Meopta MeoPro Optika5 2-10X42-PA.
This report covers:
- Convert to capitalism
- Military and industrial applications
- Z-plex reticle
- Side parallax adjustment
- Get it straight
- Let’s look at it!
- Second Focal Plane
Today we start looking at the Meopta MeoPro Optika5 2-10X42-PA. There are several reasons for this. First, this is a new scope from Meopta. You could call it a basic scope. but that would be like calling a certain Mercedes automobile basic. Yes, it may have fewer features than their top-of-the-line riflescopes, but it’s still produced by Meopta, which a former CEO told me is the best optics company you never heard of. I will explain that in a moment.
The second reason I’m looking at this scope today is tomorrow I am planning on mounting it on the Gauntlet 2 from Umarex. You will learn why that is a good thing in this report.
Who is Meopta? Why haven’t most of us heard of them? How did this monster optics firm with 2,500-plus employees and almost 1.5 million square feet of production space in New York and the Czech Republic come to be? I may not be an optics nerd, but as a shooter and photographer I do know the biggies. But I never heard of these guys until recently. As it turns out, though, Meopta has been right there among the best all along, from their inception in 1933.
They started out in the 1930s making darkroom products like projectors and enlarging equipment. When the war came, they turned to military optics, and when the iron curtain went up in 1945 they found themselves on the communist side. They continued making military optics, and, since the communists had no free trade, they were under no pressure to control costs. The combination of meeting military specifications and a lack of competition meant they were free to turn out the finest optics they could, so that’s what they did. They made no consumer products at this time. As reader StarboardRower has shown us in his guest blog on the Vz. 35 air rifle, the Czechs don’t compromise when it comes to quality in manufacturing.
Convert to capitalism
When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the company had over 6,000 employees — all suddenly unemployed! Following the fall of communism during the Velvet Revolution, Czechoslovakia became the Czech Republic in 1993, and life became the “anything for a buck” ritual that West Germany had endured after World War II. Entrepreneurs started marketing the company’s optics capability and soon found willing buyers among the world’s best-known optics houses — places like Leica and Hasselblad!
At first they sold lenses ground to specification, then optical subassemblies and packages. Finally they gained enough respect among their customer base that they were asked to make entire OEM products. If you are a user of ultra high-end optics you may already have used Meopta products without knowing it.
Military and industrial applications
Meopta continued to make optics for their military and also for industry worldwide. These are their two biggest divisions. For example, one of their industrial lines includes the high-speed optical scanners that check integrated circuits after manufacture. This work is extremely precise and requires the best optics — way beyond the level of normal consumer optics.
A lens-coating station can be purchased for around $60,000. Meopta has several of them that cost $1.5 million each. The difference is seen in the precision of their lenses. But most of us will never see their military or industrial products.
Meopta excels because they have that high-dollar precision machinery that can also be used for sport optics during downtimes of industrial and military production. They don’t care about sales volume in the sport optics line — it’s not their major moneymaker. But when they pitch an industrial or military customer, it doesn’t hurt to have a stunning reputation for sporting optics. So, they will not compete on price, yet the lack of an advertising budget coupled with the ability to use ultra-sophisticated optical manufacturing equipment means they can offer a superior product at a relative bargain price. The scope we are looking at today retails for $349.99.
That price may seem high to the uninitiated, but it’s actually a fraction of what optics of similar quality sell for. The MeoPro Optika5 2-10X42-PA that we are examining today is a second focal plane variable scope that ranges from 2 to 10 power. Light enters through a 42mm objective lens that is quite large for the maximum of 10 magnifications. And especially so for a scope with a one inch tube.
This scope has a non-illuminated Z-plex reticle that has a central dot and thin windage and elevation lines. It’s on etched glass, so the reticle is super-fine. Both the windage and elevation lines have crossmarks at given intervals, which gives you numerous aimpoints. The Z-plex had the heavy reticle lines of a duplex reticle on all sides in the past, but thin lines with hash marks have replaced them. This is a hunting reticle for a shooter who wants to place his shots in the exact place he aims. That sounds like what everyone wants to do, but with this reticle the shooter becomes a surgeon with a scalpel.
Side parallax adjustment
The scope is offered with either an adjustable objective lens or an adjustment knob on the left side of the tube. Because I am an airgunner who has used adjustable parallax most of my shooting life, I prefer the side adjustment which is what the test scope has.
Get it straight
I just called it the test scope. At this point it still is, but old BB knows that no Meopta product can pass through his hands. I asked up front what my cost would be if I decided to buy it. “IF” Ha, ha, ha! Guys, you can’t look through a water-clear Meopta anything and not reach for your wallet. At least I can’t!
Let’s look at it!
Now let’s see what this scope is. The scope is 12-ish inches long. I say 12-ish because the eyepiece screws in or out to adjust for your eye. That length makes this scope on the long side for a 2-10 scope with a one-inch tube. But this is a Meopta and if they need the length to pack in that extra magic, so be it. After I adjusted it to my eye I was looking through a crystal clear scope that rivals anything on the high end of the market. Having looked through quite a few Meopta riflescopes in the past at the SHOT Show, I knew what I would be seeing with this one and I wasn’t disappointed.
Second Focal Plane
This scope is Second Focal Plane — praise the Lord! I cannot tolerate First Focal Plane scopes where the reticle magnifies with the image! And, in my testing, which I admit hasn’t been exhaustive, there ain’t no difference in the point of impact when the power is adjusted while I’m shooting the rifle. Maybe for a good shot it’s a problem, but not for old BB Pelletier.
The scope weighs 20.8 ounces which is about five ounces over one pound. That’s not going to affect the handling of the Gauntlet 2 that much.
The eye relief is 90 mm or 3.5 inches, which is plenty for a scope of this power. The reticle moves the strike of the round 0.7cm at 100 m. For Americans that’s 0.28-inches at 100 meters or just about a quarter minute of angle at 100 yards. It’s close enough to figure it that way.
The windage and elevation have 63 inches of adjustment at 100 yards. That seems like a lot but I will go out of my way to align the scope when I mount it and I will install it with some downward angle, because that is nothing but good. If you don’t know why, ask me and you’ll get a blog on it. As for the 63-inches of adjustment at 100 yards, I am checking into it.
The turret saddle appears shallow enough to mount the scope low, and the Gauntlet rotary magazine just barely rises higher than the top of the receiver. I have a set of low UTG P.O.I. one-inch rings, and I will try to see how low I can mount this scope. Many shooters obsess over low scopes and I have never purposely tried to mount one low for a test, so it appears the planets may have aligned perfectly this time — I hope!
This scope parallax adjusts from 10 yards to infinity. As clear as this glass is I think it would be perfect for the Hunter class of field target. I have already established that 10 yards on the knob is really 10 yards. And I don’t know if Meopta knew this or not, but they put 10 yards and infinity about 300 degrees apart on the adjustment knob. Of course you can’t range-find with 10 magnifications at field target distances, but you can’t do that anyway in the Hunter class. A 6-inch parallax wheel would make this scope a world-class competitor if they made it a 10 to 60 power, and held the price under $3,000!
The Meopta MeoPro Optika5 2-10X42-PA seems to be a great scope. I don’t know if I have told you all the good stuff about it in this report, but tomorrow I hope to show you even more. And, based on what I see here plus what I know about Meopta optics, I think you’ll be seeing a lot more of this one in the future.