Steiner Riflescope Review

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D5CAV
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Steiner Riflescope Review

Postby D5CAV » Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:16 am

Per this review, I bought a Steiner 3-12x56mm rifle scope: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzx3DscRvwo

It's been sitting in my scope drawer for awhile. Finally got around to mounting it on my .300RUM.

Overall, I'm happy with the scope.

Pro:
1. Reasonably clear and bright optics. Not as bright as my Zeiss and not as crisp as my Swaro, but pretty good. Given that the Steiner is about half the price of comparable Hensoldt and Schmidt&Bender tactical scopes, I can live with it.
2. Reasonably positive turrets. The turret clicks were not as crisp as S&B or Hensoldt tactical scopes, but about the same as Nightforce. There we no noticeable "creep" between first and second shots. I moved the turret and the bullet moved.
3. Good illumination. Unlike most illumination systems I've had, Steiner has an "off" position next to every setting, so you can turn one click and go from "on" to "off" at your chosen setting, rather than cycling through the whole range. There is a good range of illumination as well, from "save your night vision" barely visible, to "see in bright sunlight" bright.
4. Good exit pupil. I like glass that has good dusk performance. These are very bright. Tonight is a full moon, so I tested it in the moonlight in the woods. I can see much better than with a naked eye, thanks to the light gathering of that 56mm objective.
5. Very solid feel. The scope feels solid and rugged, probably due to the 34mm tube.

Con:
1. The scope is heavy - the flip-side of "solid feel". My .300RUM has a heavy barrel, and with the Steiner, it feels almost as heavy as my .338LM with 3-12x50mm Swarovski with 30mm tube.
2. Optical clarity is not top-notch. I can read the legend on top of the standard NRA target at 100m with my Swaro. As much as I played with the ocular focus on the Steiner, I couldn't get there. Again, for the price, I can live with it.

Sidebar review of Leupold Tactical Mark4 rings:
On a side note, I'm done with Leupold. I stopped using Leupold rifle scopes years ago.

I still used Leupold rings until I had a Zeiss Diavari walk in a set of 30mm Leupold QD rings mounted on a .308Win rifle. I was not happy about the skid marks on my Zeiss Diavari, but I thought it might be operator error, since I had just hand-tightened with the Torx wrench supplied with the rings. I looked-up the Leupold specification inch-pounds recommended for the screws and got out my torque wrench. I picked a torque setting halfway between the minimum and maximum, and proceeded to torque off one of the screws. I brought the rings back to the proprietor of the gun store I bought the rings, and got a bunch of attitude, e.g. "What kind of idiot uses a torque wrench? I use my super-calibrated, experienced hand tightening." Anyway, stopped going to that gun store, and also stopped using Leupold rings.

I needed some 34mm rings. Proprietor of another gun store recommended Leupold Mark 4 Tactical 34mm rings with four screws holding the rings together. I expressed reservations about Leupold given my earlier experience. He assured me that Leupold's Tactical Mark 4 rings were a different animal than Leupold's standard hunting rifle rings, besides, those were the only 34mm rings he had. OK. I bought the rings. They weren't cheap either - almost $200 IIRC.

I didn't want to risk torquing off a screw, so I just hand tightened really hard, like to the point where the little Torx wrench is bending and feels like it's about to break.

In my sighting-in and scope evaluation session, I went through 40 rounds of .300RUM (2 boxes). As I was putting away the rifle, I noticed the scope had walked in the rings, putting skid marks on my nice new Steiner rifle scope all the way back until the rings rested on the ocular. #$*!@%!

Before anyone suggests that I should expect this with .300RUM, I have six-screw 30mm Badger rings holding my Swaro onto my .338LM. That rifle kicks twice as hard as the .300RUM and the scope hasn't moved at all.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Re: Steiner Riflescope Review

Postby BDK » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:11 pm

Hmm... My father's favorite rings are Conetrol, which are very pretty.

My buddy/'smith always uses a torque driver on rings, but I don't remember having any issues w Leupold rings walking.

My Ruger rings have held up just fine on my 375, as an FYI - they're even decently repeatable.

Leupold scopes don 't tend to box, but I don't remember the safari guys having any other issues...

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Re: Steiner Riflescope Review

Postby Steamforger » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:12 pm

I used Leupold bases and rings just long enough to save some cash for something better.

IOR Base

IOR Rings

They're not Badger Ordnance, but they're rock solid and I've never had an issue. They are heavy as all hell though.

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Re: Steiner Riflescope Review

Postby HTRN » Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:24 pm

Ken Farrell sells steel 30mm rings for under 170 bucks.
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Re: Steiner Riflescope Review

Postby D5CAV » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:38 pm

Steamforger wrote:IOR Rings

They're not Badger Ordnance, but they're rock solid and I've never had an issue. They are heavy as all hell though.
Those look exactly like the Leupold Mark 4 Tactical rings, at almost half price.
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Re: Steiner Riflescope Review

Postby D5CAV » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:54 pm

HTRN wrote:Ken Farrell sells steel 30mm rings for under 170 bucks.
thanks HTRN!

I checked out his site. He also does bases for pre-64 Winchester Model 70s. $200 can solve a lot of problems for a reasonable price.
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Re: Steiner Riflescope Review

Postby Steamforger » Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:37 am

D5CAV wrote:
Steamforger wrote:IOR Rings

They're not Badger Ordnance, but they're rock solid and I've never had an issue. They are heavy as all hell though.
Those look exactly like the Leupold Mark 4 Tactical rings, at almost half price.


Didn't realize the add listed them as AL. Mine are steel. Like these.

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Re: Steiner Riflescope Review

Postby D5CAV » Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:03 am

I replaced those $200 Leupold rings with some $60 Warne rings.

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/ ... ?a=1581030

The Warne rings work better. They don't walk at all. They were solid through two boxes of .300 RUM.

Less money, less bulky and better performance. Win all around.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Re: Steiner Riflescope Review

Postby PawPaw » Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:39 pm

Apropos of nothing whatsoever, I recall an old-time remedy for scope creep, back in the day when we made do with what was around the house. A simple strip of wax paper between the scope and ring. A scope wouldn't slip after that simple expedient. I am still known to use that trick, but I don't shoot the heavy calibers that you guys are shooting.
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Re: Steiner Riflescope Review

Postby blackeagle603 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:27 pm

there's a lapping kit on my shelf for a reason.

Rosin powder in the rings is the final touch if needed.
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Re: Steiner Riflescope Review

Postby oilcrash » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:21 am

I use a DNZ GameReaper on my .270. I haven't had to worry about my scope moving during test of near Jack O'Connor level loads for hunting.
DNZ products also has their Freedom Reaper Mount that can be found in 34mm.

I don't shoot anything heavier than my .270 scoped so my information and experience are limited.

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Re: Steiner Riflescope Review

Postby D5CAV » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:25 am

HTRN wrote:Ken Farrell sells steel 30mm rings for under 170 bucks.

Thanks for the suggestion, HTRN!

I made the pilgrimage to Warsaw, MO based on your recommendation. Ken Farrell and his gang are serious about accuracy.

I had a "problem child" that needed some work. Bases, rings and lapping was a lot more than $170, but it fixed a problem.

I was at the range this weekend.

2 boxes of .300 Weatherby Magnum and my Zeiss scope didn't do any walking in the rings.

That "problem child" polished up to a real diamond.

Factory 180gr Nosler Solid Base Boat Tail was a 1" group at 100m right in the X-ring.

Factory 165gr Nosler Ballistic Tip was basically one ragged hole 1" above the X on the 10-ring - I'd say a 1/2" group.
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Re: Steiner Riflescope Review

Postby HTRN » Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:51 am

My default suggestion these days is Farrell for rings and mounts.

My big problem is finding a good affordable varmint scope(IE under 500 bucks). Needs to go to at least 18 power, at least 40mm, and must have target knobs(1/4" click) and ideally an adjustable objective. Redfield has a "Revenge" that goes to 18 power, but no target knobs and no adjustable objective. Frankly, if they offered their Revolution/Tac at this power, they'd sell alot of them to budget varmint shooters.
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