In ancient times, hunting used to be a matter of pride and honor amongst tribespeople.
Although now it is more of a sport, it is still considered a sign of respect. It is something that has continued from the old times. What has changed, however, is the tools used for hunting.
Previously, people used to hunt using spears and bows. Today, we have crossbows and guns.
Guns can be noisy, but they’re far more accurate compared to a bow and arrow. However, the thrill of scoring a big game using a crossbow is much more exquisite. For this purpose, a crossbow alone won’t do. You need a scope, preferably one of the best crossbow scopes we’ve listed here.
If you are someone who enjoys the thrill of hunting, you must know the importance of stealth. Some people even spend days in the same spot for their score. Using a gun makes too much noise. It’s loud even when you’re loading it. A crossbow, on the other hand, is much more silent even when you shoot it.
However, don’t mistake this silence for lack of power. A crossbow can be pretty deadly, and you can make the shot even more fatal by using various headers.
But what makes a crossbow efficient is not the arrowhead but a scope. You can see your shot clearer when you use a scope. A scope will give you a better view of the vital areas you can shoot your arrow on. Having a better aim, you can take home a big game without having to chase it around.
Not only that, if you are hunting for sport, you will have a big trophy to show off. The bigger, the better — that is the actual enjoyment of hunting.
Why Do People Prefer Crossbow Hunting?
Rifles are great, and assault weapons are even better. Rifles are single bullet-firing weapons, which is why it takes some time to master the skill. In comparison, assault weapons are less accurate but much easier to control. Some people use assault weapons for hunting too, but they are usually banned. Even rifles are prohibited in some regions. Besides, it takes away the thrill of the hunt if you take the easy way.
That is why some people prefer rifles over assault weapons for hunting. But the most thrilling and challenging experience of hunting comes from crossbows. That is because they have the advantage of stealth. Not to mention they are utterly silent when shooting.
If there is a herd of deers or any other animal you are hunting, they won’t get scared off. You will not scare off other targets in case the one you are hunting at that time escapes.
Crossbows are usually deadly. The only way a target escapes is if you miss the shot. With a scope attached to your crossbow, you likely won’t miss the scope. However, shooting with just any scope isn’t enough. You will need one of the best crossbow scopes to get your target quickly. Even then, you will need plenty of practice because a crossbow is not a gun but a projectile. That means the arrow starts to fall after some distance. You must keep that in mind when hunting with a crossbow.
How to Choose the Best Crossbow Scope Out of so Many?
With so many choices in the market, it can be hard to settle down on one scope. There are, however, a few things that may help you narrow down which crossbow scope to choose. We have already selected the best crossbow scopes in the market and reviewed them. If you don’t have access to these, though, you should be able to choose one on your own. That is why we have compiled a small buyer’s guide to help you select the best crossbow scope on your own. Whether it is to buy a completely different scope or from one of these, you should read this guide to help you understand better.
1. Weight and Balance
Crossbows are naturally front-heavy. That is because most of the mechanism is in the front end of the crossbow. That is why it can often be challenging to balance out a crossbow. But if you can mount a weighted scope on the back of the crossbow, you can balance out the difference in weight. Of course, a scope is not going to balance out the weight of the whole crossbow. But the quality of the scope will help you with the balance.
That being said, choosing a heavy scope is not always the best course of action. It will help you balance, but you need to select the scope that helps you with precision. The added benefit of balance is just going to make things that much better. So, choosing a scope that provides you with the added precision with the added benefit of improving balance will significantly serve you.
2. Rules and Regulations
First of all, keeping a crossbow might not be a legal option. You have to ensure you live in a state where owning a crossbow will not get you into trouble. With that said, some states do not allow the use of crossbows during hunting season. They are strictly forbidden, and only bows are permitted for hunting. In some states that allow the use of crossbows during hunting season, electronic sights are prohibited.
Before purchasing any scope online, you need to call up the authorities regarding the rules. It would be a waste if you made the purchase already, and it turns out that the scope is illegal for use in hunting season. Calling up the authority for information regarding the legalities of the matter can save you from heavy fines during the season.
3. Trajectory and Point of Aim
Crossbows, in the end, are projectile weapons. Unlike a firearm, which moves in a straight line, an arrow from a crossbow will move in a projectile motion. The movement is often compared to that of a thrown rock, where after reaching a certain velocity and height, the projectile starts to fall. That is why crossbow scopes have a different point of aim in them. There are also varying aims depending on the distance you are shooting at.
But regardless of how much zoom your crossbow scope has, it can only shoot so far. So always take your scope for a test and practice a few shots to see what distance is accurately shown and which point of aim to choose from if it has multiple ones.
4. Types of Scopes
There are different types of scopes available in the market. There are red dot sights, which like the name mentions, only mark the target for you. Even though there is no zoom whatsoever on the red dot sight, it is still far more accurate than iron sights. That is because the red dot indicates the exact point of impact. If you shoot something centered in on the red dot sight, it will hit it given that you accounted for the distance.
Then we have zoom scopes, which, as the name suggests, provide you with a better view of the target by enlarging it. But having a bigger target in front of you does not always mean better aim. However, a more prominent target does help in aiming if you know how to do it in the first place.
5. Trial Before Purchase
Buying online has provided us with considerable freedom. You can purchase anything you want from the safe confines of your home. You will not be judged for what you are buying online, whether it is groceries or something more intimate. At times, though, online purchasing is not an option for many people.
If you are not buying online, the best option is to choose a vendor with trial scopes on display. They even have fake crossbows, so you can get the feel of the scope yourself by aiming it. This way you know what you are buying.
Best Crossbow Scopes Reviewed
1. UTG 4X32 1″ Crossbow Scope
Hunting is a noble sport, but it does not mean that you have to be rich to do so. Sometimes budget products perform as well as expensive ones, and at times outperform them. This is the case with the UTG 4X32 crossbow scope, which is pretty inexpensive considering its quality.
It has multiple functions that make it such an excellent tool for your crossbow. First of all, this scope can be adjusted to the environment and give you the advantage in hunting.
You can turn the illuminated reticle green and red. This will provide you with a better shot in various lighting settings. You can adjust between these with the dial on the side of the scope. The reticle has five horizontal lines indicating the distance at which you can shoot your target. From 10-yards to 50-yards, you can use the scope’s reticle for quick and precise targeting. So whether you are at a distance or close by, you will never miss a shot.
The scope comes with its mounting rings, not to mention it is affordably priced. Although the scope is calibrated for 300 FPS, you can still use it for crossbows over that speed. It will still give you satisfactory results even if the scope is only calibrated for 300 FPS. The scope has 4X magnification, which is adjustable too. You will not be disappointed by this affordable purchase. In this case, the price does not reflect the quality of the scope. Because even though it is priced pretty decently, it is one of the best crossbow scopes in the market, hands down.
- Illuminated Reticle
- Adjustable Functions
- Switch Between Red and Green Reticle for Various Lighting
- Might Need Adjustment for Higher FPS Crossbows
2. BARNETT 17056 40 mm/1.5-5 x 32 Adjustable Illuminated Scope
When crossbow companies make scopes, it is bound to be one of the best in the market. Barnett is a crossbow company, so it knows exactly what the customers need in terms of a crossbow scope. That is why the Barnett 1.5-5X32 Crossbow Scope works excellent and is one of the best crossbow scopes in the market right now.
It is one of the very few scopes in the market with variable magnification. You can change the magnification range from 1.5X to 5X through the dial or knob.
Because of its variable magnification, it can be a bit costly. It is also heavier than some other crossbows, but a heavier scope works in your favor to create the perfect balance in a front-end heavy crossbow.
With aiming points from 20 to 70 yards in the reticle, shooting your target has never been easier at a distance. The aiming points are rated for crossbows that have 300-425 FPS speed. So you can use this scope with most crossbow models available in the market above 300 FPS. The trophy is good as yours with this scope.
The illuminated reticle makes all the more difference in various lighted environments. The red and green adjustable reticle gives you the perfect setting to make your shot regardless of what kind of light you are in. With all these qualities, the Barnett 1.5-5X32 is the ideal companion for any crossbow you might have.
- Illuminated Reticle
- Adjustable Zoom
- Great Choice for Crossbows With Speeds 300-425 FPS
- 20-70 Yards Aim Points
- Made by Crossbow Company for Crossbows
- Heavy but Can Be Used to Advantage
3. TenPoint Rangemaster Pro Illuminated Crossbow Scope
TenPoint has been in the hunting business for almost two decades now. Their crossbows come fitted with the TenPoint Rangemaster Pro Illuminated Crossbow Scope.
This crossbow scope is one of the best in the market for overall value and price. It is made out of aluminum which makes it light but also durable. Aluminum is the standard from which most items are made these days. That is because of its rust-proof and water-proof qualities. It does not rust at all and does not oxidize quickly either.
It makes no sense to buy something just for its durability. The TenPoint Rangemaster Pro Illuminated crossbow scope is more than just a metal weight. The scope reticle is illuminated, making the target clear and providing an unobstructed view.
You can change the intensity of the reticle illumination. There are five modes of intensity to switch between to get the ideal condition. This improves the aim considerably and gives your crossbow the precision it needs.
There are crosshairs on the scope that give you aim point information. You can change between 10-yard increments between 20-yards to 60-yards. Not to mention you also get a 1.5 to 5x magnification rating. With variable magnification, you can target close and far without troubles whatsoever. The lens comes coated and etched for long-term durability.
- Aluminum Construction
- 5 Intensity Settings for Illuminated Reticle
- Variable Magnification
- Waterproof and Dustproof
- Lack of Availability
4. TRUGLO Crossbow 4X32 Compact Scope w/Rings
Here we have another contender for the best budget crossbow scope. The TRUGLO Crossbow 4×32 Compact Scope comes in two models. One is with an illuminated reticle and one without it. Truglo has been famous in optics and has brought their specialty to the hunting sport.
This crossbow scope is super affordable but in no way low quality. Made with the finest aircraft-grade aluminum tube, this Truglo crossbow scope is durable and resistant to natural elements like rust.
The scope comes with a range-finder and bolt-drop compensating reticle that tells you the exact target where the bolt will drop on the reticle. The lenses are fully coated and provide you with fantastic vision and light. The illuminated scope allows you to be able to shoot your targets with accuracy.
You can use the reticle without illumination for the conservation of the battery where it is not required. The range-finder gives you a good perception of targets.
The aim points are set at 10-yard intervals from 20 to 50 yards. The option to adjust the illuminated reticle between green and red gives you the perfect shot in all light settings. Also, it comes with rings making it easier to attach the scope to a crossbow right away. Lastly, one of the best features of this crossbow scope is the 4-inch eye relief, making it comfortable to aim in on your target.
- Durable Aluminum Construction
- Illuminated Reticle
- Coated Lens
- Fog-Proof and Rust-Proof
- Included Rings Might Be Weak
5. NIKW9 Prostaff P3 Crossbow 3×32 Scope
If you haven’t heard of the name Nikon, you must be living under a rock. It is one of the top brands when it comes to lenses. Nikon does optics as no other brand does. You might have heard of Nikon in cameras and camera lenses, but they also make great crossbow scopes. They are using their specialty in optics to provide you with excellent quality crossbow scopes, and the Prostaff P3 scope is one of their best products on the market at the moment.
But what makes this Nikon scope so great?
Well, first thing, you can see better in dark light with this scope. If dim lighting is your enemy during hunting, this scope will compensate on your behalf. It has a consistent eye relief that provides you with the best hunting experience. The reticle isn’t illuminated and is plain black colored. But since you can see clearly in low light settings, illumination is not even required.
The aim points in the reticle give you a spot on target at 20-yards. It also gives you aim points for up to 60 yards for shooting at faraway targets. The only issue is that it has 3X magnification. So you feel like your target is just meters away from you. With the clear lenses, you will be able to point out the vitals of your hunting target.
It also has Nikon quality durability, made from an aircraft-grade aluminum tube. So it neither rusts nor gets damaged easily.
- Perfect for Low Light Settings
- Durable Construction
- Aluminum Knobs
- Multiple Aimpoints
- Amazing Lens
6. Hawke Crossbow 1.5-5X32 IR SR Scope
The Hawke Crossbow 1.5-5X32 IR SR Scope is one of the best crossbow scopes in the market. The reason behind it is the variable magnification and speed adjustment.
The most significant advantage of this crossbow scope is also its biggest defect, though. Because when you adjust the scope according to speed, it also changes the magnification. The speed knob and the zoom knob are the same.
So, on the one hand, you have a scope that can adjust according to any speed crossbow from 300 FPS to 425 FPS. But if you mess with the scope to zoom in on the targets, you will automatically adjust the scope’s magnification range.
This, however, is a minor impediment. If you focus on speed instead of zoom, you get highly accurate results. The coated lens gives you excellent lighting even in a dark light setting. So hunt from dawn to dusk without any issues about the reticle’s lighting whatsoever.
But that is not all. You also get an illuminated reticle with a green or red option. Also, you get aim points from 20 yards to 100 yards with proper 10-yard intervals. So far, we have seen aim points up to 80 yards at most, but the Hawke Crossbow IR SR scope gives you up to 100 yards. Besides the zoom and speed adjustment, this is undoubtedly one of the best crossbow scopes in the market.
- Coated Lens for Low Light Setting
- Illuminated Reticle
- Adjusts to Crossbow Speeds
- Aim Points up to 100 Yards
- Zoom and Speed Knob Are the Same
7. Excalibur Tact-Zone Illuminated Scope
If you are looking for a scope that gives you incredible low-light vision, then there is no better crossbow scope than the Excalibur Tact-Zone Illuminated Scope. While a normal scope might be good for hunting during the day, you will have trouble looking through the scope and identifying the reticle at night. The illuminated reticle is one of the best, providing you clear vision even during the dark time of the day.
This crossbow scope by Excalibur has some fantastic features, one of which is the variable magnification from 2.5X to 6X zoom. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. You have either red or green reticle illumination you can choose from, giving you perfect aim at your target regardless of the light setting.
Besides all this, the Excalibur Tact-Zone also provides a clear view and contrast through its multi-coated lens. The scope is also fog-proof and shock-proof, making it ideal for all weather conditions and situations.
The specialty of this scope is its Tact-Zone reticle. This reticle is similar to BDC reticles that give you an ideal point of aim. What’s more is that you can use this scope with multiple speed crossbows, from 300 to 425 FPS. So you can adjust the speed of the crossbow on the scope to get a better shot at your targets through it.
- Amazing Illuminated Reticle
- Tact-Zone Reticle Provides Accurate Shots
- Adjustable Speed Allowing for Mounting on Different Crossbows
- 2.5X to 6X Magnification Range
- Fog-Proof and Shock-Proof
With the proper scope in hand, you can make your crossbow aim much better. But even the best crossbow scope won’t make your aim accurate. What you need is the practice to get used to the scope. However, choosing one of the best crossbow scopes listed above will serve your purpose beautifully.
Make sure to select a scope that best fits the features you desire. If a crossbow scope does not have the features you want, chances are it won’t be the best for you, even if it is the best scope in the market.
A tip to remember is to take advantage of return policies when it comes to scopes. If a scope doesn’t feel good, doesn’t give you the desired results, or doesn’t mount to your crossbow correctly, return it immediately. Also, you can tell whether the scope is of good quality or not by checking out the contrast and clarity of the lens.