Best Crossbow Scope 2024 With Reviews (Low Light-Rangefinder)

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Video best rangefinding crossbow scope

Speed Of Your Crossbow

Most of the top crossbow scopes today are ballistic compensating, which means that they use a fixed reticle that is zeroed in at one yardage, usually 20 yards, and then the other aim points are all perfect when the scope is set to the speed of your crossbow.

The only downside to this is that it is accomplished by changing the magnification of the scope.

So these scopes do not really have adjustable magnification. The magnification is set by the speed of your crossbow.

The upside is that once you set your speed (measured in feet per second or FPS) and sight in at 20 yards, your crossbow will be sighted perfectly from 20 – 100 yards.

Keep in mind that shots at 100 yards are not recommended at game animals.

Click here for a guide on how far you can effectively shoot a crossbow.

Rangefinding Capability

Crossbow scopes with built in rangefinder have revolutionized crossbow hunting, eliminating the need for a separate rangefinder.

We love to use the rangefinding crossbow scopes, but they are expensive, probably out of range for the average hunter. Although, we never thought we would see hunters spending thousands on a crossbow either, so who knows, maybe scopes with a rangefinder will become commonplace among hunters.

Our advice is if you can afford it, go for it. You will not be disappointed and it will make shooting and hunting so much easier.

Just be sure to check your local laws and regulations, as they are not allowed in some areas of the country.

Optics Quality

The quality of the optics will determine the brightness, clarity and crispness of the images, as well as the level of performance in low light conditions.

The best quality optics utilize fully multi coated lenses. These will also be the most expensive optics.

Some of the scopes will feature fully coated lenses, which may be adequate, but there will be a noticable difference between the two

You can find a great explanation of the difference between fully multi coated and fully coated optics here.

Magnification

Magnification refers to how large the image looks through the scope. 2x means the image would be twice as large as with the naked eye and 8x means the image is 8 times larger.

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These numbers are slightly deceiving in the ballistic compensating scopes because they look like they have adjustable magnification, but they do not. The magnification is fixed by the speed of your crossbow.

Illumination

Illumination refers to the lighting up of the aimpoints on the reticle. All of the crossbow scopes we recommend are illuminated and can be adjusted via a built in rheostat powered by a battery.

You can adjust the level of illumination to suit your taste, but we have found that the higher the illumination, the more difficult they are to use when hunting in low light.

You really need a very slight illumination for low light hunting.

Diameter Of The Scope Tube

A 30mm scope tube is the norm in all of the high end crossbow scopes. This is what we prefer, as it provides a brighter image and adds strength and stability to the scope.

It will also add a little more weight when compared to a smaller 1 inch scope tube, but it is well worth the tradeoff.

Field Of View

The field of view is the width that you can see at 100 yards when looking through the scope. It is measured in feet and basically, the wider, the better.

A wider field of view allows you to see more. It is easier to find game through the scope and also easier to plan a shot when you can see where the game is headed and what obstacles will be between you and your target.

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Ease Of Set Up And Sight In

All of the crossbow scopes on our list are very easy to set up and sight in. Most will come with scope rings that will attach to the picatinny rail on your crossbow.

Once it is mounted, you should follow the manufacturer’s directions for sighting in.

It is very simple and you will be hitting bullseyes from all yardages in minutes.

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If you haven’t shot a crossbow before, you can see our guide on how to shoot a crossbow by clicking here.

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WeatherProof

Weatherproof is really kind of a generic term and we believe that any high end optics should be completely waterproof, fogproof and shockproof.

In Crossbow scopes, this is accomplished by being o-ring sealed, which prevents water from entering the scope. The scope should also be nitrogen purged, which prevents fogging and condensation inside the scope.

Without these features, your scope will not be weatherproof and it will provide disappointing performance in anything but perfect conditions.

Budget

Obviously, you need to consider your budget when looking for a crossbow scope, but we would advise you to buy the best scope you can afford.

It is true that you get what you pay for when it comes to hunting optics, but that being said, there are some great scopes that are very reasonable in price.

Our top pick is the Vortex Crossfire II and we chose that scope as our top pick because of the combination of high end features and reasonable price.

The fact of the matter is that if you take care of your scope, cleaning it and performing basic maintenance, it should last you for many hunting seasons.

Warranty

We love a company that stands behind their products and protects their customers with no questions asked, lifetime warranties.

You will see that our top picks above all feature these warranties, but as you make your way further down our list, some scopes will offer lesser warranties. These are often the lower priced options.

Final Thoughts

Our staff has put in countless hours testing, rating and reviewing all of these crossbow scopes on a myriad of different crossbows to find the best crossbow scope in each category.

Our overall top pick is the Vortex Crossfire II because of its combination of high end features, bright clear optics, reasonable price and forever warranty.

The best crossbow scope with built in rangefinder was hands down the Garmin Xero X1i, although it is priced out of range for a lot of hunters, it is an incredible scope that completely eliminates the need for a rangefinder.

If you are a bow hunter that chooses to use a crossbow, investing in a quality scope will have you shooting accurately and filling your freezer in no time.

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FAQs

Can you use a rifle scope on a crossbow?

Technically you could use a rifle scope on a crossbow, but it would not make much sense to do so. You really need a multi reticle crossbow sight to shoot accurately at different distances.

What distance should I zero my crossbow scope?

You should zero your crossbow scope at 20 yards. If you are using a speed rated scope, this will automatically zero the other reticles at 30, 40 and 50 yards. Make sure that you sight in your crossbow with the broadheads that you are going to hunt with. Some broadheads will fly differently than others, affecting your accuracy.

Can you use a red dot on a crossbow?

Yes, you can use a red dot sight on a crossbow for short to medium ranges, however we prefer a multi reticle crossbow scope for hunting.

Can you bore sight a crossbow scope?

Technically, yes you can bore sight a crossbow scope. There are screw in, boresighting tips for crossbow bolts that will show you exactly where your bolt is aimed, but they are not much use beyond about 10 yards because of the amount of drop in the bolt over longer distances.

Do crossbows require special scopes?

Yes, crossbows require special scopes. Crossbow scopes are designed specifically for crossbows, providing reticles with multiple aimpoints for different yardages. Unlike a rifle, where the bullet doesn’t drop much over 100 yards, a crossbow bolt drops significantly over that distance. If you were to use a regular scope, you would have no idea where to hold the one reticle at different yardages.

What do the lines mean on a crossbow scope?

The lines on a crossbow scope represent the aimpoint to use for specific yardages. They are usually set at 20, 30, 40 and fifty yards, although some go all the way out to 100 yards. Once you know the yardage to your target, you use the corresponding line for that yardage.

Is there a crossbow scope with a built in rangefinder?

Yes, there are crossbow scopes with built in rangefinders. These scopes show you the range of your target as you are aiming. The best rangefinding crossbow scope is the Garmin Xero X1i .