Selecting the best muzzleloader scope can be challenging, especially for those who are new to muzzleloader hunting.
One of the problems is that there are so many different muzzleloader scopes available that choosing the best one might be daunting. Fortunately, there are several high-quality muzzleloader scopes available now that are relatively priced and still have superb optics, maintain a zero, and track very well.
Note, although these muzzleloader sights won’t improve your shooting, they might provide you a crucial advantage when you most need it. This is especially true during the day when many large game animals are most active. Are you ready to try out a new muzzleloader scope? Read on to make an informed decision today!
- How Do I Choose a Muzzleloader Scope?
- Why You Need To Choose The Best Muzzleloader Scope You Can Get
- Best Muzzleloader Scopes
- Final Thoughts
How Do I Choose a Muzzleloader Scope?
Before purchasing a muzzleloader scope, there are a few things to note. You need to sincerely answer these questions as it will guide you to making the right choice:
- What purpose do you plan to use your scope for?
- How do you intend to use your scope?
- What is the shooting range of your rifle?
- What is your budget?
Also, there are other important concepts you need to know before making your choice of muzzleloader scope.
Given that it offers the shooter a larger target to aim at and enables you to extend the distance at which you feel safe firing a shot, magnification has its benefits. When using black powder rifles for hunting, a little magnification goes a long way. Anything above 9x is a bit excessive considering that your shot’s range is considerably lower than that of a centerline rifle. 1-6x is more than adequate for the great majority of black powder hunters.
For under $200, you can get a decent entry-level inline rifle. Scope for your equipment may easily cost two to three times as much. The issue then becomes: Is it worthwhile? Is it wise to use such pricey glass on a very cheap rifle? I suppose so, but I’m not the kind of hunter to go out there taking any chances.
A fruitful harvest is not a result of chance. Success is the result of time, effort, and investment. When it comes to glass, you get what you pay for, and that rule applies just as much to your rifle sight as it does to your binoculars and spotting scope. You may anticipate additional features as your budget increases.
However, every scope on our list—from the most costly to the most affordable—is a fantastic complement to any black powder setup, so you shouldn’t get too caught up in the cost. Purchase what you can afford.
There is no question that muzzleloader hunters using black powder have a big edge when using a scope. It may seem obvious to add glass to your muzzy to gain the upper hand, but not everyone supports its use in the field. According to hunting purists, optics are more analogous to a centerline rifle than the original nature of muzzleloader shooting.
This viewpoint is shared by several states. Some people have outright forbidden the use of scopes when muzzleloader hunting, only allowing open sights. On the other hand, some states permit non-magnified scopes, while others place no limitations altogether on their usage. To guarantee compliance, check the laws in the particular state where you want to hunt.
Fixed vs. Adjustable Parallax
The distance between your eye, reticle, and the target is known as the parallax. Your bullet’s final location may vary significantly if the lens isn’t adjusted for the distance from which it is being fired.
In contrast to centerfire rifles, most muzzleloader sights are locked at a predetermined range, often 50 to 75 yards. Parallax is less of a concern at these distances since shot displacement is so little. Most muzzleloaders lack the range to make the extra expense of being able to change the position of your reticle for long-range shots worthwhile.
An adjustable parallax is typically an unnecessary luxury when using an inline rifle for hunting. For more precise long-range shooting, some people still like scopes with adjustable settings. The farthest shot ever made with a muzzleloader is around 900 yards. If you’re a long-range shooter who wants to make shots like this, you should take the extra cost into account.
Why You Need To Choose The Best Muzzleloader Scope You Can Get
When selecting a scope, muzzleloader hunters need to keep a few things in mind. The first step in choosing a sight for a muzzleloader is to determine the primary job that the weapon will be used for. The glass you choose will be similar to those used in centerfire metallic cartridge rifles if you’re firing the latest turn-bolt long-range inline systems. In the case of a conventional rifle, a smaller, less expensive glass sight could be the way to go.
Today’s muzzleloaders have larger ranges, thus your telescopic sight must be able to extend your effective sighting range and draw light throughout the almost dawn and dark hours of the day. At various times of day, effective light transmission is essential.
For shooting in bad weather, the same rules apply. If you want to make progress on target acquisition in these dim lighting circumstances while it’s gloomy and raining outside, you need improved light transmission and picture quality.
Muzzleloaders often have a significant amount of kick and muzzleloader scopes must be able to withstand that energy without losing any of it. The scopes on this list are all reasonably shockproof and can withstand muzzleloader recoil force. Multicoated lenses aid with light gathering and shield your scope from harm.
Additionally, a broad magnification range is not necessary for this situation. The region between 3 and 9x magnification will be where muzzleloader scopes perform best. There are a few different alternatives available in addition to the traditional duplex reticles, which are usually suitable for muzzleloaders. Some scopes makes use of BDC reticles that make it easier to determine how far a bullet will fall.
Best Muzzleloader Scopes
1. Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5×32
Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5×32 has every function and quality you could want at a cost that won’t break the bank. The Dead-Hold BDC reticle allows you to quickly calculate your holdover at various ranges, even 500 yards away.
This scope’s 1.75–5x magnification makes it ideal for shooting targets from 100–300 yards away. Since the reticle is the second focal plane, magnification does not affect its size. The reticle may need to be larger if you were shooting at really great distances and had a higher magnification.
The Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5×32 scope has a quick focus eyepiece, which makes it possible for you to swiftly focus the reticle. It’s manageable on my AR-15 with a decent cheek weld, but it would be quite tight on a gun like the 6.5 Creedmoor.
Waterproof and fog-proof due to the O-ring seal and Argon purge. Anodized finish aids in concealing your setup when you’re out hunting. Lifetime, unlimited warranty, which takes care of any potential issues.
1.75x–5x magnification is available with the Vortex Diamondback. From 100 to 500 yards, it simply provides you with a realistic sight image. There aren’t many scopes out there that are better for deer hunting than this one. The Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5×32 is a great scope if you’re a serious hunter and want to have everything you need to catch your game.
2. Leupold Vs-3I 3.5-10×40
Maximum light transmission is possible while maintaining high scratch resistance thanks to Leupold VX military-grade coating. No tinting at all, and it’s noticeable when a large deer is spotted close to dusk. Although the duplex reticle is quite simple, a muzzleloader won’t be bothered by this.
The Leupold’s specifications offer 3.6 inches of eye relief even at maximum magnification. It is much more impressive at 3.5x power or enormous inches.
To place this scope on your rifle, you won’t need to make any adjustments to the mounting surface. Almost every rifle out there that has a standard rail will operate just fine with it.
Leupolds are waterproof to 33 feet and have a special proprietary gas blend inside to keep moisture out. It features a precise and firm clicks which makes it easy to zero. The scope has an adjustment range of 52 MOA. It’ll give you the adjustment you need for any range.
Magnification may be changed with the smooth-turning dial and ranges from 3.5 to 10x. a large enough field of view to successfully hunt while yet seeing a significant improvement in your shooting accuracy. With 100 yards, even the smallest objects become visible at a 10x magnification.
This is the muzzleloader scope to get if you want the highest quality at the best price. This model certainly isn’t for you if you’re seeking a cheap scope, though.
Bushnell Banner 3-950 is the most high-tech and cost-effective muzzleloader sight. Bushnell didn’t cut corners while making this scope, despite its astonishingly cheap price. The twilight and dawn brightness multi-coated lens greatly enhances the clarity and brightness of the scope.
The Bushnell Banner 3-950 has a highly accommodating eye relief that makes it a fantastic choice for any setup. This is essentially what I’ve used for my muzzleloader and slug shotgun setups. Also, here are some great options if you are looking for a handgun scope for those long muzzleloader hikes.
The Bushnell Banner 3-950 is filled with dry nitrogen and is water, fog, and shockproof. The turrets are typically mushy and unreliable on cheap scopes.
The Bushnell Banner 3-950 offers a great magnification range of 3x to 9x. There were no mounts included with the camera, so you can buy separate Detach Rings.
4. Simmons Truplex Prohunter 3-9×40
Simmons Truplex Prohunter 3-940 is a multipurpose scope with excellent value. It costs less than half as much as competing brands while retaining the same features and benefits. The scope’s high-quality glass and multi-coated lenses reduce glare and provide a clear view of the target.
With this scope, your eye relief will be 3.75 inches. Comparatively speaking, that’s very outstanding for similar scopes. You won’t have to worry about how much your gun kicks either, so that’s good.
Additionally, the Simmons Truplex Prohunter 3-940 includes an eyepiece with Quick Target Acquisition (QTA). The Truplex reticle and this together give for exceptionally quick target acquisition. Furthermore, it is easily compared to a red dot sight, for example. Even though this scope is far less expensive than most, Simmons didn’t skimp on the components or functionality.
This scope holds zero incredibly well thanks to the TrueZero technology. Because of the O-ring sealing, it is waterproof. The elevation and windage turrets have 14 MOA adjustment clicks and are simple to modify. It is recoil-proof and suitable for use with any caliber of rifle.
This scope gives you a lot of flexibility because it has a changeable 3–9x magnification. You can fire accurately at that distance out to a maximum of 900 yards. This makes the ideal hunting rifle accessory. It’s a lot of fun to use for shooting at the range and works well for simple target plinking as well.
The absence of a mount from this scope is a drawback. But you can’t expect to acquire too many accessories when you purchase a scope for such a low cost. Try the Simmons Truplex Prohunter 3-940 if you want to get the greatest scope for your money.
The Vortex Diamondback 1.75-532 is our top pick but other muzzleloader scopes are equally great depending on your need. Your choice of muzzleloader scope got easier with the top 4 best muzzleloader scopes reviewed above. So, make your purchase decision today by trying out any of these exceptional scopes for your next hunting expedition.
With more than 50 years experience in the field and the testing lab, author L.P. Brezny is one of today’s most recognized shotgun experts and authors. He is a contributor to dozens of firearms publications, such as Wildfowl, Shotgun Sports, and Varmint Hunters, and he is a regular columnist in the Gun Digest annual as well as AmmoLand News.