Where Are Kahles Riflescopes Made?

Introduction

Kahles is an Austrian manufacturer of high-quality sports optics, which includes riflescopes, binoculars, red dot sights, and range-finding devices. Established in 1898, Kahles is one of the oldest Europe-based optics brands, and therefore, carries a long heritage of manufacturing world-class sports optics for the European and North American markets. The company headquarters and its main production facility are located in Vienna, Austria where it was originally founded. Kahles was acquired by Swarovski Optik, the sports optics division of the Swarovski group in 1974.

Brief History

Named after its founder, Karl Robert Kahles, the company was established as a merger between two optics manufacturers based in Vienna, Austria. The parent organizations namely, Simon Plossl Company and Karl Fritsch’s workshop had been the makers of traditional microscopes and telescopes until the merger. Kahles acknowledged the potential of these small-time manufacturers and transformed the two businesses into a manufacturer of high-end binoculars and telescopes for astronomical purposes in 1898.

Karl_Robert_Kahles

Source: Kahles

The First Kahles Riflescope

Recognizing the need for sports optics, Kahles unveiled telescopic sight for hunting rifles, called Telorar in 1900. The hunting scope was offered in five different optical configurations and it gained popularity among hunters within no time. Seeing the success of its first scope, Kahles invested considerable effort and funds into its development over the years. Since the introduction of TELORAR, the company has patented several riflescope features that have continued to be part of modern hunting riflescopes even today.

In addition to hunting scopes, Kahles also offered binoculars, astronomical telescopes, and optical sighting devices for marine professionals during this period. Unveiled in 1908, the revolutionary MIGNON riflescope became a landmark for the Kahles brand, as it was the first riflescope to be sold globally by an Austrian sports optics brand. In 1926, the popular Helia-series riflescope was launched with a relatively higher magnification along with an exceptionally large field of view compared to previous models. In the coming years, Helia became the signature riflescope brand of Kahles.

World War II and the Aftermath

Like many German factories, some Austria-based manufacturers were tasked with the production of military-grade products for the unified armed forces of Germany during World War II. Similarly, Kahles was forced to produce military-grade riflescopes, binoculars, and other optical components. During the length of the war, the business suffered substantial damage and unimaginable losses. In the aftermath of the war, Friedrich Kahles III, the grandson of the founder, carried out major restructuring to get the company back on its feet.

Thanks to the efforts of Friedrich Kahles, the company regained its standing within no time. In 1949, the Helia-series riflescope with variable magnification was unveiled for the first time. The development of the first waterproof riflescopes is also attributed to the Kahles brand. Unveiled in 1960, the engineers used O-rings to seal the optical cavity of the Helia Super riflescope, which helped to prevent external water from contaminating the optical cavity. In 1972, Kahles launched a new version of the Helia hunting scope with proprietary Kahles-AMV multi-coating. The innovative optical coating ensured more than 90% light transmission, which has since become the benchmark for all riflescopes and telescopic sights to this day.

An Addition Into the Swarovski Group

The riflescope business took the company to new heights under Friedrich Kahles III, and year after year, Kahles came to be known as the pioneer of hunting riflescopes around the world. The Swarovski Group showed interest in the company and subsequently acquired Kahles in 1974. The riflescope division of Swarovski Optik was still in the developmental stage, but with the heritage and experience of Kahles, the riflescope business started to thrive in incredible ways. In the following years, Swarovski Optik incorporated several innovative features into hunting scopes, such as reticle illumination, laser rangefinder, and up to 8x optical zoom.

Although Kahles has kept its brand separate, it is still managed by Swarovski Optik. Both brands offer a similar level of optical performance and built quality. Even after the acquisition, Kahles has continued to innovate its products with exciting features, such as automatic-light and Multi-zero adjustment.

Production Facilities

The main production facility has remained in Vienna, Austria ever since the company was established. Kahles maintains close relations with the management of Swarovski Optik, and a constant exchange of information and experience is the reason behind the success of the two brands.

Guntramsdorf, Lower Austria, Austria

In 2012, the company unveiled a new manufacturing facility in the town of Guntramsdorf in the state of Lower Austria, and it was designed with a lot of consideration towards environment-friendly factors. The new factory focuses on the production of riflescopes. All Kahles binoculars (Helia S is an exception and is made in Austria), red dots and rangefinder are outsourced from Asia.

The factory in Guntramsdorf is equipped with state-of-the-art technology for the manufacturing of high-end devices. The production floor houses CNC milling and lathe equipment that machine all metallic components from high-quality solid metal blocks. The glass components are for all products are acquired from Swarovski Optik, which helps in streamlining the production. The atmosphere and temperature in the assembly area are controlled, which prevents unwanted particles from entering the insides of the scope assembly.

After assembly, the scopes are purged with pressurized Nitrogen gas to prevent contamination from water vapour and dirt particles. All products go through strict quality control inspections to identify defective components and conforming scopes are sent towards the packaging area.

Source: DINA4Architektur

Series Origin

Kahles offers a variety of riflescopes for both hunting and outdoor sports.

Hunting Riflescopes

The signature Helia series from Kahles is specially designed to perform in the toughest of hunting situations all year round. The brand was first unveiled in 1926, and over the years its mechanical design and optical performance have been perfected through a series of improvements by the hunting experts at Kahles. Today, the Helia brand is known by hunters as a synonym of quality, performance, and reliability all over the world.

Below are all the Helia riflescope variants currently offered by Kahles:

Helia 1-5x24i

The Helia 1-5x24i is the perfect tool for driven hunts and close encounters with large game animals. The compact scope is packed with several unique properties to help hunters who prefer to hunt on the go. The main features of this variant are 5X optical zoom from 1X to 5X magnification, 24 mm objective, reticle illumination, 95 mm eye relief, a lightweight 30 mm main tube, and Nitrogen-filled waterproofing.

Additional features include dioptre compensation of +2/-3.5, fixed parallax at 100 m, a twilight factor of 3.0-11.0, and elevation/windage adjustment of 2.5/2.5 m. A true 1X magnification enables the hunter to use both eyes simultaneously while hunting in unfamiliar territories. In addition, this riflescope can also be used as a red dot sight in addition to a reliable hunting scope. Furthermore, reduced magnification allows a field of view of 8.1-42.4 m at 100 m, which is quite useful for improved situational awareness.

The Helia 1-5x24i comes standard with the 4-DH reticle, which is conveniently placed in the 2nd focal plane. The scope also features an automatic-light feature, which switches off the illumination when the scope is not in use, therefore you can focus on the game without having to worry about the battery.

Kahles Helia 1-5x24i

Helia 2-10x50i

This Kahles Helia series hunting scope is equipped with a 5X zoom that offers magnification from 2X to 10X. Combined with a large 50 mm objective, this scope perfectly suits stalking and pursuing game while allowing you to stay at a distance. The 2-10x50i is built in compact housing with a little over 500 g of weight, which allows you to pursue the game without getting tired. Primary features of the scope are 50 mm objective lens diameter, reticle illumination, a field of view of 21.0 – 4.1 m/100 m, 95 mm eye relief, and a 30 mm main tube.

The scope is fitted with multi-coated optics, which is further enhanced by proprietary multi-coating. Other aspects include elevation/windage adjustment range of 1.6/1.6 m, one-piece shockproof housing, capped turrets, dioptre compensation of +2/-3.5, the twilight factor of 6.2-22.4, and a throw-lever for magnification.

Helia 2-10x50i comes with a 4-Dot reticle, which is placed on the 2nd focal plane. The reticle is illuminated and features the intriguing Automatic-light on/off function which switches off the illumination when the scope is not in use.

Kahles Helia 2-10x50i

Helia 2.4-12x56i

Kahles Helia 2.4-12x56i is an all-rounder riflescope that promises an enjoyable hunting experience thanks to a sturdy 30 mm design and high-end optics. A large 56 mm objective lens combined with 5X zoom is the ideal scoping tool for low light, raised-hide hunting in dense forests. The main features of this scope are high-quality lenses, full multi-coating, 2.4X-12X magnification range, the field of view of 16.5–3.3 m at 100 m, and 95 mm eye relief.

Other specs include Ballistic Drop Compensation, fixed parallax at 100 m, elevation/windage adjustment of 1.9 / 1.9 m, the twilight factor of 7.4-25.9, dioptre compensation of +2/-3.5, Nitrogen waterproofing, capped turrets, uni-body shockproof construction, and a throw-lever for magnification ring.

The Helia 2.4-12x56i is available in two reticle optics: 4-Dot and GRB, both of which are illuminated and placed in the 2nd focal plane. Intelligent reticle illumination automatically switches off using a built-in sensor.

Kahles Helia 2.4-12x56i

Helia 3.5-18x50i

With a maximum magnification of 18X, the Helia 3.5-18x50i from Kahles is suited for advanced hunters who like to hunt large game animals from a distance, especially when stalking in the mountains. The scope features a 5X optical zoom and a large 50 mm objective lens, which captures substantial light for hunting in day, evening, and night-time situations. Essential features of the scope include high-quality lenses, 3.5X-18X magnification, 30 mm main tube, full optics multi-coating, the field of view of 12.2-2.2 m at 100 m, and Nitrogen waterproofing.

Other specs of the riflescope are capped turrets, reticle illumination, elevation/windage adjustment of 1.95/1 m, 95 mm eye relief, parallax adjustment from 50 m to infinity, dioptre compensation of +2/-3.5, the twilight factor of 7.4-25.9 depending on magnification, Helia throw-lever for magnification and optional Ballistic Drop Compensation (BDC). Reticle optics for the scope are 4-Dot and GRB, which are placed on the 2nd focal plane.

Kahles Helia 3.5-18x50i

Helia 3 4-12x44i

Weighing under 500 g, the Helia 3 4-12x44i scope is optimized for day-long hunting trips, especially in mountainous terrains where on-foot pursuit is a must. The lightweight scope features an ultra-slim main tube of 1-inch diameter, but without any compromise on optical performance or built quality. Primary features include high-end optics, fully multi-coated lenses, 4X-12X magnification range, 3X optical zoom, 44 mm objective, 90 mm eye relief, and a field of view of 9.2-3.3 m at 100 m.

Other attributes of this scope are: uni-body design, anodized aluminum body, Nitrogen-filled waterproofing, elevation/windage adjustment of 1.1/1.1 m, capped turrets, dioptre compensation of +2/-3.5, and twilight factor range of 13.3-23.0. The Helia 3 4-12x44i riflescope is available in two reticle options: 4-Dot and 3GB. Both reticles are placed on the 2nd Focal plane and feature a built-in illumination system that automatically turns off the light when the scope is not in use.

Kahles Helia 3 4-12x44i

Helia 3 3-10x50i

The Kahles Helia 3-10x50i riflescope is designed for use in a myriad of hunting situations, be it stalking, stand/hide hunting, driven hunts, or hunting in the mountains. The scope is equipped with several mainstream features, such as high-quality optics, fully multi-coated lenses, 3X optical zoom, 3X-10X magnification, 50 mm objective lens, a field of view of 9.2-3.3 m at 100 m, 90 mm eye relief, elevation/windage adjustment of 1.3/1.1 m, +2/-3.5 dioptre compensation, and twilight factor range of 12.0-22.4 depending on magnification setting.

Some physical aspects for this scope are a super-slim 1-inch main tube, Nitrogen-filled waterproofing, one-piece anodized aluminum body, and capped turrets. Two reticle options for the Helia 3 3-10x50i are available: 4-Dot and 3GR, both of which are placed in the second focal plane and feature smart illumination. The Helia 3 scopes are known for comparatively little weight, which makes them highly attractive among modern hunters.

Kahles Helia 3 3-10x50i

Tactical Riflescopes

Sport and target-shooting riflescopes currently offered by Kahles are listed as under:

K525i DLR

Released in March 2021, the K525i DLR scope is an attractive upgrade to the highly popular K525i tactical shooting scope from Kahles. The new Dynamic Long Range version pairs precision optics with sturdy mechanics to deliver an incredible optical performance, especially in acquiring long-distance targets in professional shooting competitions as well as tactical situations.

The ergonomically designed 525i DLR comes with a magnification range from 5X up to 25X, which is quite useful in shooting competitions. Main features of this scope include a 56 mm objective, 34 mm main tube, 95 mm eye relief, the field of view range of 7.7 to 1.6 m at 100 m, reticle illumination, optics multi-coating, parallax adjustment from 20 meters to infinity, dioptre adjustment of +2/-3.5, exit pupil range of 9.5 to 2.4 mm, and Nitrogen waterproofing. In addition, lettering on the turrets is comfortably large for fast and accurate reading.

Other attributes include 100 clicks-per-rotation, Zero-stop functionality, optional left or right TWIST GUARD windage, Elevation/Windage adjustment of 2.9/1.3, and a counter-clockwise adjustment direction. The scope comes fitted with the SKMR4 mil reticle in the 1st focal plane, which is highly desirable for long-range competition shooters. If you are looking for a sports riflescope that is designed for extended long-range, the new K525i will be your best bet.

Kahles K525i 5-25×56 DLR

K525i

The K525i is known to be an all-time popular choice of professional shooters and for shooting competitions across the world. Unlike its successor, this riflescope is available with several reticle options instead of just one, which makes it the perfect choice for professional target shooting. The K525i comes packed with a 5X to 25X magnification range and a large 56 mm objective, which is highly effective for taking shots over 1000 yards. Furthermore, the scope provides a precise repeat accuracy thanks to 100 clicks per rotation of adjustment knobs and optional left or right windage adjustment.

Some other features of this riflescope are Zero-stop functionality, eye relief of 95 mm, 34 mm main tube, fully multi-coated optics, the field of view of 7.1 to 1.5 m at 100 m depending on magnification, Elevation/Windage adjustment of 2.9/1.3 at 100 m, parallax compensation from 20 meters till infinity, dioptre adjustment of +2/-3.5, Nitrogen waterproofing, TWIST Guard windage guard, large turret lettering, exit pupil range of 9.5 to 2.3 mm, CCW adjustment direction and a twilight factor range of 16.7-37.5 depending on magnification.

Reticle options for this scope are AMR, Mil4+, MOAK, MSR2/Ki, SKMR4, SKMR, and TREMOR 3. All reticle options come with red illumination and are placed at the 1st focal plane for accurate long-distance shooting. With a large number of features, the K525i has remained one of the most popular choices for competition shooters.

 

Kahles K525i 5-25×56

 

K318i

The Kahles K318i is the ultimate compact solution to your tactical shooting needs. The riflescope comes with an objective size of 50 mm and a maximum magnification of 18X, making it an excellent choice for both tactical and long-distance target shooting. The main features of the scope are a 5X optical zoom from 3.5X to 18X, the field of view range of 9.3-2.0 m at 100 m, multi-coated optics, 34 mm main tube, 92 mm eye relief, reticle illumination, dioptre adjustment of +2.5/-3.5, elevation/windage adjustment of 3.0/1.5 at 100 m, a twilight factor range of 13.2-30.0 depending on magnification.

One of the features that make K318i so attractive is its lightweight and ultra-compact build. Highly sought-after by tactical shooting professionals, these physical attributes are the result of years of development work by the Kahles riflescope design team. The space saved on the rifle can be used for other shooting accessories. Furthermore, the parallax adjustment is incorporated in the elevation turret with compensation from 25 m to infinity.

Additionally, the scope comes with Nitrogen waterproofing, TWIST GUARD anti-twist protection, Zero-Stop, MIL or MOA click resolution, optional left or right windage with CW or CCW adjustment direction. Kahles K318i is available in four red-coloured illuminated reticle options, MSR/Ki, SKMR3, TREMOR 3, and MOAK, with placement on the 1st focal plane. The K318i is designed for demanding shooters, therefore if you are into rapid tactical shooting, this is the scope for you.

Kahles K318i 3.5-18×50

K624i

Designed for professional and target shooting competitions, the K624i promises a seamless scoping experience with a 4X optical zoom and a large 56 mm objective. In addition, the wide magnification range from 6X to 24X makes it one of the best riflescopes for long-distance shooting. The scope is best suited for individuals who require higher magnification in an ergonomic construction.

Notable features of the scope include multi-coated optics, 34 mm main tube, field of view range of 6.8-1.7 m at 100 m, exit pupil of 9.4-2.3 mm, 90 mm eye relief, reticle illumination, dioptre adjustment of +2/-3.5, elevation/windage adjustment of 2.5/1.1 at 100 m, a twilight factor range of 18.3-36.7 depending on the magnification level. Additionally, the parallax adjustment feature is incorporated in the elevation turret with compensation from 50 m to infinity.

Adjustment knobs on the scope feature MIL click resolution and provide a reliable repeat accuracy thanks to well-defined clicks. Some other aspects of the scope are Zero stop, Adjustment direction CW or CCW, Windage left or right, and pressurized-Nitrogen waterproofing. Reticle options for K624i are MOAK, AMR, SKMR3, Mil3, SKMR, Mil4, and MSR/Ki. All reticles come with red illumination and are placed in the 1st image plane.

Kahles K624i 6-24×56

K18i

Released in 2020, the Kahles K18i is best described as a short-range tactical scope, but it is also frequently used as a Close-Quarter Combat (CQB) riflescope as well as a shooting scope for IPSC and 3-Gun competitions. The K18i has achieved this versatile recognition thanks to an unrivaled field of view of 5.3-42.5 m at 100 m and an 8X zoom capability from 1X to 8X and an ultra-wide field of view. The slim 30 mm main tube in addition to a lightweight construction also contributes towards its ease of use in shooting matches.

Some of the main elements are 24 mm objective, 95 mm eye relief, a twilight factor of 2.9-13.9, dioptre range of +2/-3, capped turrets, and elevation/windage adjustment of 24/24 MIL. The parallax is fixed at 100 m and the wheel is integrated into the elevation turret, whereas the windage turret is on the right side.

Other features include a Clockwise turret-adjustment direction, true 1X magnification, MAX LIGHT day/night illumination, auto on/off illumination, Nitrogen waterproofing, and an integrated throw lever on the magnification ring. Two illuminated reticle options are available: 3GR and IPSC, both of which are placed in the 2nd Focal plane for quick target acquisition.

Kahles K18i 1-8×24 SFP

K16i

The extra-durable K16i riflescope from Kahles is aimed for a rapid acquisition of short-range targets in the toughest of circumstances. Fitted with a 6X zoom from 1X to 6X, the K16i provides a reasonable magnification range for close combat situations as well as IPSC and 3GR matches. Additionally, the ultra-wide field of view from 7.2 m to 44.8 m at 100 meters is one of the best in this category.

Primary features of the scope are 30 mm main tube, 95 mm eye relief, 24 mm objective, exit pupil range of 3.8 mm to 9.7 mm depending on magnification, dioptre range of +2/-3.5, elevation/windage adjustment of 22/22 MIL, capped turrets, multi-coated optics, integrated throw lever for magnification and right-side windage turret.

Other features include Clockwise turret-adjustment direction, bright day-time reticle illumination, Nitrogen waterproofing, and an integrated throw lever. The scope also features a 1X magnification, which allows it to be used as a red dot sight. Reticle options for K16i include 3GR, SM1, and SI1, all of which come with red illumination and are placed in the 2nd focal plane.

Kahles K16i 1-6×24

Target Shooting Riflescopes

K1050

The K1050 offers a large 56 mm objective lens coupled with a 5X variable magnification, which ranges from 10X to 50X. Specially designed for long-distance target-shooting competitions, this riflescope is equipped with several versatile features, such as full multi-coated optics, maximum magnification of 50X, exit pupil range of 1.1 to 5.6 mm, 95 mm eye relief, dioptre adjustment of +2/-3.5, and pressurized-Nitrogen waterproofing.

The scope is fitted with MOA turrets and the markings are divided into 1/8 MOA for a precise long-range shooting experience. Additional aspects of the K1050 are 30 mm main tube, elevation/windage adjustment of 55/41.3 MOA, and a twilight factor range of 23.6 – 52.9. Parallax adjustment is available from 8 m to infinity and the adjustment wheel is integrated into the elevation turret. Windage adjustment turret is available on the right-side as standard with either CW or CCW adjustment direction.

The K1050 riflescope is only available with the MOAK reticle, which is ideally placed on the 2nd focal plane. The combination of 50X magnification with MOA reticle and SFP system makes this scope an excellent choice for target shooting competitions.

Kahles K1050 10-50×56

Field Target Scopes

K1050i FT

Designed with a dazzling 56 mm objective and a 50X magnification, the K1050i FT is optimized for winning field target competitions. The phenomenal 5X zooming capability ranges from 10X to 50X, which is quite useful for acquiring long-distance targets in shooting competitions. Primary features of the scope include a compact 30 mm main tube, fully multi-coated optics, Nitrogen waterproofing, 95 mm eye relief, 1.1-5.6 mm exit pupil range, dioptre adjustment of +2/-3.5, and reticle illumination.

All turrets feature MOA markings that are divided into 1/8 MOA for a consistent long-range shooting experience. The twilight factor varies from 23.6-52.9 and the scope offers elevation/windage adjustment of 55/41.3 MOA. The turret for windage adjustment comes standard on the right-side with either CW or CCW adjustment direction. Parallax focus control ranges from 8 m to 60 m and the control knob is built into the elevation turret, which is patented by Kahles.

This scope comes fitted with the MHR reticle, which is placed on the 2nd focal plane for a seamless scoping experience. Also available with a silver coating, the K1050i FT is one of the few field target scopes that are developed under the supervision of field shooting experts. This scope can be also ordered in silver finish.

Kahles K1050i FT 10-50×56

Conclusion

Originating in Austria, Kahles is a renowned brand of sports optics that is popular for producing high-quality riflescopes and binoculars for hunting, tactical and outdoor shooting competitions throughout the world. The company was established in 1898 following a merger of two optics manufacturers of telescopes and microscopes. As a result, Kahles has maintained a long heritage in the world of optics technology, which is one of the reasons behind the success of the brand.

Kahles was acquired by Swarovski Optik in 1974, and since then it has been managed inside the Swarovski Group as a subsidiary. The acquisition was aimed to develop Swarovski’s riflescope program by benefitting from the versatile experience and knowledge of Kahles’ riflescope division.

The company currently offers a series of sports optics products, such as riflescopes, binoculars, rangefinders, and red dot sights. While the manufacturing of binoculars has been outsourced to China and Japan, the rifle scopes are completely designed, manufactured, and assembled in-house in the Guntramsdorf factory near Vienna, Austria. Ever since the company was acquired by Swarovski, Kahles has nearly doubled the types of riflescopes it offers.

As of 2021, Kahles riflescopes are available for all types of outdoor activities in all price categories, which has enabled enthusiasts from all walks of life to enjoy the quality and performance of “Made in Austria” products.

Summary
Article Name
Where Are Kahles Riflescopes Made?
Description
Kahles is an Austrian manufacturer of high-quality sports optics, which includes riflescopes, binoculars, red dot sights, and more.
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Optics Trade Blog
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