Crossbow hunting is no longer a fringe sport. New seasons are opening up in many states where peer previously hunters with think it was impossible. Whether you be a crossbow hunter for a long time, or you're adopting the new method of hunting in order to take advantage of an extra season you’ll need to maximize your accuracy with your new weapon.
That means using optics to extend your range to the edge of your crossbow’s ballistic capability. As soon as you start shopping, however, you’ll notice that the market is flooded with crossbow scopes that all seem the same, and frankly are all low-quality.
It’s hard to not get ripped off with some cheap import company. Here are the five best crossbow scope on the market so that you don’t get ripped off!
Best Crossbow Scopes - Comaprison Table
Why Crossbows Need Scopes?
Crossbows should have scopes on them because it helps aid in accuracy and makes you better more ethical hunter. Crossbows are not quite rifles but are more deadly than vertical bows, this puts it at a weird crossroads. You have more range than vertical bows so traditional both sites aren’t effective, but it’s not a rifle so you don’t need high magnification to see several hundred yards.
This is where a low magnification hi field-of-view scope really comes into play. Crossbow hunting allows you more accuracy than with a vertical bow because of shoulder fired and more range because it has more momentum and velocity behind the bolt, but you don’t have the ability to smash through heavy bone like you would if you had a high-powered rifle. This means every shot that you take including long-range shots, have to be pinpoint accurate in the correct and lethal areas of the game you’re hunting.
Scopes aid in this critical role of shot placement, the most important skill of a bow hunter. More than that, scopes also extend shooting time to the very edge of legal limits because they collect and gather white better than the human eye or vertical bow site. Especially when you combine illuminated reticle technology, where legal, that allows you to see reticle no matter the backdrop. On a crossbow, there are literally no downsides to having an optic.
Best Crossbow Scope
1. Horton Hunter SS047
Horton is a known manufacturer of high-quality scopes. The SS047 is no different: it maintains the brand’s tough-as-nails exterior and delivers precise results everytime. In fact, many customers who own a Horton hunter scope come back to purchase the exact same one after theirs become unusable due to regular wear and tear. That, above all, speaks volumes about the brand and their products.
The Horton SS047 features five crosshairs for different distances at about eight to ten yard increments (depending on the bow). The SS047 weighs approximately 9.6 ounces, which is lighter than most but heavier than other top-tier scopes. However like most scopes, it is fully waterproof, fogproof, and is designed to stand up to harsh crossbow recoil. Thankfully, it also fits most crossbow which feature a scope mount.
The SS047 scope includes a 2 ½ inch eye relief as well as ¼-minute windage and elevation adjustment knobs. It has a field of view of approximately 50 yards (34 feet). The total length of this scope is about eight inches, which is the average for most crossbow scopes in today’s market. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better-quality scope within this price range which tops Horton’s quality.
- Trusted brand
- Small and compact
- Not as light as other scopes
2. Truglo Crossbow Scope 4X32 with Rings APG
Truglo is known for making quality bowling gun sights for hunters who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for quality equipment. This is no exception and is a great example of where crossbow scopes are moving in the future.
This scope shared more in common with centerfire rifle scopes they crossbow scopes of yesteryear, starting with an aircraft grade aluminum one-piece body, it includes fully multicoated lenses and fixed 4x power magnification.
This makes it extremely simple scope while still giving you plenty of range to reach out with your crossbow. It also has a few features you won’t find on very many scopes like the rubber I guard on the eyepiece and for 4 inches of eye relief. The scope is fully adjustable for both windage and elevation and has heavy-duty leaf springs to make sure that you can dial it in and out without breaking anything for seasons to come.
It's finally wrapped in a camouflage mat nonreflective finish and ships with pre-installed rings ready to be popped on to your crossbow. It carries with it a limited lifetime warranty should you ever need any product support from the true glow. Many hunters have been happy with this truglo 4x32 crossbow scope over the years if you’re looking for a simple high-quality scope for not a lot of money this should be the top of your list.
- Bright glass
- High-quality components
- Camouflage finish
- Fixed magnification
3. Aim Sports 4X32 Compact Rangfinder Scope with Rings
Many people get into crossbow hunting as a way to extend their season as crossbow hunting becomes legal in many states. They don’t necessarily want to spend a ton of money on their crossbow set up but one quality equipment it doesn’t get any better than this for rock-bottom prices and usable quality.
Aim sports is making a name for themselves as the best import company making high-value scopes for the American firearms industry. This is their compact fixed power crossbow scope for people who don’t want to spend any money.
For less than a tank of gas, you get a 4x32mm scope, with a 1-inch tube, simple rangefinder reticle. If you’re after a simple optic that you can slap on to your crossbow to make it more effective and take advantage of simple magnification, this is the cheapest and best are going to get.
Making the value even better, this scope comes with pre-mounted rings all you have to do is a slap at the top of your crossbow incited in before you go hunting. It is the definition of a lightweight compact and simple scope. Once it’s on your crossbow you’ll forget it’s there until it comes time to squeeze the trigger, where you appreciate having the ready to go magnification and reticle.
- Extremely simple
- Includes rings
- Fewer features
- Not as refined in construction or optical quality
4. Pinty 3-9X40 Red Green Rangefinder Illuminated Optical Sniper Rifle Telescopic Scope
Normally when a manufacturer comes out with the scope and tries to cram too many features on to it doesn’t work out. Especially the value driven sector of the market having too many features on the scope can complicate and make it difficult to use. Not to mention, making it bulky and expensive. This is an example of the scope that is as inexpensive as they come but comes with every feature under the sun.
Designed as a centerfire rifle scope, this scope does an excellent job being pressed into service on top of a crossbow because of its compact design and well thought out features. It has magnification from 3-9x power and has rangefinder radicals illuminated in both green and red. If you’ve ever hunt in low light and could see reticle, this is a great solution to never having a problem again!
This scope is being loved by the hunters you use it because of the value and features it brings and the ruggedness of the scope. It is double O-ring sealed and dry nitrogen filled being 100% water and fog proof, even in the worst conditions.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on your crossbow scope, but don’t want to skimp on features, give this best scope for the money a look through. It may not seem like much from the outside but once it’s on your weapon you’ll realize it has a lot to offer.
- Huge array of features
- Illuminated reticle
- Not as refined in construction
5. UTG 4X32 1" Crossbow Scope, Pro 5-Step RGB Reticle, QD Rings
If you have one of the newer crossbows designed with versatility in mind you’ll appreciate this scope from UTG. Designed to be a versatile optic for crossbows and air rifles this is the definition of a simple and flexible optic with its fixed for power magnification and 32mm objective bell it was engineered from the ground up to work well with crossbows.
It has a broadband lens coating and Pro 5-step reticle and red green and blue illumination built-in. That combined with the targets out hurts make calling holdovers and making first-run hits on the game much easier than with standard crosshair type radicals.
It’s not often that purpose driven scopes come in at this price with special features like fixed parallax at 50 yards, eliminating parallax error for crossbow hunters. Also included are flip open lens caps for storage and transportation to protect the eyepiece and objective bell. Making this an, even more, value packed scope it ships with a pre-installed quick detach rings and mount ready to be clamped on to your crossbow.
If you need a value driven but purpose designed scope for your crossbow, give this scope a chance. Especially on the newer lightweight tactical style crossbows designed with flexibility in mind.
- Low profile
- Includes QD rings
- Not many features
- Fixed magnification
Gun Scopes & Crossbow Scopes
Just because a scope was designed for a centerfire rifle does not mean he can’t be used on a crossbow. Many low powered or fixed powered rifle scopes perform extremely well on crossbows and if you are attached to a certain scope that you have on a rifle don’t be afraid to move it over to your crossbow or by duplicate and install it. It may be bulkier and overbuilt for the task, but it will perform just as well as a purpose made crossbow provided you don’t use any BDC that was designed for a rifle cartridge.
However, the vibrations will break and void the warranty of many rimfire scopes, so they should be avoided. Many of the high dollar rimfire scopes might be fine but if you have a budget model with minimal armor on it, you may want to consider just upgrading to a regular crossbow scope. The vibration impulse from a crossbow is much different than the vibrations that happen on a rifle and they have been known to break scopes. Normally if an optic was designed for a rimfire rifle and installed on a crossbow and broken, the warranty will almost always be avoided. Some companies might honor the warranty but it’s best not to take chances.
With cross is becoming more and more common, and more states allowing them for hunting get ahead of the curve and be proficient with your crossbow so you can take advantage of the season as soon as it rolls around. In many states that don’t allow crossbow hunting during archery season they allowed during general gun and hunting with a crossbow near residential areas where it might be illegal to discharge a firearm is a great way to target on pressured game animals.
There’s not a whole lot of really good options for crossbow optics on the market, so pick one and get outdoors, and get shooting. The whole point of getting best crossbow scope is to shoot crossbows, after all!