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Gun control: Nikon withdrawing from the rifle scope business

Gun control: Nikon withdrawing from the rifle scope business
(Image credit: Nikon)

Nikon is withdrawing from the rifle scope business, according to a number of reports from retailers and vendors involved in the American firearms trade. 

While the manufacturer will continue to produce other sport optics such as binoculars, rangefinders and spotting scopes, production of Nikon's line of rifle scopes will be (or has been) discontinued – meaning that once current stocks are gone, they will not be replenished. 

That's according to reports that have, apparently, been confirmed by Nikon's advertising agency in the United States. 

The news first came courtesy of a story on Nikon Rumors. "This rumor is coming from vendors: Nikon is supposedly slashing production of some of their sport optics product lines. Apparently they’re being told that all scopes and red dots are discontinued."

This was seemingly corroborated by gun website The Truth About Guns. "One of our intrepid readers who’s in the retail end of the gun business told us of notification he received from one of his distributors. They were letting him know that Nikon will be exiting the rifle scope business and that once current inventory is gone, it’s gone."

Nikon's has apparently discontinued all its rifle scopes, such as the Black Force100 1-6x24

Nikon's has apparently discontinued all its rifle scopes, such as the Black Force100 1-6x24 (Image credit: Nikon)

The site reached out to Nikon for confirmation on the rumor, which it received – along with an explanation for the decision. "TTAG spoke to Nikon’s advertising agency who confirmed the news. We’re told that this is a business decision Nikon has made based on their position in the highly competitive optics market."

As with other manufacturers of high performance camera lenses, Nikon's aptitude for producing premium optics means that its expertise has traditionally expanded beyond photography and into other industries – particularly during World War II, where it became involved in manufacturing everything from bomb sights to periscopes for the Japanese military. 

These additional applications for lens technologies form a significant ancillary (or, in the case of Olympus and the medical industry, even primary) revenue streams for those in the optics business. 

With pundits proclaiming that "Nikon is dying" given the company's latest strained financial results, it's may be surprising that it is withdrawing from a presumably profitable venture… However, Nikon's involvement in the riflescope market has been a bone of contention amongst many wildlife photographers.

What do you think about this move – is it a good decision by Nikon? Should it keep its business diverse? Will you miss its range of rifle scopes? Have your say over on the DCW Forums

Read more: 

The best Black Friday camera deals in 2019: the best buys we have seen so far
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The 10 best spotting scopes in 2019: spotting scopes for birds, planes and stars

  • Phalanx429
    admin said:
    Nikon will be discontinuing rifle scopes from its line of sport optics, according to reports from retailers

    Gun control: Nikon withdrawing from the rifle scope business : Read more
    WOW...sorry to hear that!! Well, I guess that is their right to do what they think is right for them...just as it is MY right to do what I think is right for me. AND I think that I can not support NIKON in that decision. So, effective immediately, I will NO LONGER purchase, promote nor support any product produced by NIKON. I will no longer be adding any new photography equipment to my NIKON collection. As new photography equipment calls my name and current my NIKON equipment needs to be replaced, I will make sure that I ONLY support those companies that support ALL MY HOBBIES. So...essentially I am "filing for a divorce from NIKON" and that soon I will be referring to NIKON as my "former photography" brand. I am "discontinuing all my support from the NKKON brand."
  • 907shooter
    Yes...let us know how the camera systems work out from rifle scope manufacturers.....Vortex, Bushnell, Leupold, Burris, Weaver, Nightforce, Swarovski, UTG, Hawke, Mueller, Millette, AimPoint, BSA, Barska, Meopta, Simmons, Trijicon, U.S. Optics, DZ Arms, Steiner, Pride Fowler Industries, Huskemaw, Quigley-Ford, Sig Sauer, or Redfield. Not exactly famous names in the camera world.

    Or you let us know how rifle scopes made by Canon, Pentax, Sony, Fuji, Panasonic Olympus, or Ricoh work out for you.

    If you want a company that supports ALL YOUR HOBBIES, I think you are left with Leica or Ziess.

    You really didn’t think this through.
  • Phalanx429
    Hummmm..I think you missed my point. NIKON is a HUGH company...has their fingers in lots of products that span countless "places" for lack of a better descriptor. Let's say, for instance, (and I don't know if the do or don't) that NKON makes microscopes that are used by the medical industry for research on the cure of cancer. One day, NIKON decides that they are going to stop making those microscopes...without disclosing the REASON, other than saying it is a "business decision." Would it not be possible then that those "folks" who bought, support and promoted NIKON microscopes might say, "Hey if you no longer support me, why should I support you...especially when there are other folks who DO still make microscopes." In this day and age, consumers or customers, need to vote with their feet, or wallet as in this case, and stop buying, using and supporting companies/products that do NOT support you. EVENTUALLY when your lack of dollars start effecting their bottom line...well, then, with any amount of luck, those companies will rethink their decision. Not trying to change the entire world at one time...but as one famous person once said, "One small step for man, ......." Each of us is entitled to your our own opinion...and as another famous person once said, ".......but this ONE is mine!"