Home Binoculars Review: Steiner T1042r Tactical Binoculars

Review: Steiner T1042r Tactical Binoculars

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Steiner T1042r


Outdoor Empire pick for the best tactical binoculars.

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Throughout the time I spent in the Marine Corps, I learned to appreciate what solid optics can do. From rifle scopes to binoculars, you never know exactly what you are going to run into unless you can see it coming. Normal human eyes suck compared to what you can see with a good set of field glasses.



The Steiner T1042r is unique since binoculars rarely have a reticle.


Steiner T1042r reticle

Reticles in rifle scopes are often tasked with a variety of jobs, like range estimation. The Steiner T1042r has a milliradian ranging reticle.

Milliradian, or mil, is a standard measurement used by the military. It’s commonly used by snipers, machine gunners, artillery, and even close air support. You can also use mils to judge the appropriate range of an item by knowing its average size.

Rifles often have a mil dot system. But when at war, you can’t point your gun at anyone and anywhere. It offends people and breaks one of the most important rules of weapon safety: never point your gun at anything you do not intend to destroy.

So a pair of binoculars with the same mil ranging system is a superior option for judging range outside of a firefight.



soldier using Steiner T1042r

Now outside of that unique reticle, you have an outstanding set of binoculars. If you haven’t figured it out, the 1042r designation stands for 10 x 42, and the “r” means reticle.

A 10 power optic is perfect for scouting terrain in the Middle East and Middle America. The exit pupil is a nice 4.2 mm, and there is a purpose to this. At night most military will switch to night vision optics, leaving daylight optic put back in the pack.

The smaller exit pupils and objective lens size serve two purposes. First off, the smaller objective lens makes it easier to carry. Secondly, the Middle East tends to be a bright area — lots of sun and glare. A larger exit pupil simply isn’t necessary during the day.



Comparison to Similar Products

ProductSteiner T1042r
Steiner T1042r

Vortex Viper HD R/T
Vortex Viper HD R/T

Leupold BX-2 Tactical
Leupold BX-2 Tactical

Objective Lens Diameter42 mm50 mm42 mm
Exit Pupil4.2 mm5 mmN/A
Eye Relief17.4 mm20 mm4.20 mm
Close Focus-8.2 ft10 ft
FOV315 ft @ 1000 yards278 ft/1000 yards267 ft/1000 yards
Size6.6 x 4.9 in6.7 x 5.2 in5.50 in
Weight26.7 oz27.2 oz23.10 oz
CostCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price


Vortex Viper HD R/T

Vortex Viper HD R/T

The Vortex Viper HD R/T is probably the closest competitor to the Steiner T1042r. It features a reticle that uses mils as well. Although the mil subtensions are placed slightly different than the Steiner reticle, it works the same way just a different presentation.

Both models use high definition class for clarity’s sake, and both are armored to protect the core unit.

Specs & Features

The Viper has a 10 x 50 setup, which of course gives a slightly larger exit pupil. It also makes the Viper larger and heavier, so this needs to be noted. Both optics use a roof prism, so they are streamlined.

The Steiner offers a surprisingly wider field of view. It packs a 315-foot field of view, compared to the Vortex’s 278 feet. That isn’t a small difference and may be a primary consideration. When tracking a particular moving target, the wider the FOV, the easier it is to follow them.

Lastly, the Steiner is more affordable than the Vortex Viper.

See our Vortex Viper HD review…



Leupold BX-2 Tactical

Leupold BX-2 Tactical

Another competitor is the Leupold BX-2 Tactical. Now right out the gate, it uses a different ranging reticle that gives you an unobstructed view. It is smaller and is an L rather than a cross. This simpler system is still efficient and gives you a better picture.

Specs & Features

The Leupold BX-2 binocs are coated with a rubberized arm, and also features rigid grip material to give you a nice, sure grip.

It suffers from the same shorter field of view that the Vortex has. With that said, this pair of binocs is smaller and lighter than the Steiner and Vortex models. It’s also the cheapest of the bunch.

The Leupold BX-2 is certainly a solid choice, and the comparison is a close call. Budgetary reasons may lean it slightly in Leupold’s favor.



Rating the Steiner T1042r

This is based on a 1 to 5 stars rating.


five star rating

It is coated with a rubber armor. This military grade armor protects the chassis, lenses, and gives the user a comfortable and sure grip even with wet or cold hands, or when wearing gloves. Of course, they are water and fogproof.

They are purged with dry nitrogen to make sure they stay fogproof. 5 stars for its durability.



four star rating

So what takes the clarity down a level? The reticle does. A big cross with numbers in the middle of your binoculars is going to make things a little harder to see. The Steiner transmits light very well and gives the user a nice and clear picture, but the reticle gets in the way.

Is it still worth the reticle? You are darn right it is. 4 stars for clarity.


Ease of Use

five star rating

It has quite a few excellent bonus features that make them easy to use. First off, the fast focus wheel makes it easy to get a clear image at any range. On top of that, the ClicLoc system to attach accessories is an excellent idea.

The roof prism design makes them compact so they are easy to carry. They are also lightweight when you consider their size and magnification. 5 stars for its ease of use.




It received an overall rating of 4.7 stars. The Steiner T1042r is a great option for the police and military users out there. It is also an excellent set of field glasses for hunters since they can use the ranging reticle.

It is a durable, capable, and clear binoculars that give the user a war fighting option.

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