I decided to review one more scope which doesn’t really compete with the other 308 scopes I reviewed. That is because it is almost twice as expensive as the others (and 10 times more expensive than my top pick). Still, some of the cheaper models give it a run for its money, just like it does with the Tier-1 scopes costing one thousand dollars on top of its price. That is why I think that the Steiner Optics T5Xi SCR Scope falls into a very interesting category. It delivers on the premium feeling and features but can also be replaced by a cheaper Vortex Optics scope with just a few sacrifices.
If you want to go for a premium scope that packs premium characteristics, this model is a worthy candidate. It has a huge magnification range, excellent first focal place illuminated SCR (Special Competition Reticle), amazing adjustability, and a rigid construction that is bound to last you a lifetime. The few downsides are the amount of money that you will have to pay for this scope and the fact that it doesn’t come with a pair of mounting rings.
The absolutely first thing you will notice about this scope is the packaging Steiner has given it. It comes in a box that feels very premium to the touch. In it, you will find a bundle with the Allen key needed to zero in your turrets, cleaning cloth for your lenses, and two extra batteries for the scope.
Moving on, you will find the user’s manual which is very detailed and beneath the foam protection, you will find the scope itself. On top of it there are two flip-up covers that you can put at the front and back of the scope.
The last two items you get with this Steiner scope are the sunshade and the throw lever. I love throw levers, by the way, and I think that they do not get the attention they deserve as far as how much easier they make your life when out hunting coyotes at night, for instance.
Being a 5-25x scope it logically ranks among my favorite models, which is why it is part of my best scopes for 308 rifles list. That type of range is ideal for people who hunt or practice at different ranges all the time. I will get into how easy it is to adjust it in a moment.
The 56mm bell allows for a lot of light to come in making it ideal for darker conditions, especially for hunters who love going out at dusk.
The image quality here is world-class and combined with the light transmission I mentioned gives you a crystal clear image at any lighting conditions. The lenses are polished, and then covered with multiple coats resulting in a sharper picture, and greater detail and contrast even when used in darkness. The exit pupil is wide enough to create a big eye box. The size of that eye box here is what allows for movements behind the scope (on the eye relief range). This makes the T-series scope a great one for hunters shooting on their feet.
What is fascinating about this SCR reticle is that it goes down 20 mils, unlike others which only go up to maybe 8 or 10 mils. Just for a comparison, at 1000 yards I hold at around 9 mils. If I want to I can make no adjustments and purely rely on the holdover lines from 100 to 1000 yards without making a single click. And still, you have double that available in just holdovers. Once you run out of it you can then use the elevation turret and further dial it. What that means is that you can potentially have a maximum effective range of just about a mile.
It is a first focal plane model which it really needs to be because when you have it at 5x the reticle is unbelievably small and thin. It is that thin that you barely even see it without turning the illumination on.
Once you start adjusting that the SCR reticle will zoom in with the image itself, like any other FFP scope. I personally prefer second focal plane scopes, and one of my favorite models with that feature is the Vortex Optics Viper HS-T.
The battle light illumination here is really nothing like the ones we’ve already discussed in the cheaper scopes here. It can be adjusted from 1 to 11 with off settings between each number. The adjustment is really easy to do and the first 5 settings are IR-friendly, meaning you can use this scope at night with any adapter while still seeing your SCR reticle.
Adjustability & Setting It Up
The Steiner T-Series Scope line received a very bad name for itself back a few years ago. This was mainly due to a few failed tracking tests, as they were off by a few MILs.
This new generation, though, tracks impeccably well, being almost on par with the highest tiered scopes in the three thousand dollars range.
The zoom adjustment happens relatively easily and doesn’t require too much torquing. One little detail that I love is that the magnification ring is actually angled towards you and when you are shooting at the eye relief distance.
The side parallax adjustment is very smooth as well. It almost feels locked until you move it, then it moves relatively easy. Goes down to 50 meters and up to 800m (and then infinity). On the right side, you have your 10-mil windage adjustment turret which is very tactile and very clicky.
One of the best features of this scope (and of any other scope, for that matter) is the mil-adjustment turret and its rotation indicator. It has a patent-pending design that allows you to see the numbers in those tiny windows and once you do a full rotation (up to 12) you should get to zero, right? Well, here the numbers internally change and continue counting from 13, 14, and so on until your next full rotation. For people who get lost in numbers easily, the never-lost turrets will be one of the best possible features to have on a scope out there. The rotation indicator goes to 21.6 mils but you can add up to that with your holdovers.
The actual adjustments on this turret are done at clicks of 1/10th MIL marked on the rotation indicator. If you are curious about what MIL, MOA, and other scope adjustment abbreviations are, check out my article on how to understand MIL, MOA, and Inches when it comes to scope adjustments.
Making military scopes for more than 70 years has its advantages and Steiner is showcasing most of them with their T5Xi model line. They are rigid and can withstand anything the weather throws at them.
This model is:
- Sealed with nitrogen (under 14 psi)
The gas sealing really keeps the inside from ever fogging up despite drastic weather changes. It also improves the clarity of the image.
Materials & Construction
The construction of this scope is yet another place where it can hardly be matched by other cheaper scopes. Everything feels really sturdy and nice to the touch. The 34mm tube is hard anodized and made out of aircraft-grade aluminum, as most high-end scopes these days. That makes it resistant to both weather and time, and it will prove itself as a good resilient companion over the years.
Having a 34mm tube gives you extra space to play around with windage and elevation adjustments. Have the size in mind when you are picking mounting rings or a cantilever, though.
As I mentioned you are getting two very high-quality flip-up covers, which are manufactured in Canada. They have two open settings, one being halfway and one almost fully down to the scope’s body. Those two covers will help you preserve your lenses for a longer period. These are the little details that you get when going into this price bracket. Other scopes have covers too but they are quite flimsy and usually break within the first few months.
The sunshade is almost made out of a durable plastic polymer. It doesn’t feel flimsy when you put it on as other cheaper ones do.
Unfortunately, this model doesn’t come with rings or any type of railing system with it, which is a shame but on the bright side, you can freely pair it with your favorite mounting rings or cantilever.
Lastly, when you buy this scope, you also get Steiner’s “Heritage Warranty” which basically means that whatever happens to it, at any given point in the future, they will take care of the product by either fixing it or replacing it. This is something most high-end brands offer but is still an impressive feature. What I also like is that the warranty needs no receipts, warranty cards, or any other proof of ownership. If the scope is in you and something is wrong with it – they will take care of it.
Steiner T-Series Scope VS. The Trijicon VCOG 1-6×24 Scope
The T-series by Steiner hardly has any competition when it comes to its adjustments, reticle, and magnification range. Still, there are other ballistic scopes out there that are good enough to be at least considered when you are cross-shopping.
The Trijicon VCOG is an extremely durable scope that has a great brand behind it and packs a lot of functionality in a smaller footprint. It falls behind on things like windage or elevation adjustment ranges as well as the magnification, being a 1-6x scope. Still, it exceeds in short-distance shots and is slightly cheaper than the Steiner T-Series scope.
In conclusion, if you are a fan of long-distance shooting, then this is really a no-brainer – you should go for the Steiner T-Series. If you are more into short-ranged hunting and shooting and also want to save a few hundred dollars, then the Trijicon VCOG is one of the better alternatives out there.
Now, let’s take a look at the pros and cons this scope brings to the table…
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Extremely durable
- Wide magnification setting range
- Has Special Competition Reticle
- Never-lost turrets
- Great adjustment range
- Very resistant to nature’s elements
- Comes with a full lifetime warranty
- Has a very good image
- Tube diameter allows for more light to come in
- Very expensive
- Doesn’t come with mounting rings
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are Steiner scopes made?
Even though their headquarters and main manufacturing plant is in Bayreuth, Germany, some of their scopes such as the T5Xi and the GS3 are made here in the US in Greeley, Colorado.
Conclusion & Rating
The conclusion we can all draw from this scope is that if you want something to last you a lifetime and be nothing short of spectacular throughout those years, then you have to be prepared to handle the higher price tag. That is actually something that sums up this scope perfectly – it is an amazing display of craftsmanship and technologies but at the same time, it also is a very expensive product. In my opinion, beginner hunters do not need such items, at least at first. Cheaper scopes like the UTG Bug Buster or the Vortex Optics Crossfire II are perfectly adequate for anyone who wants to get a good scope for his first rifle. As time progresses it can only be natural to move on to a more advanced and adjustable scope but taking the time to learn on a cheaper model will always seem a better option to me. I gave the Steiner Optics T-Series SCR Rifle Scope a score of four and a half out of five stars.