Skip to main content

Steiner H6Xi Riflescope: American-Made for Precision Hunters

The American-made Steiner H6Xi leverages versatile magnification ranges and features usually reserved for target-style riflescopes to create a lightweight, durable package that's perfect for hunters at any range.

Steiner H6Xi Riflescope: American-Made for Precision Hunters

(Photo by Brad Fitzpatrick)

Long-range target shooting is very popular right now, and that popularity has created new demand for specialized target optics. It isn’t uncommon for dedicated long-range riflescopes to weigh well over 2 pounds, which isn’t an issue on guns that are designed for stationary shooting and oftentimes weigh more than ten pounds themselves. That added weight, however, is a burden for hunters who need to carry their rifle into the backcountry where the air is thin and with every step each ounce feels more like a pound.

Steiner H6Xi Compact Hunting Scope
The Steiner H6Xi is a lightweight, compact hunting scope with a long list of high-end features. The 2-12 shown here measures under a foot in length and weighs several ounces less than competing hunting scopes. (Photo by Brad Fitzpatrick)

Steiner Optics may have found the ideal solution in their hunt/target hybrid scope, the new H6Xi. As the name indicates, the H6Xi (Hunting, 6X magnification range, illuminated) is similar in many ways to the recently announced tactical-centric T6Xi. While the American-made H6Xi shares many of the same features as its cousin, Steiner’s newest offering is suitable for even the most dedicated high mountain hunter while still providing many of the advantages of a tactical scope.

Trimming Down the T6Xi

The T6Xi is a robust scope that offers lots of advantages for Law Enforcement and long-range shooting, but it isn’t light. The 5-30x56 version weighs 34.5 ounces, which is right in the sweet spot for target and competition rifles. Steiner understands this, but they also appreciate the fact that hunters want a scope that offers less weight with a similar feature set.

That’s where the H6Xi comes into play. Like the T6Xi, it offers a 6:1 zoom ratio and is available in 2-12x42, 3-18x50 and 5-30x50 versions, all of which come with 30mm maintubes. A 6X zoom ratio is valuable on a field rifle because it offers a wide range of magnification levels for different hunting applications. The 2-12X that I tested weighed in at just 24.5 ounces, which is considerably lighter than most tactical scopes. It’s also short (just 11.5 inches for the 2-12x42) which offers practical advantages such as weight savings, reduced risk of hang-ups in brush, and more room for accessories like clip-on thermals and night vision. From a purely aesthetic perspective, a shorter scope looks better on some short-action rifles and lever guns.

Steiner H6Xi Objective Lens
The test sample's 42mm objective lens is illustrates the hybrid nature of these precision hunting scopes. The lens provides plenty of light gathering for extended range shots at dusk or dawn, but it is not so big as to be burdensome atop a hunting rifle. (Brad Fitzpatrick)

With most hunting scopes reduced weight and length means far fewer features, but Steiner has done a very good job of incorporating the most important elements of a dedicated target optic. The H6Xi comes with a first focal plane (FFP) reticle, a relative rarity on hunting scopes. At low power, the 2-12x42 model’s reticle looks like a simple duplex crosshair. If you concentrate, you can just see the holdover stadia lines in the center. At about 3X magnification the hashmarks in the reticle are easier to discern. Move up to 10X or 12X, the range where you’ll likely be taking long shots, and the reticle is very clear, offering 4 short stadia lines on the horizontal arms in both directions for rapid wind holds and a total of seven holdover points on the lower horizontal arm of the reticle. There are also cascading crosses along the lower vertical crosshair to help compensate for wind. Because of its FFP design, the reticle’s relative windage and holdover points remain consistent on any magnification. It’s a clean, uncluttered reticle that offers plenty of feedback for the shooter without interfering with the sight picture.

H6Xi Reticle
The Steiner H6Xi FFP illuminated reticle offers a duplex-style sight picture with a central aiming point at low magnification (left) with additional elevation and wind-hold hashes revealed as magnification increases (right). (Image courtesy of Steiner)

The reticle is also illuminated and runs on a single CR2032 battery. There are 11 brightness settings with OFF positions between each, a setup I much prefer. If I know I’m shooting in very bright light (early season pronghorn hunt in arid country comes to mind) I can set the brightness level to the highest setting and then simply move back one click to shoot off the reticle and prevent wasting battery. Illuminated reticles are particularly valuable on hunts for animals like black bear over bait where a dark animal and a dim background can make seeing non-illuminated reticles a challenge.

Steiner Brightness Control
The illuminated reticle has 11 brightness settings. On the left-side adjustment knob, there are Off position between each numbered setting. (Photo by Brad Fitzpatrick)

The control layout on the scope is easy to use and intuitive. The exposed elevation knob offers 30 MOA of vertical travel in ¼ MOA click increments. There is a zero-stop feature, and loosening the two front screws allows for rapid zero resets. The windage turret is capped and also offers 30 MOA of travel (15 left, 15 right) with the same ¼ MOA clicks. Clicks are audible and precise. On the left side of the scope is a parallax adjustment from 25 yards to infinity, and incorporated into that dial is the illumination control. Simply run the illumination dial to its highest setting and continue applying pressure to loosen the battery cap.

Steiner H6Xi Elevation Turret
The elevation adjustment knob offers 30 MOA of travel and has a zero stop. Large, bold numbers and audible clicks make accurate adjustments in the field easy. (Photo by Brad Fitzpatrick)

The H6Xi’s maintube is machined from a solid bar of aircraft-grade aluminum and finished in a MIL-spec, matte black, hard anodize finish. The lenses are precisely ground extra low dispersion (ED) glass. The advantage of ED glass is that it reduces the color distortion (known as chromatic aberration) which is a problem with traditional lenses. Multi-coated lenses further enhance the quality of the image and improve low-light function. Low light test results were very good with the H6Xi, and it beat some high-end European rivals. This scope offers a decided advantage over competing models while hunting at first light or late in the evening when game is most likely to be on the move.

Steiner H6Xi Windage
The windage knob is shown here with the cap removed. Like the elevation turret, adjustments come in 1/4 MOA clicks. Some hunting scopes have mushy controls and hard-to-read dial marks, but not the Steiner. (Photo by Brad Fitzpatrick)

The price for the Steiner 2-12x42 is set at $2,183.99 while the 3-18x50 model has an MSRP of $2,298.99. The 5-30x50’s MSRP is set at $2,528.99. That’s on par with premium scopes from brands like Leica, Swarovski, and Zeiss, but the American-made Steiner holds its own against these big-name competitors.


At the Range

I tested the Steiner H6Xi on my Weatherby Vanguard High Country 6.5 Creedmoor rifle and was impressed by its performance. Light transmission and image quality were very good, which befits a scope of this caliber. Click adjustments were precise and clean, too. Box testing revealed that the scope was indeed tracking as advertised. Point of impact (POI) changes were so close that any variations were within the parameters of the rifle/load’s accuracy capabilities. In other words, when you adjust this scope, the POI moves accordingly. Hunters expect that from all optics, but that’s not always the case. It’s only through box test (or similar) verification that you know if your optic adjusts POI as expected. The H6Xi does just that.

Steiner H6Xi Eyebox
The American-made Steiner H6Xi offers a 6X zoom ratio that's suitable for a wide range of hunting situations. On low power it's great for quick shots in dense cover, and at full magnification it's suitable for cross-canyon shots. Notice the adjustable eyepiece. (Photo by Brad Fitzpatrick)

A generous eye box and plenty of eye relief reduce strain while shooting, and the side parallax adjustment is quite simple. The illumination setting is easy to operate and, unlike the windage and elevation adjustments, brightness adjustments are silent — a critical consideration on a hunting scope. The short overall length and low weight make this scope handy on short carbines and lever guns.

To my mind, Steiner got things right with the 2-12x42. Sure, some hunters will want higher magnification, and Steiner has obliged them with their other H6Xi models. But the 2-12’s 42mm objective can be mounted low along the bore axis of the rifle and the magnification range is suitable for everything from fast shots on hogs or running game up close to real long-range work. Twelve-power magnification is suitable for any big game hunt at reasonable distances.

Recommended


Steiner H6Xi with Target
Combining the features and performance of target-style riflescopes into a hunt-ready package, the American-mande Steiner H6Xi series is ready for the range and field. (Photo by Brad Fitzpatrick)

The H6Xi is built with quality components in the USA and offers a long list of features that hunters want. It was clearly designed by engineers who have spent time in the woods, not just on the shooting range. But the H6Xi borrows some of the best features from dedicated target scopes and incorporates them into an optic that is suitable for hunters. The robust build quality makes it unlikely you’ll ever need to have a warranty repair on these scopes, but if you do, they are backed by a lifetime guarantee. This is quite possibly the best new optic for hunters in several years.

For more information visit: steiner-optics.com

Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...
Optics

HIVIZ FastDot H3 Handgun Sights

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...
Optics

Meprolight's M22 Dual-Illumination No Batteries Reflex Sight: Video Review

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...
Videos - Guns - Other

Ballistic Advantage Continues Excellence in Barrel Design

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...
Rifles

Winchester Ranger Returns! Now In .22

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...
Rifles

Latest Name In Lever Guns: Aero Precision

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...
Rifles

SAKO 90 Quest Lightweight Hunting Rifle

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...
Optics

Warne Scope Mounts New Red Dot Risers

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...
Accessories

New Warne Scope Mounts Skyline Lite Bipods

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...
Handguns

Smith & Wesson Response PCC: Now Taking SIG Mags

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...
Optics

Mark 4HD Riflescopes: The Latest Tactical Line From Leupold

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...
Rifles

Show Stopper: Smith & Wesson 1854 Lever-Action Rifle

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...
Suppressors

FN 509 Pistol Updates and New Suppressors!

Guns and Ammo Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now