Blaser Jagdwaffen GmbH is a renowned German manufacturer of premium firearms, sport optics, and accessories related to hunting sport. The main products they offer are hunting and tactical rifles, shotguns, rifle scopes, binoculars, silencers, ammunition, and outdoor garments for hunting. As of 2021, the Blaser Group encompasses several firearms and sport optics brands and is currently owned by the Lüke & Ortmeier Group (L&O).
In between 1939 and 1945, a large number of German hunting riflescope and rifle manufacturers were forced by the German military to manufacturing military firearms. In the aftermath of WW2, several of these factories were closed shut when their owners fled to West Germany. Horst Blaser, a young gunsmith in Isny Im Allgau, utilized this opportunity when he applied his limited knowledge to develop a drilling rifle. Since Blaser did not have proper training in firearms manufacturing, his production methods somewhat differed from other manufacturers.
The development of the first Blaser drilling rifle led to the foundation of Blaser GmbH in 1957 and the beginning of firearms production in the Isny region. In the coming years, the company expanded its product line up by incorporating newer models, which instantly gained popularity in Europe. Following immense success in the firearms business, the Blaser Group has acquired several other manufacturers, most prominently Mauser, Rigby, Minox, Liemke, and J. P. Sauer & Sohn. Acquisition of Minox became the basis for Blaser Sport Optics. In addition to sport optics, Blaser also produces hunting gear, outfits, and other accessories of premium quality.
Minox and Sports Optics
In 2013, the Blaser Group officially entered the sports optics industry with the acquisition of Wetzlar-based Minox GmbH, manufacturer of a premium line of sport optics. The move for the acquisition was aimed at becoming self-sufficient in the production of hunting optics. Minox started its business operations in 1945 with the production of compact, hand-held cameras. The concept of miniature cameras was deemed highly innovative at the time and Minox became greatly successful in a relatively short period. In the next six years, the camera business transformed from a small workshop into a highly profitable 180-worker factory.
Under the umbrella of Leica, Minox began showing interest in the sports optics industry after seeing a worldwide demand for high-quality hunting optics in the early 2000s. Soon after, the company unveiled a range of optical devices targeted at hunters and outdoorsmen, especially binoculars, rifle scopes, spotting scopes, and night-vision equipment. Minox products are available in entry-level, mid-range, and premium categories, therefore all customers, whether beginners or experts, can experience reliable and high-quality products.
The Blaser Group acquired Minox through the merger of Optronika, Minox, and Blaser Jagdwaffen GmbH. The merger resulted in the formation of German Sports Optics (GSO), which has been considered one of the finest producers of long-range hunting rifle scopes by veterans. GSO was recently renamed to Blaser Group Wetzlar, representing all companies owned by the Blaser Group in the city of Wetzlar, Germany.
Inspired by Minox products, Blaser unveiled high-grade binoculars under the “Blaser” brand in 2017. Seeing a surge in demand, additional sport optics products were introduced in the following years, particularly hunting rifle scopes and red dot sights. All Blaser binoculars, rifle scopes, and sights have been produced at the Minox production facility in Wetzlar since the beginning.
Blaser riflescopes are produced at Minox production facilities in Wetzlar and Isny Im Allgau.
Ever since the establishment of the Blaser Sport Optics division, all sport optics products have been manufactured and assembled in the Minox production facility in Wetzlar, alongside Minox products. The main production facility of Minox has remained in Wetzlar since the company was founded in 1945. Since there was little competition in the camera industry, Minox cameras rose to prominence in Europe in a short period.
Minox enjoyed over thirty years in the spotlight but ran into financial and administrative troubles in the early 1980s. The factory manpower was reduced by 750 workers and the company was partially and later fully acquired by Leica Camera AG in 1996. It was under Leica’s administration that Minox ventured into the sports optics industry, starting with binoculars and rifle scopes. In 2005, Minox again became an independent company.
Being one of the oldest players in the optics industry, Minox has vast experience in manufacturing sophisticated products with the high mechanical and optical performance. The company applied this knowledge to sport optics and its rifle scopes and binoculars became popular within no time. When the company was acquired by the Blaser group, Minox outsourced the manufacturing of affordable binoculars to China, however, all current Minox rifle scopes are proudly manufactured and assembled in Germany.
The Blaser brand of rifles and shotguns has been a synonym for quality and innovation from day one. A similar strategy was considered for optical products as well. Since rifle scopes have to frequently withstand heavy gun recoil, the main tube of the scope is machined from solid metal blanks using computer-controlled machining equipment. The sophisticated machines ensure that required design tolerances are met, which is the benchmark for long-lasting shooting accuracy.
The metal tubes are then permanently coated through anodizing before final assembly for added protection. Similarly, optical components are made of high-quality glass which is layered with Blaser’s proprietary CCC multi-layer coating for contrast and colour correction. Also, the ocular and objective lenses are coated with Blaser’s Smart Lens Protection coating for protection from water and dust contamination. All parts go through quality inspections at various stages to exclude non-conforming parts before assembly.
Scopes are assembled in a clean, atmosphere-controlled room where workers wear appropriate coverings on hands and hair to prevent unwanted particles from entering the insides of scopes. The last and one of the most important stages is Nitrogen waterproofing. Since optical instruments are prone to contamination from dirt and water vapour, all assemblies are purged and filled with pressurized Nitrogen to remove unwanted particles. The purging process is followed by a final quality control inspection, in which conforming products are sent for packing while those with defects are sent for rework.
Blaser Headquarters, Isny Im Allgau, Southern Germany
The Blaser Group was founded as a small workshop for drilling rifles in Isny Im Allgau in 1957. Since then, the headquarters of the company and main production facility of Blaser firearms and hunting accessories has remained there. Over the years, the site has seen numerous extensions and as of today, the main factory employs over 350 workers in various departments. All factories acquired by the Blaser Group, such as Mauser, Rigby, Liemke, and J. P.Sauer&Sohn work in conjunction to manufacture world-class firearms, shotguns, and ammunition for hunting and tactical markets.
Unlike some European brands, all Blaser products, including rifles, shotguns, rifle scopes, red dot sights, binoculars, silencers, ammunition, and outdoor garments are manufactured in Germany. With this, the company management keeps the manufacturing and assembly operations under strict observation. The factory in Isny contains world-class manufacturing equipment and uses the raw material of superior quality for all products, regardless of their price category.
In March 2020, the Minox manufacturing facility was relocated to Isny Im Allgau, and therefore, all Blaser sports optics are now produced in Isny. The move was aimed to bring a comprehensive set of companies that excel in firearms, ammunition, sport optics, and hunting gear near each other for seamless communication and coordination. Additionally, being near to industry experts of hunting rifles, scope designers and manufacturers will be able to comprehend and incorporate the requirements of the hunting and tactical industry into innovative products more effectively.
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Blaser currently offers three rifle scopes, all of which are made in Isny Im Allgau.
Blaser 1-7X28 IC
Expert hunters often require a true 1x magnification for high-speed pursuits and rapid target acquisition. Additionally, it enables the hunter to use both eyes for taking a shot, which is sometimes necessary for a safe shot and situational awareness in an unpredictable setting. In addition to a true 1x magnification, the Blaser 1-7X28 IC offers an Intelligent Variable Dot (IVD) which provides instrumental assistance for game that requires instant targeting.
The scope is fitted with a versatile set of features, such as magnification up to 7x, 90%+ light transmittance, parallax compensation fixed at 100 meters, 90 mm eye relief, and large (10 mm) exit pupil at 1x magnification and lightweight construction. The 28 mm objective is more than enough for close shooting in twilight conditions. Additional features include reticle illumination, Nitrogen waterproofing, dioptre adjustment of +2.5/-3, elevation, and windage adjustment of 180 cm at 100 meters. If you often frequently in driven hunts or require 1x magnification, the 1-7X28 IC from Blaser is the right scope for your needs.
Blaser 2.8-20X50 IC
With a universal magnification range from 2.8x to 20x, the 2.8-20X50 IC rifle scope is the perfect all-rounder companion for a multitude of hunting situations, whether it is foot pursuit, mountain hunting, or long-distance shooting. The scope features a compact construction and is fitted with several notable features: up to 20x magnification, parallax compensation from 50 m to infinity, and 90 mm eye relief. The large 50 mm objective captures 90%+ even in low light situations, which is crucial for detailed imaging on a higher magnification level.
Additional features include reticle illumination, dioptre adjustment of +2.5/-3, elevation and windage adjustment of 80 cm and 90 cm at 100 meters, Nitrogen waterproofing, and an impressive exit pupil that ranges from 10 mm to 2.5 mm depending on the magnification. The scope also features Blaser’s very own SLP and CCC multi-coating for protection and improved optical performance.
Riflescope with a large magnification range is highly sought after by hunting enthusiasts all over the world, as it allows the owner to use the scope for hunting in virtually all destinations regardless of their terrain, climate conditions, or type of wild game. Therefore, for users who are looking for a universal solution, the 2.8-20×50 IC is the way to go.
Blaser 4-20X58 IC
The largest objective size in standard hunting rifle scopes available today is 56 mm. The 4-20×58 IC from Blaser offers an objective size of 58 mm, which accounts for 7% additional light-capturing capacity than its competition. Being dubbed as the “Twilight specialist”, this scope is equipped with various outstanding features, including a maximum 20x magnification, 90 mm eye relief, parallax compensation from 50 m to infinity, and field of view that ranges from 9.2 meters to 1.9 meters.
Additional features include reticle illumination, dioptre adjustment of +2.5/-3, elevation and windage adjustment of 80 cm and 50 cm at 100 meters, Nitrogen waterproofing, and an impressive exit pupil that ranges from 12.3 mm to 2.9 mm depending on the magnification. The scope also features Blaser’s very own SLP and CCC multi-coating for protection and improved optical performance.
With its high magnification range from 4x to 20x, the scope is designed to identify even the most camouflaged wild game from a long distance, therefore if hunting in dense forests is your hobby, you should check out the Blaser 4-20×58 IC rifle scope.
The Blaser Group is a household name in the world of premium rifles and shotguns. Established in the 1960s by a young gunsmith, Horst Blaser, the company has come a long way to becoming the favorite brand of hunting and tactical gear of millions around the world. To expand into optics technology, Blaser acquired Minox and Optronika, the leaders of sport optics in 2013. A few years later in 2017, the company launched its brand of premium sport optics that rivals many leading optics manufacturers in terms of built quality and optical performance. The relatively late entry into sports optics has not discouraged Blaser from outperforming many competitors from around the world.
Until February 2020, all Blaser products were produced by Minox in their production facility in Wetzlar, Germany. At present, the company has successfully relocated manufacturing operations of all Blaser products to Isny Im Allgau near the company headquarters and several other companies, including Liemke, Rigby, J. P. Sauer & Sohn, and Mauser. This move provided an edge to Blaser and Minox over other optics brands, since it made it possible for experts of the hunting industry to easily communicate with scope designers.
There is nothing better than solid confidence in your hunting gear when you are in the midst of a dense forest pursuing white-tailed deer or wild boar. To conclude, if the quality is important to you, the Germany-made Blaser rifle scopes are one of the best out there.
is an experienced author from the field of sports optics. He writes articles and reviews about binoculars, spotting scopes, rifle scopes, long range shooting and other topics for magazines like Lovec and Optics-Info.com blog. Currently, he is a member of Optics Trade team.