*BestOnTests.com is reader-supported. When you buy through Amazon and affiliated sites links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.
Want to skip the long reading? Here’s our best crossbow scope 2020 choice:
I made shots with a lot of scopes, but Nikon Bolt XR is the best crossbow scope that I could find for its price. This lightweight and durable 32mm scope provide great visibility and high accuracy up to 60 yards. Its impressive 32X magnification will help you easily hit even the distant targets and it’s incredibly easy to mount it and sight it in.
Its impressive 32X magnification will help you easily hit even the distant targets and it’s incredibly easy to mount it and sight it in.
As a fellow bowhunter, I know how important it is to have the best crossbow scope possible in order to hit targets as easily as possible. Having great shooting skills or a top-quality bow sometimes may not be just good enough.
In order to make your every shot count, I’m going to introduce you to some of the best crossbow scopes around. I’ll try to cover all you need to know about them: how reliable are they, what their performance is like and how much do they cost. Also, you will get a brief user guide on how to choose and sight your crossbow scope easily.
- 1 Best Crossbow Scope On The Market
- 2 What to Look for in a Crossbow Scope
- 3 Types of Crossbow Scopes
- 4 How to Mount a Crossbow Scope?
- 5 How to Sight a Crossbow Properly?
- 6 How to Increase Your Crossbow Scope Accuracy?
- 7 Conclusion
Best Crossbow Scope On The Market
Before splashing your cash on a brand new scope, I want to make sure you know what you will get for your money. Although two scopes may look similar at first sight, the difference between them can be huge in many aspects, including range, quality, type, features, size, etc.
That’s why I did extensive research and tried to cover as many details as possible about each one of them. Have in mind that the goal was not just to find the best scope period, but to find a great combination of price and quality.
The company that knows a lot about optics and lenses has created its own Nikon Bolt XR crossbow scope. Although it may not be the best crossbow scope that I shot with, it’s definitely the overall winner when we take the price into consideration.
This compact and lightweight scope weighs less than a pound and its dimensions are 12 x 3.8 x 2.8 inches. Despite the lightweight design, it’s still pretty durable and the lens will hold on even when dropped thanks to its shockproof design.
The high-quality multi-coated Nikon lens will provide great visibility in low light, fog or wet conditions, giving you a crystal clear picture. An incredibly impressive range of magnification from 3X to 32X will give you a clear picture of distances that some bows can’t even reach.
The quick-focus eyepiece with 3.4“ of eye relief offers a highly accurate aiming up to 60 yards thanks to the advanced BDC 60 reticle.
Zero-reset turrets of this Nikon crossbow scope allow quick and easy sighting in and field adjustment making it compatible with almost any bow and arrow type. As I already mentioned, it’s not the very best crossbow scope out there, but it’s the best combination of all aspects. It provides great performance and quality for a fairly affordable price, plus it comes from the globally famous company.
- High performance and durability
- Up to 32X magnification
- Sighting reset
- No illumination
Everyone experienced crossbow hunter knows how good the Excalibur crossbow scope can be and is probably the best crossbow scope I got to put my hands on. It would top my list if not for such a high price, which still makes it a close second. It’s made of state of the art, durable material, which will make it last for ages if used properly.
The speed can be adjusted anywhere between 300 and 400 fps with two extra dials. The reticle increases with every 10 yds, increasing the chance of a precise shot.
As its name might have already hinted it, Twilight DLX is great for low light situations around dusk and dawn. Its multi-coated lenses with a 44mm objective lens will make sure that your picture is as clear and bright as possible, helping you to maximize your accuracy.
Additionally, the green and the red color illuminated reticle will enable you to lock up on targets more easily in these conditions. It’s a great, durable scope that’s easy to mount and zero in, but the price can be an offset to most of the people.
- State of the art, durable material
- High-performance optics
- Cristal clear picture
- Great in low light conditions
- High price
Crossbow is a stealthy weapon, so this Truglo crossbow scope comes in a special non-reflective camouflage matte finish. The durable and scratch-resistant tube is made of aircraft quality aluminum and it comes with a lifetime limited warranty. The scope is made with a convenient rubber eye-guard, as well as with generous 4” eye relief.
Similar to most of the best crossbow scope models it provides the 4X magnification, giving a clear picture of distant targets. Truglo crossbow scope has a special range finding reticle that even takes trajectory into compensation. The lenses are fully coated, which means that you get great clarity, contrast, and brightness.
Even though it aims greatly in low light too, it would get a better grade at this crossbow scope review if it had illumination too. Even though it’s not the best crossbow scope, it’s pretty good or the price. Zeroing it takes no more than 3-4 shots and several minutes.
- Durable and scratch-resistant
- Special range finding reticle
- Hard to mount with some bows
- No Illumination
The Hawke crossbow scope is a great bow hunting companion in elegant matte color. Yet, there is more to it than just neat looks.It’s highly accurate with 9 distance reticles, separated at exactly 10yds from each other, ranging from 20 to 100yds.
Thanks to the innovative speed selector, you can adjust it to nearly any bow out there between the speeds of 275fps and 425 fps. It is worth noting that the magnification is being limited the speed setting, meaning you can’t select them separately (e.g. minimum speed is 1x while maximum speed is 5x magnification).
The 1” optics of this illuminated crossbow scope are multi-coated and provide a high level of light transmission. The crosses on the scope can be illuminated to either green or red, with the lowest red setting being perfect for extremely low light conditions.
It’s a bit more expensive, especially when compared to previous ones, but in return, you get a great high-performance crossbow scope. You can sight it in pretty easily and it takes just a few shots.
- Accurate reticle options
- Easy to mount and sight
- Good in low light conditions
- Speed selector included
- Quite pricey
- Low magnification options
This is also one of the finest cheap crossbow scopes that you can find if working with limited funds. It’s 32 mm objective lens has multi-coated, giving you excellent protection against glare and reflection. It has 4 vertical dots, providing a variety of 4 aiming ranges.
You also get 4X magnification with great image detail and distinctive contrast. The scope is made of durable shock and waterproof aluminum and you can mount it within seconds.
This illuminated scope is, as the name implies, great for low light conditions that are inevitable in hunting, with both red and green illumination.
With 13.6 ounces, it’s not very hefty and its dimensions are 9.2 x 2.2 x 2.2 inches. What I dislike is that the calibration of the crosshair can be a bit complicated with this scope.
- Clear and accurate shooting
- Both green and red illumination
- Easy to mount and sight in
- Lack of calibration software
This Raging River scope is perfect if you are on a budget and looking for a cheap crossbow scope. It’s made of aluminum alloy with an attractive matte finish that doesn’t reflect light.
The objective lens with a 32 mm diameter provides you with a 4 times magnification for distant targets, which is more than enough for general shooting and hunting. The dimensions of the scope are 2.5 x 2.5 x 8 inches.
Aiming options are divided into 5 retile steps with unlimited eye relief, meaning that you can separate it from the eyes as much as you want.
As a multi-reticle crossbow scope, its lines go from thick to thin towards the middle, providing a greater aiming point. However, the optical quality and low light aiming are not that great.
That’s why I would not classify it as a really good crossbow scope, but it is still great for that little money.
- Really affordable
- Unlimited eye relief
- Attractive matte finish
- No illumination
- Knobs difficult to work with
What to Look for in a Crossbow Scope
There are several factors when choosing the best crossbow scope possible and it’s not always easy to make the right choice. I’m going to list the most important ones:
Size: Your scope needs to fit in with the dimensions and weight of your bow. If you are a beginner, I recommend going for lightweight options, not more than 1 pound.
Optic quality and magnification: It’s important to make sure the lenses are high quality and produce a bright image, preferably go for multi-coated lenses that work well in most of the conditions. Magnification is also important, but it is also useless if the lenses are not good enough.
Durability and practicality: Of course, the best scope for crossbows should be able to withstand the conditions and occasional bumps and drops easily. Besides that, you don’t want to get aggravated while mounting it or sighting it in, so it’s important to check first how quick and easy it is to do those things.
Types of Crossbow Scopes
There are two common types of scopes on the market, the optic scope, and the red dot. The optic scope relies more on magnification and clarity with multiple reticles for more accurate shots.
On the other hand, a red dot crossbow scope offers little or no magnification. But compensates its illumination and compact design.
How to Mount a Crossbow Scope?
Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of beginners with improperly mounted scopes on their crossbows. They’re wondering what could possibly be wrong with their brand new scope that makes them miss most of their shots.
The problem is the way the scope is mounted. That’s why I want to give you a short guide on how to mount a crossbow scope properly and safely.
Attach the bottom rings to the base in a way that will allow you to move the scope back and forward after placing it. Now lightly firms those rings to the base, but don’t screw them all the way yet in case you need to adjust.
It’s time for the scope. Place it on the rings, then put the top rings in their position. Screw them in just lightly so that the scope can still move. The best thing to do now is to close your eyes and take your crossbow as if you are going to shoot. Find the most comfortable position and open your eyes to adjust the scope to the eye relief, at least 2 inches from your eye.
You also need to look for your crosshair to be straight up and level with the ground. Rotate it until you get a perfect position. For more precision, you can even take two levels and put one on the scope and one on the limb mount.
Now that everything is ready, you can start easily tightening the screws. Make sure to do the same turns for every screw in one series, tightening them crosswise. When you’re almost done, take the crossbow to check your aim once again.
If everything is fine, do the final turns, applying the same pressure to every screw. However, be cautious not to screw them too tightly, as it could damage your scope.
I hope that this guide was helpful and that you’ll mount a crossbow scope perfectly, even if you do it for the first time.
How to Sight a Crossbow Properly?
Sighting a scope for crossbow can be quick and easy if you know what you are doing. I want to make sure you will. For most of the good scopes, the sight should remain stable most of the time.
Begin by positioning yourself 20 yards from the target. You will need to hit the target with your 20-yard line or dot aligned with the bull’s eye. Start shooting and making adjustments until your shots are in a tight group.
An experienced hunter will need 5-10 shots on average, but if you are a beginner I strongly recommend firing at least 50-100 shots to sight the scope in.
How to Increase Your Crossbow Scope Accuracy?
When I first started shooting the crossbow, every little tip from an experienced shooter meant a whole to me, especially when it comes to accuracy. I’ve tried a ton of tricks to improve my crossbow scope accuracy.
To be honest, some of them were horrible and made it worse but a few of them did wonders in the beginning.
Sighting In Your Crossbow
We would expect that our brand new scope is sighted in after we buy, but that may not always be the case and you would need to do it yourself. After placing your target at a safe place, go to a 10 yards distance and take a shot or few.
Your shots should be hitting about 1 inch above the center. In case your shots are off, you will need to adjust the dials. The top dial will move your aim up or down, while the side one will move it left or right. When you get several shots where you want them, you are ready to go.
Use Variable Scope
Crossbow scopes can be either a fixed power scope or variable power scope. Variable power scopes give you more options when it comes to accuracy at longer ranges.
They are multi-reticle scopes that allow you to adjust the magnification and hit more accurately at different ranges. They adjusting to the speed of your crossbow. A properly adjusted variable scope will significantly improve your ability to hit more accurately and group shots closer together.
That was it, for now, I’m confident that you will know a bit better how to shoot accurately. Always look to gain knowledge from skilled and experienced shooters as they have a lot of things to share and will be eager to help a beginner.
That would be it, you can get pretty great scopes within all price ranges, depending on your budget. Hopefully, this will help you a lot whether you are a beginner or not.
I want to make sure that you get the best crossbow scope for your money and make every shot count.