Best Crossbow Scopes: The Difference Between a Hit and Miss

A good crossbow scope will improve your shooting at long ranges and in low light conditions

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PUBLISHED ON November 27, 2019

The correct crossbow scope takes the guesswork out of shooting. Not only will it improve accuracy, but it will also help you find the correct elevation and range. We take a look at the best crossbow scopes available for use by hunters and competitive archers who want to get the best shot.

  • Best Overall
    Vortex Crossfire

    This rifle scope can easily work with a crossbow and has anti-reflective lenses and 3-12x magnification.


    It is illuminated and ideal for shooting in low-light conditions. The scope is built from a single piece of aluminum and is shockproof, waterproof, and fog-proof.


    It may get foggy in certain conditions. There are also questions about its long-term durability.

  • Best Value
    UTG Crossbow Scope

    This scope has a fixed 4x magnification, and the scope body has a shroud for less glare. It also comes with mounting rings for Picatinny and Weaver rails.


    It is fog-proof and dustproof and offers fantastic illumination. The reticle colors can also be changed between green or red.


    This scope can be difficult to zero. Also, the fixed magnification might not be ideal if you’re shooting at closer distances.

  • Honorable Mention
    Barnett Cross Scope

    This scope has a magnification of 4x and has a five-point programmed multi-reticle crosshair system. It is easy to install and comes with mounting rings.


    The scope is water-resistant and shockproof and comes with a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. It is also known for holding its zero after the extensive shooting.


    It may easily break without much use. Also, the mounting rings may need to be changed so it can fit certain crossbows.

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  • You get what you pay for. Stay away from the cheapest scopes because they are more apt to break and also collect moisture and dirt inside.
  • For beginners, simpler can be easier. Start with a light, easy-to-read scope with ample magnification. You can always progress to more complicated scopes with electronics after you have the basics down.
  • If you already have a good quality rifle scope, it’s likely that it can also fit on your crossbow. Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines before mounting the rifle scope on a crossbow.


Q: Why do I need a scope on a crossbow?

A: Despite having a relatively short range, a crossbow can still benefit from having a scope. The magnification can help you see things that are far away, and it can also help in low-light conditions.

Q: What types of crossbow scopes are available?

A: Red dot scopes are simple and have no magnification. Simply point the red laser towards the target. Magnified scopes help the shooter get a clearer image, especially at longer distances. Ballistically calibrated scopes have reticles that predict the flight and drop over certain distances.

Q: What is the maximum range of a crossbow?

A: Depending on the crossbow and the type of bolt, a crossbow can shoot over 500 yards (but not accurately). Depending on the shooter, the effective range for a crossbow is between 20 to 40 yards away. Advanced shooters may get up to 50 to 60 yards.

Final Thoughts

Whether in bright or low-light conditions, a good scope will assist you with getting the perfect shot. Our pick for the best crossbow scope goes to the Vortex Crossfire.

For a more budget-friendly option, try the UTG Crossbow Scope.