Bausch & Lomb, the premier optics firm in the U.S.A, was renowned for the quality of its riflescopes, binoculars and spotting scopes. In 1971 Bausch & Lomb bought Bushnell, a company formed in 1947 to sell optics imported from Japan. After the merger, Bausch & Lomb shut down their own sports optics division and its B&L Elite 3200 and 4200 riflescopes were sold under the Bushnell name. The move gave B&L more consumer products to supplement its opthalmic and scientific intrument activities, and Bushnell benefitted from the know-how and resources of the older corpoation. In 1995 B&L sold Bushnell to Worldwide Sports & Recreation, then in 2001 a Detroit Investment firm called Wind Point Partners bought Bushnell/ Bausch & Lomb. Today, the company has morphed into Bushnell Outdoor Products.
More recently Bushnell added the top-of-the-line Elite 6500 series to their range, making the 4200s mid-range. The differences lie in magnification range and lens coatings. Just like offering refined and bare bones models of the same optic, but all represent good value to the customer, whatever his desires. There’s a significant price difference in the less expensive models, but they’re just as reliable. The lower priced 3200s aren’t quite as bright, but ranked close behind the 4200s, while the 6500 was top-of-the-range. Now, Bushnell has scrapped this three-tiered arrangement in favour of the 6500, and a range of scopes called simply “Elite.” which includes Tactical models.
This story was first published in the Sporting Shooter October 2011 issue of Sporting Shooter > October 2011.
The video follows the making of a beautifully crafted, lovingly customised, and extremely accurate benchrest rifle in 6.5x47 Lapua ... and it's one well worth seeing.