Since 2014, Bruce Pettet has been ardently at the helm of Leupold & Stevens serving as the President and CEO. He joins Jim and I on this week's broadcast of The Revolution to discuss the luminous history of the family behind the Leupold brand, an American manufacturing commitment, and how Marcus Leupold was a visionary, an entrepreneur that forged the world's greatest optics out of a hunting failure in the early 40’s.
It’s worth noting that 100% of all Leupold rifle scopes are manufactured in Beaverton, Oregon and have been for seventy-one years. In fact, just over fifty Leupold employees have more than forty years on the job, roughly sixty individuals have amassed over 30 years, and the number of committed team members with twenty plus years of designing and assembling for Leupold, is in the hundreds. Bruce adds that Leupold shareholders are committed to building generational value and they have cultivated a unique atmosphere where husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, cousins, and the like, have concerted their expertise and brilliance and it’s their sense of pride and craftsmanship that has ultimately given Leupold its level of quality that can’t be matched.
Furthering our talk, Bruce touches on Leupold’s renowned glass and the eighty-five engineers that work on Leupold products every day. Now, if you’ve never field tested a pair of Leupold binoculars or rifle scope, you have done your previous hunts a great injustice. As Bruce explains, it’s a multitude of sophisticated combinations that puts Leupold as the frontrunner and premiere choice in optics, but where they are truly head and shoulders above any other brand, is with their low light performance that's achieved through Twilight Max coatings. Leupold pledged to deliver unfailing results afield and these eighty-five brainy engineers are seeing that it’s delivered. Bruce continues, that we all know as hunters that the first fifteen minutes of daybreak and the last fifteen minutes of shooting light, is when it really counts. And while their competitors bank on everything looking clear in the middle of the day in a retail store, Leupold assures that their binoculars, rangefinders, scopes and spotting scopes, will perform outside, in the real world, on the worst days, no matter what.
Changing directions, I asked Bruce what he considers to be his top pick for a good, price effective, deer hunting scope. He reveals that his go-to scope since last year (when it was released) is the VX-5HD 3-15x44 millimeter because for under $1000, it’s the best value in the market. Aside from the VX-5HD’s Twilight Max HD light management system, it also features a Guard-ion lens coating that sheds water and dirt and keeps your vision crisp and clear. It has an illuminated reticle, a two-turn CDS ZeroLock 2 adjustment custom dial system that aids you in long-range holdovers, and its overall appearance is sleek and streamlined while its body is incredibly durable and lightweight. Bruce puts this VX-5HD 3-15x44 on everything because it’s a do anything scope that gives you the most versatility.
Jim then questions Bruce about choosing the right binoculars for a hunt and he illustrates that it’s all dependent on the game you are pursuing and the country you are in. Out in the west, where Bruce does a good majority of his hunts, he opts for the powerful BX-4 Pro Guide HD in the 12x50mm. However, the Leupold Pro Guide series offers everything from the 12x50 that Bruce likes, to a 10x50, 10x42, 10x32 and also an 8x42 and 8x32. All of the BX-4 Pro Guide Series Binoculars have the Twilight Max HD light management system, as well, and are lightweight and easy to manage for all day carry and use.
Lastly, Bruce details his personal hunting setups and how he customizes each of his rifles with specific scopes so that he has the absolute best matchup of caliber, cartridge, scope and binocular, for the game he’s pursuing. This certainly isn’t a requisition for all to follow and Bruce reiterates that it’s more than possible to find the perfect rifle and caliber that will work in various situations.
Be sure to listen to this fun and informative two-part interview (audio player is below) with Bruce Pettet, President and CEO of Leupold & Stevens. To learn more about Leupold, the products Bruce spoke of, Bruce himself, or to follow Leupold on their social channels, simply click here.
Happy hunting y’all,