Saturday, January 09, 2010

Redfield Scopes

If you're an old fart like me, you remember Redfield scopes. They were a leading line back in the '50s and '60s, capturing a major portion of the rifle scope market. Most of us remember the Redfield Widefield scope, which gave us state-of-the-art for the times. Some of those scopes are still seen on older rifles and most of them are wonderful scopes. As Redfield declined, Leupold ascended to become the eminent scope maker in the United States.

If you've been watching the sporting news at all, you know that Leupold recently bought the Redfield name and intellectual property. They're bringing out a new line of scopes under the brand, trying to resurrect the name. The website says that the new scopes will be unveiled at SHOT show.

Dave Petzal talks about the new Redfield scopes at The Gun Nut, and says they're bringing out four models initially. A 2X7, 3X9, 3X9X50, and a 4X12. All made in the United States and priced from $129 to $219. They're supposed to be good, no-frills hunting scopes updated to this generation.

I'm a fan of Weaver and Swift scopes. I have both on my rifles and like them a lot, but I'm not impressed with the trend lately of putting bells and whistles on a scope. All I want in a scope is simplicity, reliability, good glass, and durability. My favorite hunting rifle carries a Weaver K-6, which is about as simple a scope as you could possibly put on a rifle. It's a fixed power scope and suits me just fine. Swift and Weaver both use Japanese optics. While it's hard to argue with Japanese optics, (Canon and Nikon make some wonderful lenses), the Redfield line is marketed as a US made scope, and that has a certain cachet for me.

I'm glad to see Redfield back in the game. Now, if they'd come out with a serious no frills fixed 10X and price it under $200.00, they'd sell a boat-load of them.


Rivrdog said...

I was with you, loving the KISS principle in scopes, and my Weaver K-4 on my Savage 99, but the more I read about Mil-Dot and similar reticles, the more I knew that I would have to try one. I put the hunting version of Mil-Dot, Nikon's Bullet-Drop-Compensator, on my WIN70 (.243 WIN), and got wonderful results with it at Boomershoot last year.

I got another Nikon to put on the Savage, but the tapered mounts are not high enough for the job. I'm stumped for the moment until I can find a source of higher mounts.

The newer scopes have a better range of parallax adjustment, which suits our old eyes just fine.

Anymore, the first thing I do when looking at a scope is try out it's parallax adjustment.

Anonymous said...

I have a Ruger #1 in .308, it's my hunting rifle and I've wanted for years to replace the cheap Japanese made Bushnell 4x32 scope I put on it when it was new in 1968. Last fall I could finally afford the scope I always wanted, a Weaver K6. When it arrived I opened the box to find the words, "Made in China" on it. I damn near cried. My rifle still wears the old Bushnell.

Gerry N.

Rich Jordan said...

I picked up a Weaver V7 variable widefield scope on clearance from Big 5 many years ago (El Paso made). Its been on everything from my Marlin M45 (not an ideal match) to a H&R .22LR target rifle; I love it. I never owned a Redfield scope, but I do have several of their match iron sights, which are truly nice.

I'm glad these new Redfields are made in the U.S.

Skip said...

Got a Redfield 3x9 on a sporterized 7mm Mauser, love it.
Same scope on a M77 '06 and love it too.
All of the rest of my scopes are Leopolds, love them too.