Meopta MeoTac ZD 1-4×22 RD Tactical Scope

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I am often asked by others what’s the best 1-4x tactical scope on the market. For me, one of the very under-rated 1-4x optics is the Meopta MeoTac ZD 1-4x22mm RD. On the high-end of their product lines, Meopta offers the optical performance that matches many well-known German and Austrian brands. Meopta is significantly more affordable and in some cases half the cost. The Meopta 1-4×22 tactical scope features the same German SCHOTT optical glass for their lenses.They are equal in many respects to Euro optics brands and of course Meopta products are built in Europe also, more specifically in the Czech Republic.

For those that don’t know, Meopta is an OEM maker of lens and optical components for other big name optic companies such as Zeiss, Leupold and Aimpoint. Some completed Meopta optics are also being re-branded by Nightforce, Zeiss and by Cabela’s as their in house Euro Instinct line.

 

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The MeoTac ZD 1-4×22 RD model is the tactical variant of the Meopta MeoStar ZD 1-4×22, aka the Meopta K-dot, which is a mature design that’s been in production for about 10 years. The improvements to the tactical model includes shortening of the total length to 9.6 inches, a new tactical reticle with BDC, tethered turret caps and a more efficient power management system that doubles the battery life. The optical element have also been upgraded with 3% higher light transmission and 2.8 feet wider field-of-view (FOV) at 4x.

I used the the American made Weaver Tactical SPR 30mm optics mount for testing the Meopta MeoTac ZD 1-4×22 RD.

 

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From the start, the Meopta 1-4x model has offered some very nice premium features that most 1-4x scopes lack. The Meopta is one of the very first 1-4x optics that features a distortion-free true 1x magnification. Even today the majority of the 1-4x scopes on the market are not true 1x at the low-end. Meopta’s true 1x together with its very bright daylight visible dot reticle illumination allows it to be used like a red-dot at close range. The Meopta’s illumination control features off positions between each of the 7 illumination settings. Its 5.24 degree field-of-view at 4x with no edge distortion or lost resolution is also very impressive. That gets close to the FOV of some prism sights.

 

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The Meopta K-5.56 reticle is optimized for 5.56mm NATO or .223 REM ammo. The center dot’s size is 2-MOA at 1x and 0.5 MOA at 4x. There’s a 3-MOA drop between the center dot and the first chevron. Each of the chevrons is 2-MOA tall with 2-MOA of space between them. If using a 50-yard zero with the center dot with the 62-gr 5.56mm load fired from a 16-inch barrel, the three chevrons would give the hold-overs for roughly 300, 400, and 500 yards. The Meopta manual recommended a 100 meter zero for the center dot and that will equal the 300m, 400m and 500m hold-overs for the three chevrons.

Since the BDC chevrons are not labelled so they can be used for other calibers as well. If the Meopta is used for the 7.62x51mm NATO round fired from a 18-inch barrel, the three BDC chevrons would be good for 331, 431 and 535 yards holdovers.

 

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The Meopta K-5.56 reticle is located on the 2nd focal plane and it stays the same through out the zoom range. I don’t consider a 1st focal plane reticle design a necessary feature for a low-magnification optic such as a 1-4x scope. Most of us won’t use the 1x magnification to shoot at distant targets.

 

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While the Meopta 1-4×22 has not been officially adopted by the military, it has been used in combat by soldiers and military contractors (PMC) via private or individual unit purchase. The common field modification for the original K-dot model is hacking off the 2-inch plus of its front tube. The actual optic part of the Meopta 1-4×22 is about 9-inches long. Even on the newer shortened MeoTac tactical model there’s still nearly an inch of sun shade. From what I hear, the Meopta has no problem holding up in combat in the current environment of Afghanistan.

 

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There’s more to the Meopta 1-4x on why it’s being used by some PMC and military units, and that has to do with the development and the adoption of the Schmidt and Bender CQB Short-Dot 1.1-4x20mm scope by the U.S. military. You can read about it on former SOF/well-known trainer/TacTV host, Larry Vicker’s S&B Short Dot information page. While the original Meopta 1-4x K-dot was designed as a hunting scope, it offers a similar daylight visible dot illumination, plus it matches the optical performance and durability of the S&B Short-Dot. That’s an achievement in itself. The Meopta 1-4x was acquired by some of those heading to the sandbox as a more affordable and easier to obtain alternative to the S&B Shot-Dot.

 

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In some areas the Meopta 1-4x scopes have even surpassed the S&B Short-Dot, such as offering true 1x magnification at the low-end and a wider field-of-view on higher magnification. The field modified K-Dot and the new MeoTac tactical model are shorter than the S&B by an inch. I also prefer the Meopta’s simple capped adjustment turrets to S&B’s fancy “Pull-up” locking adjustment turrets. Although the S&B Short-Dot CQB 1.1-4x20mm has the advantage of weighing slightly less, it’s a 1st focal plane design with BDC and has a better power system with a longer battery life. The updated Meopta tactical ZD 1-4x22mm RD model addressed two of these with its K-5.56 reticle and improved power management system featuring battery life of up to 150 hours.

 

Some TFB readers may think the Meopta MeoTac ZD 1-4×22 RD’ price of $999 is expensive, but it’s actually a bargain for a premium Euro optic that’s built with German SCHOTT glass and has features and optical performance that rivals the top German and Austrian brands. In comparison, the Schmidt and Bender CQB Short-Dot is priced at $2750. The simplified S&B Short-Dot 2 Zenith version with the 2nd focal plane reticle, larger objective and capped turrets is closer to Meopta ZD in design but it still costs $2400. The closest Zeiss has is the Zeiss Victory Varipoint 1.1-4x24mm, which costs $2700.

 

Meopta MeoTac ZD 1-4×22 RD Specification:
Magnification: 1x-4x
Objective: 22mm
Tube size: 30mm
Length: 9.6 inch
Weight: 18.6 ounces
Field of View @ 100 yards: 28 ft / 5.24 degrees
Eye relief: 3.46 inch / 88mm
Power: single CR2032 3-volt lithium battery
MSRP: $999



Writer and gear editor with articles published in major gun publications. A five year combat veteran of the US Marine Corps, Tim is also part of Point & Shoot Media Works, a producer of photography, video and web media for the firearms and shooting sport industry. Tim’s direct contact: Tyan.TFB -at- gmail.com


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  • thedonn007

    I like the reticle on this better than my Trijicon TR24.

  • me ohmy

    Meopta and IOR VALDADA are two Middle Baltic Scope brands I find extremely attractive..
    built like tanks and the glass is quality sourced..

    • David

      I second that sentiment. If you can’t bring yourself to drop the big bucks on Zeiss, Steiner, Swarovski, or Schmitt & Bender, then Meopta and IOR Valdada are nearly as good for much less money. They also have some novel designs, too.

      • Timothy G. Yan

        I like IOR too. I think IOR is highly innovative. They came out with their 1-6x optical formula years before Swaro and released their 1-8x way before Leuppy and S&B. My only small CONs with IOR is that in general their scopes are bit big and heavy, and in few areas they are not as refine as the German/Austria brands.

  • SnJohnson

    The Bushnell BTR-1 is a 1-4x optic that is first focal plane with bdc, has an illuminated reticle, and has an extended lever for fast zoom changing. And it’s only $200. If you’re not picky about super high quality European glass, I feel it’s a much better option for the price.

    • BigDawg308

      The illuminated reticle on the Bushnell is absolutely useless on anything more than an overcast day. Any sort of brightness or sunshine washes it out even on the brightest setting.

      I think a closer apples-to-apples comparison of a comparable scope would be the Vortex Viper PST 1-4×24. At half the cost of the Meopta, I’d really have to look through and use the Meopta to make that choice. I know a lot of competitive 3-gun competitors who use the Vortex with great success.

      • I had the Bushnell you refer to and I honestly found it so bad I traded it at a loss.
        The Vortex optics are good and less expensive but the difference with German Glass is considerable.

      • valorius

        You dont need an illuminated reticle on a bright day.

  • ColaBox

    Do these fancy 3-gun scopes have none electronic reticles? Been looking but cant find any. It all seems to be electronic these days.

    • thedonn007

      Check out the Trijicon TR24. It uses fiberoptics and tritium.

  • Ed

    Still too BIG for a AR ACOG is just smaller and better.

    • Yellow Devil

      The only downside is that the ACOG is a fixed magnification and costs a little more.

      • El Duderino

        No batteries for the ACOG. But yes, not as useful at close quarters as a 1-4x scope.

        • Timothy G. Yan

          Also, the ACOG costs $1500. If lens quality being equal, a conventional scope will be brighter than a prism sight due to no light lost from the internal reflective layers, and sharper because there’s no need for phase-correction coatings.

  • Eric

    Does it need to be mounted that far back? You can’t open up the rear BUIS without removing it. I would mount it a little further forward if possible or get a more compact optic.

    • Risky

      It’s a rifle scope, you wouldn’t be able to use the BUIS through it even at 1x mag.

      • Eric

        I never mount BUIS on rifles with scopes, but if I was to mount BUIS on a rifle I’d like to have the ability to use them. I say either move the optic forward or remove the BUIS.

        • Josh

          You can remove the optic easily, the weaver mount has thumb screws, if the optic get damaged you can pop it off and use the buis, not to mention, is your rifle? Oh its not? Then stfu.

          • Josh

            For give the grammar i had a couple beers when i wrote that and this.

        • Timothy G. Yan

          I am trying not to be sounding like a jerk….but unlike the hunting rifles, that’s the correct way to setup an optic on AR-15.

  • USMC03Vet

    Is that a rifle glow belt I see?

    ORM!

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    In the everlasting balancing act between performance and cost, MEOPTA definitely makes some of the most cost-efficient optics available anywhere — top-of-the-line quality and reliability coupled with a medium-high price range. The company is also quite innovative and is apparently not afraid to introduce different designs based on user feedback.

    • Timothy G. Yan

      Meopta is not as bad as the German optic companies in term of developing new designs for American shooter, but the Czech engineers are still a bit of conservative comparing to the American counterpart.

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Good point, but perhaps this would also imply that the same Czech engineers and designers have been able to create practical, applicable innovations that walk the fine line between excessive conservatism on the one hand, and the tendency to sometimes go too far with new ideas that eventually fail to gain acceptance, on the other?

  • Timothy G. Yan

    For those of you that have asked, the 13.5 Keymod rail is by Parallax Tactical. The barrel is a 18-inch Rainier Arms Select stainless mid-couture w/ polygonal rifling. The muzzle device is a Mega Arms V8 comp. The mag is a Mako Elander 40-rounder. Noveske ambidextrous short-throw selector. And the Tactical Link Battery Assisted Lever and Z-360 sling mount in Zombie green for fun. The rifle is setup to be a 3-gun rifle.