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Fake Leupold Scope Rumor

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2008 at 05:03
clevor362 View Drop Down
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Greetings all. I am new to the forum although I have viewed it from time to time in researching optics. I see that there are previous posts on this subject but have a question or two anyway.
 
First. I was told by a friend that sells scopes, reloading equipment and a great deal of reloading supplies that the "counterfeit" Leupold Tactical scopes being marketed are a result of Leupold going to a Chinese factory and setting up a production line for the Mark 4 scope in China.(Along with other SKUs.) He was told this by a supplier hence the 'rumor'. Supposedly the Chinese made all Leupold wanted then made all they figured they could sell. When you have the biggest pool of slave labor on the planet and no concerns such as EPA etc you can turn out products dirt cheap. Especially if a well established top line mfgr such as Leupold, General Motors or Boeing is stupid enough to transfer the technology. Does anyone here on the forum actually know if this is true? If it is true then obviously Leupold was pushing Chi-com manufactured scopes marked up by several orders of magnitude on the market as "Made in the USA". Again, IF it is true I have no sympathy for a firm who gets undercut in this circumstance.
 
If it is NOT true, perhaps these scopes were purchased and reverse engineered by the Chinese? I would rather thnk that ws the cae but I don't know. Again, does anyone on the forum actually have knowledge of the facts. I'm not trying to re-start the un-civil unrest I read on previous posts but I suspect someone, perhaps at SWFA, knows what went down. Just wondering.
 
Second question. I have heard many times over the years by people I deeply respect that fixed power scopes are superior to variable scopes in two areas. One, they are less complicated and thus more reliable. Second, that they have fewer lenses in them and are therefore clearer. I have a close to a couple dozen scopes, altogether. Most are Leupolds or Burris with a Nikon and a few old Weavers thrown for good measure. Most are variable and intended for general purpose hunting. But, I have a fondness for fixed 10 or 12 power scopes for long range. The fixed power scopes I own really are clearer than my variables of similar magnification. However, like me, the scopes I own are getting a bit long in the tooth and I recognize that the newer scopes benefit from better coatings and hopefully more robust internals.
 
I ask because I have built up a 300 H&H for long range shooting. I am leaning toward IOR as the scope of choice but am still pondering the fixed 10X vs a variable scope. I like their MP-8 reticule but suspect the MIL-DOT spacing will only subtend an actual mil at one magnification unless the scope is a FFP model. Am I correct? I would be grateful for feedback from those of you on the forum who have shot both variable and fixed power models of the IOR, Leupold and other high end scopes enough to share a valid comparison. Performance based opinions please.
 
Last. This is not a question but a note to mention that I have found the info on the forum helpful. I have decided that when I spring for a laser range finder to purchase the Swarovski 8X30 range finder. Because of the distances I shoot with my Sharps rifles and based on your feedback it seems to be the only one which has sufficient range to do the job.
 
Thanks. Looking forward to the replys.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2008 at 07:06
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I don't know if leupold ever went to china, i doubt it. I do know that an optical company in china filed for the leupold name as one of their products with all intent to copy and market the leupold mark 4 line. I think there is a warning on the leupold web site regarding these scopes.  
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2008 at 07:19
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Welcome to O.T.
Regarding your first question I have no doubt that your friend is wrong. Leupold has a warning about these counterfeit scopes on their website.
The owner of this web site has also posted information on this same topic
On your second question I believe your assumptions are pretty much correct. There are less lenses in a fixed and less moving parts. But, modern variables are also very reliable. I have only broken one and it was a manufacturing issue on an overly complicated scope.
The only comparisons I have between variable and fixed power scopes with the same quality of lenses are with Leupold. My 6x42 has Multi-Coat IV as do several of my Vari-XIII's. The fixed has better contrast and resolution, for sure. Whether this holds true with other brands I cannot state.
There are a few members here who are fans of IOR and hopefully they will be around to help.
 
Again, welcome to O.T.
Doug
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2008 at 07:56
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 Regarding the MP8 reticle in the IORs, the 2.5 -10x42 variable I have is a FFP and subtends in milliradians (with mil and and half-mil hash-marks) at all magnifications because it is an FFP model. The same scope in a SFP configuration will do that only at a specific setting. (10X, I think.) 
 The downside is that in my FFP scope, the reticle gets too fine to use for ranging at the lower magnifications, below about 5x. (for me at least.)
 Because of the lower cost and for the other reasons you and Doug mentioned, I would probably be just as happy with the fixed 10x or 8x, although mine is very clear and sharp at all magnifications. I just don't use the lower settings much on that particular scope, but then again it's not on a hunting rifle anyway.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2008 at 08:31
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What is true is that many former Leupold employees have formed thier own companies and are making thier own optic lines. Many of those lines are built in China. It does beg the question, however, as to how those former employees built stratigic partnerships in China so quickly?  I do not discount the ablity of people in China to reverse enginer. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2008 at 08:39
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Guys,
 
Thanks for the welcome and the input . Please keep it coming.
 
RE: Fake scopes I should mention that my friend was just repeating what he was told. I'd rather not believe that Leupold fell into the trap of cheap labor overseas & got snookered. I'm just trying to clear things up in my mind. I e-mailed Leupold about it but no reply. Of course, I'm right now setting in the middle of nowhere Alaska in an oil camp waiting for the weather to clear so we can get some aviating done. Maybe their answer got lost in transit somewhere.
 
I recently bought several of their 100th anniversary 3X9 models and am very pleased with 'em. I put one on my Ruger 50th anniversary No 1 in 45-70 and I must say they go good together.  That didn't turn it into a MOA rifle, yet, but it looks good in the meantime.
 
I'm happy to participate in the forum and am looking forward to, hopefully, plenty more posts on fixed vs variable scopes. Right now it's about 10 degrees, wind blowing about 20 mph and snowing. Post all you want. I have plenty of time to read 'em.
 
Thanks again
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2008 at 08:58
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Ruger #1 in 45-70, yeah baby

 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2008 at 09:53
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cool looking Ruger
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/05/2008 at 09:42
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Swarovski has recently posted a counterfeit alert on their web site as well.

http://www.swarovskioptik.at/index.php?l=us&nID=x434b77aea49e60.39553720&c=news&newsID=1208808523__ID480cf44b820a12.52189984

What are the distances you shooting with your Sharps rifles? IMHO, the Leica CF1200, is the best all around range finder on the market and will reach out to 1300 yards. If your shooting 1300 to 1700 yards, sure, the Swarovski may be the better choice. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/05/2008 at 10:12
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Welcome to the OT clevor, glad to have you.

I am not a big Leupold fan, but I would have a real hard time believing they would outsource to Chinese company, that goes against everything they claim to stand for.  I just don't believe it.  There is a Leupold employee that regulars the forum and I am sure he will set that straight for us when he sees this.

On the IOR subject.  I own several and have owned 5 or 6 of them over the last few years and I really like the IOR.  One thing to know about the 35mm IOR scopes is they are somewhat lacking on the adjustment range for serious long range guns.  Like the 3-18x42 only has 70 MOA of travel the 6-24x50 only has 65 MOA of travel.  Which with a 20 MOA base is fine for a .308 out to 1000 yards+.  All that can be fixed with slanted bases, but it would still be better to have more in the scope. 

I have personally never owned one of the fixed power IORs but those who have bought them are very pleased from what I have heard.  The 10x42 and 16x42 both have 100 MOA of travel with might be a better choice for your 300 H&H.  Also IOR claims the fixed power scopes are some of their most robust and durable scopes.  But stay away from the 10x56 I have heard bad things about that particular model.  

Another good one would be the new 4-14x50 40mm tube scope.  It has 120 MOA of travel and is said to have the best glass and coatings on an IOR scope to date.  From those who have tried them they sound amazing.  They are pricey though.  Another nice thing about the new 4-14x50 is it has the large elevation knob that has 25 MOA of adjustment per revolution.  That is a awesome addition in my opinion.  They are starting to put that on most of their scopes as on option though.  So you probably get that on about any variable they offer.
RONK is right about the FFP scopes low power being hard to see the reticle.  I have the same scope as him at 4x it starts getting pretty tiny.

The MP8 reticle is awesome and a offers a huge advantage over the traditional mildot and even the TMR in my opinion.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/05/2008 at 11:35
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 I've thumped leupold for overpricing .... but I'm quite sure they'd NEVER do that ! There are fakes out there for quite a few scopes .... mostly on ebay .... which is why I'd never buy a scope off ebay . Now leupold did buy out 1 or 2 companies of lesser quality scopes .... why I don't know but it looks fishy to me to say the least . That's more of what anyone should be worried about .... is LEUPOLD going to market inferior scopes with their name engraved on them ? Can't see why they'd buy the complete manufacturing .... buildings and all if they were'nt .  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/05/2008 at 23:00
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All,
 
I appreciate the input and the welcome. In regards to the Leupold question I hope the Leupold employee does weigh in on the subject. The tactical scopes are not the only items I've heard are 'made in China.' I really hope that's not the case. I'm not trying to throw Leupold under the train.  
 
Mike 650, in answer to your question I am a member of "The Friends of Billy Dixon" organization and we shoot out to 1538 yards with our Sharps rifles and sometimes a bit further. Yep, you need a pretty tall rear sight to shoot that distance. Since we actually do shoot beyond 1300 yards it appears the Swarovski is the only suitable range-finder on the market. I was considering trading a new set of Swarovski 8.5X56 SLC binos toward a 8X42 Geovid in order to have the binos and range-finder in one unit but it won't go the distances we shoot.
 
supertoot, I am leaning toward the IOR 10X42 as my first choice for the 300 H&H. I don't like greater than 10X or 12X scopes for shooting with a sling or improvised field positions. The rifle has a 20 MOA base installed and the 10X42 has plenty of adjustment. I intend to see just how far it will remain accurate. It'll be a while but once I get some testing done I'll post the results on this forum.
 
I appreciate the feedback.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/06/2008 at 05:30
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Originally posted by mercenary1947 mercenary1947 wrote:

 I've thumped leupold for overpricing .... but I'm quite sure they'd NEVER do that ! There are fakes out there for quite a few scopes .... mostly on ebay .... which is why I'd never buy a scope off ebay . Now leupold did buy out 1 or 2 companies of lesser quality scopes .... why I don't know but it looks fishy to me to say the least . That's more of what anyone should be worried about .... is LEUPOLD going to market inferior scopes with their name engraved on them ? Can't see why they'd buy the complete manufacturing .... buildings and all if they were'nt .  
 
Me, too.  (I always get on Leupold's case all the time. Oddly enough my ANNOYANCE with Leupold is not directed AT THE SCOPE.....but towards the company's propaganda machine..... and the legions of brain-washed folks who only know what the gun magazines and the gun store counter people tell them.....and the Leupold advertising team...)  But I don't think Leupold would do anything with the Chinese.
 
No, Merc, Leupold is probably going to market lesser quality, popular-priced scopes with SOMEONE ELSE'S name on them!!  ( Redfield?)  That way they can rake in the cash from another segment of the market and keep their skirts clean if the scopes fall apart.. 
 
                           Big%20Smile     --Ed
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/06/2008 at 14:34
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 Ahhhhh so true ED ...... sounds about right . And you're right on the money about brainwashed buyers . You can put the facts right in front of them and they still deny it .  A neighbor of mine will only buy them .... they break ... some are lousey for the cost ... and believe me their optics quality are not perfect as so many here preach . I think Tasco and Bushnell with their lemons they dumped on the public ran many to them .... way back when . 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2008 at 23:19
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All,
 
I got a reply from Garth @Leupold. He says that all Leupold scopes are made in Oregon. Their Wind River and Green Ring line of binos and spotting scopes are made in China or Japan. Since I started this topic i thought it appropriate to pass this info along. I appreciate the feedback.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/13/2008 at 11:12
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Originally posted by clevor362 clevor362 wrote:

All,
 
I got a reply from Garth @Leupold. He says that all Leupold scopes are made in Oregon. Their Wind River and Green Ring line of binos and spotting scopes are made in China or Japan. Since I started this topic i thought it appropriate to pass this info along. I appreciate the feedback.
 
 
 
 Did he tell you why or what they're going to do with the inferior manufacturing facilities and manufacturing rights they bought  ? I don't think they bought all that to let it all set and rot away . Hummmmmm ....... Light%20It%20Up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2008 at 02:44
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No info on the Redfield buyout. I didn't ask. It took a while but I did get a reply to the question I did ask. That question just related to Chinese made tactical scopes.
 
Just my opine but I'd rather Redfields be built in the USA vs China or some other place that hates us with slave labor. Even if they aren't, maybe, going to be as well built as Leupolds or so well warrantied. At lease the wages will go to Americans.
 
I have a few Burris scopes too. I think they are made in the Philippines. I have not had a problem of any kind with one of these to date. Actually, I haven't had to return a Leupold yet in over 30 years of using them either. There are probably a few other brands besides Burris made there too. I don't know for sure. The point being that decent scopes are being made other places than here and europe. Maybe not great but decent. I have nothing against the Philipine people, until such time as the islamic nut cases gain control they remain our allies.
 
Again, I personally hope the business plan for Redfield includes american manufacture. Our manufacturing base has gone to hell in a handbasket in this country. IMHO
 
Sorry to ramble on so. Adios
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/16/2008 at 07:26
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I hate to admit this, but I think China is becoming a very big player in optics.  Figure that most electronics are now made there.
They are bringing up quality in products in general.
Remember when Japan was a joke and look at them now.
IOR was a com bloc country and not known for high quality....I own an IOR fixed tactical scope and it is fantastic.
I am backing off my bash China mode.  Millett is doing well with them.  Others as well.
Stay tuned to the global market.
If you can buy the same quality for less, why not?
Think Honda versus Matador.
Sorry for the bad news.
 
Just for the record, here is a list of scopes I own and where they are made.  I love all of them:
 
Weaver V3; Japan
Super Sniper; Japan
Nikon Buckmaster; Phillipines
IOR Valdada; Romania
Leupy Mk 4; US (I think)
 
 


Edited by army_eod - May/16/2008 at 07:31
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Speaking of counterfit Chinese "Leupys", has anyone tried one out????
 
Really would like a head to head test.
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Well, it's been a long time since I posted this question. Thanks to all who replied. I still do not know whether the scopes were reverse engineered or are a result of some other deal but, I decided to get a few and try them out. So, I did. I bought them on line and wound up with two different models. One is like a Mark 4 with M3 turrets and one has M1 type turrets. Both models are 3.5X10 powder with side focus.
 
I do not have time with my job to do a serious study and I am not qualified to to an autopsy on a scope anyway, so, I will simply pass on what I have learned and my impressions so far.
 
First, even those marked Leupold Mark 4 do NOT have the Leupold emblem or gold ring. The scopes themselves are pretty robust. (No, I didn't drive over one yet with a truck or other vehicle to test their breaking point.) The view thru the scope is clear and bright in 'normal' lighting and not bad in poor light with no significant distortion near the edges that I've noticed.
 
The focus is via the rear of the eye piece. It works fine but doesn't have the precision feel of a real Leupold. It also feels like it's a bit loose. However, even if it feels like it will move slightly off-center it doesn't cause recticle shift on a target or boresighter grid.
 
The parallax adjustments (side focus) work and are set pretty close re: actual range where the parallax is eliminated.
 
The elevation and windage adjustments are a bit stiff ( a good thing probably if you carry it around any at all) and according to my boresighter return to zero every time. Also a good thing.
 
Again, according to my boresighter the Mil Dots are actually spaced 1 Mil apart. (A friend has a B&L 10X40 scope with Mil Dots that are NOT 1 Mil apart. It has exact 1/4 MOA clicks but it's recticle is screwed up.)
 
The M3 version scope elevation turret is marked as 1 MOA clicks with ranges engraved on the turret for, I guess, a 308 Win with a 168 MK. The actual click value is 0.43 I/HY. The moral here is to put the scope on a grid, count clicks, and do basic math until you have a handle on the click value. Probably not a bad idea on any scope but especially with one of these. The M1 turreted ones are actually 0.1 Mil or so close I cannot determine otherwise. Those at least make good sense. Either version will click up and down or left and right and return to zero when you are done. At least so far.
 
Testing has included firing on two Remington 700 HB rifles in 308 at ranges up to 720 meters. A Remington 40-XR (22 LR)set in a varmit stock.  One 1903A4 clone in 30-06 with a M3 version and a custom 300 H&H long range rifle with the M1 version. All at various ranges out to the same 720 meters.
 
I marked the turrets on the M3 scopes with range markings based on click value and chronographed muzzle velocities run thru the Nightforce and Sierra software. Using the M1 version I combine Mil Dot holdover and clicks as needed to hit at various ranges. Either way is utterly lethal. Making head shots at 700 meters with the 300 H&H is easy and at 520 meters with the 1903A4 clone we were able to dial the range on the scope scope and pick which eyeball on the steel 'E' silhouette we'd shoot out first.
 
The short version is that they work. Period. I have seen about a dozen of these scopes. (No, they were no all mine.) I do have a handful because, mostly, I figured they'd die in testing and they were cheap. Wrong. No failures to date of any kind. I did find one scope belonging to a friend that would not properly focus but I had the same problem with a brand new Burris too, so, what the heck.
 
Finally, one scope was used to fire 100 rounds thru a Barrett M107 50 BMG in one afternoon. It survived fine and is still in service on some other rifle as I write this. No, I didn't lie behind a 50 BMG for 100 rounds. I don't enjoy being inside a pressure wave all that much. But, I have crazy friends who do.
 
I have not tried to drown one to see if it leaks. If I ever do I'll post the results. Likewise, when one finally expires I'll post it as well.
 
I still enjoy my shooting and so I accuracy test both rifles and loads when I can. I don't feel it any handicap to use one of these scope in lieu of my 10X or 12X Leupold varmit/target scopes. I just use whichever I feel like. I keep expecting one to fall apart because, like you guys, I DO equate price to quality but so far they just keep on working. I may be getting dangerously close to liking the things.
 
I don't think I could bring myself to use one at Camp Perry if I still competed but I am having a lot of fun with those I have so far. In a way that's good. I don't feel an obligation to baby the things so maybe that's a better approach to testing after all.
 
Feel free to coment all you want. I don't mind. I don't import, stock, sell or tell people how great they are. I was just curious. If you purchase one do it at your own risk. BUT, so far I have to admit the performance is good and again, I'm having a lot of fun with mine. (I still hope Santa brings me a 10X IOR with an MP-8 recticle at some point for the 300 H&H but he hasn't shown yet.)
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A couple thoughts: That's quite a large number of scopes you have. If I was worried about the reliability of variables, I'd sell off most of those and put the money towards high-end brands. I'd rather own one USO, S&B, Premiere, Hensoldt or Nightforce than any 100 other scopes.

As for a rangefinder, I think the Swaro is great but, man, they've jacked up the price. I got mine last fall for $839 (on sale) and now everyone's charging a grand. Check out the new Zeiss if you don't think the Leicas will cut it.

Regarding the Chinese and knock-off Mark 4s, etc. I don't think Leupold would have been involved. While I don't think of the Chinese as being quite as bad as some comments have made them to be the way that country is set up to do business leaves lots of room for the unscrupulous. I also believe that it's not so much cheap labor as it is the purposely low exchange rate the Chinese government has placed on their currency that is the source of many problems. I just try to avoid buying anything made there (which is hard to do!) and would never knowingly purchase anything counterfeit or a blatant knockoff. This is not to judge the original poster, because I know you had other reasons to try those scopes out.
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I received a briefing on Chinese military and commercial philosophy a couple of years ago by one of the premier foreign intel analysts in the country.  His commentary was that regardless of how we approach them, the Chinese are coming after us in every way possible.  Military and commercial.  They stated openly "YOU (the United States) WILL deal with US".  He said simply "I believe them".  Look at the world today, they own more of our debt than we do or than anyone else does.  What do you think would happen if they called it all in?  We could refuse to pay (as EVERY country since the Spanish-American war has refused to pay their debt to us), but what do you think that would do to our "standing" in the world???  Want to see a REALLY bad economy??  Think about being unable to trade with anyone but Mexico.  I TRY, very hard, to buy American, but our own companies and politicians have sold us out.  Go to the Buy American site online... there are a couple of hundred, not very useful mostly, products there.  However, the Chinese are not only "stealing" technology from us (take the case of Bill Clinton and missile technology) sometimes we GIVE it away (intentionally through greed or stupidly) and sometimes they steal from the Russians, the French, the British.  They'll take whatever anyone is unwilling to protect or can't protect well enough.  Largest most active intel network in the history of mankind.  Scopes, just another piece in the puzzle that when completed will not make a pretty picture for us.  They want what you have, but they don't mind whatever way they get it... they are patient.  Once they get to the point where they have true power to TAKE, we may be too late to stop them.  Our current president is selling us down the road of slavery as fast as he can.  What have YOU done to stop them today??????
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