I recently got the chance to handle several solid examples of mid-market precision rifle optics. I’ll be publishing up some reviews and thoughts as I work with them. The first one up is the Meopta Optika6 5-30×56 MRAD FFP. I’ll be up front and say I don’t have a whole lot of time actually behind a rifle with it, so this first article is really about my initial impressions and an overview of it’s features more than a shooting review.
First up is the disclosure piece. I did not purchase this optic, it’s on loan to me from a friend and fellow blogger ILya over at opticsthoughts.com. I’ve been keeping some blogging friends up to date on my dive into the precision rifle rabbit hole, and he offered to let me handle a couple from his collection. I just wanted to put that out there so you know there isn’t a conflict of interest with manufacturers or vendors to worry about.
Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)
Before I get into the meat of this overview, let’s just go ahead and get the quick version. The Meopta Optika6 is a solid option for folks interested in long-range precision optics. The glass is clear and the reticle is intelligently designed. The exposed turrets have a solid feel to them, but Meopta made a few decisions here that I’m not a fan of regarding the elevation adjustment.
Were I looking to buy a scope in this class today for less than $1,000, then this is a fantastic choice if the plan was to use the reticle holdover references more than cranking up and down on the elevation.
Another very good comparable alternative is the Brownells MPO 5-25×56.
If you want to step down in the price class, the Athlon ARES BTR 4.5-27×50 presents a lot of nice features. If, instead, you have a bit more to spend, then the Steiner P4xi 4-16×56 is the optic I actually chose to run, and you can sometimes find them on sale for less than the price of the Meopta we’re looking at.
Who is Meopta?
No review of mine would be complete without a bit of background. It’s especially warranted in this case because not a lot of people in the shooting world are familiar with Meopta. You usually don’t find them for sale at big box stores, but they are common at stores specializing in optics.
Meopta is an optics company out of the Czech Republic. They were originally founded in 1933 in Czechoslovakia under the name Optikotechna. They got started producing darkroom equipment, enlargers, and lenses. By 1935, they began producing optics for the Army.
Similar to the story I outlined about CZ’s history in my review of the P07, the company was forced to switch production lines to support German military requirements during WWII.
After the war ended, Optikotechna changed its name to Meopta.
Sadly, as with CZ, the facilities then fell under the control of the Soviet Union and it spent decades producing optics for Warsaw Pact militaries. During this period, they also produce film projectors and other optical equipment.
After the end of the Cold War, Meopta reorganized and began supplying OEM optical equipment around the world. In fact, Meopta is the largest European OEM producer, and many well known brands such as Trijicon and Zeiss utilize their products.
In all, Meopta has built a reputation as a source of quality European glass without jumping into the price point of Swarovski, Schmidt & Bender, Kahles, or other top-end manufacturers. However, they’re primarily known for hunting optics rather than tactical. They’ve never broken out in the US market due to a combination of lackluster marketing and features that were behind the curve of other offerings.
As an example, many of their scopes used old-style mil-dot reticles and paired them with MOA turrets. Such combinations are never going to see a lot of success with modern tactical shooters and competitors. Meopta brought in a new marketing and operations team to help update their product lines to reach deeper penetration into the market.
From my observation, the Optika6 line is the first result of that effort.
Optika6 5-30×56 FFP MRAD Overview
Ok, let’s get to the basics.
Meopta released the Optika6 line in 2019 as an evolution of their MeoPro series. The “6” in the title refers to the erector ratio of all of the scopes in the Optika6 lineup. If you aren’t familiar with the phrase “erector ratio,” sometimes called “zoom ratio,” it refers to the ratio between the highest and lowest magnification.
For this scope, the highest magnification is 30x and the lowest is 5x. So, 30÷5=6.
Also in the Optika6 lineup, you’ll find:
Notice that all of these have a ratio of 6.
I’m not familiar with any particular tradeoff when it comes to higher magnification ratios, but I do know that it gets increasingly more difficult and expensive to do as you get higher.
A zoom ratio of six used to be the realm of high-end optics, but it’s making its way into the mainstream. The new hotness are scopes with ratios of 8 or 10. But that’s for another article.
As you might have figured out from the model, the scope has an objective 56mm wide. To support the large objective and zoom ratio, the Optika6 5-30×56 has a 34mm scope body that feels solid and beefy in the hand.
Let’s run down the factory specs for this model.
|Objective Lens Diameter||56 mm|
|Magnification||5 - 30x|
|Tube Diameter||34 mm|
|Reticle Focal Plane||First Focal Plane|
|Adjustment Interval||MRAD, .1 per click|
|Adjustment Range||10 MRAD Per Revolution|
|Total Travel||26 mil (estimate)|
|Exit Pupil||1.9 - 9.5 mm|
|Field of View (Angle)||.7 - 4.7 degrees|
|Field of View (Linear)||3.6 - 24.6 ft at 100 yards|
|Eye Relief||3.94 in|
|Illumination||Red, Center Crosshair Only|
What’s in the Box?
The Meopta Optika6 5-30×56 came well-packaged in a blue cardboard box. Included in the box was:
- The scope itself
- Rubber scope bra
- CR2032 battery
- Detachable throw lever with screws and allen key
- Lens cloth
I didn’t find the manual all that useful. It seems to cover the entire Optika6 linup and doesn’t include much detail about the scope’s mechanics or reticle at all.
Given the size of the objective, which collects a lot of light, I would have expected a scope shade of some sort. It’s not a big deal, but would have been a nice touch.
General Appearance and Feel
The scope is an even flat black. A blue line surrounds the objective end, a signature feature of the Optika6 series. Personally, I don’t care for the flourish, but it’s not affecting performance whatsoever. That’s what paint is for, I guess.
In all, I think it’s a nice looking optic. Nothing about it feels cheap, and it make a very good first impression- especially when you look through it.
The knobs are beefy, knurled, and cover 10 MRAD per rotation. They feel really nice in the hand.
The elevation knob is locking, meaning that you have to physically lift it up before you are able to adjust it. Then you pop it back down to lock it in place. The resistance to turning when unlocked is enough that I don’t think there’s a huge risk of coming off on its own, so I’m not sure the locking part is necessary.
Because of the locking feature, I sense just a tad of play in the adjustment. I don’t think this is a serious issue, but some people might be put off by it.
The elevation adjustment has a zero-stop feature for setting a mechanical bottom point at your desired zero. That way, if you ever lose track of where you are in your turns, then you can dial it back down to the stop and be at your default zero. That’s good because the elevation knob has no indication of how many times you’ve turned it.
Most scopes designed for tactical shooting have some way to indicate the number of revolutions you’ve turned the knob, but not here. So if you ever lose track, which is easy to do, then your only way back is to crank it back to the zero stop and reset.
The windage knob does not lock. This seems like an odd decision to me. In competition situations, I’m more likely to be cranking up and down on the elevation and then using holdovers for windage. So personally, I would rather have a locking windage knob and a non-locking elevation.
The left side has a combination of illumination and parallax adjustment. The meat of the knob is for parallax adjustment, while a smaller extension jutting out from it is the illumination. There’s an “off” position between each illumination setting.
The knobs all feel good. How they would hold up to long-term abuse is hard to say since I’m not doing a long-term review here.
Magnification Ring and Focus
At the ocular end of the scope, the magnification ring is large and coated in rubber. It has just the right amount of resistance for me. In case you prefer an easier-to-grab lever, Meopta tapped threads in four positions around the magnification ring to attach an included throw lever.
They also provided loose screws to insert into the other positions and protect the threads from debris.
The focus ring at the eyepiece seems well-made with the right amount of resistance. I found no issue in adjusting it to my eyes.
The reticle this particular model is a Christmas-Tree style designed by ILya for Meopta. It’s in the first focal plane, which means that it grows and shrinks along with the magnification range.
This style of reticle is built around using holdovers for both elevation and windage rather than dialing the turrets. There are some match directors out there in precision shooting who intentionally design “no-dial” stages where shooters are not allowed to mechanically adjust their scopes during the course of fire.
A reticle like this still allows you to quickly adjust and make your hits.
It’s also supposedly useful for quickly spotting hits at range and gaining a better idea of what correction is needed.
The center of the reticle has a small floating dot surrounded by floating crosshairs. Hash marks run along both the elevation and windage lines at .2 MRAD intervals, with an additional hash mark at the .5 MRAD point. In the image, you might notice floating dots surrounding the center crosshair and along the Christmas Tree. These also represent .5 MRAD intervals.
I don’t have a fancy chart to compare this against, but ILya posted pictures through this scope staring at a Horus CATS target to check calibration. The reticle’s measurements stayed within .02 MRAD throughout, which is very good.
Given the 6x zoom ratio, the holdover references aren’t terribly usable at the bottom of the magnification range. Those portions aren’t really practical until about 10x. Luckily, when zoomed all the way out, there are thick black bars a la a German #4 reticle. These provide great reference points for quick target acquisition.
The top half of the view is mostly open, and I didn’t realize I would like as much as I do. The lack of vertical line running up the top of the view reduces clutter and makes it easier to spot hits. There’s 1 MRAD worth of indicators over the center dot, and then it’s open space. That makes it convenient for hold unders, as might be the case if you set a 200-yard zero and then need to fire at 100.
For these “through the scope” shots I went to a local park. The scoreboard is about 100 yards away. Please keep in mind that these are not an accurate representation of what your eye sees, especially as the magnification goes up. I was free-handing my iPhone behind the ocular, and that’s not stable enough to capture a crisp shot.
Only the very center crosshairs of the optic are illuminated by the CR2032 battery. The switch on the left side of the body is intuitive, with “off” settings between each of the six brightness levels.
At maximum brightness, the center point is bright enough to use during the day. It’s not as bright as a red dot sight, but it’s not designed to be. Rather, it helps provide contrast with busy backgrounds.
If shooting in low light, the maximum brightness has a lot of distracting spillover. That said, I wouldn’t be using full brightness in low light anyway. The lower settings provide the needed draw for the eye without being distracting.
Meopta is known among enthusiast circles for its optical performance. The Optika6 5-30×56 is not a letdown. Views through it are bright and clear, and I have no hesitation in saying that looks great.
I did note a bit of chromatic aberration as I zoomed up beyond 20x while looking at a sign with a hard white line, but I’m not snobby enough to say its a deal breaker. It’s not a $3k scope where that kind of thing would make you raise an eyebrow, and I don’t think it would be distracting at all in real world use.
In the world of tactical optics, the brightness and clarity of a scope is nice, but the real money is in how reliably it tracks and returns to zero as you crank on the knobs.
I did not get the chance to test this side of things out. But those who have, and I trust, tell me that it tracks correctly and well within margins of error for shooters.
Wrapping Up: Optika6 5-30×56 Verdict
I’ve enjoyed my time with this scope. I think it represents a lot of desirable features for precision shooting while also not breaking the bank. Just about everything about it works well, and tells me that Meopta is listening to what people want.
My biggest gripe is the elevation knob. I get that some people prefer locking knobs, and that’s fine. But then why lock the elevation knob and not the windage? I’m far more likely to leave the windage in place and move the elevation up and down as needed.
In the same vein, the elevation knob provides no easy way to detect how many revolutions you’ve put it through. That means you are at a higher risk of losing your place during a match where you’ve been adjusting from shot to shot and forget where you were.
So would I recommend it?
If you really need to go up to 30x and plan to use the Christmas Tree reticle for most of your shooting, then I think it’s a great option. If you are really just doing a lot of target shooting and don’t need to crank up and down on the elevation knob, then this is a really great option.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to sacrifice some of that magnification, then I think there are some other scopes on the market right now that better suit the needs of tactical shooters.