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10 Well-Aimed Crossbow Scope Reviews – Be A Sharpshooter In 2018

Sports & Outdoors

Choosing the best crossbow scope doesn’t have to end in you wanting to crossbow yourself in the foot. Read our buyers guide and reviews. We did the hard part for you.

Last updateOctober 22, 2018
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Marko Rasic
Today’s expert
Marko Rasic
10 Well-Aimed Crossbow Scope Reviews – Be A Sharpshooter In 2018

Our leaders

Best of the best
Nikon 8461 Bolt XR Crossbow Scope
5 / 5


great eye relief

good magnification

zero-reset adjustment


reticle dots are a bit hard to see

no illuminated reticles

scope rings are not included

Learn more

easy to shoot with at variable ranges

offers a wide FOV

offers excellent clarity


it will fog up in cold temperatures

the included rings aren’t good for sighting in and mounting

Learn more
Best for the money
UTG 4X32 1″ Crossbow Scope
4.5 / 5


good magnification

comfortable eye relief

excellent clarity


too many lines on the reticle

batteries unreliable in very cold weather

doesn’t specify the type of coating

Learn more

good for big and mid-sized game

offers excellent brightness (11 settings)

offers optimal visibility even in low light conditions


no windage/elevation lock

no sunshade

some users had problems sighting it in

Learn more
Runners up

Also good products

4 / 5

Good for various light conditions, but its FOV isn’t specified and it doesn’t come with rings.

3.6 / 5

Reliable in rain and cold weather, but won’t sustain a fall very well.

3.5 / 5

Easy to use, but the zoom can’t be adjusted independently of the crossbow speed.

3.4 / 5

FOV is very good, but rings don’t fit all crossbow types.

3.2 / 5

Has good light gathering, but fisheye distortion can occur.

3 / 5

Clear image quality, but the scope can’t go beyond 350 FPS.

How We Decided

Marko Rasic
Today’s expert
Marko Rasic

Marko is a freelance copywriter with over five years of professional experience, writing everything from blog posts to product descriptions. Marko is a movie buff, music lover, and constant learner, and, you can count on him to go the extra mile

General shopping guide

If you’re really into crossbow hunting, or just about to start, one thing is clear – you’ll need the best crossbow scope you can find.


The reason is simple: you need that perfect aim, buddy!

In addition to top-notch camouflage clothing, and a reliable pair of boots, a high-quality scope is must-have.

Your crossbow scope can mean all the difference in the world.

Just think about it, it’s not the same thing: making a bull’s eye shot and a passable one.

Not making a good shot can be really frustrating, especially when you’re with friends (we’ve all been there!).

Plus, it can be very dangerous.

Remember, when talking about hunting – safety is always number one!

But worry not, because you’ve come to the right place. We’ll take you through our favorite crossbow scope picks. After this review, you’ll become an expert on crossbow scopes.

Let’s shoot!

best crossbow scope

Research You Can Trust

With our reviews, you can count on reliable and accurate information.

We always go to great lengths when researching the subject matter, to bring you nothing but the facts ☺

For this reviews, we contacted several hunter forums and talked with experienced crossbow hunters.

Also, we visited the websites of all major crossbow scope manufacturers, learning everything about the products.

So, this is not just some personal opinion. This is based on extensive research and solid facts.

Let’s get down to brass tacks.


30-Second Review

First of all, the crossbow scope you choose should be relatively easy to mount.

It shouldn’t take too much of your time, or require you to make any extra physical effort.

Then, it has to be accurate.

The most important thing is that you see your target clearly. If the target is “right there in front of you”, shooting an arrow straight won’t be a problem.

The scope should also have a good range.

This is especially important if you’re hunting on elevated ground.

When a scope adjusts for elevation, it will make sure you don’t miss or overshoot.

A miss or overshoot can be very dangerous, but they can also result in arrow damage.

Oftentimes, an arrow cannot be repaired once it misses the target and hits rough terrain.

Also, a scope should be durable and made of quality material.

The last thing you want is a scope that will break after a couple of times using it. A good scope shouldn’t be flimsy or fragile.

Nature is unpredictable, so be sure to equip yourself with a solid piece before hitting the great outdoors. Your scope should be able to withstand all kinds of weather conditions.

And, of course, there’s the warranty…

Scopes don’t come free, which means you should get a guarantee from the manufacturer that the product you purchase – does the job.

The warranty is also very important because it shows you the manufacturer cares about your needs. The better the warranty is, the more trust you have in the brand.

All in all

Your crossbow scope should be reliable, durable and consistent in proving the perfect aim.

It should be built to last, easy to mount on your crossbow and with a reasonable warranty to go along.

If all of these things are covered, it means you’ve got yourself a quality crossbow scope.


Buyer’s Guide For Choosing The Best Crossbow Scope

Why do you need the greatest crossbow scope you can find?

  • For improved accuracy

Whether you’re aiming at a fixed or moving target, when a scope magnifies the target well, making the perfect shot will be a lot easier.

  • For increased range

With a high-quality scope, you will be able to hit the targets from further away, enhancing your shooting experience.

  • For boosting your self-esteem

It’s very frustrating when you’re constantly missing the target, or having trouble making a good shot. With a solid scope on your crossbow, you will improve your score and feel better about your shooting abilities.

There are still so many people who think having a high-quality crossbow scope is not necessary.

They think their “eagle eye” is enough for making an accurate shot.

Well…they’re wrong, let me tell you.

When you mount a scope on your crossbow, your accuracy will be significantly improved.

But let’s start from the beginning.

What makes a high-quality crossbow scope?

  • Magnification Power

The scope must enable you to see the target clearly, which is why magnification is one of the key features on a scope.

It’s actually quite simple to know the magnification power of your desired scope.

Just look at the specification and you will see something like “4X32mm”, or numbers arranged in a similar way.

The number preceding the “X” is the magnification power. In this case, the scope can magnify the target four times.

The number after the “X” denotes the size of the lens (on the far end of the crossbow scope).

So, this scope would be 32mm in diameter, with the magnification power of four times.

And here’s some more numbers for you ☺

Oftentimes, you can see something like this: 20-40X80mm.

It means the scope’s magnification power is not fixed (so-called “zoom scopes”).

On a fixed scope, you can’t change the magnification, but zoom scopes allow this change.

Mind you, the “mm” is often missing on the specification, but don’t let that confuse you.

If you see something like “4X32”, it still means the “32” refers to millimeters, because that’s the standard measurement unit for the scope lens.

In addition to this, there is the field of view (FOV) aspect.

  • FOV

Our “normal” field of view (or field of vision, as some call it) is around 210 degrees horizontally.

But obviously, if you decide to magnify an object (in this case, your target), your FOV will become smaller.

So, what to do about it?

Usually, the scope’s FOV is written in the specification, and you can use it to calculate the exact difference.

Then there’s the eye relief, also a very important feature.

  • Eye Relief

Eye relief is there to tell you how close your eye must be for a FOV.

Usually, the more powerful crossbow scope will have shorter eye relief (and vice versa).

Many crossbow scopes usually have a four-inch eye relief, which means your eye can be up four inches away from the scope without losing visibility.

It’s especially important that you know the eye relief on your scope if you’re wearing glasses.

The glasses prevent your eyes from getting close to the scope, so be sure to count that in when making the final choice.

  • Light Gathering

The more light your scope gathers, the better it will perform in low visibility.

Also, it will give a clearer image when you apply higher zoom on it.

Your scope’s light gathering power is limited by its size.

The lens on a crossbow scope cannot be too big because of the physical restraints. If the lens is too big, the scope will be positioned too far from the crossbow body, making is practically useless.

  • Exit pupil

The exit pupil is the size (or better say, the diameter) of the circle of light that  enters the eye once it leaves the scope.

It’s very important for the exit pupil to be the right size. If it’s too small, it won’t allow enough light into the iris. Thus, the image given will be dim.

On the other hand, if the exit pupil is too big, a lot of valuable light will be wasted.

That’s why it’s important to make sure the exit pupil is the right size for you.

  • Parallax

This is one of those things you need to pay extra attention to.

Basically, parallax is an optical illusion. The object you watch through your scope might not appear the same every time, and this is something to definitely have in mind.

For example, this can often happen when you want to make a quick shot.

If you don’t position your aiming eye against the scope properly, the angle you look at may be slightly different.

After all, it’s very hard to get the same angle twice without taking some time to do it.

Usually, there is a distance up to which a scope doesn’t experience parallax. It should be in the product specifications, however.

Anyway, it’s important to be aware of parallax and know it can affect your aim.

  • Mounting Rings and Tube Size

The tube size of your scope tells you the type of rings you need for mounting the scope.

The rings help keep the scope firmly in place, and they can be made for different kinds of rails (weaver, picatinny, or dovetail).

It’s important you know the type of rail on your crossbow, so you get the right rings.

Many scopes come with the rings included, but there are also those that come as just a plain scope.

The rings come as quick-release rings and screw fitments.

Quick-release rings are very easy to attach or remove because they use a latch.

Screw fitments are a bit more complicated because you (usually) need a hex key to remove them. Screw fitments work much better if there is no need for frequent change of optic.

  • Lens Coatings

In order to increase the amount of light the scope light captures, the lenses are coated with special treatments that allow for a better, clearer image.

This coating can also be useful when it comes to fog-proofing. There four types of coated lenses:

  • coated (on at least one lens surface, with a single layer)
  • fully coated (on all external surfaces, with a single layer)
  • multi-coated (on at least one surface, with multiple coating layers)
  • fully multi-coated (on all surfaces, with multiple coating layers)

And while talking about lens coatings, it’s worth mentioning lens caps.

Lens caps come as attached, lanyard and flip-up – and they all serve as protection for the scope lenses.

  • Reticle

Basically, a reticle is a series of lines on the scope lens, to help you have a better aim (and measure the distance better).

A crosshair reticle usually has just one vertical line and one (or more) horizontal lines.

There are also reticles with a dot or dash, or a series of dots and dashes, laid out as reference points for aiming.

A reticle can also have multiple reference points.

If this is the case, the reference points are designed in such a way to help you “pick” the right reference at the moment.


It all depends on the shooting distance. You first calculate the distance of your target and then pick the reference point for the right aim.

This has proven to be very useful for hunters. They need a range of reference points to choose from, as the target distance varies greatly.

And when the visibility is extremely low, reticles with thick, bold lines are always of great help because they’re easier to see.

But, what if that’s not enough?

  • Illuminated Scope

Oftentimes, visibility can be so low even the thickest and boldest of reticles can’t help.

This is when you need to use an illuminated scope for your crossbow.

What illuminated scopes do is – they light up the reticle. The lines, dots, and dashes become visible again, in bright green or red.

Some high-end illuminated scopes even offer the option of adjusting the light intensity (or even color intensity) on the reticle.

Depending on the visibility, you can adjust the reticle brightness without it interfering with the target image. It’s a win-win.

  • Weight

Why is scope weight an important factor to consider?

Because you need your hunting equipment to be relatively lightweight when going long distances (hiking, for example), but also when you want to shoot during prolonged periods of time.


Scopes won’t be a big burden to you, because of their small size.

But just so you know, if you have a bigger scope with a large objective – it will be a bit heavier.

However, if you’re used to having a scope mounted on your crossbow, this should become an issue.

  • Elevation & Windage

Many high-end scopes should have additional knobs on the turret, to give you more options.

With the knobs for adjusting elevation and windage, you will be able to perfect your aim and make a much better shot.

The reason you need these adjustments is simple. The further you are from your target, the higher you need to aim – and the more crosswind there is on the hunting ground, the further to one side you need to aim.

The windage knob is placed on the side of the scope, and the elevation knob is on top of the scope.

The knobs are covered with protective caps, so be sure to remove them before handling the knobs.

Mind you…

The knobs are very hard to turn with the fingers, so be sure to use a coin or a screwdriver. Also, you should put the protective caps back as soon as you adjust the knobs.

With each turn of a knob, you should hear a click (this click represents a unit of measurement, in Minutes Of Angle or M.O.A.).

On the majority of crossbow scopes, one click equals 1/4″ adjustment at a distance of one hundred yards.

If your crossbow scope has different values for each click, it should be specified in the instruction manual.

Ask Yourself This Before Buying A Crossbow Scope:

  • Where will you use the crossbow scope?

You can use the crossbow on a shooting range or in hunting, but this is not the same. If you predominantly use the crossbow on the shooting range, you should probably go with a reticle scope or a red dot scope. However, if you prefer hunting – you should also think about getting a laser scope because it’s much better for moving targets.

  • Is the crossbow scope shockproof,  fog proof, and waterproof?

If you plan to use your crossbow in different weather conditions, it’s important to use a high-quality scope, to withstand the weather. If your scope performs well in extreme weather, you will be able to shoot more accurately. Also, you will avoid inconveniences with the scope.

  • What’s the crossbow scope made of?

Depending on the material, a crossbow scope can last from several months to almost ten years. Of course, it’s best if the scope you choose is made of a reliable and durable material, such as aluminum alloy. The better the material used, the longer your scope will last.

Once you answer these, you will have a much clearer picture of the type of scope you need. Making the right choice will be much easier.

And now, let’s see what we’ve prepared for you!

Reviews Of The Best Crossbow Scope


Nikon 8461 Bolt XR Crossbow Scope

Nikon 8461 Bolt XR Crossbow Scope

This is definitely one of the finest crossbow scopes currently on the market.

First of all…

It’s fogproof, shockproof and waterproof, which means it’s excellent for harsh weather.

The users we contacted told us they didn’t have to treat the scope with any coating to fogproof it, which is definitely a big plus.

Under normal wear and tear, you could say this crossbow scope is practically indestructible.

Well done there!

It has 3X magnification and it can zero in on the target from up to 60 yards. It also transmits 92% of the available light and the eye relief is great.

The only problem here is the Nikon Bolt XR doesn’t have an illuminated reticle, which means it won’t be very good when it’s too dark.

And the reticle itself has dots, which are very hard to see – even under normal shooting conditions. You will need some time to get used to this.


The users have pointed out it performs perfectly with plenty of daylight.

The manufacturer claims this scope has the field of view is 35.6 at 100 yards, and this is something the users agree upon. Also, most of them say zeroing in on a target is very easy with this scope (a great thing to know!).

In addition to this…

The Nikon Bolt XR is very easy to mount. We’ve talked to several people about this and they all say mounting the scope is a breeze.

Having said that…

This scope doesn’t come with the mounting rings. A few users have complained about this. It’s not a negative product feature per se, but it’s a bit annoying because you have to buy the rings separately.

The good thing is you can use rings from other scopes, as they fit perfectly. And once you’ve got the rings, mounting the scope is done within seconds.

As for the sighting in…

The Nikon Bolt XR is very easy to sight in – for crossbows shooting less than 350FPS (feet per second). The zero-reset adjustments on the turret enable you to remember your sight-in point easily.

This crossbow scope is reliable and praised by so many users. When it comes to durable scopes that absolutely do the job, this is the one you need.

It comes with a limited lifetime guarantee. More information here.



  • 12 x 3.8 x 2.8 inches ; 11.2 ounces
  • up to 92% light transmission
  • 3X magnification
  • waterproof, fogproof, shockproof
  • fits almost every crossbow design
  • 3.4 inches eye relief
  • parallax-free at 20 yards


great eye relief

good magnification

zero-reset adjustment


reticle dots are a bit hard to see

no illuminated reticles

scope rings are not included


UTG 4X32 1″ Crossbow Scope

UTG 4X32 1″ Crossbow Scope

This scope is a perfect fit for any crossbow with a picatinny rail or a weaver rail.

The eye relief is 3.8 inches, which means you have enough space when aiming and shooting. Up to 50 yards, this scope is parallax-free, which is fantastic when you’re crossbow hunting.

The UTG 4X32 has a 32mm lens and 4X magnification. The clarity is what so many users point out.

In their words, it’s excellent.

The manufacturer doesn’t exactly say whether the lenses are multi-coated or fully multi-coated. It simply says it uses “broadband lens coating”. However, we’ve asked around and found out the majority of users think it’s fully multi-coated…

The light gathering on the UTG 4X32 is really, really good, which is something the users love about it.

Even in low-light conditions, you’ll get a good view.

The reticle is illuminated, with brightness settings. You can switch between green and red, and you have five brightness settings at your disposal. And if you don’t need illumination (in daytime use) you can turn it off.

What about the batteries?

The batteries will last long enough, but they might underperform in really cold weather. It’s good to know this if hunting when it’s really cold.

But, there’s one thing about the reticle that bothers many users.

There are five lines on it, which tends to be (a bit) distracting. It was probably too much because it can interfere with your aim. Many users claim the scope would be much better if it had a pyramid-style reticle.


There are so many other great things about the UTG 4X32.

Its FOV is 27.2 feet at 100 yards, and the scope is very easy to mount. It comes with its own rings, so you won’t have to make an additional purchase.

The sighting in is also quite simple because the scope has a zero-reset and locking function on the turret. Once you zero it, you can align the markings and start using the scope right away.

That’s a relief!

The UTG 4X32 is shockproof, rainproof and fogproof. It can sustain the normal wear and tear perfectly, so you shouldn’t experience any issues there. One user of this scope has even told us he dropped it a few times from the tree stand without damaging it a bit (although we don’t recommend you do this, of course!).

This is a high-quality product a great number of users use and enjoy. It has a limited lifetime warranty – more information here.



  • 9.9 x 3.6 x 2.9 inches; 1.59 pounds
  • 3.8-inch eye relief
  • 8mm exit pupil
  • 4X magnification
  • parallax at 50 yards
  • broadband lens coating
  • side wheel illumination
  • zero reset/locking W/E knobs
  • flip-open lens caps
  • mounting rings


good magnification

comfortable eye relief

excellent clarity


too many lines on the reticle

batteries unreliable in very cold weather

doesn’t specify the type of coating


Barnett Cross Scope w/Rings 4X32mm Multi-Ret 17060

Barnett Cross Scope w/Rings 4X32mm Multi-Ret 17060

This crossbow scope offers 4X magnification and crystal-clear resolution. It has a 5-point multi-reticle crosshair system that facilitates target acquisition at different ranges.

It’s multi-coated, and the resistance to glare and reflection is very good. What so many users like about this scope is that the quality of the image is second to none.

Its multi-reticle enables you to shoot accurately from 25 to 50 yards. The manufacturer also provides detailed instructions on how to use each reticle line for each range.

This makes the whole process much easier.

The Barnett Cross Scope is shockproof and waterproof, but a couple of users complained about fogging in cold temperatures. It may come as a slight problem, so make a note of that.

Although this scope isn’t illuminated, its light gathering is good. For example, if you use it in the early morning or late evening, the image will remain clear. The reticle is a bit difficult to see, but it’s perfectly normal because the scope is not illuminated.

As for the FOV…

The manufacturer doesn’t specify this. We contacted a couple of users and asked them about this. They all say the Barnett Cross Scope has around 34’ at 100 yards.

But here’s a major issue.

The scope comes with its own mounting rings, but it turns out they’re not very good. A great number of users have pointed out the rings as the biggest drawback of this crossbow scope.

It’s worth remembering.

The reason why the rings aren’t so good has to do with the sighting in. Once the scope is mounted, there can be some problems with the sighting in, which is why users complain about the rings.

Most of the user simply decided to get a new set of mounting rings and get rid of the old ones. And with the new rings, sighting in is simple and easy. One of the users told us he didn’t have to make any adjustments for two whole seasons, as the Barnett Cross Scope holds perfectly.

All in all…

This scope is durable and reliable, but not the best choice for very cold weather because it will fog up.

Warranty information to be found here.


  • 4 x 6 x 12 inches; 0.8 ounces
  • shockproof and waterproof
  • 4x magnification
  • 32mm scope
  • multi-reticle crosshair system
  • 0.875-inch dovetail mounting rings


easy to shoot with at variable ranges

offers a wide FOV

offers excellent clarity


it will fog up in cold temperatures

the included rings aren’t good for sighting in and mounting


Sightmark Core SX Scope 1.5-4.5 x 32 Crossbow

Sightmark Core SX Scope 1.5-4.5 x 32 Crossbow

Coming from a well-known optics manufacturer, this scope is specially designed with hunters in mind.

The Sightmark Core SX Scope is very good for shooting big and medium-sized game, such as mule deer and whitetail deer.

What many users pointed out…

…is the fact the scope has 11 brightness settings. This feature enables you to adapt to all kinds of hunting environment. The reticle is made of etches glass and offers red and green illumination (the body is aluminum).

The visibility will remain optimal, even when the light conditions are very low. Several users we contacted told us they love the Sightmark Core SX Scope because of this.

What else?

The scope also has fully multi-coated optics and a weather-proof body, making it reliable in all kinds of weather conditions. It’s also dustproof, according to many users – and this is something not many crossbow scopes have.

The Sightmark Core SX Scope is tuned to crossbow speed of 250-400 FPS, and it’s excellent when it comes to arrow drop compensation. The parallax is set at 30 yards.

Now, about the drawbacks…

This scope doesn’t have a windage/elevation lock, and there is no sunshade on it. Obviously, these can be classified as minor issues, but we have to mention them.

Also, a couple of users told us they had problem zeroing in. However, we can’t classify this as a flaw, because maybe the users simply didn’t know how to do it properly.

This is definitely a reliable scope that will appeal to hunting enthusiasts.



  • 13 x 4 x 3 inches; 2 pounds
  • 1.5-4.5X magnification
  • eye relief: 28.1 at 100 yards
  • parallax at 30 yards
  • weatherproof (shock, water, fog, and dust)
  • multi-coated lenses
  • 11 brightness settings


good for big and mid-sized game

offers excellent brightness (11 settings)

offers optimal visibility even in low light conditions


no windage/elevation lock

no sunshade

some users had problems sighting it in


Excalibur Tact-Zone Illuminated Scope, 2.5-6x32mm

Excalibur Tact-Zone Illuminated Scope, 2.5-6x32mm

Here is another scope with a variable zoom.

This scope can be used on all crossbows shooting from 275FPS to 410FPS, which means it’s highly compatible.

The best thing about it is that the resolution and clarity are excellent, regardless of the zoom level.

The target image will remain clear in all conditions.

The Excalibur Tact-Zone has fully multi-coated optics and the reticle is of etched glass, with a 5-level illumination in both green and red.

The sighting in is easy and there is no fogging. What’s also great is that it has a fast-focus eyepiece, to simplify your focusing in on the target.

This crossbow scope is perfect for shooting in low light conditions.

Its light gathering is very, very good. You’ll be able to distinguish between the smallest of details on the hunting ground, such as the shade of trees.

Many users we contacted told us that this scope can be used in the early hours of the morning, as well as in the middle of the day – and the image quality won’t be compromised in any way.

The manufacturer doesn’t state the exact FOV.

However, the users’ estimate is around 45 feet for 2.5X magnification and 20 feet for 6X magnification. This is definitely enough FOV, even if you need the scope for moving targets.

When it comes to mounting, the Excalibur Tact-Zone is extremely easy to mount, which is something all the users pointed out.

One small thing, though.

This scope doesn’t come with its own rings, so you’ll have to purchase them additionally. With a set of rings, the whole process is a no-brainer.

The sighting in is also easy, but here’s what you need to do. First, be sure to sight it at 20 yards, and then fine-tune it according to the instructions. it will be much easier if you already know the velocity of our crossbow.

If not, you’ll have to measure it via chronograph.

The great thing about it is the Excalibur Tact-Zone will hold zero without any problems. Some users have reported dropping the scope from several feet – but the zero point wasn’t compromised.

This scope is made of aluminum and it’s very durable. It can withstand all the regular wear and tear, while preserving the accuracy.

You can learn more about the warranty here.


  • 13 x 3 x 3 inches
  • 2.5X – 6X magnification
  • adjustable for 275-410 FPS velocity
  • fully multi-coated
  • fast-focus eyepiece
  • etched-glass reticle


can be adjusted for various crossbows

good for various light conditions

good reticle



no mounting rings included

FOV isn’t specified


Hammers Compact Red/Blue Illuminated Multi-line Reticle Crossbow Scope 4X32CBT w/Weaver Rings

Hammers Compact Red/Blue Illuminated Multi-line Reticle Crossbow Scope 4X32CBT w/Weaver Rings

This is a scope with an illuminated reticle and a 32mm lens, an eye relief of 3.5 inches and a FOV of 45 feet at 100 yards.

What’s interesting about it from the get-go is the illumination. Instead of the standard (red or green) illumination, this one offers red of blue. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s worth pointing out.

The 4X magnification is definitely enough, as many users told us.


A minor issue here would be the coating because the manufacturer didn’t specify it. During our research process, we asked around and found out that – most likely – the optics are multi-coated.

The scope performs well in low light conditions, so this is probably a safe bet. It may not be fully multi-coated, but it’s probably multi-coated. Just so you know.

The image resolution is solid, and the images are well-focused.

There are compensation markers on the reticle, but they are definitely not the same for all crossbows. This is why it’s necessary to use a trial-and-error method if you want to learn each marker’s range. This is a bit on the downside, to be honest…

And here’s something else.

The Hammers Compact Red/Blue offers solid light gathering, but it’s definitely not the best, according to what the users say. Also, the illumination is too bright, even at low intensity, which can cause you problems.  And what’s interesting is that the blue light works a bit better.

This scope comes with its own weaver rings and it’s very easy to mount. The downside is – if you have a dovetail mount, you’ll need to purchase new rings.

Sighting in is not complicated, and it can be done with less than six arrows shot. The scope will hold zero for at least one season. It’s durable and remains fog-free, even in cold weather and it won’t leak even it heavy rain.

But here’s the catch.

The biggest problem is that this scope doesn’t sustain a fall very well. One user pointed out that he dropped it from 15 feet, after which the scope was practically useless.

It’s safe to say that the Hammers Compact Red/Blue is good for what it is, but it could definitely use some improvement.


  • 8x1.26 inches; 11.5 ounces
  • 4X magnification
  • 3.5 inches eye relief
  • FOV 45 feet at 100 yards (user estimate, not specified)
  • parallax at 50 yards
  • 5-level red/blue illumination
  • one pair of 7/8inch weaver rings


won’t fog up or leak in cold weather

the blue reticle is very good

it comes with its own rings

easy to mount and sight in


the type of coating isn’t specified

light gathering can use some improvement

needs a new set of rings for dovetail mounting

won’t sustain a fall very well


Hawke Crossbow 1.5-5×32 MAP Scope with Ballistic Reticle

Hawke Crossbow 1.5-5×32 MAP Scope with Ballistic Reticle

This scope has something not many others have, and that’s the speed selector.

So many users have complained that the scope they pick isn’t compatible with their crossbow.

Well, you won’t have those problems if you opt for the Hawke Crossbow 1.5-5x32 MAP.

Here’s why.

The speed selector enables you to adjust for different firing speeds (between 275 FPS and 425 FPS).

It offers fully multi-colored optics, with excellent light gathering ability. You also get dual illumination, both in red and green, and the image is very clear.

What almost all users praise about the Hawke Crossbow 1.5-5x32 MAP is the ease of use. No matter how experienced you are, you shouldn’t have any problems handling it. It will hold zero easily, in all kinds of conditions.

The windage/elevation knobs are easy to use.

With adjustable magnification, 22.5-75 FOV and parallax fixed at 50 yards, this is a fairly reliable crossbow scope.

It has an eye relief of 3.2-3 inches and it’s waterproof/shockproof. Most users agree this is a good scope for the price.

Now, for the complaints…

Overall, the Hawke Crossbow 1.5-5x32 MAP pretty decent, but a couple of people complained about the magnification, saying it could have been larger.

This is obviously not something that we should strictly classify as a drawback, but we understand what the users are trying to say. For this kind of product, with nice features, a little more magnification would be considered icing on the cake.


One user complained that the zoom can’t be adjusted independently of the crossbow speed. Be sure to note that, for future reference, as it’s the biggest drawback on the Hawke Crossbow 1.5-5x32 MAP.

The product has a limited lifetime warranty. More information here.



  • length 8.3”; weight 15oz
  • 32mm objective
  • fully multi-colored
  • 22.5-75 FOV
  • speed selector
  • red and green reticle illumination


speed selector is a great help

solid light gathering

easy to use


the zoom can’t be adjusted independently of the crossbow speed

magnification could have been larger


TRUGLO Crossbow 4X32 Compact Scope w/Rings

TRUGLO Crossbow 4X32 Compact Scope w/Rings

This crossbow scope has a 32mm lens and an eye relief of four inches. It’s aluminum-made, and it comes with its own one-inch mounting rings.

With 4X magnification, the TRUGLO Crossbow 4X32 Compact Scope offers you a clear image, good contracts, and resolution. It also has a special reticle, for range-finding and trajectory compensating.


The scope has fully coated optics and the brightness is excellent. However, it can’t be adjusted for various speeds, so you have to discover the range for a single line manually.

A couple of users we talked to complained about the rings not fitting their crossbow type. And these were all users with dovetail mounts, so be sure to take this into consideration.

The biggest drawback is definitely the absence of illumination. The TRUGLO Crossbow 4X32 Compact Scope doesn’t have this option, which means you’re somewhat limited.


Several users have pointed out light gathering is pretty good, even in low-light conditions.

The FOV is 24 feet at 100 yards, and the mounting is very easy. Also, the sighting in is pretty simple, according to the majority of users. It’s waterproof and fogproof, and it can withstand a severe fall without any problems.

If you disregard the fact there is no illumination, the TRUGLO Crossbow 4X32 Compact Scope is definitely a good match. However, many people opted out due to the scope having no illumination.



  • 15.6 x 6.6 x 7.8 inches; 7 ounces
  • range-finding and trajectory-compensating reticle
  • fully-coated lenses
  • scratch-resistant finish


offers a good FOV

the special reticle is extremely useful

it has good brightness


can’t be adjusted for various speeds

no illumination

rings don’t fit all crossbow types (dovetail mounts)


TenPoint Crossbows Illuminating Rangemaster Pro Crossbow Scope (HCA-09811)

TenPoint Crossbows Illuminating Rangemaster Pro Crossbow Scope (HCA-09811)

The manufacturer TenPoint is mainly known for its crossbows, but the company also makes scopes.

Their TenPoint Rangemaster Pro model has an illuminated reticle with red/green 5-brightness settings, 30mm lens, and 1.5X -5X magnification.

Here’s a great thing.

The image will stay clear, even when magnification is at its maximum. Some users have complained about a bit of ”fisheye” distortion around the edges, but it’s nothing big.

The scope will fit on any weaver rail or picatinny rail. The manufacturer doesn’t give information on the eye relief, but our safe bet would be 3.5 inches.

This is really nice…

It has fully multi-coated optics and reticle lines for 20, 30, and 40 yards. In addition to this, there are also two dots for 50 and 60 yards.

Light gathering is very good, even in the early hours of the morning.

The brightness is perfect, so you won’t have any problems there.

There is no information on FOV, but the users we contacted told us it’s probably 50 feet at 100 yards and around 25 when maximum magnification is on.

As for the mounting, it’s extremely simple. The TenPoint Rangemaster Pro comes with its own set of mounting rings for weaver/picatinny rail.


If you have a dovetail mount, you will have to purchase additional rings for that type.

Sighting in is also very easy, as the majority of users pointed out.

This scope has a speed setting feature, and all you have to do is set it to the speed of your crossbow. Sight the scope at 20 yards and test the accuracy from 40 yards away.

See how it performs and adjust accordingly.

The great thing about the TenPoint Rangemaster Pro is none of the users we talked to complained about sighting it in. They all did it easily, claiming there was no need to adjust for elevation or windage after sighting in.

The manufacturer claims this scope is fogproof and waterproof, but there is no information on it being shockproof.

That being said…

The users we contacted told us the scope was able to sustain minor falls. It’s probably safe to say the TenPoint Rangemaster Pro is shockproof, but only to a certain extent.

Warranty information to be found here.


  • 10.8 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches; 1.2 pounds
  • 1.5X -5X magnification
  • red/green 5-brightness settings
  • fully multi-coated


offers variable zooming

easy to mount

good light gathering

reticle brightness is excellent


fisheye distortion can occur

mounting rings not suitable for dovetail mounts


Excalibur Shadow Zone 2-4X32mm Scope

Excalibur Shadow Zone 2-4X32mm Scope

This scope has a calibration ring that’s very easy to use, and it’s designed for all crossbows between 250 and 350 FPS.

It has a 32mm lens and a 2X-4X zoom, without parallax at 30 yards and very little beyond 50 yards. What all users pointed out is the image clarity, regardless of the zoom level.

The Excalibur Shadow Zone 2-4X32mm Scope also has a multi-range crosshair reticle, for shooting from 20 to 50 yards, and fully multi-coated optics.

You can choose between red and green illumination, with five brightness settings suitable for all lighting conditions.

Its light gathering is around 92% and FOV around 46 feet at 100 yards.

There’s one downside, though.

There are no rings included with this scope.

However, you shouldn’t experience any problems with mounting the scope or sighting it, for that matter. Just sight it at 20 yards and set it to your crossbow’s speed.

The biggest issue users have reported is the fact the Excalibur Shadow Zone 2-4X32mm can’t go beyond the speed of 350 FPS, so it’s not suitable for high-speed crossbows. This is a limiting factor you need to consider.

As for durability…

We can safely say this scope is definitely durable. It’s made of aluminum, and it’s shockproof, waterproof and fogproof. A couple of users told us it works perfectly even after being dropped from several feet.

Warranty information here.


  • 13 x 3 x 3 inches; 1.6 ounces
  • 2X-4X zoom
  • FOV around 46 feet at 100 yards
  • red/green illumination with five brightness settings


clear image quality

great light gathering

easy to mount and sight in


no rings included

can’t go beyond the speed of 350 FPS

A Guide To Crossbow Safe Handling


Stop! Using the utmost level of safety when handling your crossbow is important. Here are  a few tips to help keep you protected:

  • when you carry your crossbow, make sure it’s always uncocked until you are ready to shoot
  • the only way to uncock a crossbow is to shoot it into a target; never try to uncock it without firing it into a target first
  • when it comes to storage and transport, always use a crossbow case

But before you start using your crossbow, you need to sight it in.

Sighting a scope is extremely important. There’s no way you can use a scope well unless you sight it first.

Basically, sighting is a term used to describe a process of adjusting the scope for your specific needs. And it’s especially important if you’re renting a crossbow, or borrowing it.

Sighting in may be a bit more complicated if you’re an absolute beginner, but the process isn’t complicated. Also, the process might be slightly different depending on the crossbow model.

However, the basics are pretty much the same for all of them.

Here’s how to sight in a crossbow:

  • stand 20 yards away from the target (no more, no less)
  • align the top reticle (or dot) on your scope with the target bull’s eye
  • shoot an arrow by moving only the tip of the index finger (your palm and hand mustn’t move, or it will interfere with your accuracy)
  • shoot the total of 3 ARROWS
  • approach the target and see how off the shots are
  • estimate the number of inches required to adjust the accuracy
  • use the knobs for elevation and windage on your scope (20 clicks are around 1 inch, keep  in mind)
  • repeat the 3-arrow shooting again
  • if you’re still off, make the necessary adjustments for elevation and windage

A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • The actually sighting in will definitely take some time, because the adjustment knobs are a bit hard to handle. Don’t expect everything to be over in a matter of minutes, because it won’t. On average, this process takes about 15-25 minutes, depending on your skill and experience.
  • Pay attention to those plastic caps, protecting the knobs. They are very small and easy to misplace. Once you take them off, keep them in your pocket and put them back on the scope as soon as you finish sighting in.
  • In order for the sighting in to be effective, you need to know how to shoot arrows in tight groups. If you can’t do this, the sighting in won’t work – because a good aim is a prerequisite for using a crossbow well.


And now…you’ve become an expert on crossbow scopes. Congrats!

Go through our picks gain and make your choice. We know it’s going to be a good one.

Just remember one thing – it’s very important to know EXACTLY where you will use the crossbow, on a shooting range or hunting. Only then will you be able to get the best crossbow scope for your needs.

Take all safety precautions and enjoy hunting with your crossbow.

Leaders comparison
The winners

Best products from range

Best of the best

Nikon 8461 Bolt XR Crossbow Scope

This is a really good product, with fully multi-coated lenses and 92% light gathering. It’s shockproof, waterproof and fogproof, making a reliable choice for all weather conditions.

Best for the money

UTG 4X32 1″ Crossbow Scope

This scope offers broadband lens coating, a 5-step reticle and side wheel illumination. It’s easy to sight in and adjust, and it offers solid accuracy.

If you have some additional information for us, or if you’d like to share your experience with crossbow scopes, be sure to comment below -we’ll be waiting to hear from you!



Frequently asked questions


Can I use a rifle scope on my crossbow?

There is a reason why rifle scopes and crossbow scopes are not the same thing. They differ in the amount of “gun shock” or recoil they have to sustain. Theoretically, you can use a rifle scope on a crossbow if the scope is rated for airguns. Many people think any rifle scope will work perfectly on a crossbow, but this is not true. Crossbows have a different kind of recoil – forward recoil, as opposed to a rifle. A rifle scope is not made for this type of recoil, and this can interfere with your shooting. If a riflescope is designed for shorter distances, it might work well on a crossbow; however, it’s definitely best to go with a proper crossbow scope, to avoid any inconveniences.

The team
The team

We made this review

Marko Rasic
Writer Marko Rasic
Tiffany Mueller
Editorial Director Tiffany Mueller
Valeria Garcia
Graphic Editor Valeria Garcia
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