History of riflescopes

How it all began

Since 1904, ZEISS has been a pioneer in riflescopes for hunting. It has secured its pole position thanks to innovations and extremely high quality standards. Milestones achieved by the company include two hunting riflescopes in 1922 with variable magnification: the Zielmulti/Zielmultar and the Zielacht, the first riflescope to combine high magnification with maximum twilight performance.

The new inner mounting rail that ZEISS unveiled in 1990 was revolutionary due to its simple and rapid riflescope mounting feature. The Victory Varipoint model with its groundbreaking red targeting dot for day and night use was a resounding success when it was launched in 1998.

In 2012, the VICTORY HT riflescope delivered extreme light transmission greater than 95%. Today, ZEISS offers a wide range of riflescopes for hunting and long-range shooting, from 1.1x wide-angle magnification to 24x magnification with a 72 mm objective lens diameter for long range in low light.


  • Construction of the first riflescopes


    Carl Zeiss builds the first riflescopes (based on the Beaulieu-Marconnay design) for sniper rifles and machine guns.

  • Prism sight for rifles


    Prism sight for rifles

  • Riflescope with prism erecting system


    M. Hensoldt & Söhne unveils "Solar," the first riflescope with prism erecting system.

  • Pancratic riflescope


    Carl Zeiss builds its first pancratic riflescopes with variable magnification for the military.

  • First refracting riflescope


    The first refracting riflescopes from Carl Zeiss: the Zielvier and Zielsechs.

  • Riflescope with switchable magnification


    Riflescopes with switchable magnification were launched for the first time for hunting: the Zieldovier and Zieldosechs.

  • Hunting riflescope


    Two hunting riflescopes with variable magnification: the Zielmulti and Zielmultar. First riflescope featuring high magnification and maximum twilight performance: the Zielacht.

  • Feather-light models


    Feather-light models 4x31 and 6x42 made from robust light metal for the first time with milled assembly rail.

  • D-model with "double" reticle adjustment


    The D-models are brought to market, with "double" reticle adjustment (height and side).

  • Z/ZA models


    The Z/ZA models feature a centered reticle that is always in the center of the field of view.

  • First bullet drop compensator (BDC)


    The first bullet drop compensator (BDC) is launched.

  • Inner rail


    The inner rail is unveiled. It constitutes what is probably the most perfect technical assembly to date.

  • Reticle illumination


    Reticle illumination is launched.

  • First Varipoint model


    The first Varipoint model features an illuinated reticle for day and night.

  • New Victory riflescopes


    The new Victory Diavari riflescopes are considerably lighter (up to 30%) and shorter, and provide larger fields of view (up to 35%) and extended eye relief (up to 12%) than predecessor models.

  • Conquest riflescope for American hunting rifles


    The Conquest riflescopes intended primarily for American hunting conditions are unveiled. Powerful, light and compact, with superior transmission values and top quality – all of them at an attractive price.

  • Diavari V 6-24x56 riflescope


    The top-of-the-line model of the Varipoint series (3–12x56) is brought to market. With the powerful Diavari V 6–24x56 tele-riflescope, ZEISS offers targeting optics for long-range precision shooting.

  • Z-point reflex sight


    The Z-point reflex sight for drive hunts.

  • Diarange with illuminated reticle and laser rangefinders.


    Diarange with illuminated reticle and laser rangefinders.

  • Varipoint iC


    Varipoint iC: Frist riflescope that "communicates" with the weapon.

  • Duralyt models


    Duralyt models as gateway to the ZEISS premium class.

  • VICTORY HT riflescope


    For the first time, VICTORY HT riflescopes achieve transmission values of 95 percent and offer the world’s finest illuminated dot.