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Field Test: Steiner H6Xi Riflescope

A host of practical features makes this American-made riflescope stand out.

Field Test: Steiner H6Xi Riflescope

At less than 12 inches long, the 2-12x42 mm Steiner H6Xi doesn’t add extra bulk to a rifle. (Photo by Adam Heggenstaller)

The two does had grown tired of being pestered by the 9-point, and it seemed like I was finally going to get a shot at the buck. I’d been watching the trio for 10 minutes—an eternity during the final day of Pennsylvania’s rifle deer season—while the buck hounded the uninterested does behind a couple blowdowns. When one of the females trotted from behind a fallen treetop and headed toward the blind, the buck followed.

What at first looked like was going to be a chip shot quickly became complicated when the buck made a hard left turn and started heading downhill. The softwood timber was thicker on the side of the hill, and shooting lanes were narrow. I briefly tracked the buck in the scope, set at 6X, then swung ahead to the next opening. When the deer appeared in the lane, the red illuminated reticle was vivid against the sweet spot low behind the animal’s shoulder. I pressed the trigger and somehow remembered to keep the rifle moving. Seconds later the buck crossed the flat at the base of the hill and crashed into the remains of a large red oak, the deer dead from the bullet that had found its heart.

Results like this make me a big believer in illuminated reticles and riflescopes set at low to medium power when hunting in the woods. Such a combination covers at least 90 percent of the situations I encounter during deer and bear seasons in the East. Occasionally, though, I’ll roam the big woods where honest 200-yard shots—and even longer across some of the wider hollows—are a possibility. Given a solid rest, higher magnification is a benefit here, as it permits evaluation of an animal’s body angle and precise shot placement at greater ranges.

gaf-steiner-scope-angled
Two sizes of magnification throw levers come with the H6Xi and make zooming from low to high power quick and easy. (Photo by Adam Heggenstaller)

The Steiner H6Xi 2-12x42 mm riflescope, which I used to make the shot on that last-day buck, offers the perfect combination for quick shooting at close range and careful aim at longer distances. I hunted with the optic all season last fall, and I never found a situation where I wished for a better setup. The H6Xi covered all the bases.

For starters, the scope’s 6X zoom range makes it a versatile optic simply by virtue of a magnification range that runs from 2 to 12 power. Except for perhaps very long shots from one hill to the next in the West or across an expansive green field in the South, I can’t think of any situation where 12 power wouldn’t be plenty of magnification. At the other end, 2 power permits both-eyes-open shooting and a wide field of view, and combined with the H6Xi’s illuminated reticle, it’s an outstanding setting for hunting in thick timber and brush where shot factors change in a split-second. The settings between the two extremes allow the view through the scope to be tailored to match the situation, such as the 75-yard shot I encountered on the final day of the season last year.

The H6Xi’s illuminated Modern Hunter reticle also adapts to the shooting scenario. It’s located in the first focal plane, which means the reticle size changes in relation to the magnification setting. At 2 power, the reticle appears as a duplex with the center illuminated portion forming a triangle for quick acquisition. Zoom to the higher powers, and the illuminated area of the reticle increases in size to reveal various holdover points and hash marks for wind calls. Since the reticle is in the first focal plane, subtension remains consistent at any magnification, meaning the holdover point for a 385-yard shot at 8 power is the same at 12 power.

The H6Xi comes equipped with an exposed turret marked in MOA increments for hunters who want to dial in a shot solution instead of holding over. In a brilliant move, Steiner includes an internal dial and a turret cap so the elevation adjustment can be converted to a traditional configuration. Hunters who don’t intend to dial or don’t trust an exposed turret to remain at its zero setting will appreciate this option.

Other noteworthy features of the American-made H6Xi include HD glass and anti-reflective coatings that Steiner reports contribute to 92 percent light transmission. Optical elements are contained within a 30 mm tube of 6061-T6 aluminum that is waterproof, fog-proof and shock-proof.

Several other elements of the H6Xi deserve recognition. The scope has a side-parallax adjustment dial located behind the 11-postion illumination control. Parallax is adjustable to within 25 yards. The diopter adjustment is located at the rear of the eyepiece and locks with a ring. Steiner provides two sizes of magnification throw levers with the scope; one protrudes about 1/2 inch and the other is double that length. The magnification ring is heavily knurled, so a throw lever isn’t necessary to change power settings, but it does make zooming quicker. Scope covers are also included with the H6Xi.




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Dials for parallax and reticle brightness adjustments share the same spot on the left side of the H6Xi. (Photo by Adam Heggenstaller)

All these features fit into a scope that’s less than 12 inches long and weighs about 23 ounces. The compact size of the 2-12x42 mm model was the first thing that attracted me to it, and I developed even more appreciation for it when I mounted the optic on a rifle. It’s a lot of scope in a reasonably small package. The H6Xi is also available in 3-16x50 mm and 5-30x50 mm versions for hunters who place emphasis on higher magnification and aren’t as concerned with scope size.

For me, though, the smallest H6Xi is the most practical. Hunters may be surprised by how many features it offers. The Steiner H6Xi a well-engineered, all-purpose riflescope and will serve for big-game pursuits across the country.

Steiner H6Xi Riflescope Specs
  • Info: steiner-optics.com
  • Type: variable-power riflescope
  • Magnification: 2-12X (tested)
  • Objective Lens: 42 mm
  • Maintube: 30 mm
  • Reticle: Illuminated Modern Hunter, 11 brightness levels
  • Adjustment Range: 70 MOA in 1/4 MOA increments
  • Power Source: CR2032
  • Eye Relief: 3.85” (2X), 3.5” (12X)
  • Field of View @100 Yards: 56’ (2X), 10 1/2’ (12X)
  • Overall Length: 11.8”
  • Weight: 23.2 oz.
  • MSRP: $2,299

  • This article was printed in the March 2024 issue of Game & Fish Magazine. Click to subscribe.

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