The Steiner Ranger 8 4-32x56 BT riflescope is a long-range specialist from this German manufacturer's Ranger 8 series of 8x zoom hunting scopes. It's packed with attractive features but reasonably priced a class below true premium scopes from Zeiss and Swarovski.
Great value for money is the main selling point of the Steiner Ranger series and 4-32x56 BT lived up to our expectations.
Looking for a powerful 8x zoom scope?
- Steiner Optik
- Steiner Ranger Riflescopes
- Steiner Ranger 8
- Physical Properties
- Optical Properties
- Steiner Ranger 8 4-32x56 Competition
- Scope of Delivery
- Steiner Warranty
- Steiner Price
- Final Thoughts on Ranger 8 4-32x56 BT
First, let's take a look at the manufacturer of this scope. Steiner Optik was formed in Bayreuth, Bavaria in post-war Germany in 1947. The company was long known as one of the top producers of classic binoculars. The modern Steiner Optik was acquired by Beretta Group about 15 years ago. In 2012, Steiner began to produce riflescopes - first for the military and then for the hobby sector. Steiner's very first Nighthunter riflescope series for private use belonged in the premium class but was not really successful. People weren't ready to drop over €2500 on Steiner, a brand that was at the time a complete beginner in the world of hunting scopes.
Steiner Ranger Riflescopes
The production of the Steiner Ranger series of hunting riflescopes began in 2017. Ranger 4, the first generation, was a really big success. Steiner outdid the competition at the 1000-euro price point. This was a completely different approach than in 2012 when Steiner did the Nighthunter, which was €2500 plus scope. This time, Steiner started to build their reputation from the bottom up, not the other way around. It was a smart idea.
In 2021, Steiner updated the Ranger 4 line. This is most likely the manufacturer's best-selling scope series and also a Best Buy in its price class. Later on in the year, Steiner Germany released the Ranger 6 which was received well by customers. It performed well in Optics Trade's low-light rifle scopes buying guide. We firmly believe that if you are looking for a 3-18x56 scope within this price range, then the Ranger 6 should be one of your top choices.
Steiner Ranger 8
The Steiner Ranger 8 riflescopes are near-premium quality optics that offer hunters impressive features and capabilities. These scopes are available in a variety of configurations at a price point of €2000-2500, including those with and without the ballistic turret (BT). When the Ranger 8 edition was released in 2022 it garnered much excitement. This is the first time that 8x zoom scope from a European manufacturer was available at such an attractive price.
Models in the Ranger 8 Series
- Steiner Ranger 8 1-8x24 (parallax fixed at 100m)
- Steiner Ranger 8 2-16x50 (BT turret optional)
- Steiner Ranger 8 3-24x56 (BT turret optional)
- Steiner Ranger 8 4-32x56 (BT turret only)
The BT versions are designed to provide even more accurate shooting at longer ranges. All Ranger 8 scopes offer impressive 8x zoom capabilities. This makes them an excellent choice for any situation in which detailed work is required.
The distinctive Steiner design on the Ranger 8 4-32x56 BT model is almost identical to Ranger 4 and 8 series. The hard-anodized finish protects the housing from scratches and rust, while the dry nitrogen gas prevents fogging on the lenses. Plus, the mechanical parts are able to function in extreme temperatures (from -25°C to +63°C).
The Steiner Ranger 8 scope is a great choice for long-range hunters because it has many features that make hunting easier. It has a robust 30-millimeter tube made of aircraft-grade aluminum, which provides durability in any weather condition. At the moment, there is no scope variant with a built-in rail, which is a shame.
Need Quality Riflescope Mounts?
The scope is really long at 385mm. With the plastic flip-up caps, which are included in the box, the scope length is nearly 40 centimeters. This is a real downside of this Ranger 8 but at the same time, the 4-32x magnification range is rarely available in compact packaging. The outer diameter of the 56mm objective lens measures 64 centimeters.
The scope has a side focus. The parallax can be adjusted from 20 meters to infinity. It's good that the adjustment starts at such a short distance. Too many long-range riflescopes start at 50 meters, which makes game assessment at close engagements difficult.
The 100m distance is marked with 2 small ball bearings that are raised from the surface. You can feel this ergonomic Ranger 8 detail with your fingertips but not with a gloved hand.
Windage and Elevation Turrets
Steiner Ranger 8 4-32x56 has a single-turn BDC turret, which is really interesting. You can choose between capped and BT turrets with other models in this series. But not with this long-range specialist and not with the driven hunt model 1-8x24, which makes sense.
The elevation turret gives 65 clicks or 65 centimeters of elevation on 100 meters in only one revolution. The internal elevation is approximately 1 meter. At 100 meters, that means 10 MIL, which isn't a whole lot. So a 20 MOA mount is a near prerequisite to accurately hit your target from long range. We certainly wouldn't choose any other mounting solution with this Steiner optic.
There are three different rings on the BT turret with markings of 2, 3, and 4 for 200, 300, and 400 meters. There's no turn indicator and there is no locking on the turrets. We try not to be too disappointed since we are talking about a €2000 scope, after all. The turret has a really nice hard zero stop. The zeroing process is super easy to set.
The mono-turn windage turret is low and capped. The 0.1 MIL clicks are firm and tactile. While they're not that audible, you can feel every step.
Now let's move on to the optical performance and properties. The eye box is pretty average, a little bit less than 10 centimeters. Again, this Ranger 8 scope is not to be compared with true premium segment of riflescopes, which are 1000 euros more expensive. The fast-focus ocular is where you can adjust the -3/+2 diopter compensation.
The Ranger 8 is a versatile riflescope because it has an 8x zoom and a wide range of magnification. This means you can see game from far away and still shoot accurately. In any situation, but especially when distances change quickly, Steiner Ranger 8 4-32x56 BT will help you be successful.
A 4-32x magnification is really a lot. In fact, the only comparable European hunting scope is Zeiss Victory V8 4.8-35x60. Though that is a different scope than Steiner Ranger 8. It belongs to the very top of European optical production and Zeiss' hefty price tag reflects that. The simplest version of that hunting scope is priced at €3469. Compare that to the Steiner Ranger 8 4-32x56's starting price of €2099.
Steiner Ranger 8 4-32x56 BT has a base magnification of 4x, which means that you can still use clip-on devices with it.
Field of View
The field of view at 4x magnification is 9.5m/100m. With the magnification dialed all the way up to 32x, the FOV is narrowed to 1 meter at 100m. Although this is still decent for such a powerful magnification, you get what you pay for with this scope. It's not in the same class as Zeiss V8s, which cost 1000 euros more.
Light Transmission Rate
Thanks to the 56-millimeter objective lens and advanced coatings, this Ranger 8 should stay reliable in dim environmental light. We have to test it some more. Steiner is promising a <90% light transmission rate. This value depends on the wavelength. But from what we have seen from Ranger 6 scopes that impressed in The ULTIMATE Low Light Riflescope Buying Guide, this Ranger 8 4-32x56 BT should do just fine.
The reticle is in the second focal plane. The only design at the moment available is a German 4 reticle with integrated optical fiber. The 4A-I reticle has 3 posts and an illuminated center dot for quick, accurate target acquisition. This design has been very popular in Europe where much of the big game hunting is done in little lighting.
The illumination is also day-bright and finely adjustable at low-light settings. This technology with an optical fiber inside of the reticle is precise, and definitely one of the best on the market.
Steiner Ranger 8 4-32x56 Competition
Now let's talk a little bit about the rival optics. There are no true competitors to 4-32x56 BT because everything else with high magnification is much more expensive. So we'll take a look at those.
Zeiss Victory V8 4.8-35x60
The basic Zeiss Victory V 4.8-35x60 model costs €1750 more than this Steiner Ranger 8. If you're looking at the model that has an advanced ASV turret with a bullet drop compensator, the price is €4150. With the powerful 4.8-35x magnification, Zeiss has the same fault as Ranger 8 - the elevation is limited. But optically, Zeiss is in another league and a true premium 8x zoom scope. The 4.8x minimal magnification is just low enough for the scope to still be usable in combination with a clip-on attachment.
When looking elsewhere for comparable scopes, you might be tempted by F-class and tactical scopes. But it's no use. Those riflescopes are made differently from the ground up. A true hunting scope like Steiner Ranger 8 4-32x56 - which has BDC turrets, a German 4 reticle with only a center dot illuminated, powerful magnification, and 8x zoom - is a rare find.
3-24x56 or 4-32x56 Model?
The truth is that more people will buy Steiner Ranger 8 4-32x56 because of the numbers, not because of real need. We understand that the market works this way but it's still a shame. Bigger magnification and lens size don't mean a better scope overall. These scopes inherently bring about less desirable stuff like added bulk, lower image quality at maximum magnification, limited flexibility of use, and so on.
For 99% of people, the smaller Ranger 8 3-24x56 model will be more than enough. But some may prefer high magnification, especially if their specialty is mountain hunting. This scope can also work as a spotting scope in a pinch. For hunters at high altitudes, every bit of deadweight matters. To judge a chamois - its age, the size of the trophy - this could be a really good option. If you turn up the magnification to 24x, you are close to seeing everything you need a spotting scope to see.
The 8x zoom for 2000 euros is a unique deal. Steiner Ranger 8 4-32x56 BT riflescope offers a versatile zoom range that will let you see game from far away and still shoot accurately. With its powerful zoom and BT turret, this rifle scope is a great choice for any situation in which distances change quickly.
This Steiner offers a really high magnification. If you're into extreme long-range hunting and you're looking for something that could combine a shooting optic and a spotting scope into one, Steiner Ranger 8 4-32x56 is the right answer. Especially at high altitudes of mountain hunt, where you want to cut down on gear as much as possible. Nobody but Steiner offers a 32x magnification scope at this price point and level of quality.
BDC turret is a single-turn turret, so there's no chance of getting lost between revolutions. Not only that, but the elevation turret also has a hard mechanical zero stop. In this price class, the BT rings are a neat solution. Three rings that you can position at correct click values to match the ballistic curve with the scope should more than cover your needs. Just don't expect the same user experience as with Leica BDC.
We like the fact that the lens caps are included because this is usually what the majority of people buy after the purchase of Ranger 4 or Ranger 6. So with Ranger 8, the fact that they're included is it's really good. The illumination is really intense and the German #4 is reliable as always.
- costs €1000+ less than other European brands
- optical fiber illumination
- German 4 reticle
- mechanical zero stop
- wide magnification range
- ballistic turret
- lens caps in the box
- can replace a spotting scope
What could have been done better?
At the time of the Ranger 8 series' unveil, many people hoped that these Steiner models could compare to top-end optics from Zeiss, Swarovski, Leica, and Schmidt & Bender. We also got caught in that trap. But Ranger 8 scopes don't belong in the premium class. The reality is that this is an 8x zoom from a European producer that is €1000 cheaper than the rest. Still, Steiner Ranger 8 4-32x56 BT offers plenty of favorable features at a much more accessible price point. Obviously, compromises had to be made in optical performance to keep the production costs low enough.
The field of view is narrower than what you'd get if you splurged on a true premium scope from Zeiss. That's not really a strike against a €2099 scope per se, just something you need to know. Once you get used to the limitations of this scope, the view-through is more than decent.
The image resolution at 32x is not the best. You can see the optical quality degrade from 26x magnification on, which is what's to be expected for the price. Most people will expect a stellar optical performance but that's just unrealistic. All in all, you're getting a solid optical performance.
The scope offers less than 10 MIL of elevation. The elevation range is too limited, even with the alleviating circumstance of the powerful 4-32x magnification. Because of this extreme magnification, it's hard to produce a scope with a bigger internal elevation. Since you pretty much need 20 MOA of inclination, the list of manufacturers you can choose from when selecting the right mount for your rifle is shorter.
One thing that really could be improved is the length of the scope. It's almost 40 centimeters long. For the extra price, it makes little sense that Ranger 6 models are more compact than 8s. The weight too could be reduced. The scope weighs 780 grams.
Finally, we come to the place of manufacture. Many customers don't like that Rangers are produced in America. If this scope was made in Germany (or anywhere else on the Old Continent) Steiner Ranger 8 would really undercut all competition. Many brands like Leica, S&B, and Kahles have facilities in Portugal, Hungary, and Austria. So the €2099 price is no excuse for moving the production to the USA, That would convince many traditional hunters who are distrustful towards European companies that outsource production overseas.
- less than 10 MIL of elevation
- image quality from 26x to 32x
- 20 MOA mount necessary
- almost 40 centimeters long
- not a true premium model
- not made in Germany
Scope of Delivery
Steiner Ranger 8 series models come with more accessories in the box than the lower-priced Ranger 4 and Ranger 4 optics. With the scope, you also get really nice flip-up covers, a small Allen key for the zero stop on the turrets, a CR2032 battery, and an extensive Ranger 8 manual.
Looking for more Ranger 8 accessories?
Ranger 8 comes with 10 years of warranty and is made in the USA. When you're buying Steiner, you can always rely on their after-sales services. If anything goes wrong, Steiner will cover you.
By pricing this scope at €2099 euros, Steiner has created a completely new class of 8x zoom scopes. For hunters who don't wish to spend around €3500 for powerful magnification and zoom, Steiner Ranger 8 4-32x56 BT model is probably the best option out there. Even though the Ranger 6 line is stronger in its price class, Ranger 8s still pack enough of a punch.
Final Thoughts on Ranger 8 4-32x56 BT
Steiner Ranger 8 4-32x56 BT riflescope is a high-quality optic that can be used for long-range hunting. Featuring premium glass and advanced coatings, this riflescope provides great clarity and brightness.
Additionally, the 4-32x magnification range allows for accurate shots at long distances, while the 56mm objective lens ensures ample light transmission for bright images even in difficult lighting conditions. With its durable construction and weatherproof design, the Steiner Ranger 8 4-32x56 BT is built to last.