Restrictions on export of scopes?

Just been reading a thread on a Danish forum where they were complaining about a supposed UK ban on export of scopes with more than 4x magnification.

Is this for real? If so, why? Surely 99% of the scopes are made abroad anyway?

The website which caused the furore was Blackpool Air Rifles. Link to the relevant page: Sights&SubCat=Nikko Stirling Scopes#Nikko Stirling
TargetMaster 6-24x56 IR


Book Reviewer
I know nothing about any such restrictions - think I'd better check as I do export!!
Any more news on this front? Just noticed that Optics Warehouse are also saying that they are unable to export any scopes.

Is this a huge overreaction response to the russian who got arrested in the USA for trying to take an NV scope out of the country. There are certain ruls on NV kit in the USA - basically making them military technology and therefore limiting export.

I wonder if companies are over reacting to this by stopping export of all scopes?

just a thought...


Book Reviewer
NV scopes is a different story.

Day scopes - still not sure on, but there are a variety of restrictions on the export of NV scopes to and from Britain, the EU, the US and other countries. For example, even though we can get shiny Gen. 3 stuff from EU states or Japan (and when I say 'shiny', I don't mean that awful Gen. 3 A or D grade shite flogged as 'new', I mean new mil-spec gear), we can't buy anything decent from the US - only A or D grade surplus tat. Even Gen 2+ from the US is restricted according to the quality of the tube. They have something called 'CGTI' which is a classification (Customer Grade Tube - International) which is a lower spec than the best Gen. 2+ by some margin.

A lot of this is moot now as the quality of the next gen digital gear hitting the market is very, very good indeed, albeit not quite as good in passive mode. In active (IR illumination turned on) it's pretty much as good as Gen. 3 in terms of image clarity, resolution and graduation of the greyscale image, not to mention the fact that it's less then half the price of a good quality Gen. 2+ and you can use it day or night without the lens cover . . . . . and you can download your own reticles via the USBport, record video footage via the Video In/Out port as well as a host of other useful features that it's simply impossible to get on the old and expensive 'tube' type NV scopes.

As far as I know, there are no issues in terms of buying this kit in the UK, and it sure is more than adequate for hunting bunnies out to 200m, fox out to 400m and larger game still further (proven, documented, recorded by video, posted on Youtube, discussed endlessly by half-witted cretins on Airgun BBS who refused to believe it (having spent considerably more than the £1,000 asking price for the digital kit on stuff that is only equal at best).

As for exporting this sort of kit - laws/bans or not, it would be a particularly stupid move on anyone's part to export this sort of kit to unkown third parties in other countries as it might very well end up being used to kill British or other troops fighting in for'n parts. If you want the best that's out there, and buy it in the UK, you can. If you want to export it, don't.
For a while, I sold some of the NV gear supplied by Thomas Jacks. Having heard of a Pakistani type done for buying such a thing in (I think) Birmingham, planning it take it abroad with him, I thought I ought to check with the funny people in case a Nasim or an Anjem ordered half a dozen bits of kit. I first spoke to what sounded like a school leaver who thought I was trying to sell NV gear to him. Once that was sorted out, he said he'd get back to me.

Then I got a call from someone thinking I'd reported receiving a large order to be shipped to Pakistan. That fire was doused in due course, and he promised to get back to me. That was three years ago and I am still waiting.

Based on this, I think it likely that anyone who gets caught must have fallen prey more to bad luck than astute detection.
Imports don't seem to be an issue I have a mate the imports high quality Chinese scopes and has no restrictions.

Just contacting my mate Lloyd at Blackpool Air Rifles for clarification. Strange that I haven't been notified of the ban by the Export Control Organisation (ECO), I get regular bulletins from there.
Yep, it's true, daft thing is that we are the only country doing it so makes it a bit of a usual mockery for us Brits


Book Reviewer
Yep - the very NV gear I'm talking about is supplied by Thomas Jacks (wholesale only). The sexy digital NV scope is called the Pulsar NV550.

I'll do the Pulsar at £965 to ARRSE users (inc VAT and shipping, but excluding the optional extra IR Illuminator - it's got a smaller built-in one).

If you want mil-spec Gen 3 and have the bank balance to afford it, then Thomas Jacks is once again the firm I'd recommend, though I wouldn't (on the back of the Pulsar) recommend anyone goes down that route.

If you want to see the specs, visit Thomas Jacks and have a look at their offerings. I'm a dealer of their gear so will be happy to supply anything they offer, unless you're abroad or called Anjam.
Does this new policy really include export to friendly NATO and EU countries? If so, I would imagine that this would hurt the few UK companies that produce commercial optics, e.g. Falcon Optics. Falcon seem to have built a big export market selling cheap FFP Mil/Mil scopes to the mall ninjas in the US.


Book Reviewer
Grey imports it is then!
Why grey-import stuff that's distributed here, and as good as it gets; or do you mean grey import to other countries?


No I mean they can buy here and grey import themselves!
Risk is all theirs then!
Does this new policy really include export to friendly NATO and EU countries? If so, I would imagine that this would hurt the few UK companies that produce commercial optics, e.g. Falcon Optics. Falcon seem to have built a big export market selling cheap FFP Mil/Mil scopes to the mall ninjas in the US.
They could just have them shipped direct from China - you don't believe they actually do more than put the stickers on them here do you?
The act of arranging export/import from one country (outside yours) to another country (outside yours) is still an export/import activity and would require permission from the UK government...hence illegal for these scopes....yes it's barking but is what we've been told in work.


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