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Bushnell Corporation

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Bushnell Corporation
Company typesubsidiary
FoundedCalifornia (1948; 76 years ago (1948))
FounderDavid P. Bushnell
United States
Area served
Key people
Matt Reintjes, VP of Outdoor Products
Blake Lipham (CEO since November 2010)
ProductsBinoculars, telescopes, riflescopes, flashlights, GPS devices, holographic weapon sights, sunglasses, laser rangefinders, night-vision devices, speed guns, spotting scopes, trail cameras, Travel Tunes, WeatherFX
ParentVista Outdoor
SubsidiariesBrowning Sports Optics
Simmons Outdoor Corporation

Bushnell Corporation is an American firm that specializes in sporting optics and outdoor products. It is based in Overland Park, Kansas and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vista Outdoor. Bushnell makes binoculars, telescopes, spotting scopes, riflescopes, red dot sights, GPS devices, laser rangefinders, game cameras, night-vision devices and other optical equipments.

Company history[edit]

The company was founded in 1948 by David P. Bushnell, when he returned to California from his honeymoon in Japan with two crates of binoculars and sold them by mail order.[2] Bushnell made precision binoculars affordable to middle-class Americans for the first time through a strategy of importing from manufacturers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan, who provided optics to his patented specifications.[2] Bushnell eventually expanded his business to include riflescopes and spotting scopes. In 1971, Bushnell sold his company to Bausch & Lomb. The firm renamed itself Bushnell Performance Optics. Three years later, Bushnell retired as vice-president of Bausch & Lomb.[2]

In 1999, Bausch & Lomb sold Bushnell Performance Optics to the private equity firm Wind Point Partners through a recapitalization of Bushnell's then parent company, Worldwide Sports & Recreation.[3][4][5]

The Serengeti Eyewear brand was acquired by Bushnell in September 2000. Bollé, Cébé and Serengeti Eyewear were part of Vista Outdoor's acquisition of Bushnell in 2013. In July 2018, Vista Outdoor announced it had reached an agreement with a European private equity fund to sell the Bollé, Cébé and Serengeti eyewear brands.[6]

In 2002, Bushnell bought the sporting optics company Tasco. Tasco is a major international distributor of telescopes. The company's line of products mainly target amateur astronomers but has grown to include many products besides telescopes. Tasco's other products include terrestrial spotting scopes, microscopes, binoculars, and telescopic sights and other rifle accessories. Tasco sells through specialty outlets, catalogs, and online vendors.[7]

In 2005, Bushnell acquired Michael’s of Oregon. Michael's sold holsters, scope covers, cleaning kits, and other gun accessories under the brands Hoppe’s, Butler Creek, Stoney Point, and Uncle Mike’s Law Enforcement.[7] At the time of its purchase by Bushnell, Michael's earned about $60 million per year in profit. Michael's of Oregon was based in Oregon City. The deal was closed with debt and cash.[5]

In 2007, Bushnell was acquired by MidOcean Partners, another private equity firm, which acquired it in a leveraged recapitalization.[4] The same year, Bushnell acquired the Final Approach and Kolpin Hunting brands from Facilitator Capital Funds, a Wisconsin-based private equity firm. Both brands are well known among duck hunters.[7]

On Sept. 5, 2013, Alliant Techsystems announced that it had entered into a firm agreement to acquire Bushnell. ATK paid $985 million in cash, subject to customary post-closing adjustments.[8]

After ATK merged with Orbital Sciences in 2015 to form Orbital ATK, it spun off Bushnell and other subsidiaries as Vista Outdoor, a publicly-listed company.[9]


Bushnell binoculars

Bushnell[10] is the parent company of these brands:



Grendel counter-sniper rifle with Bushnell Elite 4200 scope

Under license from EOTech, Bushnell also sells Holosight, a polymer-cased non-magnifying holographic weapon sight that generates an illuminated virtual crosshair that appears to be floating in front of the gun in perfect alignment.[27][28][29][30]

Bushnell introduced the AR Optics 1-4 scope in 2018. It has a 30mm tube and has an objective lens diameter of 24mm. It has caliber-specific reticles that are illuminated for use in low-light. The AR Optics 1-4 is intended for use with modern sporting rifles.[31]


Bushnell Point 5 GPS device

Bushnell produces WeatherFX personal weather stations for hikers, campers, and others who can use it to keep informed of potentially hazardous weather issues while away from home.[32]

Bushnell created two GPS products in 2006 that are the first such devices to integrate aerial and satellite imagery into the display.[33] They also have integrated XM radio to provide real-time weather data and can overlay weather maps and weather radar info.[34][35] In 2007 the Onix 400 GPS unit won the "Best of the Best" award from Field & Stream magazine.[36]

Bushnell also has a line of simple GPS devices called Backtrack. They allow users to set up to five locations (depending on the model) and forget about the device until they have to return. The device then uses a digital compass and basic GPS technology to guide users back to the set location.[37]

Bushnell sells SolarWrap and SolarBook solar-cell charging stations for small electronic devices. The SolarWrap wraps around a battery like a scroll when in storage and is unrolled when in use. The SolarBook flips out like the page of an open book.[38]

Radar guns[edit]

Bushnell Speedster radar guns are designed for athletes, coaches, trainers, etc. to track speed with an accuracy of ±1 mph (1.6 km/h) within a range of 1,500 ft (460 m).[24]

Golf rangefinders[edit]

In 2019, Bushnell released the Pro XE laser rangefinder. The Pro Xe is accurate to within one yard from a distance of 500 yards. The Pro Xe also includes an adjustment system to take into account the slope of the course; the unit even takes into account differences in air pressure due to altitude and other elements such as temperature to improve accuracy. The Pro Xe's optics offer 7x magnification. The Pro Xe is also equipped with magnets so it can be placed any metal portion of a golf cart.[39]

Magazine loaders[edit]

Bushnell released an electric magazine loader under its Butler Creek brand in 2018. The ASAP Electronic Magazine Loader automatically positions loose ammunition and feeds it into magazines. The magazine loader's hopper can accept 60 rounds at a time. Users select how many rounds they want to be loaded and the press a button to start the process of loading an attached magazine. Bushnell also offers manual magazine loaders under the Butler Creek brand.[40]


  1. ^ "Bushnell Inc". Bloomberg. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Bayot, Jennifer (March 25, 2005). "David Bushnell, 92, Importer of Affordable Binoculars, Dies". New York Times. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Wind Point Partners". Wppartners.com. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  4. ^ a b MidOcean Partners and Management Announce Acquisition Of Bushnell Outdoor Products, Inc. from Wind Point Partners. Archived 2007-11-11 at the Wayback Machine, a Press release from bushnell.com.
  5. ^ a b Nathanson, Ari (15 August 2005). "Wind Point Adds Michaels To Bushnell". BuyOuts. United States.
  6. ^ Vilaboy, Martin (2018-07-09). "Vista Announces Sale of Bollé, Cébé, Serengeti Brands". Inside Outdoor Magazine. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  7. ^ a b c Windham, Rick (24 August 2007). "Tune up time for the upcoming dove season". The North Platte Telegraph. Nebraska.
  8. ^ ATK Completes Acquisition of Bushnell Group Holdings, Inc. Archived November 4, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Kennedy, Patrick (2 December 2019). "You may not know Anoka company Vista Outdoor, but you know its brands". Star Tribune. Star Tribune Media Company, LLC. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  10. ^ "Bushnell Performance Optics". Bushnell Performance Optics. Archived from the original on 2001-07-24. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  11. ^ a b "Simmons Optics". Simmons Optics. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  12. ^ "Millett Sights". Millett Sights. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  13. ^ "Browning Sports Optics". Browning Sports Optics. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  14. ^ "Bushnell Golf". Bushnell Golf. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  15. ^ "Butler Creek". Butler Creek. Archived from the original on 2013-03-23. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  16. ^ "Hoppe's". Hoppes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  17. ^ "Stoney Point". Stoney Point. Archived from the original on 2013-03-04. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  18. ^ "Tasco". Tasco. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  19. ^ "Uncle Mike's". Uncle-mikes.com. Archived from the original on 2013-03-05. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  20. ^ Bushnell Optics Recognized For Excellence, Value By Outdoor Life Magazine Archived 2012-03-06 at the Wayback Machine Outdoor Wire Newsletter, April 18, 2007
  21. ^ Elite 4200 6-24x40 Earns Editor's Choice Award From Outdoor Life Magazine Archived December 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine at Bushnell web site
  22. ^ "Outdoor Life 2006 Best Buy Award Archived February 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine" at Bushnell web site
  23. ^ Outdoor Wire Newsletter Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine April 18, 2007
  24. ^ a b "Bushnell Takes Two OpticsPlanet Brilliance Awards". The Outdoor Wire. The Outdoor Wire Digital Network. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  25. ^ Meade Instruments Announces Sale of Simmons Brand Archived 2008-07-03 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved June 14, 2008
  26. ^ Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Spotting Scope Retrieved March 8, 2018
  27. ^ Holosight Archived October 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine at Bushnell web site
  28. ^ The Bushnell HOLOsight: It's Not Just for Handguns Anymore! Archived November 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine By Russell E. Taylor, SniperCountry, 1999
  29. ^ Holo Gets Smaller and Lighter for Rimfires - Bushnell HoloSight for guns by Clair Rees, Guns Magazine, May 2000
  30. ^ Bushnell Holosight II by Charles E. Petty, American Handgunner, September 2000
  31. ^ Staff, SI (23 July 2018). "40 All-New Tactical Optics for 2018". Shooting Illustrated. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  32. ^ "New in equipment: WeatherFX stations Archived 2009-05-26 at the Wayback Machine" in Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 28, 2007
  33. ^ Charlie Anderson, "Bushnell looks to find a place in the crowded GPS market" (December 1, 2006). Kansas City Business Journal.
  34. ^ More on Bushnell ONIX 400 Archived 2012-07-23 at the Wayback Machine at Navigadget February 23, 2007
  35. ^ Bushnell ONIX 400 CR Archived 2019-03-29 at the Wayback Machine at GPSreview.net
  36. ^ Outdoor Wire Newsletter Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine August 16, 2007
  37. ^ "Bushnell Launches Pint-Sized Backtrack GPS Point 3 And 5". GeekyGadgets. 22 August 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  38. ^ "Making the switch to solar panels". Archived from the original on 2015-09-06. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  39. ^ Dusek, David (30 January 2019). "First look: Bushnell Pro XE laser rangefinder". Golfweek.
  40. ^ Billings, Jacki (2 May 2018). "BUTLER CREEK INTRODUCES NEW ELECTRONIC MAG LOADERS". Guns.com. Retrieved 21 February 2019.

External links[edit]