Welcome to the best crossbow scope review.
If you are out crossbow hunting, distance, bushes and trees, and poor light may limit your view of your target. By adding a scope to your crossbow, you do not only get a better glimpse of your target, but you also increase your chances of a successful hit.
Scopes are technical accessories, however, and determining a model that is suitable for your needs is not always easy. There are also many models to choose from, which can be overwhelming.
To keep you from wasting your money on a sub-par scope, we researched reviews and scope specifications to find the best crossbow scopes.
Table of Contents
- Our Top Pick
- Product Reviews
- Buying Guide
- Final Thoughts
Our Top Pick
The Nikon Bolt with its 3x magnification, 32mm objective lens, and 3.4-inches of eye relief is our top pick hands down. While there are models with better features, we found that this scope offers all the features you need at a reasonable price.
Parker Red Hot 3×32 Illuminated – Best Scope for Low-Light Hunting
If you typically hunt in low-light conditions, the Red Hot 3×32 from Parker might be for you. This scope is a favorite among crossbow hunters, as it offers a wide range of high-end features.
- Green and red sights
- Controllable luminosity
- 3x magnification
- 32mm objective lens
- A focus range of 60 yards
With the exception of the green and red sights and adjustable luminosity, the Red Hot is very similar to our top pick. The combination of anti-fogging and green and red sights makes this crossbow scope the ideal add-on for poor visibility conditions. This scope also features multi-reticle to enhance your accuracy.
The advantage that the Nikon Bolt has over the Red Hot is that the latter doesn’t have as good of an eye relief. However, the scope comes with a fast-focus eyepiece to suit your eyes, reticle, and target at the same time.
Another issue that the Red Hot shares with the Nikon Bolt is the weight. Since the scope is compact, it will not influence the profile of crossbow.
- Suitable for use in low-light conditions
- High-quality and durable scope
- Compatible with any crossbow
- Multi-coated for added protection
- A long focus range of 60 yards
- Add some weight to your crossbow
- Eye relief brings lens too close
The Parker Red Hot is a high-end scope with quality illumination and an affordable price tag – everything the night hunter needs.
UTG 4×32 – Best Value Scope
If you want value for money, consider the 4×32 from UTG. This crossbow scope comes with several high-value features but at a relatively low price. The UTG’s features include:
- A length of 8.19 inches
- A weight of 12.3 ounces
- A 32mm objective lens
- A fixed magnification of 4x
- Multi-coated lenses
- Versatile reticle for five distances
The UTG creates an image that is vivid and bright. Since the 4x magnification is fixed, the scope is simple to operate. The simplistic nature of this scope also ensures that it is compact.
Another stand-out feature of the UTG is its reticle, which consists of five horizontal lines that are calibrated at 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 yards if you mount it to a 300 feet per second crossbow. As a result, this scope enhances your accuracy significantly.
The UTG also has an illuminated reticle in green and red so that you can use it in low-light conditions as well.
Since the magnification is fixed, the scope is not as versatile as, say, the Nikon Bolt. However, if you prefer simplification and compact design, you can get around the fixed magnification.
Another potential issue is that the reticle’s five lines cross the eyepiece diameter, which can be inconvenient to people who prefer the pyramid-style reticle.
- 3.8-inch eye relief
- Excellent light transmission
- Lenses are nitrogen purged and fog proof
- Suitable for use in low light conditions
- Great value for money
- Magnification is fixed
- The reticle lines cross the eyepiece diameter
The UTG is durable, versatile, and reliable. If you are strapped for cash, this may be the perfect scope for you.
The Range Master Pro is a high-end scope from one of the leading crossbow brands in the market. Apart from its high-end design, the Range Master Pro also sports several valuable features:
- Variable 1.5x to 5x Magnification
- Focus range from 20 to 60 yards
- Illuminated reticle with five intensity settings
- Reticle selection between red and green
The variable magnification adds a degree of versatility to the scope and allows you to view targets at long and close ranges. This feature is also valuable as it will enable you to identify trophies or arrow flight paths.
The markers of the arrow drop compensating reticle range from 20 to 60 yards, and it is calibrated for crossbows that deliver arrow speeds between 275 and 425 feet per second. You can also choose from five light intensity settings and view the markers in red or green.
If you purchase the older version, the scope has a red ring around the lens that makes your scope visible to your target. Newer models don’t have this feature.
- Variable magnification for added versatility
- Speed setting to calibrate reticle markers
- Multi-coated components for added protection
- Markers range from 20 to 60 yards for enhanced accuracy
- Ample reticle marker view selectivity
- Doesn’t have a zoom feature
- Quality of the rings is lacking
Like the TenPoint, this optic is also a product from a reputable crossbow manufacturer. The Barnett’s features include:
- Variable magnification between 1.5x and 5x
- 32mm objective lens
- Reticle markings calibrated for speeds between 300 and 425 feet per second
- Focus range between 20 and 70 yards
- Reticle marking illumination
This scope from Barnett features reticle crosshairs that are calibrated for arrow velocity ranges between 300 and 425 feet per second, giving you a focus range between 20 and 70 yards. The reticle markings are illuminated for use in low light conditions, and you can choose to view them in both green and red.
Its optics are vivid and bright. If you need illumination, simply touch the light button. To make life easier for you, the last color and light settings you chose are saved.
Another prominent feature of this scope is the variable magnification between 1.5x and 5x. While this feature enhances the scope’s versatility, it adds to its size and weight, which can be an issue if you want your crossbow to maintain its low profile.
- Mountable on all crossbows
- Variable magnification of a wide range of applications
- Reticles markings are circles that shrink as the distance increase
- The scope is easy to adjust
- Focus range up to 70 yards
- Reticle illumination for low light conditions
- Bulky optic to allow for variable magnification
The 1.5-5×32 is one of the best crossbow scopes in this list and a viable option if you are willing to pay for quality.
The 4×32 Camo from TRUGLO is a worthy consideration for crossbow hunters on a budget. Even though this optic has a low price, it comes with several value features:
- Fixed 4x magnification
- 32mm objective lens
- 4-inch eye relief
- Durable leaf spring for adjustments
- Made from aircraft quality aluminum
The 4xs32 Camo is a straightforward scope with a standard model classification. Its reticle is sized for deer hunting, and it has a 32mm objective lens for allowing optimal brightness.
The generous 4-inch eye relief reduces eye fatigue and prevents injury as the result of kick-back. The lenses are also fully coated to ensure the best possible brightness and contrast.
This scope is not only lightweight and compact but also reliable. The tube is made from aircraft-quality aluminum, and the leaf spring that you can use to adjust windage and elevation is durable. The optic has a matte finish that is scratch-resistant and non-reflective.
While the 4×32 Camo delivers a bright and clear image during the day, it is not suitable for use in poor visibility conditions, and the reticle is not illuminated. Before you purchase this scope, make sure that its rings are compatible with your crossbow, as it is not mountable on all models.
- Affordable price
- High-quality and durable construction
- Versatile model classification with a wide field of view
- 4-inch eye relief to prevent eye injury
- Matte camo finish that is scratch resistant
- The reticle is not illuminated
- Mounting not compatible with all crossbows
If you need an affordable, durable scope for day hunting, this scope from TRUGLO may be your best option.
The Tact-Zone is a rock-solid option from a leading crossbow manufacturer. This optic has all the features you need for crossbow hunting in any conditions. The scope’s features include:
- Variable magnification between 2.5x and 6x
- Adjustable for crossbow speeds between 275 and 410 feet per second
- Length of 13 inches
- Weighs under one pound
- Multi-coated components
- Field of view: 45 feet at 2.5x magnification
The Tact-Zone 2.5-6×32 has a relatively wide magnification range with a field of view that decreases from 45 feet at 2.5x magnification to 20 feet at 6x magnification. As a result, this scope allows almost all hunting and target shooting applications.
Since the crossbow is adjustable for speeds ranging from 275 to 419 feet per second, it is compatible with almost all modern crossbows. Another significant aspect of the Tact-Zone 2.5-6×32 is its compact size and lightweight.
One drawback of this product is that it doesn’t include any rings, and you have to buy them separately.
- Water-, shock-, and fog-proof scope
- Etched reticle construction
- Adjustable for a wide range of arrow speeds
- Variable magnification for added versatility
- Bright and clear target picture
- Sufficient field of view for most applications
- Rings are not included
- Lens cover quality is lacking
The Tact-Zone 2.5-6×32 is a high-value and versatile scope option for any crossbow shooter.
On the high-end of the price and quality spectrum is the Terra 2-7×32 XB75 from Zeiss. Many professional crossbow hunters and target shooters regard this scope as the best model that is available today. Its features include:
- Variable magnification from 2x to 7x
- 3.5-inch eye relief
- Low-profile 1-inch tube
- Reticle range from 20 to 70 yards
- Adjustable for crossbow speeds between 275 and 425 feet per second
The Terra 2-7×32 XB75 has everything you want in a crossbow scope. The scope has a lightweight and low profile for added maneuverability, but it is also durable and resistant to moisture, fog, scratches, and dust. The 3.5-inch eye relief is also sufficient to prevent eye fatigue or injury from recoil.
Accuracy and precision are where the Terra 2-7×32 XB75 stands out from other models. The scope provides aiming points in a distance range from 20 to 75 yards in 2.5-yard increments. This feature allows hunters to target small game that is far away.
Finding anything wrong with this scope is hard. The reason crossbow owners opt for scopes like the Nikon Bolt instead of the Terra 2-7×32 XB75. There is a significant price difference between this scope and other high-end models in this list.
- Incredibly accuracy and precision
- Compact and lightweight crossbow add-on
- Durable and usable in harsh conditions
- Compatible with almost all crossbows
- One of the most expensive scopes available
The Terra 2-7×32 XB75 has all the features you want in a high-end scope along with unparalleled precision and quality.
The Shadow Zone 2-4×32 is another expensive addition to this list, but if you have the means, this scope may be worth the cost. Its features include:
- Variable magnification between 2x and 4x
- Multiplex reticle for added precision
- A 32mm objective lens
- Focus range between 20 and 50 yards
- Green and red reticle illumination
The Shadow Zone 2-4×32 is a later version of Excalibur’s Vari-Zone scope, and it comes with several high-value features that its predecessor didn’t have. The most noticeable improvement includes a multiplex reticle that takes your arrow trajectory into account at 20 yards, 30 yards, 40 yards, and 50 yards.
The scope is luminous for use in low light conditions, and you can choose between green and red markers. While the variable magnification range is not as wide as some other models, it does add to the scope’s versatility. The rings on the scope are standard 1-inch mountings that are compatible with most crossbows.
The Shadow Zone 2-4×32 is relatively expensive, which is understandable when you consider its durability and sophisticated reticle. In this price category, however, you would expect the scope to feature a built-in range finder and a wider magnification range.
- Highly durable and accurate crossbow scope
- A multiplex reticle that shows arrow trajectories at different ranges
- Red and green reticle illumination
- Bright and clear image, even in low light
- Mountable on almost all crossbows
- Expensive scope
Doesn’t feature a built-in range finder
The 3×32 MAP from Hawke is a scope that offers excellent value for money. Its features include:
- A variable magnification between 1.5x and 5x
- A 32mm objective lens
- Illuminated reticule aim points between 20 and 100 yards
- 1-inch multi-coated optics
- A weight of 9.8 ounces
The 3×32 MAP is popular among crossbow hunters, and when you look at what this scope has to offer, it is clear why. The scope has a compact bell-shape design that doesn’t only reduce eye fatigue, but that also maintains a low crossbow profile.
With this scope, you will be able to view targets at distances are far as 100 yards. The optics are fully coated and, as a result, the image it delivers is bright and vivid. Combine this scope with a carbon crossbow bolts for more accuracy.
Keep in mind that the zoom and the speed selector are the same. If you have your scope calibrated to a specific speed, zooming in and out will cause you to lose your speed selection.
- Lightweight and compact scope
- Fully coated optics to enhance the image
- Illuminated reticle for use poor visibility conditions
- Focus range between 20 and 100 yards
- Great value for money
- Zoom and arrow speed calibration are not independent
Nikon Bolt XR 3×32
The Nikon Bolt 3×32 is not only one of the leading scopes on the market, but it also has an affordable price tag. The Bolt’s features include the following:
- A length of 8.1 inches
- 3x Magnification
- A 32mm objective lens
- 3.4 inches of eye relief
- 60-yard focus range
The most prominent feature of this scope is its brand. Nikon is widely regarded as a reputable manufacturer of high-quality optical equipment, and this scope is no exception.
With this crossbow scope, you can view objects to a distance of up to 60 yards. It has a compact size and length of eight inches, which is small enough to maintain your crossbow’s low profile. The Bolt also has a versatile mounting and can be fitted to almost any crossbow.
You can use the scope in any conditions as it is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. With its 32mm objective lens, the scope can optimize brightness and contrast by transmitting 92 percent of available light.
Some minor drawbacks are that the Bolt doesn’t support crossbows with speeds over 350 feet per second. At eleven ounces, this scope may also be a bit heavy for some crossbow hunters.
- A high-quality scope from a reputable brand
- Utilizes 92 percent of available light
- 3.4 inches of eye relief to keep eye fatigue at bay
- Able to withstand severe weather and fog
- Shock resistant and durable
- Relatively heavy at 11 ounces
- Not suitable for crossbows over 350 FPS
Crossbow scopes are technical products, and it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the terminology and buying considerations. We’ve also covered some of the most common questions buyers ask when searching for a scope.
Since you may be using your crossbow in severe conditions or inclement weather, you need a crossbow that can withstand moisture, dust, and heat. You also want a scope that has a fog-proof lens to ensure optimal clarity.
Eye relief refers to the distance between your eye and the lens. The scope’s eye relief should not be too short, as you may run the risk of an eye injury when recoil pulls the scope back. There is an inverse relationship between the scope’s magnification and eye relief.
Exit pupil refers to the light that reaches your shooting eye from the scope.
Field of View
Field of view refers to the width of the scope’s sight image at a specific distance. As a rule, the higher your scope’s magnification, the narrower the field of view.
Length is the measurement from the leading edge of the objective lens to the back edge of the eyepiece. The longer the scope, the higher the magnification. That is not to say, however, that you want a scope that is as long as possible. Long scopes tend to be heavy, and they give a bulky profile to your crossbow.
Magnification is a scope characteristic that you will inevitably encounter when shopping for a new scope and is the first number in a scope model classification. It tells how many times an object appears closer to you. For example, if the model classification is 4 x 32, it means that an image in the scope will appear four times closer than it actually is.
Objective Lens Diameter
Objective lens diameter is the second number in a model’s classification, and it indicates the exit pupil of the lens or the light that reaches your shooting eye. For example, if the model classification is 4 x 32, the objective lens is 32mm in diameter.
Stray light is light that enters the scope, reflects away from the interior metal, and reduce image quality. To prevent stray light from diminishing your image quality, opt for a scope with interior coating.
When an arrow travels from your crossbow, it will follow a parabolic trajectory to the ground. A reticle helps you pinpoint the trajectory of the projectile at specific distances.
When you hunt in low light conditions, you need an illuminated scope that absorbs light to brighten the image you see.
Here’s a video on how to adjust your scope:
Types of Scopes
A magnified scope amplifies the image of your target. Contrary to popular belief, magnified scopes don’t improve your aim, but it helps with, for example, trophy or arrow path identification through overgrown areas.
Ballistically Calibrated Scope
Ballistically calibrated scopes feature reticle designs that show the flight path of the arrow. There is a red pin that shows the target of the arrow for each distance. If you have a bullet drop compensator (BDC) scope, you can’t adjust the reticles, however, and you will have to practice and memorize the locations of the crosshairs as they relate to the different ranges.
Red Dot Scope
Red dot scopes are more simplistic than other types in that they don’t feature magnification or calibrated reticles. Instead, a red dot shows where the arrow will hit.
Questions to Determine Your Needs
Before you can find a suitable scope, it may help to ask yourself the following questions to determine your needs:
What is my intended use of the crossbow?
There is a wide range of scopes available for the different activities you use your crossbow for. A target shooting scope will have different features than one used for hunting. Some scopes are developed explicitly for competition shooting.
If you use your crossbow for all three these applications, you will need a scope that will work for all of them. You may also view our top crossbow picks.
What is the typical range of my targets?
Scopes are typically categorized according to three ranges, namely ranges up to twenty yards, twenty to sixty yards, and ranges longer than sixty yards.
What are my magnification preferences?
Determine your needs in terms of magnification, the field of view, and reticle type. For example, if you are a trophy hunter, you may require high magnification to identify your mark. Consider the size of the scope as well as it can limit you in terms of weight and maneuverability. You can also try to achieve this by using the best crossbow targets.
The winner of our scope selection is the Nikon Bolt. This scope is not only developed by a reputable manufacturer, but it also has all the features you need for crossbow hunting and target shooting.
Additionally, the Nikon Bolt meets all the criteria for a high-value, functional crossbow scope, especially in terms of magnification, eye relief, and image delivery. The Bolt is also available at a relatively low price.
If you are looking for the best crossbow scope, consider the Nikon Bolt.