Vortex optics is an American-owned brand launched in 1986 by Dan and Margie Hamilton. This optics brand is based in the USA and focuses on producing rifle scopes, binoculars, monoculars, red dots, rangefinders, among others. The brand, with its products, has built a huge user base among hunters, birdwatchers, tactical shooters, law enforcement agencies, and other outdoor activities.
When Dan and Margie started this company in 1986, they were focused on making binoculars for bird watchers as they noticed the available binoculars were either fitted with poor materials or were too heavy. This was why they started with the name Wild Birds. At the time, Wild Birds sold binoculars and bird feed.
Over time, this brand started to grow and expand into other markets that have today made it a global brand albeit still owned by the Hamilton Family.
The brand started as Wild Birds catering to bird watchers, and it was not until 2002 that it fully transitioned to the brand we now know as Vortex Optics. However, this didn’t just happen overnight.
At first, the brand was buying binoculars and selling to other businesses aside from bird watchers, as earlier intended. It then created its optics brand known as Eagle optics. They produced optics in several countries and sold them under the eagle optics brand name. This system is still used today in vortex optics with a refined model.
Vortex optics may have started out producing binoculars, but they soon moved into other optics, like rifle scopes, rangefinders, etc. Over time, they established themselves as one of the best. This was helped in no small way by the VIP warranty they offer for most of their products which is an unlimited warranty.
Optics are often delicate products, so providing such a warranty increased the trust people had for vortex optics. Although vortex optics is a relatively new company considering they started in 2002 with some of its products launching way later, it has grown quickly into one of the top brands in this sector. Thanks to its impressive products, great pricing, and awesome marketing spearheaded by its unlimited warranty.
Where is Vortex Optics Made?
This is a question that won’t go away as people like to know where their optics are made, and oftentimes, it has to do with the integrity of the optics. Some places are associated with more durable products due to stronger manufacturing laws. The same cannot be said of other places. Other times, users are just curious and want to know where their optics are made.
For vortex optics, the answer is not straightforward. Their earlier method of sourcing products from different countries still holds here. However, this time, Vortex Optics manufactures its products in other countries. Depending on the optics, the materials, and the expertise needed, Vortex utilizes several countries to make optics. Vortex has factories in the US and some other Asian countries it utilizes to produce its optics.
Vortex Optics has its headquarters in Barneveld, Iowa county, Wisconsin state, USA. The move happened in 2018, with the company undergoing expansions at the time and moving from Madison, Wisconsin.
Today, it owns over 100 acres in its new location. There is an all-inclusive office structure with open spaces that fosters team unity and creates a more relaxed space. This space also holds a preschool facility, daycare center, a large showroom, and two indoor shooting ranges.
This location is in charge of all sales and marketing activities, product design, and everything about supply chain logistics. You can say this is where the technical and administrative aspects are handled. That’s not all, its Barneveld office also manufactures some of its riflescopes. Other products like binoculars, rangefinders, and even other riflescopes are manufactured across Asia.
This means all the products are designed in its headquarters, made in different Asian countries and the USA. And strategies on sales, marketing, and distribution of the products are decided there in the USA.
The factory in the US produces the high-end AMG tactical rifle scopes and the AMG UH1 holographic red dot sight. The US factory also manufactures some optics accessories, nothing else.
Almost half of all vortex optics products are manufactured in China. They are made in several industries in China, and most of them are supervised by experienced Chinese Engineers. The huge amount of vortex scopes being produced in China has many people perceive that vortex optics is a Chinese company. However, this is nothing more than the trust Vortex has in these factories in China and their supervisors.
Typically, the team in the USA does the research on what is needed in the market. The US team designs the optic, and then outsources this to factories of their choosing. These factories manufacture to specification and then ship to the Vortex in the US. Other times, these products are sent to the US in parts where they are assembled and the finer details completed before selling.
Some popular Vortex Optics manufacturers in China include Vortex Crossfire I and its more illustrious upgrade Vortex Crossfire II. The vortex strike eagle series are also made in China. The impressive Vortex Diamondback scopes are also made in China.
Vortex seemingly reserved Japan for its high-end optics. Vortex optics made in Japan are known to be of higher quality and impressive design. Some of the top vortex series are made in Japan as they seem to have a strong manufacturing quality, amongst other things.
Japan used to manufacture the first generation of vortex viper before it was moved to another country. Now it produces top vortex products like the vortex golden eagle HD and every vortex optics with the name Razor, which include Razor HD, Razor HD gen III, and more.
The Philippines represents a more economical option than Japan when it comes to operating costs due to cheaper labor amongst other things. This is the third country where vortex optics are made aside from the USA.
The Vortex Viper series first started in Japan, before China, and then relocated to the Philippines. Today, everything vortex viper is made in the Philippines. This series includes but is not limited to vortex viper PST gen 2 series, vortex viper HST series, and vortex viper HS scopes.
Vortex believes in decentralized production, which started way before it started producing the different optics in-store today. This type of manufacturing involves making use of factories in different countries, in this case, the USA, Japan, China, and the Philippines, to manufacture its products.
These countries all have their advantages and vortex is utilizing this to make optics that has shot it to the top of the optics industry.