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 and Lomb Balvar 8B scope
Bausch and Lomb Balvar 8B scope
$65.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 13h 13m

Bausch  Lomb Balvar B8 B 8 25 8x36 Vintage Scope
Bausch Lomb Balvar B8 B 8 25 8x36 Vintage Scope
$179.95
Time Remaining: 19h 53m
Buy It Now for only: $179.95

Bausch  Lomb Balvar rifle scope model 8A made in USA lot3443
Bausch Lomb Balvar rifle scope model 8A made in USA lot3443
$95.00
Time Remaining: 1d 22h 47m
Buy It Now for only: $95.00

Bausch  Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Balvar Japan
Bausch Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Balvar Japan
$449.99
Time Remaining: 2d 12h 36m
Buy It Now for only: $449.99

VINTAGE BAUSCH AND LOMB BALVAR 4X FINE CROSS WITH DOT
VINTAGE BAUSCH AND LOMB BALVAR 4X FINE CROSS WITH DOT
$10.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 2d 16h 33m

VINTAGE BAUSCH AND LOMB BALVAR 5 25X5 VARIABLE TAPERED CROSS
VINTAGE BAUSCH AND LOMB BALVAR 5 25X5 VARIABLE TAPERED CROSS
$26.00 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 16h 33m

Vintage Bausch  Lomb Balvar 5 Scope 25 5 X 40 w 1 Tube Made in Rochester NY
Vintage Bausch Lomb Balvar 5 Scope 25 5 X 40 w 1 Tube Made in Rochester NY
$150.00
Time Remaining: 3d 54m

Bausch  Lomb Balvar 25 10x40mm AO Rifle Scope Vintage Used
Bausch Lomb Balvar 25 10x40mm AO Rifle Scope Vintage Used
$299.99
Time Remaining: 3d 11h 28m
Buy It Now for only: $299.99

Bausch  Lomb 4x32mm Rifle Scope BALFOR B
Bausch Lomb 4x32mm Rifle Scope BALFOR B
$149.99
Time Remaining: 3d 18h 1m
Buy It Now for only: $149.99

Bausch  Lomb Rifle Scope Case
Bausch Lomb Rifle Scope Case
$35.00
Time Remaining: 3d 23h 53m
Buy It Now for only: $50.00

Bausch  Lomb 4 16x50mm Rifle Scope Elite 4000
Bausch Lomb 4 16x50mm Rifle Scope Elite 4000
$399.99
Time Remaining: 4d 9h 15m
Buy It Now for only: $399.99

Bausch  Lomb Elite 3000 3 9x40 Vintage Rifle Scope JAPAN 30 3940G
Bausch Lomb Elite 3000 3 9x40 Vintage Rifle Scope JAPAN 30 3940G
$78.01 (4 Bids)
Time Remaining: 4d 18h 18m

Bausch  Lomb 3 9x50mm Rifle Scope Elite 3000 Japan
Bausch Lomb 3 9x50mm Rifle Scope Elite 3000 Japan
$22.50 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 4d 18h 42m

Bausch  Lomb Balvar 25 10x40mm Rifle Scope Vintage
Bausch Lomb Balvar 25 10x40mm Rifle Scope Vintage
$299.99
Time Remaining: 4d 19h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $299.99

VINTAGE BAUSCH  LOMB BALTURA SCOPE W CROSS POST RETICLE EXCEL CONDITION
VINTAGE BAUSCH LOMB BALTURA SCOPE W CROSS POST RETICLE EXCEL CONDITION
$59.00
Time Remaining: 5d 9h 35m

Vintage rare Bausch  Lomb Bushnell Scope Chief Triple Tested 10x42 A O Lee Dot
Vintage rare Bausch Lomb Bushnell Scope Chief Triple Tested 10x42 A O Lee Dot
$299.99
Time Remaining: 5d 18h 5m