Best Crossbow Scope Review
I know. Choosing the best Crossbow Scope is not an easy task.
But, here’s the deal…
We already did it for you!
We’ll tell you everything you need to know before buying Crossbow Scopes right here, right now!
Before we go into details… Let’s Take a quick look at what we recommend:
Price for 1 minute
Mike's Top Choice
(The one we like the best)
Fully multi-coated lens
Fog-proof & waterproof
Eye relief at 3.4 inches
Range up to 60 yards
(Check current price down below)
Eye relief at 3.5 inches
Compact 4x optics
Here are the best crossbow scopes we looked at:
- UTG 4×32 1″ Crossbow Scope, Pro 5-Step RGB Reticle, QD Rings
- Nikon 8461 Bolt XR Crossbow Scope
- TRUGLO Crossbow Scope 4×32 with Rings APG
- Hammers Compact Red/Blue Illuminated Crossbow Scope 4x32CBT
Do you wanna learn more about crossbow scope? Here you can learn:
- What’s a Crossbow Scope for?
- Do you really need a Crossbow Scope?
- What to look for in Crossbow Scopes:
- Objective Lens Diameter
- Eye Relief
- Field of View
- Exit Pupil
- Optic Lens Coats and Quality
- Inner Coating
- Where It’s Made
Best Scope Crossbow 2023
Mike’s Gear Reviews has prepared five of the top crossbow scopes that you can buy online. The specs and the prices listed here are lifted from Amazon unless otherwise stated.
UTG 4×32 1″ Crossbow Scope, Pro 5-Step RGB Reticle, QD Rings
From the US company Leapers, the UTG 4×32 Crossbow Scope is a perfect fit for most crossbows at 12.3 ounces and 8.19 inches length. As indicated in its name, it has a standard tube of 1 inch, with four times the magnification and 32mm objective lens diameter. This is one of best crossbow scope on the market.
Pros and cons:
|Fog-proof, waterproof||No bolt speed compensation adjustment|
|Field of view is 27ft at 100 yards|
|Eye relief at 3.8 inches|
- UTG 4×32 Crossbow/Air gun scope, built on TS platform, 1″ tube, wide angel, parallax 15 50 yards
- Broadband lens coating, pro 5-step reticle, RGB side wheel illumination, zero reset/locking W/E knobs
- Complete with flip-open lens caps and UTG RQ2W1104 QD Rings
This is probably the best crossbow scope for low light that you can get for this price range. It offers excellent light transmission and gives you clear view in low light conditions. It is an illuminated scope, in red and green and have five-setting brightness adjustment, which you can use for low light conditions. But if you don’t want to use illumination or don’t have a battery for it, you can just use the black crosshair reticle.
It has high quality optics as well. At 4x the magnification and 32mm lens, you will have no problem shooting a target from 50 yards.
Many users said crossbow sighting is easy with this scope if you just know the right procedure. And once it is properly sighted in, you’re good to go as it would remain that way.
One complaint by majority of crossbow scopes reviews is that it has no bolt speed compensation adjustment. You have to sight in each individual reticle line.
Overall, in crossbow sights, you can’t go wrong with this.
Nikon 8461 Bolt XR Crossbow Scope
As it is from Nikon, the Japanese-headquartered multinational company specializing in optics products, it goes without saying that the 8461 Bolt XR Crossbow Scope is a high-quality crossbow sighting.
With a fixed 3x magnification and 32mm objective lens, you can shoot a target within 60 yards easily. It is—as is now standard among high quality crossbow scopes—waterproof, fog-proof and shockproof, ensuring that it is fit for outdoors use as it should be.
Pros and cons:
|Fully multi-coated lens||Expensive|
|Fog-proof, waterproof||Not illuminated|
|Quick focus eye piece|
|Eye relief at 3.4 inches|
|Range up to 60 yards|
- Fully multicoated lenses: For maximum brightness and contrast and light transmission up to 92%. Nikon coats all lenses with multiple layers of anti-reflective compounds
- Precise ¼ inch at 20 yards adjustments: With an incredible 150 MOA adjustment range (100 yards)
- Zero-Reset Turrets: Zero-Reset turrets allow you to sight-in at 20 yards, then lift the spring-loaded adjustment knob, rotate to your “zero”, and re-engage. Field adjustments are now as simple as dialing in your subsequent ranges
- Parallax-free at 20 yards: For optimum accuracy; Waterproof, fog-proof and shockproof
- Lightweight Compact Design: Fits virtually every crossbow design
- Large Ocular with Quick Focus Eye Piece: ±4 Diopter; 3.4 inches of eye relief & BDC 60 Reticle
- Includes: Nikon lens caps, Nikon windage & Elevation caps
Although the Nikon Bolt XR is a bit on the expensive side, it is, by all accounts, worth it.
It is precise and clear and everything that you would want when you are looking for the best crossbow scope. It is probably not the best crossbow scope for low light, according to some users, though it is passable in that regard.
It transmits 92% of available light, giving you superior brightness and contrast. Its magnification is fixed at 3x. Nikon boasts that accuracy is spot on at 60 yards, and according to users doing crossbow scope review, that is correct.
It is non-illuminated, so if this isn’t what you prefer, then you will be disappointed as it’s probably the only thing that makes this model complete. Nevertheless, it’s the only flaw that you might see.
TRUGLO Crossbow Scope 4×32 with Rings APG
The TRUGLO Crossbow Scope 4×32 is definitely an option if you want the best crossbow scope at a fraction of the price of high-end models.
These affordable crossbow sights have superb optics quality that helps improve your shooting skills.
It has a generous 4″ eye relief, the biggest among the others on this list.
Its 4x magnification and 32mm diameter of objective lens provide clear image of targets at a distance. Its crosshair reticle is at 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards’ range.
Pros and cons:
|With limited lifetime warranty||Difficult to mount|
|4-inch eye relief|
|Waterproof and fog-proof|
- Special range finding and trajectory compensating reticle. Generous 4″ eye relief.
- Fully-coated lenses provide maximum brightness, clarity and contrast
- Rubber eye-guard. Fingertip windage and elevation adjustment under screw down caps.
- Durable leaf spring for windage and elevation adjustments. One-piece tube made of aircraft quality aluminum.
- Durable, scratch-resistant, non-reflective matte finish. Lifetime Limited Warranty
If you are looking for an inexpensive scope that doesn’t feel cheap at all, the TRUGLO Crossbow Scope is it.
This scope comes with a limited lifetime warranty, which says a lot for something that doesn’t cost that much. It is made of the same aluminum used in aircrafts, and the fact that it is in camouflage skin adds to its beauty.
As budget scopes go, it does have a few drawbacks.
One crossbow scope review says that it is not true to its claim that it’s fog-proof. That’s one complaint, though. What most users complained about was it is apparently difficult to mount on crossbows.
Hammers Compact Red/Blue Illuminated Multi-Line Reticle Crossbow Scope 4x32CBT with weaver rings
Even cheaper than the TRUGLO above is the Hammers Compact Red/Blue Illuminated Crossbow Scope. If you get it for less than $50, you will have a lightweight, compact scope that you can carry easily during hunting. That’s a great buy.
Pros and cons:
|Shockproof||Lowest intensity of illuminated reticle still too bright|
|Eye relief at 3.5 inches|
- Six cross lines for more reference points down the range
- Two color illuminated
- Compact 4x optics
- Comes with weaver rings
- Good 3 ½ inch eye relief
Touted by some as the cheapest and the best illuminated crossbow scope, the Hammers Compact Red/Blue Illuminated Multi-Line Reticle Crossbow Scope is an easy to mount scope that even comes with a set of mounting rings.
With fixed 4x magnification and 32 mm diameter, it is the ideal scope for beginners as it does provide accurate sighting and clear image resolution without costing a lot.
The multi-line reticle, as its name indicates, is illuminated with 5-setting adjustment. The issue from a crossbow scope review is that its lowest brightness setting of the illuminated reticle is still too bright.
This is a great value for money for beginners in the sport. It has the basics and some more that you would expect from a scope of this caliber.
LaserWorks LE-032 Riflescope mate rangefinder 700M
Here’s a wildcard entry, the LaserWorks LE-032 Riflescope is obviously not a crossbow scope. It is a rangefinder that you can use with crossbows or, as its name suggests, rifles. Rangefinders measure the distance from the observer to their target, which is not unlike how scopes work, though they have few differences.
This rangefinder can be attached to crossbow scopes so you can adjust your scope’s reticle based on the readings of the rangefinder. It is an extra step but not pointless. Rangefinders are for those who need extra accuracy.
Pros and cons:
|Compact||Only one side orientation|
|Easy to mount on scopes|
- Long distance spotting sight, clear range: 6-702m, ideal for fast target acquisition and accuracy
- Durable Material and Camouflage Color: The product with aluminum alloy metal that’s tough enough to go anywhere and rangefinder color matches most camo patterns. Lightweight, shockproof, weather-resistant that will last for a long time
- Color OLED display: Clear digital meter speed display is easy to read
- Universal clamp-on mounting dech to fit most tactical spots
- Widely used for alignment / aiming / positioning / hunting / spotting / search /rescue / hiking etc.
This compact 700-meter waterproof laser rangefinder has a color OLED display in an all-metal shell. It has a precision of +/- 1M. It has a fog mode, which means it can still function and measure even if it’s foggy. It also measures horizontal distance and the slope.
According to a crossbow scope review, the only negative this has it that it only has one side orientation. Though it can be mounted sideways, the screen orientation remains the same.
The question is if you need a rangefinder if you already have a scope. The answer depends on how serious you are with the sport. You can do away without one, but if your main goal is extreme precision, you need one.
Mike’s Top Choice
Out of the four crossbow scopes (and one rangefinder) above, Mike’s Gear Reviews think you would want to have the Nikon Bolt XR if you want the best cross scope. It is top-of-the-line and simply the best. It has everything and more, save for illumination, which many people don’t need anyway. It is precise and has quick focus eyepiece, and that’s just a couple of its great attributes.
If you want something less pricey, though, then you would love the UTG 4×32 Crossbow Scope. It has the advantages of the Nikon without the price tag that comes along with it.
What to look for in Crossbow Scopes
The best crossbow scope comes with a few key qualities.
Check the crossbow scopes reviews before buying, and check the following: the crossbow sights’ magnification, eye relief, exit pupil, reticle, objective lens diameter, illumination, field of view, optic lens coating, inner coating, durability and country of manufacture.
Probably the foremost reason why you need a crossbow scope is you need to magnify the target yards away from you so you can see it better.
Magnification is the number you first see in a model’s classification. If the scope you bought says it’s 4×32, it means that it magnifies the object four times closer. If it’s 4-16×32, it means it is a variable power scope. It can be adjusted to magnify four to 16 times.
The best crossbow scope on the market doesn’t necessarily have the highest magnification, though. Even if it has high magnification but low objective lens diameter, then it’s still not good enough. The 32 in that equation is the diameter of the objective lens in millimeter, which we will discuss below.
Objective Lens Diameter
In the above example, 4×32, the 32 is the object lens diameter. It is always measured in millimeters.
It determines the exit pupil, or the aperture of the lens. The exit pupil determines how much light will reach your eye upon looking through the scope. The larger the number is, the more light will be able to come through it and the brighter the image at a given magnification. If you have high magnification number, you would also want a higher objective lens diameter. Because otherwise, the object will appear dark and in shadow.
Thirty-two is the standard lens size, which is why you will find a lot of models of crossbow scopes in 32mm diameter.
This is the distance between the eyepiece lens and your shooting eye.
This is important because if your crossbow scope doesn’t have eye relief, or has but a small one, there’s a good chance you will hit your eye from the force when the crossbow releases an arrow. A good eye relief number is somewhere above 3″.
Field of View
The field of view is how much you can see in a particular range. It is the width of the scope’s sight picture, which is the amount of terrain visible, at a specific distance. The higher your scope’s magnification is, the lower your field of view is. If you have a range of 200 yards, your scope may only give you about 20 feet of field of view, depending on the focal length of the lenses as well.
The best crossbow scope has good illumination as well, which means you can shoot in low-light situations. It can help gather light and produce a bright and clear image. The best illuminated crossbow scope will give you properly lighted view of an image even though you have poor lighting.
A scope’s exit pupil is the diameter of the circle of light leaving the scope and entering the shooting eye. The smaller the exit pupil, the dimmer the image that will appear to you it won’t fill the iris with light.
Reticle is simply the lines that your see when you look through a scope. It is overlaid on the image as a guide where to aim and how to measure the distance. There are a couple of types of reticles. The first is the most popular: the crosshair.
Crosshair reticles have a single vertical line and one or more horizontal lines.
The horizontal lines are notches signaling the trajectory at a distance. In crossbow sighting, the top horizonal line, for example, is 20 yards. The second top is 40 yards, the third is 60, and so on.
There are reticles that have dots or dashes instead of lines. They may have a single dot or multiple dots, same goes for dashes. If it has multiples, the top dot/dash is the nearest distance, usually 20 yards.
Optic Lens Coats and Quality
The optical lenses are the most important part of a scope.
When crossbow sighting, they are the one that remain constant. They can be coated, fully coated, multi-coated or fully multi-coated. The order is by quality, and the last one is also the most expensive.
A coated lens has a single layer of coating on its surface. Fully coated has a single layer of coating on all external surfaces exposed to air. Multi-coated has multiple layers of coating on one lens surface. And finally, a fully multi-coated lens has multiple layers of coating on all lenses exposed to air.
It may seem a negligible criterion to consider when looking for the best crossbow scope, but it’s actually a practical one to consider.
The interior coating is necessary to reduce the amount of stray light coming in through the lens. If light enters the scope, it will reflect off the metal, and therefore will reduce the image quality.
This should be one of your top priorities when looking for the best crossbow scope on the market. Unless you are target-shooting indoors, you are likely to use your crossbow outdoors while hunting. And all things outdoors call for extra durability because they are exposed to elements and rough handling.
Read the crossbow scopes reviews to have an idea if the model that you are eyeing is heavy-duty.
Also, even if the one you are getting isn’t top of the line, it should still have one or all of these qualities: weatherproof (i.e. fog-proof, waterproof and dustproof), scratch-resistant and shock-resistant. It is critical for crossbow scopes to be fog-proof because it will affect the image clarity of the scope if even there’s a slight change in temperature.
Where It’s Made
You may also want to consider the country of manufacture of crossbow scopes. Where they are made can determine their quality, as well as their authenticity.
What’s a Crossbow Scope for?
Aiming a crossbow at a target isn’t as easy as it looks.
It does require precise estimation and you have to rely on your eyesight and your steady hands to hit that game on your first try. But apart from your own skills, there is something else that can help you accurately hit your target.
Using the best crossbow scope during hunting or target-shooting will up your skill impressively.
Crossbow scopes provide great light gathering and increased magnification. They allow you to dial in your aim and adjust arc to give you a larger sight area. You can see your target better from 50 yards, depending on the type of scope.
They are different from riffle scopes. They look similar and even function the same, but they are different in some regards.
One major difference between them is their range.
While some crossbow scopes can engage targets at 80 yards, long ranges are more of riffle scopes’ arena. Because crossbows are short-range weapons, their scopes are designed for short ranges and give wide field-of view, and this is why you cannot use one scope over the other.
Crossbow scopes are also available with low-power and fixed magnification settings, while rifle scopes have adjustable magnification. The former can also be calibrated to the speed of the bolt. This gives shooters an accurate aiming point tuned to the trajectory.
There are two types of scopes for crossbows available on the market.
The first is the red dot scope, which transmits a simple light reticle into the scope. It does not have magnification, but the good news is that the light reticle is easy to see. It requires batteries.
The second type is the optic sights. These are similar to hunting scopes that they also have magnification. Optic sights are either fixed or variable power. If it’s fixed, it means it only has one power setting. This doesn’t allow the magnification to be set to higher or lower number. A variable power scope, meanwhile, is capable of zooming from 3x to 15x.
Do you really need a Crossbow Scope?
When you buy a new crossbow, it’s unlikely that you will get the best crossbow scope that goes along with it. Oftentimes, you will be saddled with a passable scope, if there’s even one included in the package.
That’s why for serious marksmen and hunters, investing in a scope is a must
There are some who would argue that a scope isn’t at all important as the crossbow is a short-range weapon anyway.
However, even if you are using the crossbow for target-shooting or for hunting, bringing in the best crossbow scope with you is essential. You are basically hitting a target, sometimes a live animal. If you missed it or hit it but in a non-lethal way, you are prolonging its agony. It’s an inhumane way to hunt.
Even if you have 20/20 eyesight, you would need help if you are aiming at a small target about 20 yards away. This is where a scope comes in handy.