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Gru-Bee's Vintage Replica 3/4 Inch Pup Rimfire Scopes

Do modern scopes look too big for your vintage rimfire rifles? The Gru-Bee Wolf Pup and Fox Pup ¾-inch scopes are reminiscent of the classic “Baby Redfields.”

Gru-Bee's Vintage Replica 3/4 Inch Pup Rimfire Scopes
If you liked the original Baby Redfield scopes, these unique replicas from Gru-Bee are as close to the real-deal as you can get.

It’s amazing to stop and consider the technological advancements of rifle scopes in even the last 10 years, especially for long-range shooting. I often use my Leupold Mark5HD for a lot of rifle reviews and competitions. Picture for a moment, though, putting that rifle scope on a vintage rimfire rifle; to say it would look ridiculous is an understatement. There is certainly a case to be made for having a lot more scope than gun, but there comes a point of diminishing returns in this case. A Mark5HD on a vintage rifle might be an extreme example, but it showcases a point that scope manufacturers definitely aren’t making scopes smaller anymore. In fact, it seems that a race is on to produce scopes with larger maintubes, more magnification, bigger objectives, more dialing range, etc. To be clear, I’m not suggesting this is a bad thing. I like to see scope manufacturers pushing the boundaries of technology, but modern scopes simply look out of place on many vintage rifles and even some modern rimfires. For Don Grube of Gru-Bee Inc., this is a topic he feels especially passionate about. The solution? A unique line of replica “Baby Redfield” optics that feature a three-quarter inch maintube and beautifully mimic the iconic Redfield scopes of yester year. 

The Original Redfields 

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While these scopes are most popular on vintage .22LR rifles, they also are fine additions for modern .22LR rifles like the Winchester Xpert .22LR rifle featured here.

Before we dive into the Gru-Bee line of rimfire scopes, let’s talk about the original Redfield scopes that built a cult-like following before they had to close shop in 1998. Founded by the original Redfield, the late John Hill Redfield, the Redfield Rifle Scope Company would become synonymous with the greatest of American firearms manufacturers. In its day, Redfield pioneered many optics technologies that we now take for granted. Arguably its most famous creation is the dovetail rail and scope mount, which while not as common in modern manufacturing, has without doubt been one of the most prevalent scope mounts in history.  Over the years, Redfield scopes would become one of the most popular, affordable favorites of hunters across the country. One of the greats would become the inspiration for Gru-Bee and this article, the 4X Baby Redfield made in Denver, Colorado. Unfortunately, Redfield Optics began struggling to keep up with competition in the ‘90s, and it was hit with some serious fines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). There was an issue with some pollutants in the groundwater on the Redfield property in Denver, and the optics manufacturer simply couldn’t afford the million-plus-dollar fines from the EPA, closing its doors for good in 1998. 

Over time, the Redfield name would be picked up by various companies, most famously when Leupold & Stevens purchased the Redfield name from then ATK. Leupold actually manufactured Redfield-branded scopes in its Beaverton, Oregon facility, though none featured the unique ¾” maintube. In 2021, Leupold would sell the Redfield brand to Academy Sports & Outdoors, where the Redfield brand still exists to this day. I haven’t had the chance to use a Redfield scope sold from Academy, and they could very well be a fine scope for the price, but they are by no means like the original Baby Redfields that are coveted by so many.  I bring this up because it’s important to call out that Gru-Bee’s scopes are great replicas of the original Baby Redfields, but they are not officially licensed under the Redfield name. With that being said, if you’re looking for a scope that actually looks and works like the iconic Baby Redfields, then Gru-Bee is the place to go; they just won’t have Redfield branding on the box. 

Gru-Bee Wolf Pup and Fox Pup

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Both are fixed 4X magnification scopes, but the FoxPup (bottom) is a full inch shorter that the WolfPup.

I had some great opportunities to talk with the founder and owner of Gru-Bee, and to say he is a passionate outdoorsman and 2A advocate is an understatement. Don Grube originally got started in business by importing gas engine conversion kits for bicycles from China. As a contract engineer, he travelled extensively overseas. He saw a great opportunity when he came across a scope factory in his wife’s hometown that was willing to produce the Baby Redfield scope. Knowing that Redfield was no longer manufacturing these optics, he saw an opportunity to import these replicas for a market that wasn’t satisfied with modern optics for their vintage rimfire rifles. Thus, an assortment of scopes featuring a ¾” maintube were added to the Gru-Bee product line, and just as important, the different mounting rings to match.

I’ve had a chance to use Gru-Bee’s Wolf Pup and Fox Pup replica Baby Redfields for a few months now, and they are truly a unique option that beautifully replicate the feeling of old Redfield scopes. You can’t really compare them to anything else on the market in the U.S. today as there isn’t really anything like them, especially for their intended purpose. The Wolf Pup and Fox Pup are ideal for vintage rifles, though Grubee definitely feels strongly that they are a better option for modern rimfires, too. He hates seeing huge, modern scopes on rimfires like the Winchester Xpert or Wildcat .22LR rifles. While I am partial to having more scope than necessary on a rifle, I think Grube makes an excellent point, and he is 100 percent right that his scopes look a lot better than 1 inch and 30mm scopes on small frame 22LR rifles that are shot mostly around 25 to 50 yards. As Grube says, “My WolfPups and FoxPups feel right, shoot right and look right on small frame 22s.”

Now, just because they’re based on an older design, that doesn’t mean these scopes don’t have good things to offer. The Wolf Pup is purged with nitrogen gas to prevent fogging inside the maintube, and the lenses are fully multi-coated, which I was not expecting! Because of this, the image quality is quite respectable. The Wolf Pup has fixed 4X magnification, and eye relief is about three inches with a 50-yard set parallax. The scope is only 9.25 inches long and weighs in at a mere 5.8 ounces. A nice upgrade on the WolfPup is that is has a MOA click adjustment which the original baby Redfield did not have. The Wolf Pup most closely resembles the original Redfield 4X Westerner scopes  introduced in 1974, and Gru-Bee offers this model with five different reticle options ranging from a simple duplex to a BDC reticle model.

I figured that the Wolf Pup would be perfect for kids learning the fundamentals of shooting on a rimfire, but Gru-Bee also offers an even smaller model scope, the Fox Pup. The Fox Pup is also a fixed 4X magnification scope, but it’s even more compact and one inch shorter than the Wolf Pup! Like the Wolf Pup, it is nitrogen purged to prevent fogging inside the maintube, and it also features fully multi-coated lenses. It measures in at just 8.25 inches and only weighs 5.63 ounces. The Fox Pup’s fixed parallax is set at about 35 yards and has its eye relief around 2.5 inches. Only a dot/duplex reticle is offered with the Fox Pup scope, which is just right for teaching young shooters. 

Don’t forget the Rings! 

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As the maintube on these scopes are only 3/4-inch, you'll need some rings from Gru-bee, too. Gru-bee offers several different models in various heights. Also notice that mounting base offered from Gru-bee on top of the Winchester Xpert.

When you’re so used to modern optics, it will be surprising to see optics that are so small. I always thought 1-inch maintube scopes were small, but they’re monsters compared to Gru-Bee’s replica Redfields. With that in mind, don’t think you can just purchase one and find rings for it online. As well as being one of the last places to get a great replica of an original Baby Redfield, Gru-Bee is also the place to go to get rings to match. From low, medium and high, Gru-Bee has the ¾” rings needed to mount his scopes. Just as important, he offers them in multiple mounting patterns that will fit the needs of pretty much any vintage .22LR rifle. Weaver, dovetail, Picatinny and more, Gru-Bee has what you need to mount these replica Baby Redfields. New 3/8-inch dovetailed bases are now available for the Winchester Xpert and the Browning SA. With a long 3/8-inch base on the Winchester Xpert, you get the ability to slide and lock your scope to the best position for your eye relief and shoulder fit. Grube has also brought back the barrel cantilever base for the Browning SA 22 semi-auto that also enables best eye relief and shoulder fit like the original Redfield once enjoyed.  

I’ve had a lot of fun with Gru-Bee’s replica Baby Redfields. They a great option to get the feel and look you’d expect when Redfield was at the height of its popularity. They’re affordable, too. The Wolf Pup retails for $169, and the Fox Pup retails for $159 on Gru-Bee’s website. As I was doing some research on Redfield, I was blown away to see the selling price for a refurbished Baby Redfield. Some websites listed a refurbished scope for $500 or more! If you must have the original, real-deal Redfield to match your rifle of choice, I respect that. However, Gru-Bee gets you that exact look and feel for a lot less, and you can actually use them, too, plus you get a nice warranty from Gru-Bee! 

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