Variable-power scopes with a low end at or near 1X have never been more popular, and one of the newest on the market is the P4Xi tactical rifle scope from Steiner. Steiner is no stranger to tactical scopes, but the P4Xi is a bit of a departure for Steiner in that it is designed to provide top level performance at a bargain price—the suggested retail on the P4Xi is only $580.
The P4Xi is a 1-4X variable power with a one-piece 30mm tube. Designed to be short and light for class, the scope is 10.3 inches long and weighs 17.3 ounces. Windage and elevation turrets are relatively low profile, with caps, and feature 0.5 m.o.a. adjustments.
This scope features Steiner's P3TR illuminated reticle. Technically, this is not a duplex reticle—there is no step between the thick outer edges of the crosshairs and the fine inner ones; the crosshairs simply narrow as they draw toward the center of the scope.
While not a true BDC reticle, the scope features hashmarks that can be used to estimate distance. This is a second focal plane scope, which means the reticle stays the same size no matter the magnification setting.
Illumination is provided by one CR2032 battery, and when activated there is a bright red dot in the center of the crosshairs. The reticle has five day/four low light/two night vision settings. At its brightest it is bright enough for use in direct sunlight—unlike (ironically) the illuminated reticle on Steiner's $1,600 top-of-the-line T5Xi tactical scope.
What I really like is that in-between each brightness level there is an Off setting, so you never have to twist the dial more than one click to shut off the dot.
The P4Xi survived 30-minute submersion and then freezing—with the battery in place—without an issue. I even turned on the illumination while the scope was still frozen solid, and it worked just fine. At the range the windage and elevation controls tracked consistently.
After having spent serious time with both Steiner's $579 P4Xi and its $1,609 top-of-the-line T5Xi 1-5X tactical scope with Rapid Dot reticle, I think the P4Xi is the far superior product.
The reticle is better, the illumination is better and uses a more commonly available battery, the scope itself is shorter and lighter and comes from the factory with an extended throw-lever to more easily/rapidly change magnification—and it costs $1,000 less.