By now, most of us have at least heard of Meopta. It’s no secret that this company has been designing and manufacturing optical products in the Czech Republic since 1933.
What’s not well known is that some of the most recognizable and esteemed brands in the sport optics business today have their products made for them by Meopta. The glass in the MeoRed sights featured here was made from raw optical glass blanks from Schott and then ground, polished and coated in house at Meopta. Its MeoBright coatings allow up to 99.8 light transmission, and its MeoShield is a MIL-SPEC, anti-scratch hardness coating.
The MeoRed is a mini red-dot sight (MRD) primarily designed for use on pistol slides, but it can be used as a backup iron sight on a carbine or as a primary hunting/ plinking/competition sight. It’s a top-quality product, as the price reflects. It’s completely submersible, weighs a svelte 1 ounce, has the Doctor/FastFire mounting footprint and a good rubber cover. It has a lower optical center than many competing products and allows for co-witness with iron sights on pistols with slide cuts to accommodate MRDs.
The power switch is a protruding rubber button on the left side of the unit. One press of the button, and the 3 MOA dot in the MeoRed illuminates to medium brightness. Hold the button, and the brightness gradually lowers until the reticle blinks three times and then lowers even more to a barely visible intensity appropriate for use with night vision. Then, the illumination reverses course and intensifies, stopping and blinking when minimum and maximum daylight levels are achieved. A double click turns it off.
It does not have an automatic brightness feature and powers down after three hours without use. The three-minute dot is a good compromise size that’s perfect for the way most users will use this sight. You can still shoot small groups at a distance, and it’s noticeable enough to be fast and easy to plink with.
BATTERIES AND MRDs
Battery connectivity and reliable power flow can be an issue in some electro-optics under recoil. The single CR2032 battery in the MeoRed is situated behind a waterproof door that uses two captured screws to secure. The battery is a snug fit and uses a cloth bookmark to remove it once installed. It’s quite secure but is not as easily changed as with a coin-slot cap or a sliding battery drawer. Battery life is listed at 1,000 hours.
MRDs on pistol slides are the hottest trend right now, and many manufacturers catalog pistols that have their slides cut to accept such sights at the lowest possible mounting position over bore. Gunsmiths are readily available to mill out slides on popular models that didn’t originally have this feature. Co-witnessing with iron sights is desired by many shooters, and aftermarket manufacturers have responded by making taller sights more common. The MeoRed was designed with co-witness application in mind.
MeoRed PLUS A CANIK
The Turkish-made Canik TO9 SFx is one of the best pistol values currently on the market. Imported by Century Arms, it makes a great entry-level competition gun. The slide has a removable plate that can be replaced by included adapters that match the footprints of the most popular MRDs on the market.
I installed the Canik number-one adapter plate and attached a MeoRed to it. A 9mm laser boresight cartridge made preliminary adjustments a non-issue. Simply rest the gun and adjust the dot to where the laser is. The MeoRed performed perfectly on top of this 9mm pistol through months of range sessions, with the only issue being the loosening of the sight’s mounting screws to the adapter plate. A degrease and spot of thread-locker solved the issue, and it did not reappear.
As on most MRDs on the market, there are two locking screws and two adjustment screws on the sight. The locking screws must be loosened before and after adjusting the travel screws, or damage will occur. In my experience, it’s common to have the point of impact change a bit with MRDs when tightening the locking screws. This did not happen with the MeoReds I tested. And 120 MOA of adjustment allows even high-over-bore mounting and zeroing at relatively short distances.
MAINTAINING THE MEOPTA REPUTATION
Meopta offers a well-executed and attractive QD Weaver/ Picatinny base adapter that secures via a non-locking lever. This minimally raises the optical center of the sight and allows for easy removal/installation on various platforms. Permanent installations should not generally have QD features (repeat this to yourself a thousand times).
As for rifle use, the light, 1-ounce weight made no discernable difference in weight or balance of my Egyptian Maadi AK, where I used the Weaver adapter to attach the MeoRed to a Hogue replacement forend with an integral rail. With this setup, iron sights can still be used via sighting under the MeoRed mount, such as with Meprolight night sights. The MeoRed could also serve well in this capacity as a primary sight.
Meopta has a strong reputation for its quality and precision optics, and this MRD follows suit.
- MAGNIFICATION: 1x LENS SIZE: 23.5x17mm
- DOT DIAMETER: 3
- MOA WEIGHT WITH BATTERY: 30 grams/1.058 ounces
- DIMENSIONS: 47.5×27.4x26mm
- ADJUSTMENT RANGE: ±60 MOA
- POWER: CR2032
- BATTERY LIFE: 1,000 hours
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the March 2018 print issue of Gun World Magazine.