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Please welcome Element Optics to our list of fine partners!!

Airgun Nation

Staff member
Aug 24, 2020
Colorado, United States
    Please join us in giving a warm welcome to Element Optics!!

    A plan comes together - The Element Optics Story told by Matt Dubber


    Guns. Boom-Sticks. Pew Pew Pipes? Call them what you want… Every young boy grows up with an unexplainable craving to just…well…blast stuff. For me, it started at age 3 when I chewed my sandwiches into the shape of a pistol and pretended to shoot with them. For kids today, it might be a Nerf gun. Either way, a career in the gun industry may be the ultimate aspiration for any man. For our team at Element Optics, the story has unfolded in different ways, but there is one common denominator: A deep passion for the outdoors, a desire to do better, an addiction to the kick of a recoiling rifle. And what does passion lead to? Hard work, commitment, growth, expertise and perfection. This is the story of how a group of Gun Nuts from very different walks of life met at the nexus of destiny to form the Element “Dream Team”. Okay, that’s a corny name…but we’ll stick with it for now.

    Let’s start with Mr. Fredrik Axelsson. “The Crazy Swede”, as he was once known. A man who claims he doesn’t know diddly squat about optics, but is the force that brought us all together - kinda like Reuben from Ocean’s Eleven, who had no involvement in the heist but made it all possible. Fredrik is a mad genius that builds guns, and is now the president of one of the world’s most successful and innovative PCP Airgun manufacturers, FX. Fredrik began making his own rimfires and airguns at a young age; button-rifling his own barrels, designing his own valving and introducing innovative new concepts that earned him a job at Webley & Scott. After a stint with the British company, Fredrik started FX Airguns more than 20 years ago, and the rest is history.



    FX Airguns now dominates the high-power precision airgun market, smashing global competitions with patented in-house barrel manufacturing technology and unmatched efficiency. This success must be attributed largely to the genius of Mr. Axelsson, who is known to phone people in early hours of the morning with the phrase “Listen…I have an idea!” - But one of Fredrik’s biggest strengths is that he also knows his weaknesses, and knowing full well that a quality rifle needs a quality riflescope - Something that FX didn’t want to attempt themselves - Fredrik approached Ted Bier and myself one day with a proposition: Start an optics company, design a quality product based on a hand-picked team’s collective expertise, find quality manufacturers, and we’d have the full backing of a global manufacturing giant. First box: CHECK.

    Enter Ted Bier and Myself. If you’ve been on YouTube for long enough, or searched the term “holdover”, you’ll know the name. Ted’s story and my story are surprisingly similar, and closely linked. “Ted’s Holdover” started as a small channel in the early days of YouTube, and quickly rocketed into the international spotlight as Ted’s easy-to-understand tutorials and laid back, relatable attitude instantly separated him from the haughty, over scripted and overproduced hunting shows available at the time. This was a man who expertly understood the technical complexities of long-range precision shooting, but never made the viewer feel that they were any lower than himself. One of those viewers was me - Matt Dubber, the kid from South Africa. In 2010, I was browsing the catacombs of YouTube and came across one of Ted’s videos. I had already been hunting & shooting for many years, but for the first time I saw precision shooting filmed THROUGH a riflescope. My first thought? “Hey, I’m going to start making videos like this”.



    My own channel - AirArmsHuntingSA - started off very sluggishly as I trained my introverted personality to GET OUT THE SHELL, and after 5 years of learning and growing, I scraped up the funds to fly to Shot Show in 2016. At the time, I was on the brink of giving up on my channel, with almost no funding coming through and the disappointment of having a major manufacturer turn down my ideas for product improvement. I bumped into Ted on the second day of the show, and expecting him to have no idea who I was, had the surprise of being greeted by name and invited to lunch. I shared my journey and situation with Ted, explaining that I didn’t see a way forward. “Matt”, said Ted, “You need to meet Fredrik”. As it turns out, Mr. Axelsson had been watching my videos all along, and after a brief phone call late at night on the Vegas strip, it was confirmed: I would be off to Germany 3 weeks later to meet the legend himself.

    I wasn’t sure what to expect, but that trip to IWA Outdoor Classics completely reignited my passion for guns and made me realise that there were still trustworthy people in the industry. Fredrik didn’t just listen to my ideas with interest, he actually treated me like family, and I never felt pressure from him to agree with his ideas of beliefs. And to make things even better, Fredrik made such kick-ass products that I naturally wanted to get out and shoot more than ever. When somebody believes in you, it does wonders for your self-worth and propels you to work harder and learn faster than ever. Over the following few years, the “team” of Matt Dubber, Ted Bier, Fredrik Axelsson and Johan Axelsson (Fredrik’s son) would go on to make waves in the industry with new innovations that completely re-shaped the airgun industry, and take home many medals from major international competitions along the way. My experience in the long-range centerfire world taught me a lot about external ballistics and the importance of high-BC projectiles, and I was able to bring some of this knowledge to the table and head up a big project with FX to bring bullet-shaped projectiles to the smallbore airgun world and design barrels which were optimised for them. The fruit of this is that we have essentially doubled the effective range of small bore airguns, and bridged the gap between airguns and rimfires.



    So where do optics come in? Well, they have been there all along. Without an understanding of optics, your rifle is useless, and over the years we have all grown to understand the intricacies of riflescope design & operation with many, MANY different makes & models passing through our hands. Ted and myself in particular have worked with different manufacturers along the way - Everything from Hawke to Athlon to Nightforce. We fully understand the differences between a poorly-made cheapie and a high-end German or Japanese scope. We’ve done the reviews, the tracking assessments, the field tests. We’ve broken many, and found their failure points. We KNOW what makes a good riflescope good and a bad riflescope bad, and we KNOW what needs to be done to bring a solid, reliable product to the market without breaking the bank. And we’ve spent so much time talking to (and competing against) our YouTube audience that we know exactly what they need in a reticle design - Hence our involvement in the APR and EHR reticle families.

    The idea to start an optics company is not a new one. In 2016, Ted and myself sat in a meeting with a manufacturer and brought our ideas to the table. We could have launched Element Optics back then if we wanted to, but weren’t given enough control from the manufacturer and weren’t happy with the way the product would have turned out. If we were going to do this, we were going to do it properly. The same scenario played out in 2018 when we met with a different manufacturer and once again weren’t happy with the outcome. We’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way - In 2017 I worked alongside Shane Kellar on a reticle design for Aztec Optics in the US, and again in 2018 with Aquila Sport Optics in South Africa. The feedback from end users and experience of those processes have contributed strongly towards the way I’ve decided to design the APR reticles in the Element line, and my experience working alongside Nightforce for 3 years and testing their products has given me many ideas of what’s needed for a solid, reliable turret assembly.

    I mentioned Shane Kellar in the previous paragraph, and this is a good time to introduce him, as his involvement in the optics industry is a little more extensive than the rest of us. Shane grew up in Arizona, and worked at a gun shop for many years where he had to manage all the inventory and work closely with a number of manufacturers. In 2016 Shane was heavily involved with a startup optics company in Arizona, and invited me over to give my input on the reticle design. The following year when the product was launched, Shane and I managed to win first and second place respectively at a major international benchrest competition using the very scopes we’d worked on, and that was a rewarding moment for both of us. This came to mind just a few months ago when myself, Ted, Fredrik and Johan were discussing the structure of Element Optics management moving forward, and I strongly recommended we get Shane involved somehow. At the time, Shane was working for another gun shop in Salt Lake City and jumped at the opportunity to travel out to Japan and China to visit manufacturing & testing facilities for meetings and Quality Control assessments. Shane and I spent two weeks with designers, engineers, assembly teams and inspectors giving our feedback to manufacturers and implementing our own quality control checks. We were very impressed with what we saw, and feel very confident about the future! Fired up with visions of future growth and exciting projects, Shane joined Element Optics shortly afterwards on a full-time basis, adding valuable experience and fresh ideas to the team.



    Lastly, let me introduce Johan Axelsson. Johan, the son of Fredrik, is a technically-astute, incredibly intelligent designer who’s responsible for many of the recent innovations and advancements in the FX Airguns camp. Johan grew up in his father’s footsteps, observing the process of product design & development from a young age and making his mark. Johan spends a lot of his time working on 3D CAD designs on Solidworks, testing prototypes and overseeing the engineering and manufacturing processes. Although most of our products and parts are manufactured and assembled in other facilities, we know how crucial it is to have our own equipment and machinery. This keeps us in full control, allowing us to design & test parts ourselves, and giving us insight into how different materials and components may work. This feedback loop between our designers and the factories keeps us in control, and regular visits ensure nothing happens without us knowing about it. Johan is not a square-eyed computer nerd either - The man can shoot. He is the only person I know who can rock up to a major competition without firing a rifle in months and take first place like it’s nothing!



    And let’s not forget the countless other people - Hunters, varminters, competitors, businessmen, outdoorsmen, engineers, YouTubers and average Joes who have willingly tested and given feedback on our products leading up to the much anticipated launch. They are just as responsible for our success as our core members are.

    And that’s our team! We come from different walks of life and different corners of the globe, but we form a formidable outfit that I believe have the experience, passion and know-how to provide you with some of the best all-round riflescopes money can buy, and some of the best service you don’t have to buy. Not only has every single one of our team members proven themselves by winning a major shooting competition at some point in the past few years, but I believe we’ve also proven ourselves to be genuine, down-to-earth outdoorsmen who will likely use our own products out in the field just as much as any of our customers - And that’s what will keep us moving forward.

    Please click on their banner and visit Element Optics to see their entire lineup of scopes and more.


    I just bought my first PCP Airgun a month ago. I'm at Trenier Outdoors in northern Wisconsin and I picked out an FX Maverick. Now I need a good scope. Jeff brings out about 10 differnet makes and models and is explaining First Focal Plane vs Second Focal Plane and I'm looking through scopes at different reticles. Very overwhelming but I kept going back to a particular scope. I really liked the reticle, I have 65 yr old vision and have always had problems with scopes and reticles that I could focus and see clearly.

    Well, I just said, I like this reticle let's just do it. The scope just happened to be an Element Helix 6-24 x 50 in Second Focal Plane.

    So far I have not regretted my choice and excited for what's to come.

    Also a fan of both Matt & Ted on YouTube.