Even in the 21st century some hunters prefer fixed-power riflescopes. Variable-power scopes were supposedly perfected 50 years ago, but the design still requires the erector tube to slide lengthwise inside the scope. A fixed-power scope doesn’t need those moving parts, making malfunctions less likely. In addition, a “ballistic” reticle in a fixed scope always subtends the same amount, unlike the second-focal-plane reticles in most variables.
Many hunters choose 6X because the field of view at 25 yds. is more than 4 ft., enough to see all of an average deer, yet animals at 400 yds. appear only 75 yds. away. Less than a century ago most hunters routinely shot big-game animals at 75 yds. without a scope. Fans of 6X scopes are numerous enough to support a small but steady market, and one recent entry is Meopta’s MeoPro 6X 42 mm.
Before being formally tested, the sample scope had already been mounted on a .300 Win. Mag. and performed flawlessly during 100 rounds of shooting, which is enough shooting to find problems in many scopes. For this test, the Meopta was mounted on a lightweight .338 Win. Mag., a rifle that’s broken many scopes, including the previous two tested.
The MeoPro is slightly heavier than most other 6X scopes; however, even when mounted in Weaver rings the rifle still weighed an ounce shy of 8 lbs. The handload used combined the 200-gr. Nosler Ballistic Silvertip and 66.0 grs. of Alliant Reloder 15, which averages 1.12" for five-shot groups at 100 yds., making it easy to see when something’s wrong with a scope.
The first shot on a 100-yd. target landed 5" to the right of the bullseye. The square was then shot with 6" of adjustment (24 clicks) between each corner. After four repetitions, the resulting groups ranged from 0.69" to 1.56", averaging 1.12", and the distances between group centers averaged 6.06". Eye relief was also spot-on. In a flashlight test it measured 3.7", Meopta’s exact specification.
The optics were tested at night on a chart with black-and-white lines starting at 1" at the top and shrinking to 1/16" at the bottom, illuminated from 25 yds. by a 100-watt incandescent lightbulb. In this test, scopes are set on 6X and rated by the smallest line visible from 25 yds. The MeoPro rated 7+, and the only scopes to rate 8 have cost more than $1,000.
The scope was then frozen overnight at minus 10º F. The next morning the turret caps were removed and the scope dunked in 110° F water. This expands the gas inside the scope, with any leaks appearing as streams of bubbles. The scope didn’t bubble, and developed only a normal amount of interior fogging, which dissipated quickly.
The only minor fault was the adjustment dials. Both are marked U/R, instead of only “Up” or “Right,” and the tiny letters are partially hidden under the bar used to turn the knob. This caused some incorrect adjustments.
The MeoPro 6X 42 mm is an outstanding scope, and should be very welcome among fans of high-quality fixed-power optics.
Importer: Meopta USA, 50 Davids Drive, Hauppauge, NY 11788; (800) 828-8928