Most spotting scopes are large and will take up a sizable portion of your carrying weight should you choose to bring them to your next excursion. These high-quality optics will make the perfect gift for you or the outdoor enthusiast this upcoming holiday season. You can bet that a majority of them will be on sale even as hunting seasons conclude (and some areas, open up) around the country.
You’re probably thinking that you’re high-quality sporting binoculars are enough to get you through the hunting or birding season. However, it really depends on the type of animal or object you’re tracking and how well you want to see it. Spotting scopes can zoom in at a much farther range than binoculars and deliver better quality.
If you’re tracking animals well camouflaged in the wild, a spotting scope is going to be one of your best bets at catching movement where other outdoorsmen/women might not see. These optics will usually cost a pretty penny, but Black Friday/Cyber Monday are some of the holidays where you can catch them a sizable portion off of their original price.
Whether you’re a hunter, birdwatcher, opera enthusiast, or just like seeing long distances in general, be sure to pick up your favorite pair of binoculars this Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2020. No doubt you’re probably on the hunt for Upland Optics, Nikon, Bushnell, or Diamondback series binos, as those are the most mainstream and popular.
However, there are a number of smaller brands whose products are already on sale (click here to see bestsellers). They may not be the type of binos you’ll see in the field but there a variety of uses for binoculars beyond hunting. Some brands have specialized their binos for birdwatching, observation, and even opera and plays.
Lightweight and handheld binoculars are going to be your preferable birdwatching and observation optics while larger and heavier optics from Nikon, Bushnell, or Vortex are going to be your mainline hunting and sporting optics.
Click here to see ourtop picks forbinoculars to find low cost and affordable binoculars for your next excursion. Unfortunately Upland Optics, our highest recommended brand, doesn’t do discounts, but they are also worth considering if you’re looking for a pair.
Binoculars make great gifts for all things sightseeing. If you want to make sure you don’t miss those once in a lifetime shots, binoculars are going to come in real handy.
Most people assume that binoculars are only good for hunting since the market in that area is huge. The simple truth is that you can use binoculars for just about any long-range sighting activity you can think of. Don’t assume that just because you have hunting or birding binoculars that you have to remain faithful to those activities with those specific binoculars.
Some optics can be just as good in other activities as they are in the category they were made for. Keep in mind that the reason that specialized binoculars exist is to make objects and sights stand out through color and appropriate light distribution.
Athlon has produced some of our favorite products of late, with their new line being a serious competitor to the bigger names in the optics world. I’ve been very impressed with a couple of their binoculars I’ve been able to get my hands on (the Neos G2 and Argos G2 UHD), and was very excited to take their new spotting scope for a spin. The Argos HD 20-60x85mm falls into the perfect category of spotting scopes for high power use. It’s big and heavy, so you probably will mostly use it from your vehicle or a camp, but the power behind a scope this big is something awesome to behold.
This scope has one function: To get you close eyes on a subject far, far away. And it does that exceptionally well. The 85mm objective lens is massive and collects an impressive amount of light, leading to excellent image quality. This is also helped along by the full multi coating and phase coated prisms. Athlon was also smart enough to include a large eye piece, avoiding a huge mistake I’ve seen other optics companies make. Overall image quality is great. The only thing I wish the scope has would be ED glass. It’s in the price range where this could be an option. Although I will say that very similar to the Neos binoculars I reviewed, the image quality is impressively great for a scope without ED glass.
Functionally the scope works great. It has a very unique design that is quickly growing on me. Instead of a focus knob that sticks up off the middle of the scope, it has a ring running around the entire body of the scope that is used for focusing. While I was initially skeptical that this would lead to accidentally bumping the focus off, I haven’t had this problem at all. Instead, I’ve found it very easy to make finite adjustments to the focus thanks to the large size of the control. I think they are converting me to liking this style of focus ring!
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this scope, particularly in its price range. I wish it had ED glass, and it doesn’t give you quite the image quality that you get with a Swarovski, but for the price I’m more than satisfied with it and will no doubt use it in the field. You can check it out here.
Athlon’s new line of sporting optics hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves yet, so I’m here to set the record straight by reviewing their entry into the low-mid range end of the binocular market: The Neos G2 HD. This binocular can usually be had for less than $100, making it very affordable and accessible for the average beginner sportsman or enthusiast.
I got my hands on the 8x42mm version of this binocular. 42mm objective lenses are far and away my favorite, as they offer the perfect trade off between portability and image quality. They let in plenty of light, and the 8 power magnification is ideal for when you need a fairly wide field of view but aren’t necessarily looking to zoom in super close to your quarry.
The big thing that you give up when you get a binocular in this price range is extra low dispersion glass. For an Athlon option that has this higher end glass, check out the Argos G2 UHD I recently reviewed. However, I have to say that even without ED glass, the Neos impressed me with its surprisingly great image quality. The difference between ED and non ED glass is something that it takes some time to be able to distinguish, and conditions play a role in it as well. With these binos it was shockingly difficult to tell that they didn’t use ED glass. Suffice it to say that for the money, these binos offer an excellent view.
The coolness factor is somewhat arbitrary, but still important to many people, and these binos definitely have it. With their sleek grey color (it reminds me of my Cement colored Tacoma) and excellent grip texturing, these binos simply look cool. Way more visually to them than the standard plain black rubber.
You can get these binos standalone, or packaged with a Wearable4U lens cleaning pen and clothe, which is a very helpful addition for those who use their binos in adverse conditions. Regardless they will include the industry standard clothe carry case, neck strap and small lens clothe. As with the Argos G2 I mentioned above, these come in Athlon’s beautiful new packaging, which has one of the better box designs I’ve seen in the industry.
In short, these are a solid pair of binoculars and a great option for someone looking in this price range!
Athlon is one of my go to recommendations for a wide class of sporting optics. They have solid products, are reliable, and constantly update their lineup. They recently sent me one of their newest generation of binoculars, the Argos G2 UHD.
Priced at a bit over $200, the Argos G2 UHD is an entry into the midrange market of binos, which is the most popular for consumers and what I typically recommend those who are getting into hunting, bird watching or some other type of outdoor activity start out with. They are also perfectly sized, with 10×42 being the best fit for most users. In short, these binos are targeting a sweet spot in the market.
But with that sweet spot of course comes competition. There are dozens of brands vying for the same customers as the Argos. So what did Athlon do to give them the competitive edge? Let’s dive in. First off, the optics are great. These binos come with ED (extra low dispersion) glass. This is a critical feature that I have to see before I recommend a mid range bino. It makes image quality significantly higher. They also offer ESP dialectric coating on the phase corrected prisms, which has insanely high light transfer. Translation: more light going through the binos actually gets to your eyes, meaning brighter, clearer images. They also offer an XPL coating on the exterior lenses to protect against dirt, moisture, and anything else they get exposed to in the elements when you’re on a major adventure.
These binoculars fall into what I would call the “modern” category. They have a sleek build with lots of features and grip elements built into the chasis, making them easy to hold and use, and very attractive to look at. They come with the standard lens cloth, soft case, and neck strap. The box they come in also excellent, and really adds a nice presentation element to it (all of Athlon’s new line seems to be coming in these high end new boxes, and I’ve been very impressed by their packaging). Compared to the cheap cardboard the company used to use, it’s a massive upgrade in how the product feels coming out of the box.
Overall I think this is an excellent mid range bino to consider, especially since it is priced a little below many of the best competitors in the space. You can check them out on Amazon here.
It seems like there’s a pair of binoculars for just about every situation and sometimes with intricate pieces of technology infused within. We’ve seen rangefinder binoculars, among other things, but an even lesser-known form of binos is image-stabilization binoculars.
Image stabilization is a very sought after quality among camera fanatics, including those who own DSLR and SLR cameras. We all want our binoculars to transmit the best quality images to us regardless of weather conditions.
While most binos do a pretty good job on their own, these particular binos are specialized to produce some of the world’s best non-shaky images.
Let’s take a look at each of these image stabilizer binoculars:
Fujinon is widely known for producing polaroid film and polaroid cameras. Their entries into the IS-camera market have been met with near-universal acclaim, so let’s explore why.
This 14x40mm pair of binos is more rectangular than your average pair of binos but has some hand grip on the left side to handle them with ease. These particular binos come with 5 degrees of stabilization. In the simplest terms, Degrees of stabilization refers to the level of which the lenses operate to stabilize the image.
Advanced cameras utilize degrees of stabilization with the utmost importance, especially when filming. The Fujinon 14x40mm has received rave reviews because of its ability to display images in the far distance but with maximum stability and image quality.
The Fujinon Techno-Stabi image stabilization binocular offers you a very reliable vibration reduction system. These have a more compact design that allows for easier transport, and the rechargeable battery is included with your purchase.
They are ideal for those looking for the best vibration reduction. They feature a three-degree vibration reduction range and a center focus wheel for focus adjustments. The batteries are long-lasting; they have multicoated optics, a 2.5mm exit pupil, and lightweight construction.
However, the lens is also on the smaller side, and the binoculars are not compatible with camera lenses.
Canon is a renowned camera maker, so it’s no wonder that they would have many image-stabilization binos.
The 10x30mm model is Canon’s most popular model of IS-binoculars. It differs from other binos like Fujinon’s because it has elongated eyepieces. The eyepieces also flatten images on the edges of your vision, eliminating blurriness that commonly occurs with other binos.
The 30mm lenses utilize the same image stabilization technology that you’ll find on Canon’s line of EF lenses that go on SLR and digital cameras. This technology is battery powered and, in ideal conditions, can last over 8 hours. We don’t recommend taking these in extreme conditions like below freezing temperatures, but they can operate for about an hour.
Canon really went all out with these binoculars, and it’s no wonder they’re so popular. Check out some of the other sizes of image stabilization binos by Canon:
These Canon image stabilized binoculars come with a padded case to keep them safe while you are on the move. The case also comes with a neoprene strap, making it easier to carry and secure. The rain guard for the eyepiece allows you to maintain clear vision. They can also be used in rainy conditions due to the fully waterproof construction.
We like these binoculars; they use a high-quality L series lens, have 10x magnification, offer a great field of view, and boast full weatherproof protection.
With this Canon binocular, you will find lens shifting image stabilization in combination with microcomputer control. All of this allows for sharp and clear images and no color bias. The design of these binoculars is also incredibly ergonomic and fits comfortably in your hands.
They are light in weight and have a compact construction. They have a 32mm lens diameter and offer 10x magnification. You can also get 14x magnification for long-distance focus. They are great for hunting and bird watching.
If considering this model, remember that this is not a waterproof binocular or shockproof, there is no fog resistance, and the price point may be higher than what some are looking for compared to a regular binocular.
If you are looking for superior image stabilization, then these are the binoculars for you. They have a compact design that is easy to hold onto and allow you to maintain a firm grip. The Porro II prism system allows for more clarity and better viewing and makes it easier to zoom in on your target. These binos also feature a 36mm objective lens diameter. The lenses are on the smaller side but still offer you the view you want.
The images are always going to be clear and sharp. They are anti-shake and offer a maximum zoom of 12x. We especially love the field flattener, edge-to-edge sharpness, the power-efficient design, and the fact that it is compatible with Canon EF lenses.
However, we also noticed limited lens compatibility, and they don’t work the greatest in low light conditions.
The Canon 18×50 image stabilization all-weather binoculars were designed for outdoor use. If you need them for more distant viewing, it comes with 18x magnification power and a 50mm aperture. They provide you with an FoV of 65 meters, making them ideal if you are an avid bird watcher or hunter.
You will find extra clarity because of the fully multicoated lens, and the all-weather design makes them water-resistant. However, this particular model is heavier and does not come with a front lens cover.
Carl Zeiss binos may have some of the biggest price tags in the binos world, but that price reflects almost unmatched image quality and handling.
The 20x60mm pair of binos is the biggest on our list and certainly the most powerful. These 60mm lenses and long eyepieces ensure that you see objects and animals in the distance and to the edges of your lenses.
These binos also give you the ability to “lock-in” an image while you’re looking through the lenses. This feature will really appeal to outdoorsmen like birders who really need their binos to be stable as they analyze features of avians.
The high magnification power of the 20x60mm makes them a good candidate for nighttime viewing as well. Some users have even used the 20x60mm to spot stars at night before getting a closer look with a telescope. So, they are great as astronomy binoculars.
Hooway binoculars have been designed to meet military standards. They have been designed to perform highly in varying weather conditions, including extreme rainstorms.
These Hooway binoculars are considered marine binoculars, offer 7x magnification power, and have a 50mm objective lens. They are completely waterproof and can even float in water. They are nitrogen-purged and fogproof, and highly durable.
The Porro prism system allows for a wider field of view, and the fully multi coated lenses allow for bright and clear images. These image stabilization binoculars also have an illuminated compass built-in for direction location and an internal rangefinder to help determine the distance and size of objects.
The non-slip rubber armor of these binoculars add to their durability and can absorb shock, keeping them safe from damage. It also allows you to maintain a firm grip.
These binoculars allow for a field of view of 396 feet at 1000 yards. The left and right diopter adjustment rings can adjust sharp optics to meet your different vision requirements. They are ideal for many activities, including hunting, boating, bird watching, hiking, and fishing.
Due to the construction process of these lenses, the overall design of the binos is a little different than your average pair of 10x42mm or 8x42mm. They look a bit like rangefinder binos but, in the end, built with image quality and stabilization in mind. The lens sizes are also not the usual size you’d find browsing for normal binoculars, but the kick is getting even better images.
Because the technology for these binoculars is still very new, you’ll see that there are not many of them currently on the market and the ones that will be a bit of an investment.
Besides above-average image stabilization, these binos share many of the same characteristics that apply to all binos:
The bigger the lens, the more light that is gathered
The higher the zoom, the more focused an image will be
What Is the Difference Between Active and Passive Image Stabilization?
When looking for image stabilization binoculars, they fall into one of two categories: active and passive. With active image stabilization, you will find electronic sensors that detect movement. The view is automatically adjusted.
Depending on the type of Active ISB system the binos use, they will make prism angle adjustments or shift the lens position. Active image stabilization is good to use on a more stable platform, so hunting and bird watching are ideal activities.
Passive image stabilization doesn’t detect movements made with your binoculars. However, they do create more of a stabilizing effect for images on a more continual basis. They contain an internal gyroscope that reduces body movement. It disengages the prism, making the movements much less influential.
These binoculars should be used in non-stationary positions, like on a boat deck.
What Magnification Should I Look For?
When you choose binoculars for image stabilization, you will come across two numbers. For example, 10×42. The first number is the magnification power level, and the second number refers to the lens diameter and is measured in millimeters.
Larger diameters typically allow for clearer images, but these binoculars can also prove to be much more sensitive and a lot more expensive.
If you will be using your image stabilization binoculars for general use, then 10×40 is sufficient. However, if you want them for bird watching, then 8×42 is the standard so you can view more intricate details. For hunting, we recommend a 7×42 or 10×50, especially for long-range distances. A tripod will be needed to help with shakiness with these higher magnification levels and can help ensure a steadier image.
What to Look for When Choosing Image Stabilizing Binoculars
Now that you have more information under your belt, let’s take a closer look at what to look for when choosing the best image stabilization binoculars for your specific activities.
This is the opening in which light passes and enters and has to do with the size of the lenses. The aperture size depends on your use. For regular viewing, an aperture of 36mm is sufficient.
Field of View
This is the total area you can see from your binoculars. It is usually measured in degrees but can also be determined by yards or feet if you are hunting or bird watching. For a wider FoV, look for less magnification.
To reduce the amount of light that is lost, you need to consider coated lenses. The coating helps reduce any light loss and provides a sharper image.
If you are using the image stabilized binocular outdoors, and you most likely will be, then how weatherproof they are is a big consideration. You want to make sure the sun and rain, and other elements don’t damage your binos so they can remain functional for as long as possible.
When we talk about eye relief, we are talking about the distance from the eyepiece lens’s outer surface to the eyepoint. Eye relief is an especially important factor to consider if you wear eyeglasses. Long eye relief allows you enough room to have the binoculars the right distance from your eyes, even when you are wearing your glasses.
As you can see, there are several good choices when it comes to the best image stabilized binoculars on the market today. When choosing your next pair, consider the activity you will be doing and then look for high-quality optics, solid construction, and the best image stabilization system. Also, keep in mind, these binoculars will cost more than conventional binoculars, so keep your budget in mind as well.
Trijicon’s line of Advanced Combat Optical Gunsights (ACOGs) is of the utmost quality. All models are forged from an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, making them lightweight and nearly indestructible. All models pass military drop tests and are water resistant up to 100 meters, filled with dry nitrogen to prevent fogging. For an even more durable product, Trjicon makes their ACOG scopes with fixed magnification. Less moving parts means more reliability. Most models feature a fiber-optic and tritium reticle that adjusts brightness based on available light, operating completely battery-free in bright to low-light conditions, and some offer an LED reticle option that runs for thousands of hours on a single battery. Trijicon’s ACOG scopes are specifically designed for effective use in close-quarters combat, using the Bindon Aiming Concept. It is no mystery why Trijicon ACOG scopes are the most trusted combat sights worldwide.
Trijicon offers a huge assortment of ACOG scopes, with different magnification powers, different reticles, different objective lens diameters, and different physical sizes. This article will give a brief overview of them, arranged by magnification strength and objective size, but first, a quick word about objective lens sizes.
For those of us that are new to firearms scopes, the magnification power and objective lens diameter are listed as, for example, “1.5×24”. The first number, 1.5, is the magnification strength of the scope. An object viewed though the scope will appear approximately 1.5 times as large. The second number, 24, is the diameter of the objective lens, in millimeters. The objective lens is the lens farthest from the eye, and determines how much light enters the scope. A larger objective lens will produce a brighter image, but will be bigger and heavier, and may require additional accessories to attach.
Now let’s talk about the various models of Trijicon ACOG scopes.
These scopes are built for quick reflexes in close quarters. They feature a super-wide 7.4° field of view, allowing you to see a 12.9 meter diameter at a 100 meter distance. No other Trijicon ACOG scope matches these for maintaining complete combat awareness.
The smallest ACOG scopes Trijicon makes weigh a tiny 5.1 ounces. They are designed for the lowest possible mounting configuration, making them an excellent choice for AK rifles or other firearms with low cheek welds. They also make wonderful accompaniment to M16 or M4 rifles, leading to fantastic fire-control capability.
Trijicon 1.5x16S ACOG scopes feature circle-dot reticles, with no batteries required. The circle is made of high-quality fiber optics that catch and intensify ambient light, automatically adjusting brightness and contrast from bright to low-light conditions. The center dot is made of tritium, which catches and stores energy from collected light and glows when little or no light is available.
1.5x16S Trijicon ACOG scopes are a great choice for close-combat situations or for speed-oriented marksmanship competitions. They are small, light, simple, and durable.
These ACOG scopes feature a larger objective lens diameter than the previous set, with the same magnification strength. The image produced by these scopes is expected to be brighter and clearer than that of the 1.5x16S, but the scope itself is much larger. While the height and width remain the same as the smaller scope, the 1.5×24 scope is 45 millimeters longer, with a total length of 147 millimeters (about six inches). This scope is 6.3 ounces, considerably heavier than the 1.5x16S.
These scopes offer two possible targeting reticles: Triangle or crosshair. Reticles are made of fiber-optics and tritium, like most Trijicon ACOG scopes, and automatically adjust brightness based on lighting conditions. The largeness of the reticles makes them easy to decipher at an instant, allowing you to take aim that much faster.
The field of view through a Trijicon 1.5×24 ACOG scope is an 8.6 meter diameter at a 100 meter distance, or about 4.9°, much smaller than the 1.5x16S.
The benefits of the 1.5×24 ACOG scope are in the large exit pupil and generous eye relief. The exit pupil is a full 16 millimeters, and the eye relief is 91 millimeters. This configuration means that eye position requires much less precision, allowing for lightning-fast target acquisition in rapid-movement situations.
Trijicon’s 1.5×24 ACOG scopes are the right choice for fast target acquisition in close-quarters environments and any situation in which you need to maintain low-distance accuracy without sacrificing maneuverability.
This is the first step up in magnification, but it comes with a slight reduction in objective lens diameter.
The 2×20 ACOG scope is smaller than the 1.5×24, coming in at 135 millimeters in length, but with the same width and the same low profile. It is only one tenth of an ounce heavier.
Field of view is 5.6°, or a 9.8 meter diameter at a 100 meter distance. This is a wider field of vision than the 1.5×24, allowing a wider view of the combat zone while aiming through the scope.
Trijicon’s 2×20 ACOG scopes have three reticle options: Triangle, crosshair, or 6.9 MOA dot. These large reticles enable faster targeting discernment, but at the expense of long-range accuracy.
This scope’s compact design makes it a great choice for compact firearms, such as UZIs, MP-5s, or other member of the H&K lineup. It’s enhanced magnification extends accurate rifle range up to 200 meters.
This is the point at which Trijicon ACOG scopes begin to focus on long-distance accuracy. These scopes have the least eye relief of all Trijicon ACOG scopes, at 35 millimeters, and the smallest exit pupil, at only 8 millimeters. The scopes are only 127 millimeters long, and are available at in standard height or low-profile designs. Low-height scopes are perfect for AK style rifles, or other firearms with low cheek welds. The 3×24 ACOG scopes weigh between 5.8 and 6.1 ounces, making them easily maneuverable.
Field of view for these scopes is approximately 8.6 meters at a 100 meter distance, or 4.9°. Reticles at this level are specifically calibrated to either .223 or 7.62x39mm ammunition. The two targeting reticle options are either a dual-illuminated ballistic crosshair, or dual-illuminated horseshoe-dot. Both are made of fiber-optics material that automatically adjusts brightness based on lighting conditions, with a tritium center dot that glows in low-light conditions.
Trijicon builds windage and elevation adjusters right onto their ACOG scopes, so no extra tools are needed. They also integrate housings for their Ruggedized Miniature Reflex sights, or RMRs, so the extra optics can easily be mounted onto the ACOG scope.
Trijicon’s 3×24 ACOG scopes are the right choice for rifles using either .223 or 7.62×39 cartridges, when they need to balance lightweight maneuverability with long-distance accuracy.
This is one of the most versatile magnification and lens diameter options available. These scopes can be specifically calibrated for .223, .308, 7.62×39, or 300 BLK ammunition.
At 7.8 ounces and a length of 155 millimeters, these scopes are the biggest and heaviest of Trijicon’s compact ACOGs. They have a field of view with only a 6.5 meters at a 100 meter distance, about 3.7°, which is the tightest field of vision of the compact ACOGs.
Trijicon’s 3×30 ACOG scopes offer significant accuracy improvements. The sizable magnification strength extends usable rifle range, and the automatically adjusting fiber-optic reticle features bullet drop compensation for long-distance shooting. At these distances, windage and elevation adjustment is critical, and the 3×30 ACOG scopes feature integrated external adjusters at 4 clicks per adjustment inch at 100 yards.
These scopes offer a little more eye freedom than the 3×24 scopes, with 48 millimeters of eye relief and an 8.4 millimeter exit pupil.
Trijicon’s 3×30 ACOG scopes are the right choice for those who want a compact scope that enhances mid-range accuracy, and are using a .223, .308, 7.62×39, or 300 BLK rifle. This scope does not come in low-height configurations, and so may not be comfortable on rifles with low cheek welds.
This begins the set of Trijicon ACOG scopes built for extended range shooting. The 3.5×35 scope offers accuracy up to 800 meters for .223 rifles and up to 1200 meters for .308.
These scopes are not compact, and so are much larger and heavier than the previous scopes. 3.5×35 ACOGs are 203 millimeters long, 53 millimeters wide, and 66 millimeters tall. They weigh 14 ounces, nearly a full pound of extra weight on your rifle.
This scope has the largest exit pupil of the extended range scopes, nearly 10 millimeters, and the second largest eye relief, at 61 millimeters. External windage and elevation adjusters operate at 3 clicks per inch at 100 yards.
Trijicon offers a wide selection of targeting reticles for its 3.5×35 ACOGs: Chevron, crosshair, horseshoe-dot, triangle, and donut. Each reticle is dual-illuminated with fiber-optics and tritium. All sights are zeroed at 100 meters. Chevron sights are 5 moa thick, or approximately 19 inches at 300 meters. Competitive marksmen often prefer donut reticles, as they will not obscure the target.
Trijicon makes a special 3.5×35 ACOG scope designed specifically to be used with the M249 weapon system. This special scope increases hit probability out to 1000 meters. The special M249 scope is prepared to accept an additional RMR, and is built with GDI auto-locking quick-release levers. The scope is easily zeroed for either 500 meters or 10 meter BZO.
The Trijicon 3.5×35 ACOG scope is popular among competitive shooters for its ease of use, reliability, and accuracy. It is also among the only ACOG scopes specifically designed for use with a machine gun system.
The classic, the original. This is the first ACOG Trijicon made, and is still one of their most popular products. The 4×32 scope lineup includes several designed specifically for use by the US military, and one designed for use by the Los Angeles Police Department.
U.S. military specifications require the ACOG scopes to allow for bullet drop compensation up to 800 meters without any manual adjustments. Most non-US-military 4×32 scopes allow for bullet drop compensation up to 600 meters.
This magnification strength and objective lens diameter configuration has the most options of any ACOG scope Trijicon makes. They offer several models with the standard crosshair reticle, either dual-illuminated of illuminated with tritium only. They offer many different dual-illuminated reticles in scopes designed for use with the Bindon Aiming Concept. They even have 4×32 ACOG models with LED reticles.
LED reticle 4×32 ACOG scopes require one AA battery. They can last over 12,000 hours before the single battery must be replaced. The use of electricity over fiber optics allows the user to adjust the brightness of the reticle with a simple switch, and means that the reticle maintains the same level of brightness in all light conditions.
This is the longest of Trijicon’s ACOG scopes. It sits a full 305 millimeters in length! It sits relatively low, at only 69 millimeters. It weighs 25.6 ounces, just over a pound and a half, which will definitely affect the maneuverability and ease of use in your weapon. This ACOG scope is built for great accuracy in extended-range shooting, but is still designed to work well with the Bindon Aiming Concept.
The reticle is only available in chevron, but comes with a flat-line top adapter. The large objective lens ensures that the image will be bright and clear even at such a high magnification. A tight field of view, only 6.1 meters at a 100 meter distance, about 3.5°, maintains an accurate image with as little fish-eye distortion as possible.
This ACOG is made for pinpoint accuracy. Built-in windage and elevation adjusters operate at 5 clicks per inch at 100 yards. The reticle includes markings for bullet drop compensation for incredibly long distances. The reticle is zeroed at 100 meters, and the 5.53 MOA chevron signifies 19 inches at 300 meters, allowing easier range estimation for silhouetted targets.
These 5.5×50 ACOG scopes can be calibrated either for .223 or for .308 ammunition. This covers a wide variety of weapons that are generally used at these distances.
The Trijicon 5.5×50 ACOG scope is the right choice for shooters intending to use their weapon at long distances, but who want to avoid the extra weight and difficulty of using the last Trijicon ACOG magnification and objective lens diameter configuration.
This is perhaps the most impressive of Trijicon’s ACOG lineup. These can be calibrated for .223, .308, or .50 BMG ammunition. All 6×48 ACOG scopes incorporate bullet drop compensation notches in the reticle: the .223 scope has bullet drop compensation to 800 meters, the .308 up to 1200 metes, and the .50 BMG up to 1800 meters.
The .308 scopes can have either a chevron or horseshoe-dot reticle, while the others are only available in chevron. All reticles are zeroed at 100 meters, and the chevron is 5.53 MOA think, or 19 inches at 300 meters. All reticles are dual-illuminated with fiber optics and tritium, which provided battery-free lighting that automatically adjusts in brightness to environmental conditions.
Trijicon makes two specialty ACOG scopes in this range. The first is designed for use with the M240 weapon system, and the second for use with the .50 BMG M2 system. Both specialty scopes incorporate a horseshoe-dot reticle with a tritium center that glows in darkness. Both have a built-in 1913 Picatinny Rail on top, so additional sights can be attached. Both have auto-locking quick detach levers. Both are designed for both-eyes-open shooting, in the Bindon Aiming Concept.
The 6×48 ACOG scopes are incredibly durable. They are built of the same aluminum alloy as the others, need no batteries, and are waterproof up to 500 meters. These scopes go anywhere.
These scopes are by far the heaviest of the Trijicon ACOGs, at 36.9 ounces, over 2.25 pounds. They are 229 millimeters long and 86 millimeters high, making this configuration perhaps the most cumbersome. Windage and elevation adjusters operate at 4 clicks per inch at 100 yards.
The M240 scope provides bullet drop compensation notches up to 1200 meters. It includes a 500 meter zero point, and a 10 meter BZO marker.
The M2 scope provides bullet drop compensation notches up to 2000 meters. Instructions to zero the scope at 100 or 500 meters are etched into the side. This scope is designed to account for bullet spin at extreme distances, specific to .50 BMG ammunition.
The 6×48 ACOG scope is the perfect choice for those who want the highest magnification strength, but understand the importance of the Bindon Aiming Concept. These scopes are the definition of rugged reliability. They are easy to use and capable in nearly any environment.
Here’s a quick guide to deciding on a Trijicon ACOG scope:
Consider the size of the weapon to which the scope will be attached. Smaller weapons are better suited to compact scopes, which range up to the 3×30.
Consider the cheek welds. Guns with low cheek welds are often better suited to low-profile ACOGs.
Consider your average combat distance. At close quarters, a wide field of view helps maintain peak combat awareness, and smaller, lighter scopes will be more easily maneuverable.
Consider eye relief. In high-speed situations, more eye relief space makes it easier to get a full view through the scope without specific head placement.
Consider caliber. Longer-distance scopes are specifically designed by caliber, with bullet drop compensation lines that match.
If using an M2, M240, or M249 weapon system, go straight for ACOG scopes specifically designed for use with your firearm.
Once you’ve considered every aspect of the scope, use the links above to find what you want on Amazon, and click Buy Now. You won’t be disappointed.
At the crossroads of the long-range optics industry are the rare products called Rangefinder Binoculars. While still available to the general public, the rarity comes at an increased price. These optics combine the basic mechanics of binoculars with the acquisition abilities of rangefinders.
As with normal rangefinders, a rangefinder bino does require batteries. They may not be the large CR2 batteries that most rangefinders run on, but you will still have to spend some money every now and then to replace them.
The process to hybridize rangefinders and binoculars is very tricky, hence the larger than normal price jumps. These binoculars are fine-tuned during manufacturing to ensure that the rangefinding system is accurate and compatible with each size of objective lenses.
Laser rangefinders usually don’t use the x and y-axis markers that appear within the lenses. They use a laser acquisition system and a pointer reticle that simply tells you how far away each object is.
The Hooway 7x50mm model is sort of your all-around tough and reliable set of rangefinder binos. The large, 50mm objective lenses are encased in non-slip rubber armor-making them shock-proof and waterproof. On the underside of the binos is a tripod adapter. A tripod may be ideal in situations where you plan to remain in one spot for a long time.
The rangefinder on this pair of binos uses a y-axis to determine distance. In this case, distance is approximate and measured in kilometers as opposed to laser rangefinders, which are usually dead on and give a more exact distance. The calculation is as follows:
If you can approximate object height or width, you’ll get the object distance. Aside from the rangefinder itself, the binos are equipped with an internal compass for navigation and direction.
We like that Hooway’s objective lenses provide a wide FOV and appropriate zoom level, all for a very affordable price. The rangefinder may not be the best in the world, but it gets the job done and saves you the hassle of having to carry two different pairs of optics.
Aomekie’s set of 7x50mm binos are very similar to the Hooway model. They are a durable pair built to handle tough conditions, whether it be rain, fog, or humidity.
The rangefinder with these binos is nearly identical to the Hooway, and the same goes for the compass. The downside is that you won’t get the exact distance of an object to the “T,” but it will be very close. The tricky part is knowing or guestimating an object’s height or width.
One thing to note is that the product description is misleading-these binos do not come with night vision but do better in low-light conditions than the average pair. Aomekie has a couple of different colors available, but make sure that you remain on the 7x50mm pair.
The 10x50mm by USCAMEL increases the zoom by a factor of three. This gives it a little bit of an advantage over the Aomekie and Hooway models in terms of close up detail and target acquisition. The more chance of appropriately identifying the target, the more exact your rangefinder calculation will be.
We like that these pair of 10x50mm uses folding eyecups. This design makes viewing for users with glasses much easier. When conditions aren’t great, this pair of 10x50mm is durable and reliable for users of all ages and experience levels.
The FOV at 1000 yards with these binos is 396 feet, which is about the same as the Aomekie and Hooway models. The zoom level on this pair of binos will be key in identifying objects and animals on the water, where vision can be blurry and unfocused.
The Snypex Knight is an 8x42mm model of binoculars with a laser range finder. This simplifies the overall process with the push of a button. The buttons are conveniently located across the top of the binos-one for power acquisition and one for changing the distance measurement.
With a hard rubber exterior, the Knight is built to handle tough conditions and the occasional high drop. A common laser rangefinder problem is inaccuracies when the laser is pointed at or through the glass. You can rest assured that the Knight has solved this problem and even allows for continuous ranging capability with moving targets.
The inclusion of the rangefinder and its batteries barely alters the overall weight of the Knight. In the end, it’s still covered protective armor, so you almost wouldn’t notice the difference until you actually used them.
The Bushnell Fusion 10x42mm pair of binos give a good introduction to higher-end rangefinder binos. Its powerful laser extends in a one-mile arc in front of the binos.
The internal display is actually pretty intuitive. Not only will the Fusion give you the distance to the target, but you can also switch between rifle or bow hunting focus and get the angle of elevation. For the hunter or outdoor enthusiast who is nitpicky with detail, these measurements are hard to pass up.
At maximum range, these Bushnell binoculars can acquire targets up to 1760 yards away. In particular, with the rifle mode, the Fusion has different settings that allow you to sight-in the binos at 100, 200, 300, and 400 yards.
While people may initially be wary of picking up a pair of rangefinder binos, Bushnell really sets the tone for the industry by including multiple ways to get the correct distance. It does this, all while providing the user with great light transmission through the lenses.
Nikon’s 10x42mm laser force binoculars are a sight to behold. Most rangefinder binos of this price range and above use lasers to get the distance to an object. They are more accurate than the cheaper pairs of binos that require you to do some slight calculations to get the approximate distance.
The Nikon Laser Force Rangefinder Binocular has a range of 1900 yards and can also factor in inclines and declines. This small but noticeable addition to the laser rangefinder will ensure that you are getting near precise measurements. In low light conditions, you can also adjust the intensity of the display within the lenses.
Like most rangefinders, the laser force can acquire a target range as it moves, but only up to 8 seconds. Overall, the laser force is one of the best all-around rangefinder binos despite the price.
We all know how popular Vortex can be, and they really knock the ball out of the park with the Fury’s. Their 10x42mm measurements give you an ideal FoV at 1000 yards and provide ample light transmission so you can study an object or animal closely.
The Vortex Fury HD rangefinder reticle is similar to the one you’ll find in a normal rangefinder. Like the Laser Force and Fusion, these binos utilize a laser to acquire distance. If your target is at an odd angle away from you, the Fury employs the Horizontal Component Distance (HCD) to compensate for those angles and ensure you are getting precise distances.
Aside from being a reliable range finding binocular, they are waterproof, fog-proof, and built to withstand the occasional drop or scratch.
If you want live streaming and HD video recording, then these are the smart binoculars for you. They allow for bright and crisp images, and the zoom feature is smooth, imitating your natural eyesight. These binos are multipurpose and can be used for hunting, outdoor sports, wildlife observation, surveillance, and even golfing.
The sharp sensors of these binos feature extended metadata, e-compass orientation, zoom level, distance to the target, and 3D gyroscope functionality. Even though they are packed with all these powerful features, these binos have low energy consumption and can be used for 16+ hours of active use.
For comfort and eye relief, interpupillary adjustments can be made, making these a good choice for everyone, even children. The 4K Ultra HD technology combined with the Dual Core Processor allows for a clear image, despite ambient light.
These binoculars can help you detect and identify prey and the built-in laser rangefinder helps you measure the distance easily and quickly. These binoculars offer great image stabilization, high-quality image production even in low light conditions, water-resistant construction, an ergonomic design, an inbuilt compass, and Wi-Fi streaming.
However, also keep in mind it only has a 220-foot field of view at 1000 yards, and these binoculars are prone to damage.
These binoculars are a great choice and come in at under $1,200, making them an affordable option for a high-quality product. They are ideal for broad daylight performance. They are lightweight, easy to use, and have an ergonomic design. They fit your hands nicely, and you won’t get tired of holding them.
The Sig Sauer binoculars are also weatherproof, so you don’t have to worry about pulling them out during rainy conditions. You also don’t have to worry about damage due to condensation forming on the lenses. They are well-constructed and are a value at this price point.
They offer a field of view of 320 feet at 1000 yards. The lenses are fully multi-coated, 10x magnification and the lens diameter is 42mm with an eye relief of 18mm.
The high-quality internal ballistics keep all your accurate data and help you while you are out on the field. However, they aren’t ideal for twilight conditions, so keep this in mind.
Advantages of Rangefinder Binoculars
When you use a pair of rangefinder binoculars, you can view distant objects and measure the distance between yourself and the target. If you are hunting, it can prove to be advantageous. When you choose to use traditional rangefinders, you can still look at objects in the distance, but you will have half the range you would have if you were to use rangefinder binos.
Rangefinder binoculars are also equipped with magnification that is almost double the power when compared to traditional rangefinders. Additionally, rangefinder binos are lightweight, so they don’t add much to your pack.
With rangefinder binoculars, you not only extend your visual range, but you also have the advantage of measurements. You will typically find a range capacity of 1700 to 1900 meters for objects that are reflective. For a non-reflective target, the range capability is approximately 1000 to 1200 meters. Along with the measurements is the magnification power. Most rangefinder binoculars are capable of 10x magnification or even 12x magnification.
If you are a hunter, then the ballistic configuration proves important. The ballistic information includes data about the current conditions in the field. You can learn more about ground slope, wind conditions, temperature, barometric pressure, and the altitude within a specific range.
A high-quality pair of rangefinder binoculars offer ballistic configurations for up to 1900 meters. This helps eliminate guesswork and eliminate inaccuracies. The data accuracy on the newer models is also far better due to the higher-quality lenses and prisms.
Field of Vision
The field of vision (FoV) and magnification are similar. If you want a wider field of vision, you want to have a set of rangefinder binoculars with a lesser magnification. With higher magnification, you will find that the FoV can become compromised. So, if you are a long-distance shooter, then go for a higher FoV. You can spot your pry and better target them within the lens.
How to Choose the Best Rangefinder Binoculars
Now that you know more about the features you should look for, here is how to find and choose the best rangefinder binoculars.
Always choose binos that offer high-quality lenses and optics. A larger diameter lens works much better at gathering light and allows for clear images. Lower light conditions warrant a 50mm lens for the best optical performance.
You can find rangefinder binoculars with different glass coating types. Some are meant to keep the water off the lenses, while others are strictly more anti-reflective, which is what you want for clear and sharp imaging.
A long-range shooter needs to have a long-distance or range and better magnification. Choose your magnification and FoV carefully, considering the kind of activities you will be engaging in.
If you want the exact location of your target, then a focus system will prove beneficial. Instead of manually focusing on your target, it auto-focuses instead and saves you time.
If you wear glasses, then eye relief will prove to be important. It is also beneficial if you find yourself using your rangefinder binoculars for long hours at a time.
Finally, since you will be using your binoculars outdoors, you want them to be durable. A hard plastic body and rubber casing are ideal and prove to be impact resistant.
Whatever rangefinder binocular you choose, make sure they are suitable for your activities. Having the best rangefinder bino allows you to have just one device that can provide you with a full range of findings, rather than having to wear several devices around your neck.
When finding your next pair, consider optical performance, magnification, FoV, and angle compensation, among the other factors we have already discussed.
Night vision binoculars are becoming increasingly popular for hunting. They’ve been around for several years as the military has relied on them for one mission after another. With hunting, it gives the hunter a real advantage with allowing them to see their target through the blackened forest. Sometimes, the moonlight just isn’t enough to supply the hunter with needed light. Since many hog and varmint hunts are performed at night, the technology of night vision binoculars is a helpful accessory. Continue Reading →
Crossbow hunting and target shooting are becoming popular activities among hobbyists and professionals in this modern age. If you’re practicing archery, crossbow scopes are an essential tool to have whether you’re on a range or hunting game.
Nikon Bolt XR Crossbow Scope (BDC 60)
We’ve compiled a list of the very best crossbow scopes available. We’ll also discuss the fundamentals of crossbow scopes, including types, designs, and mounts. First, though, let’s dive right into the scopes.
Why Use a Scope?
Scopes are typically used to magnify one’s target to get a more precise shot and makes it easier to visualize the goal. Scopes can additionally lend aid to one’s accuracy and can make for clean and quick kills so game from hunting won’t suffer.
There are various kinds of scopes – or sights as some refer to them as – all with different features and functions. The archer must choose a scope that best suits their specific needs and fits their crossbow nicely.
Recommended Crossbow Scopes
While there is a vast variety of scope brands to choose from, only a few make it to the top and are worth mentioning.
The Excalibur Twilight DLX Scope Multirange Reticle is one of a few worthy scopes from Excalibur. This one is particularly good in low light situations, and it’s at its best on crossbows at 300-400 fps. This is especially true when it comes to sighting in the scope. This 1962 Scope 6X44mm 30mm tube boasts excellent durability, so it’s a good option for hunters who encounter harsh conditions. Though the magnification is 6x, it offers a 50-foot range at 100 yards.
If you are serious about crossbow hunting, then this is the scope for you. To achieve more success, you need a scope capable of pulling in the maximum amount of light possible, even in low light conditions. The 44mm objective lens gathers as much light as possible and the 30mm tube allows for unobstructed light transmission.
A multiplex crosshair system allows for accurate placement within 10-yard increments and between 300 and 400 fps speeds. It also features a dual red or green reticle for low light conditions and improving accuracy.
Other Crossbow Scopes
Another worthy crossbow scope is UTG’s 4×32 1″ Crossbow Scope with Pro 5-Step RGB Reticle and QD Rings. It’s built on a TS platform with a 1″ tube, wide-angle lens, and parallax at 50 yards. It also includes broadband lens coating, RGB side-wheel illumination, zero-reset/locking W/E knobs, and comes with complete flip-open lens caps and UTG RQ2W1104 QD rings.
The side wheel with green/red illumination has a flexible adjustment for the most versatile weather and lighting conditions. The scope has ergonomic and precise windage and elevation adjustment turrets for a more precise shot.
Plenty favor this scope for its crystal clear glass view and effective green/red colored sight reticle, great for day or night shooting. It’s pretty solid and well-built with comfortable eye relief and houses overall wonderful optics, fantastic for archers looking for an effective yet affordable scope.
This TenPoint Rangemaster Pro Illuminated Crossbow scope has an 8.25-inch aluminum scope that features variable speed and compensation settings for a crossbow between 275 and 425 FPS. You do not have to make any adjustments for distance, and the 7/8-inch scope mounting rings are included.
The reticle is etched glass and also fully multicoated. It provides 1,5 to 5x optics that reduce the loss of light transmission. The 30mm tube heightens light gathering and enhances its overall durability. You will find crystal clear images.
This crossbow scope is ideal if you truly care about the overall quality of each component making up your scope. You will also find increased versatility due to the variable optics of this scope. If you would rather not use an illuminated reticle, you can ask the manufacturer for one that is non-illuminated.
This scope is calibrated for bolts between 275 and 425 FPS, and the markers are between 20 and 60 yards. However, keep in mind with the older versions of this particular scope, there was a red ring around the lens. This red ring allowed the prey to easily spot the hunter. This red ring has been removed from this particular model.
This is a fully multicoated optical system with a BDC 60 crossbow reticle. The hand-turned 1 MOA adjustments and spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets are among its other notable features. The NIKW9 Prostaff P3 Crossbow scope is a precision scope ideal for hunters looking to upgrade their current scope.
While it may still be considered relatively new to the market, its high performance has certainly caught the eye of seasoned hunters. When making adjustments to the scope, you can feel and hear the clicks when making those reticle adjustments. The elevation and winding turrets are also marked, making it easier to make the proper adjustments.
This scope’s knob caps are made from aluminum material, so it is durable and made to last. The main tube of the scope is made from a more rugged aircraft-grade aluminum, making the scope lightweight and durable.
The scope has a multicoated optical system and BDC 60 reticle to maximize its performance. The glass is anti-reflective to ensure you have a clear, bright, and crisp image. The layers also help with light transmission and maximum brightness, working in all kinds of light conditions.
The downside to this particular crossbow scope is its fixed magnification. You cannot make any adjustments to this.
This is a high-quality scope that was made for hunting. It features a special range finding and trajectory compensating reticle. It offers 4″ eye relief and has a rubber eye guard. The fully coated lenses of this scope allow for maximum brightness, clarity, and contrast.
The TRUGLO crossbow scope has 20, 30, 40, and 50-yard crosshairs. Whenever you use the 20-yard crosshairs, you can be assured that the other yards will also be aligned. Instead of a traditional matte or black finish, this crossbow scope has a Realtree Camo finish, which adds to the concealment factor hunters are known for. It has a durable, scratch-resistant, and non-reflective finish.
The reticle of this scope uses horizontal lines to measure the target’s distance so you can make more accurate last-minute adjustments. You will also find fingertip windage and elevation adjustments among its features, allowing you to make even more accurate shots.
A few downsides? This crossbow scope is known to fog up and doesn’t offer as many adjustment options as some of the other crossbow scopes on our list.
Scope Design Basics
The scope is to be placed on the body of the crossbow above the trigger. An obvious component to a scope’s design is the long black tube with an ocular lens eyepiece on one end and the sight on the opposite end past the eyepiece.
If the archer decided to add zooming features, there should be a power ring to be able to adjust the magnification of the sight. The elevation adjustment and windage adjustment tool can be found in the middle of the scope tube, and at the end of the scope is the objective bell where the scope’s body seems to get wider and almost bell-shaped.
The objective bell is where the objective lens is contained. There are three main types of scopes an archer can choose from, including a laser sight scope, red dot sight, and reticle scope.
Types of Scopes
A laser sight scope is an alternative, most practical for when you’re aiming at a moving target. The laser is meant to help the archer anticipate when the arrow will strike the objective. Laser sights can either be mounted underneath an archer’s crossbow or to the scope’s upper portion.
If the laser sight is used with a quality scope, it can be utilized to accurately determine midrange targets. An iron sight is another alternative and is the most basic yet durable. There can be two sights on the crossbow, with one as a post, bead, or ring in the crossbow’s front and on the back of the bow perpendicular to the crossbow’s line of sight.
A red dot sight scope makes a red (or sometimes green) dot that the archer can see and use to pinpoint his aim at the target. You can either get red dot sights with single style distance settings or more advanced multi-dot scopes with several distance settings; it depends on what your preferences are. Often, the red dot sight can be adjusted so it will be brighter or darker according to your liking.
A reticle scope has crosshairs that section the lens view into four parts. This type of lens scope is the most common and more traditional. The crosshairs might be etched, wired in, or lit up in the scope, depending on the model.
Scope Mount Types
When selecting a type of mount for your scope, there are the Picatinny, Dovetail, and Weaver rails to choose from. Picatinny mounts can elevate the scope by about ½ an inch above the crossbow body and is most practical if you use a red dot sight scope. “Picatinny” comes from the place of origin where the system was designed at the New Jersey-based Picatinny arsenal.
The Dovetail mount looks similar to the Picatinny mount in that it has a set of grooves running parallel that grasp onto a tiny set of ribs raised in the middle part of the scope’s base. Dovetail mounts are actually the oldest used mounts, and because of a 1931 patent on the mount’s design, Dovetail mounts are also known as Redfield style or Leupold style.
The Weaver rail grips onto scopes’ beveled outer edge and is considered sturdier than other alternate mounts such as the Picatinny and Dovetail rails.
Crossbow scope rings are usually made out of steel or aluminum. Be sure to pay attention to the scope’s accuracy, size, and range when picking the best scope for your target shooting or hunting needs, for these will be important in how your scope performs.
Most of the time, archers look for scopes that can increase their range to hit targets easier. If you’re using your crossbow for hunting small game, then your scope should feature a short to mid-range distance, and it needs to fight nicely onto the scope mount while being lightweight and sturdy.
If you have something like a variable scope, which can be a bit on the heavy side, it can affect your ability to hunt and be anything but an improvement.
Terms You Should Know Before Buying a Scope
There’s nothing like knowing exactly what you need to improve your crossbow’s accuracy. So before deciding on the perfect scope, here are some terms you need to know and keep in mind as you’re exploring the scope market.
Magnification is a basic function of a scope’s features, which allows the archer to zoom in on objects from afar since the naked eye can’t do it. There is a wide range of magnifications on scopes, with most of them having up to 32x maximum.
A scope’s field of view is essentially the sight picture with a particular width. For example, if your target’s distance is at 150 yards, the scope will give you a 15 feet wide sight. Thus, it’s not only magnified, but it also provides the focal lengths of the lenses.
Usually, if the magnification is high, then the field of view will be narrow. While this feature isn’t necessarily for new crossbow users who still need practice, it’s very important for hunters that need to hone in on their prey, especially smaller game.
Stray light is an internal coating that disperses light that enters the scope and prevents it from reflecting off the scope’s metal. Overall, this helps you achieve the clearest sight of the goal.
Eye relief is simply the space between your eye and the eyepiece lens. It prevents any accidents that may happen to your eye while shooting, such as the lens bumping into your eye if your crossbow has a bit of kickback.
The length refers to the distance from the edge of the objective lens up to the back edge of the eyepiece. As a rule of thumb to remember, the longer the scopes measure to be, the greater the magnification will be, but it will also be heavier. Depending on your preference, the magnification will vary if you like lightweight scopes versus heavier scopes.
The center tube diameter lets you know the size of the scope’s rings and the base of the scope.
Questions to Ask Before You Buy
When browsing for the perfect scope, here are some questions you may want to ask yourself to make sure the scope fits your needs.
Does the scope fit your budget?
Typically, the pricier a scope, the more features it has and the better it performs. Cheaper scopes come with more standard and basic features and don’t have as many advanced settings such as higher magnification or illuminated sights.
What is your purpose for buying a scope?
Believe it or not, this matters very much, for it can affect how you perform whether you’re just a hobbyist archer or a serious hunter. If you spend most of your time at a shooting range, then perhaps a red dot sight scope or reticle scope would be most ideal.
If you like to hunt game, then a red dot or a laser scope could serve you well. Laser scopes are especially great for moving targets, as mentioned before.
Is it easy to sight in with the scope?
If you’re familiar with sighting in, you’d know how irritating it is if you have a scope that takes dozens of tries to adequately sight in on your target. You won’t have this issue if you get a quality scope.
Is the scope waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof?
These qualities are important if you’re shooting in different weather situations, as they will help you get a more accurate shot and prevent any inconveniences.
Is the scope made of durable material?
Depending on the scope you choose, it could last from a couple of months to up to 10 years. Most scopes are made of aluminum alloy, while others are made of less durable material.
Those who own crossbows all have different priorities regarding how they use it and what they use it for. Some like red dot sight scopes, others may prefer the traditional cross sight or laser sight, and some like more lightweight scopes compared to heavier scopes.
If the best crossbow scope you ultimately pick can provide you with easy visualization of your target, magnify for a better view of your prey, give you quick and humane kills when hunting, and offer features that serve all of your specific needs.
Click here to see the full selection of crossbow scopes.
Best Crossbow Scope FAQ
Still have questions? Let’s shed some more light on the best crossbow scope and how to find it.
What features make a crossbow scope good?
A good crossbow scope will have multicoated lenses designed to allow maximum light to flow through. This helps you see your target clearly, no matter the distance. You also want a crossbow scope that is nitrogen-filled to prevent early morning dew from fogging up and clouding the lenses.
How do you properly use a crossbow scope?
To properly use a crossbow scope, locate the adjustment mechanisms on the scope, including the windage adjustment and elevation adjustment. Beginning at 10 yards from the target, see if the scope is properly installed. You can then make small adjustments as necessary in the windage and elevation mechanisms so you can consistently hit your target.
Move 20 yards from the target and shoot three arrows. You can’t permanently adjust your scope until this is done. You can then choose a base distance for your dot or top reticle. The base distance is whatever you choose. Continue to shoot your target, making proper adjustments. Once you can consistently hit your target, you can shoot knowing that the dots or reticle indicate.
What do the lines mean on your crossbow scope?
The closer your crossbow shoots to the speed, the closer each of the lines or dots on the scope will represent accurate distances of 20, 30, and 40 yards. Your crossbow will shoot high if the lines are not properly aligned. To adjust the sight, follow what is known as the Follow the Arrow rule. If your arrows hit to the right of the target, move the pin to the right. If the arrows hit higher than you want, then move the pin up.
What are the benefits of using the best crossbow scope?
A crossbow scope is good if you need a higher level of accuracy when shooting. The scope allows you to aim at your target before taking your shot, allowing for quick target sighting.
What differentiates a crossbow scope from a riflescope?
A crossbow scope and riflescope are designed to work similarly to each other; however, there are still notable differences. The magnification power for each is one of the biggest differences. Rifles are more for long-range shooting at distances of 100 yards or more. Scopes for rifles have variable magnification for both viewing and shooting short-range and long-range targets.
Crossbows are shot at much shorter ranges, so the magnification isn’t as great as it is for a riflescope. The optimal magnification for a crossbow scope is 1x and 4x.
The objective lens is also larger on a riflescope. The bigger the objective lens, the more light that is allowed through. Crossbow scopes are limited to 40mm.
Another difference is the recoil. The direction of the recoil for a crossbow is opposite to that of a rifle. So, using a riflescope on a crossbow isn’t typically recommended.