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:


 



Vintage Bausch  Lomb Rifle Scope 25x8 Balvar 8A Tapered Reticle
Vintage Bausch Lomb Rifle Scope 25x8 Balvar 8A Tapered Reticle
$56.01 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1h 36m

Vintage Bausch  Lomb Rifle Scope 25 x 8 x 40 Balvar 8Awith Tapered Reticles
Vintage Bausch Lomb Rifle Scope 25 x 8 x 40 Balvar 8Awith Tapered Reticles
$165.00
Time Remaining: 15h 3m
Buy It Now for only: $165.00

Bausch  Lomb 3 9x50mm rifle scope Item Number 30 3950M
Bausch Lomb 3 9x50mm rifle scope Item Number 30 3950M
$138.50 (16 Bids)
Time Remaining: 22h 11m

bausch  lomb Balvar scope with sako mount
bausch lomb Balvar scope with sako mount
$99.00
Time Remaining: 22h 44m
Buy It Now for only: $139.00

VINTAGE BAUSCH  LOMB BALVAR 8 RIFLE SCOPE with MOUNTS NO RESERVE
VINTAGE BAUSCH LOMB BALVAR 8 RIFLE SCOPE with MOUNTS NO RESERVE
$72.50 (10 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 3h 20m

Bausch  Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Balvar Japan
Bausch Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Balvar Japan
$449.99
Time Remaining: 1d 19h 55m
Buy It Now for only: $449.99

Bausch  Lomb 3 9x40mm Rifle Scope Matte
Bausch Lomb 3 9x40mm Rifle Scope Matte
$90.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 2d 57m

Bausch  Lomb BALvar 8 Riflescope
Bausch Lomb BALvar 8 Riflescope
$54.99
Time Remaining: 2d 1h 2m
Buy It Now for only: $79.99

vintage Bausch  Lomb Balvar 8 25 8 variable power scope 1 pc semi split rings
vintage Bausch Lomb Balvar 8 25 8 variable power scope 1 pc semi split rings
$20.26 (7 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 2h 2m

Bausch  Lomb 4x32mm Rifle Scope BALFOR B
Bausch Lomb 4x32mm Rifle Scope BALFOR B
$129.99
Time Remaining: 2d 2h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $129.99

Bausch  Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Japan 40 6244M NO RESERVE
Bausch Lomb 6 24x40mm AO Rifle Scope Japan 40 6244M NO RESERVE
$400.00
Time Remaining: 2d 16h 18m

Rifle Scopes Weaver Tasco Bausch  Lomb
Rifle Scopes Weaver Tasco Bausch Lomb
$16.26 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 21h 31m

Bausch  Lomb BALFor Vintage Hunting Rifle Scope with Ring mount
Bausch Lomb BALFor Vintage Hunting Rifle Scope with Ring mount
$26.00 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 3d 3h 31m

Bausch  Lomb 4 16x50mm Rifle Scope Elite 4000
Bausch Lomb 4 16x50mm Rifle Scope Elite 4000
$399.99
Time Remaining: 3d 16h 33m
Buy It Now for only: $399.99

Bushnell Banner Trophy 3 9x40mm Wide Angle Riflescope 71 6109 Bausch
Bushnell Banner Trophy 3 9x40mm Wide Angle Riflescope 71 6109 Bausch
$28.50 (5 Bids)
Time Remaining: 3d 20h 37m

vintage bausch
vintage bausch
$80.00
Time Remaining: 3d 22h 24m