Where Are Sightron Scopes Made?

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During my time working at the rifle scope counter of a large outdoor retailer (that I’m not going to name), I spent most of my day answering questions about scopes, mounting scopes on rifles (which was a free service if you bought the rifle and scope from us), and showing customers the different scopes.

Sightron SII 6.5-20X42 scope
Adjustable objective of Sightron SII 6.5-20X42 scope

At one point, we carried the Sightron brand of rifle scopes, so I had to go through some training and orientation from the Sightron representative about the company history, all the different models, features, etc. Since that time, Sightron has changed their distribution model now, so where I work no longer carries them.

One of the more common customer-based questions that I was asked about this scope line was “where are Sightron scopes made?” It’s a good question if you aren’t familiar with the brand or are considering a Sightron scope purchase.

But the answer requires a bit of a backstory as not all the Sightron scopes are made at the same location, or even in the same country.

Sightron is owned and operated by a Japanese company that specialized in the lenses for high-end microscopes. The parent company founded Sightron in 1993 in Youngsville, NC, and they are still headquartered at that location.

Sightron STAC 4-20 MOA-2 Reticle
Sightron STAC 4-20 Scope with MOA-2 Reticle

As Sightron is a Japanese-owned company, most people would jump to the conclusion that all the Sightron scope models were made in Japan, but that isn’t exactly accurate.

When Sightron first entered the riflescope market, almost all its products were produced in Japan. But, as Sightron expanded its different lines of scopes, they also made some changes to both their manufacturing processes and manufacturing locations.

Today, Sightron scopes are made in either one of two places:

  • Japan
  • Philippines

Where the riflescope is manufactured is determined by the Sightron scope line or series.

For example, all their entry-level and/or budget-oriented scopes are manufactured at a Sightron owned facility in the Philippines (Manilla to be exact). Those lines include the following:

  • Sightron SIH Hunter series
  • Sightron SIH Field Target series
  • Sightron SII series (which is basically down to a single scope model now)
  • Sightron S-TAC series

All the remaining Sightron scope models in their line are manufactured in Japan, and those lines include the following:

  • Sightron SII Big Sky series (phased out of production now but were made in Japan)
  • Sightron SIII LR series
  • Sightron SIII FFP series
  • Sightron SIII Field Target series
  • Sightron SV series

So, in a nutshell, all the SIII and SV series of scopes are made in Japan, while all the other models are produced in the Philippines.

Sightron STAC scope knobs
Sightron STAC 4-20 scope knobs

Now, I’d like to point out that, it’s my understanding that Sightron doesn’t outsource the production of the scope lines in the Philippines but actually owns the facility in the Philippines. At least, that’s what I was told.

Many hardcore scope fans (I’ll stop short of calling them scope snobs as I’m dangerously close to being one myself) tend to “look down” on any scope glass that isn’t made in either Japan, the USA, or in Europe. While I understand where that opinion comes from, I’ve also seen some exceptional glass come out of the Philippines as well, so don’t let the “made in the Philippines” label automatically turn you off.

I own several Sightron scopes personally including two S-TAC models that were both made in the Philippines. For what I have invested in both, I have found the glass (and overall purchase) to be a very good value.

And the Philippine-made Sightron models also come loaded with features that you don’t typically see at those price points (sub $400) including:

  • Unique and functional reticle options
  • Side focus (on some models)
  • 30mm tube (on some models)
  • Very good warranty

Now let’s be honest here, is the glass on the Philippines made Sightron models as good as the Japanese-made models? No, it’s not, but I also wouldn’t expect it to be as the Japanese-made models cost twice (sometimes even three times) as much.

Here’s a link if you’d like to read more about the Sightron line of rifle scopes.