Are you tired of missing your aim resulting in all those bows going to waste while those deers and hogs continue to tease you as they escape each time? Don’t worry, we have you covered.
I hadn’t been using my crossbow for quite a while now (just more of a rifle person) but since a lot of you had been asking about the best crossbow scopes I decided to bring the old boy out of the closet and take it out for a few spins with various scopes.
So after testing 20+ scopes on it over the last 8 months, I reviewed these scopes on features that matter. These range from optics quality, durability, weather-resistance, to warranty, range, etc.
So if you want to improve accuracy without having to overpay, stay tuned.
To make a quick-fire purchase and skip over long details, I have given a summary of my favorite crossbow scopes.
- Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope – Top Pick
- Garmin Xero X1i Crossbow Scope
- UTG 4X32 1″ Crossbow Scope – Budget Pick
- ATN X-Sight-4k Pro – Best for Beginners
- TenPoint Rangemaster Pro Illuminated Crossbow Scope
Get a few more details about these scopes via the comparison table below.
Table of Contents
Best Crossbow Scopes for 2023 Reviewed
|Trijicon TR23||• It has passed the military drop test|
• Battery-less reticle illumination that adjusts automatically
• Zero distortion even when used at full magnification
|Garmin Xero||• Automatically adjusts the brightness and color of the reticle|
• Get range estimations for accuracy
• Get target location after a shot with GPS device
|UTG 4X32 1″ Crossbow Scope||• The illuminated reticle is ideal for low light|
• It costs less than $100 thus ideal for budget buyers
• Turrets can be locked so they do not change
|ATN X-Sight||• The ballistic calculator helps you aim accurately|
• Records video at 720p automatically
• Adjusts point of impact automatically based on ammo used
|TenPoint Rangemaster||• Get 5 levels of illumination and 2 reticle colors|
• Arrow drop compensation settings improve accuracy
• Great optics considering it costs less than $200
But if you like to read details before making a pick, this section below is just what you need.
1. Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope
If you have the big bucks and want the absolute best on the market, it hardly gets any better than a Trijicon, and here’s why.
Trijicon scopes are used by the US military, Marines, and other law enforcement agencies and if it is good enough for them, it sure is good enough for anyone and everyone.
But don’t get the scope only for that reason.
What makes the TR23 an absolute beast is its optics quality that remains unmatched, With a premium quality lens that has multiple layers of anti-reflective coating for better light transmission there’s zero distortion on the sides(now get a crystal clear display whether in low light or at full magnification)
Another reason why it works so well in low light is the illuminated reticle but the reticle doesn’t take up time for charging or battery replacements. Yes, Trijicon makes usage effortless with the battery-less illumination technology.
The use of tritium/fiber optic reticle keeps adjusts the illumination brightness automatically, so the reticle is never lost in low light (dusk or dawn, now hunt any time of the day).
Another thing that adds to the clarity of the reticle is that is an SFP reticle which means it maintains its large size at any magnification level.
Furthermore, the reticle also makes getting 100% accuracy a breeze as it gives range estimations (no more wasting hundreds of bows each day and yet missing the target).
Adding to that is the quick-focus eyepiece and Trijicon’s Bindon Aiming Concept. This means you latch onto even moving targets in a jiffy and can aim with both eyes open as well which is great for close-range combat.
Durability is top-notch. Like all Trijicon scopes, even this bad boy has passed the military drop test. So whether you leave it submerged in water or drop it as you suddenly move during a hunt, the scope stands tall against it all.
This is mainly down to its aluminum build and rugged design. It has also been tried and tested to perform in sub-zero temperatures and extreme heat. Another awesome thing about Trijicon scopes is that they have minimal moving parts and single tube construction.
This also adds to the durability as it reduces the chances of the scope breaking. Furthermore, it also makes the scope recoil-resistant (this one will last you a lifetime).
And even if you do face any issues with it 5 years after your purchase, repairs and replacements won’t cost you a dime as it is covered by a lifetime warranty.
As for the turrets I love the fact that they are numbered along with markings in white. Plus, they are taller than usual so gripping them is a breeze. This is further accompanied by their loud clickety sound and their smooth operation.
So not only is it easy to adjust them precisely in seconds but they also need minimal pressure. Even the magnification dial is smooth and numbered for quick, precise adjustment.
The only drawback here is its price as it costs over $1000 but if you want an extremely durable scope that will 100% improve your range and accuracy, this is worth every penny.
- Turrets are numbered and smooth
- Reticle illumination is battery-less
- The illumination adjusts by itself to give you the best settings
- Zero distortion even at full magnification or low light
- It has passed the military drop test
- Tried and tested to perform in extreme temperatures
- Allows you to aim with both eyes open
- Reticle gives range estimations for 100% accuracy
- Backed by a lifetime warranty
- Trijicon is trusted by the US military and Police
- Costs on the higher side
2. Garmin Xero X1i Crossbow Scope
Another premium but extremely easy-to-use scope that does pretty much everything for you (except pull the trigger) is the Garmin Xero X1i Crossbow scope. Here’s everything about it.
The reason I say it does everything for you is its accurate range estimation. Not just that, it will give you an illuminated Aimpoint as well to make the shot.
This illumination and colors are adjusted automatically based on the surrounding light, so it remains visible whether in bright sunlight or low light and makes usage effortless.
And with that illumination doesn’t come the hassle of battery charging and replacement as the battery will easily last you anywhere between 6 months to a year even with regular usage.
But the buck doesn’t end just there.
This crossbow scope is equipped with a special feature known as the Laser Locate waypoint projection. With the help of a Garmin GPS device, it gives you the exact location of the deer or hog at the time the shot was taken.
It is also pretty versatile as it can be used across various crossbows without you having to change the settings each time. That is because it allows you to create and store custom profiles that can be switched in seconds.
Once you create your profile the scope will even evaluate its performance after every shot so you can customize it to best suit your experience level.
Add to this the 3.5x magnification and you won’t have to spend on an expensive rifle to hit distances of 500 yards with great accuracy.
Whatever the magnification, the multi-coated lens does not disappoint and justifies the high price as you get clear visuals. Furthermore, it works in rain or cold weather as well since the nitrogen purge keeps the lens from fogging up.
As for durability, it looks rock-solid. The metallic build in tandem with the rugged finish means it is tailor-made to handle the rigors of hunting in the wild and can take a beating. Furthermore, it has an IPX7 rating which means you can even leave it submerged in water for hours.
Even with that strong build, Garmin manages to keep the scope light and compact. In fact, it is the most compact scope on the list and weighs less than 2 pounds, so carrying it around whether mounted on the crossbow or inside a shoulder bag should be hassle-free.
- Reticle adjusts color and brightness automatically
- Gives accurate range estimations and locks onto targets
- Allows the user to save multiple profiles
- Very durable and waterproof
- Nitrogen purge prevents the lens from fogging up
- Ideal for distances of 500 yards with 3.5x magnification
- Gives location of the target after a shot with a GPS device
- The battery lasts up to 1 year
- Not as strong as the Trijicon
- Costs over $1000
- The GPS device is sold separately
3. UTG 4X32 1″ Crossbow Scope (Budget Crossbow Scope)
Looking for something on the cheap? UTG has you covered. This crossbow scope costs less than $100 but packs a punch well above its weight. Here’s why.
The main aim of a scope is to improve precision, right? Well, the UTG is designed for just that. For a cheaper scope, the illuminated reticle was a pleasant surprise. Plus, you can switch between red and green colors and choose the brightness level all via the side wheel that is smooth and ergonomically located.
This means your crossbow is just as effective for hunting at dusk or dawn as it is in the daytime.
Furthermore adding to the ease of using the scope are the turrets. Unlike other cheaper scopes, here the turrets are numbered with white marking. This in tandem with their good audibility makes getting precise settings in seconds a breeze.
And since there is a lockable feature the settings don’t change either making it a set it forget it scope unless you want it changed.
As for the optics, you will notice some distortion on the sides at 4x magnification but remains pretty clear on lower magnification allowing you to aim at about 200-250 yards with ease. Considering the price range, that isn’t much of a surprise.
Protecting the lens from dust, dirt, and oil are flip-up covers. With my previous scope, I lost the covers twice as they were removable and I’d often forget where I left them but the flip-up ones are easier to use and store when the scope is in use as they remain attached.
Another awesome thing about the scope is that it takes less than 60s to dismount thanks to the quick detach mount rings. Yes, unlike other cheaper scopes, this one comes with rings saving you from additional charges.
Durability isn’t as good as the Garmin or Trijicon so you don’t want to drop this but yes, a few bumps should have no impact on the scope. It is also waterproof. I wouldn’t leave it submerged for too long but using it in the rain should be just as easy.
Further assisting with that is the nitrogen purge that keeps the lens from becoming foggy.
- Costs less than $100
- Illuminated reticle for good visibility in low light
- Switch reticle colors and brightness easily with the side wheel
- Turrets are numbered and have good audibility
- Flip-up covers protect the lens from dust and dirt
- Turrets can be locked so they maintain settings
- Quick detach mount rings making dismounting easy and quick
- Ideal for distances of 200-250 yards with 4x magnification
- Not as durable as the Trijicon or Garmin
- Blurring on the sides at higher magnification
- Average battery life
4. theOpticGuru ATN X-Sight-4k Pro (Best Crossbow Scope for Beginners)
If you are a beginner looking for a mid-range scope that works both day and night, the ATN X-Sight is just the scope you need. Here’s all about it.
The reason it works so well at night as well is that it comes with a built-in night vision and you can switch between these modes in seconds at the press of a button (yup, it is that easy).
I also love its ballistic calculator which does just give you range estimation but also automatically adjusts the point of impact based on the ammo and the range of the target (aim and bam, just the way a beginner wants).
And it will record your kills for you as well in 720p so you can show them off to your friends and family later. It also supports Wi-Fi streaming.
Plus, starting the recording does not require you to press any button. Thanks to the Recoil Activated Video, it starts automatically when it detects recoil and stores the video on an SD card so you can transfer it onto your laptop or pc later.
As for the optics, Obsidian IV Dual-Core Processor and Ultra HD Sensor ensure you get HD quality visuals whether you are using it in day mode or night mode. It also keeps the colors sharp at day.
The battery life is also impressive. It gave me around 16-18 hours with regular usage. You can further tone down the settings and add to that (say goodbye to missing targets due to low battery).
The only downside about the battery is that if do you forget to charge it, the entire scope becomes useless. So make sure you have ample battery before you go hunting.
Furthermore, also included in the package are eyecup, sunshade, standard rings(2pcs), cantilever ring w/ Picatinny rail, and USB cable so you can easily connect it to any device.
Also, being a digital scope, it cannot be submerged in water or dropped from a height as it can cause technical glitches and break the buttons.
- A ballistic calculator gives you accurate range estimations
- Adjusts points of impact as per the ammo and target distance
- Gives HD quality images at both night and the day
- Record videos in 720p
- Recording starts automatically with RAV technology
- Good battery runtime
- Comes with inbuilt night mode
- If the battery fails the scope cannot be used
- Not waterproof and cannot be dropped
- The software needs to be updated regularly
5. TenPoint Rangemaster Pro Illuminated Crossbow Scope (HCA-09811)
Last but not least comes another good crossbow scope for budget buyers as it costs less than $200. Here’s the good, bad, and ugly about this scope.
The best part about this scope is its Arrow Drop Compensation Setting that is best-suited for arrows that work between 275 and 425 FPS thus eliminating the need to make any adjustment for distance.
The reticle has illumination but in case you can run out of batteries, it remains relatively clear and bright as it has been etched onto the glass.
Talking about the illumination, you have 5 levels to choose from that can be adjusted via the rheostat. Plus, you can switch between red and green colors. Green works best for low light while on bright sunny days, red is your best friend.
Furthermore, the reticle is equipped with 3 duplex crosshairs which include 4 dots and a triangle. These have been calibrated for 20-, 30-, 40-, 50-, and 60-yards while the last dot and triangle are free-standing. Learn to use them and you will find hitting the bull’s eye each time much easier.
Constructed using a 30mm tube, it is strong enough to handle a few bumps in the wild but don’t drop it. You also don’t want to drop it in water as it isn’t as water-resistant as the others on the list.
The optics were surprisingly good. Even at the full 6x magnification, the distortion on the sides was limited making the full range of magnification usable, in turn, allowing you to aim at about 300-350 yards with ease.
- The reticle is etched onto the glass for clarity without illumination
- 5 levels of illumination available
- The reticle can be switched to red or green colors
- Crosshairs improve accuracy
- 30mm tube provides decent shock-resistance
- Ideal for distances up to 350 yards with 6x magnification
- Arrow Drop Compensation Settings further adds to ease of use
- Lightweight and compact thus easy to carry
- Not durable enough to handle drops
- Slight blurring when using 6x magnification
- Poor battery life
Well, those are my picks for crossbow scopes. If you are looking for the best, Trijicon is hands down my favorite closely followed by the Garmin and the ATN scope. For budget buyers, the UTG and TenPoint scopes are good picks.
If you have questions about these or other crossbow scopes that you are considering, do drop them in the comments below. You can also email them to me via the contact page.
Feel free to share your experience with these scopes as well so others can make more informed buying decisions.
Till then, stay safe and happy hunting.