Recently, I had the opportunity to tour the Leupold & Stevens factory in Beaverton, Oregon. Can you say "Impressive" with a capital "I"?
Leupold—and now Redfield—riflescopes are built from start to finish in Oregon, making them the only all-American-made riflescopes. (Of course, they get their glass from overseas, just like every American-owned optics company.) Walking through the state-of-the-art facility, I could literally smell the American spirit; to me, that's a pleasant smell.
The Leupold factory has millions of dollars worth of fancy equipment, a workforce of more than 700 loyal employees, has been in Beaverton since 1968 ... but I'll cut to the chase with the cool stuff.
Optical Awesomeness (According To Leupold)
*They go through 4 million pounds of aluminum per year.
*They supply more tactical and long-range optics for the military than any other optics company.
*Approximately 1,600-1,800 riflescopes are assembled each day.
*The average riflescope takes between 45 minutes-1 hour to complete due to their sophisticated technology and skilled workforce.
*They're the first optics company to ever use nitrogen-filled riflescopes to eliminate fogging.
*They have a chamber where riflescopes are mounted and slammed repeatedly, hundreds of times, as part of quality control. "Comparative scopes [from other manufacturers] for any class of Leupold scopes fail in impact testing compared to Leupolds," said Pat Mundy, Leupold's communications manager. (Note: I saw the chamber. It's insane.)
*Each and every riflescope is completely submerged in water and brought to a certain pressure. If a scope shows even a hint of a leak, it'll never meet a rifle.
*Reticles were formerly made of black widow spider webs. There was a spider "farm" at the factory and a "farmer" (employee) who was responsible for harvesting webs. Now they use fine wire or etched glass.
Want a look inside the Leupold factory? I've got you covered. Watch the slideshow below: