Top 5 Best Muzzleloader Scope Reviews

best muzzleloader scope

​Muzzleloading is a unique sport. You're going after an animal with a single shot using antiquated technology but you still want to stack the odds in your favor. Sometimes, this is by having a magnified optic. In many parts of the country, you can't have a magnified optic on your muzzleloader during the muzzleloading season.

If this is the case, find out if you can use a magnified optic during a regular season. This way when all the other gun hunters are using modern Firearms you can still use your smoke pole just with the added benefit of seeing the further end of the distance. Below we will review the 5 best muzzleloader scopes on the market today.

Top 5 Best Muzzleloader Scopes - Comparison Table​

​Muzzle Loader vs. Standard Scopes

Muzzleloading Scopes generally have a few key characteristics that make them different from the standard scopes that you would find on a centerfire rifle. For starters, they don't need as much magnification. Muzzleloaders don't have as much range as centerfire rifles so they typically top out at about 7x power magnification. You'll never need more than about 9x power for your muzzleloader so you'll never find a muzzleloading scope with very much more magnification.

muzzleloader

The other major difference for muzzleloading scopes is that they are made using custom BDC reticles for muzzleloading trajectories. These are often the same radicals used for shotgun slug scopes because they match the trajectory of the slow-moving have your bullet to help you place that bullet accurately at range.

Other small differences like setting the adjustment point and parallax of the scope closer end in 100 yd are a comment but tend to vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. You should still expect the same level of quality and design as a centerfire scope and expect to pay a comparable price. If you would rather use a standard scope on your Muzzleloader, go right ahead. It won't hurt it but you might lose out on the benefit of the BDC reticle found only on Muzzleloader Scopes.

​Our Pick for the Best Muzzleloader Scopes Reviews

​#1 - Leupold Ultimate Slam 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope


Leupold UltimateSlam 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope


The Leupold ultimate slam rifle scope is an excellent scope for muzzleloader or shotgun hunting because of the combination of medium magnification, excellent optical quality, and purpose-driven technology all integrated into a durable and high-quality package.

For starters, this leupold muzzleloader scope follows the classic 3 to 9 power by 40 mm objective Bell that is so common on nearly every classic deer hunting rifle but combines it with a purpose made BDC reticle that makes hitting targets easy out to the very edge of a muzzleloaders effective range. Despite common slugs and shotgun loads having the trajectory of a thrown rock.

The quality of this rifle scope is one of the best that Leupold has to offer. When you pick it up in hand and see the detailing of the finish work and the optical quality of the glass you can see that this scope is well worth the price.

If there's any downside to this scope it's the size and weight of it.That isn't necessarily a bad thing, considering the vast majority of people who use the scope will use it a top a muzzleloader or hard recoiling shotgun. All that extra weight helps it soak up recoil more than a lighter-weight scope would.

If you need a lightweight scope look elsewhere, if you need an extremely high-quality set and forget scope seriously give this scope a thought.

Pros
  • Excellent quality
  • Purpose designed adjustment and BDC reticle
  • Excellent optical quality
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

​#2 - Nikon INLINE XR BDC 300 Riflescope, Xtra Green

Nikon INLINE XR BDC 300 Riflescope

Nikon is known for bringing high-quality optical equipment to the market for prices you wouldn't expect from other major manufacturers. You can really count on them to give you a value for your money and this scope, designed for muzzleloaders from the ground-up, is no exception.

The first thing you'll notice about this scope from Nikon is the striking and high detailed camouflage finish on the exterior. It looks great, feels great in hand and really goes a long way to help it blend in during the early season. If you plan on using the scope in the late-season the green will stick out in anything but an evergreen but is going to look great on a muzzle-loading shotgun, or any shotgun for spring turkey season.

Once you look through the scope you'll notice the excellent BDC reticle that helps you compensate for the drop of a muzzleloader or shotgun with their proprietary ballistic match technology. The BDC is included in this scope is about as good as it gets for the consumer market.

One of the last things are likely to notice, is the fact that this Nikon muzzleloader scopes has a long eye relief of 5 inches. This is to make sure you don't get slammed in the face above your eye or on the bridge of your nose when you shoot a hard-recoiling muzzleloader. Scars from scope bite seemingly never go away and the guys over at Nikon know your pain. That's why they build such good equipment.

Pros
  • High detailed camouflage
  • Great optical quality
  • Purpose made BDC reticle
  • Long eye relief
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Large turrets

​#3 - Nikon INLINE XR BDC 300 Riflescope, Matte Black

Nikon INLINE XR BDC 300 Riflescope, Matte Black, 3-9x40

This Nikon Inline XR muzzleloader scope is much like it's camouflaged brother, but comes in at a much better price and will work on a greater variety of firearms because if it's matte black color and more compact build. This scope was also designed from the ground up with similar specifications for muzzleloaders but does so without the camouflage finish on many of Nikon's muzzleloading Scopes.

The appeal of this scope is the excellent optical quality, and intelligently designed features like the ballistic match reticle, that are brought to the market at a lower price than any other manufacturer could without sacrificing on quality.

This is really a great all-around best muzzleloader scope under 200 with a medium magnification of the classic 3 to 9 power that performs well for hunting out to the edge of the modern muzzleloaders range without being overly large or unwieldy.

The only real downside to this scope is the turrets included on the scope are large compared to the body of the scope and protrude in a way that is likely to snag on the brush while hunting.

The scope is still excellent but is hindered nevertheless by the large turrets that Nikon went with. If you need a high-value Muzzleloader scope that will get the job done with great quality then this is your scope. Priced at a level everyone can enjoy this is a hard scope not to choose even without the camouflage finish or any other fancy upgrades.

Pros
  • Great optical quality
  • Purpose made open style BDC reticle
  • Long eye relief
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Large turrets

​#4 - Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rifle Scope

Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rifle Scope

Vortex is known as one of the most Innovative and forward-thinking optics companies on the market today. They make outstanding products with high value that carry a relentless warranty that makes it easy to choose one their newer models with the faith that they'll perform no matter what.

This is an excellent vortex muzzleloader scopes for lighter weight rifles and backcountry hunting because of its compact, lightweight, and rugged design that won't get in the way or weigh you down. With this size being the overall feature of the scope the close second is the optical quality and features this scope manages to still have.

Amenities Like fully adjustable turrets a BDC reticle And 30mm Tube goes a long way to making this an excellent scope. The only downsides of this optic are the narrow field of view that is limited by the 32mm objective Bell. that's not the fault of Vortex, simply a law of physics, that isn't too much of a problem considering the magnification of this scope tops out at 7x power.

If you think you'll be doing a lot of stalking or traveling a long distance on foot to your hunting location, every ounce counts and gear must perform in the worst conditions making this one of the best optics you can choose for a lightweight muzzleloading scope.

Pros
  • Very compact and lightweight
  • Excellent warranty
  • Excellent quality
Cons
  • Large turrets
  • Low field of view

​#5 - Traditions Muzzleloader Hunter Series Scope 3-9x40

Traditions Performance Firearms Muzzleloader Hunter Series Scope

Traditions don't make scopes themselves, but they put together some of the best muzzleloading beginner packages you can buy as well as producing some of the cheapest. You can often buy a brand-new rifle, scope and accessory package from traditions for cheaper than you can buy one of their competitor’s rifles used.

Their specialty is usable gear on the cheap. Not everything they commission is the best, but nearly everything they put out is a high-value field serviceable product and this scope is a perfect example.

For the amount of money they're charging, which is rock bottom, you get a fully multi-coated lens, with decent optical quality fully waterproof and somewhat ruggedized scope that will hold zero on every hard recoiling rifle you can manage. This is by far the best muzzleloader scope under 100 on the market.

Small perks to make your life easier like a Fast Focus eyepiece and easy adjustment knobs are on the scope but once you get it set up to your liking you'll quickly forget their there. Few other companies can charge what they charge and put out the products that they do.

Not a single one of their products would win an award for quality, performance, or even looks but if you have a limited budget and want the best of the cheap options on the market, this scope will get it done and for the price is hard to beat.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Excellent value
  • Fast focus eyepiece
Cons
  • Slightly foggy glass
  • Not as high-quality components

​Choosing Muzzleloader Scope - Buying Tips

  • Magnification - You don’t need as much magnification for a muzzleloader as you do for a centerfire rifle. Limit the amount of magnification and enjoy the lower price and faster handling of a lighter weight scope. The most you’ll need is 9x power. Even hunting out west because you’ll probably never make more than a 300-yard shot with a muzzleloader, 95% of people will never shoot past 150 yards.
  • BDC Reticles - BDC reticles on muzzleloaders are every useful, provided they’re easy to use. You need to be able to call first round hit out to the edge of your muzzleloader’s effective range. It needs to be easy to use under pressure with no extraneous information.
  • Mounting - Muzzleloaders are sometimes designed with a break action to make cleaning easier. Don’t negate this feature by mounting a scope in a position you have to remove it each and every time you need to clean your rifle.
  • Warranty - Simply put, don’t buy a scope without a warranty. It’s just not worth taking the gamble with a shady import company when there are so many great options that can be had in every price range that offers a warranty. There’s hardly a problem with the major optics houses, don’t stray and take a gamble with your hard-earned money.

​Conclusion

There are so many muzzleloading scopes in the market it can often seem like an impossible task to try to figure out which one is best for your situation. Dozens of Manufacturers with hundreds of different scopes, cloud the decision to pull the trigger on a single model this because you're afraid of missing out.

Remember that muzzleloading is a subset of hunting which revolves around using your skills and wit to take down an animal and the gear you carry is just complementary to your skills. Get your hands on the best muzzleloader scope, and get out and learn how to use it.

When the season rolls around you'll be ready and outfitted with decent equipment. When in doubt stick to one of the five on this list, just get on the field and get hunting!

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About the author

    Brandon Cox

    I'm Brandon, and with a passion and love for all things hunting, I have invested much time and money bringing myself up to speed with the latest and best hunting Intel. Through my hunting website, I want to share and excite all on the intricacies of hunting whether you be an amateur or a professional.

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