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Changes in Optics?

18 Nov 2015
@ 01:51 pm (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Good Morning All,
In Nathan's book on rifles he discussed a factor I had long ignored that impacts rifles, optics, and a lot more - the impact of production location on equipment. He gave an example of how a natural disaster (was it in the Phillippines??) had impacted the production machinery in a plant and so equipment produced in a certain time frame had issues not seen in other years. Sorry I don't remember the details, but the point stuck with me.

My question is whether there have been any noteworthy shifts in optics manufacturing in the last 2 years. I have not been scope shopping for a while and therefore not paying very close attention. I am not really wondering what everybody's favorites are - of course if you want to tell us that's fine - I'm just curious if any of the major players have moved their production location, changed their production methods, etc.



18 Nov 2015
@ 08:48 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Changes in Optics?
Good question.

Many manufacturers are using the Philippines for their budget or mid range scopes. Brand is irrelevant as you have said. Parts may be made in several locations before final assembly in the Philippines (labor content only).

Vortex keep the cost of their higher end scopes down in this manner. So the end user saves money on budget through to higher end models.

Most of the Philippino scopes are good but then you will get the occasional one that is not assembled correctly. Staff quality and QC checks are the major factors.

A classic example of a traditional Philippino scope is the Nikko Stirling brand. These are internally the same design as a Leupold (flat spring set at 45 degrees opposed to the turrets) but the build quality is often lacking and these scopes can let you down when least expected (actual Leupold's generally hold well unless set on large bore magnums). Problems I have seen include stuck turrets or the opposite- a wandering POI. I have also seen these scopes shatter internally. Fogging is quite common. Eye relief has varied over the years depending on models. These scopes are in my experience best suited to .22 caliber rifles though many sit atop centerfire rifles.

Is a Nikko the same as another brand of scope made in the Philippines? No - it all comes down to individual scope design, where the parts are sourced from and QC specs etc.

If a scope is assembled in the Philippines, it will say so underneath.

Westerners often complain about the East, we all know about rubbish made in China etc. But, always remain aware that most product we see is of a Western directive. We ask for this stuff and they build to whatever spec we ask for. We ask for shit quality, the east deliver, then we slam them for sending us shit. That's all I will say- don't want to get Warwick too fired up!


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