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Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 Riflescope Review | Optics Trade Reviews

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 is a very attractive scope from the European manufacturer Steiner. It’s one of their best optics in our humble optinion, with an unbeatable price-to-performance ratio.

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16x56 - Side View
Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 – Side View

Steiner Optik

Steiner hails from Bayreuth, Germany. Founded in 1947 by Dr. Karl Steiner, Steiner Optik has a long history of producing high-quality optics. Starting out as a maker of binos for the German military, the company soon expanded its product line to include rifle scopes, spotting scopes, and more.

In the early 1990s, this German brand became the biggest producer of binoculars in Europe. They took the mantle from Zeiss Jena, the leading maker of binos until 1991.

The modern production of riflescopes for military and hunting began in 2012. Today, Steiner Optik is a leading manufacturer of optics for hunting, birding, and nature viewing, with a wide range of products to suit every need.

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16x56 Riflescope - Product Packaging
Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 Riflescope – Product Packaging

Ranger 4 Riflescope Series

The Ranger 4 riflescope series from Steiner Optik is a line of hunting scopes designed for great accuracy at varying distances. These optics are made with high-quality glass and are treated with multiple layers of anti-reflective coating to provide maximum clarity and brightness.

The Ranger 4 scopes are available in a variety of configurations, with different magnification ranges and objective lens sizes to suit any type of hunt. This series was revamped in 2021 and new models were added in 2022, some making a great re-entrance – like the series standout Ranger 4 4-16×56 we’re detailing in this review.

Steiner Ranger 4 models:

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16x56 Riflescope - Fast-Focus Eyepiece
Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 Riflescope – Fast-Focus Eyepiece

Physical Properties

The scope is a top-notch Steiner design, assembled with excellent craftsmanship. Ranger 4-16×56 provides great combination for low-light and long-range hunting. It has a large 56mm objective lens that gathers plenty of light, making it suitable for use in low-light conditions. The 16x magnification is also impressive, offering plenty of power to take down targets at long range.

The 30-millimeter tube is encased in anodized varnish with a smooth matte finish, which protects the housing from scratches and dents. However, don’t be fooled by the Ranger 4’s sleek aesthetics. This riflescope is engineered for use with the strongest hunting calibers as it can endure plenty of recoil.

The aluminum chassis is fog-proofed, as its internals are charged with dry Nitrogen gas. The scope performs without a hitch in inclement weather, down to -25°C and up to 65°C on the hotter end of the temperature scale (in imperial units: 77°-149° Fahrenheit).

This Steiner 4 tips the scales at around 680 grams (24 oz). Note that the weight of the newer Ranger 4 4-16×56 model was reduced from the 720 grams (25.4 oz) of the very first Steiner Ranger scope in this configuration.

The scope is almost 38 centimeters long, which isn’t all that much considering the configuration. You’ll be hard-pressed to find shorter models of this kind from the lower-priced competiton. As of late 2022, there is still no built-in mounting rail option with Steiner Ranger 4’s 30-millimeter tube, which is a right shame.

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16x56 Riflescope - No Built-In Mounting Rail Option
Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 Riflescope – No Built-In Mounting Rail Option

Parallax Adjustment

The parallax adjustment on this 4-16×56 scope can be made from 50m to infinity. With the exception of the long-range specialist 6-24×56 (4A-i), this Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 is the only model in the series with an adjustable parallax. All other models in the Ranger 4 series have the parallax set at 100m.

The parallax turret has raised marks at 100 meters; two metal nubs that you can feel with fingerpads in the complete dark. The distances marked on the turret are 50, 75, 100, 200, 300, 500, and infinity.

Another thing about the parallax turret design: Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 has an illuminated reticle. The illumination dial is housed atop the parallax adjustment, so the turret has a higher profile than windage and elevation turrets.

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16x56 Riflescope - Side Parallax Turret with Tactile Mark at 100m
Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 Riflescope – Side Parallax Turret with Tactile Mark at 100m

Windage & Elevation Turrets

Steiner Ranger 4 turret design is nothing special but it does the job well. Windage and elevation turrets are multi-turn in their construction and have a very low profile. For additional protection from misdialing, the turrets are covered with metal screw-in caps.

As usual, Steiner makes turrets with nice and crisp clicks. The click value is 0.10 MIL (or 1 centimeter at 100 meters), allowing for accurate adjustments on longer ranges. Bear in mind that these clicks are also audible.

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16x56 Riflescope - Capped Multi-Turn Elevation TurretSteiner Ranger 4 4-16x56 Riflescope - Uncapped Multi-Turn Elevation Turret
Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 Riflescope – Capped/Uncapped Elevation Turret

Perhaps the most lackluster feature of this scope is the limited elevation range. The internal elevation of Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 is only 72 centimeters at 100 meters. That’s 7 MILs of elevation per full turret turn. You can reset the zero by removing the top of the turret.

There is no visual or mechanical marker to keep track of turret revolutions. Steiner Ranger 4 turrets also have no zero stop, which is perfectly understandable for the competitive price point.

We typically recommend a 20 MOA rail mount, but with this level of inclination, you may have issues zeroing the scope. To avoid this problem, it would be best to use a 10 MOA scope mount instead. However, there aren’t many manufacturers who make them.

Looking for Scope Mounts with 10 MOA or 20 MOA Inclination?

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16x56 Riflescope - Elevation Turret with Inscribed Click Value 1cm/100m
Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 Riflescope – Elevation Turret with Inscribed Click Value 1cm/100m

Optical Properties

The Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 is excellent scope in terms of optical quality. It provides great image clarity and color fidelity, even at the highest magnifications. The 56mm objective lens allows for a lot of light to pass through, making it ideal for hunting in low-light conditions. This series has a 4x zoom.

Magnification

The 4-16x magnification range is a rare find, and we commend Steiner Optics for reintroducing this Ranger model to the 2021 series revamp. We can’t think of any other European manufacturer that makes a 4-16x scope with a 56mm lens for hunting. Steiner’s closest competition in this segment is Zeiss. However, Zeiss only produces the super common 3-12x; the popular low-light specialist Zeiss Conquest V4 3-12×56. So, it’s really Steiner that conquered this corner of the market.

Why was the 4-16×56 configuration removed from, then re-added to the Ranger 4 series? At the time of series remodeling, Steiner believed that hunters in need of a high-powered hunting scope would prefer 6-24×56 configuration to the 4-16×56. This shows strong influences from North America that seep into more moderate European circles. As with other brands, it was left to the ubiquitous 3-12×56 configuration to satisfy people who hunt in the semi-darkness of dusk and dawn.

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16x56 Riflescope - Magnification Ring with Raised Fin
Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 Riflescope – Magnification Ring with Raised Fin

In the initial 2nd generation line-up, the 4-16×56 configuration was indeed nowhere to be seen. But there are plenty of hunters who will defend the middle ground: 3-12x is not enough and 6-24x is too much. We’re definitely one of them. Thankfully, Steiner realized that this configuration is still important to users and an updated version of Ranger 4 4-16×56 was reintroduced to the European market. A win for all.

We’d also like to see Steiner relaunch another discontinued Ranger, the long-discontinued stalking scope Steiner Ranger 2-8×42. The 2x magnification on that scope was better suited for combining the optic with NV or thermal clip-ons.

See the VIDEO review of Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 (4A-i)!

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 Field of View

The field of view is another point in this scope’s favor. It’s 10 meters at 100 meters on the smallest, 4x magnification. On the high end, 16x, the field of view is 2.5 meters at 100m.

The FOV isn’t just good for the price point. Take a look at more expensive models – like Steiner’s very own Ranger 8, which is positioned a class above. The long-range 4-32×56 Ranger 8 model has the same field of vision as this Ranger 4. For a 1000-euro scope, the field of vision you get is more than satisfying.

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16x56 Riflescope - Large 56mm Objective Lens
Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 Riflescope – Large 56mm Objective Lens

Light Transmission Rate

Multi-coated 56mm lens maximizes environmental light, giving you a bright image longer. The light transmission rate was improved in spring 2021 when Steiner introduced the second generation of Ranger 4 models.  The light transmission rate is now around 90%, per Steiner Optics’ claims. As it’s always the case with this piece of info, it’s tough to tell how much light can pass through an object in real-life circumstances.

Even from a purely theoretical standpoint, the values of light transmission are not fixed. Permeability changes with wavelength. Any scope’s transmittance of light has various degrees, and cannot be dumbed down to a single numerical value like 90 or 92. That’s just data-driven marketing at work.

What we can say though, is that we extensively tested the 3-12×56 model as part of our ULTIMATE Low Light Riflescope Buying Guide. Steiner Ranger 4 3-12×56 was the best performing scope in the 1000-euro segment. The adjustable parallax and the small step-up in magnification powers aside, we have no reason to believe this 4-16×56 model isn’t almost as splendid in low light.  

Low Light Riflescopes - EN

Steiner 4A-i Reticle

The reticle on Steiner Ranger riflescopes is always positioned in the 2nd focal plane, no matter the model. The SFP reticle is available in 4A-I design and is illuminated in red.

Steiner took the #4 reticle, a classic German design, and updated it by making the lines thinner and adding a super-fine dot to the center. Although illumination isn’t as important for long-range shots as it is for hunters who stalk game at dusk, Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 hopes to entice both groups of people.

See 4-Ai RETICLE SUBTENSIONS on Steiner Ranger!

Reticle Illumination

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 has an illumination dial on the same turret as the parallax adjustment. The illumination is finely adjustable on the lower end. This is beneficial for prolonged use in dying light

The reticle illumination has 11 intensity settings altogether – 5 for day and 6 for night use. The illuminated dot on this Ranger 4 model is extremely fine, barely one centimeter wide on 100m. 

In 2017, all Ranger 4 and Ranger 6 models featured optical fiber reticles. However, this is no longer the case with the 2nd generation of Ranger 4 which now features a diode-powered floating dot. Why is that?

The problem with an illumination system using optical fibers is that it simply packs too much of a punch. The upper 5 intensity levels of red illumination were incredibly bright. When the scopes were used in a low-light environment, the powerful optical fiber caused internal reflections. You could see a ‘red ring of fire’ even with the eye perfectly aligned with the ocular. The bright reflective light was a serious design flaw, as it disoriented users in the dark.

With the change of illumination system, the reticle is no longer daytime bright. But at the same time, the internal reflections are not as bothersome as they used to be. To power up the illumination, you’ll need a single 3-volt CR2032 coin. The battery is not included in the packaging.

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16x56 Riflescope - Open Illumination Dial with CR2032 Coin Battery
Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 Riflescope – Open Illumination Dial with CR2032 Coin Battery

Scope of Delivery

The scope of delivery is very sparse for the price point. Steiner supplies the 4-16×56 scope with transparent bikini covers and a cleaning cloth in the product box. The user also receives a Ranger 4 user manual. 

Since many will use the scope at varying distances, it’s good that Steiner also designed a BDC ring dial set for Ranger 4. This is a nice addition to long-range models that you can buy as an accessory. 

Want more Steiner Ranger 4 accessories?

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16x56 Riflescope - Scope of Delivery
Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 Riflescope – Scope of Delivery

Where is Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 Made?

Steiner Ranger 4 models are made in the USA. Normally, we’d dock a hefty point for a German manufacturer not to make the scope in Germany. But with the major acquisition of Steiner by Beretta Holding S.A, the production move to the USA makes perfect sense.

Find more about Steiner’s manufacture here!

The Beretta group also owns Burris and some other American brands. Though operating as stand-alone companies, Steiner DE and Burris USA now benefit from sharing technical know-how and greater brand exposure across Europe and North America. It’s a beneficial partnership for everyone, including the customer. After all, when you’re using your Ranger 4, you are not thinking about the place of manufacture but how well it performs for the halved price.

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 Price

On this note, Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 is priced at 1149 EUR. This is a really competitive price point. They’re killing it with this price. Other scopes with comparable magnifications are those made in Japan and are a few hundred bucks cheaper.

You can buy such hunting scopes from GPO, Delta Optical, and similar affordable brands with headquarters in Europe. GPO comes closest to Steiner with Passion 4X 3-12×56 and Spectra 6x 3-18×56. Delta Optical Titanium 2.5-15×56 HD SF is also a good example of decent value for money. Of course, Steiner Ranger 4 outperforms them in nearly everything: the resolution, edge-to-edge sharpness, and low-light performance. 

Steiner Ranger 4 Warranty

Ranger 4 scopes come with 10 years of warranty. The illumination is covered separately, with 2 years of guarantee on electronic components as it is the industry standard. The sturdy build and top-notch sealing technology are almost a hundred-percent insurance that no harm will come to your scope.

Steiner has an edge over most manufacturers when it comes to after-sale services, even in Europe. If you send back any non-warranty Steiner device for repairs 20 years after the original purchase, you can expect high-standard service at a reasonable price. Try doing the same with less reputable but similarly-priced brands and you’ll be sorely disappointed.

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16x56 Riflescope - Uncapped Elevation and Windage Turret
Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 Riflescope – Uncapped Elevation and Windage Turret

Pros

No matter the price, the reliability of Steiner mechanics never disappoints. The moderate 4-16x magnification is a near-unique selling point. The view-through is great. Considering the price, Steiner outdid the expectations. The low-light performance in particular deserves extra credit.

Steiner could have fine-tuned the illumination system that the 2017 Ranger models had with an optical fiber. Instead of a simple revision, Steiner replaced the technology with basic, diode-based illumination. We believe that cutting production costs also played a large part in this decision. As it stands, the illumination is now best suited for low-light use. All things considered, this was a very good cost-reducing move that didn’t affect the scope performance.

Though not included in the box with the scope, we appreciate that Steiner made a BDC solution for the Ranger 4 series. The ring set is budget-friendly and made of aluminum, just like the Ranger turrets. 

Pros Summary

  • 4-16x magnification
  • bright image in low-light
  • ballistic dial set available
  • Steiner customer care
  • outstanding price-to-performance

Cons

What could have been done better? There is no zero stop. This is something that can be a little problematic. When you’re dialing a lot of clicks, it can be difficult to keep track of which turret revolution you’re in. Not to mention there is no turn indicator.

What we also don’t like is that the white marks on the turrets denoting click values and distances are printed on way too small. Even in broad daylight, it’s difficult to see the numbers. We don’t like plastic bikini covers as they’re impractical to store mid-hunt. Aluminum flip-up caps would be better.

The biggest shortcoming is the 72 centimeters of elevation travel. In all fairness, the Ranger 4 series mainly caters to European hunters and isn’t marketed to North American audiences by the Steiner USA branch. For extended long ranges of American flatlands, there’s the Steiner Predator 4 line. If you’d like to shoot further with Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 riflescope, consider mounting solutions with 10 or 20 MOA inclination.

As mentioned above, Steiner is now a part of the Beretta group. Since the acquisition, all cost-efficient scopes from Steiner are produced in the USA. This will disappoint traditionalists who hold the “made in Germany” label in high regard. But that’s alright – you can’t please everyone.

Cons Summary

  • limited elevation range
  • internal reflections
  • no turn indicator
  • no turret locking function
  • not made in Germany

Interested in this low-light to long-range Steiner?

Final Thoughts on Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56

Made for low-light and longer ranges, Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 is also a good fit for trophy hunters who need to see details for accurate game assessment. Sharp edges and true-to-life colors make this scope stand out from other scopes of its price class.

If you are looking for the best-performing hunting scope in the 1000-euro price class, the Steiner Ranger 4 series is probably it. The 4-16x magnification range is an almost unique selling point in this segment.

Read More

Steiner Ranger 4 4-16×56 Photos

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Steiner Ranger 4 4-16x56 Riflescope
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray
Product Name
Steiner Ranger 4 4-16x56
Price
EUR 1149
Product Availability
Available in Stock

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