A closer look at Meprolight, an Israeli company that offers battle-proven products for the armed citizen.
There are a lot of brands in the firearms industry that sell their products on the idea that they’ll be what you need when your life depends on them. Then, there’s Meprolight, a company that developed its brand because so many lives already have.
The Israelis don’t fight wars out of boredom, to save face or advance political agendas. They fight for survival every single day, and their equipment can’t be average. When your enemy surrounds you and always has, average equals extinction.
Today, Israel is alive and well, and one of the reasons for that is Meprolight, a company driven by much more than profit. Why? Because while most any optic can help you better hit your target, IDF optics help Israelis see something even more challenging these days: another tomorrow.
Think this is hyperbole? It’s not.
“Meprolight, founded in 1990, was born out of necessity to meet the defensive needs of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF),” said Bill Yerby, general manager VP sales and marketing of Meprolight USA. “As a nation, they had to be self-reliant to not depend on outside sources that could cut them off based on political whims. It was a matter of survival.”
Because of the tritium, Meprolight sights are effective day or night, especially in less-than-ideal conditions.
“The IDF approached Meprolight to make sights for the levelers for mortars to improve mortar fire accuracy,” said Yerby. “The government—in this case, the IDF—needed products manufactured in-country so they would not be dependent on foreign sources. It grew from there. Meprolight designed the sights for the iconic Uzi and the M16, which the IDF used at the time. Meprolight technology was used in tanks to refill ammunition and used in fighter jets for midair refueling.”
The IDF formed a relationship with Meprolight that remains strong today.
According to Yerby, Meprolight expanded its mission to develop products for helping soldiers be better shooters, to helping all shooters improve target acquisition thus allowing them, when under pressure, to accurately put rounds on target faster than the bad guy—day or night.
“Today, Meprolight works hand-in-hand with the IDF to design and manufacture the aiming solutions required for the battlefield,” he said. “Many of the products are standard issue. In addition to the handgun sights, the Mepro M21, Mepro M5/RDS Pro V2, Mepro MOR, and Mepro GLS are in use by the IDF. The Mepro O2/Mepro Tru-Vision is used by the Yamam Special Forces, as we speak.”
Israeli national pride runs through the veins of Meprolight, not just for its capabilities, but for all Israelis.
“Whether it’s medical, IT or manufacturing, Israel is known for being innovative and cutting edge,” Yerby said. “Meprolight is known for that as well.”
Yerby backed up his claim with a slew of manufacturing firsts and bests. “[Meprolight] were the first to use tritium in handgun and rifle sights. They were the first to introduce a digitally augmented red-dot optic with Bluetooth capability (Mepro Foresight). Meprolight is also known for its adherence to stringent manufacturing standards and producing NATO/U.S. mil-spec products.”
Spend 5 minutes with Yerby, and it’s clear that his passion for his craft—and his country—speaks for itself.
“It’s personal with Meprolight,” said Yerby. “As you know, all Israeli citizens serve in the military. The products produced will be used by our employees’ children, nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters or serve themselves in the reserves. Meprolight has a less than 1 percent product defect ratio. Lives depend on our products. Consequently, quality is personal to us. Because of their service in the IDF, our product design engineers have hands-on experience with putting rounds on target. Their experience gives them a fundamental understanding of the complexities of the shooting sequence—one of which is the aiming sequence. You must be accurate and on target faster than the bad guy. Meprolight’s products are designed to increase a shooter’s ability to do that.
“At Meprolight, we embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and maintain a corporate culture that focuses on product innovation and unmatched quality control,” Yerby added. “After all, lives depend on our products. We are known for the clearest and brightest optics, and the brightest self-illuminated sights on the market. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing and speed to the market give Meprolight a competitive advantage. We are proud that despite unprecedented demand during the pandemic, we always had products in stock for our loyal customers. Senior management committed to keeping three months of inventory on-hand to meet customers’ needs. Even today, we bypassed the current shipping debacle by importing all products by air.”
Marketing aside, Meprolight’s bottom line to its customers is what one would expect from the pragmatic-minded war-tested company. Yerby spelled out precisely what he wants Meprolight customers to know when they buy their products.
“We strive to offer our customers an incredible product experience, backed by the best customer service in the industry,” said Yerby. “We have a very talented team of experienced advisers and pro-staff/influencers and IDF personnel who work with our product managers and engineers to design and manufacture innovative products that improve accuracy and performance. We instill a customer-first mentality to everything we manufacture.”
According to Yerby, Meprolight offers the largest selection of pistol sights for Glock, Sig, S&W, Springfield, CZ and others like Remington, Mossberg and Benelli, and AR and AK sights.
“Meprolight is a leading sight OEM manufacturer in the industry and premier manufacturer of top-grade electro-optics, optics and day/night sights for rifles, pistols, shotguns … and even grenade launchers,” he said.
To get to where they are today, Yerby knows it took a team effort.
“Victory has a hundred fathers, and defeat is an orphan,” was a quote uttered by Italian diplomat Galeazzo Ciano six years before Israel declared its independence. Meprolight’s success indeed had quite a few people who helped raise and mentor the company and its employees as it grew. When Yerby was asked what key influencers and mentors mattered most to Meprolight, he had plenty to say.
“Interesting question,” said Yerby. “One could answer it from so many different directions. Our industry has been and is influenced by many individuals who have made an impact. If I had to pick one, it would be Samy Katsav. He is the chairman of the board and owner of the SK Group, the parent company of Meprolight and IWI. Today, SK Group/Meprolight products are used and depended on by militaries, law enforcement agencies, and civilian shooters in more than 50 countries on six continents. You could say his vision impacted the world, let alone this industry.”
Looking ahead, Meprolight has its sights set on continued success.
“The future of Meprolight revolves around continued product innovation, and taking the products to the next level and creating revolutionary products like the Meprolight Foresight family,” said Yerby. “We need to continue providing new technology to consumers so they can increase their capabilities.”
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the June 2022 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.
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