Meopta Meopro 3-9X42 BDC Riflescope
by Matt Cashell
In my last artice I went over the excellent top-shelf S2 HD 82mm spotter from Meopta. When I received the spotter for evaluation, the box also contained a 3-9X42 Meopro riflescope with BDC reticle as well as the 10X42 HD Meostar binocular (reviewed here).
Upon unboxing the riflescope, I noticed a few things. First, like the spotter, the quality of worksmanship was outstanding. Fit and finish were very good. Second, the scope was compact in length, but had the dense weighty feel of a quality instrument. My scale confirmed this and registered the scope's weight right at 16 ounces. Third, the scope is marked "Assembled in the USA," which was nice to see. I am aware that other European scope companies produce some of their optics for the American Market in the USA as well, including the Swarovski Z3 series and Zeiss Conquest.
The Meopta Meopro 3-9X42 next to a Vortex Viper 2-7X32
I took the trusty 2-7X32 Vortex Viper off the Remington Model 7, and mounted up the Meopro on some medium TPS rings. This provided a higher mount than I typically prefer, with a pretty significant gap between the objective and the rifle's barrel. I may have been able to mount it in low rings, but the bolt wouldn't have a lot of clearance with the Meopro's wide ocular. In any case I was able to get a good sight picture with a decent cheek weld. Sighting in was easy after a couple of shots to "settle" the rings in the bases. The subsequent adjustments were quite precisely 1/4" at 100 yards, as marked. This scope is not intended to be used for dialing long range solutions, as the turrets are quite stiff, and have a raised bar for adjusting to zero. This is a set-it-and-forget-it scope.
Finger adjustable turret on the Meopta Meopro 3-9X42 BDC
With a retail price under $400, there is a lot of competition in the market. But here we have a real budget-buster. The scope performs way above the $400 price point. The view is very wide from low to high power. Resolution is very good, and contrast was (like the spotter) exceptional. Colors were bright and vibrant. Surprisingly, this optical performance extended right to the edge of the wide field of view. Like most riflescopes, chromatic aberration was present throughout the FOV, but at low levels. Low light performance was exceptional. I observed some wood siding on buildings 300 yards away, and was able to discern the wood detail to well past legal shooting light, which in MT is 30 minutes past sunset. While this scope is priced between Leupold's VX-2 and VX-3 series, its optical performance is closer to Swarovski's Z3 series.
The Meopta BDC Reticle
Meopta's BDC reticle is what I consider a "one-size-fits-all" type reticle. The intent is that you zero the center crosshairs at 100 yards and the hashes below then correspond approximately with 200, 300, 400, and 500 yards with 350 and 450 dots between the 300/400 and 400/500 hashes. Now the sub tensions are designed around your “average” ballistic curve at “average” elevations and temperatures, so the user needs to actually shoot the distances to see where the bullets are actually impacting in conditions similar to those they will be hunting in.
I tend to prefer reticles like Swarovski's BRH, which are in even intervals of an angular unit of measure (milradians in the case of the BRH). That way I can use a ballistic calculator to get specific ranges for each hash, and gives more precise aiming points for my particular load at long range.
The Meopta BDC reticle is on the thin side, but I didn't have any trouble picking it up - even under low light conditions. I approached testing the reticle from the point of view of the hunting market sector that the product is targeting - the hunter that doesn't want to get into the intricacies of measurements of angle, but still wants reliable aiming points to extend his range well past Maximum Point Blank Range (MPBR).
I took the scope to the local 300 yard range, and zeroed my standard 7-08 load (140 Barnes TTSX 2840 fps MV) at 100 yards. My next shot was at the 200 yard gong, followed by the three 300 yard gong, using the corresponding hashes for those distances. Both shots returned with satisfying gong rings as seen in this video:
Testing the subtensions on the Meopta Meopro 3-9X42 BDC riflescope with a Remington Model 7 in 7mm-08 Remington. 140 grain Barnes TTSX at 2840 FPS.
The scope is also available in a standard plex-style reticle for MPBR shooters, and a bold #4 reticle for low light hunting. Unlike many other scopes, these reticle selections come at no additional cost.
The Meopta Meopro riflescope is a well-made scope with outstanding optical performance. The BDC reticle worked as intended out to moderate ranges for me. The optical quality comes at the cost of some weight and a large ocular that may cause bolt-clearance issues on some rifles. With its excellent lowlight performance and #4 reticle available at no extra cost, it makes for a great choice where low light performance is a high priority.