Similar to a classic bow, a crossbow is an elastic ranged weapon that uses a bolt instead of a conventional arrow. Compared to traditional bow and arrow, a modern crossbow is in huge expansion with many hunters switching to using them. One of the reasons why the crossbows are growing in popularity can be found in manipulation with them, resembling partially to the shoulder-held firearms. Shouldering, aiming and triggering of crossbows are pretty close to the rifles, a class of arms that are much more gun enthusiasts familiar with. Besides similarity in handling, the crossbows are also a port in a storm for folks who have tried and failed in using regular bows.
Along with power, and accuracy is a vital trait every experienced crossbow shooter would expect. When you mount an optics at your crossbow you may reach your full potential, hence using the best crossbow scope possible is the ultimate aim for any serious shooter.
Compared to rifles, crossbows are generally lighter and smaller, so you want a compact and lightweight optics compatible with your weapon. The red dots or compact rifle scopes might be a perfect alternative to the dedicated crossbow optics.
Most serious archers agree that scope for your crossbow should weigh less than one pound. The crossbows are usually front-heavy and unstable, so the longer and heavier scope might throw off the balance of the bow.
The essential things to consider before purchasing a top crossbow scope are:
- Glass Quality
- Objective Lens Diameter
- Field of View
The quality of the scope lens is the most important feature of any optical instrument. Therefore, you should opt for the best quality optics without breaking your budget. At a minimum, the scope’s lens should be multi-coated to allow plenty of light to flow up to your eye, enabling you to see your target clearly.
Magnification is another vital feature that enables you to see images at a distance clearly. For first-time buyers, it is the first number in a scope model classification. Since the crossbow is intended for shooting up to 100 yards, you do not need optics with an excessive magnification. The scopes for crossbows usually come in fixed 3x or 4x or as low powered variables with typical 1.5-5x or 2.5-6x zoom power. Of course, nothing keeps you from getting glasses with a magnification of 2.5-10X designed for long-distance shooting.
Unlike rifle scopes, dedicated optics for crossbows often come with Multi-reticle patterns. It is a specialized reticle with multiple horizontal lines or marks that helps you to pinpoint the trajectory of the arrow at different distances. The ardent archers will find similarity on the vertical bows with their multi-pin sights.
The illuminated reticle will allow you to accurately shoot in low-light conditions if you are going for games till dusk.
Objective lens diameter
Since the experienced archers recommend going for the shorter scopes with smaller profiles, objective lens diameter should be of low to modest dimensions to reduce the overall weight and bulkiness.
Field of View
Field of View is the actual width of the scope's sight image, and it is usually displayed in a number of feet at 100 yards. For hunting scopes, particularly for smaller game, a wider field of view (FoV) is a very important factor. A wide lens will provide a larger field of vision, so you don’t miss any potential targets.
If you want to get the best value for your money, you need to pass through some of the honest buying guides and get a realistic picture of products found on the market and websites.
Most beginners rush into crossbow buying without reliable information or with a push from sellers’ aggressive advertisements. This is a time-tested recipe for splashing your hard-earned money on the acquisition of a sub-par scope and failure in your planned outdoor (and indoor) sport/hobby.
Best Crossbow Scope on the market
1. TenPoint Pro-View 2 3x40mm - HCA-097-II Crossbow
Without a doubt, one of the leading crossbow manufacturers is TenPoint Crossbow Technologies. Along with broad pallet of x-bows, TenPoint is a highly-respected brand in the crossbow optics market. Besides more pricey, higher-end variable models, TenPoint also is offering more affordable scopes with fixed magnification.
TenPoint Pro-View 2 comes in a reasonably compact package based on a lightweight 8.5-inch long aluminum tube. It comes in 3x40mm configuration matched by an illuminated dot and duplex crosshair reticle system.
Although classified as a basic scope for hunting, this multi-dot and multi-line TenPoint Crossbow scope are calibrated for crossbows that shoot in the 300-fps range.
Thanks to a 40mm objective and fully-coated optics, the TenPoint HCA-097-II model is enormous entry-level scope for hunting crossbows. In fact, the Proview 2 has successfully paired fully-coated lenses, great light transmission and illuminated colored dots with 5 light intensities each.
While this product is calibrated for 20-, 30-, 40-, and 50-yards, its reticle consists of 3 crosshairs and four dots, available in red or green.
TenPoint 3x Pro-View 2 comes with the rings included for easy mounting on Picatinny or Weaver rail.
2. Hawke Optics XB 3×32 - with Match Rings IR XB SR Reticle Crossbow Scope
Crossbow hunters appreciate simplicity above all, and fixed power crossbow scope is a superbly choice for them. British Hawke offers a premium selection of optics entirely designed for use on a crossbow.
Their fixed power scope XB 3x32 employs a BDC reticle designed for a 340 feet per second fast arrow to better cope with the quicker generation of crossbows now available.
Hawke Optics XB 3×32 features XB reticle with 20-yard zero, and accurate 10-yard aim points out to 70 yards. It offers another bonus in the form of a range-finding bracket system that allows you to measure distances to the whitetail deer. Similar to other models, the 3×32 scope comes with an illuminated reticle with 5 brightness settings.
The typical crossbow 3x level of magnification and 32 mm size objective bell provides you with well-balanced features for hunting in all terrains and weather conditions.
The XB1 SR scope is constructed on exceptionally robust aluminum 1-inch mono-tube chassis, which is O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged to be water and fogproof.
As one of the best crossbow scopes for all-round use, the Hawke with fixed 3x magnification might be the first option for hunters who chase medium or large game in low light conditions.
3. Excalibur Tact-Zone 1964 Scope 2.5-6x32mm
Without doubt, Excalibur isn’t so new to the field, having been established in 1983 to produce the most reliable and efficient hunting crossbow and accessories for the weapons, including red dots and scopes. This particular 1964 model offers magnification from 2.5X to 6X with a 32mm objective lens.
The variable zoom range from 3X to 6X is common magnification level found to be the most useful to crossbow shooters.
Along with these zoom levels and high-quality glass, this scope can give you a lot of versatility and precise shooting in any lighting situation and at the most common crossbow hunting ranges.
Though the lens diameter isn’t exceptionally large, the fully multi-coated lenses are capable of improved light transmitting to provide an exceptional image clarity even in low-light conditions.
The new Ultra-compact Tact-Zone scope measures just about 13 inches in length and weigh in at less than 1 pound.
The Excalibur Tact-Zone would be an excellent upgrade for a plethora of crossbows not only for dimensions but also because of capability for speed adjustments from 275 to 410 fps.
The scope employs standard Excalibur’s multiplex reticles with a new updated design which provides the shooter with aiming points from 20 to 60 yards in 10-yard increments.
The reticle is etched into the glass is illuminated with red or green color and powered by one CR-2032 battery.
The Tact-Zone housing is made of 30mm aluminum tube and comes with nitrogen-purged optics chambers and O-ring seals for waterproof and fogproof capability.
4. Barnett Cross Scope 4X32mm Scope - Multi-Ret 17060 w/Rings
Another scope for the hunting purposes comes from the top manufacturer of crossbow and archery products, Barnett Crossbows. The legendary archery gear maker offers mainly fixed and the few crossbow scopes with variable magnification.
Barnett 17060 Model is standard 4x32 crossbow scope that provides you powerful 4x zoom and 5-point programmed multi-reticle crosshair system.
While this configuration is pretty common in xbows world, Barnett Cross Scope stands out with its multi-reticle crosshair system and well-balanced dimensions compatible with the most compact and full-sized hunting crossbows.
The multi-reticle pattern on this scope is explicitly designed to maximize the target acquisition and efficiency at distances frequently encountered with a crossbow. Barnett's multi-reticle crosshair system comes with multiple reticles calibrated for 25, 35, 40, 45, and 50 yards.
To enable a quick tracing and to aim at targets, this Barnett scope is offering a wide field of view of around 34′ at 100 yards, which is very generous for 32mm objective lens scopes.
The optics quality is adjusted to price, so this scope features multi-coated glasses that provides outstanding image quality with decent contrast and details even at long range.
Though Barnett Cross 4X32mm scope is comparable to its counterparts at twice the price, you cannot expect all bells and whistles from the under $90 optics. It hasn't illumination, nor the scope interior is nitrogen purged.
5. TRUGLO Crossbow 4X32 Compact Scope w/Rings
Truglo has a solid reputation for making a short-range illuminated optic, but the model TG8504B3 purpose-built for the crossbow comes without illumination. However, a TRUGLO Crossbow 4X32 Compact Scope is the most affordable optics on our list, and for sure the best value for the money.
This compact scope is 8 inches long and weighs just 11.4 oz, so in 4x32 configuration it would be very convenient attachment at any crossbow. The scope is machined from 1" lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum and comes with a pair of one-inch rings for installing on Picatinny rail.
As a hunting scope, Truglo nitrogen-purged and sealed with o rings the one-piece tube making this scope both waterproof and fogproof.
Besides pretty standard construction, the Truglo Crossbow 4x32 scope features 4x fixed magnification that makes this xbow scope perfect for archers looking to shoot at medium and long ranges. Though 32 mm objective lenses don't provide superb images in extremely low-light conditions, the Truglo scope is usable in the late afternoon or early on the morning.
This TRUGLO product boasts fully coated lenses and a decent field of view (FOV) that's 24 feet at 100 yards. The TRUGLO 4×32 scope offers a BDC compensating reticle matched with the special range-finding system, very useful in determining your distance to the deer.
The reticle system consists of four horizontal lines starting from the normal 20 yards to provide you with trajectory compensation, and aim points up to 50 yards.
Pinty 3-9X40 scope
6. Red Green Rangefinder Illuminated Optical Rifle Scope
Generally, the scopes for crossbows are intended for short-range use due to the power and range of the weapon. However, you should not be limited only to red dots or low powered optics. Still, you may look for something more powerful that can extend your range to the edge of modern crossbow's ballistic capability.
The Pinty Illuminated Optical rifle scope with 3x-9x magnification maybe a touch too much for xbow hunters looking to shoot only at close ranges, but its variable power ratio is universal in gun community for years not without good reasons.
Pinty is a less popular brand in the gun community, but they are offering perhaps the best crossbow scopes for the money and many other archery products as well.
Even cheaper than the Truglo above reviewed is a Pinty 3-9X40 Crossbow Scope. It is a quality scope at this price point that provides the archer with a vast array of features found on many expensive high-end models.
The Pinty 3-9x boasts all glasses treated with multiple coatings and a green objective lens for low light hunting. The 40mm objective lens is not huge, but it provides clear image resolution in dim lighting conditions.
A variable 3-9x magnification provides excellent clarity for longer range shots when you are hunting small and fast-moving game. For that purpose, you will get benefit from a simple rangefinder incorporated in the reticle system.
Primarily designed as a centerfire riflescope, this Pinty comes with a classic mil-dot reticle and horizontal rangefinder lines at the bottom of the eyepiece. This illuminated reticle has 5 brightness levels in both red and green to make that long shot even cleaner.
The Pinty 3-9X40 riflescope is made of the one-inch aluminum tube which is O-ring sealed and nitrogen filled to ensure proper water and fog-proof performance.
This lightweight and compact scope are shipped with two one-inch scope rings to enable you quickly mounting onto any 20mm Picatinny or Weaver mount rails.
Although there are some brands known for making crossbows, that offers magnification or have fancy calibrated reticles, you may skimp on features, and choose the simplest riflescopes with 3x or 4x magnification.
While these scopes might satisfy beginners and casual hunters, the serious archers for ballistically calibrated crossbow scope with a reticle that predicts how your bolt/arrow will fly.
A dedicated crossbow scope should offer a blend of performance, value and optical features so you can be at your best without spending a lot of money.