Tested: Steiner Predator 4S 4-16x44mm

Light and compact with a 4-16x magnification range, Steiner’s Predator 4S 4-16x44mm promises to make a stellar rifle-topper. 

by Jace Bauserman

Steiner makes remarkable optics. The last Steiner product I tested—the Predator 8 3-24×50—was a rifle-topping marvel. The scope promised durability, precision, and superb optical clarity. 

The Predator 8 seamlessly integrated with Rock River Arms’ Rock Bolt Gun RBG-1S, a testament to its versatility. Its high magnification capability, designed for long-range shooting, perfectly matched the capabilities of Rock River’s latest bolt gun. 

Still, most of the time, I’m a go-get-them hunter. I don’t sit and wait well, especially when I have a rifle. I want to roam—searching the landscape relentlessly for my quarry. 

As an on-the-move hunter, I like light, compact, and not-too-lengthy products. For this reason, I selected Steiner’s Predator 4S 4-16x44mm riflescope to add to what’s sure to become an instant classic, Benelli’s BE.S.T. Lupo Walnut Bolt-Action Rifle. The BE.S.T. Lupo chambered in .30-06 Springfield has a 22-inch barrel and weighs 7 pounds. Steiner’s Predator 4S 4-16x44mm is short, light, and compact, and the two make one heck of a go-light and maneuverable combo. 

First Impressions: Predator 4S 4-16x44mm 

The Predator 4S 4-16x44mm is a testament to Steiner’s commitment to superb optical clarity. It felt light in the hand, and it should—weighing in at a mere 18 ounces. I also appreciate the 10.9-inch length that doesn’t compromise the magnification range. According to data from Steiner, this 4-16x hunting riflescope is 25 percent shorter than other riflescopes in its class without sacrificing clarity.

The 30mm tube chassis looked durable, and the matte black finish will reduce game-spooking glare. All controls were smooth and functional. I appreciate scopes that come with flip-up lens covers, and with a studded, easy-to-feel half-ring, flipping up the covers and getting access to the glass is fast. 

The Predator 4S 4-16×44 mm is meticulously designed for precision. The screw-down aluminum turrets cover the windage and elevation dials. Both dials feature a 1 click = 1/4 MOA adjustment. This level of precision ensures that every adjustment you make is accurate, giving you the confidence to hit your target easily. The magnification ring features an easy-to-grip rubber overmold with a raised stud, allowing smooth, controlled turning across the scope’s 4-16x range. 

With the scope off of the rifle, I held it to my eye and noticed the inside reticle was blurry. This was easily remedied by turning the diopter until optical clarity was achieved. The scope also features a parallax/focus adjustment on the left-hand side that ranges from 20 yards to infinity. Parallax is the apparent movement of the reticle about the target when the eye is not directly in line behind the center of the riflescope. Parallax is only necessary when zoomed to higher magnifications.

Another super-sweet feature of the scope is the Illumination Control. A cap on the scope’s left side, on the outside of the parallax/focus adjustment, unscrews and inside is a place for a battery. The scope comes with a 3-volt CR 2032 battery. After inserting the battery in the compartment and tinkering with the illumination dial, I discovered the scope has five brightness levels for daytime and six for nighttime. The dial produces an audible click with each turn, and indicator marks—1/4-moon for nighttime and sun for daytime and numbered settings make illuminating the scope simple.

I cheer the E3 reticle. The + in the reticle’s middle is sized right. I appreciate the three windage markers to the right and three to the left. Another hat-tipper of the reticle is the three—increasing in length the further from the + they are—holdover lines. 

Mounting

Using my Real Avid Master Gun Workstation and Master Grade Scope Mounting Kit, I added Steiner’s H-Series Rings. The rings fit snugly to the Lupo’s 2-piece Picatinny Rail. Base bolt screws should be tightened to 20 in-lb., which is where the 10-70 in-lb. Smart-Torq wrench pays off in spades. 

The rings flawlessly accepted the 30mm tube. After adding the top rings and tightening them down enough to hold the scope in place but allow left/right and in/out movement, I set my eye relief and leveled the scope. 

The tube’s short length gives you little in/out play. The top rings tightened down quickly, requiring 25 in-lb. to lock the scope in place.

Before heading to the range, I wanted to ensure all scope controls functioned adequately and that I could use them without lifting my cheek from the stock and eye from the scope. The scope’s design delivers function in spades, and I had no issue mastering the diopter, magnification ring, parallax adjustment, or illuminated knob.

On The Range

Bore-sighting was elementary thanks to the BE.S.T. Lupo’s removable 60-degree throw bolt. With the rifle resting on a bench, I peered down the barrel and centered it over the center red/white diamond on my Hornady Lock-N-Load 12×12 target

Next, I walked the crosshairs up and left until the + in the reticle sat in the middle of the diamond. My first shot off the bench at 50 yards hit three inches high and a tick over two inches right. 

I appreciate a rifle/scope combo that’s easy to bore-sight the old-fashioned way. Ammo is expensive, and being close to zero after one shot is always good. 

When turned, the 1/4-inch MOA adjustments—both windage and elevation—produce audible clicks. I also want to note that both have laser-engraved numbers and marks, which makes the zeroing process simple. My third shot through paper hit the center of the diamond at 100 yards. 

After letting the barrel cool for a minute, I sent another 100-yard 150-grain Bonded Rapid Expansion Winchester Power Max. With both bullets touching, I pulled the bolt, let the barrel cool, and then used my Real Avid cleaning products until the patches showed no copper fouling. 

After the quick barrel cleanse and fouling, a slight windage adjustment was necessary. Again, after three shots, two touched at 100 yards. 

The scope’s optics are crystal clear, and color fidelity is excellent. This clarity and color detail make hitting the mark at longer ranges easier. Over four hours, I shot the Benelli BE.S.T. Lupo Walnut Bolt-Action from 50 yards to 450 yards. Accuracy was easily attainable, and using the three descending lines in the second focal plane reticle, I created a dope card that put me spot-on at three exact distances. The reticle also made holdover shooting more effortless. I can’t say enough about the + center of the reticle. I’ve shot reticles with the + center, but for some reason, whether shooting off a bench, prone from a backpack, or on shooting sticks, this reticle builds remarkable shooting confidence.

As a little added durability field test, I slid the rifle/scope combo into my saddle scabbard and took it for a rough six-mile ride on my greenbroke filly. It’s safe to say the ride was far from smooth at times. 

I returned to the range the following day, got on my BOG DeathGrip Infinite Carbon Fiber, and sent the first round from 324 yards. The impact was perfect, even with the slight holdover, and would have crushed the lungs of any-sized big-game animal at this distance.

If you’re looking for a top-end, compact, and lightweight riflescope you can count on, Steiner’s Predator 4S 4-16x44mm is a winner. 

Steiner Predator 4S 4-16×44 Specifications: 

Item No: 8777

Magnification: 4-16x

Reticle: E3

Objective Lens: 44mm

Focal Plane: Second Focal Plane

Field of View at 100 meters: 11-2.75 m

Weight: 18 ounces

Length: 10.9 in.

MSRP: $1,273.99

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