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Meopta MeoPro Optika5 2-10X42-PA: Part 1

Meopta Optika5 2-10
Meopta MeoPro Optika5 2-10X42-PA.

This report covers:

  • Meopta
  • Convert to capitalism
  • Military and industrial applications
  • Z-plex reticle
  • Side parallax adjustment
  • Get it straight
  • Let’s look at it!
  • Second Focal Plane
  • Adjustments
  • Parallax
  • Summary

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.

Meopta

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.

Z-plex reticle

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.

Build a Custom Airgun

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.

Adjustments

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!

Parallax

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!

Summary

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.

35 thoughts on “Meopta MeoPro Optika5 2-10X42-PA: Part 1”

  1. Precision optics are quite the specialized field, regardless of the final use of the optics. My brother’s optometry equipment and lens tend to come from the same German and Swiss companies you’d recognize for expensive scopes and binoculars – Zeiss and Swarovski

    Nathan

  2. BB,

    It only seems like only a while has passed since Meopta started selling their optics in the sporting market. You have reviewed their spotting scope and their binoculars. Now you are testing their rifle scopes, this one looks a winner already for airgunners. Is it rated for springers? With, hopefully, great reception they will soon be marketing a scope for airgunners, specifically the Field Target shooters.

    Siraniko

    • BB

      Thanks for this most interesting history of Meopta. It brings into focus both the advantages and short comings of free market competition vs government control.

      You tested a Meopta 3-18×56 scope a couple years ago and bought it. I think you said it had the clearest sight picture of any scope you owned. It gets switched to a new rifle sometimes when there is high accuracy potential. Maybe you will compare the two scopes.

      Deck

  3. BB,

    You would be foolish to shim this scope. Since you are going to buy this scope, buy a couple of sets of fully adjustable mounts like the Sportsmatch. I have a set of these on my HM1000X holding my UTG Bubble Leveler scope. With these rings you can center your optical adjustments on the scope and just about zero your rifle. Then do the fine tweaking with the scope adjustments.

    At least go with the FX No Limits.

    P.S. This is just about the right power magnification for a decent hunting scope. I too am curious if it can stand up to a sproinger. I wish my Hawke 2-7X32 was sproinger rated. It is the perfect size and power for a sproinger.

    https://www.pyramydair.com/product/hawke-sport-optics-hd-ir-series-2-7×32-ao-rifle-scope-illuminated-mil?a=3864

    They may not be as clear as a Meopta, but for my budget Hawke is just fine. I do have to admit though that this particular one is almost affordable for me.

    • RR

      Recently I have started shimming rear scope rings so as to assure the turret spring or springs is under enough tension. Until now I have used elevation compensator adaptors or Sportsmatch mounts to deal with droop. I decided if it had worked for BB all these years why not. Shimming, as he stated, also puts tension on ring screws helping them to remain tight. So far I haven’t crimped a scope tube.

      Deck

      • Deck
        But the thing is you never know when that day will come. And it’s going to.

        I sure wouldn’t want to crunch a Meopta or any scope for that fact. My luck the Meopta would be the one that gets crunched.

        • GF1

          Maybe so but hoping not. A high end scope deserves a Sportsmatch if droop is an issue. It wouldn’t take more than one bent scope of any type for me to change my ways

          Deck

          • Deck
            Always hope not. Even with a 50/50 chance it could or couldn’t happen. The way it goes with me is it would be the 50% chance that it does happen. If possible I try not to take chances with things that could make my day bad. Done learned about all that the hard way. We ain’t getting no younger. 🙂

  4. B.B.

    Please, please, please convince Meopta to make a Field Target scope. Preferably for Hunter Class. Springer rated.
    Great optics, No Mil-rad reticle leaves us wanting………..

    -Y

  5. They have an MOA reticle, Z-Plus is MOA-based. If you want a Mildot reticle, you need to step up to the bigger Optika6. There you can pick out an FFP scope that also has exposed turrets in case you want to dial in your shots. Yes, the Optika6 is bigger,30mm tube, and heavier, but also has more options. Just tossing that out here in case you were not aware of it? They are also rated for springers.

    • bman,.

      Actually they aren’t really RATED for springers. Meopta thinks they can withstand the spring-piston recoil and I told them that at this price point nobody with a harsh-recoilling Chinese megamagnum is likely to buy one.

      I’m putting this one on a PCP that is relatively free from recoil.

      BB

  6. I’m just telling you what I was told about the Optika6 line. Sounds like we need to put one to the test and find out for sure? What are these ” harsh-recoilling Chinese megamagnum” rifles you are referring to? I am a novice in the air rifle field, but between my buddy and I, we have 8 sub $750 rifles and have a blast shooting them.

    • bman,

      I’ve been talking to Meopta about making scopes for spring-piston air rifles for 4 years. The Optika6 I put on my Air Arms S510 is the first one I tested. They told me it probably should withstand the two-way recoil of a spring-piston air rifle (let’s call it a Beeman R9 that’s pretty calm), but at the price I paid I wasn’t about to put it to the test.

      https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2021/08/air-arms-s510xs-ultimate-sporter-with-laminate-stock-part-8/

      You want to see megamagnum recoil? Try a Hatsan 135. Or the old Webley Patriot. Neither one was made by the Chinese, but they are the epitome of spring-piston recoil.

      But most air rifles the Chinese build vibrate too much and are too harsh in their recoil. Anything you buy at the big box store that advertises velocity of 1300 f.p.s. is a candidate. I will say the Chinese have gotten better in the past 5 years, but they still vibrate too much.

      Compare them to a TX200 Mark III that has similar power but is very calm.

      BB.

  7. BB,
    In your report you said “ The reticle moves the strike of the round 0.7cm at 100 m.” Is this reticle movement by something other than the elevation and windage adjustment? Please explain. Thanks. – Don

  8. Gunfun1

    You’re right about not getting any younger so I decided I better hurry up committing to the dark side. My pcp Ataman pistol wanted a rifle to compete against. I wanted a backyard friendly pcp rifle that has both good reviews and is practical for filling with a hand pump. So I bought a Gamo Urban from PA. Amazingly It was delivered two days later. My first group was 10 shots at 25 yards measuring .28 inches center to center. My P16 has some stiff competition.

    Deck

    • Deck,

      Difficult it will be to turn back: “My first group was 10 shots at 25 yards measuring .28 inches center to center.” The POWER of The Dark Side is STRONG; there is little chance of turning back.

      shootski

      • GF1 and Shootski

        While PCP’s are a must have for any air gunner, refilling can be hassle. Nearest dive shop is 60 miles and compressors have to be stored somewhere. I’m still hand pumping. I do work out at a YMCA so pumping may be good for me.

        I used AA 16 grain Diabolo Field pellets which my Ataman P16 prefers. The Gamo Urban comes without sights. I had a clear CP 4-16×40 scope available that doesn’t always hold zero with a springer. Hoping the Urban’s mild recoil works with it.

        Deck

        • Deck
          It looks like it likes the pellets and the scope so far.

          And thre are small electric compressors that will fill most pcp’s in under 2 minutes. And you can find them for around $200 to $400. And they are around 14 inches long by 8 inches wide by 12 inches tall. There are some even smaller ones that run on 110 volt or car batteries.

          You should think more about the electric compressors and have that your fun time when you shoot and save your workout for the gym.

  9. Oh well, we learn from experience. As I’ve purchased new airguns/rifles over the last few years (Sheridan MB2260, Colt 1911, Sig P320, Baretta 92FS and finally my TX200 with a Hawke scope), I’ve taken all the Allen wrenches that came with them into a zip-lock baggie. OK, at least I know where they all are. Have you experienced gunners figured out what I did wrong? Yep . . . I don’t have a clue which one fits what. I’ll just have to get them sorted out. It’s a bit embarrassing to have to search through them all out on the range. I may not be the brightest pellet in the can, but I’m figuring it out. Orv.

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