Who Makes Cabelas Scopes?

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Founded in 1961, Cabela’s Inc. is one of the largest and most well-known outdoor recreation companies in the United States. They sell outdoor products via several channels, including direct mail, retail stores, and their website. Cabela’s offers brand-name outdoor products as well as third-party outdoor products made under the Cabela’s brand. However, the product I want to focus on in this article is the Cabela’s brand of rifle scopes, and specifically, the question of who makes Cabelas scopes?

Who makes Cabelas Scopes

At least once a week, I receive an email from someone asking a question geared towards one of the Cabela’s series of scopes, so I thought it might be time to put some answers down on paper.

Cabelas Scopes Overview

Before I get too deep into discussing the Cabela’s line of rifle scopes, there are a few items I want to mention:

  • Cabela’s is owned and operated by Bass Pro Shops.
  • Cabela’s does not manufacture any of their optics.
  • Except for upper management, most Cabela’s staff does not know where or who produces these scopes for Cabela’s. The lone exception to that rule is the clearly marked, co-branded scope models.
  • There is a substantial amount of crossover within Cabela’s scope lines.

Let’s take a second and dive into those two sub-topics:

Cabela’s is owned and operated by Bass Pro Shops

If you were not aware, Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s around the end of 2016. Before the sale, Cabela’s was publicly traded, and a private investment fund had acquired a substantial share of Cabela’s stock. However, due to declining sales and loss of market share to competitors like Bass Pro Shops, Field & Stream, and Gander Mountain, the investment firm forced Cabela’s to either sell or enter bankruptcy.

Bass Pro Shops ended purchasing the Cabela’s Inc. company and all their assets for 5.5 billion. Since Cabela’s had its own commercial successes and a large, existing customer base, Bass Pro opted to maintain the Cabela’s brand and continue operating it as a stand-alone brand under Bass Pro ownership.

While this information isn’t specifically relevant to the Cabela’s line of scopes, it does come into play when I discuss Cabela’s warranty below.

Cabela’s does not manufacture any of its optics

Another crucial fact to mention is that Cabela’s does not produce or manufacture any sporting optics products. Instead, like most major outdoor brands (such as Bass Pro Shops, Scheels, Gander Mountain, etc.), Cabela’s outsources the manufacture of their rifle scopes (and other sporting optics) to an OEM optical manufacturer. Typically, those manufacturers are overseas, but not always, and we will get more into that down below.

These OEM optical makers build sporting optics (riflescopes, binoculars, spotting scopes, etc.) to specifications provided by Cabela’s and then provide the product to Cabela’s in Cabela’s branded packaging.

Just to be clear, this practice is quite common in the sports optics industry as most scope brands follow the same process. However, very few, and I mean, very few major scope brands, build their own complete optics.

Cabelas Instinct Euro Scope Model

And by complete, I mean the production of the scope lenses as well. Many brands follow the same process as Cabela’s and outsource the entire process. Some source the components from international vendors and then assemble, test, and inspect the optic at their company facility.

Except for upper management, most of the Cabela’s staff does not know where or who produces these scopes for Cabela’s. The lone exception to that rule is the clearly marked, co-branded scope models.

If you happen to be in a Cabela’s store and ask the staff who makes any of the Cabela’s scope line, they most likely won’t be able to answer the question with anything other than rumors they have heard or their own personal theories.

This issue is not due to the staff being uneducated about their products. Instead, it’s due to Cabela’s upper management working hard to keep the details of their specific scope manufacturer or manufacturers very close to the vest.

While Cabela’s can’t really hide the country of manufacture (commonly called the COO) as it has to be listed on the product or the product packaging, they can keep the actual scope manufacturer or optics company within a country as confidential as possible.

There is a substantial amount of crossover with the Cabela’s scope lines.

As you read through the list of Cabela’s scope models below, you may notice that Cabela’s has quite a bit of crossover between the different models. By crossover, I mean that they offer several scope models in the same power range or same magnification range, with only a slight bit of change between the models.

In many cases, Cabela’s will do what many private label brands do and re-badge or rename a specific series of scopes and market it as being a “new” line. Unfortunately, this type of marketing is prevalent in the sports optics industry and happens on a regular basis.

Cabela’s Scope Models

Just a note about the list of rifle scopes below: I’ve done my best to provide accurate details for each series of scopes. Obviously, there may be errors here and there, as the information is based on the following components:

  • Older Cabela’s mail order catalogs
  • Cached and/or screenshot versions of the Cabela’s website.
  • My experiences mounting what seems like 100 or more Cabela’s branded scopes when I worked as a scope mounter.

That being said, let’s talk about Cabela’s rifle scope models:

Cabelas Pine Ridge Scopes

The Cabela’s Pine Ridge series was introduced in the late 1990s as their entry-level scope offering, and all the base Pine Ridge versions were built on a 1-inch tube.

This series was offered in 3 versions:

  • Standard Pine Ridge
  • Pine Ridge Muzzleloader & Shotgun
  • Pine Ridge Rimfire

Standard Pine Ridge Series

This series was offered in the following magnification ranges:

  • 4x
  • 6x
  • 2-7
  • 3-9
  • 4-12

All these models were only offered with a duplex reticle option.

Pine Ridge Muzzleloader & Shotgun Scopes

As the name implies, these models were designed for use with a shotgun or muzzleloader. This series included the following magnification ranges:

  • 2.5
  • 2-7

This series featured an expanded 4-inch eye relief and a 50-yard fixed parallax.

Pine Ridge Rimfire Scope

Designed specifically for rimfire rifles, this scope series included the following power ranges:

  • 4x
  • 3-9

Cabela’s would later expand this line to include a rimfire-specific BDC turret system on the 3-9 model.

Cabela’s also briefly introduced a Pine Ridge Tactical series of scopes and some multi-caliber models with popular centerfire caliber-based turrets. The Pine Ridge Tactical scopes would eventually be replaced with the Cabela’s Multi-Turret scope models seen below.

All the Pine Ridge scopes were manufactured in China, and I’m reasonably sure they are produced at the same Chinese optical manufacturer that BSA uses. This scope series was Cabela’s entry-level offering for a branded scope, and the optical quality was about what you would expect for an entry-level scope in this price range.

The entire Pine Ridge series was phased out at the end of 2013.

Cabelas Alaskan Guide Scopes

The Alaskan Guide series of rifle scopes was introduced in the early 2000s and offered an upgrade over the Cabela’s Pine Ridge scopes. These scopes were offered in 5 versions:

  • Standard
  • Compact
  • 30mm versions
  • Range finding models.
  • Shotgun models

Standard Alaskan Guide

The standard Alaskan Guide models were built on a 1-inch tube and featured a magnification range that included the following models:

  • 1X
  • 4x
  • 6x
  • 3.5-10
  • 4.5-14
  • 6.5-20

All the models with an adjustable power range also featured an adjustable objective. Reticle options were mostly duplex, but the 6.5-20 models were also available in a mil-dot version and a target dot version.

Compact Alaskan Guide

The Alaskan Guide Compact scopes seemed to be modeled after the Burris series and Pentax series of compact rifle scopes. This scope series was also built on a 1-inch tube and featured the following power magnification ranges:

  • 6x
  • 2-7
  • 3-9
  • 4-12

These models were only available in a duplex reticle and featured a fixed, non-adjustable parallax.

30mm Alaskan Guide

Like the name implies, these versions of the Alaskan Guide scopes were built on a 30mm tube and featured the following power ranges:

  • 3-12
  • 4.5-14
  • 6.5-20

Rangefinding Alaskan Guide

These models were built on a 1-inch tube and featured a “rangefinding” reticle that reminds me of Nikon’s early BDC reticle. It was designed to offer the shooter the ability to push a centerfire rifle out to distances of 500 yards.

This series only offered the following magnification ranges:

  • 3-5-10
  • 4.5-14

Alaskan Guide Shotgun Models

These scopes were built on a 1-inch tube and designed specifically for use on a shotgun. These models were available in the following power ranges:

  • 2.5x
  • 2-7

All these models came with the Cabela’s Diamond reticle and featured a fixed 75-yard parallax setting.

The Guide series of riflescopes has an interesting history as the early models were made in Japan at Kenko Optics, while the later models were made by Asia Optical in China. This typically indicates that Cabela’s changed manufacturers at some point during the lifespan of the Alaskan Guide.

I thought the Japan-made models were pretty good for the money, especially if you caught them on sale. The optics on the Chinese-made models were lower end and not nearly as bright or clear compared to the Japan-made models. However, the Chinese-made Alaskan Guide scopes were still better optically than the Pine Ridge series.

This series is comparable to the Sightron SII scope series (which was originally made in Japan as well). The entire Alaskan Guide scope series was phased out at the end of 2012.

Cabelas Branded Riflescopes

Cabelas Outfitter Series Scopes

As I recall, the Cabela’s Outfitter series of scopes were introduced in the early 2000s and were first introduced as a step up above the Alaskan Guide standard series. This series was phased out when Cabela’s introduced the Alaskan Guide Premium series.

The Outfitter series was built on a 1-inch tube and were only available in the following magnification ranges:

  • 3-9
  • 4-12
  • 6-20

The Outfitter series offered good glass for the costs (at that time) and were manufactured in Japan. They appear to be designed at the same facility that Bushnell was using for the Elite series as these Outfitter scopes look, feel, and perform like a Bushnell Elite 3200 scope.

In 2014, Cabela’s re-introduced the Outfitter series of scopes again in 1 inch and 30mm versions. At the end of 2015, the Outfitter line of scopes was completely phased out.

Cabelas Alaskan Guide Premium Scopes

The Alaskan Guide Premium series of scopes was introduced in 2005 and replaced the Outfitter series of scopes as Cabela’s top-of-the-line house brand scope offering (at that time).  These models were built on a 1-inch tube and offered better quality glass compared to the standard Alaskan Guide.

The Premium series was initially offered in the following magnification ranges:

  • 3-9
  • 4-12
  • 6-20

The 4-12 and 6-20 models had an adjustable objective that would focus down to 50 yards.

This series was also manufactured in Japan and looked very much like, and optically performed like, the Sightron SII Big Sky scope models. I always thought that the Sightron Big Sky scopes were an absolute steal for the money, and I still own several.

The optical quality of the Premium series was noticeably better than the classic Alaskan series but also came with a higher price point.

Cabela’s Instinct Euro Scopes

In 2009, Cabela’s partnered with Meopta Optics to produce a higher-end series of scopes called the Instinct Euro series. Cabela’s already an existing arrangement with Meopta for binoculars, so it made sense to offer a co-branded series of rifle scopes as well.

The Instinct Euro scopes were built on a 1-inch tube and were only available in the following power ranges:

  • 3-9
  • 4-12
  • 6-18

Initially, all these models were equipped with Meopta’s EXT reticle or a duplex reticle.

This series was very similar to the Zeiss Conquest lines of scopes that Meopta produced for Zeiss (although not identical). The optical quality on these was extremely good for the cost, especially if you happened to catch them on sale or at a discount.

This series of rifle scopes was phased out at the end of 2016.

Cabela’s Instinct Euro HD Scopes (Also sometimes listed as Instinct HD scope)

In 2016, Cabela’s made a few changes and renamed the Cabela’s/Meopta co-branded Instinct Euro scope series over to the Cabela’s Instinct Euro HD scope series. However, some of the models I’ve seen were also marked as “Cabela’s Instinct HD” scope.

Like the original Euro series, the Instinct Euro HD scopes were built on a 1-inch tube and manufactured by Meopta Optics. Again, like the original Instinct Euro scopes, the glass came from Europe, but the scopes were assembled at the Meopta facility in the USA.

This scope series was offered in the following magnification ranges:

  • 3-9
  • 4.5-14
  • 6.5-20

This series is basically the same as the Cabela’s Instinct Euro series, except for the following minor changes:

  • The 4-12 model was changed over to a 4.5-14 model.
  • The 6-18 version was changed over to a 6.5-20 model.
  • In addition to the EXT reticle and duplex reticle option, they added a long-range reticle option called the HTR EXT reticle. The HTR EXT reticle incorporates wind drift markings into the horizontal scope post.
  • The 6.5-20 model with the HTR EXT reticle features exposed turrets, while all the other Instinct scopes have capped turrets.

These scopes were (and still are, if you can find one) equipped with great glass and are/were an excellent price, even at full MSRP.

In my opinion, both of the Instinct Euro and the Instinct Euro HS scope series were the best overall scope options that Cabela’s has offered to date.

Cabela’s Lever-Action Scopes

Introduced in 2007, these scopes were built specifically for use with lever-action rifles in certain calibers using the Hornady LEVERevolution ammunition. Initially, they made were caliber specific for the following calibers:

  • .444 Marlin
  • .30-30 Winchester
  • .45-70 Government

In 2010, Cabela’s removed the .444 caliber option from the line-up and replaced it with a .44 Mag version. In 2011, they added a model for the .308 Marlin Express caliber.

Cabelas Lever-Action Scope

This scope series was only available in a 3-9 configuration and featured reticles that incorporated bullet drop compensation out to 300 yards when used with specific Hornady LEVERevolution ammo in specific bullet grains. For example, the .44 Magnum version was built to work exclusively with the 225-grain LEVERevolution ammo.

All the Cabela’s Lever-Action scope models were manufactured in China.

Cabela’s Alpha Series of Scopes

Introduced in 2010, these scopes were built on a 1-inch tube and featured Cabela’s EXT or DOA-600 reticle. This series was only available in the following power magnifications:

  • 3-9
  • 3-12
  • 4-12 (Only produced for a few years)

This series always confused me as the target market for this series never seemed clear. These were more geared as an entry-level scope with limited BDC functionality designed for centerfire rifles.

All the Alpha series of rifle scopes were manufactured in China.

Cabela’s Caliber Specific Scopes

First introduced in 2010, the Cabela’s Caliber Specific scopes were designed for use with specific calibers and featured an EXT reticle that offered bullet drop compensation capability for those calibers at specific distances.

Built on a 1-inch tube, these scopes were originally offered for the following calibers:

  • 22LR
  • 17 HMR
  • 22 Mag
  • .223

When first introduced, they were only available in a 3-9 power configuration.

In 2012, Cabela’s took the rimfire versions of this scope (which included the 22LR, 17 HMR, and 22 Mag) and renamed them the Cabela’s Caliber Specific Rimfire scopes.

At the same time, Cabela’s expanded this scope series to include the following popular centerfire rifle calibers:

  • .223
  • .243 Winchester
  • .270 Winchester
  • .30-06 Springfield

Cabela’s also discontinued the 3-9 power and only offered this series in a 3-12 power magnification.

All the Cabela’s Caliber Specific scope models are produced in China and appear to come from the same facility that makes the Tasco line of rifle scopes. These models were also entry-level scopes, with the caliber-specific BDC reticle functionality being the big draw. Additionally, the optical quality is/was on the lower end of the scale.

Cabela’s Caliber Specific Rimfire Scopes

Initially, the Cabela’s Caliber Specific Rimfire scopes were part of the Cabela’s group of caliber-specific rifle scope series. However, in 2012, Cabela’s offered these scope models are a stand-alone series called the Caliber Specific Rimfire scope series.

Built on a 1-inch tube, this series is only available in a 3-9 configuration with rimfire caliber-specific versions made for the following rimfire calibers:

  • 22LR
  • 22 Mag
  • 17 HMR

These models feature a reticle that offers caliber-specific bullet drop compensation functionality based on the following specifics:

  • Bullet caliber
  • Bullet weight
  • Bullet speed

This series is sometimes confused with a related Cabela’s scope series called the Multi-Turret Rimfire series. The Multi-turret series offers a set of caliber-specific turrets in place of a caliber-specific BDC reticle.

Like most rifle scopes sourced for Cabela’s, the Caliber-Specific Rimfire scopes were/are an entry-level scope with entry-level glass sourced from China.

Cabela’s Multi-Turret Scopes

Initially introduced in 2007, this series of scopes was called the Cabela’s Tactical Multi-Turret Scope. When introduced, this series was offered in 3 series:

  • Cabela’s Tactical Rimfire Multi-Turret Scope
  • Cabela’s Tactical Centerfire Multi-Turret Scope
  • Cabela’s Tactical Big Game Multi-Turret Scope

Each Tactical series offered specific caliber-based turrets that, once configured and properly zeroed, allowed the shooter to dial the turret for specific target distances, and the bullet drop was pre-configured.

Here’s a quick look at each variant:

Cabela’s Tactical Rimfire Multi-Turret Scope

This series featured caliber-based turrets for the following calibers:

  • .17 HMR with 17 grain bullet
  • .17 Mach 2 with 17 grain bullet
  • .22 Hornet with 35 grain Hornady V-Max bullet
  • .22 LR with 40 grain bullet
  • .22 Mag with 40 grain HP bullet

Built using a 1-inch tube, this series was available in a 3-9 configuration that would dial out to 200 yards.

Cabela’s Tactical Centerfire Multi-Turret Scope

This scope version featured caliber-based turrets for the following calibers:

  • .204 with a 32 or 40 grain bullet
  • .223 with a 50, 55, or 60 grain bullet
  • .22-250 with a 50 or 55 grain bullet

The first generation of the Tactical Centerfire scope was offered in 3-9 and 3-12 versions with the capability to dial out to 400 yards.

Cabela’s Tactical Big Game Multi-Turret Scope

This Big Game model featured caliber-based turrets for the following calibers:

  • .243 with a 100-grain bullet
  • .270 with a 130 or 150-grain bullet
  • .30-06 with a 165 or 180-grain bullet
  • .300 Winchester Mag with a 180-grain bullet

The first generation of the Tactical Big Game scopes was offered in 3-9 and 3-12 versions with the capability to dial out to 500 yards.

This series would change names a few times and go through a few slight changes over time.

The latest iteration of this series was called the Cabela’s Multi-Turret series of rifle scopes, and it continued the multi-caliber with multi-turret concept.

This most recent version of this series is/was only available in a 3-12 configuration for the following calibers:

  • .223 Remington
  • .243 Winchester
  • .270 Winchester
  • .30-06 Springfield
  • .300 Winchester Mag.

Each turret for each caliber is built to work with a specific brand of ammunition in a particular bullet weight. For example, the .243 version comes with turrets that are calibrated for the following brands and bullet weight:

  • 100-gr. Rem. Core-Lokt
  • 100-gr. Winchester Super-X
  • 80-gr. Winchester Super-X
  • 80-gr. Federal Power-Shok
  • 100-gr. Federal Power-Shok
  • 100-gr. Herter’s

This series was also made in China at the same facility that makes several other Cabela’s scope models.

Cabela’s Multi-Turret Rimfire Scope

In 2014, Cabela’s separated the multi-turret rimfire models from the Cabela’s Multi-Turret series, made a few updates, and offered the rimfire series as a stand-alone series called the Cabela’s Multi-Turret Rimfire scopes.

This series was only offered in 3-9 power range and featured turrets made for the following rimfire calibers:

  • .17 HMR with Hornady 17-gr. V-Max with a bullet speed of 2,550 fps or the Hornady 20-gr. XTP® with a bullet speed of 2,375 fps.
  • .17 WSM with Winchester 20-gr. Polymer Tip with a bullet speed of 3,000 fps, or Winchester 25-gr. Polymer Tip with a bullet speed of 2,600 fps. (Which was a new addition to the line)
  •  .22 LR with Remington 40-gr. Flat Nose bullets moving at 1,085 fps, or Winchester 36-gr. HP moving at 1,220 fps, or Winchester 40-gr. Round Nose bullets moving at 1,243 fps.
  • .22 WMR with Hornady 30-gr. Magnum bullets moving at 2,200 fps, or Winchester 40-gr. FMJ bullets moving at 1,910 fps.

As long as you used the suggested ammunition and the bullet speeds were close to those indicated for proper bullet drop compensation, these scopes worked reasonably well. They were an entry-level line of scopes and featured lower-end optical quality.

All the Cabela’s Multi-Turret Rimfire scopes were manufactured in China and were most likely made at the same Chinese facility that produced the BSA Sweet 22 and Sweet 17 series of riflescopes. As a result, the Cabela’s models look and function nearly identical to the BSA Sweet series that were being sold at that time.

Cabela’s Powderhorn Muzzleloader Scopes

First introduced in 2009, the Powderhorn series of scopes were designed for use on muzzleloaders using a sabot style black powder 250-grain loads with 100 grains of powder. These scopes feature a BDC-style reticle with bullet drop compensation out to 250 yards.

This series was available in the following magnifications:

  • 3-10
  • 4-14

This series was built on a 1-inch tube and featured a 3.75″ eye relief. All the Cabela’s Powderhorn Muzzleloader scopes were built in China at the same facility that made muzzleloader scopes for a few other mainstream scope brands.

This line would eventually be changed over to the Cabela’s Muzzleloader scope series.

Cabela’s Muzzleloader Scope

In 2014, Cabela’s discontinued the Powderhorn Muzzleloader scope series and re-introduced it as the Cabela’s Muzzleloader scope series.

They phased out the 3-10 and 4-14 power versions and replaced them with a 3-9 magnification model.

This series was built on a 1-inch tube and was also manufactured in China. I thought that the Powderhorn Muzzleloaders had slightly better optics and were a little better quality than the Cabela’s Muzzleloader models.

Cabela’s Slugger Shotgun Scope

Introduced in 2009, this scope series was specifically designed for use with a shotgun using a rifled barrel and shooting sabot-style shotgun slugs.

This scope series was only available in a 3-9 magnification and featured an EXT reticle designed with bullet drop compensation marks in 100-yard variables.

This scope is built on a 1-inch tube and features 4 inches of eye relief. It looks and functions very similar to Nikon’s Slughunter series of riflescopes.

This series was phased out at the end of 2013 and replaced with the Cabela’s Slug Shotgun scope series.

Both the Slugger scope series and the Cabela’s Slug Shotgun series were produced in China.

If you’re shopping for this specific shotgun slug scope, here are links to some:

Cabelas Intrepid HD Scopes by Vortex

Since Cabela’s was already selling a Vortex-built spotting scope under the Cabela’s name, it only made sense to do the same with riflescopes. So in 2016, Cabela’s launched the Cabela’s Intrepid scope series, which was co-branded as being built by Vortex.

Cabelas Intrepid HD Scope by Vortex

This series was built on a 30mm tube and was only available in a 4.5-22 magnification with the Vortex VMR-1 reticle. In addition, it featured a side focus that would go down to 25 yards.

The Cabela’s Intrepid HD scope was manufactured in Japan and was covered under Vortex’s lifetime warranty (not the Cabela’s warranty, which could be significant in light of the Bass Pro ownership of Cabela’s)

Having looked through a few of these scopes, I thought the optical quality was pretty good but not as good as the Cabela’s Instinct Euro scopes I mentioned above.

When they were first introduced, they were $799 but then dropped down to a sub-$500 scope when on sale. They were a much better buy at the $500 price point.

This series must not have been a great seller for Cabela’s as they were phased out at the end of 2018.

Cabela’s Covenant Tactical Scopes

Introduced in 2016, the original Cabela’s Covenant Tactical scopes were offered in two series:

  • Covenant Tactical SFP Scopes
  • Covenant Tactical FFP Scopes

These scopes were built on a 30mm tube and offered some features not previously seen on any prior Cabela’s scope models.

Covenant Tactical SFP Scopes

This series was built on a second focal plane (SFP) design and was initially offered in the following magnifications ranges:

  • 4-16
  • 6-24

This series came equipped with a side focus feature that would focus down to 15 yards and featured a TAC-32 reticle, which was a Christmas tree-style reticle.

Covenant Tactical FFP Scopes

The Covenant Tactical FFP models were the first scopes that Cabela’s ever offered in a first focal plane design.

The FFP versions were originally offered in the following magnification ranges:

  • 4-16
  • 6-24

This series also featured a side focus that would focus down to 15 yards and came equipped with Cabela’s FFP reticle option.

Both the SFP and FFP versions of this series were made in China and appear to be from the same facility that makes the Vortex Diamondback series of scopes and use to make the Diamondback HP scope models. As a result, these scopes look very similar to the Vortex Diamondback and Diamondback Tactical series of riflescopes.

Here are listings for all the Covenant Tactical FFP scopes that are still available at Cabela’s:

Cabela’s Magnitude Scopes

Introduced in 2015, the Magnitude series of rifle scopes was offered in two series:

A 1-inch series

  • 3-10
  • 4-12

A 30mm series

  • 2.5-10
  • 6-18
  • 8-32

The Cabela’s Magnitude series appears to be a re-make of the Cabela’s Pine Ridge scopes, with a few minor changes in power magnifications, reticle options, and the addition of a 30mm version.

Cabelas Magnitude Riflescope

The Magnitude scopes were marketed as a mid-level scope within the entire Cabela’s scope line (of that time). The optical quality seems slightly better than the Pine Ridge series, but not by much. The entire Magnitude scope series was manufactured in China.

This scope series was phased out in 2017.

Cabela’s Covenant 5 Scope

Introduced in 2019, the Covenant 5 Series was/is a series of 30mm scopes that are available in both SFP and FFP versions. This series was marketed as a step up in glass quality over the standard Cabela’s Covenant series of scopes.

Covenant 5 SFP Scopes

  • 3-15
  • 5-25

The 3-5 version was equipped with Cabela’s TAC-10S MIL reticle, while the 5-25 version was equipped with Cabela’s TAC-6 MIL reticle.

Covenant 5 FFP Scopes

  • 3-15
  • 5-25

The 3-15 and 5-25 versions were equipped with Cabela’s TAC-10 MIL FFP reticle.

All the Covenant 5 scope models are built in China.

Here’s a look at all the Covenant 5 scope models that are still available at Cabela’s:

Cabela’s Covenant 7 Scopes

Introduced in 2019, the Cabela’s Covenant 7 series of scopes are all built on a 34mm tube and are marketed as an upgraded optical quality and magnification over the standard Covenant series and the Covenant 5 series scopes. Like the Covenant 5 models, the Covenant 7 series comes in SFP and FFP versions.

Covenant 7 SFP Scopes

The second focal plane versions of the Covenant 7 series are/were available in the following magnifications:

  • 3-21
  • 5-35

Both models are equipped with Cabela’s TAC-8 SFP MIL reticle.

Covenant 7 FFP Scopes

The first focal plane versions of the Covenant 7 series are/were available in the following magnifications:

  • 3-21
  • 5-35

Both models are equipped with Cabela’s TAC-10 FFP MIL reticle.

All the Cabela’s Covenant 7 rifle scope models are manufactured in China.

Here are a few Covenant 7 Tactical scopes that are currently for sale:

Cabela’s CX PRO HD Scope

Introduced in 2019, this model is designed for long-range shooting, tactical shooting, or precision shooting. Built on a 34mm tube, this model is/was only available in a first focal plane 5-25x56mm configuration with Cabela’s proprietary FFP MOA or FFP MRAD reticle.

Cabelas CX Pro HD Scope

This scope is produced at the Superior Lens facility in China.

I’ve had the opportunity to check out a few of these CX Pro models, and the glass is surprisingly good for a Chinese-made scope in the $600 to $800 price range.

If you’re in the market for a CX Pro HD:

Cabela’s Scope Warranty

The original Cabela’s warranty program played a significant role in Cabela’s rapid growth from a mail-order catalog company to a major retailer in the outdoor industry. This growth was partially fueled by the fantastic lifetime warranty associated with the Cabela’s branded products.

I had an uncle who bought nothing but Cabela’s brand hunting gear (when available) simply due to the warranty. He must have gone through at least three different pairs of Cabela’s hunting boots when I was a teenager.

When a pair of Cabela’s boots started leaking water or a boot eyelet popped off, he would call Cabela’s for a return authorization, send the problem pair in, and would receive a new pair of boots in a few weeks.

When Cabela’s started opening retail stores, he would sometimes make the 8-hour drive to the nearest store (at that time) to shop for new gear and return any broken or damaged Cabela’s products for warranty replacement.

My first pair of briar-proof, upland bird pants were the Cabela’s house brand and were a Christmas gift from the same uncle. After about two years of use, when the zipper broke, he took them back on one of his “Cabela’s” runs to return them for brand new pair.

Their warranty program seemed too good to be true and created a loyal following for their house-branded equipment and gear.

When discussing the warranty for the Cabela’s brand of rifle scopes, you have to break the discussion down into two points in time that I like to call:

  • Original Cabela’s Lifetime Warranty (Any time before 2017)
  • Bass Pro Version of Cabela’s Warranty (2017 to Present)

Let’s dive a little deeper into each warranty situation:

Original Cabela’s Lifetime Warranty (Any time before 2017)

Before the Bass Pro purchase, Cabela’s basically offered a lifetime warranty on just about every Cabela’s branded product that they sold. Now, there were some limits and exclusions to the lifetime warranty, like Cabela’s branded electronics were only covered for a few years.

All the Cabela’s branded rifle scopes came with a lifetime warranty, except for the select few models that had an illuminated reticle (which was only a select few models in the Pine Ridge scope series). The electronic components of those scopes were only covered for five years.

If you had an issue with a Cabela’s brand scope, you could do the following:

(1)   Contact Cabela’s, acquire a return form, mail the scope back to Cabela’s. Upon receipt. Cabela’s would usually send you a new replacement, or, if the scope model were no longer being sold, would send you a like/kind model that was as close as they could match to the original.

(2)   If you lived close enough, you take the damaged or malfunctioning scope to a Cabela’s retail store, where they would either replace it with the same model, offer you store credit towards another scope model, or give you a like/kind exchange with the closest scope model they had on hand (within reason).

Now that’s not to say that the Cabela’s warranty program was perfect because it wasn’t. Sometimes the process might be a little more complicated (especially with in-store returns), and sometimes the return process could be annoying. However, I always had a theory that Cabela’s started making the warranty process more complicated in an effort to deter warranty claims for inexpensive items (making it not worth the struggle for a $39 item).

Obviously, this type of warranty program is ripe for exploitation and abuse, so it wasn’t surprising that Cabela’s gradually started making changes in how the lifetime warranty was handled.

However, for the most part, I always felt that Cabela’s did a pretty good job of standing behind their branded scopes.

Bass Pro Version of Cabela’s Warranty (2017 to Present)

After Bass Pro completed the acquisition of Cabela’s at the end of 2016, Bass Pro had indicated that they would honor all existing Cabela’s products covered under a lifetime warranty. Bass Pro’s official position on their website is (or was depending on when you are reading this:

“Will my Cabela’s lifetime guarantees be honored by the new company, and can these items be returned at Bass Pro Shops locations?”

“Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s will continue honoring all lifetime guarantees and any other warranties on its products. Customers can make a return or claim at any location for a refund or exchange for a comparable item.”

From: https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/together-FAQs?storeId=715838534

However, in reality, it appears that Bass Pro is interpreting the warranty as being the estimated lifetime of the product versus a blanket lifetime. And they are the source setting the estimated product lifetime.

Here’s a personal example: Just before the Bass Pro merger, I bought a pair of Cabela’s boots made by Meindl that were on sale at a price that I just couldn’t pass on. This was my second pair of Meindl’s made Cabela’s boots, and these were purchased specifically for future use.

They were purchased at a local Cabela’s before the merger and were supposedly covered by Cabela’s lifetime guarantee (which did play a small role in my buying decision).

The boots sat in the box for a year and then were deployed for the upcoming hunting season.  Midway through the season, one boot developed a leak. Now, I’ve owned the boots for just over two years total but only hunted with them for half a season (say three months of wear).

With the original receipt in hand and boots in the original Cabela’s box, I took them into my local Cabela’s (which is now owned by Bass Pro) to see about engaging the warranty.

After speaking with three different Cabela’s employees, a management team member informed me that the “lifetime” of the boots was two years, so they were out of warranty, based on my date of purchase.

Now, I’m not one of those serial returners, but I honestly expected a new pair after only three months of use.

Luckily, the nice folks at Meindl were willing to fix them for a small fee plus S/H.

If you do a quick internet search of “Cabela’s lifetime warranty,” and you’ll see several pages of complaints in various outdoor forums about the “lifetime” warranty not being honored.

I believe that the current Bass Pro position on the Cabela’s warranty will not be good for Cabela’s or Bass Pro long term. Unhappy Cabela’s customers will not migrate over to Bass Pro for their outdoor equipment shopping needs.

So, if you purchase a Cabela’s branded scope, be aware that, no matter what the warranty info says, your version of lifetime and the Cabela’s/Bass Pro version of lifetime warranty coverage probably won’t be the same.


Here are some of the more common questions that I’ve seen regarding the Cabela’s brand of rifle scopes:

Does Vortex make Cabela’s scopes?

Officially speaking, Vortex Optics has only manufactured one scope model for Cabela’s, and that was a co-branded model called the Cabelas Intrepid HD Scope by Vortex. Vortex Optics was clearly listed as being the brand of the scope.

Since Vortex Optics does not officially manufacture its own line of scopes, it’s entirely possible that some of Cabela’s lines of scopes were manufactured in the same optical facility that makes the Vortex line of riflescopes.

Who makes rifle scopes for Cabela’s?

That’s a tricky question to answer as Cabela’s offers a broad range of branded rifle scopes that come from several different sources.

Some of the scopes are co-branded models made by a mainstream brand like Meopta Optics or Vortex optics.

Aside from the co-branded scope models, most Cabela’s riflescopes are manufactured at different optical facilities in China. A select few of the higher-end models were manufactured in Japan.

Who makes Cabelas 17 wsm scope?

As discussed above, Cabela’s dedicated 17 WSM scope was part of their Multi-Turret Rimfire scope series and was manufactured for Cabela’s at an optical manufacturer in China.

Is the Cabelas EXT reticle any good?

Cabelas EXT Reticle
EXT Reticle on a Cabela’s Instinct Euro Scope

The EXT reticle is not a proprietary reticle design owned by Cabela’s, as several other rifle scope makers and brands offer a version of the EXT reticle.

This reticle features bullet drop compensation marks or hashes positioned along the lower portion of the vertical axis of the reticle.

When configured correctly, those hash marks can be used to compensate for bullet drop when shooting at longer distances.

I like the EXT reticle as it’s basically a slightly modified BDC reticle, and I find it ideal for hunting and target shooting. Also, should one opt not to use the BDC functionality, the EXT reticle still functions well as a traditional duplex.

The only drawback to the EXT design is that it does not offer any marks on the horizontal reticle axis to account for wind drift at longer ranges.

Are Cabela’s brand scopes good?

Before I answer this question, here’s my caveat: Evaluating a product being good or bad is always tricky as the answer is wholly based on one’s opinion.

Cabela’s brand of scopes as a whole offers a wide range of models that cover almost every shooting or hunting need. In addition, that range of scopes includes models with a broad range of optical quality, which is a common factor determining how the quality level of a rifle scope.

  • Some of the Cabela’s brands, like the models specifically made by Meopta and Vortex, have good to excellent optical quality and performance.
  • Some of the Cabela’s scope models made in Japan feature good optical quality for the money.
  • Most of the Cabela’s models made in China are middle-of-the-road to lower-end optical quality.

So, here’s my official answer: Some of the Cabela’s scopes are good, some are mediocre, some are meh, and some are simply not good at all.

The better-quality models tend to cost more than the lower-quality models on the new and used market.

Are the Cabelas FFP scope models any good?

The answer depends on which Cabela’s FFP scope model being discussed, as Cabela’s offers more than one FFP riflescope series.

The Cabela’s Covenant 5 and Covenant 7 model FFP scopes seem to be brighter and of better quality than the standard Cabela’s Covenant series of scopes. To me, the standard Covenant series of FFP scope models are entry-level FFP scopes, at best.

The Cabela’s CX PRO HD scope is their current top-of-the-line FFP offering. I found the Covenant 7 FFP and the CX PRO HD models to be much better than expected for the cost and the fact that they are made in China.

Where are Cabelas Covenant scopes made?

The Cabela’s Covenant series of riflescopes are offered in a few different versions, including:

  • Covenant Tactical
  • Covenant 4 Scope (only briefly offered)
  • Covenant 5 FFP
  • Covenant 7 FFP

All the Cabela’s Covenant scopes are produced at an optical manufacturing facility located in China.

Does Leupold make any scopes for Cabela’s?

Leupold does not and has not produced or manufactured any scopes for the Cabela’s brand.

However, in 2017, Leupold introduced a scope model called the Leupold American Marksman model that was originally a Cabela’s exclusive.

This means that when the scope was first introduced for a certain amount of time, Cabela’s was the only vendor that could offer this scope model for sale.

To my knowledge, that’s as close as Leupold has been to producing or making a Cabela’s branded rifle scope.

Hopefully you found this information helpful, and I’ll update this page if I come across any new information.