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From: Gale McMillan <" gale">
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: [Scopes] Which (non-Leupold) brand is best?
Date: 11 May 1997 16:49:17 -0400

John Abatte wrote:
 > ...

Just for the record Nikon doesn't make their scopes or lens.  They are
contracted to the lowest bidder.  The last I heard they were being made
in the Philippines I think.  I buy lens from the same manufacturers as
most of the Japanese Manufactured Scopes so I feel I can speak with
first hand experience.  Lens are polished to a standard which is the
number and size of digs and dings that are not polished out.  Then they
are coated to aid in light transmission.  The better lens are coated
with a 4 layer coating and all use the same formula.  The glass types
are dictated by the computer designed lens system and the flint and
crown glass all come from the same areas and the same computer design
programs are used by almost every one in the industry What I am saying
is while you may think one is better than the next.  The only difference
between a Leupold, B&L Simmons or any of the rest of the scopes that use
Japans lens is the amount of quality control The importer is willing to
pay for.  When it comes to mechanical design only the American companies
design their own mechanical systems.  All Japanese scopes use nearly
identical designs so there is very little difference.  The big
difference is where the importer wants to fit in the market place and
what he is willing to pay for.  If you stay within the same price range
it doesn't make much difference what you buy if it is an import.  I
would pay more attention to which company makes it as that is the big
difference.  And one last comment.  The scope companies don't polish
their own lens, they buy them from lens manufacturers and price dictates
quality.I have been in the lens factory when the buyer for one of the
best known European scope companies was there on a buying trip so the
name on the scope doesn't mean a thing on where the glass comes from.

Gale McMillan

From: Gale McMillan <" gale">
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: Leupold v. Redfield: Worth the Extra $$$ ?
Date: 9 Aug 1997 10:16:58 -0400

Roy S. Rapoport wrote:

# I'm looking to put a scope on my Savage 110FLP.  It looks like the
# recommendations are coming down to Redfield v. Leupold, with about a
# $100-$200 difference between them (in the obvious direction).  I'm not
# looking for anything particularly fancy -- 3-9x40 or 3-9x50 is probably
# one of the most vanilla configs I can imagine getting.
# Is Leupold worth the extra money? Is this a religious issue?
# -roy

No comparison between a Redfield and Leupold. The Leupold is worth three

From: Gale McMillan <" gale">
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: Expensive vs. Cheap Scopes
Date: 17 Sep 1997 00:12:07 -0400

Ken Marsh wrote:

# Hi,
# #Rich Pierson wrote:
# ## Gary Napolitano wrote:
# ## # Joseph Widdup wrote:
# ## # # Don't be quick to overstate the necessity for a expensive scope.  Ask
# ## # # you gunsmith what he thinks of Tasco and Bushnell.  If he says they are
# ## # # all garbage, get another gunsmith.
# There are really two Bushnell scopes, the cheap 3rd world/asian tiger
# imports and the Japanese-made line. You can quickly tell the difference
# by the price. The Japanese ones are made in the same factory as most
# other Japanese-made brands, and are good scopes, at least for hunting
# and general durability. The 3rd world ones are crap.
# Yeah, the Sportview is especially cheap and crappy, but what do
# you expect from a $40 (full retail price) scope? At the factory
# level that means about $7 of parts and workmanship...

While the Japanese made Bushnell scopes are made by Light optical works
and are better than the cheap Chinese or Korean Walmart, Kmart specials
Let and add a little comment about Bushnell.  In 1988 I entered into a
contract to assemble the Armor sight for them.  That was the graphite
tube scope that they brought out That year.  While we were waiting for
the tubes to get the bugs worked out they had us build a few thousand of
their best scopes.  When they were delivered to San Demas the cost to
Bushnell was 38 dollars which included packaging and our assembly costs.
The scope was retailed at over 200  dollars.  So you can imagine what
kind of quality went into the lens and mechanical works.  To be fair I
will say that it was before B&L sold the company and I have no knowledge
about the new company.  As for the armor sight.  It had a defect in
design of the tube which would cost $1.38 per tube to correct and they
canceled the project rather than spend that money to fix it after
spending 2 million permoting it.The point of this post is when it comes
to quality, you get what you pay for and if cheap scopes were as good as
expensive scopes there wouldn't be expensive ones.

Gale Mc

From: Gale McMillan <" gale">
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: Hakko scopes?
Date: 8 Aug 1997 00:01:22 -0400

William G. Graves wrote:

# C.N.Kinney wrote:
# #
# # Has anyone heard of Hakko scopes or have any experience with them?
# #
# # TIA
# # Chris
# # PGP key upon request
# #
# Hakko makes the Springfield armory 4-14x56 mm scopes.
# --
# Bill Graves

Hakko is a small company in northern Tokyo.  It has about 30 employees and
does assembly work only.  They buy parts from Korea, and china and
assemble them.  They are mostly a private label house who make a lot of
the scopes imported.  There are several small companies that work
together so that if one gets an order to large to handle it farms it out
to one of the other companies so there may be more than one working on a
particular scope.  It is a different type of company from Light optical
Works who make The high end scopes like B&L.  Light manufactures the
complete scope in-house.

From: gmk@falstaff.MAE.CWRU.EDU (Geoff Kotzar)
Subject: Re: Handgun Scopes

In article <> (Bill Burge) writes:
#In article <9210011748.AA10696@mimsy.cs.UMD.EDU> C08926RC@WUVMD.Wustl.Edu (Rob) writes:
##I will be acquiring a .44 Magnum revolver in the near future that
##I intend to use for deer hunting.
##What scope would you recommend?  The last scope I had was on a
##.44 Magnum Contender, but it self-destructed after a few hot loads.
##Are today's scopes built to take more punishment?
#Leupold or Burris.

Additionally, the Simmons Gold Medal 2.5-7x variable. J.D. Jones and his
handcannon cronies have yet to blow one up. Even on the .45-70 and .475 JDJ
in Contenders. There was a picture in the last issue of their news letter of
a fellow waering a helmet for protection while working up loads from the bench.


From: Gale McMillan <>
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: Leupold vs Burris concensus
Date: 11 Nov 1998 10:20:00 -0500

The company that I buy my lens from in Japan fly the country flag of
anyone doing business in the  plant that day, There is generally a
German flag up when I am there. I was amused at the length that one
group from a well known German scope company went to keep me from
finding out who they were with. It is a well known fact in the industry
that the best lens in the world are Japanese. Burris grind their own
lens from blanks brought in from Japan and other Pacific rim
countries. Their lapping machines are older models but OK and he man who
runs or ran the shop is a good man.

From: Gale McMillan <>
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Shepherd scopes
Date: 8 May 1999 08:12:59 -0400

There are numerous opinions of the Shepherd scope floating around. Some
founded I am sure and some far from the truth. As a manufacture in the
firearms industry I long ago learned that it is impossible to satisfy 100
% of the public with any thing. You could give away 20 dollar gold pieces
and there would be some who complain that they were too heavy!  The
Shepherd scope is a unique scope patent that has a reticule on both the
first and second focal plane. This approach cures several problems inherent
in all other scope design. It allows for positive one shot zero. Allows
you to click off and return to original zero with no chance of getting
lost. The ranging system , while I feel is a little too busy for my likes
is fool proof and works as well as any I have used. It is a series of progressively
smaller circles. I wont go in to the use of the range finder but I have
talked to military snipers who evaluated them and loved the ranging system.
The scope is made by the best house in Japan and I have watched them being
made and I will say that their quality is equal to any other high quality
Japanese import such as the best B&L that are made on the same line. The
lens are equally high quality multi layer coating, equal to or superior
to any coming out of the orient. The Shepherd company is a small good old
boy company and Dan treats people like he wants to be treated. Having said
all the above I will say that I have no part of that business but have
watched it since it came into the market and am aware of growing pains
he had when working with some of the less reputable Japans firms before
going with LOW . In this time of imports chasing the cheap labor of China
and Korea you have to consider the Shepherd one of the best buys coming
out of the orient.
Gale McMillan

From: Gale McMillan <>
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: Leupold scope
Date: 31 Jul 1999 15:20:20 -0400

All newer scopes are more than adequate lens systems in them. Most
scopes have Pacific rim countries lens in them and other than the Q.C.
on each there is little difference. What you have to realize is that the
quality is the degree that the manufacturer is willing to pay for. My
feeling about Ziess is that they have mastered the elimination of stray
light which gives their scopes a better color than most of the other
makes and this gives the impression of being brighter and better. Keep
in mind that most of the lens are made of the same types of glass and
the same coatings so the only difference in the lens is how well they
are polished as determined by the dig and gouges specification and the
exactness of the curvature of the surfaces. The prescription of the
systems are now calculated by computers using the same programs. Doesn't
it seem logical that a company that retails its product for 1500 dollars
would spend more on Q.C. than a company who sell their product for  $500

From: Gale McMillan <>
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: Weaver T-24 disappointment
Date: 4 Aug 1999 10:36:24 -0400

Ken Marsh wrote:
 > ...

Ken your new weaver is 5 times the scope that the El Paso Weaver. I have
spent a lot of time on the assembly line where they are made and I
assure you that they are exposed to a much more stringent QC. There is
no comparison of the lens. Light transmission is far greater than the
old Weaver Mag Fluoride coating. Keep in mind Weaver would have never
went bankrupt if they had been anything but the cheapest scope being
made at the time. As for anyone putting 1/8th minute adjustments when
they install an 1/8th moa dot. I ask who in the world does that? I feel
I am qualified to express an opinion since I have manufactured scopes
for B & L and produced my own which were not cheap scopes as the most
expensive retailed for $7860.00 for 10 years before selling out the
first of the year and retiring. It may interest you that we tested the
Weaver on our 50 BMG for Blunt and it held up beautifully which is
something the large number of scopes out there can't say. I have no
interest in Weaver but have had a long ongoing relationship with the
company that makes them and will say that they are the best optical
house in the far east and maybe including the US. The Weaver scopes are
made on the same assembly line as the B & L , Shepherd, night force and
a lot more highly thought of scopes.

From: Gale McMillan <>
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: Best midpriced rifle scope
Date: 3 Sep 1999 23:05:08 -0400

d duckett wrote:
# To J. Morphet,
# I just read this thread, and it's rather typical of this group. None of the
# respondents has ever seen, touched, or used a Sightron rifle scope. That
# doesn't prevent them from expressing their opinion about them. Gale McMillan
# hasn't heard of them or seen them at the Shot Show and Jeremy Zorns never
# heard of them. The obvious conclusion is they must be crap.  The thread then
# segues to the standard... "if it ain't Leupold, then it's not worth owning."
# Check the following website -  -  this is
# what they have to say:
# Lifetime Warranty- There is no better warranty out there. We have the
# opportunity to shoot many different brands of scopes.  We like Sightron

Anyone with a few bucks can be a scope importer and have their scopes
made by a half dozen private label optical shops in the orient. They run
from top flight houses in Japan like Light to lessor houses like Tokyo
optical and Hakko and Asian Optical. Then you go to the Korean and
China. with quality getting looser as you work down the list.With the
exception of Leupold, Burris and the European imports all the scopes you
can name are made in the orient and and come with the quality of the B &
L by light to the Tasco K Mart specials made in China. You get Asian
engineering and most of it is about equal. You get scopes that are
farmed out to which ever assembly house that has the production
capability at the moment and with the exception of Light who has a
modern metal factory they all use mechanical hardware made in Korea and
China. Therefore It is a little ridicules to say so & so scope is better
than X. It is much better but not fool proof to use price as a gage to
quality when judging Pacific Rim scopes.

From: Gale McMillan <>
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Best mid priced scope "
Date: 4 Sep 1999 23:27:50 -0400

 "Thomas M. Reynolds" wrote:
# >
# > Orient optics are all farmed out to whoever?  Nikon, Pentax, etc.?
# > Makers of the world's best cameras and $10,000 telephoto lenses can't
# > make a scope?  Asian engineering is about equal?  Not a chance.

 Well Thomas I hate to break your bubble but Nikon does not make scopes!
 They even contacted me about making them for them but my prices were too
 high for them. As for engineering  2 of the companies I named in Japan
 has one engineer between them and Light  which is the biggest and best
 has a total of 5 engineers. I personally know all 6 of them so can feel
 qualified to discuss their ability. If that is the way it is in Japan
 what makes you think it is any difference in the rest of the orient?
They  all use the same computer program to design their optical systems
so that eliminates any discussion on optical designs so I guess there is
not any thing else to go on. I believe that I am as qualified as any one
since I was in the scope manufacturing for 10 years and before that I
assembled scopes for B & L and Bushnell under contract  and have been in
all but one company in Japan many many times and The engineering, It is
a case of using the same methods in all oriental scopes. One example is
the erector cell rubber pivot point.
Gale McMillan

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