Bausch and Lomb Scopes

When people hear the name Bausch and Lomb, they typically think contacts and sunglasses, instead of rifle scopes. However, in the mid 1960's, Bausch and Lomb did venture into the sporting optics market and produce a number of rifle scopes.

Bausch and Lomb was founded in Rochester, NY in 1853 by John Bausch and Henry Lomb. Bausch was an optician, while Lomb was the financial backer of the company. When the company first started, they manufactured a high end (for that time period) line of monocles and eye glass frames.  By the end of the 20th century, Bausch and Lomb was producing eyeglasses, microscopes and binoculars, as well as projectors, and camera lenses.

bausch-and-lomb-scope

During WW1 and WW2, the demand for optical based military equipment reached an all time high for B&L as military products accounted for almost 70% of all the products they sold. Once the wars were over, Bausch and Lomb saw the optics market change so they changes as well.

In 1962, Bausch and Lomb marketed their first series of rifle scopes, called the Balfour. BAL was an abbreviation for Bausch and Lomb and "four" was the power of the scope. This scope was a success, which led to the introduction of other B&L models, including a very popular variable model called the Balvar (var meaning variable). Many people commonly think that the scope series was a "Balvar" and didn't realize that it was a combination of the abbreviation and the scope settings. Most of the Balvar models were a variable 2.5 to 8 power scope.

In 1968, Bausch and Lomb released their 2nd generation of scopes known as the "B" series. This series was a continuation of the early BAL models with a "B" appended to the name such as a Balvar 8B. The "B" series did well, leading B&L to release a 3rd generation of scopes known as the Elite 3000 and Elite 4000 series.

In 1973, Bausch & Lomb decided to move away from the sports optics field and more towards the medical optical field, so they sold licensing rights of their scope line to Bushnell, who changed the scope model names, but continued to market under the B&L name. Bausch and Lomb scopes of this time period were still manufactured in the Rochester plant, and were still called the Elite series.

In 2004, the licensing agreement ended and Bausch and Lomb elected not to renew the arraignment so Bushnell could no longer use the B&L name. Bushnell moved production of the rifle scope line to a plant in Japan and renamed the line the Bushnell Elite series (which is still produced today).

bausch-and-lomb-target-scope

There are still a large number of very nice B&L scopes from the 1960's and 1970's still floating around today. The B&L elite target models of the late 90's are still highly prized by benchrest and target shooters for their clarity and performance. The older BAL models were very well made scopes for that time period and would have been the equivalent of a high end Leupold today, costing over $100 in the late 1960's.

Here are some really nice Bausch and Lomb rifle scopes that are still for sale:


 


Bausch  Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Japan Vintage
Bausch Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Japan Vintage
$449.99
Time Remaining: 2h 42m
Buy It Now for only: $449.99

BAUSCH  Lomb Balfor 4 X Rifle Scope Fine Cross Hair USED
BAUSCH Lomb Balfor 4 X Rifle Scope Fine Cross Hair USED
$75.00
Time Remaining: 1d 8h 27m
Buy It Now for only: $75.00

Bausch  Lomb 6 24x40mm Hunting Rifle Scope Made in Japan
Bausch Lomb 6 24x40mm Hunting Rifle Scope Made in Japan
$195.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 1d 12h 50m

Bausch  Lomb Balvar 8A Rifle Scope with Mount
Bausch Lomb Balvar 8A Rifle Scope with Mount
$35.88 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 14h 40m

Bausch  Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Balvar Gloss Japan
Bausch Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Balvar Gloss Japan
$399.99
Time Remaining: 2d 1h 32m
Buy It Now for only: $399.99

Bausch  Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Japan Nice
Bausch Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Japan Nice
$449.99
Time Remaining: 2d 2h 8m
Buy It Now for only: $449.99

Bausch  Lomb Elite 25 10x40mm Rifle Scope 4000
Bausch Lomb Elite 25 10x40mm Rifle Scope 4000
$299.99
Time Remaining: 3d 27m
Buy It Now for only: $299.99

Bausch  Lomb BALvar 8 rifle scope with Kuharsky Bros mount
Bausch Lomb BALvar 8 rifle scope with Kuharsky Bros mount
$56.00 (6 Bids)
Time Remaining: 3d 6h 44m

BAUSCH  LOMB BALVAR 5 VARIABLE SCOPE
BAUSCH LOMB BALVAR 5 VARIABLE SCOPE
$32.00 (6 Bids)
Time Remaining: 3d 8h 43m

Bausch  Lomb 25 8x36mm Balvar8 model JAPAN BL
Bausch Lomb 25 8x36mm Balvar8 model JAPAN BL
$20.00
Time Remaining: 3d 11h 42m

Beautiful Bausch  Lomb 3X9 Elite 3000 Duplex Reticle Scope W Rings  Caps
Beautiful Bausch Lomb 3X9 Elite 3000 Duplex Reticle Scope W Rings Caps
$139.95
Time Remaining: 3d 22h 53m
Buy It Now for only: $139.95

Bausch  Lomb Baltur A 25X Scope
Bausch Lomb Baltur A 25X Scope
$69.95
Time Remaining: 4d 8h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $69.95

vintage Bausch  Lomb Balvar 8A variable scope rings Remington 700 LA mount base
vintage Bausch Lomb Balvar 8A variable scope rings Remington 700 LA mount base
$36.00 (6 Bids)
Time Remaining: 4d 10h 49m

New Rifle Scope classic Bausch  Lomb Balvar 8A 25x 8x power  Excellent
New Rifle Scope classic Bausch Lomb Balvar 8A 25x 8x power Excellent
$250.00
Time Remaining: 4d 11h 51m
Buy It Now for only: $250.00

Bausch  Lomb Balvar 3 9X40 Riflescope Super Nice and Japan Made
Bausch Lomb Balvar 3 9X40 Riflescope Super Nice and Japan Made
$119.99
Time Remaining: 5d 4h 37m
Buy It Now for only: $119.99

Vintage 1960s Balvar 8 Bausch Lomb Rifle Scope  Mount Classic 25 8 Power
Vintage 1960s Balvar 8 Bausch Lomb Rifle Scope Mount Classic 25 8 Power
$250.00
Time Remaining: 6d 8h 33m
Buy It Now for only: $250.00