The company Schmidt & Bender was founded in 1957 by Helmut Schmidt and Helmut Bender in Biebertal-Fellingshausen. What once began in a laundry room with the most modest of means, developed within a few years into one of the world's leading manufacturers of precision riflescopes for hunting, competition shooting, police and military.
Discover the history of Schmidt & Bender and take a look at the development of the product series as well as the changes of the logo and much more. You will recognize the philosophy that has been in place since the very beginning: Highest quality and precision to meet the ever increasing demands.
The new Turret Generation II is launched with the Single Turn II (ST II), Single Turn II-Ballistic (ST II-B), Double Turn II (DT II) and Double Turn II+ (DT II+) and now forms a series with the Multi Turn II (MT II).
The 1-8x24 PM II ShortDot Dual CC wins another tender. The French Army includes it in their FPSA program.
The hunting riflescope 3-21x50 Exos is released and now complements the Exos Series.
The GR²ID reticle is launched especially for PRS competition.
The 1-8x24 PM II ShortDot Dual CC is launched and subsequently wins the German Armed Forces tender “G28 patrol configuration, optical part”.
Another factory plant of the subsidiary in Hungary is being built.
The LRR-MIL reticle, the Throw Lever and the Multi Turn II (MT II) elevation turret are launched.
The 60th anniversary of Schmidt & Bender is celebrated.
The Polar T96 and PM II Ultra Bright riflescope series with an outstanding light transmission of at least 96 % are launched.
In addition, the 5-45x56 PM II High Power now supplements the PM II High Power series.
The riflescopes 1-8x24 PM II ShortDot CC, 1.1-8x24 PM II High Power, 1.5-8x26 PM II ShortDot and the 3-20x50 PM II Ultra Short are launched.
The 12.5-50x56 Field Target was further developed. Now the Field Target II is available.
Schmidt & Bender designs the campaign “Color Your Scope” and offers the possibility for customers to choose any colour for a riflescope.
The 5-20x50 PM II Ultra Short and the Stratos Series with the Choose-Your-Light function are launched.
Schmidt & Bender receives research funds for a military project and thus develops the PM II Digital Series. These riflescopes can project external data into the field of view for the first time.
A new riflescope for shooting at ultra-long distances is being developed as part of a call for tenders by the US military. The PM II High Power riflescope series was launched and was the world's first 9x zoom for military application. The USSOCOM tender was won by the 3-27x56 PM II High Power.
The riflescope 5-25x56 PM II PSR is the winner of the largest and most important US military tender. It is subsequently delivered to the special units of the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines.
The slogan “The specialist with two names” is replaced by “Precision makes the difference!”.
The riflescopes 3-20x50 PM II and the 1-8x24 Zenith are introduced. Later the decision is made to transfer the 1-8x24 into a new product series called “Exos” because of its high 8x zoom.
The prototype 1-8x24 PM II ShortDot is shown for the first time at the SHOT Show.
The riflescopes 2.5-10x40 Summit, 3-12x42 KK50, 12-50x56 PM II as well as the 1.1-4x20 PM II ShortDot LE (Law Enforcement) are launched.
The 12.5-50x56 Field Target is launched.
Sabine Bender-Gerlach, the daughter of the founder Helmut Bender, takes over the management together with Karlheinz Gerlach.
The 50th anniversary of the company is celebrated.
The 3-12x50 PM II won a U.S. Marine Corps military tender, beating 25 other riflescopes from international manufacturers.
The 5-25x56 PM II is now offered in both First and Second Focal Plane.
The 5-25x56 PM II as well as the 1.1-4x20 PM II ShortDot are launched.
The 1.1-4x24 Zenith now completes the Zenith Series.
The logo of Schmidt & Bender now has an additional slogan: “The specialist with the two names.”.
The 2.5-10x50 Zenith riflescope wins the iF DESIGN AWARD.
The 1.5-6x42 Zenith is launched and is also available with the light metal Convex rail (LMC).
The Zenith Series is supplemented by the 3-12x50 Zenith. From now on the Zenith riflescopes are always equipped with FlashDot illumination.
The first riflescope of the Zenith Series, a 2.5-10x56 is launched.
The logo is slightly redesigned and modernized.
The PM II product series is launched, initially with the 3-12x50 PM II. They are now also offered with a parallax adjustment/side focus and illuminated reticle.
The first FlashDot illumination is installed in the 1¼-4x20.
A new logo is developed and launched:
To meet the special requirements of snipers, a series of riflescopes were launched. The development based on consultation of leading weapon manufacturers and field experiences of special police units. The new models are offered in fixed and variable magnification and with three different reticles (Bryant, Sniper and Mil-dot reticle). Available are: 6x42 P/M, 10x42 P/M, 1.5-6x42 P/M, 3-12x42 P/M, 3-12x50 P/M and 3-12x50 MIL. The riflescopes are made of aluminium with hard anodized surfaces and are designed for distances up to 500 m/546 yd. The 3-12x50 MIL, on the other hand, has a steel tube and is designed for distances up to 900 m/984 yd.
The certification according to ISO 9001 (quality management system) is successfully accomplished.
Illuminated riflescopes can now be delivered and retrofitted after their legalization.
Illuminated reticles can technically be installed from now on. However, at this point in time these are still prohibited items and the government is discussing about legalizing illuminated riflescopes. That is why the riflescopes at that time are still delivered without illumination. However, they are manufactured in such a way that there is a possibility of retrofitting the illumination.
Schmidt & Bender Incorporated is founded in the US.
Schmidt & Bender Hungaria Optikai Kft. is founded as a subsidiary based on the round/circular optics department which was bought from the Hungarian company “Mom”. The factory starts its work with 80 employees.
The 3-12x50 is launched. Furthermore, Udo Harald Bender, son of the company founder Helmut Bender, complements the management.
Helmut Schmidt hands over the management to his son-in-law Hans-Albert Bender.
The location “Am Großacker 42, 35444 Biebertal-Fellingshausen” is being expanded. By now, 40 employees are working for Schmidt & Bender.
The riflescope 1.25-4x20 with a field of view of 32 m/105 ft is launched.
For the first time Schmidt & Bender exhibits at the SHOT Show in New Orleans, USA and shares a booth with Heckler & Koch.
For the first time Schmidt & Bender exhibits at the most important shooting show in Europe: IWA Show in Nuremberg, Germany.
The M-Series is launched. M stands for “centered reticle”.
Schmidt & Bender receives its first government order from the Finnish Army for the 4x36 riflescope. 500 units are delivered in total.
Schmidt & Bender produces its first riflescope with variable magnification: 1¾-6x36.
A new logo is developed and represents a new era: OEM products are no longer manufactured and the production focuses only on the own brand name.
By now, Schmidt & Bender has 12 employees and relocates the company to “Am Großacker 42, 35444 Biebertal-Fellingshausen” which is still the existing location today.
The first employee is hired in 1958. Production is still located in a laundry room.
The production of riflescopes initially started with OEM Products. Here are just a few examples. It is already being produced under the brand name “S&B Fellh. Wetzlar” (lower row in the middle of the picture).
Helmut Schmidt and Helmut Bender founded the company Schmidt & Bender in Biebertal-Fellingshausen. At first, they worked with the most modest means in a laundry room but with a lot of passion and ingenuity. Highest precision and quality was not only a profession but also important for the precision mechanic Helmut Schmidt and the master precision mechanic Helmut Bender.