- 1 Top 6 Best Crossbow Scopes in 2020
- 2 Best Crossbow Scope Buyer’s Guide
To help you find the best crossbow scopes for all of your hunting and shooting practice needs, we spent over 12 hours testing 15 different models. As a result of this real-world testing, we chose the UTG 4×32 crossbow scope as our top pick. It features the best illumination and light pass-through of any of the options on our list, as well as excellent adjustability options.
Our testing focused mainly on optical quality and how much light the scopes let through for a clearer picture of your prey. This also includes looking at the quality and accuracy of the reticles and what kind of magnification each scope offered. However, we also focused on build quality to ensure you get a durable option that will last through even the most intense hunting trip. Keep reading below to learn more about the UTG crossbow scope and the other best crossbow scopes on our list.
Top 6 Best Crossbow Scopes in 2020
#1 UTG 4×32 Crossbow Scope
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This crossbow scope is extra durable, easy to use and almost perfectly illuminated during use. These features and more make this the best overall pick on our list.
The UTG 4×32 crossbow scope is a lightweight scope that measures in at a little over 8 inches long and nearly 2 inches wide. This is a 32mm objective lens with 4x magnification. The scope is the perfect size for crossbow hunting and offers plenty of space between your eye and the scope itself. You get a pro 5-step reticle with the UTG, calibrated to 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards of distance. The reticle lines span the full width of the scope, though, which wasn’t the best design in our opinion. We would have preferred to see a triangle reticle shape. However, this didn’t adversely affect our aim or accuracy in the long run.
The UTG crossbow scope is fully multi-coated and provides truly amazing light transmission. We didn’t have a problem at all seeing out of the scope at any point during our testing. You can also illuminate the scope in red or green, with separate brightness levels depending on light conditions. You can even turn the illumination off entirely if you need to. The scope is fully adjustable and features both zero lock and zero resettable options for easier adjustments moving forward. If you are taking this on your next hunting trip, you might want to also bring along your best pocket knife so you’re as prepared as possible.
#2 CVLIFE 3-9×40 AO Crossbow Scope
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: An adjustable objective crossbow scope with a huge magnification range and amazing low-light performance. It’s also built impressively well with shockproof characteristics.
The CVLIFE 3-9×40 AO crossbow scope stands out when it comes to overall performance, especially in low light situations and on more powerful crossbows. For starters, this is a scope that offers 3-9x magnification on a 40mm lens. It measures in at just over 12 inches, which makes it larger than other scopes on our list, but the larger size also allows for more magnification and light transmission. The CVLIFE allows for about 95% of light transmission into the multiplex reticle, which is perfect for both sunny days and low light conditions. All you’ll need is one of the best survival knives so you can be ready for anything,
#3 Vortex Optics Crossfire II Crossbow Scope
Award: BEST FOR TRAPPER
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best crossbow scope for hunting hogs and deer alike with a large magnification range, water and fog proof design and fast focus eyepiece.
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II, also known as the Hog Hunter, is large, durable and high performance scope that will keep you on your most accurate game ever. With a massive 3-12x magnification range, this scope is perfect for hunting deer and hogs. It’s a 56mm AO lens that’s multi-coated with anti-reflective properties and purged with nitrogen. It’s also built to be waterproof and fog proof so those early morning hunts are never obstructed by the morning dew.
One of the best features on this scope is the quick focus adjustment so you can change focus on the fly for those fast-moving hunts. Overall brightness is pretty amazing here, with exceptional low-light performance due to the large size of the lens. You also get built-in parallax removal so your long-range aim isn’t distorted. Some might miss the customizable side parallax adjustment dial, but we found the built-in removal to be much more efficient. If you want to be able to start a fire anywhere you are, rain or shine, grab a pack of the best all-weather matches too.
#4 Hawke Sport Optics 12221 XB1 Crossbow Scope
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This scope is the best crossbow scope for fast crossbows and high FPS. It’s also incredibly durable with O-ring sealing, aircraft-grade aluminum tube and multiple layers of lens coating.
The Hawke Sport Optics 12221 XB1 crossbow scope is an excellent choice for high-speed crossbows that shoot at speeds between 250 and 425 feet per second. This is largely due to the scope’s amazing built-in speed adjuster. This feature allows you to calibrate your scope to match the speed at which you’re shooting. This helps you keep your reticle and aim as accurate as possible. This will be quickly become your best crossbow for hunting.
Hawke crossbow scopes are traditionally very well designed, this scope’s overall performance is something to be applauded as well. It features an impressive 11 layers of coating on the lens so you get exceptional clarity and it’s fully illuminated so you can shoot in low light conditions with ease, as well. The scope is also built with a solid 1-inch monotube made from aircraft-grade aluminum. Also, with nitrogen purging and o-ring sealing, this scope is waterproof and fog proof.
#5 Hammers Compact 4x32CBT Crossbow Scope
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: This scope is compact and lightweight, offering overall good performance and illumination. The best part is that it all comes in an extra affordable package.
The Hammers Compact 4x32CBT crossbow scope is the most affordable option on our list and it doesn’t have to sacrifice a lot to achieve that level of affordability. For starters, this is a compact, 8-inch scope that offers 4x magnification in a 32mm lens. The scope includes two different colors for the illuminated reticle: red and blue. The reticle is one of the scope’s best features because it’s well illuminated and features four different aiming points for better accuracy. The reticle’s brightness can also be adjusted in 5 different levels. We were also pleased that the scope provided for 50 yards free of parallax. However, if you need longer range, up to 100 yards, the scope still includes a side parallax adjustment.
Overall build quality is decent with the Hammers Compact scope. It’s not as durable as other options on our list, which is to be expected at such an affordable price point. It’s built with water and fog proof lenses, but it’s also got shockproof qualities so it doesn’t get knocked out of alignment or broken if dropped or bumped. The Hammers Compact is also lightweight at just 11.5 ounces. If you’re worried about survival on your next camping trip, bring along the best disaster kit backpack too.
#6 TRUGLO Red-Dot Crossbow Scope
Award: BEST COMPACT
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking for a scope that’s ultra-compact and lightweight, then this one is perfect for you. It’s the best crossbow red-dot scope on our list that’s also incredibly user friendly and uncomplicated.
The TRUGLO Red-Dot crossbow scope is a 30mm scope that features a traditional red-dot reticle. The reticle features 3 individual red dots, including a 5 MOA reticle for super fast sighting. The scope also features plenty of adjustability settings for brightness and contrast control, windage and elevation adjustments. These are incredibly simple to adjust, with clear and tactile clicking that lets you know when you’ve completed the adjustment.
The TRUGLO is the most compact crossbow scope on our list at just 9 inches long and 2 inches wide. It’s also super lightweight at only 9.6 ounces. This makes it perfect for long hunting trips where you know you’ll be walking a lot. It performs well overall, but struggles a little bit in low light conditions, especially when compared to other options. You might want to also pack the best earthquake kit if you’re hiking somewhere prone to earthquakes.
How We Decided
To start rating the crossbow scopes we purchase, we first measured overall optic quality. The best crossbow scopes are clear, letting tons of light in so you can more accurately see your targets. There are a variety of features that lead to clear optics, including things like multi-coated lenses and nitrogen filling.
Next, we looked at each scope’s overall durability and ease of use. Both the scope’s body itself and the lenses should be built from strong materials so they don’t break while out in the field. We favored options that felt sturdy in our hands and could handle being bumped around. We awarded bonus points for scopes that included flip-up covers over the lenses for added protection.
Finally, we only considered scopes that provided user-friendly options that made the user experience more seamless and painless. All of the scopes on our list are easy to mount on your crossbow, for starters. We favored scopes that are fully adjustable, as well. The best crossbows scopes make these adjustments super simple and include audible clicks so you know when the adjustment has been made. Scopes can be adjusted in a variety of ways, but you should at least be able to adjust for things like elevation and wind speed with just your hands and not a tool.
Best Crossbow Scope Buyer’s Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Optics Quality
A crossbow scope is of no use to you if you can’t see clearly out of it. Make sure the scope you purchase allows enough light through in order to give you the clearest picture possible. Multi-coated lenses allow the most light in. You should also consider a nitrogen-filled scope so you can avoid any fogging that can happen in the morning. You should also consider a scope that includes some kind of reticle, so you get more accurate aiming and shooting.
The whole purpose behind a crossbow scope is to magnify your potential target so you can see it better and create a more accurate aim. However, the amount of magnification your scope provides can vary depending on the model you purchase. Choose an option that provides enough magnification for your personal shooting style.
The size of your crossbow scope is another important consideration to make, especially when you consider the fact that you’ll need to be able to pack it with you on hunting trips. The size of the scope is also important when you consider the overall balance and weight of your crossbow. Purchase something too large and your crossbow may become unbalanced and harder to aim.
Crossbow scopes are meant to be mounted and unmounted at will, especially during hunting trips when you are packing in and out of remote areas. This means you’ll be handling the scope quite often, so you’ll want something that can take a lot of abuse without worrying about it breaking.
Crossbow Scope FAQs
What is the best crossbow scope on the market?
The best crossbow scope on the market, according to our testing and research, is the UTG 4X32. With an integrated sunshade, near-perfect illumination and zero-lockable elevation, this scope is an excellent all-around option for the widest variety of uses.
What is the best crossbow scope for hunting?
The best crossbow scope for hunting on our list is the Hawke Sport Optics XB1 SR. With an adjustable crossbow scope reticle, recoil-resistant design and extra clarity, this scope will amplify your aim and accuracy.
Can you put a rifle scope on a crossbow?
Yes, you can, but be aware that it might not be designed to withstand the stronger forward recoil that crossbows experience, as opposed to the backward rifle recoil.
What distance should I zero my crossbow?
For the most part, you should zero your scope’s top-most reticle to 20 yards. This is the most common distance for crossbow hunting applications. However, there are some manufacturers that specify a different zero distance, so always follow what the manufacturer says.
What is the best crossbow scope brand?
There are lots of choices when it comes to crossbow scope brands. Our favorites include UTG and Hawke, both of which are featured on our list. But it’s also worth it to check out Barnett crossbow scopes and Excalibur crossbow scopes.
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