Steiner T6Xi 5-30x56 Scope Review: Optic Worthy of a Shooting Lifetime
There are only a few things that get me truly excited as an absolute precision-rifle junkie, and the American-made Steiner Optics T6Xi 5-30x56 riflescope is one of those things. Besides precision rifles themselves, riflescopes are probably my biggest affinity. So, here’s my take on the T6Xi made by the international optics giant Steiner.
Steiner started in the mid-20th century on the American side of post-WWII Germany. It has since been working on making high-quality riflescopes and other optics. I have long been a fan of Steiner’s optics, though I have only recently been able to take one home for my own use.
The T6Xi is a variable scope based on a 34mm tube. In the front, it hosts the industry-standard 56mm objective lens. The power of the 6x zoom is where the T6Xi gets its 5-30x magnification power range, which is no insignificant thing. The all-important erector housing carries many additional features, including 12-MRAD-per-revolution turrets with an intuitive turret lock.
The elevation turret also incorporates a very interesting rotating number scroll to prevent you from ever being off by a revolution on the turret. There’s also a typical side parallax-adjustment knob with the illumination rheostat stacked on top. The magnification ring to adjust the zoom from 5-30x is at the back of the scope. An MSR2 MRAD reticle sits inside the erector itself. After just a few range trips, I was quite pleased with this reticle and its subtensions.
In addition to the great features of the scope itself, it also came with a few extras I wasn’t expecting. That included a factory-made throw lever for faster magnification adjustments, a sunshade, and Tenebraex scope caps.
Here’s a short list of the features:
6x zoom range
Locking windage and elevation turrets
Low-profile never-lost turrets
Locking diopter ring
Optional throw lever
Illumination: Four night & seven day levels
Waterproof, fogproof, shockproof
Mounting the T6Xi
I mounted the T6Xi onto a 40-MOA canted scope base and leveled it on my Desert Tech SRS-M2. My very first impressions were of its size. I prefer scopes that aren’t “dainty.” The Steiner was – in my opinion – just the right size. I was smaller than some but big and robust enough to stand beside most competitors.
With the scope mounted to the rifle, I set it on a bench and put myself to boresighting the scope. Once I had the rifle zeroed properly, all that remained was grabbing the rest of my kit and ammunition and heading into the hills.
On the Range
In a short time, I found myself in my fortress of solitude. The silent and vacant white canyons of the Rocky Mountains are where I spend my free time. This time of year, the blanket of sound-soaking snow is spectacular for shooting.
I brought two barrels for my SRS. The first was a .223 Remington match barrel that I planned to use for zeroing. Once the rifle was zeroed with the .223 barrel, I would switch over to my 7mm SAUM barrel for shooting at more significant distances. I would use that to really test this Steiner’s abilities.
I was immediately attracted to the view through this scope. It was crystal clear and offered a beautiful image to behold. I typically avoid running scopes at maximum magnification because many of them seem to darken or lose clarity, but the T6Xi was still an excellent view even at 30x.
The MSR2 reticle was an instant hit for me. I loved the tiny center dot. It made perfect aimpoint definition easy. With just a few shots, I had confirmed a good zero.
After zeroing the turrets on the T6Xi, it was time to run both the rifle and scope out to some greater distances. In less than a minute, I’d switched barrels to the 7mm SAUM and turned my attention to the distant ridge across the canyon from me. Snow covered most of my targets, but I could still pick out what I needed to see.
My density altitude and the cartridges I shoot typically keep me from needing the second rotation of most scopes. Many of the cartridges I shoot will reach beyond three-quarters of a mile without even cracking the second rotation, and my 7mm SAUM was certainly in that group. I was going to have to shoot beyond 1,500 yards to dial past the 12-MRAD mark on the turret. But before I did that, I wanted to see how the turret values lined up with the known dope for this rifle.
I tried a few shots at targets from 500-700 yards with very predictable impacts. Spotting impacts at those distances is important, which is why I typically use lower power settings on my riflescopes for long-range shooting. With the power set at about half, I was easily watching the 150-grain “Cayuga” solid bullets impact, and they were hitting with good authority as well.
Increasing the distance to the target made spotting impacts even easier, giving me additional time to get settled back on target before my bullet got there. Watching through the Steiner, I was also able to see the trace of the bullet as it arched up over the target on its way there. The MSR2 reticle was very useful for measuring and holding corrections. In my opinion, it is a perfect hybrid of substantial subtensions but thin enough not to become cumbersome.
Pros and Cons
I have other scopes in the same price bracket as this one, and it performs optically better than some and as well as others. The scope’s mechanical function was flawless, which should be expected at this level of the game. Optically, the scope is fantastic, and my eyes always felt comfortable and in charge when looking through the T6Xi. Even in low-light conditions, it had a great light transmission producing a clean image.
Great precision-shooting reticle
Flawless mechanical function
Excellent optical performance
Solid optics brand name
Quality machined aluminum throw lever
Good price compared to the competition
Tenebraex scope caps
Made in the USA
It’s not cheap, but compare it to its competition
I do love the well-known quality that comes from European optics companies like Steiner, but the fact that this one is made right here in the U.S. almost makes it a slam dunk for me. The little things like the quality scope caps and throw lever are also very nice additions.
When you get to this price point in the optics market, it’s more about preference than a direct comparison. What I mean by that is most comparable riflescopes have very similar features and performance, which basically leaves you to choose the one that has the features you prefer the most.
The precision-rifle junkie in me is more than satisfied with this little scope. I often judge products based on their ability to sustain my addiction for the duration of my shooting career. I’m quite confident – even if the Steiner T6Xi 5-30x56 was the very last scope I ever bought – I could rock it for the rest of my time in these mountains. While that’s not the case, I still look forward to every outing with it.