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What's up with Weaver

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dolphin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2008 at 08:19
Meade still lists Simmons as one of their brands on their website.  Weaver still makes a good scope and I really do not think Meade has done anything to hurt them.  The Simmons scope I received appears well made and if the features they tout work correctly, then it should be a good quality low end model.  I am going to check it out on a 300 Wby. this weekend.  It is the Aetec Master Series.  Optics are quite good and it has a hydrophobic coating, like the Bushnell Elite series.  I am not sure it works as well, but have never tried out mine on my Elite 4200.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Farris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2008 at 12:23

Meade has done an absolute horrible job with Redfield, Weaver and Simmons, so any type of change has to be better than what has been happening.  ATK once owned Redfield, Weaver and Simmons so they do have some experience and they seem to be more motivated.  ATK did greatly deteriorated the Simmons name prior to selling it to Meade and I hope they do not plan to just use the Weaver name to market China made optics at inflated prices then sell Weaver again.

It appears that ATK started to market their own brands off the contacts they gained when they initially bought Redfield, Simmons and Weaver years ago, but their own brands Intensity Optics and Nitrex Optics have not done very well because they lack name recognition.  Perhaps purchasing the  Weaver name will fix this, but the name has lost much of its value since Blount, ATK and Meade lowered the quality of the product and provided poor customer service.

I strongly feel that while these well known companies are buying, selling and regrouping that the small owner operated companies are sneaking in and taking their market little by little.  Current generation shooters and hunters do not have the respect for Weaver and Redfield like their fathers once did.  The current generation and coming generation are better educated in regards to value and do not rely solely on name brands recognition.  This generation is also buying full size Toyota pick up trucks instead of Ford or Chevrolet.  Now that Redfield and Weaver are no longer USA made they have lost much of their appeal to the older generations and the current and future generations don’t really care about where something is made, they only care about quality and value.  The only way ATK will be able to be successful is if they have at least a five year plan to re-establish the brand through quality products, excellent customer service and offer the product at a fair price

Leupold’s move to purchase Redfield has everyone puzzled.  Leupold is the exception in the industry because they are the last large optics company that is still family owned and operated and has not been run into the ground by investment banker style business practices.  They have a large advantage in the market because all older generations no longer have a choice if they want to buy a scope from a legacy brand because Redfield and Weaver died a long time ago. 

If you read Leupold’s official statement it does not tell us much but you can tell that they care about the historical significance of the brand. 

http://www.opticstalk.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=10978&PID=97903#97903 

Everyone’s motivation is money when you take away all of the smoke and mirrors.  Redfield has always been Leupold’s largest threat and Leupold tried to purchase them the first time they went up for sale in 1998.  A quote from Sun-tzu is appropriate in this case, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” 

No one knows the dollar amount that was paid for Redfield or Weaver independently but it has been published that they sold for a combined $8 Million dollars.  If we assume that the brands have an equal value then it would be appropriate to guess that Leupold paid $4 Million dollars for Redfield.  This could be recouped by Leupold in a relatively short amount of time by not losing any market share to Redfield as a competitor.  I am confident that Leupold would not attempt to compete against them selves by selling a similar product at a similar price point as it would not achieve anything.  They will most likely use the Redfield name to sell in a market that they are not already selling in, perhaps a market that they did not want to enter with their own name because they did not want to damage their well established brand.  The Redfield name has already been hurt, so this gives Leupold a prime opportunity to compete on the lower end of the market with an imported product.  The public would love to see a return to the golden days of Redfield and see the company resurrected and once again offering U.S.A. made scopes, but I do not see that happening as long as Leupold is the owner because it would be a conflict of interest.

There is a lot of instability in the world of scopes these days.  Redfield, Weaver, Simmons and Tasco are rapidly disappearing.  Hakko’s bankruptcy and poor quality also affected the market, their reincarnation as J.O.L. has yet to get off the ground.  Schmidt and Bender also sold and after the sale the engineers went to Optronkia.  Kahles and Swarovski have stopped sharing ideas and are operating independent of each other.  Leica is scheduled to enter the scope market possibly this year too.  Once thing is certain, things are changing in the sports optics world.....whether its good or bad is yet to be seen.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dolphin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2008 at 12:57
Thanks for the post Chris.  The recent Simmons and Weaver purchases I made were good values, at least from an optical stand point.  I am going to test them out from a shooting perspective this weekend.  A V-9 and a Master Aectec model.  I was very disappointed when the Simmons came and it was made in China, as I thought they were made in the Phillipines.  My fault for not doing the research, or I would not have bought the scope.  At least it did not have the Chinese funk that usually occurs when you open the box.  After my two Leupold purchases, I have to admit I have become a Leupold fan.  The VX-III is fantastic, while the VX-II is ok.  The VX-III is not quite on the same level as my Trijicon, but damn close.  Both are US companies and I like that.  Even though both source their class from Japan, that does not bother me, just so it is not China.  The fact Leupold is a family owned buisness is important to me.  If Bill Weaver could see his company now.  At least the Weaver I got was made in Japan.  Not a guarantee, but at least not made in China.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2008 at 13:32
Good post, Chris.  Very informative!  It will be very interesting to see what the optics market looks like 5 years from now.
Ted


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cyborg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2008 at 17:09
Excellent Chris, Thanks a whole bunch. I hope that the trend will work out for everyone. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tahqua Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2008 at 19:03
Originally posted by Chris Farris Chris Farris wrote:

  This generation is also buying full size Toyota pick up trucks instead of Ford or Chevrolet. 





Very good response, Chris.
On the above I greatly disagree. These are sales figures for the first quarter of 08. Do not dismiss American manufacturing because it is American. We all know what pissed off Americans are capable of. That includes being pissed off because of our own mistakesWink
Toyota sells 14,000 Tundras for every 130,000+ home grown trucks. Certainly a top drawer competitor, but they aren't there, yet, with trucks. Our response has just begun, BTW!

Ford F - Series PU 54,465



Chevrolet Silverado PU 42,561



Toyota Camry / Hybrid 40,487



Honda Accord / Hybrid 36,214



Honda Civic / Hybrid 32,740



Nissan Altima / Hybrid 31,409



Chevrolet Impala 29,010



Dodge Ram PU 26,318



Toyota Corolla / Matrix 25,109



Ford Focus 21,168



Toyota Prius 20,635



Honda CR-V 18,974



Ford Escape / Hybrid 18,517



GMC Sierra PU 15,919



Ford Fusion 15,887



Toyota Tacoma PU 15,587



Pontiac G6 15,108



Chevrolet Malibu 14,931



Toyota Tundra 14,311

 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2008 at 19:19
I do not now about Toyota Tundra, but I am planning to buy Toyota Tacoma.  I test drove just about every compact/midsize truck available on the market over the last few months and Tacoma drives better than all of the other ones.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pyro6999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2008 at 19:21
i own a chevy silverado my boss owns three f-series trucks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tahqua Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2008 at 19:22
The Tacoma is a class leader in the small pick segment and is the bench mark.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pyro6999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2008 at 19:24
i like my chevy for its ride, thats all, otherwise i feel very strongly about ford building the toughest work truck on the planet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tahqua Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2008 at 20:16
I think that the Redfield name will be a way that Leupold can pursue off shore manufacturing for mid-range optics at a reasonable price. This would be no different than what Burris has done with the FF's. Burris has been able to pull it off.  Leupold probably couldn't do it with their own name plate based on their reputation. With the Redfield name, for the purchase price Leo, might just do it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Farris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2008 at 20:17
Doug,
 
I am not disputing sales figures, just making a point that the current generation is not as dedicated to buying American only as past generations.
 
Hunter,
 
Let's keep it on topic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Farris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2008 at 20:20
Originally posted by tahqua tahqua wrote:

I think that the Redfield name will be a way that Leupold can pursue off shore manufacturing for mid-range optics at a reasonable price. This would be no different than what Burris has done with the FF's. Burris has been able to pull it off.  Leupold probably couldn't do it with their own name plate based on their reputation. With the Redfield name, for the purchase price Leo, might just do it.
 
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Just kidding Doug.Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tahqua Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2008 at 20:24
Sorry I deviated, also. I got back on above.
Mind you I do not disparage off shore competition. I do believe we have to respond on an economic basis, though. For the price of optics coming from suppliers like L.O.W it is hard for us to compete. We have to find other ways. I fully expect Leo to have budget scopes on the one hand with the economics that are available off shore. On the other hand I hope for improvements on the higher end with features the competition are capitalizing on like 4-6x zoom range and fast focus. With high quality lenses I don't think they can go wrong.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tahqua Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2008 at 20:27
Damn, we crossed again foo




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