Compared to most industries, the firearms world has been relatively free from the bane and scourge of fake products. Sure, there are a fair amount of knock-offs, but those are typically re-branded and sold for a lot less while looking similar. However, in the last year, direct copies have been trickling into the market.
Typically, these are from the airsoft market, which internationally is hungry for cheap copies of real products as their local laws keep one from owning the real thing. These “real steel” components are highly sought after in those markets. However, some unscrupulous characters have now been bringing in these products to the US (in violation of numerous trademark and various import laws).
My good friend and head Guntech at Brownells, Keith Ford, recently shared a blatant copy that he got his hands on and compared it to the original. Suffice to say, one not intimately familiar with the real optic would have a hard time recognizing that the fake was not the real thing.
Finally was able to do a side by side comparison of the counterfeit MRO vs the real MRO. Fake is pictured on the left and is serial 1608160. Differences are pretty obvious. Fake has no seam present, lettering is quite different including font and placement including the dial. Diode is missing from the rear left of the fake. Color and finish is a little off as well. Label on box is close but no cigar. It’s a little larger with different font size and no sheen on the paper like the original.
He published an album showing the two side-by-side. When applicable, the fake is always on the left. When its not, can you tell the difference?
Unfortunately, immoral characters are selling these as the real-deal and others are trying to rip off good companies (like Brownells!) by buying the real thing and returning the fakes.
Buyer beware on optics! Always get a receipt and always buy from an authorized dealer.