There are few things in life as sublimely satisfying as world-class optics. The only problem with that world-class category is the fact they usually cost world-class prices. Most of the “really fancy” binoculars start at about $1,000 and go up from there. But there’s hope. Our own military has been using Steiner for years and the brand has built a reputation among our soldiers for performance, reliability and ruggedness. For a bit over 60 years now, Steiner has been building top quality optics in Germany, and specialize in only building binoculars.
What really caught my eye with the 10×50 Police model I tested was the price. It came along with a 7×50 military version that showed an MSRP of around $1,000 or so. I just assumed the Police version cost about the same. I proceeded to spend a good deal of time with both around the ranch here checking out deer, squirrels, using them on targets, all the usual stuff. I honestly couldn’t tell a difference when I compared images side-by-side, other than the Police version was more powerful. It wasn’t until I chatted with Aaron Cummins from Steiner I found out the Police model is only around $400! Huh? How’s that again? Aaron said they are essentially the same, but the Police is without a few minor things the military demanded having to do with slightly better light transmission and a few other things I got the impression he’d have to kill me if he told me. But, the Police does share the Sports Auto Focus feature with the Military version. Once you focus both lenses at around 30 yards, everything from there to infinity is in-focus with no adjustments. That’s handy if you’re following a running criminal — or just the flash of a whitetail deer.
This is a remarkably high-performing binocular for the money. I honestly could not tell the difference in light transmission between the two models, and optical clarity (something I’m keenly sensitive to) is off the charts on both. The Police model is simply amazing glass for $400. For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/steiner, (888) 228-7747
By Roy Huntington
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