The History of Riflescopes

  • How it all started

    How it all started

    Since 1904, ZEISS has been a pioneer in the field of telescopic sights for hunting rifles (riflescopes) and has secured its lead with numerous 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 introduced by ZEISS 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 smashing success when it was launched on the market in 1998. In 2012, the VICTORY HT riflescope ably 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 dim conditions.

  • 1892 – 1919


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


    Prism sight for rifles.


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


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

  • 1920 – 1953


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


    For the first time, there are two hunting models with adjustable magnification: Zieldovier and Zieldosechs.


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


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

  • 1954 - 1990


    The D models are launched, with "double" bullet drop compensation (height and windage).


    The Z/ZA models have a centered bullet drop compensation that is always positioned in the center.


    The first bullet drop compensator (ASV) is introduced.


    The inner rail is introduced. It is technically the ideal assembly rail.

  • 1991 – 2000


    An illuminated reticle is introduced.


    The first Varipoint model has an illuminated reticle for daytime and night-time use.


    The new Zeiss 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.

  • 2001 – 2008


    The Conquest riflescopes, developed primarily for American hunting conditions, are launched: powerful, light, compact, offering maximum transmission and top quality at an attractive price.


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


    The Z-Point reflex sight for driven hunts is launched.


    The Diarange with an illuminated reticle and laser rangefinder is introduced.

  • 2009 – today


    Varipoint iC: The first riflescope that "communicates" with the weapon.


    The Duralyt is launched as the entry-level model in the premium class of Zeiss riflescopes.


    VICTORY HT riflescopes reach light transmission levels of 95% for the first time and offer the finest illuminated dot worldwide.