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Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56 Riflescope review | Optics Trade Reviews

  • Maja 

We'll look at the Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56 rifle scope, which became available to the public on April 6, 2021. Before I get into what the Ranger 4 3-12x56 scope has to offer, I'd want to say a few words about Steiner company.

Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56
Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56

The beginning of Steiner riflescopes

Steiner is one of the biggest producers of binoculars here in Europe, but they haven't been around for long in the riflescope category. The first rifle scope that they produced was Nighthunter, which debuted around 8 years ago. Steiner went straight for the premium riflescopes category, where it's difficult to compete against European traditional optics manufacturers. Despite being a great scope, Nighthunter wasn't successful. We think that Steiner made a smart move when they released the Ranger series in 2015.

They placed the Ranger series between 900 and 1200 euros, depending on the model. The Steiner Ranger was an excellent value for the money, both mechanically and optically. It's no surprise why it became a hit among hunters so quickly. Up to now, it has been one of the most popular hunting rifle scopes in Europe, with a price tag of 1000€.

Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56
Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56

The first Ranger series was initially up against Zeiss Conquest DL, which was then followed by the Conquest V4 scope line in 2018. There were a few additional rivals that are still popular today - Minox and Doctor (now Noblex). These two manufacturers have some great competition in this price range, although no other well-known European manufacturers offered a real rival in this price range.

It was a great move by Steiner to place Ranger scopes in this price range. Now, in 2021, six years after the release of the first Ranger generation, Steiner thought it was high time for an upgrade and here it is, the Ranger 4 series.

Early in January 2021, they also released the Ranger 6 series, which is superior to Ranger 4. We have a bunch of reviews on the models, on our YouTube channel. Feel free to check them out. The Steiner Ranger 6 series is a sign that Steiner is once again attempting to compete in the premium category of rifle scopes.

Steiner Ranger 4 Series

There are five different models available in the Ranger 4 series:

Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56
Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56

Let's look at Ranger 4 3-12x56 twilight specialist model. There is also Ranger 4 1-4x24 for driven hunts and Ranger 4 2.5-10x50 which is an all-rounder.

These three scopes have already been available in the first Ranger generation. There is a new model available, Ranger 4 6-24x56, which is a long-distance specialist and one of the most popular magnifications in recent years. It's popular because it combines a big lens with a practical 6-24 magnification range. We are glad that Steiner decided to introduce this model as well.

It's a shame that the stalking model hasn't been replaced. As a result, the Ranger 2-8x42 model has been retired. We have no real stalking model in the Ranger 4 series. We can only hope that Steiner will release one in the future. The Ranger 4 4-16x56 was initially discontinued, but it has since been reintroduced.

You can also watch the entire Review below

Physical properties of Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56

I would like to point out all the improvements that the Ranger 4 series brings. Let's talk about the mechanical improvements as there is quite a lot of them. They may not be noticeable at first sight, but if you use the first-generation rifle scope, you will notice them.

The smoothness of the magnification and the diopter ring have both been improved. They move much smoother and give the scope a more premium feel. There are now plus, and minus symbols on the diopter dial for an easier diopter adjustment.

Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56
Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56 magnification ring

The clicks on the turrets are now further apart and they produce crisper sounds. The same go for the illumination turret. I believe that the gloves wearers will appreciate all these improvements because it's much simpler to feel the clicks and select the proper setting.

With Ranger 4 3-12x56 the parallax is fixed at 100 meters.

The outer objective diameter of the Ranger 4 3-12x56 is different from that of the previous model, so keep this in mind if you intend on mounting a night vision or thermal attachment on the objective. The outer diameter of the old model was 63.5 mm, whereas that of the new version is 64 mm. It's a little bit more of a conventional diameter and the adapter will be easier to find than it was with the previous model.

I noticed that the new 3-12x56 model is somewhat longer than its predecessor. I believe it is about one or two centimeters longer. The Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56 is a 640-gram rifle scope that measures 35 centimeters in length. For this sort of rifle scope, it's rather standard weight and length.

It is nitrogen filled. Even in temperatures as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius, you won't have to deal with internal fogging. It's also waterproof. It comes with a robust aluminum housing. Steiner devices are known for their ruggedness and this rescope is of course no exception. 

Reticle

Ranger 4 3-12x56 comes with a redesigned reticle. It's still called 4AI, but it's a little bit different. In the old series, the lines used to intersect in the middle, and the dot appeared at the intersection when the illumination was turned on.

With the new model, the intersection has been replaced with a fine dot and there is a small gap between the lines. So, when you turn on the illumination, the dot in the center illuminates. Some users will be fond of this upgrade others, not so much.

The reticle is in the second focal plane (SFP) as is traditional for this type of scope.

Illumination System

I noticed that the illumination is not as daytime bright as it used to be on the older Ranger model; however, this isn't much of importance as the Ranger 4 3-12x56 is after all designed for dusk - not for daytime use.

There are eleven illumination settings on the 3-12x56 model, and they're split into two sections. The first six levels are for dusk use. Levels from 7 to 11 are more daytime usable, even though they are not strong daytime usable.

Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56
Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56 illumination system

I appreciate that the dot may be finely adjusted to the dusky environment. With a twilight riflescope, this is what matters most.

With the new score, the illumination is better in low light conditions. The old one was better at the max setting in daylight.

Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56
Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56 battery compartment

Turrets

The turrets are another thing to think about. I've already mentioned them before. They're traditional hunting, capped, low-profile turrets. One revolution has 60 clicks.

Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56
Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56 capped, low-profile turrets

One-click equals one centimeter at 100 meters. We have 0.1 MIL clicks. There are 11.6 MILs of elevation altogether. The turrets may be reset to zero in a matter of seconds. To reset the turrets, lift them up and then press own. On the previous Ranger model, this could only be accomplished with tools; therefore, it's a step forward.

I missed one thing. The ballistic turret will be accessible as well. This is an intriguing option for the 6-24 and 3-12 versions.

Want to transform an ordinary turret into a BDC turret?

Steiner Ballistic Control Cap Set

Optical Performance of Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56

What about the optical improvements? The most noticeable is probably the field of view, which has been made wider. At 3x magnification, the rifle scope now provides 13 meters of the field of view at 100 meters. I would say that the difference, when compared to the first generation, is about 5 to 10% in terms of field of view.

The riflescope also fares slightly better in the dusk compared to the previous generation. I think they did improve the light transmission rate. Even when you look through the riflescope in the daytime and compare it to the previous generation, the colors are better. You can already tell that it somehow gets more light through the riflescope when compared to the first generation.

The first Ranger was one of the best rifle scopes at this price point intended for hunting. And the second one follows its example. The image is sharp. Even on the edges, there is no tunnel effect whatsoever.

Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56
Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56

Mounting of the Ranger 4 3-12x56

What's new is that Ranger 4 does offer the rail mounting option, but not for all models. The rail mounting is available with the 3-12x56 scope and with the wide-angle model 1-4x24. I think that it's great that they added this option as some prefer rail mounting over ring mounting because of its many advantages.

Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56 comes with a 30-millimeter tube for mounting purposes.

It's unusual for riflescopes in this price range to come with a mounting rail. This option is generally only available for rifle scopes worth more than 1500 euros. However, I believe it's fantastic that you're able to do so. The rail is the Zeiss ZM/VM version, and scopes with a rail option will set you back 100€ more.

Where are Steiner Ranger scopes made?

The Ranger series is not made in Germany, as many people believe. They're produced in the United States. The first and second generations, the Ranger and Ranger 4, are both manufactured in the United States.

Need more information about the origin of Steiner scopes?

Warranty and Price

Steiner Ranger 4 scopes come with 10 years of warranty, just like the first generation. If something goes wrong, you can still count on the Steiner service to repair your riflescope as they have one of the best service departments in this industry. It is often compared to Swarovski in terms of how great it is.

The Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56 costs approximately 1050€ without the rail, while it is around 1150€ with the rail.

Scope of delivery

The Ranger 4 is packed in a box identical to previous Rangers. A bikini cover and lens cloth are included. There is also an instruction manual, which is available in many languages.

Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56
Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56 scope of delivery

The covers are very basic. It would be great if the rifle scope would be equipped with flip-up covers, but they are available as an after-sale accessory.

Interested in Flip-up caps?

Steiner Flip Up Cover for Ranger 3-12x56, 4-16x56_cta

Pros

So, with that in mind, we're now at the conclusion of this review, and I tend to point out the benefits and drawbacks at the end. The optical quality has not been compromised. For around 1000€, the riflescope provides you with a clear image, excellent color fidelity, and a high light transmission rate. Which is critical for a rifle scope at this price point and end-use. I also appreciate the illumination, which isn't as bright as it once was. The reticle has been modified as well. You can still fine-tune the reticle for low-light conditions. And therefore, rifle scopes with built-in illumination are designed.

Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56
Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56 turrets

I also like all the mechanical adjustments that add to the riflescope's premium feel, such as turrets, illumination control, magnification ring, and diopter ring. The look, in addition to the anodizing, makes this model seem classier than its predecessors. The option of buying a rail model is an excellent feature to have at an affordable price of around 1000€. Not many rivals provide it, making it a fantastic value.

This is one of the most affordable hunting rifle scopes with a mounting rail on the market.

PROS summary:

  • clear image
  • excellent color fidelity
  • high light transmission rate
  • modified reticle can be fine-tuned for low light conditions
  • rail mounting option

Cons

Now, let's look at the drawbacks. Some will claim that because some less expensive rifle scopes are available with a 6x zoom factor, the 4x zoom factor is a disadvantage, but you must keep in mind that as the zoom level rises, the optical quality falls. This is a compromise. If you wish to have great optical quality, the zoom factor should be lower. If you have a bigger zoom factor, then you must adjust optical quality elsewhere and that increases the price. 

Some people will think the reticle design is a downside, but others will appreciate it. So, I can't say for sure whether it's a disadvantage or not, but it is a fact that it works better in low light as the predecessor.

However, I believe that the quality of the covers could be improved at this price range, even if flip-up covers are available as an extra. And they're not very costly, either. To protect the lenses, I recommend that you get them.

CONS summary:

  • only 4x zoom factor
  • low quality of the covers
Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56
Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56

Final Thoughts on Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56

This is it. If you're searching for a hunting rifle scope that's suitable for dusk usage and have a budget of around 1200€, then this could be one of the finest options available. Optically it outperforms all other similarly priced riflescopes. Not to mention the top Steiner service.

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Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56 Riflescope
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray
Product Name
Steiner Ranger 4 3-12x56 Riflescope
Price
EUR 1049
Product Availability
Available in Stock

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