Meopta MeoPro Optika6 3-18X56-scope: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Meopta Optika6 3-18X56
Meopta MeoStar Optika6 3-18X56 scope. Photo provided by Meopta.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Description
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Illumination
  • Second Focal plane
  • Parallax
  • Adjustment knobs
  • Rapid zero correction
  • Size
  • Optical zoom
  • Summary

I told you I would be doing this — reviewing the Meopta scope within the review of the Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock. I have mounted this scope on that rifle and today I want to focus on the features and benefits this scope provides.

Description

I’ll begin with a general description. This is a variable power scope that zooms from 3 to 18 magnifications. It has a 56mm objective lens for superior light transmission and a 30mm scope tube that accommodates larger lenses — also for better light transmission. That makes it brighter in low light, which is desirable for a hunting scope.

Illuminated reticle

The etched-glass reticle is illuminated. Only the central dot lights up and there are 6 levels of brightness to choose from. Between each illumination level is what Meopta calls the “half-click” position that turns the illuminator off to save the battery.

Illumination

Speaking of the battery, you can also order this scope with a DichroTech reticle that illuminates without a battery. I remember some of the old Beeman scopes made by Hakko had a similar feature and, as long as there is some light around, it works. This one is derived from the U.S. Army’s TOW missile sight so it’s no doubt a lot more sensitive. Personally, though, I’ll choose the battery for greater control.

Back to the reticle, I didn’t even know that there was a central dot at the intersection of the crosshairs until I adjusted the eyepiece that Meopta calls the Dioptric Correction adjustment. It goes from -2 diopters to +2 diopters, which allows me to wear my normal vision glasses while looking through the scope and seeing both the reticle and the target in sharp focus.

The reticle I chose to evaluate is one Meopta calls a 4C. It’s a standard duplex with ultra-fine reticle lines in the center, and of course a dot that can be illuminated but doesn’t have to be. This is a general hunting reticle with the additional precision needed for taking small targets like ground squirrels at 300 yards.

Second Focal plane

I was offered the choice between first focal plane (FFP) and second focal plane (SFP) scopes, because Meopta offers both of them in this line, though each one not in every model in the line. I selected SFP because I see no advantage to FFP in the accuracy department. Sure, if a difference of half a pellet diameter at 35 yards is important to you then go with FFP, but I find the disadvantage of the reticle enlarging as the power increases too distracting.

Parallax

The reason I’m now testing a Meopta scope is they have reduced the focal adjustment distance to 10 yards for airguns. I’m testing this scope on a precharged rifle right now, but after this test I intend switching it to a springer, so we are going to get a realistic test of this fine scope.

Meopta Optika6 parallax
Parallax adjusts down to 10 yards. Note the illumination knob on the same knob. It turns independently.

Adjustment knobs

The scope I chose to review has caps over the adjustment knobs. They protect your settings. Other models have exposed adjustment knobs that can be locked in position after adjustment by pressing them down.

Rapid zero correction

The elevation and windage knobs both allow resetting the zero. Loosen the cap screws on top of the adjustment knobs until they are almost off then lift the knobs and move them to the zero mark after you have zeroed your rifle. This allows you to have several different ranges at which the rifle and scope are zeroed. The knob has numbers with 3 tic marks between each number. Each tic is a click of adjustment, and this scope adjusts 1/4 mil (very close to 1/4-inch) at 100 yards.

For example, you set 0 as your 20 to 32-yard zero on the elevation knob, and 1.75 (three tic marks past the number one) is your 40-yard zero. And so on. I’m just making the corrections up, but that’s how it works. If this was a field target scope, this zero reset would be a huge advantage because you wouldn’t have to make or buy an auxiliary elevation knob. I imagine long range varmint hunters will use it the same way at much longer distances.

With a maximum magnification of only 18 power this scope cannot be used for serious field target competition, but if Meopta were to bring out a similar scope that went to 40 or even 60 power it would be.

One final thing about the resettable zero. If your scope isn’t centered perfectly in the rings and the gun shoots to one side of the vertical centerline close in and the other side far away, this feature can compensate for it. Example — 10-17 yards is one tic mark to the left, 18-23 yards is right on, 24-32 yards 1 tic mark to the right, 33 yards to 38 yards 2 tic marks to the right and so on.

Size

You might expect a scope with this power and large objective lens to be long and heavy, and 20 years ago it would have been. But optics have advanced a lot in the last two decades and now you get a nice list of features in a reasonable package. It’s 14-5/8-inches long and weighs 30.5 oz. While that’s neither compact nor a featherweight, it’s reasonable for such a serious optical package.

The scope has a 30mm tube, so 30mm rings are required. The exit pupil ranges from 9.5mm (huge!) to 3.1mm at 18 power. Even at the highest power the exit pupil is large. That keeps the image from blacking out when your head isn’t perfectly aligned with the eyepiece. Target shooters want the smaller exit pupil, but hunters want it to be larger for rapid target acquisition, and on this scope it is.

Optical zoom

There are two features on the optical zoom (the scope’s magnification) that are worth noting. The first is that the magnification numbers are on the side of the ring that faces the shooter. No more taking the rifle down off your shoulder to see what power is dialed in! The second feature is a post that can be screwed into the magnification ring to make zooming much faster and easier. I can see the utility of that for a hunter who may be in a blind awaiting quarry that might appear anywhere. The post screws into the ring and there are several holes for the shooter to select for it. I put the post in the hole farthest to the left and was able to slew between 3 and 18 power without that post bumping into anything. If you don’t like it, don’t mount it.

Meopta Optika6 magnification
The long bar allows rapid magnification changes. Or remove it and the scope looks conventional.

Summary

This is my first test of a premium scope with mega-features. And I have mounted it to a rifle that’s supposed to be the bomb in rings that are the best I’ve seen in a long while. This accuracy test is going to be fun, fun, fun and I doubt her daddy will ever take her T-Bird away!

12 thoughts on “Meopta MeoPro Optika6 3-18X56-scope: Part 1

  1. FFP all the way. The reticle enlarging makes everything easier, especially at high magnification.

    Really the mega feature should have been the ffp. But chosing sfp just makes it a good scope choice.


  2. B.B.

    Long awaited review! For HFT max 16X. Other than A/O adjustment, no touching other aspects of your scope after the match starts.

    This particular model seems much better suited to hunting?
    Hard for me to understand what the DichroTech reticle does. Is it’s effect alway visible, even in broad day light?
    They do not even have a 16X mark on the magnification ring.

    -Y


  3. BB,

    Nice. For me it is a bit too large and powerful, but I do like the features. I would have preferred a different reticle, say with half mil marks, but on a PB this would be fine.

    I have never owned one, but I think I would like to give a FFP a try, although for the cost I am not sure it would be of benefit to me. My reasoning is that from my personal experiences I am not zooming around to different powers for my shots. I have found that more often than not I set the power and leave it.

    I also am not one who cares for high magnification. In the woods it is just about useless. Your effective ranges are rarely more than 100 yards and more often less than 50. A wider field of view and a less jittery image is of more use than picking which freckle you are going to aim for.

    Now I do prefer my reticle to be as fine as possible. When you are trying to shoot a groundhog in the head at 500 yards, an ultra fine reticle can be pretty thick.


  4. I only know one important reason FFP is better than SFP and that is variable magnification scopes SFP no matter how advanced shift POI when changing magnification most not by much and high quality selected and balanced optics reduce the amount to a point most air rifle ranges make it less of an issue.

    It is my understanding that FFP scopes POI do not shift when changing magnification and that ceratainly has been my experience and range estimation a plus if you are sure of the targets size.

    I use my FFP on my 17hmr and at times at a distance and honestly the way my 22lr and air guns are set up using SFP scopes are never an issue as the scopes are always zeroed at max range where i always use max magnification and the only time i zoom out is for close up targets and any minor shift is not noticeable. About ten years ago when i was shopping for a long range scope the FFP scopes with the specifications i was looking for at that time they cost roughly three times what you can purchase one for today. As much as you can say that right now is the golden age of airguns i think the same could be said of scopes.


  5. Getting back to my favorite topic, the Umarex (Synoptic, Syncope, Syncoptic, or whatever it is called), why not use the basic scope that comes in the bundle and determine how accurate and suited it is to the included airgun? Then switch to the high-dollar scope in today’s blog and see if it makes a significant difference. I realize that this is like putting high speed V-rated tires on a Toyota Corolla, but it would be an interesting scope comparison. Plus we get to learn more about the Umarex repeating under-lever air rifle.

    Bob in Texas


  6. B.B.
    “One final thing about the resettable zero. If your scope isn’t centered perfectly in the rings and the gun shoots to one side of the vertical centerline close in and the other side far away, this feature can compensate for it. Example — 10-17 yards is one tic mark to the left, 18-23 yards is right on, 24-32 yards 1 tic mark to the right, 33 yards to 38 yards 2 tic marks to the right and so on.”

    Is this like needing to shim ones rings for barrel droop, only in the horizontal plane? I have this issue come up.
    You are saying compensate for it manually and that would have to be a ‘windage’ adjustment, right? I’ll check next time I shoot.
    I think an enlarging reticle might be not so good for me because I like seeing as little of it as possible.
    The thinner the better. I find I use no zoom or all of it, but optical quality is part of that decision. The more time I spend ‘glassing’ the more important optical quality becomes. Cheap scopes give me more eyestrain, but for short duration, its not too important. So, I think I would pass on a duplex in general, but can see the benefit for a certain type of shooting.
    Rob
    Roberto



  7. B.B.
    No one has mentioned it, but the “S” is missing in the title.
    “Meopta MeoPro Optika6 3-18X56-cope: Part 1”
    And, I too look forward to your blog specifically referencing scope setup, and especially how it’s no longer important to center the elevation and windage adjustments. Also, the best method of determining the distance between the bore center and the scope center. It’s important to know that dimension in order to determine the correct holdover at short distances, like ten yards. I’ve watched some YouTube videos on this, and some seem pretty bazar. I do not like the idea of having to compensate manually for the scope being out of parallel to the bore. I do not know if I have this issue because I have never tested for it. Nothing is perfect, so my thinking is that this condition exists in most setups to a certain extent, more so with cheaper airguns and rings. Thank you for today’s report.
    Geo


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