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).

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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 Elite 4200 15 6X Rifle Scope
Bausch Lomb Elite 4200 15 6X Rifle Scope
$300.00
Time Remaining: 21h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $300.00

Vintage Bausch  Lomb BALFOR A Scope
Vintage Bausch Lomb BALFOR A Scope
$30.88 (8 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 6h 30m

Vintage Bausch  Lomb Balfor B 4x Rifle Scope Refurbished with Redfield Rings
Vintage Bausch Lomb Balfor B 4x Rifle Scope Refurbished with Redfield Rings
$111.00
Time Remaining: 2d 7h 58m
Buy It Now for only: $145.00

BAUSCH  LOMB ELITE 4000 25 10x40 SCOPE MATTE DUPLEX
BAUSCH LOMB ELITE 4000 25 10x40 SCOPE MATTE DUPLEX
$169.00
Time Remaining: 2d 23h 50m
Buy It Now for only: $229.00

Bausch  Lomb Balvar B8 B 8 25 8x36 Vintage Scope
Bausch Lomb Balvar B8 B 8 25 8x36 Vintage Scope
$149.95
Time Remaining: 3d 1h 46m
Buy It Now for only: $149.95

Bausch  Lomb Elite 3000 4x 12x 40mm rifle scope with adjustable objective
Bausch Lomb Elite 3000 4x 12x 40mm rifle scope with adjustable objective
$122.50 (12 Bids)
Time Remaining: 3d 5h 50m

Japan Bausch and Lomb BL Balfor B 4x Rifle Scope
Japan Bausch and Lomb BL Balfor B 4x Rifle Scope
$169.00
Time Remaining: 3d 8h 6m

Bausch  Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Balvar Japan
Bausch Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Balvar Japan
$449.99
Time Remaining: 4d 1h 9m
Buy It Now for only: $449.99

Bushnell Scopechief VI 3 9x40 Japan Prismatic Range Finder BDC Bausch Lomb Optic
Bushnell Scopechief VI 3 9x40 Japan Prismatic Range Finder BDC Bausch Lomb Optic
$240.00
Time Remaining: 4d 10h 42m
Buy It Now for only: $240.00

Bausch  Lomb 4x32mm Rifle Scope BALFOR B
Bausch Lomb 4x32mm Rifle Scope BALFOR B
$149.99
Time Remaining: 5d 6h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $149.99

Vintage NOS Bausch Lomb Springfield 1917 Enfield 3 Piece Scope 1 Mount
Vintage NOS Bausch Lomb Springfield 1917 Enfield 3 Piece Scope 1 Mount
$9.99
Time Remaining: 5d 7h 1m

Bausch  Lomb 3 9x40 Elite 3000 Rifle Scope
Bausch Lomb 3 9x40 Elite 3000 Rifle Scope
$38.00 (4 Bids)
Time Remaining: 5d 20h 5m

Bausch  Lomb 4 16x50mm Rifle Scope Elite 4000
Bausch Lomb 4 16x50mm Rifle Scope Elite 4000
$399.99
Time Remaining: 5d 21h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $399.99

Bausch  Lomb Balvar 25 10x40mm Rifle Scope Vintage
Bausch Lomb Balvar 25 10x40mm Rifle Scope Vintage
$299.99
Time Remaining: 6d 8h 8m
Buy It Now for only: $299.99

Bausch  Lomb 25 8x36mm Rifle Scope BALVAR 8 B CPC Reticle
Bausch Lomb 25 8x36mm Rifle Scope BALVAR 8 B CPC Reticle
$199.99
Time Remaining: 6d 20h 7m
Buy It Now for only: $199.99

VINTAGE BAUSCH AND LOMB 28 X 8 VARIBLE BALVAR 8 SCOPE WITH LEATHER CAPS
VINTAGE BAUSCH AND LOMB 28 X 8 VARIBLE BALVAR 8 SCOPE WITH LEATHER CAPS
$199.99
Time Remaining: 7d 2h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $199.99