By Beau Durham

When you think of high end optics, Steiner is one of the first names I think of. Steiner was nice enough to allow me to test out the M5Xi 1-5×24.  With having limited experience with higher end optics, i wasn’t sure what to expect.  I can tell you that Steiner didn’t let me down, this is hands down one of the best true 1x optics i have used.

The idea of a true 1x optic with variable power is not new to the shooting world.  However, with shooting sports such as 3-gun and Close Quarter Combat training becoming more of a necessity, finding the optic to your rifle is more essential than ever.  While red dots have had the market for awhile on CQB, they offer limited magnification, and what magnification you get is a set power that works in conjunction with your red dot.  Having a red dot on a an optic that also has variable magnification has really opened the door on how these optics are used daily.

From right out of the box, I was impressed with this scope.  It just felt extremely durable and has the look a top quality optic should have.  At 21.2oz, the weight is noticeable, however it balances well on the rifle.  The turrets were tight with initial testing but loosened up a little after turning all the way to stop and back.  The glass is what really blew me away.  This is by far the best glass in any optic I have had a chance to look through.  The clarity at the 5x setting was better than some of my 9x scopes.  Being able to see things clearer even at a lower power really makes the shooter comfortable at making longer shots without being able to zoom in closer.

I mounted this on a Helotes Tactical Firearms Jackal in 223 Wylde. (review still to come).  This was a great combination.  The rifle is extremely well built and provided a great stable platform.  I used a Burris P.E.P.R. mount which helped assure accuracy.

The Steiner M5Xi is a great scope all around.  It has optimal eye relief that allows the shooter to maintain proper cheek weld.  The glass is crystal clear, edge to edge.  No fish eye appearance in the lens at all.  The simple BDC reticle allows for quick transition of targets while easily adjusting for proper range.  The reticle comes calibrated for either 5.56 or 7.62 to suit your needs.

The red dot is clear and has no starburst pattern to it.  It is perfectly centered with the reticle and on 1x gives the shooter fast target transitions.  There are 7 night and 4 day levels of brightness for the red dot.  Even in the brightest daylight shooting, i was still able to clearly see the red dot every time.  It is also night vision compatible.

The turrets are stiff and have clear concise clicks for accurate confirmation of elevation and windage adjustments.  The zero stop on the turrets can be reset to allow the shooter to adjust with confidence.

I have absolutely loved shooting with the Steiner M5Xi.  IT is a great complement for any AR rifle.  You can confidently shoot out to 500 yards with this optic while clearly being able to identify your target.  For the shooter who doesn’t routinely go out past 150-200 yards then the 1-5x is an optimal magnification scope.  There wasn’t a single time while using this that I wished it was a stronger power magnification.  This has been by far one of the best optics I have shot with and would highly recommend this optic to anyone looking for something in a true 1x low power scope.

There are a few cons to this scope, the biggest being price.  I am firm believer that you get what your pay for, and you are truly buying an amazing optic, however, you can buy the tactical version for a lot cheaper, the difference can be as much as $1400.  The biggest difference between the two is on the military, the elevation turret is exposed while the tactical has a cap on it.  The other con is the battery is not your standard size of cr2032 that almost everything else uses, it is a cr2450.

All in all this is a great optic and if your pockets are deep enough, then it is a great buy whether for hunting, target, or competition.

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Tactical Gun Review, along with Texas Outdoors Network, is published by Michael Coker and Charles Coker.

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