By Wayne Lincourt
Thanks to modern manufacturing processes, today’s rifles have accuracies of one to two minutes of angle right out of the box. However, if you want to realize that potential, you’ll need a scope that’s in the same ballpark. The hard part, of course, is deciding which of the multitude of scopes in the marketplace is best for you. After all, they all look pretty much the same. But when you look a little closer, the differences begin to emerge. I don’t generally get too excited about scopes, but as an astronomy buff and licensed optician, when I get to use an optical instrument of this caliber, it’s hard not to get excited.
Meopta is owned by an American family of Czech descent. The European headquarters is in the Czech Republic; its US headquarters is on Long Island, NY. The Meostar line of 30mm scopes is manufactured in the Czech Republic, while the 1-inch MeoPro line is manufactured in Long Island. Although the company is not well known here, you’ve certainly heard of some of the premium scope makers for which it has built scopes and scope parts for decades. The point is, it has a lot of experience manufacturing top-of-the-line scopes.
All premium scopes use purged tubes filled with an inert gas like nitrogen or argon. The MeoStar is no exception. Its 30 mm tube is milled from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, filled with nitrogen to eliminate fogging. It’s also waterproof, dustproof, shock proof, etc. You expect that at this price point. What sets this scope apart from its competitors, though, is its image quality.
Although the best scope builders all use top-of-the-line glass, what none of the others have is the formula for the Meopta lens coatings. You probably know that lens coatings are what determine how much light gets through the scope, but did you know that they also affect image clarity? There’s a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to lens coatings and their importance. Some of that is intentional. It’s expensive to develop and properly apply high tech coatings. Manufacturers producing cheaper scopes want you to think their scopes are just as good as more expensive offerings. They’ll tell you that their lenses are coated too, but that may just mean that some of the lens surfaces have a single coating. The best scopes are “fully multicoated,” which means that all glass-to-air surfaces have multiple coatings.
Coatings work by preventing light from reflecting from the lens surface. Light acts like a wave when it reflects from the boundary between glass and air, just like waves in water striking a retaining wall. As the waves reflect, they interact with one another, causing interference patterns. In a scope, the interference patterns make images appear fuzzy or not sharply focused. Therefore, the better the light transmission, the sharper the image. The MeoStar R2 1-6×24 RD has the best light transmission of any competitive rifle scope — 99.8% per glass surface. That’s an amazing number, and it means that you get the brightest, sharpest images possible. The brightness allows you to use the scope in lower light conditions, like early in the morning or at dusk when many game animals are more active. It also means that you can make out more detail, like — are those horns on that deer or branches from the tree it’s standing under?
Many scopes focus clearly in the center but are a little off at the edges. This is due to the curvature of the lenses and the fact that the manufacturer doesn’t do what it takes to eliminate the aberration. When you look through the MeoStar R2, the image is sharp and clear from one edge to the other. That takes careful attention to lens grinds, the index of refraction of the glass and the way the lenses are paired. The best way to buy a scope is to look through it in a side-by-side comparison with the other scopes you’re considering. When you look through the MeoStar, you’ll see an image that is so clear that, as Elmer Keith put it, you feel like you can “see the Promised Land.”
The MeoStar R2 1 also has a number of convenience factors that are appealing. The scope reticle is etched in glass with an illuminated center red dot. With the dot turned off, you can still see and use the reticle. The illuminated dot makes target acquisition faster, though, and there are eight levels of brightness, making the dot visible even in bright sun. Since the reticle is in the second focal plane, the reticle appears the same size regardless of the magnification, which is what most American hunters prefer.
Magnification starts at a true 1 power. For close-in shots or shots at rapidly moving game, you can keep both eyes open for quicker acquisition. The red dot will be superimposed over where the shot will go. The MeoStar R2 1-6×24 RD is really designed for hunting, but the 1 power setting makes it useable for home defense, CQB or 3-gun competition.
The scope weighs just over a pound (17.4 oz.), and the absence of a large bell on the objective end means you can mount it lower on your receiver, closer to the bore axis. The red dot brightness control is mounted on the left side of the scope. There is an off position in between each brightness level so that you don’t have to go through all the levels every time you turn it on.
The elevation and azimuth adjusting knobs don’t require a screwdriver; you just turn them with your fingers. Each click is 1/2” at 100 yards. Once you have your scope zeroed, press in the adjusting knobs to disengage the gears and rotate the adjustment wheel until the white hash-mark lines up with the white dot on the scope tube. Now when you make adjustments for a particular situation, you can easily go back to your original zero. The adjustment caps are metal, by-the-way, not plastic.
The power ring adjusts quickly from 1x to 6x. There’s even a raised bar to assist, especially handy when wearing gloves. There’s a built-in sunshade 1.447” deep, and lens caps are included.
MSRP is $1595. That’s about $500 less than comparable scopes. The street price is even lower at $1399.99. It’s still not cheap, but for an all around, lightweight, durable, high-performance scope with a lifetime transferrable warranty, the MeoStar R2 1-6×24 RD is an exceptional value. If you want to get the most from your rifle, this is a great way to go.
R2 1-6×24 RD
Dioptric Compensation 3 diopters
Objective Lens 24 mm
Main Tube Size 30 mm
Exit Pupil Diameter 11.0-4.0 mm
Eye Relief 3.9-3.8 in
Field of View 21.3-3.63°
Field of View 113-19 ft @ 100 yds
Focal Plane Position Second
Illuminated Center Dot 1.72 moa
Adjustment Per Click ½ inch @ 100 yds
Windage / Elevation Adj. Range 40-100 MOA
Parallax Correction No
Length 11.7 in
Weight 17.4 oz