GPO USA Scopes and Binoculars Swinging for Fences in Terms of Quality and Warranty
GPO USA, a new Virginia-based company just concluded its second year of business. They're so new that you wouldn't find them on the main show floor at SHOT Show 2019; instead they had a small table in a new products hallway. Their story is interesting and their products are attracting consumers.
GPO stands for German Precision Optics. The company is owned and operated by Michael Jensen, a longtime operator in the outdoor industry with brands that included Zeiss, Swarovski, Kahles, Remington and Marlin. He has partnered with GPO, GbmH, a German-based company owned and operated by Richard Schmidt, formerly CEO of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, GmbH. They're working to design and produce quality optics for the North American hunting and outdoors customer. What they're basically saying is you can get Zeiss and similar quality at lower price points. And, they offer an unconditional, transferable, no proof of purchase needed, lifetime warranty. Granted, at just two years old, that's not a long track record but, still a warranty that applies even if you run over the scope with your ATV - not bad. Their products with electronic features, such as illuminated reticles, carry a two-year warranty on the electronic components.
I checked out a couple scopes and binoculars right there in the expansive hallway. Particularly impressive
were the offerings in the Passion HD binocular line, which has MSRPs from $979-$1,299. The hallways are long and the lighting soft. I took 100-plus-yard looks at people and objects at the farthest margins and was astounded how crisp the images appeared. Subjects "downrange" simply "popped" with contrast and clarity. They reminded me a bit of the Zeiss Conquest HD5 glasses (two-year warranty) I brought to Africa a couple years ago.
Here's how GPO says it makes these lenses so bright and crisp:"GPObright is a proprietary coating process that maximizes light transmission through each surface of an optical element. As light hits an optical surface, normal uncoated high-performance glass can reflect up to 5 percent of that light, redirecting this light so it does not transmit through the optical system. However, when these high-performance lenses are vacuum-coated with GPObright lens coatings, up to 99.7 percent of the available light passes through each optical surface. Furthermore, when every surface of the entire optical system is properly coated, total light transmission can reach up to more than 92 percent, making the optical image of a GPO binocular or riflescope 'bright,' even in the lowest light conditions."
Another technical feature is GPO's Double HD lens, created when multiple extra-low dispersion lenses are chemically laminated to make a single, multilayer high-performance optical lens. They explain that laminating multiple lenses minimizes light reflection on the surface of multiple lenses, creating enhanced resolution and color contrast images, and minimizes chromatic aberrations. This process is routine with quality photographic lens manufacturers, but has now transitioned into premium sporting optics. For my money, HD is the way to go with these products.
I also looked through a couple rifle scopes, including some Passion 3x12 and 3.5x18 models with illuminated
reticle. The lighted amber center to the reticle really does force your focus and concentration - no wandering off target. Like the binocs, the scopes had exceptional clarity and contrast. They had 30mm main tubes and big, light-gathering 56mm objective lenses. The illuminated reticle models have MSRPs of $899 and $999. They're available now. A non-illuminated model of the Passion 3-12x56 goes for $599.
Pairing one of these scopes atop a new Bergara Highlander rifle for a big game hunt would be a dream review piece for me. Put me in coach!
See more about GPO, USA here.