Optic Review: Meopta R2 1-6×24 RD

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In my previous TFB reviews of Meopta optics, I state that the Czech-made Meopta is the best keep secret in the mid-to-high end Euro optics. Meopta had been making optics for military and sportsmen since 1933. While for most of its history, Meopta was behind the iron curtain until 1990. Meopta is now owned by an American family with production facilities in both the Czech Republic and the United States.

As a follow up to their K-Dot (hunting) and MeoTac (tactical) 1-4x22mm, Meopta released their MeoStar R2 1-6×24 RD in late 2013. In its current form, the new Meopta 1-6x optic is a hunting scope and a successor to the original MeoStar R1 1-4x22mm RD (K-Dot) hunting model. Being just a hunting scope didn’t prevent the original Meopta K-Dot 1-4x from used by 3-gun shooters, or being used in combat by private contractors and the military. Since I’m not a hunter, I will be reviewing this new Meopta MeoStar R2 1-6×24 RD as a general purpose optic for the black rifles.

 

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In this review, I will be comparing the Meopta 1-6×24 ($1600 MSRP) to three other premium 1-6x24mm scopes on the market: the Trijicon VCOG ($2400), Leupold Mk6 ($2200) and the Swarovski Z6i ($2600). The two 1-6x scopes that I will not include in my comparison are the Leupold VX6 1-6x24mm and the Vortex Razor HD 1-6x24mm model. While both of those are good 1-6x optics with a similar price range as the Meopta, but unlike the Meopta, those two scopes’ optical performance are not up to the same level as the premium 1-6x scopes. Another 1-6x optic that I’m skipping in the comparison is the Kahles K16i, which is essentially the tactical version of the Swarovski Z6i with an even higher price tag and harder to find in the USA.

 

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I matched the Meopta R2 1-6x24mm RD with my test rifle, an Aero Precision M5E1 AR-10 pattern tactical carbine in .308 caliber. The Aero Precision features a Keymod modular monolithic upper, a chrome lined medium profile 16-in barrel, and all Magpul furniture. It’s a very lightweight and handy AR-10 carbine with nice build quality. The downside of such setup is that with the Aero Precision lightweight carbine firing a powerful full-caliber cartridge, it kicks like a mustang with lot of muzzle blast from the short barrel length. The Meopta 1-6×24 handles the recoil and everything else without issue.

 

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At 11.34-inch in length, the Meopta 1-6×24 is a bit long. However, l found that like the old K-Dot R1 1-4x22mm hunting model, the newer R2 1-6×24 also has a substantial sun shade built into the front of its tube. Its objective lens is at least 1.25 inches recessed from the front of the scope. If Meopta is going to release a MeoTac tactical model of this 1-6×24, I would expect that the sunshade will be deleted to reduce the length to about 10-inchs, and a weight saving of an ounce or so from that.

 

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At 1x, the Meopta 1-6x24mm offers a true 1-power magnification with a very generous eyebox and edge-to-edge sharpness. The field of view at 1x is bigger than both the Leupold Mk6 and the Trijicon VCOG. Only the Swarovski Z6i offers a slightly wider field of view at 1x, although at the trade off of having a substantially smaller exit pupil at 1x and $1000 more expensive than the Meopta.

I’m glad that Meopta is continuing to feature great 1x optical performance like that of their 1-4x22mm K-Dot and MeoTac line with their new 1-6x24mm. The Meopta 1-6×24 does has a 1.5x zoom setting for those that prefer it.

 

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The Meopta R2 1-6×24 RD at 3x. I have found on the 1-6x scopes that the middle 3x zoom setting is actually useful for rapid target engagement from 100 yds to 300 yds with a nice mix of field of view, zoom and still relatively large eyebox. At the mid-zooms, the more expensive Leupold Mk6 and Trijicon VCOG have the advantage with their first-focal plane BDC reticles.

While the new K-Dot 2 reticle on the Meopta 1-6x24mm is great for tracking a fast target without obstruction. I found its horizontal and vertical guide lines are a little thin and could easily disappear on a busy background. The center 2-MOA dot in the Meopta R2 1-6×24 RD’s reticle has daylight bright illumination. The 8-level (with off positions in between) digital illumination system is powered by a larger CR2354 lithium battery. Two of the more common CR2032 batteries could be used in place of the CR2354 battery.

 

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At 6x, the Meopta has a larger field of view than the Trijicon VCOG by 3 ft, equal to the Leupold Mk6, and just 1.4 ft less than the Swarovski Z6i. The Meopta’s exit pupil of 4mm is a bit better than the rest, which ranges from 3.8mm of the Trijicon VCOG, Leupold Mk6’s 3.3mm to a very tight 3mm of the Swarovski Z6i. Even the 4mm exit pupil is a bit on the small side and it makes the shooter’s head placement very sensitive. However that’s typical for the new crop of 1-6x scopes.

Being a top model in the Meopta high-end MeoStar line up, the R2 1-6×24 RD feature the MeoLux high-contrast lens coating, with the MeoDrop non-sticking hydrophobic lens coating and the MeoShield protective hard coating on top of its lens. The Meopta R2 1-6×24 RD is very bright scope in low light.

 

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I mounted the Meopta 1-6x24mm scope on couple of my AR15s besides the AR10-pattern Aero Precision M5. The Meopta optic felt lighter than its stated 17.4 ounces weight, especially when mounted on the 3.37 ounces Aero Precision Ultralite scope mount. Since its K-Dot 2 reticle is not caliber specific, I had no problem using it with 5.56, .308, 6.5 Grendel, and even with .300 Blackout at a shorter range. I zeroed the center dot for the .300 Blackout supersonic load and using the top of the vertical subtension line for the subsonic loads.

 

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Meopta MeoStar R2 1-6×24 RD Specification:
Magnification: 1-6x
Objective: 24mm
Tube size: 30mm
Exit Purpil: 1x = 11mm, 6x = 4mm
Eye Relief: 90mm
Field of View at 100 yds/M: 113 ft/37.1m @ 1x, 19 ft/6.2m @ 6x
Turret adjustment: 138 MOA for both elevation and windage
Adjustment per click: 0.5 MOA
Parallax: fixed 100 yds
Weight: 17.4 oz
Length: 11.35 inches
Warranty: Lifetime transferable
MSRP: $1599
Estimated street price: $1400 +/-

 



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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  • Nicholas Chen

    Nice. I just wish it had ballistic drops at 6 o’clock

    • Joe Ker

      …in milliradian. and could maybe then take the dot down to 1 MOA. (And of course make it FFP -haha- but then I guess it would just be another 24 oz, $2200 heavyweight) Seriously though, for 17.4 oz, this would be a pretty awesome option at 1400 street$. If they make the MeoTac with vertical drops and reduce the sun shade (little lighter, shorter), it would definitely be a winner (in class).

      • NDS

        The reticle was the deciding factor for me, I wanted 6 o’clock Mil hashes, and the 2MOA dot was a little big for my taste. Light weight for its class though, my SMRS is like 40oz with mount.

        • Joe Ker

          Agree. FFP definitely has it’s advantages, but comes at a price (in dollars and ounces) as well as a ‘compromised’ reticle/illumination in many situations. I like what SWFA is doing in FFP as far as the reticle and price range – but would not want to add the weight to a 5.56. If they release the Tac version of this with Optic with 6 o’clock Mil hashes and a shortened sunshade, it would be a pretty awesome option for a 5.56 fighting rifle (and keep the FFP on your .308)

          • NDS

            Yes mine lives on a 5.56 14.5” rifle, and honestly is on 1X most of the time, under 200 meters. The two FFP scopes I have are both on 7.62 rifles, 4.5-16x and 3.5-21x with which I often shoot at distance at less than max zoom… so the reticle accuracy throughout the zoom range is absolutely necessary.

      • NDS

        Also I actually went with SFP, these short zoom scopes in FFP have terrible illumination and the reticle becomes a blurry dot at 1X… The Bushnell SMRS I went with came in both versions for basically the same price, and the SFP was far more useful. I only use the mil holdovers at max zoom anyways.

        My longer range precision optics are FFP and that’s clearly the only way to roll.

  • Tassiebush

    Sounds like this is pretty good from an optical perspective. Just a reticle related question. If that dot is 2moa then those bars must be pretty skinny. Would that pose a problem in low light or in a shadow rich or dark vegetation environment losing the dot on the background? I guess really what I wonder is where is that reticle well suited and where isn’t it?

    • Tassiebush

      oh duh! it’s an illuminated reticle. lack of background contrast wouldn’t be much of an issue.

      • Timothy G. Yan

        The K-dot reticle is made for hunting pigs and dangerous games (works for 2-legged varmints too).

        Yeah, I always turn on the super bright dot, just forgot to do so when I was taking those pictures.

        • Tassiebush

          Thanks for that.
          As an aside I really like it that you take pictures of reticles for your articles. It’s amazing how little that is done with scope related articles. It sure isn’t easy to take that type of picture (well I struggle anyway) but it is very informative.

  • Mack

    I thought razor glass was excellent but i have never handled better, is this just much clearer or why is this in a different category of similarly priced?

    Is meopta’s money for value ratio through the roof? or why are they not getting more money like the ones you listed for 800 dollars more if they are in the same ballpark? just curious.

    If you would put this scope soley in the 1600 dollar category, does this just run away with the competition?

    • Timothy G. Yan

      Meopta is an actual optic maker. They own the two big factories in CZ and US. They make components for a lot of big name optics. Meopta has a sweet heart deal for Schott glass, the best optic glass in the world. Their labor cost is much lower than the German/Austrian, and Meopta is not pricing their optics in Government price like the two mentioned American brands. Hope this help.

      • Mack

        Yes this does help, so when comparing to the razor this has way better bang for the buck?

        Also which other companys do they make stuff for?

  • Lance

    For that price stay with a tried and true ACOG!!!

    • Timothy G. Yan

      Found your obsession with A-Cog is disturbing.

      • Don

        Almost as disturbing as you dissing the Razor HD above because it doesn’t have German glass… Go online and on YouTube and there are a lot of comparisons of the Swarovski Z6i vs the Razor HD, most of them say the two are so close that it comes down to ones own preferences over the other. So to try and say that the Razor HD is not even in the same class as the Swarovski Z6i is totally asinine… You need to do a true comparison of all the 1-6’s out there at the same time. Personally I’m not a fan of the Meopta’s reticle, I prefer the reticle on the Viper PST. I wish it was used on more 1-4s / 1-6s.

        And my final thought… You said this was a “comparison”, so where are the site pictures looking through the other scopes in your so called comparison????

        • Timothy G. Yan

          You either have eye problem or in denial. Be happy of what you have. I never said the Vortex is a bad optic. How many of those YouTub videos that you referring to are testing their review optics with USAF and Zeiss optical resolution charts, and professional color calibrated light illumination? Anyone could be an interweb expert with an iPhone. Please don’t believe anything that I said, it’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

          • Don

            My vision is perfect thank you very much…

            You definitely love knocking people that don’t share your own opinion don’t you 🙂 I don’t spend my time on an iPhone or my computer going from YouTube video to YouTube video and claiming to be an expert. Like everyone here, including yourself, I read all the reviews negative or positive and combine that with my own real world testing to come up with my likes and dislikes.

            As for whether or not these other reviewers are using fancy optical charts or calibrated light illuminaters I could not tell you, are you??? You never mention that you used these tools in your review / comparison above. And then if you want to go there, did you do your testing with said scientific tools in a controlled environment where the external lighting does not change between the testing of each of the scopes?

          • Dan

            You’re taking internet things way too personal bro, kinda looking crazy.

          • Don

            Who’s taking things personal? Not me.

          • dan

            Maybe just a little? Kinda looked like you were gonna hulk smash

          • Don

            Hee-Hee-Hee… Never… Just having some fun 🙂 🙂

          • Don

            And next time when you want to put yourself on a pedistal above everyone else, you might want to drop the term “interweb”. Especially since it shows that you spend a lot of your time watching bad reality TV. And you are trying to knock people who watch YouTube video reviews…

        • Drew Coleman

          The one serious issue with the Vortex is that it’s second focal plane while the others are first focal plane.

          • Don

            Just like the other comparisons stated, it came down to each individual’s own preferences. Some people love the SFP and others love the FFP.

  • NDS

    This optic, and the Vortex HD, lost out to the Bushnell SMRS 1-6.5x SFP for me. Only downside to the Bushnell is weight, but reticle crushes the other two and the glass quality is equivalent.

    • StickShift

      I made the same choice. The Bushnell is nearly 7 ounces lighter than the Vortex, which is really noticeable on a 16″ carbine or other lighter rifle, and the reticle is fantastic compared to a Leupold VX6 or the Meopta.

  • Yea but you pay for the glass and materials not so much the reticle.

    • BattleshipGrey

      Right, but I’d rather get the reticle I want and not break the bank while I’m at it. The PA scopes are made in China, but I don’t care. They have great reviews and are within my budget, whereas something 5 times the price is not.

      I’m not trying to bash anyone that can afford the reviewed scope though. It looks like quality glass and I’m sure it does exactly what it’s supposed to.
      IMO, using a 1-6x scope should give people a quicker reference point for quick shooting up close and basically use it as a RDS and also have the finer dots to reach out to longer distances. That’s what I’m looking for though, someone else may prefer the reticle on the Meopta.

  • Giolli Joker

    I wonder if the guys in the tower are aware of being at least once a month in the reticle of a super deadly assault rifle. 🙂

    Great review, as usual!

  • Clint

    Wish I could find an Aero scope mount like in the pics. Been on their site for weeks, always out of stock… May have to settle for the nikon version

    • Gizmo

      I believe they said on their ar15 forum that they are gonna start filling back orders soon, but that means probably August Sep for in stock to show up.

  • iksnilol

    Why doesn’t anybody make a 1-6×36 optic or something?

  • Timothy G. Yan

    Not sure about the Czech branch, but the USA branch are proud to be American. We are all descendants of immigrants and that’s what makes us great.

    “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”…..from the The New Colossus poem.

  • Squirreltakular

    I’ll save my pennies and get a VCOG. No BDC or even mil dots makes this a non starter for a lot of people. I’m sure it’s great for close range, though.

  • Michael Guerin

    First focal plane would be nice but the length is great BECAUSE it enables you to mount this scope on pretty much anything. My Leupold VX3 1.5-5×20 (free replacement after I sent the old one in for new seals), will barely fit my ZG47 but this Meopta would fit all sorts of full-size and over-size bolt-action rifles without resort to one piece rails that obstruct iron sights, restrict view of the breach, hinder loading, hinder clearing of obstructions; and … add unnecessary weight!

    I could also live quite happily with the 1/2 minute adjustments because they equate near enough to 15mm OR 0.1 Mils which makes alterations simpler/easier/faster to calculate in your head than with 1/4 minute of arc adjustments.

    One big issue with my alloy Weaver K3 (which I now regret selling) was the relative lack of sunshade provided to the objective lens. My current Weaver Classic 6×38 could also be problematic for late afternoon shooting but no more than most modern scopes.

    I would also point out that a deeply recessed objective is less likely to be accidentally scratched when a scope cover is quickly removed or the shooter has to bush bash. For protection alone, it seems likely that the extra length would be retained for a tactical version.