As many of you requested, I walked the hallowed (and semi-ventilated) halls of the 2012 SHOT Show with your requests for inexpensive stuff ringing in my ears, instead of just the usual ringing. Riflescope-wise, the standout is Meopta, which I originally thought was an Asian firm, but turns out to be Czech. Meopta has been around for over 70 years and makes rifle scopes, spotting scopes, and binoculars. I’ve used only the rifle scopes, of which there are two lines. MeoStar (pictured here) is the more expensive, made and assembled in the Czech Republic, while MeoPro scopes have their components made abroad and assembled here. Cabela’s sells both MeoPro instruments and its own Euro brand, which is made by Meopta.
The first time I used a Meopta rifle scope I guessed its price was $300 higher than what it actually cost. Think of it this way: A MeoStar that goes for $650 is a $1,000 scope on which you’re getting a $350 discount. A MeoPro scope that sells for $450 is a $750 scope, ditto ditto. Don’t let the modest prices fool you; these are very, very high-grade instruments.
Last summer, Kenny Jarrett, who is as knowledgeable and as fussy about scopes as any human I know, said: “If you can’t afford a [Here he named a very famous and very costly scope.] get a Meopta.” He was absolutely right.
Why isn’t the line better known? Reinhard Seipp, who is COO of Meopta USA said, “We’re not very good at publicizing ourselves.” Then he paused and smiled. “But we’re very good at making things.”