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 Balvar 3 9X40 Riflescope Super Nice and Japan Made
Bausch Lomb Balvar 3 9X40 Riflescope Super Nice and Japan Made
$119.99
Time Remaining: 16h 47m
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: 1d 20h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $250.00

Bausch  Lomb BALVAR 8 25 8x40mm Rifle Scope
Bausch Lomb BALVAR 8 25 8x40mm Rifle Scope
$99.99
Time Remaining: 1d 21h 18m
Buy It Now for only: $149.99

Bausch  Lomb Elite 25 10x40mm Rifle Scope Matte
Bausch Lomb Elite 25 10x40mm Rifle Scope Matte
$289.99
Time Remaining: 1d 21h 37m
Buy It Now for only: $289.99

Bausch  Lomb scope Balfor A
Bausch Lomb scope Balfor A
$26.00 (5 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 22h

Vintage Bushnell Custom M 4x32 Bausch  Lomb Japanese optics serviced w mount
Vintage Bushnell Custom M 4x32 Bausch Lomb Japanese optics serviced w mount
$49.99
Time Remaining: 4d 11h 54m

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
$210.99
Time Remaining: 4d 12h 4m

Bausch  Lomb 4 12x40mm AO Rifle Scope Elite Japan Gloss
Bausch Lomb 4 12x40mm AO Rifle Scope Elite Japan Gloss
$299.99
Time Remaining: 5d 11h 39m
Buy It Now for only: $299.99

STITH 98 MAUSER Rifle Scope MASTER MOUNT 1 Inch FN Mauser Bausch
STITH 98 MAUSER Rifle Scope MASTER MOUNT 1 Inch FN Mauser Bausch
$9.95
Time Remaining: 5d 19h 54m

Bausch and Lomb Quick Detach Scope Mount Rings Springfield Enfield
Bausch and Lomb Quick Detach Scope Mount Rings Springfield Enfield
$35.00
Time Remaining: 5d 21h

Bausch  Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Balvar Japan
Bausch Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Balvar Japan
$449.99
Time Remaining: 10d 14h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $449.99

Bausch  Lomb Elite 25 10x40mm Rifle Scope 4000 very Nice
Bausch Lomb Elite 25 10x40mm Rifle Scope 4000 very Nice
$289.99
Time Remaining: 11d 13h 16m
Buy It Now for only: $289.99

Bausch  Lomb 4x32mm Rifle Scope BALFOR B
Bausch Lomb 4x32mm Rifle Scope BALFOR B
$149.99
Time Remaining: 11d 19h 38m
Buy It Now for only: $149.99

Bausch  Lomb 4 16x50mm Rifle Scope Elite 4000
Bausch Lomb 4 16x50mm Rifle Scope Elite 4000
$399.99
Time Remaining: 12d 10h 52m
Buy It Now for only: $399.99

Bausch  Lomb BALTUR A Fine Crosshair W Dot Made In NY Pre 64 Winchester Savage
Bausch Lomb BALTUR A Fine Crosshair W Dot Made In NY Pre 64 Winchester Savage
$95.00
Time Remaining: 12d 12h 30m
Buy It Now for only: $95.00

Bausch  Lomb Balvar 25 10x40mm Rifle Scope Vintage
Bausch Lomb Balvar 25 10x40mm Rifle Scope Vintage
$299.99
Time Remaining: 12d 21h 11m
Buy It Now for only: $299.99