by Bryce M. Towsley - Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Alliant TechSystems got into the sport optics business in 2001 when Blount Int’l sold its Sporting Equipment Group (SEG) to ATK. The SEG sale included both the optics and mount divisions of Weaver, Simmons and Redfield. But, just a year later ATK made the decision to sell the optics portion to Meade Instruments.
According to ATK, the decision was based on the belief that the optics category was overcrowded. But ATK must have seen some market changes, because in 2007 it decided there was room for one more brand, and it introduced the Nitrex line of scopes and binoculars. The Nitrex name was originally used for a line of rifle ammunition from Speer Bullets. When ATK acquired Speer, that ammunition was competing with Federal and created duplication, so it was discontinued. ATK still owned the rights to the Nitrex name and thought it would make a good name for its riflescopes and binoculars.
What ATK didn’t expect was that a year later the three brands it had sold off would come back on the market. ATK decided that of the three, Weaver had the strongest name recognition, so it purchased that brand again.
To aid in brand recognition it changed the Nitrex brand to “Nitrex By Weaver.” These imported optics are designated as a brand for the independent dealers who are members of the Premium Partners program and for members of buying groups. ATK uses this access to Nitrex to help promote the “mom and pop” shops selling its optical products.
Nitrex also offers a direct-exchange warranty program through which the customer can bring a defective optic to any certified Nitrex dealer and receive a new one in exchange.
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