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Review Of The Meopta ZD 1-4×22 – Part I

October 31st, 2011 | Posted by Tobias in News | Reviews

Having fallen out of love with my Trijicon TR24 the search was back on for the next optic to ride atop my DPMS 3G1. When I selected the TR24 I really went back and forth between it and the Meopta 1-4x K-Dot, but because of it’s size, weight, reticle, and it’s dependency on batteries I selected the TR24. Well we all know how that turned out, not knocking the Trijicon, but it was simply the wrong reticle for me and now began a new round of research to find my new scope. It didn’t take long before I had a look at Meopta’s new ZD 1-4×22 which is the latest reincarnation of their K-Dot and I was pleasantly surprised that it was more than just a new reticle, which it desperately needed. Meopta really addressed the problems with the K-Dot and released what I now think is the best 1-4x optic for under $1000. Shorter, lighter, and sporting it’s new reticle the ZD really is a new scope and not just the old K-Dot in a new box. It does however still retain all of the things that I loved about the K-Dot, namely the glass.

First Impressions

I received the scope via UPS and seconds later, which should be no surprise to anyone who knows me, I had it torn open and was running around the house with it. The first thing you notice about a Meopta optic is that your money is not going to fancy packaging. It ships in a plain white box with a little bit of foam glued in the inside. Besides the scope the box contents consist of a warranty card, a 2032 battery, a no frills manual, and a lens cloth. The glass is protected by a rubber cup with a retention loop for the objective and the front is covered with a Butler Creek flip down cover. Anyone who is familiar with the K-Dot will immediately notice the new ZD’s reduction in length and weight. It measures in at 9.5 inches down from 12 which would account for the drop from the K-Dot’s 18.7 ounces down to a trim 16.1.  The feel and finish is outstanding and although it is lighter than its predecessor it still feels solid and well built.

The next thing any K-Dot shooter will notice about the ZD is the elevation and windage adjustment turrets have their caps attached to each other with a little retention cord that loops through a little eyelet on the side of the body which should keep you from walking away without your caps after sighting it in.

Looking through it

The first thing you notice about a Meopta optic is, well, their optics. Their glass is just damn fine. It’s bright, clear, and at 1x doesn’t have the “fringe” around the edges or the pseudo fisheye effect like the TR24 did. At 111′ @ 100 yards it also has a greater field of view than I was used to with the TR24 which is pretty amazing considering its objective lens is only 22mm where most optics in this category are typically sized at 24mm. So those BUIS you have sitting around may just fit under the Meopta since you have some extra space.

One of the biggest improvements with the new ZD is its reticle. The K-Dot had a simple 2 MOA dot with a little line on either side which was simple and effective for most things but started to fall short with targets out at some distance. The ZD’s new K-5.56 reticle fixes this problems by keeping the simple uncluttered broken line and dot reticle and added three nice sharp chevrons under the center dot for precise holdovers. Fast, simple, and effective. The manual states that when zeroed at 100 meters the BDC striations should be on target with a 5.56 NATO round at 4x as follows:
1st chevron – 300 meters
2nd chevron – 400 meters
3rd chevron – 500 meters

There is a really interesting thread on the Enos forums saying if you zero at 250 yards the top of the dot will be hitting at 200  yards and the bottom of the dot should be on target at 300

The ZD's new reticle

yards. From there the rest of the striations would be:

1st chevron, 4.58 MOA = 397 yards
2nd chevron, 7.9 MOA = 490 yards
3rd chevron, 12.11 MOA = 589 yards

So it looks like I have some work in front of me deciding where I’m going to zero this thing and getting a feel for where the center, top and bottom of the dot hit as well as the various chevrons put me. I’ll get that information in the field testing report once I have it figured out. But all in all I’m excited about the new reticle. I do wish the dot was smaller, say 1 MOA like my EOTech’s reticle that I really like. A blend of the two would be the perfect reticle as far as I’m concerned.

Another thing that I really like about the Meopta optics is they way they illuminate their reticles. Every other click powers it off so you don’t have to turn the dial all they way around to turn it off and on each time you use it. They do a pretty good job of lighting it up and keeping it from blooming out. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good. One last note on the reticle in case you were curious. It is a SFP optic so the dot is 2 MOA at 1x and 0.5 MOA at 4x.

Mounting and function

I’m a big fan of my LaRue SPR LT-104 mount so the Meopta naturally went on my DPMS wearing this mount. The magnification ring has plenty of room to function and feels smooth with just the right amount of friction. The ring has a small notch on the top to help your grip while rotating it but it’s pretty anemic. If your hands are wet and muddy good luck. I really think Trijicon got it right with the big rubber serrated ring on the TR24. A cat tail is must on this scope. One thing I’ll have to get used to is that it turns opposite of what I’m used to. I’m sure I’ll screw that up for a while while I get that ingrained into my brain.

I made a quick after work trip to the range to sight it in and since old habits die hard I without thinking about it sighted it in at 50 yards which I’m pretty sure I’ll change. I did realize I don’t like where I have it and will be moving it forward and rezeroing it. I really like the aforementioned turret cap retention system and noticed a set of forgotten turret caps on the bench next to me. The adjustment knobs are adequate but not great and I do prefer .25 MOA adjustments rather than the Meopta’s .5 MOA adjustments. I did send a few down range at 50 yards and 100 yards just to see how it would do at each distance. It did fine as expected but this isn’t a benchrest optic as the dot is just too large and completely covered my paster but give me an idea of where things were hitting at 1x and 4x. Unfortunately that was all the time I had to spend at the range that trip and had to head out without trying it out at 200/300 or at close range. I can’t wait to try this out at the next Practical Rifle match. I really think it’s going to be a great choice for that application.


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3 Responses

  • Pingback: Cat Tails – The Perfect Throw Lever? | RecoilSports

  • Chris says:

    Any updates on the optic? How are you liking it so far?

  • Tobias says:

    Chris-
    Loving it. And loving the Cat Tails throw lever. Great combination. It’s really a great optic with a pretty good reticle. In practice, the 2MOA dot isn’t as bad as I thought it would be because I really prefer a 1MOA dot but it is working just great for me. I competed in a match recently that had some of the targets just surrounded by no hits and you could only see just a couple of inches of head. I whipped it over to 4x and had no problem slipping them on target. Bright, tough, and no complaints. I’m still on the battery that came with it, hasn’t lost zero, and still very happy with my selection.

    My only complaint, if I had to find one is with the crappy lens covers it comes with. Get rid of them and get a bikini cover that you completely remove before a stage.