:

approx. 2 7/8"

M249S with 4x ELCAN M145 :

approx. 3 3/4"

My thoughts. The rise on the LVS LOOKS far higher than it actually IS. No, you don't get a cheek weld but the ergonomics are very comfortable for what it is, a 1980's designated marksman's rifle. Add to this the fact that the CETME has less recoil (I feel like a sissy even mentioning recoil on a .223) than any of the other rifles pictured except for the 20+ pound 249 and scope rise really is a non-issue in my opinion.

Next time, we'll start looking at the SUSAT and its mount in mind numbing detail. If that sounds fun to you, check back in over the weekend and I'll try to keep you entertained. I'll see you then!

3,167 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Now it's time to look at the SUSAT and its mount.

We'll start with the box lid:

The box is a very dense styrofoam form fitted affair that does a good job protecting the scope. While I believe the box to be an original issue item, the label on the lid was clearly put on there as part of the demilitarization process. Even if they had left the tritium in the unit, it was long since dead anyways. The hand written number in the upper left corner of the label is the serial number stamped into the identification plate on the bottom of the scope. The number in the upper right hand corner was put there by MCM to link this scope to rifle 00139. Dave Bane told me that the scope has been zeroed to the rife so, for this reason, I will not be removing the scope from the mount for this article. Whether or not regular production rifles will come from MCM zeroed, I cannot say. I will not insult you by pointing out where the acronym "SUSAT" comes from. And lastly, "NSN" is the NATO stock number.

Bottom of box:

The four sides:

I assume that the brown tape was put there by the British and the clear tape by MCM. The last picture shows what I believe to be the original label present when it was shipped to the British MOD from the manufacturer. Notice that the serial number for the scope that was originally in this box has been scribbled out.

When you open the box, you find the scope nicely nestled inside:

The lozenge shaped cutout in the bottom of the lid is to provide clearance for the illumination knob which is currently not visible because it's on the other (right) side of the scope. The box is designed so that the scope will fit in either way around.

A close up of the scope all cozy like showing its left side:

As mentioned, it will fit in either way. Here it is in the box showing the right side:

Box with scope removed showing a cutout in the bottom for the illumination knob similar to the cutout in the lid:

Be aware that the box is only semi idiot proof. While the scope will fit in left or right side first, it cannot be oriented upside down. While I think the green box is a supremely neato little thing, I'm sure you're tired of looking at it. There isn't much more I can say about it anyways. Lets get to the scope itself.

Right side:

Rear is to the left and it has a rubber eye protector over the ocular lens. The eye relief on this thing is only 25mm so you have to get right up on it for the proper sight picture.
Below the rubber eye protector is the elevation wheel.
The circle slightly in front of and above the elevation wheel is the illumination knob.
All the way at the front of the mount is a slotted screw with a hex nut. This is one of two windage adjustment thingamidoodads. There is also one on the other side of the mount.
Notice the iron sights on top of the scope. These are emergency sights in case the optics are damaged. Being that the sight radius of this setup is only a few inches, it's pretty much worthless.

Left side:

There isn't much going on over here. Below the elevation wheel is a little slotted screw covered with red paint. Clearly, that is NOT to be mucked with.
At the front of the mount is the other windage adjustment thingamadoodad.
Underneath the scope is the two piece mount. The lower part is fixed rigidly the rifle. After you get the scope positioned where you want it to be on the rail, you tighten down the two wingnuts to hold it fast. The upper part of the mount, while well fixed to the lower part, can pivot up and down for elevation adjustment and left to right for windage adjustment. As should be obvious at this point all adjustments are made on the mount and NOT within the scope. While this makes the entire assembly a little more bulky, it also makes it more robust.
The large spring barely visible at the rear between the upper and lower parts of the mount is quite strong and is part of the windage adjustment system. The smaller diameter spring in the middle of the mount provides tension for the locating pin illustrated earlier.

Front view:

Rear view:


Forward it to the right. The mount is made of a cast non-magnetic alloy.
The circle with a pin bisecting it to the left is the bottom of the elevation adjustment system.
The two hole on either side of the locating pin allow access to the socket screws used to anchor the scope to the mount.
The cavity at the front of the mount with a "1." cast into the bottom of it is what I can only surmise to be a weight saving measure or, more likely, an ease of manufacturing quality assurance technique (Remember that this is a cast part so large blocks of solidity are ripe for voids).

Top of scope showing the ridiculously close together emergency backup sights:

The scope body is cast alloy as well but where the mount appears to be anodized, the scope body seems to have good old fashioned matte black paint applied to it. This one is sloppily painted but the one for rifle 00140 has a nice even coat.

The sight post:

This is an actual acrylic 3D post and not a typical etched into glass reticle. The main body of the post is clear but the conical tip has a brushed finish to provide contrast. The total lack of range finding stadia lines is all the proof you need that this unit is designed for nothing more than better target acquisition.

In the picture below, I'm guessing that the original tritium light source was red:

In the picture above, it becomes clear why the body of the sight post is polished clear while the tip has a brushed finish.

And we'll call that a wrap for tonight. In the next post, we'll continue with out detailed look at the SUSAT. God willing, I'll be back tomorrow night.

3,167 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The rear sight on the scope is a totally nonadjustable aperture held on by two 2mm socket screws:

Notice that there are shims between the sight and the scope body. The scope for rifle 140 is shimmed too but the shimming is thinner so there must have been an honest effort to actually zero the back up sight to the optic.

The front sight is a blade molded into the scope body:

A comparison of the front sights between the two scopes gives us more evidence that they did actually zero the backups to the optic:

The one on the right (rifle 139) is ground down quite a bit while the one on the left (rifle 140) is only slightly ground. My guess is that, straight out of the mold, the front sight is fully rounded. The sight radius is right around 4 inches.

A closeup of the objective lens:

Much like the American ACOG, the SUSAT has an angled hood projecting out from the objective lens to help prevent glare and lens shine. Image quality through the British glass is crystal clear with no distortion. If this unit had a picatinny compatible mount, this would probably be at least a $1000 scope.

A detail photo showing part of the bottom left side of the scope:

I think "AVL" is the manufacturer's code. If my research is right, the SUSAT was made by two companies, Avimo and United Scientific Instruments.
1988 is the year of manufacture.
We can also see the serial number: 102739
I think the red socket screw was used to nitrogen purge the scope. The other socket screws visible are assembly screws.

Another showing part of the bottom right side of the scope:

We can see another red nitrogen purge screw and a couple more assembly screws. The squares containing the numbers 3, 6, 9 and 12 are part of a larger grid numbered 1 through 12 and labeled "MOD RECORD". I have no idea what that means. Because this scope has been zeroed to the rifle, I am not keen on removing it from the mount to reveal the rest of the markings on the bottom but thanks to this video done by The Armourer's Bench ,
, I can tell you what is there but hidden from view.
In addition to the rest of the MOD RECORD grid mentioned above, there would be a "Broad Arrow" property mark (->) showing British military ownership and acceptance for duty.
There is also the NATO stock number (NSN) for the SUSAT scope by itself (as in sans the mount): 1240-99-967-0474
Below the NSN would be: "SIGHT UNIT SMALL ARMS TRILUX L9A1". "L9A1" is the British designation for the SUSAT scope unmounted. The "L12A1" referenced earlier is the designation for a SUSAT mated to the mount shown in this article. Yes, it's clear as mud. It's a British thing.

This picture shows that there was obviously either more than one mold or more than one cavity in a mold used to make scope bodies:

Notice that the scope shown at the bottom of the picture has circles molded into it in front and behind the rounded center portion of the scope while the scope at the top of the picture lacks this detail.

Here, we see a closeup of the elevation wheel at the rear of the scope:

The hex nut is used to zero the elevation. When MarColMar shipped the rifles out to me, Dave Bane sent me an email telling me that they are in the process of designing and manufacturing a scope adjustment tool and that one would be sent to me once they are finished. My guess is that the tool will be capable of turning the elevation zeroing nut.

As for the elevation wheel, it is graduated from 300 to 800 meters in 100m increments. Below is a series of photos showing each of those settings.

This setting on the wheel includes a raised bump where the number "3" is stamped. This allows the shooter a tactile cue in low light conditions.

the 400m setting:




And finally, 800m:

You may have noticed the "D" and "U" stamped into the mount. This has to do with zeroing the elevation. Obviously, the "D" stands for "Down" while the "U" is "Up" but, because I am unwilling to play with the adjustments because this unit has already been zeroed, I cannot tell you whether these marking refer to the sight post or the point of impact. I'm sorry to tell you that you're on your own with this one.

I still have more to cover with this scope but it's getting late so I'm going to call this a stopping point for tonight. Ill be back soon though. See you then!

3,167 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Detail of the windage adjustment on the left side of the mount:

The little gold medallion on the bottom of the scope body with a radiation symbol is notice that the sight contains tritium.

And the adjustment on the right side of the mount:

To make an adjustment, the first thing you do is loosen the nut on each side of the mount. Next, you back off one slotted screw before tightening the one on the opposite side. Once you get it where you want it, you tighten both nuts. I had a 1955 Royal Enfield motorcycle for 13 years that surprisingly never left me stranded. When making adjustment and just generally performing routine maintenance I often thought to myself....."Yes, this works but those zany Redcoats sure went about it in a most distinctly British way." I feel that way right now.
The little gold medallion on the bottom of the scope body is hard to read in this picture but it's marked in red "12-87" meaning the tritium was installed in December of 1987.

Here's a front view of the mount illustrating the windage adjustment:

The adjustment screw locknuts are visible on either side of the upper part of the mount. At center of frame, you can see a hole with a lug projecting up into it from the bottom part of the mount. Remember earlier that we discussed the fact that the lower part of the mount is rigidly fixed to the rail on the rifle while the upper part can pivot up/down for elevation adjustment and pivot left/right for windage adjustment? Well, when you loosen and tighten the adjustment screws, they work against the lug and move the upper mount side to side. I'm sure there are specifications for how much a full turn of the adjustment screws will move the point of impact at 100 meters but I do not know that number.

The next two pictures are a right side view at the extreme rear of the mount showing the upper part of the mount's movement relative to the lower part as you rotate the elevation wheel. The first picture shows the wheel set to 300m while the second one shows the wheel set to 800m:

I like these pictures because they illustrate just how little movement is required to make a big difference at range. With most scopes having all of the adjustment being internal, you never get to see this. I just thought it was neat so I figured I'd share it with you.

In this picture, I've removed the tightening clamp from the mount:

It is important to remember that the mount is made of cast alloy and NOT steel. The threads you see in the mount are steel helicoil inserts but that doesn't mean you can go gorilla when you tighten down the wingnuts. You only need to snug them up enough to lock the mount on the rail.

The tightening bolts have circlips on them to secure against loss:

But there is never really a reason to completely remove the tightening clamp from the mount as just loosening them is enough.

The wingnuts themselves are plastic and allow the tightening bolt to slide back and forth inside as you tighten and loosen the clamp.


The next thing I want to look at is the knurled illumination knob found on the right side of the scope body:

This knob rotates 90° and originally had a tritium light source imbedded in its axle. That tritium was removed prior to export from Britain but it was already dead anyways. If this knob was turned fully clockwise, the sight post would not be illuminated. As you turned it counterclockwise, the bottom of the sight post would be exposed to more and more of the tritium and get brighter and brighter reaching full illumination when the knob was rotated 90°. At that point, the knob would hit an internal stop and turn no farther. The 2mm socket screw facing to the rear serves as both the internal stop and the knob retaining screw.
If we remove it:

We can pull the illumination knob free of the scope body:

And remove it altogether:

If we shine a flashlight into the ocular lens and look into the hole where the knob was fitted, we can see the bottom of the sight post lit up:

And if we crank up the flashlight to full power, we can even see a bit of the internal cavity:

There isn't much to see but I'm easily amused.

Here is the illumination knob after removal:

Starting from the right we have the knurled knob, a rubber o ring to keep out the elements, a slot for the stop (which is noting more than an extension on the end of the securing screw) and finally, the cavity in the axle where the tritium vial was secured with what appears to be silicon judging by the white remnants. Other than the o ring, this whole thing is a single part made of machined aluminum. Notice that the securing screw has a white substance in its threads. I'm assuming this served both as a sealant and a form of locktite.
You can buy little tritium vials online and I'm sure it would be very easy to restore the illumination feature for this scope but I have no plans to do so. Really.....what would be the point?

Just for the fun of it, we'll finish up by taking a quick look at the SUSAT compared to the ELCAN M145:

Both are 4x optics and both have their adjustments located on the mount instead of internally. Because of this, both are pretty large. Both have their elevation wheel and windage adjustments in approximately the same places but the ELCAN windage is adjustable by simply turning one screw.

Here is a front view:

I've removed the Signature Reduction Device from the ELCAN but left the laser filter in place. Notice that both have an upper and lower mount that interact in very much the same way.

This last picture is a rear view:

The M145 uses a an LED light source with multiple intensity settings and has a true reticle etched on a glass plate instead of the SUSAT's acrylic post. The ELCAN is a much more sophisticated optic but, to be frank, all of that sophistication is probably overkill. As for optical clarity, I see no discernable difference between the two. Yes, the SUSAT is a old design but it's still an excellent optic for it's intended purpose.

So that's it for this one. I really, really like the CETME LVS. It's a typical MCM rifle in that its Quality of build and attention to detail are outstanding. But it's atypical in that MCM has teamed it up with a first class optic that is almost impossible to find state side and faithfully recreated an uber rare cold war marksman's rifle. These two elements combine to create a recipe that I really find agreeable to my military rifle tastes. In other words, if the MarColMar L, LC and LV rifles are a tasty mint green milkshake on a hot summer's day, the new LVS is the cherry on top! I'm really looking forward to getting this one to the range and I'll report back once I do. I sincerely hope you enjoyed this and I want to thank you for taking the time to read it! We're done for now.

I wrote this for you Mom. I'll see you in my dreams!

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551 Posts
That was a great right up!! Nicely done.
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