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If you’ve landed on this page, you’re probably interested in reading and learning about the Meopta line of rifle scopes. However, if you ask most shooters about Meopta, many will say something like, “Meopta scopes? I’ve never heard of Meopta scopes?” And while many may not have heard of Meopta, they are most likely the best scope brand that no one knows about. Yet. But, I’m betting all that will change in the next five years.
Based out of the Czech Republic, Meopta Optics has a diverse and interesting history. The company was founded in 1933 and was called Optikotechna. One of the company founders invented and patented the first enlarging camera objective in Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). Optikotechna focused on camera and darkroom equipment, emphasizing enlargers and lenses.
In the late 1930s, Optikotechna started supplying the Czechoslovakian Army (now called the Czech Republic Army) with optical gear that included rifle scopes, binoculars, and spotting scopes. When Germany invaded and occupied what was then called Czechoslovakia during WWII, they forced Optikotechna to supply the German military with the same optical devices that they had been providing for the Czechoslovakian Army.
After the war, the company name changed from Optikotechna to Meopta. Under the Meopta name, they were still providing optical equipment to the military and became a major producer of photo enlargers and cinema projectors.
In the mid-1980s, military contact work started to dry up, so Meopta went back into the production of riflescopes designed to target the civilian market. In 1996, Meopta opened a U.S.-based location in order to better market its products to the US market.
Even though you may not have officially heard of Meopta, there’s a chance that you’ve already seen a Meopta-made scope as, while Meopta was establishing itself as a standalone brand, they were also working as a scope manufacturer in the background with various “partner” scope brands.
For example, have you heard of the Zeiss Conquest line of scopes? That line was manufactured by Meopta for Zeiss. Now Zeiss is one of the top European scope brands, so the fact that Meopta was making this line for Zeiss should tell you something.
Meopta also did a partnership project with Cabela’s, where they manufactured Cabela’s Euro-Optic line of scopes from 2016 to 2019. These Euro-optic models from Cabela’s were a smoking deal as the glass was amazingly good for the money. (I own several of them).
The strength of Meopta’s scope line is the quality of their glass. According to a Meopta rep I spoke to at one of the SHOT shows, Meopta is one of the largest consumers of Schott glass in the world. Now Schott glass is a very high-quality glass that is used to make lenses for various items, including rifle scopes. Most all the high-end European riflescope lines use Schott glass for their lenses.
Another reason that most shooters haven’t heard of Meopta is tied to their distribution model. Unlike most rifle scope brands, Meopta does not use a wholesale system where almost any gun store or other vendor can purchase Meopta products through a wholesale channel.
Instead, Meopta is committed to selling through a dedicated line of dealers that understand the value of the Meopta line. Therefore you most likely won’t see Meopta in a large corporate retailer like Bass Pro or Gander Mountain (although, to be honest, that’s exactly where I was introduced to Meopta).
Like most sporting optical brands, the Meopta currently offers the following optical products:
- Rifle Scopes
- Spotting Scopes
- Red Dot Sights
- Night Vision Gear
Obviously, I’m going to focus on the Meopta rifle scope models that they currently offer.
Meopta has a relatively broad line of riflescope models, including a series built on a 1-inch tube, 4 series built on a 30mm tube, and 1 series built on a 34mm tube.
In terms of power magnification ranges, Meopta has scopes that range from a 1-4 power all the way up to a 6-24X56 power. In mid-2019, Meopta introduced a new line called the Optika6 series, which will have a model with a power range of 5-30X56.
Most of the Meopta scope models are currently SFP models, but the new Optika6 line I mentioned before will have Meopta’s first FFP models within that scope series.
In 2020, Meopta introduced the Optika5 series, which is similar to the Optika6 line, but is built on a smaller 1 inch tube versus the 30mm tube on the 6 series.
From a reticle standpoint, Meopta offers most of the popular reticle options, including:
- Z-Plex – A slight variation of the traditional duplex reticle
- BDC reticle with BDC variants
- McWorter Reticle – A variation on the BDC reticle with half windage marks instead of the bullet drop circles.
- German #4 reticle
- Mil-dot reticle
In addition to the more common reticles, they also offer several specialty reticles, including a
- MT 223 – A specialty reticle designed for long-range 223 shooting
- MT 308 – A specialty reticle designed for long-range 308 shooting
- Mil-Dot II – A specialty reticle that is a long-range variant of the Mil-Dot reticle
At the 2019 SHOT show, Meopta introduced a new reticle option called a Dichroic reticle which is a multi-colored reticle that changes color based on natural ambient light and does not require a battery. It’s a really cool design where the reticle changes color and brightens up as the ambient light goes down. I’m very interested to see how it does in the market once it’s released.
The Meopta warranty is an interesting one, as well as Meopta, calls it a “North American Lifetime Transferable Warranty.” In order to be covered under this warranty, Meopta requires the buyer to register the scope with them within 30 days of the purchase. It sounds like a somewhat typical limited lifetime warranty that you see with other brands based on the warranty terms.
How they handle a warranty claim on a used scope that is not registered under their warranty program remains to be seen. This warranty also only covers Meopta scopes that are purchased in the United States.
Here’s a closer look at each of the current Meopta line of scopes and click on each of their names to see more info about each model:
- MeoPro series
- MeoStar R1 series
- MeoStar R2 series
- MeoTac series
- ZD series
- Optika6 series (new for 2019)
- Optika5 series (new for 2020)
The one area that I’m not crazy about with Meopta scopes is their parallax presets, and side focus presets. On most of the current Meopta scope lines, the side focus bottoms out at 50 yards. Now they have a select few where the side focus or parallax bottoms out at 30 yards. But, for the most part, not focusing down below the 50-yard mark somewhat limits how the scopes can be used. For example, most airgunners want something that focuses all the way down to at least 10 yards, while certain precision rifle disciplines would also require the scope to focus down to at least 30 yards.
However, I had the chance to speak with a Meopta rep at the 2019 SHOT show, and they stated that the new Meopta Optika6 line of scopes would be able to focus down below the 30-yard mark, so I’m very excited to get my hands on one of these Optika6 models for testing as soon as they become available.
Here are some of the more commonly asked questions that I’ve seen regarding Meopta scopes:
Where are Meopta rifle scopes made?
The answer somewhat depends on the specific Meopta line of scopes that you are asking about. For example, the less expensive MeoPro line of scopes has optics from Czechoslovakia but is actually put together here in the U.S. at Meopta’s USA facility. But, the MeoStar, MeoTac, and ZD series appear to be manufactured in the Meopta Czechoslovakia facility.
Are Meopta scopes any good?
The short answer is yes, they absolutely are. Meopta scopes are nearly equal in glass quality and performance to most of the higher-end European scope lines like Zeiss and Kahles, at about half the price. The glass on even the lower-end MeoPro line of scopes is as good as or better than most of the popular U.S.-based scope models (except for a very select few high-end brands).
Where can I find Meopta scopes on sale?
Given Meopta’s approach to marketing, that could be a challenge as very few local gun stores or sporting goods stores will carry the Meopta brand, and almost none of the large big-box sporting goods stores (like Cabela’s or Bass Pro) carry the Meopta line anymore. Your best bet will most likely be online, and I’ll provide some links to Meopta scopes on sale and at a discount as I find them.
What are your thoughts on Meopta scopes vs Leupold scopes?
So, the question is, how do Meopta scopes compare to Leupold scopes? To be honest, I think the Meopta scopes are much better than most Leupold scope models optically, until you get up to the very top of the Leupold scope lines like the Mark 6 and Mark 8 models. The top-end Leupold models will hold their own with most of the Meopta stuff. Leupold has the advantage in reticle options and features, but the Meopta glass is hard to beat, especially for the money.
I know that opinion will probably make some die-hard Leupold owners unhappy, but it’s my honest opinion. Don’t get me wrong, Leupold makes great stuff and has an absolutely stellar warranty, but I’ve long felt that buyers paid a premium for the Leupold name instead of top-end performance. Again, just one guy’s opinion.
I’ve been working in the firearms and sporting optics industry for over 20 years, with a personal and professional interest in all things related to rifle scopes, Through a combination of work experience, formal training, and personal experiences, I have extensive experience mounting, testing, and evaluating different rifle scope models across most major optical brands.