Crossbow hunting has become an increasingly popular hobby for many people in recent years. But to bring out your maximum potential and be a successful shooter, it is essential that you own proper gear.
A good bow and bow runner are the most important, of course. However, it is of equal importance to find an exceptional crossbow scope in this type of hunting quest. This small piece of equipment can either make or break your efforts. Therefore, it is necessary to find a high-quality one.
Not sure where to start? Here’s all you need to know!
Comparison Chart of the Best Crossbow Scopes
Barnett 17056 1.5 - 5x32 Scope
TenPoint Crossbow Scope
UTG 4X32 1" Crossbow Scope
Best for the Money
Excalibur Tact-Zone Illuminated Scope, 2.5-6x32mm
Best for Low Light Conditions
AT3 LEOS Red Dot Sight with Integrated Laser Sight
Best Red Dot Crossbow Scope
Hawke Crossbow 1.5-5X32 IR SR Scope with Illuminated Circles
Best from Hawke
Barnett 17060 Crossbow Scope with Rings 4x32mm
Best from Barnett
NIKW9 Prostaff P3 Crossbow 3x32 Matte BDC 60
Best from Nikon
TRUGLO Crossbow Scope 4X32 with Rings APG
Best from Truglo
Is a Scope a Must?
There are multiple benefits of using a scope while shooting. Although using one is usually not allowed in tournaments, using them for practice can result in plenty of improvement in your shooting. Some of these benefits include:
Accuracy is an extremely important aspect when it comes to hunting. You need to be as accurate and precise as possible, particularly when shooting live animals to avoid unnecessary pain to the animal. Using a good scope will help you keep your target in sight better and in turn, improve your accuracy.
It is also great for increasing your shooting range and for hitting a target you might have missed previously. Not only in terms of distance but also in elevation, a good crossbow scope will help you overshoot or fall short of the target less often.
How to Choose a Crossbow Scope?
When choosing a crossbow scope, it is important to be mindful of the following qualities. These qualities can have a direct impact on the shooters, i.e., clarity and precision. These features are as follows:
Magnification and Optics
A crossbow scope needs to be powerful enough to enable you to see clear images at a distance. A scope’s magnification is the foremost classification that users inquire about. The higher the magnification, the further you will be able to zoom in. The aperture of the lens is also an important factor as it helps decide how much light enters the shooter’s eye through the scope. Therefore, it is a good idea to buy a wider lens.
Although there are various sizes available, it is good to find yourself one that is small and lightweight. This makes it not only easier to carry with the rest of the gear, but also it weighs less, which prevents it from throwing off the balance of the crossbow. Therefore, a compact crossbow scope is .a great thing to have by your side.
We all want to invest in things that will last a long time. Similarly, a crossbow scope should also be able to take a lot of abuse but still function well. It should be able to endure wear and tear when on the field while its casing will protect it from occasional drops and bangs. Not only this, but it should also be waterproof and fog-proof, as well as dust-proof to allow you to be outdoors in any weather.
On the other hand, buying a flimsy one will not only mess with your aim but will also require you to put in money again to buy another one.
Ease of Use
Crossbow scopes should make all kinds of adjustments a breeze and allow you to focus more on the target. A good crossbow scope should also be easy to mount as well as to calibrate. Most good-quality products are equipped with a dial to allow you to calibrate for elevation and speed.
Review of the Best Crossbow Scopes
Making sure that you stay in budget while also getting a high-quality scope is essential. To help you with this, listed below are the top picks. By the end of this, your search for a crossbow scope would definitely be narrowed down.
Barnett 17056 1.5 - 5x32 Adjustable Illuminated Scope
This is a high-quality, adjustable crossbow scope. It features a speed selector which means it could be matched to any crossbow shooting as long as it is between 300 – 425 fps. This is a great product that also improves your aim at exactly ten-yard intervals anywhere between 20 to 70 yards.
It also features red and green illuminated reticles that enable you to see in even poor lighting conditions.
This crossbow scope by Barnett is a good investment as it carries multiple helpful features and functions quite well. Given its features, it makes the best unit overall!
Ten Point Crossbow Scope
This is a fully-coated 3x32 optics scope. It is small, about 8.5 inches long, which allows it to mount on just about any crossbow. Apart from that, the crossbow scope also has non-illuminated, rheostat-controlled dots that can be turned on in either red or green.
For darker surroundings, it is also equipped with illuminated dots with five intensities of light for each. It also carries 7/8” mounting rings. Crosshairs for 20, 30, and 40 yards are also included along with a 50-yard dot that is free-standing, just under the 40-yard dot.
This is a multi-feature crossbow scope you can count on for all your hunting quests. It will help you improve your aim and allow you to target better. Plus, it provides a commendable amount of convenience, making it our second-best pick.
Best for the Money:
UTG 4X32 1" Crossbow Scope
The UTG scope is another high-quality unit that features an ultra-high precision broadband lens coating. This feature allows an extremely bright image and abundant field of view. Moreover, it also has premium resettable, zero lockable target turrets that allow windage and elevation adjustment.
This product is built on a robust true strength platform along with Smart Spherical Structures (SSS) that provide the best accuracy and precision. It also has one of the toughest recoil resistances which, in turn, promises more stability.
This UTG crossbow scope is a high-quality item that will serve its purpose at its maximum and allow you to have an incredible experience. Given its numerous features and the results it promises, it is safe to say this is the best for the money.
Best For Low Light Conditions:
Excalibur Tact-Zone Illuminated Scope
This is a Tact-Zone scope that is a perfect match for all crossbows. This product, while being compact, is full of innovative features. It has a 30 mm tube, a red and green rheostat-controlled illumination, and an updated reticle design.
It also has a multi-coated lens that provides exceptional clarity to the user. These also allow speed adjustment between 275 fps to 410 fps. It also has a half-inch click adjustments at 20 yards for improved and easy sighting.
However, what makes it the best is the fact that the green and red rheostat-controlled illumination lights up poorly lit space. So, you can use this to shoot accurately when you decide to hunt in early mornings or in dark areas.
Although a little heavy and on the bigger side, the Tact-Zone Crossbow Scope is worth the struggle for its amazing, illuminating power. When going on your next hunting trip early in the morning, make sure to take this scope along!
Best Red Dot Crossbow Scope:
AT3 LEOS Red Dot Sight with Integrated Red or Green Laser Sight
This is a great, durable product that has a strong aluminum housing with a sharp matte-black finish. It is an extremely reliable scope that has an extra-long battery life for up to 50K hours when used on the least bright settings and 40 hours, when on the brightest. It is also waterproof and fog-proof.
It also improves accuracy with its six brightness settings while the red laser allows rapid targeting, compelling us to term this the best red dot crossbow scope. It is also easy to use with its digital controls, spring-deployed flip-up lens, tool-free elevation, and windage adjustment, etc.
This is a fairly good product that offers multiple helpful features. However, it has a few setbacks that may make one reconsider their choices. Despite that, its ability to allow rapid targeting makes it a great product to invest in.
Best From Hawke:
Hawke Crossbow 1.5-5X32 IR SR Scope with Illuminated Circles
The Hawke Crossbow is another scope that delivers good performance, satisfies its users. It has a classic matte black body with a 1.5-5x32 zoom. It is a high-quality, crossbow specific scope that also carries a speed selector. This enables this scope to mount and match with any crossbow within the speed range of 275 fps to 425 fps.
Moreover, the one-inch optic is multi-coated to allow superior level light transmission and enable the shooter to see clearly. It also has illuminated circles that are available in dual colors, i.e., red and green. TIt is also equipped with a precision reticle that helps improve aim at an exact ten-yard intervals from 20-100 yards.
This will make a good addition to your bow and is the best unit from Hawke we’ve seen so far. However, if the manufacturer improves their illumination settings, this would be the top crossbow scope in the market.
Best From Barnett:
Barnett 17060 Crossbow Scope with Rings
Barnett features a scope with 4x32 magnification that is also compatible with all kinds of bows. This means not only does it allow a high-level zoom but it can mount on any crossbow. It has a five-point program as well as a multi-reticle crosshair to enhance aim and make for rapid target acquisition.
This is also a water-resistant, shock-proof scope that is equipped with 0.875-inch dovetail mounting rings. This allows the crossbow scope to withstand abuse in the field but still work well. Overall, we find this to be the best scope Barnett has put out in the market.
Although it is not the ideal product for low light hunting, this Barnett crossbow scope is a great pick for shooters who need rapid yet accurate aiming and targeting. It is also a durable product as it is able to endure drops and harsh weather conditions.
Best From Nikon:
NIKW9 Prostaff P3 Crossbow 3x32
Signature Nikon performance is guaranteed with this product and rest assured, you will not regret making this investment. This features a crisp, hand-turn 1-MOA adjustment. Windage and elevation turrets are a clear marker for easy adjustments.
Moreover, it also has spring-loaded, instant zero-reset turrets. They make sighting-in an easier job when making field adjustments. The turrets are also of aluminum, providing long-lasting durability.
The eyepiece body is full metal to allow for easy rotation while ensuring eye-relief when going in for a target. The main tube is made of a lightweight yet durable material to last you a long time.
This is a high-quality Nikon product that lives up to the brand’s name and reputation. It is easy-to-use and has many qualities that make it one of the best crossbow scopes available.
Best From Truglo:
TRUGLO Crossbow Scope 4X32 with Rings APG
Truglo products are definitely loved by users for their exceptional quality and performance. This product is equipped with reticles that aid in range-finding and trajectory compensating. It also has a wide four-inch rubber eye-guard eyepiece which provides eye relief. The lens is fully-coated to maximize brightness, contrast, and clarity for the user.
This product also has a durable leaf spring to allow windage and elevation adjustment under screw down caps. This is a strong, durable product made of aircraft-grade aluminum. It is also scratch-resistant and has a matte, non-reflective finish.
Truglo ensures to deliver only the best of products to its customers. As is the case with this crossbow scope that is of high-quality and promises exceptional performance.
Types of Scopes
Every shooter has different needs out on the hunting field. To serve all these requirements, many different kinds of crossbow scopes have been developed. Examples of the few popular ones include:
These are the simplest kind of crossbow scopes. They do not have additional features such as magnification, calibrated reticles, etc. All they have is a clear red dot that directs the shooter where their arrow is destined to move and are hence, known as a red dot scope.
Magnification on a crossbow scope enables the shooter to see better and further. However, it provides no help in shooting better. Although it may seem like the higher the magnification, the better the aim, this is not the case. A 4x32 magnification is usually considered good by experienced shooters.
These kinds of crossbow scopes are heavily calibrated, particularly with reticles. Using such scopes requires ample practice to get oneself familiar with every crosshair. Calibrated reticle designs enhance the shooting experience as they are capable of predicting the path that would be followed by the arrow. Calibrated scopes also have multiple pins for sighting. Each pin has a specific distance and you need to use them accordingly.
Not only are you now aware of all the features of a top crossbow scope but you also know about each of their advantages and disadvantages. This information should make reaching a decision of which one to buy much easier. You have high-quality, durable options, as well as pocket-friendly ones. You can also either go for the top brands such as Nikon and Truglo. Or you can use the buying guide to help you buy a crossbow scope suitable for your use according to your level of skill.
People Also Ask
Since buying a crossbow scope involves a lot of thought, particularly since it has a big impact on the accuracy, people usually have several questions. The following are the answers to what people usually ask:
What is the Greatest Range of a Crossbow Scope?
The maximum range of a crossbow scope refers to the maximum distance at which it tends to stay effective. For most regular scopes, this range is 40 yards. An experienced, skillful shooter might even extend it to a 50-yard distance. However, normally, you have control up to 40-50 yards after which there might be reduced accuracy.
How Do You Sight in a Crossbow?
Sighting a crossbow requires ample practice and effort before getting the hang of it. This is a multiple step process, beginning from a properly installed scope.
- Find a leveled platform from where you will shoot. This is important to achieve the desired result. Such a platform can either be a fallen tree or a knocked off boulders. You may even use a tripod or bipod for this purpose.
- Make sure you can see a clear image through the scope. This is done by ensuring your eye is not touching the scope to avoid any incidents of the scope recoiling and hitting you right in the face.
- Next, you need to align the crosshairs correctly. Failure to do so, which means aligning your reticle for appropriate windage and elevation can result in your arrow going off to a side with you missing your shot.
- You also need to set your MOA. MOA refers to the minute of angles and it is usually calculated to sight the scope when used over long distances.
- Lastly, have plenty of practice sessions. Take shots at set targets, places where you believe your intended target will be when you’re out on an actual hunting quest. Notice what works well for you and what doesn’t and make changes to improve them.