Originally Posted by Sako7STW
............Sidecar, I agree, I hate buying anything from China but yet, if I am going to pay the higher price for American made then I expect better quality as well. If they aren't building as good of products then they dont deserve my business. Besides, what is the difference between buying something made in Germany, I.E. Swaro/Zeiss and buying Chinese? Neither is made in the USA but I bet if you had the chance you would buy a top of the line Zeiss over a Vortex (Razor HD excluded)thats made in the USA. Lets face it, USA producers are money and profit driven and not quality driven. I seriously doubt the good ol USA doesn't have the ability to produce as good or better optics than anyone in the world, fact is we should be able to build better products on any given level with our technology, but if the money isn't in it, they aren't interested.
I'm going to dissect your reply a bit because your perception of what is occurring in this country is the popular perception whether in fact, it's valid or not remains to be seen....
Thanks to global economies we now exist in a world where, where something is manufactured or more importantly, assembled, has little bearing on quality. In fact, quality products are very much alive and well in this country, both made entirely here and assembled from components sourced worldwide and therein lies the meat of the discussion. If the components sourced or manufactured are not of quality in nature the end product, no matter where it comes from will be second rate.
It has everything to do with money. The playing field isn't level and hasn't been for decades. You can't expect any American based manufacturer paying an equitable wage to their employees and fringe benefits and retirement, to be able to compete one-on-one with a manufacturer that don't ascribe to any of the aforementioned things....and you, as an American citizen expect to be paid an equitable wage plus fringes for your labors, in fact you have to be or you become a member of the growing population on the government dole, but that's another subject and not for this forum.
Optics are very generic in that there are a multitude of manufacturers (and distributors/importers) so pricing becomes even more competitive, especially if that company wants to remain in business. Carl Zeiss is a good example. Zeiss scopes are synonymous with quality and synonymous with price but the sport optics business is a very small part of their overall product line.
The price of a scope/range finder or any product directly reflects the manufacturing cost and the manufacturing cost takes into account everything, including labor (you).
The importer/distributor, importing offshore manufactured optics (or anything else for that matter) don't have the built in overheads, consequently they can sell for less and still make a tidy profit. It is after all, all about making money...... No manufacturing cost (the imported goods are substantially less costly because the base labor is cheap), Very conducive to imported goods tariff levels (thank your government for that) and no physical plant to deal with. An Internet site or retail dealers, some warehouse space and a couple flunky salesmen or a couple heavy chested blondes as eye candy.
As an aside....None of the Vortex scopes are made in this country. The Vipers are Philippine and I believe the Razor is as well. The low cost Vortex optics are (I believe) pure Chinese as are a hundred other brands, some well known.
Most American companies closely guard the origins of their components because it's not expedient to disclose such things. That's considered proprietary information. Personally, in my business, which has nothing to do with this forum or firearms, I'm very plain about my component origins, but thats my choice and I'm a distinct minority.
Finally, companies like Schmidt and Bender, Swaro and Leupold's products cost more because they compensate their employees accordingly. It's the old adage, if you want quality, you are gonna pay for it..... Both at the manufacturing end and at the retail end.
Just keep your personal wages and benefits and retirement in mind when purchasing a product based solely on it's cost and think about the low paid labor and the excessive profits the importer/distributor is making without having to be competitive in the market because the cost of the product in the first place was so low.
Also keep in mind that the majority of optics offered for retail sale aren't made by the company offering them but are made for them by someone else, exceptions to that are Swaro, Zeiss, Huskemaw and S&B, all mainstream manufacturers all expensive and all synonymous for quality and warranty.
Can't speak for US Optics, I'm not familiar with them...
Not trying to scold anyone, just presenting the way it is and I'm as guilty as the next person, though I do have times of remorse about what I purchase....
In the case of the Vortex I just bought, the devil made me do it.....lol