When an optics company guarantees performance, a good price point, AND offers free, once-a-year cleaning and tune-ups, we have to check it out. We did, and this one’s for real!
by the HuntDaily staff
There’s no question that the measure of a company and its products are relative to the company’s commitment to customer service and their willingness to stand behind their products. A lot of companies claim to back their products with a stellar warranty, but we can count on one hand the optics companies who really make good on those promises.
We recently came across an optics brand called Styrka that checks off all the boxes we demand in quality hunting-grade riflescopes and binoculars. You may not have heard of the company, but there’s a reason for that. Styrka is one of the few “stealth brands” in the industry that seems to put more of their resources into their products and customer service than in flashy marketing. And that’s the way we like it. Styrka’s big claim to fame, aside from making a range of hunter-dedicated rifle scopes and binoculars, is their warranty. And what a warranty it is. In fact, we’ve never seen anything like it before.
A Warranty Like No Other
Styrka says they offer more than a warranty—they offer a commitment. Again, a lot of companies claim the same thing, but here’s where Styrka diverges from the pack; in addition to replacing or repairing any damaged or malfunctioning product free of charge and no questions asked for the lifetime of the product (no registration or receipt required), the company will clean and tune up your optic once a year. That’s pretty awesome. There, factory technicians will give your optic a thorough evaluation, perform any required service to bring it back to as close to like-new condition as possible, and return it to you at no charge. Have you ever heard of customer service like that? We haven’t, either, but there you go.
Performance for the Buck
So just what is the Styrka brand all about? For starters, this is a company whose products are built with the hunter foremost in mind. Rather than being a broad-brand optics company that services everyone from weekend bird watchers to military snipers, Styrka is dedicated to making the kind of optics hunters want. From their red dot to their rifle scopes, binoculars to spotting scopes, everything centers on the hunter. This concentrated focus means that amortized costs often associated with broad brand companies can be controlled and the savings passed on to the consumer. In other words, Styrka delivers high quality components and engineering at a price less than you would expect.
We recently had an opportunity to evaluate three of Styrka’s leading optics—the S5 Series rifle scope, the S3 Series muzzleloader/shotgun scope, and the S5 Series field binoculars. In all cases, these products delivered as promised on the performance equation. That they are all backed by the Styrka Pride Warranty further cemented our confidence in the products both now and into the future.
S5 Series Rifle Scope – Big Game Meets Its Match
Our first impression of Styrka’s S5 rifle scopes was “slim, trim, and solidly built.” Credit that assessment to the black anodized aluminum tube housing (one-inch diameter) that flows smoothly from the objective end through the turret block and on to the ocular end. This is a robust scope designed with a streamlined efficiency that not only looks good, but has minimal surface interruptions.
We chose the 3-9x40mm model with side focus for parallax adjustment. The parallax adjustment is good for 10 yards to infinity. The S5, like all Styrka rifle scopes, utilizes a second-plane reticle, meaning that the reticle is located behind the erector lenses (closest to the eye piece) so that the relative size of the reticle does not change as you increase or decrease magnification. This is a feature we look for in quality scopes because it keeps the reticle from covering the point-of-impact zone when we’re shooting long distances at maximum magnification. The S5’s side focus ring clearly marks the yardage increments, so correcting for parallax on those longer shots is simple and precise. Ditto for magnification adjustment thanks to the smooth-turning rubber adjustment ring. There are no problems changing the power quickly when wearing gloves on a bitter November morning.
The S5’s optical quality also proved to be top-notch, with a bright and sharp image across the field of view. No chromatic aberrations were visible in full sunlight or overcast conditions. That is due to the fully multi-coated lenses. The lens quality is another key feature of the Styrka brand of rifle scopes—all surface-to-air lenses are multi-coated (not just one lens) to ensure minimal dispersion across the visible light spectrum.
After spending some quality time with the S5 under varying light and atmospheric conditions, we’re confident that this scope will not only serve our whitetail hunting needs this fall, but will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with similar class scopes that costs two to three times as much when we hit the high elk country.
If you are shopping for a new rifle scope, the S5 is certainly worth a closer look. From now through August 31, Styrka is offering a $50 rebate on all S5 rifle scope models.
Amp Your Muzzleloader or Shotgun
Let’s face it…a lot of “dedicated” scopes for muzzleloaders and shotguns on the market today can be relegated to “novelty” status. They’re often puny, cheaply made, and many hunters accept that because they don’t feel these firearms necessarily need the same quality optics as do their high-powered rifles. Experienced hunters know better. The Styrka S3 Muzzleloader and Shotgun scope proves that quality optics fit quite nicely, thank you, onto these increasingly longer-reaching firearms, and you don’t have to bust your budget in the process.
As with our S5 model, the S3 model we selected (in 2-7x32mm) boasts the same ready-for-prime-time construction, with a sleek anodized aluminum tube design, second focal plane reticle, and fully multi-coated Styrka SXL lens coatings. Again, image clarity and brightness hit all the right notes. This model does not come with a side focus adjustment, but the parallax setting is right at the happy 75-yard mark, which adequately covers the average shooting range of most muzzleloaders and shotguns.
So, if you’re ready to ditch that second-string scope currently on your gun and give it a scope worthy of modern muzzleloader and shotgun performance, you won’t be disappointed with the Styrka S3.
Taking the Long View (or Short)
If you’re like us, you never hit the field without a pair of binos. Since we were impressed with the price-to-performance ratio of the S5 and S3 rifle scopes, we wanted to see if the Styrka binoculars could also run with the pack. For this evaluation, we acquired a pair of S5s in 10×42.
Styrka places the same emphasis on their binoculars’ lens and prism quality as they do with their rifle scopes, so there were no surprises here—fully multi-coated lenses with phase and dielectric prism coatings deliver good light transmission and edge-to-edge clarity. The linear field of view is 315 feet at 1,000 yards. That’s a few feet shy of some 10x42s we’ve tested in a similar price range, but you wouldn’t notice unless you were making side-by-side comparisons.
Ergonomically, these binos are sized right for wearing with full hunting hear, and weigh a pleasing 22.4 ounces. Three-stage eyecups allow you to adjust eye relief, and unlike many binoculars, the diopter adjustment ring is easy to work with or without gloves. The rubber armor coating offers a solid grip whether your hands are sweaty or you are wearing gloves, and these binos are compatible with standard tripod adapters.
If you like to keep all of your optics in one family, the Stryka binos stand ready.
As you probably know, there are many optics companies in the outdoor space these days, with products ranging from “no way” to “I’d have to sell a kidney to afford them.” The Styrka brand scopes and binos sit comfortably in the upper echelon of sporting optics, yet their price-to-performance ratio gives them an edge among their class competitors. As for the warranty…that seals the deal for us, and it probably will for you. Do yourself a favor and check them out.
article copyright © 2016 HuntDaily.com; promoted by Styrka