The Czech company Meopta produces optical instruments and other optical products already since 1933. This makes the company one of the oldest optics manufacturers on the planet with a rich history of optics manufacturing. Meopta produces a lot of military products for worldwide customers but offers a wide range of products for the civilian market also. They produce rifle scopes, spotting scopes, binoculars, and since 2019 also night vision devices called MeoNight 1.1.
We got the night vision device directly from Meopta to test it. First, we noticed the slim design – the entire tube has a diameter of only 44 millimeters and an objective diameter of 56 millimeters. Even though the outer diameter of the objective is 56 millimeters, it still features a 50-millimeter objective lens, so it gathers a lot of light for a bright picture. The length of the device without the mounting adapter is 200 millimeters, so it is very similar to many other night vision devices on the market.
Operating the device is very simple since Meopta thought it out well. The parallax adjustment knob (which is the most-used knob on a night vision device), is in a perfect location. It is placed on the left side of the device, right behind the ocular (if we can call it that). Because of that, the user can adjust the parallax without any effort and doesn't need to stretch out the arm towards the objective like it is the case with many night vision devices from other manufacturers. Thanks to that, it is much easier to stay on the target and adjust the parallax to optimal sharpness.
The ON/OFF switch is located on the left side. It is a rubberized button, which has to be held for 2-3 seconds to turn it on. This same button changes the intensity of the picture – when you hold it, the image gets brighter or darker. Thanks to that, you can manually adjust the brightness to a level that you consider appropriate.
On the right side of the device is the battery tray, which holds a CR 123 battery. Right behind it is a small socket, in which an included extension cable can be plugged. This cable has the same characteristics as the ON/OFF button, but it can be placed anywhere on the rifle. It is around 30 cm long but can be stretched out even farther.
To protect the device from sunlight, Meopta includes a rubberized cover that is securely attached to the device. It can be easily removed from the objective but cannot be lost when using it in complete darkness. In this cover, a small lens is integrated, so you can turn the device on even in bright light and don't have to worry about damaging the interior of the device.
For attaching the device to a rifle scope, Meopta developed their own adapter. It is unique because it is made from two separate parts. The first one attaches to the night vision device and the rifle scope, and the second one, which is a ring all around the bigger part of the adapter, tightens the adapter together for a strong fit with a small lever. The unique design of this adapter makes it possible for the outer part with the lever to be rotated all around, so you can adjust it to any position you need. Currently, Meopta offers such an adapter in three dimensions – 49.5, 57, and 62 millimeters.
The MeoNight 1.1. is a great night vision device with some new and innovative features. It is of high quality, and the all-metal construction makes it very reliable. Meopta guarantees that it can withstand a recoil pulse of 3500 Joules, which is more than a standard .308 Winchester. They have tested the device also on much stronger calibers like .338 Lapua Magnum and had no issues whatsoever. We are very excited that Meopta is going this way and are curious about their future intentions.