Meopta Factory Tour Part 1: A Better View of Meopta

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A big thanks to Reinhard Seipp, General Manager of Meopta USA, for inviting me to the Meopta factory in Přerov, Czech Republic while I was visiting Brno. For those who have not heard of Meopta, they are an optics manufacturer in the Czech Republic. They are one of the few optics manufacturers to make everything in house. From the lenses all the way to assembly of scopes and binoculars, it is all made in their factory.

Meopta was gracious enough to send a driver to pick me up at my hotel in Brno and drive me to the factory an hour away.

Here is the company car and the guy in the pink shirt, who only speaks Czech or German, is the driver.

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Here we are pulling up to the Meopta Campus (they call it a campus)

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There I was met by Surujh Roopnarine. When he greeted me, his English was flawless. So I asked him “Wait a moment, your English is way too good to be Czech”. And he told me that is because he is an American. He is from Long Island and used to work for Reinhard back in Meopta USA. He transferred to Meopta Czech and is now an Account Executive.

Surujh and I spent about 45 minutes discussing some US firearm industry issues along with the history and summary of Meopta.

Phil W Note: Meopta realized some of the information in the video was intended for Nick only. They asked us to remove the video which of course we’re glad to do under the circumstances. We certainly don’t want to share confidential information unintentionally given.

Meopta started out in 1933 making single lenses. They branched out and made photo enlargers and then became the premier cinema projector manufacturer for Europe and Russia. Between the 70s to the 80s when the company was under communistic regime. They switched production to military applications, however when communism fell they were still a military factory and demand plummeted. They almost went bankrupt. There were 5000 employees now needing benefits.

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Paul Rausnitz, picture above, is a Czech native who emigrated to the US. He grew up in the same town as Daniel Swarovski. He traded with Swarovski in America. He returned to the Czech looking to invest back in his home country. He took Meopta off the Czech government under the agreement that the government absorbs the debt.

Since his ownership, Meopta has switched manufacturing to sports optics. Meopta still manufactures optical elements for various companies and on occassion military applications like in the cockpits of some airplanes.

Here is a more detailed list of products and history of Meopta. The link is in Czech so I recommend using Google Translate.

 


Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick has been only been shooting for the past 3 years but found his passion through competitive shooting. USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.


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  • Joe

    What the **** was that? In al seriousness these are the most idiotic post I’ve seen on TFB recently. Talk about the readers posting inappropriate stuff, what about the writers? We are all now dumber for watching this, I award you no points and may god have mercy on your soul.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      That was an unrehearsed interview. He’s doing this on his own dime and time for the readers. I wouldn’t be so hard on him there’s no reason for it.

      • Joe

        Just because somethings free, doesn’t mean it’s worth it. Ive been reading TFB for years, literately, since the old FN FAL horizon banner! As a reader, you have absolutely no idea what this article is talking about, let alone who Meopta is. I will no longer be reading these articles, it’s a waste of time and not particularly aimed towards the target audience you guys should be marketing after.

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          Joe I wrote a reply to you and Zachary—— it’s just below his comment.

  • Zachary marrs

    Geez, I can’t even

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      He does have more on the way in the next few days. Nick will take your constructive criticism to heart of that I’m sure. In fact he’s already edited it as you said.
      Just for yourself and Joe to understand it a bit better. Nick really is doing well. This is a new experience for him and he’s learning all the time. As far as I know this and the other videos are the first he’s done of this type. It just takes time and an audience that understands where he coming from and doesn’t beat the guy down when he’s trying hard to please the readers and present good information.
      I really do appreciate constructive criticism when it’s presented the way you’ve presented it in your comment. The only thing that fires me up is when people don’t treat each other and us frankly with respect.

    • Nicholas C

      Oh there is more to come. This is the most boring part of the tour. I personally found some of the information interesting. Considering the company has been around for a while and a majority of people don’t know they exist.

      Yes the next installments are video tours inside the factory. It will be broken up as it was presented to me; Optics Division, Assembly Division, and finally Mechanics (where they machine everything metal like scope bodies)

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        I just read it and there’s a lot of interesting information there:-)

  • Blake

    Link to same Wiki article in English is here (which mostly lists their cameras & projectors).

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Thanks Blake—- Here’s the US website with all of their products.http://www.meopta.com/

  • Blake

    the guy in their “tactical scopes” photo is using one of those crazy double mag adapters from today’s article: http://www.meoptasportsoptics.com/us/overview/riflescopes-10/meotac-series-25.html

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      LOL–I’m not surprised—

      • Blake

        …or possibly just a couple of plates & a lot of tape &ltgrin&gt…

  • dp

    I believe they also make lenses for Aimpoint…. if I am right.

  • Mr.T

    Typical east european privatisation Paul Rausnitz got Meopta for free and goverment even agreed to take all the company debts.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Assuming your assertion is correct, it sounds like a mere variation on the end-game that “saved” Wall Street during the last Recession, not to mention similar financial crises in Europe and Asia that have occurred over the last several years. So it’s not “typical” just for Eastern Europe — it’s typical for all capitalist free-market economies everywhere if there are insufficient controls in place to create at least some semblance of balance. The darker side of human nature, with all its manipulative machinations aimed at self-aggrandizement and the glory of gain, once again rears its head. And guess who really pays the price at the end of the day, after all is said and done — yes, you and me.

  • Mr.T

    Meopta otherwise also builds the Nightforce spoting scopes.

    • Nicholas Chen

      I wouldn’t go as far as to say that make the scopes. They probably help manufacture a component for them.

      • Mr.T

        Nope ,they build a complete scope and its not even different than Meoptas own ,besides the knurling effect on the rings they are identical.

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          Well if that’s the case I need a Meopta and save a ton of money and get the same quality.

          • Mr.T

            That is the case.
            But check them side by side if you can and you wont have any doubt.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    While I agree with many of TFB’s readers and contributors that the video and article could have been more informative and objective with better presentation, it doesn’t change the fact that Meopta has always manufactured excellent, high-quality optical devices. They have been around a good while and just because the U.S. audience isn’t familiar with them does NOT mean that there is an issue with their products ( far from It ) — it simply means that the U.S. market is unfamiliar with Meopta, whereas much of the rest of the world is.

    To be clear, the same holds true for the opposite in the case of other products. For example, the high-end Weatherby bolt-action rifles were not familiar to many firearms enthusiasts overseas until fairly recently, what with globalization and the spread of international commerce.

  • Ergo

    The first 120 film camera i owned was a meopta tlr. It’s over 60 years old and still works like a champ.