February 22, 2006
A New Old Scope: Is Redfield making a comeback?
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
If you can remember when rock n’ roll was young, you can remember that Redfield was one of our top domestic riflescopes—maybe the best. Redfields had three knurled rings on their optical-lens bells, and you saw them and smiled. But in the 1970s Redfield hit the skids. It went though a series of ownerships, and its quality and reputation declined steadily, to the point where today the brand is forgotten and discredited.
But this is not the end for Redfield. Three years ago the Redfield name—there was little else left—was purchased by Meade Instruments, a U.S. maker of high-end optical products. Last year at the SHOW Show, a new line of Redfield scopes was announced, but failed to materialize.
This year, Meade had three or four toolroom scopes to look at, and they are highly interesting instruments. The full Redfield line will feature 6 models—three with 1-inch tubes and three with 30mm tubes. The 1-inchers come in 5X-25X (No, that is not a misprint—all six Redfields feature a 3-cam zooming system and a 5X magnification range.), 3X-15X, and 3X-15X with a 52mm objective. The 30mm scopes are made in 6X-30X, 4X-20X, and 4X-20X with a 56mm objective.
They are simply loaded with wonderful features, including true one-piece tubes from stem to stern, highly advanced glass, and side-focus parallax adjustment (“dial a dog,” as the phrase goes).
These are not cheap scopes. Prices range from $700 to $900. But, if Redfield can actually get them into production, free of bugs and defects, they should be a hit. Redfield was once a great name. Maybe it will be again.