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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/02/2009 at 19:26
1911man View Drop Down
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A post on the guns and game forum is claiming that Leupold lenses are now made in China???? This is BS isn't it?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/02/2009 at 19:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/02/2009 at 19:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/02/2009 at 19:56
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From their web page:
 

"Leupold uses foreign sourced components for some parts of Golden Ring products, primarily lenses.  This is because at this time, there is no American manufacturer that can supply the quantity of high quality lenses that Leupold needs for its annual Golden Ring Optics production.  Leupold’s lens systems are designed at Leupold, by American optical engineers, in its state-of -the-art optics lab and then procured from outside vendors who must meet stringent quality standards. 

Incoming parts are carefully inspected  in our testing facility before they are accepted into the assembly process.  Incidentally, all major optics producers worldwide acquire some or all of their glass from the same sources as Leupold.  Some of these sources are located domestically, some are European, and some are Asian.  Leupold has acquired its lenses this way for over 50 years."

I can't say for sure it is China.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/02/2009 at 20:27
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oh man, you mean the whole made in America stuff they have been yapping about for years is BS.  Wow, I can't believe they would lie to us like that.  Laugh
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/02/2009 at 20:29
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It's been awhile since their scope (except the Mk4, I think) said, "Made in the USA."  Now it's Made with pride..." or some such BS.

They ain't US made, for the most part - maybe some are assembled here, but the prices go up and the employment goes off-shore.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/02/2009 at 21:55
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There used to be a guy who posted here who's FIL worked for Leupold. He stated that they get their lenses from Japan and Korea, but the exact vendors are unknown. This is not really a secret and as a matter I don't know of a manufacturer in the USA (optics that is) that produces a product 100% with domestic components.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/02/2009 at 21:58
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So it realy is  .......   Wooopold!     just saying.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2009 at 00:52
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Maybe Weupold needs to vertically integrate their manufacturing in Oregon!  They, (Weupold) are certainly not cheap optics like say; Sximmons', Chinese made, less than stellar scopes.  I own now/have owned several Leupold optics which IMO gives me the right to state that I am not happy about either the company's corporate secrecy or Chinese sourced lenses.  What do you say to a company that will not even let you register your expensive widgit on their website.  Duh, wake up Weupold!

Edited by Oldtrader3 - June/03/2009 at 08:26
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2009 at 18:17
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So no one really knows if this is for real or BS? I've been a Leupold fan for years and just can't believe this rumor??????

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2009 at 18:35
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I was pretty harsh on Leupold last night but part of the problem is their code of corporate secrecy.  They (Leupold) will never cop to much acknowlegement of using Chinese lenses let alone tell people what products actually contain them.  This corporate evasiveness makes my Green Ring Katmai binoculars worthless to ever sell.  I won't even give them to my children now without an aside, that I know the new ones have Chinese lenses.
 
My issue, from having worked in China as an Engineer, is a deep prejudice against the Industrial China Inc. PRC, and their cultural "eveything done with mirrors" method of always cheating, misstating, deflecting, less than truthful dealings of the Chinese industrial culture bolstered by the deep seated cultural affinity for cutting corners where the customer can't see it to glean an extra dime per into into their pockets, even when they have agreed not to do cheapening shortcuts.  Quality Plans mean nothing to these Plant Managers.
 
China needs to grow out of this culture before I want any of their products.  I go out of my way to buy American, even nails and screws.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2009 at 03:06
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The Japanese owned Philippine Kenko Plant has made lenses for leupold. Whether they still are making them is unclear though since leupold does not want to give the exact source of their lenses. I know this because i knew a guy who worked for the kenko plant and he says that among all the optic companies they are or have been in contract with(nikon, bushnell, simmons, vortex, burris, leica, etc...), leupold was the most strict and diligent when it comes to quality control and standards set for the product they ordered, which are the lenses.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2009 at 05:36
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Originally posted by Oldtrader3 Oldtrader3 wrote:

Maybe Weupold needs to vertically integrate their manufacturing in Oregon!  They, (Weupold) are certainly not cheap optics like say; Sximmons', Chinese made, less than stellar scopes.  I own now/have owned several Leupold optics which IMO gives me the right to state that I am not happy about either the company's corporate secrecy or Chinese sourced lenses.  What do you say to a company that will not even let you register your expensive widgit on their website.  Duh, wake up Weupold!
 
" Hey, Look at my New Bushnell 4200!!!  Isn't it cool??!!"  Bucky
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2009 at 09:31
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I know that Nikon and others were making lenses and other optics in Singapore for awhile.  I don't know if they still are.  At least, in my experience, Singapore understands and follows Quality Plans in making their products.  I guess if you want uncompromised optics quality, buy Zeiss, Swarovski, S&B or Kahles.  German/Austrian national pride still keeps their product's integrity high, as does using Schott glass.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2009 at 09:47
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There is nothing magic about Schott glass, it is just a very good type of optical glass. As a matter of fact there is a Schott glass factory in China. As a matter of fact some Chinese optics are very fine. Look through a Zen Ray or Hawke ED binocular and you'll find out.

Leupold does make the tubes and most other parts of its scopes in Oregon. The binoculars and spotting scopes are made in various places Asia. I don't know of any "American" optics company that makes it's own lenses anymore, though Burris might. But I believe the last American lens factory closed a while back.
 
Nightforce scopes are not made in the USA. They are made in a top factory in Japan and then assembled in Idaho. That's why the 2007 NF on my 6.5-06 says "Made In Japan" on the underside.
 
Leupold will only say that it get's lenses from "various sources." This probably includes Japan, Korea and China, and may even include the Phillipines and perhaps the Czech Republic--where a lot of glass that's used in many Euro-optics is made. And some optics that many people assume are all-European have Japanese glass. Minox optics are designed in Germany but made in Japan, and one of the other "name" German-Austrian companies has had its binoculars made in Japan for several years now. They are just finally assembled in Europe. Zeiss conquest scopes are not made in Germany, or at least most of each scope isn't. Only the erector tube and it's lenses are made in Germany. The other (main) lenses are made in the Czech Republic, along with the tube, turrets, etc. Then all the parts are shipped to the U.S. and assembled here.
 
It is a world economy.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2009 at 10:17
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Originally posted by 1911man 1911man wrote:

So no one really knows if this is for real or BS? I've been a Leupold fan for years and just can't believe this rumor??????

 
I don't know whether they get lenses from China specifically, but it is true that they get their glass from Asia, and they have for many years.  Leupold admits this when asked, but doesn't volunteer it freely.  I don't know when or if they ever got their glass from the US, but I know for a fact they've sourced their glass from Asia for at least the past 20 years.  The remaining portions of their scopes are made in Oregon.  I remember about 15 years ago at an NRA convention I was talking to a Swarovski rep at their booth, and he mentioned the term "Reupold" (asian pronunciation of "L") a couple of times.  When I asked him what he meant by that, he simply said when they say their scopes are American made, ask them where they get their lenses.  So I did.  I went to the Leupold booth and asked the rep there where they got their lenses.  He replied "from suppliers in Asia," but would not specify where.
 
I think you'd be surprised where components of all kinds of manufacturers' products comes from.  As someone who has spent my entire career in manufacturing, I can tell you that it is very rare that a manufacturer makes everything in-house anymore, especially in America.  I hate that fact, and I would really like to buy products made in the U.S., but usually, I don't get that choice to make.  The simple fact is, given the level of corporate taxes, cost of compliance to government regulations, overhead burden rate, employee wages and benefits, etc., many American manufacturers realize they cannot be cost competitive by making everything in-house and making a reasonable profit margin.  Consumers vote with their wallets, as Joe Average won't pay the prices and will buy from their competitors instead.  Wal-Mart helped ensure that, and they basically ushered in the massive shift to Chinese and other cheap labor outsourcing. 
 
Like it or not, the fact is Leupold's flagship scopes are better today than they have ever been, optically and mechanically.  That fact doesn't help the situation any.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2009 at 11:32
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Many asian countries, Singapore, Korea and now the Phillipines have adopted ISO quality and certification.  My biggest issue, is having the commitment and technology to manufacture and be approved under ISO9001.  If any plant, anywhere can stick to meet their Quality Plan and make what they preach, then I stand behind it.  I am also aware that the Czech Republic, Poland and to a lessor degree other countries make high quality glass now, to specification, with no cheating or fudging. 
 
I helped implement Globalization over a period of (12) years in more than (10) countries on (4) continents and understand the drill very well.  Even in China, we passed FDA muster for Class III, Medical Devices the first go-around.  Even the Chinese can do this if you can keep them from backsliding and cheating by cutting corners.  It all comes down to engineering controls, statistical verification and manufacturing discipline.
 
Most Chinese run manufacturing plants that I have been in lack the training, discipline and background of Process Capability, controls and product integrity.  If they are willing to change their culture, implement controls and follow the ISO procedures, I am all for it.  However, I do maintain a high degree of skepticism until I see better products coming from China.
 
I am retired now and am not in the global economy loop anymore.  I guess I will just will hide and watch as far as Chinese products are concerned.  In reality, I think China is still a work very much in progress as far as World Class Quality is concerned.
 
As far as lens manufacturing is concerned, I am truly sorry to see the use of these manufacturing technologies declining in our culture.  What are we going to become when everybody in this country works for the service sector.  No value added, no economic clout and control of your future.


Edited by Oldtrader3 - June/04/2009 at 11:37
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2009 at 12:03
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Good points, Oldtrader.
 
The only thing I would add is that ISO9001 doesn't ensure a manufacturer makes a quality product.  It only ensures that the manufacturer documents their processes and follows those processes consistently and has traceability of their measuring systems back to standards.  If a manufacturer makes a well-designed product out of quality components, ISO9001 does help ensure they do so consistently, but just to say you are ISO9001 certified doesn't mean your product is necessarily worth a damn.  It may just mean that you make a crappy product consistently and can document what you do to make that crappy product.
 
I try to avoid stuff made in China as much as possible, but it is getting nearly impossible to do so.  I have nothing against the Chinese people, and I do believe good quality products can be made in China.  I just have a philosophical problem with my money going to support a communist government that consistently stabs the US, their most important trading partner, in the back while it builds it's military for an assumed eventual confrontation with us.  But, we owe them so much money that they have a lot of leverage over us.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2009 at 12:22
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New guys, just remember, you have to buy a round every time you say s-hot glass.Cheers 
 
As a share holder in Diageo I thank you!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2009 at 13:59
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Of course you can make garbage in a ISO certified plant.  I was implying woldwide product standards of meeting customer need combined with product integrity and Quality Plans that have engineered process controls with process capabilities of CpK=2.0 where humanly possible.

Most Chinese manufacturers are cottage industry, sweat shops that still make inadequately performing products driven only by low cost.  Our country's cost management mania guided, marketing driven corporate retail culture in this country is partly to blame. 
 
I was only partially joking when I said: "Automate, Emigrate or Evaporate" in another post.  Corporate America has largely stopped innovating since the (new product) Income Tax Credit went away in the mid-1990's.  Fortunately, smaller American companies are still manufacturing efficient and keep innovation of new products going.


Edited by Oldtrader3 - June/04/2009 at 14:01
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2009 at 22:54
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I dont give a rat's a$$ where they are made they are still a fine scope!     Big Grin

Edited by rifle looney - June/04/2009 at 23:02
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/05/2009 at 10:48
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Poly Tech is a well respected firearms manufacturer in China strict tolerances quality control .The Leupold is a good scope just that the price is a little high for a Chinese made scope.Get Your Popcorn Ready  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/05/2009 at 11:10
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...........if the lens are in fact made there.  And then it sounds like only the lens.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/05/2009 at 12:51
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It is my understanding that the components (other than lenses) for all models of the Leupold VX-1 on up series are made and assembled in Oregon.  I don't know about the components and assembly of the Rifleman series.  Maybe someone here can enlighten us on the source of the Rifleman scope lenses, components and assembly.
 
For what the VX-3 and other more expensive Leupold scopes cost, I was just wondering (out loud) why the lenses could not be made here?  I am aware the even Nikon does not make most of their lenses anymore.  This outsoucing of critical component technology may eventually turn out to be one of the worst, widespread strategic decisions of the late 20th Century.  Especially if you lose the technical capability to repatriate the technolgy at some later date.  Then it becomes terribly inefficient and costly to replicate on any scale later. 
 
While working, I always felt that it was in our (for the company and the country) strategic interest's to retain some key strategic technologies even if only on selected premium product families.  This is at least for companies like Leupold who have Value, Premium and Prestige strategic product families.  Then you can outsource the rest without eliminating or seriously curtailling technical competence.  The nugget of that technical competence remains. 
 
Retention of key technologies has strategic value beyond just saving by reducing product costs.  I'd bet that the Germans and Austrians retain optical technologies and will to the bitter end.  These are Core Technical Competentcies for them.
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