What's up with all the new scope brands?

Discussion in 'Optics & Mounts' started by Txhillbilly, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    It seems odd to me that in the last couple years that companies that never sold or made scopes all of a sudden jump into the scope selling game. Some of them may be good optics,but why would a company do this when there are so many great scopes that have been made by the well know brands for decades.
    Sig,EOTech,Steiner,Brownells,and many others have jumped into the hunting and tactical/long range optics business when there are so many well know brands to choose from.
    Most of them are also mid to upper mid priced optics,$500 - $1500. They really don't offer anything better than the other guy's,so why do they think they can sell enough to stay in business.
    Nikon has given up on trying to compete in the rifle scope business,and some guy's really liked the products that they offered.

    I've looked at a lot of these new brand scopes,and to me they don't have anything that beats the known competition.
    What do you guy's think?
     
  2. towboater

    towboater Well-Known Member

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    Many new scopes are made in China.
     
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  3. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When I was a kid, a guy might have 10 rifles, but only his primary hunting rifle had a scope on it.

    Today, folks have a scope on every gun in the house. Even pistols, shotguns and 22s. So there is definitely a BIG market for them.

    And just a guess on my part, but it seems like most folks today seem to think that if you put a scope on your .30-30, you can shoot cleasr across the county with it.:rolleyes:
     
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  4. oO_Rogue_Oo

    oO_Rogue_Oo Well-Known Member

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    Simple; the profit margin on scopes is higher than just about any other area of the gun industry
     
  5. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Just because a scope is made in China doesn't mean it's not good quality. It depends on the quality the scope brand demands the scope to be built to.
    Sure,There are many cheap priced scopes that are made in China as well as the Philippines that are piss poor optics. But,there's a big difference between the quality of a $50 scope and a $1000 scope.
     
  6. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Yes,The profit margin is high,but it's hard to compete against established brands that sell thousands of scopes a year. It's a big gamble to think you can compete against that,especially when your product really doesn't have anything better than the known competition.
    The majority of average shooter's / hunter's don't buy scopes that cost over $500. Most of these new brands cost more than that for their cheapest scope,so that limits their sales to a lower percentage of buyers.
     
  7. SRK97

    SRK97 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nikon prostaff p5s were my go to, shame they're stopping production.
     
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  8. Wambli

    Wambli Well-Known Member

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    Because any idiot can go to the Philippines or China and have a manufacturer slap any name you want on their scopes. I only buy scopes from companies I trust and I’ve been running mostly Leupold for the last 35+ years with NO issues ever.
     
  9. PaBushMan

    PaBushMan Well-Known Member

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    One new to me brand is UTG. I have 2 of their scopes. One is a long eye relief for my mosin. And the other is a normal eye relief. 4x32 for one of my PCC'S. Im impressed with them so far.
     
  10. Wambli

    Wambli Well-Known Member

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    And by the way I’m not implying that those scopes are bad. I have seen some exceptional glass out there with names I don’t recognize. Even the most inexpensive Chinese stuff today runs circles around the optics we had 30 years ago. But the high end stuff has also progressed and it’s exceptional. So to every budget and priority there is a decent solution out there.
     
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  11. W.T. Sherman

    W.T. Sherman Well-Known Member

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    why? optics manufacture are testing to see which scopes sell better then others, the ones that do they will order more of them. the market will dictate
     
  12. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The manufacturers equipment is already there and paid for. Same with the design work. Same scope as someone else with just a superficial tweak with bare minimum changes if any.

    So use Sig as an example - they buy the scopes from the manufacturer, have them print their name on it, then markup and sell. The return for Sig is huge, considering they have basically zero investment in the plant.

    Nikon's problem is different. When you are the manufacturer you have 2 paths to maintain your gross margin: cut costs or innovate. You can only cut so much, and innovation requires investment in human capital and equipment AND customers willing to pay for it.

    The basic problem with the scope business is there is no independent quantitative standards out there. So one company claims 90% light transmission, a cheaper company claims 92%. One company claims their super fantastic coatings block a certain hue of light which helps at dusk. Meanwhile, the consumer is standing at the retail counter looking across the store at the wall in fluorescent lighting to try and figure out which one feels better to his/her eyes. As a result, people don't make good purchase choices. It's an inefficient market.
     
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  13. PaBushMan

    PaBushMan Well-Known Member

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    One brand i found to be junk is Barska. I went to Walmart for a Simmons for one of my 22's. They were out. So i saw the Barska's on the shelf. I grabbed one. When i got to my car. I opened up the box to look at it. It was out of the plastic sleeve.And the rings were out of the packaging too. So i knew it was a return. I took it back and exchanged it for another. Checked at the counter. That one was not used. Well when i went to zero it. It was all over the place. So no more Barska's for me.
     
  14. gr8fuldoug

    gr8fuldoug Well-Known Member Sponsor

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    Just to clear a few things up:

    Steiner has been making optics for over 50 years. Far from a new optics company. German optics. Their lower cost & hunting scopes are assembled in Colorado and the balance in Germany. All with German optics.

    Sig started offering optics about 10 years ago. Not exactly new to optics. Their rangefinders sell more than anyone's. Not necessarily because their better but because of price and marketing to big box stores.

    Athlon was started by a couple of guys who were with Bushnell for many many years and about 6/7 years ago decided to go out on their own and have built a very reliable brand with a great array of offerings, many of which are their own design, with superior quality control in mfg.

    There are MANY brand names but only a handful of factories churning out these scopes. Some brands bring their own designs and monitor the process and others just have existing production models built and slap their name on them.

    THE main factory in the Philippines, Kenko, makes for many of the major players and they have no brand offering of their own. LOW in Japan is the same.

    We stock most of the main players. We choose who to work with based on quality of product, their quality control in making their offerings, warranty and dependability. We were thinking of checking into a start up at SHOT when someone posted on another forum that "These days it seems anyone with a suitcase full of cash and a plane ticket to China can start an optics company". I thought about that and decided to stay away from any China start up.
    We need to be able to reach out to someone here in the USA and know service is available. We stand behind everything we offer and that's not possible with a brand with no USA presence.

    Buy a quality product from a dealer you know will be there to support the products you buy as well as be able to discuss with you what's best for your purpose. Build a relationship with a dealer. Whether it is us or another guy (Not Amazon as they cannot help you and all you're doing is adding to destroying family owned businesses). In the end it won't really cost you any more than searching all over the internet and you'll have someone to assist you in choosing the right gear. Just my $.02
     
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  15. OLD Ron

    OLD Ron Well-Known Member

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    I bought some a few years back & still haven't tried any of them out yet . Need to build the guns first .
    scope pile.JPG
     
  16. PaBushMan

    PaBushMan Well-Known Member

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    Ron looks like you need to get busy. :D
     
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  17. microadventure

    microadventure Well-Known Member

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    yeah, but... there's a big difference in sound quality between Bose speakers and Radio Shack speakers, but my motorcycle riding SCUBA diving pilot self can't tell. same thing with scopes - I would need an optometry enhanced scope to actually benefit from superior glass.
     
  18. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Weaver is also down the tube so to speak. I have a couple of Simmons 22 mag 4x32 scopes and they are surprising however they do not compare to a Leupold 4x28 FX1 at 6 times the money. The Simmons 22 mag variables are not as clear as the 4x. Too much going on in a cheap scope. Again 6 times the money will buy a Leupold.
     
  19. Wambli

    Wambli Well-Known Member

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    Barska has their place in the food chain. I gave my buddy a TON of crap for letting me put together a sub.5 MOA rifle for him on which he immediately mounted a “tactical” Barska scope on it. He was happy with his purchase because mostly he was shooting on nice days at 100 yards and the scope looked the part and the gun was impossible to shoot poorly. He told me he didn’t “need” any of my high end optics.

    Then we went shooting together on a cloudy day and I set targets at 300 yards. He couldn’t even see the 3” bulls I had pasted on the target, so he complained about the shooting conditions. I called him to my bench and let him look through my (at the time) $1,500 Leupold Mark IV LRT and he saw side by side the difference.

    He spent the rest of the afternoon at the range making calls until he found someone locally that stocked the scope and we drove an hour to go pick it up and I spent a few hours mounting it correctly on his rifle that afternoon (yes he bought me dinner).

    My point is that if he had never found out he had a “need” (real or perceived) for the higher end optic, AND had the wallet to support it, he would have been perfectly happy with his Barska and would have only spent $100.
     
  20. OLD Ron

    OLD Ron Well-Known Member

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    I am busy every day it seems ! :p
     
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