An optic that has always interested me was the Meprolight Mepro 4x Day Scope. This is the ACOG competitor that Meprolight released a few years back, and discontinued recently. This had led them to becoming a little cheaper, and thus now within the realm of “things I can buy without it being a major financial decision”.
I’ve got mine mounted on a Tavor SAR… read on for what I thought of it.
Cost: MSRP seems to be in the realm of $1300. Street was in the $1050-$1300 range. I bought my example from Amazon for $410.
Packaging: Meprolight clearly spent a lot of time with the packaging of this optic. It came in an attractive hard case containing:
- A field cover
- User Manual
- Cleaning Kit (a microfiber cloth and their weird brush/blower thing)
- 8mm pipe wrench for adjusting the mount
- The optic itself
They definitely earned a solid A for presentation in my book; it’s very similar to what you’d get with a Trijicon, for example.
Aesthetics: The Mepro 4x looks unique, but is easily recognizable as a prism optic in general. The body is vaguely ACOG-like, and about the same length as a 4x ACOG (~6″). But you have a very prominent rubber eye piece guard that changes the lines quite a bit, orienting the visual center of mass further back.
Controls: Controls are simple enough; there’s elevation and windage turrets (nominally operable with a spent shell casing), plus an illumination turret that contains the battery. Clicks are .2 MRAD / .7 MOA per click.
Elevation and windage clicks are pretty firm – perhaps too firm. I found that trying to move them with a spent shell casing was difficult due to that and a somewhat too large “slot”, and resorted to using a tool instead. This isn’t to say you couldn’t do it in the field if you had no other choice, but it wasn’t a great experience. On the other hand, this is an optic you zero once and then leave alone, so I don’t consider this a big deal either way.
The illumination knob has an off state at both ends of the spectrum, which was a nice touch. Clicks on this are positive as well.
It also includes a quick release mount. Tension can be adjusted with an 8mm wrench (included), or just taking a pair of pliers and turning the nut slightly. The QR mount is nothing to write home about, but it seemed to hold zero during my time using it.
Optics: The glass is positively excellent, as good as my Trijicon TA01NSN. I was able to use it both eyes open quite easily. Eye relief is very short (1.5″), but I had no trouble getting into the eye box, and the scope wasn’t punching me in the face on recoil. Field of view is a little bigger than the TA01NSN – Meprolight lists it as 8 degrees or greater, which is on the upper end of prism optics in general.
Illumination: Unfortunately, this is an area where the Mepro 4x falls remarkably short. Illumination is basically non-existent in lit conditions even on maximum power, and wasn’t even visible on a dimly lit range. To continue with the TA01NSN comparison, it’s useful in roughly the same circumstances: in a genuinely dark area or at night.
I was aware of this limitation going in, and thought of it as a non-fiber-optic ACOG that had an LED illuminator instead of tritium, which I think is a fair comparison in the end analysis. In retrospect, it’s fairly weird that Meprolight didn’t implement fiber optic illumination on this scope when they have so much experience with it from their M21 and MOR reflex sights.
On the plus side, illumination shuts off after eight hours, and it will give you a low battery blink before it goes down completely. Battery life is listed as “> 250 hours”, which is normal for a prism optic.
Reticle: My research seems to indicate that the Mepro 4x was released with three different reticles when it was released:
- Chevron (which is what mine has)
These are all broadly similar in concept, and have BDC calibrated for SS109/M855, along with a bottom rangefinder. They are adequate for purpose, if unspectacular otherwise.
Unfortunately, the manual neglects to tell you anything whatsoever about what the subtensions are, height over bore assumptions, or what velocity the reticle was calibrated to. It just says “zero to 100yds”, much like an ACOG. The broad problem with this is that the Tavor has extreme height over bore – like 3.75-4″ – and you need more information to be able to properly compensate for this, or even know if you need to do so. The package shows this on a Tavor, so you’d want to believe that maybe that’s what it’s set for, but there’s just no information one way or the other.
Speaking of bad instructions, I find it remarkably unlikely that this reticle was designed in yards as the included manual seem to claim. The Israelis use the metric system, and the ACOG also uses metric.
I called Meprolight to see if I could resolve some of these issues. I spoke to Jonathan at Meprolight to see if he could clear them up. After alerting me to the fact that this was a discontinued optic, we talked about my questions and he agreed to relay them to the product manager in Israel. While it would have been nice if Meprolight USA had the reticle specs, I was impressed with their willingness to go to the source, as it was, to get me my answers. Unfortunately, I never received the promised information, so I’m not really sure what the real answers were. The Meprolight rep agreed that it probably was supposed to be meters, though.
Testing Platform: I used a Tavor SAR B18, unmodified. It has been a long time since I’ve shot this gun, and I forgot how heavy the trigger pull was. A bit after completing this review, I put a Geissele Super Sabra trigger pack into it, which made a tremendous difference.
Testing: I took a couple of range trips to get this zeroed and otherwise get a feel for how it performed. I did an initial zero at 50yds, and then refined it to 100yds on a second trip.
I guess my feeling was… it’s a prism optic. It wasn’t especially fast due to the lack of fiber optic illumination, but the glass quality and huge FOV helped quite a bit with situational awareness and both eyes open shooting. The chevron was kind of a mixed blessing; you got a very precise aiming point, which was good, but you also lost that “put dot on target, pull trigger” simplicity which I sometimes appreciate in an action shooting optic.
I didn’t have a 300-400yd range available to test out the BDC, and I’m not sure the trigger on my Tavor was very conducive to shooting that far out anyways.
Conclusions: The Mepro 4x is usable, and it’s a lot better than the cheaper Chinese-made prism scopes (which have better – but not daylight bright – illumination but much worse glass). It is definitely not better than a fiber optic ACOG, and for the MSRP price point, that’s a deal breaker. For the $410 I paid for it, it was a nice alternative to the TA01, and unlike the TA01, I can get illumination running with a cheap battery as opposed to an expensive tritium recharge.
I was also really annoyed that the manual did not go into adequate detail about the reticle specifications. It didn’t even show the chevron or horseshoe reticles, just an “example” crosshair reticle. To me, this was a much bigger problem than the illumination situation. I can understand not including a feature because it doesn’t make sense for a particular user’s needs; I can’t really accept inadequate, or worse, incorrect product documentation, especially on an optic with a BDC reticle.
I’m not really surprised that Meprolight discontinued this optic; it’s not competitive with the ACOG at its specified price point due to a lack of daylight bright fiber optic illumination, and prism optics in general have been on their way out for years ever since the Razor Gen2 got released and made LPVOs a much more palatable option (albeit at the expense of some weight).