In 1909 John Hill Redfield founded Redfield Gun Sight Company to produce rifle sights. For several decades Redfield diopter sights were popular on the market until optical sights. At the end of 1940’s Redfield along with Leupold was one of the leading American manufacturers of hunting optics.
However in the last quarter of the XX century Redfield began to experience increasing difficulties. It was a result of poor management and business strategy planning mistakes as well as market conditions which management could not change even if they wanted to. All these reasons leaded Redfield to announce the closure in 1997.
During the next few years, the company, or rather the brand was sold, bought several times. Among the companies who temporarily owned the brand were Blount, ATK, Meade Optical and ATK again. Some of these temporary owners intended to establish production of the Redfield scopes in China, but for various reasons (primarily financial) these plans were never implemented as wanted.
Reborn of Redfield brand
In April of 2008 Leupold & Stevens is buying this “once prestigious” Redfield brand along with the company-owned intellectual property. There were a very pessimistic forecasts right after the official announcement, however, time and results shamed the skeptics. Leupold & Stevens has not only returned Redfield scopes to its rightful place, but also revived the status of the manufacturer of rifle scopes made in the USA.
In September of 2009 the first model of the Redfield Revolution rifle scopes became available in the U. S. This scope was completely made in Beaverton, state Oregon. The body of the Redfield Revolution scopes was manufactured on the same CNC machines using the same aviation aluminum alloy 6061-T6, as the body of the Leupold Scopes.
Thus when hunters in the XXI century were using Redfield Scopes on their rifles they were just as confident using them as their fathers favored the sights of this company in the 1960s. However, new Redfield Scopes had a significant advantage over scopes made in the last century: they were designed with the latest achievements in the field of opto-mechanical technology, which was more than a fantasy in XX century.
The price for the Revolution rifle scopes was really competitive. Retail price was $80-100 lower than price of similar Leupold VX-I models. Such strategy allowed Redfield Scopes directly compete in terms of price with the scopes imported from China excelling them in quality and reliability.
Redfield Scopes’ benefits
Even though the cost is important but it is not the main factor when choosing the Redfield scope. There is a fairly long list of benefits:
- Redfield scopes are the high quality and have the multiple layers of protective coating on all surfaces wherein the glass is contacted with the air.
- Optical system gives a brighter image, correct color and contrast throughout the visible spectrum.
- The “tunnel effect” doesn’t occur when you change the zoom. Objectives of Redfield scopes are clearly distinguishable at any lightning.
- Any light shadows and reflections are excluded if the exit pupil is in correct position.
- The best modern rifle scopes provide light transmission significantly higher than 90% at the day and night. However the high light transmission is useless if there is not a great contrast. It helps to distinguish the game on the background of dense brush in low light conditions. Redfield Scopes fully comply with this requirement.
- Exterior surface of the objective lens and the eyepiece are covered with a hard protective coating resistant against scratches and abrasion.
- Redfield scopes have significant advantage in stability because its body made from a solid piece of metal. The body is made from aluminum and its walls are thick enough to prevent bending. It reliably protect the optical and mechanical parts of the scopes from hits and other forms of mechanical influence.
- High quality scopes of Redfield brand have a matte exterior surface subjected to anodizing. It is very resistant to scratches.
- Damping system prevents displacement of the reticle during the shot. Reticle adjustment should work with the highest accuracy. The reticles’ adjustment option with the ability to preserve zero position is the definite advantage when you change the gear type of your rifle.
- Redfield magnification adjustments are easy to use and adjust even when the temperature is very low. A whole range of scopes’ adjustments are overlapped by half turn of adjustment ring.
Usually all the same class rifle scopes have about the same image quality, build quality and reliability. The price difference is also explained by the fact that rifle scopes from the leading manufacturers have complex electronic inside and they are not as much optical scopes as electro-optical devices. I addition to that you are paying for the “name” of course.
Redfield Revolution scopes
Line of Redfield Revolution rifle scopes models includes: 2-7×33, 3-9×40, 3-9×50 and 4-12×40. As already mentioned above, Redfield scopes provide the best-in-class image quality. With the innovative Illuminator lens system image is crisp, bright and sharp. Lenses used in the Redfield Scopes have a dielectric coating and vacuum enlightenment. New technology provides exceptional light transmission even while in low light conditions.
Redfield scopes are waterproof and filled with dry nitrogen gas which eliminates the possibility of condensation on the inner surfaces of the lens. By the way Leupold was the first company that has began to fill rifle scopes’ body with dry nitrogen gas in 1947. They were the first who used a mixture of inert gases of argon and krypton for these proposes as well.
In addition to all that Redfield scopes have lifetime warranty. Guess what hunters like the most about this warranty? They do not have to use it! Another nice detail about this warranty: usually warranty would only apply to the original owner, but it does not matter for Redfield whether you original owner or not. If there is anything wrong with the product – the manufacturer will either repair it or replace it. The maximum term of product repair is 5 days but it does not exceed one or two days (not counting the time for shipment, of course).
Let’s take a look at the Redfield Revolution 4-12×40. Field of view at the distance of 100 yards will be from 9.5 to 20 feet. Eye relief is 3.7 – 4.9 inches which is more than enough to use the most powerful ammunition.
Their Accu-Range reticle deserves a detailed description, because Redfiled was one of the first companies who applied bullet drop compensation (BDC) technology in their scopes. The efficiency of Accu-Range reticle was already appreciated by many hunters. This reticle has ballistic points for quick aiming that works with many popular calibers.
I am not planning to duplicate the manual of Redfield Accu-Range reticle here. I will only note that the bullet drop compensation is pre-calculated for two types of ammo.
For the first group (includes such cartridges as.223 Rem with bullet weight of 40 gram,.243 Win with bullet weight of 100 gram, 7 mm Remington Mag with bullet weight of 150 gram,.338 Win Mag with bullet weight of 200 gram and other) the sight in distance is 200 yards. Bullet drop compensation calculation is based on the data that at the distance of 500 yards bullet drop can be 35-45 inches.
For the second group (such cartridges as.270 WSM with the bullet weight of 130 gram, 7 mm Rem Mag with the bullet weight of 140 gram,.300 Win Mag with bullet weight of 150 gram and other) sight in distance is 300 yards. Bullet drop compensation is calculated based on the assumption that bullet drop at the distance of 500 yards is less than 35 in.
Ballistic hold over points on the Redfield Scopes’ Accu – Range reticle allow to make a quick shot at the distance of 300/400/500 yards for the first group of cartridges and at the distance of 400/500/600 yards for the second group of cartridges. However, Redfield still recommends sight in rifle with the selected cartridge before you go hunting.
Achieved success was expected because many of the older generation’s hunters associated Redfield brand with the quality and inexpensive optics. By the way, nowadays Redfield scopes released in 1960 sell at the Internet auction sites for $ 600 and up. At the same time this success was unexpected because a lot of buyers were young people who did not know about the past glory of the company.
Many hunters reacted to the novelty with the caution. There were lots of questions on the popular forums: “Did anybody use new Redfield scopes? What do you think about it? Looks like it’s made in U. S., right? The price is very reasonable”. There were not many responses at the beginning. However as the popularity of these scopes grew reviews became more often. They were tested on practice: “It worse the money asked”, “I’ve bought it and used at the hunting – the picture and exterior are the same as Leupold VX-I has, but the price is lower”, “Seems like very reliable optics.” “It is more durable than others”, “I’ve used it at the hunting today and very satisfied”, “It is excellent for the big game, looks like it’s self centered.”
There were many reviews and all of them were positive.
Redfield Revenge and Battlezone scopes
Logically, the achieved success on many markets has pushed company to expand the range of Redfield scopes for hunters. Today Redfield Revenge scopes that gives bright and crystal clear image consist of five models: 2-7×34, 3-9×42, 3-9×52, 4-12×42 and 6-18×44. All scopes (except of 2-7×34) have built-in Accu-Ranger Ballistic System (Hunter, Sabot, Varmint and Crossbow modifications) that allows you to determine distance to the target at the range up to 600 yards. It is very easy in use.
Just like Revolution – the previous model, Revenge scopes have waterproof body that is filled with nitrogen. Multicoated lenses provide maximum light transmission and of course, these scopes are also covered by a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.
Tactical shooters can find all futures they need in the Redfield Battlezone scopes. They designed for AR, Modern Sporting or precise bolt action rifles and come in two variations: TAC.22 2-7×34 and 3-9×42.
If you are deciding which rifle scope brand to give your preference to and your budget is limited, then Redfield scopes would be your best choice: you get the highest quality at an affordable price.