Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

May 22, 2006
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Thousand Oaks, CA, USA
#7
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

I think they had planned to build some more scopes if they were able to make a go of it with the 1911s that were advertised for a while. I can only imagine that there were maybe a small handful of actual employees hired to bring the pistols into production, if even that. The cost to produce the old target scopes these days would be high enough that there would not be much of a general market willing to pay a price that would keep things profitable. They would also have a hard time building the 10X USMC Sniper scope to make money with. I think someone on this forum had posted that the scopes produced by Unertl in the last 5-10 years have really just been built with the left over parts from their past production facility in Pa. They had one or possibly two people with the ability to assemble what was left so as to have something to sell. I read somewhere that one guy waited nearly 2 years to get his scope. At least they did not simply stamp the Unertl name on product imported from Asia to make money, and ruin a long standing reputation for quality.
 

Lowlight

HMFIC of this Shit
Staff member
Apr 12, 2001
27,234
3,011
113
Base of the Rockies
www.snipershide.com
#9
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

They didn't have a compnay, they had a plaque on a door in Las Vegas and they hired 1. former Unertl worker to assemble stuff. He did that in his garage, in fact all the pictures of the Unertl 10X tactical were the same 3 scopes...

There was no factory, the 1911 was sub-contracted out as was the scopes.

They bought the Unertl Name, nothing else as there was nothing left to buy... Unertl worked out of an old barn with nothing in it of value. I saw the official assessment after John's death.

There was no "company" just a company name.
 
Oct 31, 2008
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#10
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

Hey fellas,

I just googled unertl to see what was going on with them until I found they are gone. Just thought I'd share an interesting story about my experience with them.

Back in 2002 when I was Lance Corporal (2171) my Gunny trained me to assemble the Unertl 10x scope. He had parts for 7 of them, all stamped for civilian sales. I didn't know it, but he was a long time buddy of Rocky. Gunny was trying to line me up with a job for when I got out and the anticipated "production" of scopes got in full gear. It took me a week, but I put them all together and got pretty good at it, so every couple of weeks for the next 3 months or so Gunny would bring me enough parts for a couple more scopes (only the first 7 were civilian, the rest were USMC scopes). I was free skilled labor for Rocky, but I enjoy that kind of work.

I only met Col Green once when he came by the shop to talk to Gunny and it was merely a brief introduction before he was on his way again, but he complimented me on the quality of the scopes I assembled and I couldn't help but swell up with a little pride. Unfortunately, I got stop lossed for the war and by the time I got back, said he had all the employees he needed. Even if the company didn't have much of a future I would have enjoyed the experience. It's a shame they couldn't keep their heads above water. Inside and out those scopes were hands down the absolute best at what they were designed for. I wish I could've kept one.
 

chad3

Sergeant
Aug 1, 2006
750
0
0
#11
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

Mike,
Back door it:
USO MST

Search for a scope, not just the homepage. I don't know why the other won't work (didn't for me as well), but this gets the job done as well.
Chad
 
Oct 31, 2008
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0
#12
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

Hehe, Unertl also filed a lawsuit on US Optics over that. I don't know the details, but it was posted in the news section of Unertl's site and I got some of the story second hand from my Gunny.

I've thought about working at another scope shop, but I'm doing alright where I'm at. Right now I'm doing night vision repair. I prefer the meticulous and precise nature of working with high quality hard optics (it's one of those things that not everyone can do, no matter how much training they get, which makes it very satisfying when you're good at it), but good optics jobs are hard to come by with experience and no degree. Plus I have no desire to move back to California. I'd rather go to Oregon and work for Leupold. For now I'll keep that skill in my back pocket until opportunity knocks or this job stops working out for me.
 

Ffej

Sergeant
Feb 15, 2008
150
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16
Orange County, CA
#15
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

Mike,

I'm not too sure what is going on with our homepage. We had a guy in on Friday and he was tinkering around with the website. Hopefully it will be working tomorrow when I get to the office.

-Jeff
 
Oct 31, 2008
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#16
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

Shoot, now I wish I had jotted down the serial #s I worked on! I really have no idea whether anyone else at Unertl was producing them when I worked on them, but I know there were some already out there before the ones I assembled.
 
Jul 31, 2007
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#17
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

I have a Unertl that is a wall hanger on my M40A1 on my "I Love Me Wall"

I Will never get rid of it.

Is it an over rated scope regardless of who makes it..... sure

However....... I think it is funny as hell how John Williams Sr. talked so much shit about the design but knowcked it off.

Unertl did just not have a good Marketing program

at least my Unertl does not have a USO trade mark in the reticle like some of the USO's I have seen.

Paying 1500+ for a scope is enough of a reminder for me about where it came from without the company name in the FOV.

At Least Unertl didn't have NUMEROUS "AKA's" and false statements as being a "Doctor"

As far as the judgement against USO it was based on a catalog in which they used the Uneretl trade mark.

And that catalog was provided to the plantiff by an individual I know as well as reams of emails from John Sr. downplaying the original scope and refering to himself as a doctor.

At least my M40 has OEM glass on it

'nuff said
 
#18
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

Maybe when the Corps comes off of the old 10x I will be able to have an original. Until then I will have to enjoy my MST-100 when it gets here. The advantage is mine will not be a wall hanger. It will probably get the piss beaten out of it so knowing where to send it if I need it fixed is a big plus.
 
#19
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

Squirrel,
What were you trying to accomplish from this post? For Christ sake, my father has been dead for over 4 years now, why damage ME for something that happened so long ago.

And by the way, <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I think it is funny as hell how John Williams Sr. talked so much shit about the design but knowcked it off.
</div></div>

We didn't knock anything off, the USMC came to US and asked us to make the scope parts and refurbish their scopes.
John III

P.S. It was John B. Williams Jr, not Sr.
 
Apr 11, 2007
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hudson
#20
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: The Original Secret Squirrel</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have a Unertl that is a wall hanger on my M40A1 on my "I Love Me Wall"

I Will never get rid of it.

Is it an over rated scope regardless of who makes it..... sure

However....... I think it is funny as hell how John Williams Sr. talked so much shit about the design but knowcked it off.

Unertl did just not have a good Marketing program

at least my Unertl does not have a USO trade mark in the reticle like some of the USO's I have seen.

Paying 1500+ for a scope is enough of a reminder for me about where it came from without the company name in the FOV.

At Least Unertl didn't have NUMEROUS "AKA's" and false statements as being a "Doctor"

As far as the judgement against USO it was based on a catalog in which they used the Uneretl trade mark.

And that catalog was provided to the plantiff by an individual I know as well as reams of emails from John Sr. downplaying the original scope and refering to himself as a doctor.

At least my M40 has OEM glass on it

'nuff said </div></div>

Hey Mike with all the trash that comes out of your mouth sometimes i wonder if you still have your original teeth.
Im gonna ask nicely. you better knock the shit off. Especially the trash talking of someones deceased father. This "American" company has done a lot on their own fucking dime to support our brothers fighting. Im mean how the fuck would you like someone bashing and trash talking your fucking reject body armor that you peddle for a living?
 

Turk

Gunny Sergeant
Aug 16, 2004
2,568
0
0
Hightaxes,Virginia.
#21
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

OSS, Back the F--- up! Everyone is his own man; Don't judge someone by their relatives good or bad! Excuse me, but I take the Father thing quite seriously. Unless you have evidence of the current Man doing one wrong of any sort leave it alone! Jr. has done nothing but "good" since he took over. You are lucky that we live in this great Country, because Iam certain anywhere else you'd have a f---ing axe in the middle of your head right about now!
 
Jul 31, 2007
73
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#25
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DoctorSexy</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: The Original Secret Squirrel</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have a Unertl that is a wall hanger on my M40A1 on my "I Love Me Wall"

I Will never get rid of it.

Is it an over rated scope regardless of who makes it..... sure

However....... I think it is funny as hell how John Williams Sr. talked so much shit about the design but knowcked it off.

Unertl did just not have a good Marketing program

at least my Unertl does not have a USO trade mark in the reticle like some of the USO's I have seen.

Paying 1500+ for a scope is enough of a reminder for me about where it came from without the company name in the FOV.

At Least Unertl didn't have NUMEROUS "AKA's" and false statements as being a "Doctor"

As far as the judgement against USO it was based on a catalog in which they used the Uneretl trade mark.

And that catalog was provided to the plantiff by an individual I know as well as reams of emails from John Sr. downplaying the original scope and refering to himself as a doctor.

At least my M40 has OEM glass on it

'nuff said </div></div>

Hey Mike with all the trash that comes out of your mouth sometimes i wonder if you still have your original teeth.
Im gonna ask nicely. you better knock the shit off. Especially the trash talking of someones deceased father. This "American" company has done a lot on their own fucking dime to support our brothers fighting. Im mean how the fuck would you like someone bashing and trash talking your fucking reject body armor that you peddle for a living? </div></div>

WHOA! Let me retort,

I think I just lacked a bit of tact here (no suprise, I am like school on saturday... no class)

anyway,
I felt that I wanted to interject a bit before this turned into the "Bash Unertl". Remember USO only got the contract to "refurbish" the scopes. They were not provided the TDP. They gained the knowledge via reverse engineering. And if you want to go into quality then how come a brand new USO out of the box came with a broken rehostat? Plus you guys are always buying simrad caps and the like to have a "Correct" M40 etc. How many people have plunked down THOUSANDS for an original Redfield for a M40 build? Like I said before regarding the SIMRAD caps... Nostalgia only. If I had 2500 to throw down on a scope to use on a shooter it sure wouldn't be on a Unertl/USO. Maybe if Unertl had offered better pricing to dealers they'd still be around. But when you only make one thing (and yes I know they made more then one thing but that 10x was the long awaited holy grail among the sniper community and fans alike) you need to make a profit.

I can tell you this much though..... We returned a destroyed scope to Leupold with a "Can you fix this?" kinda as a joke and within a month (due to oconus shipping) we had a brand new one.

Oh and I don't peddle for a living. I would never make it as a salesman.
 

300WSM

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 29, 2004
1,372
0
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WI
#26
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

what a bunch of self serving jerkoffs. Buncha BS based on hearsay. OSS - yer being a dick.
 
#27
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> They were not provided the TDP. They gained the knowledge via reverse engineering.</div></div>

How could the USMC provide us with this information, Unertl was not functioning at the time, and the USMC never had all of the drawings.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">And if you want to go into quality then how come a brand new USO out of the box came with a broken rehostat? </div></div>

So it sounds to me that you felt like someone pissed in your Cheerios because you got a bad rheostat. So this gives you the right to step out of the box to bash my dead father?

I still don't know what you were trying to accomplish from your first post, it sounds like you are taking this rather personal for not being even involved in it.
John III
 
Jul 31, 2007
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#28
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 300WSM</div><div class="ubbcode-body">what a bunch of self serving jerkoffs. Buncha BS based on hearsay. OSS - yer a dick. </div></div>

I don't even have to try
 

10fp

Sergeant
Aug 4, 2006
387
1
0
Coast Range
#30
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

OSS, what does current USO have to do with "old" USO? So you got a broken rheostat, that would have been fixed within a few days. If you don’t like all the USO markings, I am sure John would take all of them off for you.
 

Turk

Gunny Sergeant
Aug 16, 2004
2,568
0
0
Hightaxes,Virginia.
#31
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

Frankly USO's marketing does suck! At the risk of offending some;the calender sucks, and so does their catalog and website!.Against all odds people w/ years of experience line up to buy one! What does that say about the product and the man behind it?
 

JRose

Gunny Sergeant
Jul 10, 2007
3,304
3
38
41
Back in BHam!!!
#32
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

I'll never understand why anybody here gives two shits about the legal happenings between Unertl and USO... So, I guess when you buy a Leupold you research the crap out of all it's legal history???

It's been my experience that John has always been forthcoming about the MST-100 and where it came from.

In this case, I don't know, nor do I care what legal issues John's father had with anyone. I know that USO makes a great product and that JohnIII bends over backwards to make HIS company outstanding.

I guess if the sins of the father are supposed to follow the children, you might not want to go poking around in your daddies closet OSS, unless he was a Saint...

 
Jul 31, 2007
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#33
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JRose</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> you might not want to go poking around in your daddies closet OSS, unless he was a Saint...
</div></div>

Nope.... Any 65 year old man with 28 year old girlfriend does not qualify as a saint.... pimp yes, saint no
 
Oct 27, 2008
482
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Behind You!!!
#34
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: The Original Secret Squirrel</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JRose</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> you might not want to go poking around in your daddies closet OSS, unless he was a Saint...
</div></div>

Nope.... Any 65 year old man with 28 year old girlfriend does not qualify as a saint.... pimp yes, saint no </div></div>

Hmm.. Sounds like a fellow that cant hold a marriage together to me. Yep looks like he has at least some legal history. Dont deal with him he had a speeding ticket to i bet...
 
Jul 31, 2007
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0
#35
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: AverageJoe</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: The Original Secret Squirrel</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JRose</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> you might not want to go poking around in your daddies closet OSS, unless he was a Saint...
</div></div>

Nope.... Any 65 year old man with 28 year old girlfriend does not qualify as a saint.... pimp yes, saint no </div></div>

Hmm.. Sounds like a fellow that cant hold a marriage together to me. Yep looks like he has at least some legal history. Dont deal with him he had a speeding ticket to i bet... </div></div>

Bingo on the 1st one! Hell I am on dash 4 myself lol!

I am not to sure on the speeding ticket though........
 
Oct 27, 2008
482
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45
Behind You!!!
#37
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Turk</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Forget all this joking around; and how about an apology to JBW? Do the right thing! </div></div>

Hey im new here and I even believe that you owe the man an apology. Thats as bad as bad mouthing someones child. Them there are fighing words and if it were me it would end up in me knocking on someones door and dotting there eyes..
 
Jul 31, 2007
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0
#38
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Turk</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Forget all this joking around; and how about an apology to JBW? Do the right thing! </div></div>
The apology from Maj. Payne comes to mind

Ok... I'm sorry

ewwwwww I feel all warm and fuzzy
 
Jul 31, 2007
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#40
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Turk</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Just a question: if one's father is a pimp; what do you make of the mother? </div></div>

A Hooker?
 
Sep 15, 2008
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UK
#41
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

this is gettin dumb..it seams that most hide behind there "pet names" to snipe from..so if youve got a prob with USO i suggest you go and see them in person..am sure youll be made welcome..my dads a plumber and one of his jobs sprung a leek ..i guess its my fault..
Rob Hunter..(real name)
PS i to have known both father and son..seam like good people to me.
 
Sep 15, 2008
41
0
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UK
#42
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

this is gettin dumb..it seams that most hide behind there "pet names" to snipe from..so if youve got a prob with USO i suggest you go and see them in person..am sure youll be made welcome..my dads a plumber and one of his jobs sprung a leek ..i guess its my fault..
Rob Hunter..(real name) UK
PS i to have known both father and son..seam like good people to me.
 
Apr 22, 2007
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CA
#44
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

All I know is that USO did a top notch job at rebuilding my poorly assembled Unertl 10X with a great new finish and crisp indexing. I know where to send my 10X for service and where my next scope will come from. USO!!
Thanks again John
 
Mar 24, 2009
1
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NW ontario Canada
#45
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

I have a SN3 and am from Canada USO has been nothing other than helpfull. If I need a question answered or work done USO has gotten it done in a pleasant timely matter.
My next LR scope will be a USO product.
regards
 
Apr 22, 2011
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#46
Re: Is Unertl Optics Co. still in existence?

Gentlemen, Let me clear up some inaccurate or most likely a lot of bogus
information out there regarding the Unertl Optical Company and make clear some
facts about the rifle scopes themselves. I have the authority to discuss the
intimate details of this since I AM the last John Unertl that worked at the
company you are referring to.

My grandparents started the company, my parents worked at the company, I worked
at the company. All of the personalities involved here were strong
personalities in their own right. Each conmtrbuted to, and detracted from the
business. I don't plan on writing a book here so I will condense this
discussion to it's bare bones form. My grandmother being a comapny founder was
quite reluctant to leave the company even though she was getting up in years.
This gradually built a resentment within my father and their relationship began
to fall apart. My father John Unertl Jr., was a brilliant engineer, but frankly
didn't care much at all about 'marketing', relegating this to mostly bullshit.
He also had quite an abrasive side and could alienate people fairly easily. I
was schooled as a mechanical engineer because that was what was expected. Going
into the late '70's several issues were at play. Family discord for one.
Secondly I could see that my father was not doing the necessary training and improvement for future development and expansion. I elected to resign at that point and move on. I took a job with Leitz, a well known optical instrument company. We used Leitz autocollimators and related equipment in our optical testing. Ultimately I became a Division President for that organization.

When my father died, my mother (who did not have a clue about the technology
here) asked if I was interested in coming back to run the company. When I went
back, I saw the company in the shape I figured it would be in. Not much had
changed. It would have needed a small fortune to bring it up to speed. I had
neither the time, inclination, and didn't want to make the financial
committment. I already had another business. I must say it was a sad moment. My
heart strings pulled, but the realities of the situation were compelling. I
suggested to my mother to pursue other alternatives.

Enter Rocky Green. My understanding is that he had two different involvements in
the company. One as a liason to an initial group of buyers. They couldn't handle
the project, so the second time around he was a principle. I met Rocky one time
when he came to visit me with the 1911's. At that point I knew they were not
going to make it building scopes. I fear that anybody who wasn't involved
directly with the company couldn't know the painstaking manufacture and care
that went into building them. They were assembled, taken down, re-assembled,,
numerous times. Hand fit parts meticulously assembled by true artisans. I can
only assume the guys that bought the company just figured to buy some drawings,
program a CNC machine, stamp it Unertl & watch the money roll in. Sorry, didn't
work that way. I'm not sure if any of you out there were aware we made very
sophisticated optical/mechanical instrumentation, optics for military jet
gunsights, fire control optics (military stuff, not firemen) and wind tunnel
instrumentation. Unertl Optical was far from operating out of a barn. We made
the money with the high end optics, not making scopes. The scopes were that
labor of love because that's how the company started. The scopes had the
benefit of this financing. I fear the other guys missed this key ingredient.
The Unertl employees were true atrisans that made these rifle scopes. I doubt you can find guys like this any more with this kind of skill and dedication. The marine corps sniper scope was the last offering that my father made for Rocky Green when he was still in the service. At that point our old guys started dying off, and with them closed a page in the anals of the shooting industry.

I still have the opportunity to get together with the few remaing
company people. They have all played an important part in my life and I hold
special reverence to each and every one of them. They are truly the last of a
breed.

Enjoy those scopes, I would have no reservation saying they are STILL probably
the best scopes out there.

John Robert Unertl