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 4x32mm Rifle Scope BALFOR Duplex
Bausch Lomb 4x32mm Rifle Scope BALFOR Duplex
$149.99
Time Remaining: 3h 6m
Buy It Now for only: $149.99

Bausch  Lomb 4x32mm Rifle Scope BALFOR B Crosshair Reticle
Bausch Lomb 4x32mm Rifle Scope BALFOR B Crosshair Reticle
$139.99
Time Remaining: 11h 37m
Buy It Now for only: $139.99

Bausch  Lomb Hunting Scope Mount Installation Instructions PB ILLUS 1965
Bausch Lomb Hunting Scope Mount Installation Instructions PB ILLUS 1965
$9.99
Time Remaining: 12h 29m

Bausch  Lomb 4x32mm Rifle Scope BALFOR B DOT
Bausch Lomb 4x32mm Rifle Scope BALFOR B DOT
$169.99
Time Remaining: 1d 3h 15m
Buy It Now for only: $169.99

Bausch  Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Japan Vintage
Bausch Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Japan Vintage
$449.99
Time Remaining: 1d 7h 50m
Buy It Now for only: $449.99

Bausch  Lomb 3 9x50mm Scope Elite 3000
Bausch Lomb 3 9x50mm Scope Elite 3000
$149.99
Time Remaining: 1d 8h 25m

Vintage Bushnell Custom M 4x32 Bausch  Lomb Japanese optics w mounts
Vintage Bushnell Custom M 4x32 Bausch Lomb Japanese optics w mounts
$19.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 1d 13h 51m

BAUSCH  LOMB BL Elite 3000 3 9x40 3x9 40mm Japan Rifle Scope
BAUSCH LOMB BL Elite 3000 3 9x40 3x9 40mm Japan Rifle Scope
$125.00
Time Remaining: 1d 14h 20m

Bausch  Lomb Optic Company Balfor 4X Scope
Bausch Lomb Optic Company Balfor 4X Scope
$9.99
Time Remaining: 2d 2h 49m

Bausch  Lomb Scope Balfor A 4X Excellent Condition
Bausch Lomb Scope Balfor A 4X Excellent Condition
$85.00
Time Remaining: 2d 14h 23m

Vintage Bausch  Lomb Balfor 4X Scope Nice Optics Broken Reticle
Vintage Bausch Lomb Balfor 4X Scope Nice Optics Broken Reticle
$10.00
Time Remaining: 3d 6h 33m

Bausch  Lomb Balvar 8A Rifle Scope 25 8x Vintage Scope w box
Bausch Lomb Balvar 8A Rifle Scope 25 8x Vintage Scope w box
$43.00 (5 Bids)
Time Remaining: 3d 11h 13m

Bushnell Scopechief VI 3 9x40 BDC PRISMATIC RARE Scope Bausch  LOMB Japan Made
Bushnell Scopechief VI 3 9x40 BDC PRISMATIC RARE Scope Bausch LOMB Japan Made
$279.95
Time Remaining: 3d 20h 25m
Buy It Now for only: $279.95

Vintage Bausch  Lomb Rifle Scope Model YT5328 BAL SIX 6X
Vintage Bausch Lomb Rifle Scope Model YT5328 BAL SIX 6X
$39.95
Time Remaining: 4d 8h 22m

Vintage scope mount Win Model 70 Bausch  Lomb
Vintage scope mount Win Model 70 Bausch Lomb
$29.00
Time Remaining: 4d 11h 2m

Vintage Bausch  Lomb scope mount
Vintage Bausch Lomb scope mount
$19.00
Time Remaining: 4d 11h 6m