No Optical Illusion
Weaver® Optics Brings 80+ Years of Innovation and Expertise to the Shooting Experience
The adage goes, “You can’t hit what you can’t see,” and the folks at Weaver Optics and Mounting Systems have been doing everything they can to help shooters see what to hit since William R. Weaver launched the company in 1930. In the ensuing years, Weaver pioneered several innovations that have become standards of industry excellence. These days, as part of the ATK Sporting Group, Weaver may have a more robust product line, but their focus on providing consumers with high-quality products at an affordable price remains the same. We recently caught up with Tim Brandt, Weaver’s PR and Events Manager, who provided the answers to a few questions about Weaver’s past, present and future.
Gun World: Briefly describe what Weaver is all about.
Tim Brandt: Weaver offers a full line of optics and mounting systems engineered to be the most reliable available. The company is credited with bringing riflescopes to the mainstream by producing quality scopes and mounts that average American hunters could actually afford. We’ve also always focused on the scope and mount as a system—starting with the very first model 3-30, which came complete with a Weaver mount.
GW: What makes up your current product line?
TB: It currently includes mounts and rings, binoculars, spotting scopes, laser rangefinders, tool kits, dot sights and an array of riflescopes, including the innovative new Grand Slam® Series, the Super Slam Series, the Classic Series and the value-packed KASPA™ line.
GW: How did Weaver Optics get started?
TB: William R. Weaver started the company in Kentucky in 1930 following the completion of a contract with the state of Indiana to produce 800,000 license plates. He designed and produced the tooling himself and did all of the manufacturing on site, including grinding his own lenses and machining the parts. He achieved near instant success by putting affordable magnified optics into the hands of American hunters. In 1933, he moved the business to El Paso, Texas, and by 1940, the company had become the largest producer of riflescopes in the world. During WWII, Weaver supplied 36,000 scopes and sights to the U.S. military.
GW: What were the post-war years like?
TB: Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, Weaver introduced innovations such as 1-inch tube bodies, a constantly centered reticle and its now-famous Split Ring Tip-Off mounts. But starting in the late 1960s, the company faced financial difficulties and was sold. For a few decades, the company had a handful of owners. In 2001 it was acquired by ATK, and sold a few years later. In 2008, Weaver Optics re-joined ATK Sporting Group’s portfolio of brands.
GW: What makes Weaver unique in the gun industry?
TB: The Weaver mounting system has become the gold standard in the industry. Even today, competitors use the Weaver name to describe the rails and rings pioneered by our engineers.
GW: What are some of the strengths of working with the ATK Sporting Group?
TB: As a keystone brand in the ATK Sporting Group portfolio, Weaver benefits from a talented product-development staff and massive sales force. Weaver products are marketed separately, but the wealth of knowledge that comes from a multi-dimensional staff working on our related brands means we can stay on top of emerging technologies and processes. The relationships also allow Weaver to forge important partnerships.
GW: Have those relationships affected a specific product lines?
TB: Yes. For example, Weaver has partnered with Willie Robertson and Buck Commander™ to produce a performance-driven line of Buck Commander optics. These scopes, rangefinders and binoculars are built to the uncompromising standards and exact needs of serious deer hunters and are endorsed and marketed by some of the most popular personalities in the hunting industry. And, consumers can expect even bigger things from this partnership to come.
GW: So what’s new from a product standpoint?
TB: Recently, we revamped our popular Grand Slam® Steel Top Mount Rings with an impressive, sleek modern new look that utilizes Weaver’s legendary cross-lock design for the ultimate in optics-holding power. Because they are made of solid steel right here in the U.S.A., we are able to craft them to exacting tolerances. Our value-packed KASPA line has incorporated technologies from our elite lines—our Enhanced Mil Dot Ranging reticle, for example—into a feature-filled line of scopes for shooters who must adhere to a budget.
GW: Where do you see Weaver headed in the next five years?
TB: According to the recent survey by Fuld & Company, Weaver® has moved into fifth place among U.S. optics companies. Generations of marksmen have come to rely on Weaver’s rugged construction, quality components and unwavering commitment to the shooting sports. Today, thanks to a combination of proven dependability and advanced technology, a whole new generation is placing its faith in Weaver. From the redesigned, U.S.-built Grand Slam® rings, to the value-packed KASPA™ Series and cutting-edge new Grand Slam® riflescopes, Weaver is giving notice: This is an optics company on the rise.