Today's 13 Best Crossbow Scope Reviews - 2017 Edition
Having extraordinary shooting skills is awesome, but nothing beats the confidence that comes with having a scope mounted onto your crossbow. As someone who enjoys the ancient art of crossbow hunting, I have encountered my fair share of crossbow scopes. And while there are those scopes that I would love to forget, there are those that earned my admiration. And in this article, I will be reviewing some of the best crossbow scope on the market I have used. Additionally, I will be sharing with you the things I look for when shopping for a crossbow scope.
As one of the 12.5 million people that hunt annually, I know firsthand the importance of investing in the best crossbow scope. And with hunters investing a whopping $22.9 billion on hunting gear alone annually, there are bound to be some few crappy scopes out there.
So how do you pinpoint the best from the many scope brands claiming to be the best? Having tried and tested countless crossbow scopes myself, I know which scopes are worth purchasing. Below I have compiled a list of crossbow scope reviews.
A Quick Comparision Of My 13 Best Crossbow
My Top Picks
Nikon Bolt xr
Ten Point Rangemaster Pro
Barnett Cross Scope
Hawke IR SR
Sightmark Photon XT
Parker Red Hot
Trophy Ridge Speed Comp
Truglo Crossbow Scope
Barnett Illuminated Rifle Scope
How To Choose The Best Crossbow Scope
Before splashing your hard earned money on the acquisition of the best crossbow scope on the market, there are some important things you should know. Top among them is what to look for when shopping for the best crossbow scope for the money. When shopping for a new scope, there are several factors that I consider. These factors are explained below.
Size and weight
Crossbow scopes come in all sizes, and it is up to you to choose one that matches the size of your crossbow. Based on my experiences, I recommend going for a small scope that will not take up too much space on your crossbow. Also, it is advisable to purchase a scope that weighs less than a pound. Heavy scopes can throw your crossbow off balance and make it difficult for you to make accurate shots, while out in the wild.
Field of view
When you are out in the field hunting, you will want to scope a wider area from a distance of 100 yards or less. To do this, you will require a crossbow scope with a good field of view. The better the field of view the easier it is for you to scout for movements. If you are hunting for varmints, then you will need a scope with a better field of view than if you are hunting deer.
After buying your scope, you will still have to mount it on to your crossbow. There are three mounting options available, Weaver, Picatinny and dovetail rails. The mounting rail you choose will depend on your crossbow. Some crossbows work with Picatinny rails while others work with dovetail rails. Therefore, you should be careful when selecting the mounting system of your scope.
Crossbow scopes are normally exposed to harsh weather conditions, accidental knocks, and falls. Thus, it is important to choose a scope that can withstand all this. Most crossbow scopes are made from aluminum as it is lightweight and durable. On the other hand, the best crossbow scopes feature a rubberized covering that protects them from falls and knocks.
Other factors that you should consider are;
- Ensure that the scope you purchase is fog proof as this will improve the scope’s accuracy and image quality
- Also, it is important to consider the range of your targets, this can range from 20 yards to 60 yards
- The brand of scope should also influence your decision. My advice is stick with reputed brands
- Also, consider how easy it is to adjust a scope
If you interested about binoculars and other optics for your hunting journey then you can consider below review links
Best Crossbow Scope Reviews
Nikon Bolt xr 3x32 Crossbow Scope
The Bolt XR Crossbow Scope from Nikon is one of the recent additions to my collection of crossbow scopes. And while am a little disappointed with it not being an illuminated crossbow scope, I see myself using it for a long time, and for good reasons. For starters, measuring 8.1 inches long and 2 inches wide, it is about the same size as some other scopes I own. With regard to weight, the scope weighs 11.2 ounces and adds about one pound to the overall weight of my Excalibur crossbow.
One of the things I consider when shopping for a crossbow scope is magnification. At first, I was a bit skeptical about the 3X to 32X magnification of this Nikon crossbow scope. However, this scope has on more than one occasion proved my skepticism wrong. With the 3X magnification, I am able to zero in on targets from up to 60 yards, which is impressive for a crossbow scope. But here’s the best part; the BDC reticle system gives clear and accurate sightings from 60 yards.
Field of view
One of the things that made me buy this Nikon crossbow scope is its advertised field of view of 36.5 at 100 yards, which is pretty accurate in my view. From a distance of 60 yards, I am able to scope a large area.
Since I purchased my Bolt XR scope, I have dropped it several times, and it is yet to show any signs of damage, which says a lot about its construction. Overall, the scope feels well constructed and is shockproof, fog proof and waterproof.
Hawke Crossbow Scope : 1.5-5x32 MAP
Before settling on Hawke’s Crossbow 1.5-5X32 MAP Scope, I had tried several other scopes within its price range, all of which were a disappointment. Thus, this Hawke Crossbow Scope was a breath of fresh air. There are many reasons why I love this scope, with the main reason being its durable construction. Capable of withstanding accidental falls, the scope is weather resistant and is built to be shockproof as well as waterproof. To crown it all off, the scope’s monotube is nitrogen filled making it fog proof as well.
What sets this scope apart from some other scope’s I have used is its speed selector. So what is so special about this speed selector? Well, this feature makes this scope compatible with crossbows of varying firing speeds. Currently, I use this scope on my Barnett Ghost 410, which has a firing speed of 410 feet per second.
There is a good reason why this Crossbow is considered one of the best Hawke crossbow scope on the market. And that reason is its high-performance optics. The optics on this scope are red and green colored and deliver crisp and clear images. As if that is not enough to make you feel all giddy inside, the optics are fully multicoated for optimal light transmission.
Ease of use
I have taken this Hawke scope on many hunting trips, and I still cannot believe how easy it is to use. In more than one occasion, this scope has held at zero in some overly difficult conditions. And it gets better: the two turrets that adjust windage and elevation are easy to turn regardless of your position.
Ten Point Crossbow Scopes : Rangemaster Pro 1.5 - 5x30 mm
Compact, phenomenally bright, and well built; these are some of the adjectives I can use to describe the Rangemaster Pro 1.5-5X30 mm Crossbow Scope from TenPoint. Though it is a bit heavier than other scopes in my possession, it has an average length of 8.25 inches. Hence, it does not take up a lot of space on your crossbow.
The 1.5X to 5X magnification on this scope is average, to say the least. However, this is a good thing; you see with this magnification images appear crisp and lifelike. Personally, I prefer a scope with an average magnification to one with a high magnification, more on this later.
To say this is one of the best ten point crossbows scopes I have ever used is understating it. With fully multi-coated optics, the light transmission capabilities of this scope are exceptional. I often use this scope just before sunrise and right after sunset and I rarely miss the target.
Field of view
The reason I prefer scopes with a low magnification is the wide field of view they offer. With its 1.5X magnification, this scope gives you a more than generous field of view of 50 feet at 100 yards. This feature is impressive considering it is almost double the field of view you get from other pricier models.
Barnett Cross Scope w/Rings 4X32mm scope
I have always been a huge fan of Barnett products. This is why I consider the Barnet Cross Scope w/Rings 4X32mm scope to be one of the Barnett crossbow scopes on the market. Though this awesome scope requires no introduction, I know you still want to know why I love it so. The first reason why I love this scope is its striking good looks. And weighing 12.8 ounces, it is also lightweight enough to be fitted on crossbows of all sizes.
Given that Barnett also makes crossbows, it should not come as a surprise that this scope is specifically designed for crossbows. Therefore, it is capable of being mounted on all kinds of crossbows. Towards this end, Barnett throws in two 1 inch mounting rings, which in my opinion could be better. Nevertheless, since mounting rings are inexpensive accessories, the somewhat low-quality rings that came with this scope were not a deal breaker for me.
Ease of use
I have used many crossbow scopes in my day, but few can compare to this Barnet Crossbow scope’s ease of use. One of the reasons why this scope is so easy to use is the five-point programmable setting. With this setting, I am able to target easily and with ease.
Field of View
As per my estimates, this Barnett 4x32 crossbow scope offers a pretty wide field of view of 34 feet at 100 yards. Though there are other scopes with a wider field of view, most of them are expensive high-end models. Thus, at its price point, this scope’s field of view is more than sufficient.
Hawke Crossbow 1.5-5X32 IR SR Scope
If you are in the market for a scope that can keep up with your fast crossbow, then the Hawke Crossbow 1.5-5X32 IR SR Scope is just what the doctor ordered. The hallmark of this illuminated crossbow scope is a weather resistant and durable construction. Designed to withstand the harsh weather conditions that we hunters are exposed to, this scope is a great optical companion.
A standard feature in most Hawke models, the intuitive speed selector feature, gives the Crossbow 1.5X-5X 32 IR Scope an edge over the competition. Thanks to this feature, you can use this Hawke model with crossbows that fire arrows at speeds of up to 425 feet per second.
At first glance, I was not sure that this Hawke model was worth its price tag. However, having used it for quite some time now, I find it to be worth every penny I spent on it. Not only is it a versatile and durable scope, but it also has some phenomenal optics. Fully multicoated, the optics on this device are colored red and green and deliver an image quality that puts the image quality of other pricier models to shame.
Ease of use
Regarding ease of use, the IR SR Scope is similar to the Hawke MAP Scope. Therefore, expect the same easy to adjust speed settings and an illuminated reticle. To make it simpler and more convenient to use, this scope automatically changes magnification to suit new configuration.
Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Crossbow Scope
Whoever said you have to part with thousands of your hard earned dollars to acquire a digital night vision rifle scope or best rifle scope has clearly never seen the Photon XT. The latter is a night vision scope for crossbow designed to be a pocket-friendly alternative to some of the costlier models we have on the market.
Not only is it less costly compared to most Digital Night vision scopes, but it also weighs less. Thus, it will not add much to the overall weight of your crossbow. That being said, it is surprising that Sightmark managed to fit all the features that that this night vision crossbow scope has into such a compact package.
The first thing I noticed about the Photon XT is its lack of adjustment turrets. Instead of a manual turret, Sightmark opted for a digital reticle technology. The menu that comes with this night vision scope made it easy to set up this digital reticle system. And while the scope is primarily designed for rifles, it has two reticles designed for crossbows. The two reticles are compatible with crossbows with a firing speed of up to 400 FPS
With a sturdy construction, a wide objective lens, high-performance optics and day and night application, there is nothing ordinary about this Sightmark creation. Bottom line: if you want a night vision scope to take your hunting to the next level but do not have the cash to spend on a high-end night vision scope, the Photon XT is the scope you want.
Excalibur Tact-Zone Illuminated Scope, 2.5-6x32mm
Compared to some of the other crossbow scopes I own, the Excalibur Tact-Zone Illuminated is quite long. It measures 13 inches in length and has a diameter of 30 mm. With regard to weight, it weighs less than a pound, and as such it fits nicely onto my Barnett Crossbow. Though its lack of mounting rings might disappoint some, let me be quick to point out that you can get mounting rings online and in stores that sell hunting gear.
Though hunting is considered a sport, it should also be humane. This is why I love the 2.5X to 6X magnification of this Excalibur scope. With this resolution, I am able to make single precision shots capable of bringing down any prey. Of worth mentioning; clarity and resolution remains consistent across all zoom levels.
Field of View
If you have ever bought an Excalibur scope, then you know that the company does not indicate the field of view of its scopes, and the Tact-Zone model is no exception. However, as per my estimates, I put the field of view of this scope at roughly 40 feet at 2.5X magnification and 20 feet at 6X magnification. Though my figures might not be 100% accurate, I have no complaint with the scope’s field of view as it is sufficiently wide for shooting at both static and moving targets.
My Excalibur Tact-Zone Illuminated scope has endured a bit of abuse in my hands. Fortunately, for me, it is yet to show any signs of scratching, something I attribute to its construction. This scope is crafted from the same aluminum used to make airplanes. Thus, do not expect it to look any different two years after you buy it.
Parker Crossbows Scopes : Red Hot 3X Pin-Point
Size and Weight
While it measures 8.5 inches in length, this scope from Parkers is bulky compared to other scopes of the same length. Furthermore, it is significantly taller than some of its competitors, due to it having an extra dial on top. Nonetheless, you should not dismiss it purely for being a bit bulkier than some of its competitors.
When it comes to optical performance, this scope is right up there with some of the best crossbow scope on the market. All optics on this scope are fully multicoated. I have used this scope several times, and I have never experienced reflection, glare or flogging. Instead, with this scope, I always get crisp, clear and bright images.
With a name like Red Hot Pin-Point, I was expecting a lot from this Scope in regards to accuracy and illumination. And true to its name, the scope never disappoints. With a magnification of 3X and an illumination setting, I can aim in low lighting and be pretty confident of hitting the target. The illumination setting has 5 brightness setting and is colored red and green for optimal visibility in low lighting.
Though this scope comes with 1-inch mounting rings and a drop over based custom designed exclusively for this model, it only works with crossbows with either a Picatinny rail or a 7/8 weaver style rail. So if your crossbow has another kind of rail, you will have to buy an adapter.
Trophy Ridge Speed Comp XV525IR Crossbow Scope
I am always looking for new crossbow scopes to experiment with. Thus, though I could not get a lot of information on the Trophy Ridge Speed Crossbow Scope, I decided to buy it anyway. Sometimes when I take a gamble with new scopes, I end up regretting. Fortunately, this was not one of those times. The Trophy Ridge Speed Crossbow Scope has proven to be a reliable scope and one that I will use for many years to come. And although it does not look like a premium scope, it boasts of premium features.
One of the features that attracted me to this scope is the illuminated 9 position reticle. With this reticle, I can adjust the scope from 20 yards. Also, I can do the same from a distance of 100 yards. The reticle is backed by a magnification adjustment dial, which lets you adjust the BDC reticle to the exact arrow speed. With this setup, I have hit the bulls-eye many times.
Image clarity is important to me. And it is for this reason that I have become accustomed to carrying this Trophy Ridge Scope to most of my recent hunting trips. Boasting of ultra-clear glass surfaces, this scope delivers exceptional image clarity.
Ease of Mounting
Inside the box that my Trophy Ridge Speed Crossbow scope came in were mounting rings. The rings were of good quality and made it easy to fit the scope on to my crossbow. Though there is little information about this scope online, it qualifies to be amongst the best crossbow scopes.
Leupold Crossbow Scope : FXII 2.5x20 mm Ultralight Scope
At first glance, the Leupold FXII 2.5X20 mm ultralight scope looks like a flashlight from the future. Designed for, rifles, muzzleloaders, and crossbows, this scope is as lightweight as its name suggests. It weighs 6.5 ounces and has a length of fewer than 8 inches. In essence, this is a simplistic scope that boasts of the quality we have come to expect from Leupold.
Magnification & objective lens
Probably Due to its simplistic nature, this Leupold crossbow scope has a fixed magnification of 2.5X. The latter is coupled by a 20 mm magnification. Do not let its seemingly small objective lens fool you, though, as this scope performed surprisingly well in low visibility.
Ease of use
Of all the scopes I have reviewed so far, this is the easiest to use. There are no turrets to turn or adjust. The only thing that you adjust on this minimalistic scope is the reticle. Thus, it is the perfect scope if you are yet to understand fully how to sight in a crossbow scope.
So is the Leupold FXII 2.5X20 mm worth purchasing? Yes, it is. For such a simplistic scope, this Leupold device achieves quite a lot. As such, do not dismiss it as being too simplistic as that is its greatest asset.
Truglo Crossbow Scope 4X32 scope
Hidden within the Truglo Crossbow Scope’s beautiful grayish body is a lens with a 4X magnification, which is pretty standard. Combined with the 32 mm objective lens, the lens delivers clear and crisp images, with no distortions or blurriness.
Field of view
With a 32 mm objective lens, not much is to be expected from this scope in regards to the field of view. However, though unadvertised, this Truglo model has a wide field of view of about 50 feet. This makes it ideal for spotting deer and other large prey.
Ease of mounting
Included in the package you get upon buying this scope are mounting rings. I was pleased with the rings that are of the same camouflage as the scope. In regards to how easy it is to mount, I found it pretty easy to mount on different scopes.
To sum everything up: the Truglo Crossbow Scope is a great scope that is as affordable as it is impressive. Given its pocket-friendly price and awesome features, this is a scope I would recommend both as an upgrade and as a first crossbow scope.
Barnett Illuminated Rifle Scope
At 9 inches long, the Barnett Illuminated Rifle Scope is significantly longer than some of its competitors. As such, it is likely to take up more space on your crossbow. But that should not discourage you as it weighs only 7.9 ounces meaning it will not cause you problems.
Though the scope’s 3X magnification is a bit on the downside for a scope of its caliber, it has superb light gathering capabilities to make up for this. The illuminated reticle works very well in low light. Of course, this might not be the best crossbow scope for low light, but it is a better option than most other scopes I have used.
Field of view
I was not at all impressed by the field of view of this scope, given that there are quite a number of other 3X scopes with a better field of view. Nonetheless, the 45 feet field of view is decent, and it is unlikely that you will find it insufficient.
The Barnett Illuminated Rifle Scope is one that has the potential to serve you for a long time. Crafted from aircraft grade aluminum, this scope can withstand almost anything you throw at it.
Red Dot Scope For Crossbow: Truglo Red-Dot 30Mm sight
The Truglo Red-Dot Crossbow sight is a nice little sight that uses red-dot technology. As such, this optical device does not magnify targets. The sight is sturdy enough to be used on crossbows and even on rifles.
For optimal brightness, this crossbow sight comes with a rheostat illumination setting, which is pretty amazing. Surprisingly, I found this sight worked better in low light than in broad daylight. This is especially in regards to contrast and image detail. During the day, the performance of the sight was a bit on the downside.
Do not believe the hype, though this crossbow scope is made using aircraft grade aluminum; it cannot withstand the recoil of a shotgun as advertised. Therefore, I would recommend using this sight on a crossbow only and not on a shotgun or high recoil rifles.
For easy mounting, this Truglo sight comes with a weaver mount. The fact that the mounting system of this sight uses thumb screws may be a disappointment to some. All the same, this sight is exceptionally easy to install.
Question: why should you continue shooting like an amateur when you have a great selection of crossbow scopes to choose from? From the above reviews, you can choose a crossbow that meets your needs and desires. It is my hope that these reviews inspire you to go out there and get yourself a crossbow scope, and since I have already given you a rich selection of scopes to choose from I highly doubt you will go wrong.