While many riflescopes work for big-game hunting, only one is designed specifically for hunting big-game. Meet the Steiner GS3…
by the HuntDaily staff
Those of you in the market for a premium hunting riflescope have probably noticed that there are many similarities across a particular brand’s product lines. In other words, a minor feature change here or there suddenly takes a long-range tactical riflescope and turns it into something you would put on top of your deer rifle. There is, of course, nothing wrong with that. What makes for a good tactical scope is equally beneficial when you are trying to touch a B&C mule deer at 350 yards.
Once in a rare while, though, something comes along and changes the game…something that goes beyond hair-splitting feature deviations and marketing semantics—something like the Steiner GS3 series riflescopes.
When you think of Steiner, bomb-proof military-grade riflescopes and premium binoculars probably come to mind. That’s because Steiner has built a world-class reputation for producing firearm optics that excel in durability, optical clarity, light transmission, and precision performance—all features big-game hunters demand (or should) in a riflescope built to work in environments ranging from the African veld to the Canadian Rockies.
These are precisely the qualities we found in Steiner’s GS3 riflescope. So what exactly sets the GS3 the apart as a true, purpose-built big-game riflescope? That would be a feature Steiner calls CAT, or “color-adjusted transmission.”
Those of you who appreciate premium optics know that lens coatings play a large part in a riflescope’s clarity and light-gathering capabilities. The ability to minimize or eliminate glare while maximizing color fidelity and contrast is a huge deal for any long-range shooter. That is particularly so for hunters because of the extreme lighting and environmental conditions we hunt in. Steiner’s German-engineered CAT technology does just that.
Specifically, CAT is an exclusive lens coating system developed for hunting applications. It takes into account not only the human eye’s peak visual sensitivity in bright light (photopic vision) and low-light (scotopic) conditions, but also the typical color and lighting conditions we encounter when hunting, such as green and brown foliage, shadows, and dappled light. The purpose of the CAT feature is to provide enhanced visibility and contrast of game animals against their backgrounds. Steiner calls this “game-sensing” (hence the “GS” designation of the GS3 riflescope).
OK…so the GS3 doesn’t really sense game, but our evaluation shows that this riflescope does assist you in better defining game animals set in murky or complicated backgrounds. And as you know, quick and positive target acquisition is an essential ingredient to hunting success—especially when the day is fading, your target is moving in and out of brush, and your window for making the shot can be measured in heartbeats.
There are five GS3 models: our 4-20x-50mm evaluation model, plus a 3-15x56mm, 3-15x50mm, and a 2-10x42mm model. All come with 5X zoom range, are built on a 30mm tube milled from solid aluminum stock, are waterproof and fog-proof (nitrogen-filled), and have a short 5.4-inch mounting length so they can fit easily on everything from long-action bolt rifles to short-action rifles and even muzzleloaders.
Two reticles are available: the Plex S1 or the optional Plex S7 for the 4-20x50mm. Both provide up to 500-yard bullet drop compensation marks calibrated for popular hunting loads, and bullet drift compensation marks for up to 10 mph crosswinds. The difference is that the S1 uses .25 MOA dots for wind drift while the S7 uses lines. Our preference is the S1 for its simplicity. In the field, the S1 presents a clear, no-fuss sight picture that lets us get quickly on target no matter the distance or wind.
Another aspect of the GS3 we like is the price. At roughly $2K less than the company’s Nighthunter Xtreme riflescopes, the GS3 delivers premium Steiner German engineering and exclusive CAT technology at a price dedicated big-game hunters can appreciate.
Finally, Steiner manufacturers the GS3 riflescopes at its Greeley, Colorado, plant. That combination of German engineering and American craftsmanship should sit quite well with hunters who demand only the best whenever they take to the field. It certainly does with us!
Article copyright 2015 by HuntDaily.com; promoted by Steiner Optics