VULCAN CIRCLE IS DISRUPTING THE OPTICS INDUSTRY ONE SCOPE AT A TIME

Vulcan Circle is a subscription service that allows you to either rent firearm optics on a three-month rotational basis or rent to purchase high-end and “red dot” scopes. When I heard about Vulcan Circle, the first thought I had was “Why didn’t I think of that?” Vulcan Circle provides the member with a hands-on understanding of each scope while testing out high end optics. Members can even try out the best of the best at a range or on an actual hunt. I think it’s absolutely genius, so I decided to get the team from Vulcan Circle on the phone and learn a bit more about the great company formed around this idea.

Tell our readers who have not yet heard about Vulcan Circle about your company and the niche you fill.

No problem! Vulcan Circle is a subscription service providing firearm optics on a three-month rotational basis. Our inventory is focused on high-end scopes and “red dot” products that many agree are expensive yet would appreciate the opportunity to have a “hands-on” understanding of the glass. Vulcan Circle aims to provide its members access to the best optics in the industry through our unique and new service.

We saw that the business is veteran owned. Is that right?

Yes it is! Being veteran owned is a very important aspect to Vulcan Circle’s success. Not only has our military experience provided a basis for how we operate the business with integrity and attention to detail, but it has significantly influenced our services. As veterans, our experience has led us to the simple realization that only the best equipment is acceptable. As a result, we tend to focus our optic offerings on what we know to be top-tier and nothing less. Using scopes in a military environment changes how you look at the importance of quality optics

How did you come up with this idea and why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?

Vulcan Circle was created out of a market gap, we felt, has been largely ignored. This gap being a lack of accessibility when it comes to purchasing high-end optics. As fellow firearm enthusiasts, we are well aware of shooters saving thousands of dollars for an optic, to then find it’s not what they were looking for. We wanted to give consumers the opportunity to experience firearm optics before throwing down a ton of cash. This accessibility, we believe, is why the model has not yet been attempted. The Vulcan Circle concept really puts the member in the “driver seat” in terms of having complete control over choosing an optic for a particular firearm. Unlike a lot of the market, our interest is not about making a quick sale, but ensuring our members have a complete understanding of what optic works best for them.

Looking through your website, it looks like you have 3 membership options and two different tiers of service. Can you explain a little bit about the differences in membership prices for each level and the two tiers?

Our three membership options, also referred to as armories, include the Legionary, Centurion and Tribune. The Legionary Armory being our entry-level option starting at $45/mo., the Centurion Armory is our mid-level option and starts at $90/mo., and the Tribune Armory, our premier option, begins at $180/mo. Each armory offers access to different optics depending on the shooter’s needs. Yet, both the Centurion and Tribune Armories offer members access to the preceding armory(s). Once an armory is selected, members can choose between two plans of service, either our three month or our 6 month option. Our three month option allows members to experience one optic for a single, three-month rotation and our 6 month option provides two optics over two, three-month rotations. Nevertheless, members can continue their subscription indefinitely on three-month rotational periods.

How do the Vulcan Honors points work for members, and what can members earn as they work with Vulcan Circle?

Vulcan Honors Points operate in a similar manner to credit card points. Members accrue points monthly that coincide with their specific level of membership. Additionally, members are awarded a “point bonus” when optics are returned in great condition. Roughly 10 Vulcan Honors Points are equivalent to $1 and can be redeemed towards an optic or any of our gear found in the Vulcan Honors store. Below is a breakdown of the points per membership category:

  • Legionary (3 months): 30 points
  • Legionary (6 months): 35 points
  • Centurion (3 months): 60 points
  • Centurion (6 months): 65 points
  • Centurion (3 months): 90 points
  • Centurion (6 months): 95 points

In addition to the membership levels, I understand that at the request of your members you are offering a new option where members will be able to lease-to-own high end optics. How will this work?

Yes! This is referred to as our “rent to purchase” service. Under this option, we allow members to purchase a single optic to be paid off over a set period of time. We will be offering both 8 and 12 month payment periods. This is a great option for shooters who know exactly what optic they want, but don’t necessarily want to put all the money down upfront!

Can you give us an idea of some of the scope companies you are currently working with and the brands members can expect to see?

Vulcan Circle offers a wide-range of optics and we continue to expand our inventory as we grow. Currently, we are offering optics from over 20 brands, to include big names like Nightforce, Trijicon and Leupold. We also offer optics from brands that serious shooters recognize such as, Kahles and Tangent Theta.

What has been the feedback from some of the members?

Feedback from our current members has been, to be quite honest, outstanding! Members are truly appreciative and excited about the new services Vulcan Circle is offering. The most unique aspect of our business as opposed to others in the optics retail space is the relationship we try to build with our members. Although customer service is an important aspect in every successful business, Vulcan Circle shoots to exceed a member’s expectations. It is our goal to fulfill their needs and desires. Whether it is as simple as being responsive to emails or assisting a member with his next optic pick, our mantra follows the age old saying: “the customer is always right.”

How can people get signed up as a member, and how can people follow Vulcan Circle on social media?

Becoming a member is easy! Head over to the Vulcan Circle website at VulcanCircle.com and one can find additional information on our services. If being a member sounds like something you want be apart of, the application takes less than a couple minutes to complete. From there, a representative from our Member Services Team will reach out to you in order to confirm your membership. With regard to social media, follow us on Facebook or Instagram as we do intend to have the occasional giveaway!

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Comments

  1. John Luke Tippetts

    @david2_parker, our point system is really our way of saying “thank you” for a member’s loyalty to the Vulcan Circle service. Members accrue these points on a monthly-basis as long as they are a member. Members can also accrue points for things such a returning an optic in good condition. We also offer points for various other reasons like proof of military or LE service. These points can be best thought of as cash back in your pocket which can be redeemed towards a discount on a specific optic or any gear found within our “Vulcan Honors” store. If you have any specific questions about Vulcan Honors Points or membership, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line: [email protected]

    Respectfully
    John Luke Tippetts
    Vulcan Circle, President

  2. Bryant kinser

    Is there like a scope grading system or all of your rentals new? I guess I’m trying to ask after a scope get rented X amount of times does the price go down with the quality?

    1. John Luke Tippetts

      @bryant_kinser, under the “rent to rotate” service, some of our optics are shipped new. However, most are used by members under previous rotations. That being said, we have a rather strict quality control process that involves testing each optic before it is sent back out on rotation. To answer your question as to whether or not there is a price reduction after an optic has been used. Absolutely! We would consider it to be bad business if we were to try to sell you a used optic at full retail price. I hope that answers your question, please let me know if you need anything else: [email protected]

      1. John Luke Tippetts

        @bryant_kinser, I also failed to mention that pricing of used optics is rather subjective from optic to optic, so we do not have a published grading system, but we do try to maintain a level of consistency when determining the price of a used optic. Thanks!

    1. John Luke Tippetts

      @tyler_rann, great question! The $150 difference is based off a couple factors. Most importantly, our listed price for the EXPS3 is $669 which is line with most of the competition. However, in this situation you have found someone has beat our price rather significantly. Given that fact, we would price match to the $594. However, even if we were to match the $594 under our “rent to purchase” service, you will still see a very slight markup with the monthly payments. This not a “money grabbing” technique as that is not our objective in this business, but rather it helps us cover the level of risk we incur when loaning a member the optic over the 8 or 12 month period. I hope this makes sense. If you would like to discuss further, I’m best reached via email: [email protected]

      p.s. I’m going to get with pricing on why the EXPS3 is priced the way it is. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

  3. Doug Kindrick

    Is this a brand new business or idea. I can’t seem to find anyone that using this. I’m looking for a scope to use for a hunt coming up in a few weeks. I see that you can rent it for 3 months but is there a week option? I’m only hunting for 2 days I don’t really have the means for a 90 day commitment. Great idea though.

    1. John Luke Tippetts

      @tommy4_-223, good question! The simple answer to your question is “no” you are not responsible for the full value of the optic in the event of theft.

      Fortunately, we have planned for this situation in which in the rare case it does occur. Per our membership agreement, a member will be required to submit a police report and will be liable for up to 20% of the full value of the optic. Obviously these situations are handled on a case-by-case basis. However, we intend to protect our members when situations arise that are completely out of their control. Insightful question, let me know if you have anything else!