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15 Best Muzzleloader Scopes: Ultimate Buying Guide

15 Best Muzzleloader Scopes Ultimate Buying Guide

Are you looking for the best muzzleloader scope for your new rifle? Not sure if you can just buy regular scopes and have it work the same way on a muzzle-loaded rifle?

The perfect muzzleloader scope strikes a balance between the ideal zoom, glass clarity, and extra features that make shooting easier. However, these features are sometimes mutually exclusive.

Having maxed-out quality on one feature can lead to compromises in others. This is why you must first have a clear idea of what qualities you need in a muzzleloader scope before buying one.

This review and guide will give you the 15 best muzzleloader scopes you can buy today. I will also explain their strengths and weaknesses and what factors to consider before picking the best one for you.

  • Best Overall: Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 UltimateSlam
  • Best Precision Scope: Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 4.5-14×44
  • Most Versatile Scope: Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10×40
  • Most Durable Scope: Muzzle-Loaders Genesis Scope 3-9×40
  • Best Budget Scope: Bushnell Banner 3-9×50
  • Best Long-Range Scope: Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16×50 Multi-X
  • Best Hunting Scope: Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10×44
  • Best Red Dot Scope: Aimpoint Micro H-2 2-MOA Red Dot
  • Best BDC Scope: Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40
  • Best Scope for Competition: Nightforce NX8 4-32×50
  • Best Mid-Range Scope: Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40
  • Best Entry-Level Scope: Konus KonusPro 3-9×40
  • Best Scope with Rangefinder: Burris Eliminator IV LaserScope 4-16×50
  • Best Field of View Scope: Burris FullField E1 3-9×40
  • Best Lightweight Scope: Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5×32
Best Overall
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 UltimateSlam

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 UltimateSlam

  • Magnification Range: 3-9x
  • Objective Diameter: 40 mm
  • Length: 12.4 in
  • Weight: 12.2 oz (345.9 g)
  • FFP/SFP: SFP
  • Reticle: UltimateSlam
Best Precision Scope
Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 4.5-14x44

Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 4.5-14x44

  • Magnification Range: 4.5-14x
  • Objective Diameter: 44 mm
  • Length: 12.6 in
  • Weight: 23.2 oz (657.7 g)
  • FFP/SFP: SFP
  • Reticle: Digital Ballistic
Most Versatile Scope
Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10x40

Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10x40

  • Magnification Range: 3.5-10x
  • Objective Diameter: 40 mm
  • Length: 12.6 in
  • Weight: 12.6 oz (357.2 g)
  • FFP/SFP: SFP
  • Reticle: CDS-ZL Duplex

Contents

1. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 UltimateSlam (Best Overall)

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 UltimateSlam (Best Overall)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 3-9x
  • Objective Diameter: 40 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 25.4 mm (1 in)
  • Reticle Options: UltimateSlam
  • Field of View: 13.6 – 33.1 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Capped
  • Length: 12.4 in
  • Weight: 12.2 oz (345.9 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.7 – 4.2 in
  • Other Special Features: Multi-coated lenses, Twilight Light Management System, and Quantum Optical System for superior light transmission, waterproof, shockproof, fog proof, 6061-T6 Aluminum construction

The Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 UltimateSlam is one of the best muzzleloader scopes you can buy today. It combines excellent optical clarity, a versatile zoom range, and long eye relief, all at a bargain price.

One of the unique features of this high-quality muzzleloader rifle scope is the UltimateSlam S.A.B.R. reticle. It is specifically designed for use with muzzleloader rifles thanks to its hash mark distances and parallax.

The optical clarity and long eye relief on this Leupold scope make it a joy to shoot with, particularly because you can enjoy shooting without worrying about scope bite.

The Leupold VX Freedom has great value for money, offering all the features you need in a package that retails for under $300.

Pros
  • Great optical clarity typical of Leupold scopes
  • Many reticle options that can be used with other types of guns
  • Long eye relief to reduce bruising due to recoil
  • Muzzleloader scope-specific 150-yard fixed parallax
  • Amazing value for money
Cons
  • Not good for extreme long-range shots due to low magnification

2. Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 4.5-14×44 (Best Precision Scope)

Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 4.5-14x44 (Best Precision Scope)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 4.5-14x
  • Objective Diameter: 44 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Reticle Options: Digital Ballistic
  • Field of View: 6.7 – 19.9 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Exposed
  • Length: 12.6 in
  • Weight: 23.2 oz (657.7 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.3 – 4.2 in
  • Other Special Features: Integrated Ballistics Data Xchange rangefinder and rifle scope system, OLED illuminated reticle with ten brightness settings, Spectracoat multi-coated lenses, IPX7 waterproof, fog proof, MOTAC motion sensing system, parallax adjustment from 100 yards

The Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 4.5-14×44 is the best muzzleloader scope if you need to make high-precision shots. This muzzleloader scope combines useful BDX tech, high zoom, and good eye relief.

The headlining feature on this Sig Sauer rifle scope is the BDX system, which acts as both a rangefinder and rifle scope system that uses ballistics, environmental conditions, and Bluetooth to illuminate the exact holdover dot.

Combine that with the multi-coated lenses, OLED illuminated reticle, and the MOTAC motion sensing system, and you have the best muzzleloader scope for precision shooting and accuracy at almost any range.

Pros
  • Useful BDX reticle technology that adjusts to the shooting environment
  • Higher magnification ranges for precision shooting
  • OLED illuminated reticle helps with low-light performance
  • MOTAC motion-detecting system to save battery life
  • Exposed and low-profile turrets for satisfying adjustments
Cons
  • Narrow field of view

3. Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10×40 (Most Versatile Scope)

Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10x40 (Most Versatile Scope)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 3.5-10x
  • Objective Diameter: 40 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 25.4 mm (1 in)
  • Reticle Options: CDS-ZL Duplex
  • Field of View: 11 – 29.8 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Exposed
  • Length: 12.6 in
  • Weight: 12.6 oz
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 – 4.4 in
  • Other Special Features: Made with 6061-T6 Aluminum, DiamondCoat 2 lens coatings for better light transmission, Twin Bias Spring Ejector System, waterproof, fog proof, included lens covers

The Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10×40 is one of the best muzzleloader scopes that balances having long-range, accurate shots and quick target acquisition from medium to close range.

Leupold scopes achieve this by having multicoated lenses, a slightly longer zoom range, and a duplex-style reticle that is precise and easy to distinguish from a busy background.

This all-around Leupold scope is also light, which means you can carry it wherever you need to without much hassle. It is versatile and can be used on a modern muzzleloader or like typical rifle scopes.

Pros
  • Slightly wider zoom range than most 3-9x magnification ranges
  • Leupold high glass quality and lens coatings
  • Duplex reticle makes it a great muzzleloader hunting scope while also being precise
  • Twin Bias Spring Ejector system makes turret clicks satisfying and more durable
  • Not too heavy
Cons
  • No reticle illumination

4. Muzzle-Loaders Genesis Scope 3-9×40 (Most Durable Scope)

Muzzle-Loaders Genesis Scope 3-9x40 (Most Durable Scope)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 3-9x
  • Objective Diameter: 40 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 25.4 mm (1 in)
  • Reticle Options: Duplex
  • Field of View: 15 – 45 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Capped
  • Length: 15.7 in
  • Weight: 23.2 oz (657.7 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.5 – 4 in
  • Other Special Features: Fully coated lenses, waterproof, dust proof, and shockproof, included flip caps, durable construction

The Muzzle-Loaders Genesis Scope 3-9×40 is the best muzzleloader scope if you are looking for a durable, high-build quality scope that works on muzzleloader rifles specifically.

In addition to being waterproof and shockproof, which is standard for many muzzleloader scope optics, this robust scope is also dustproof. This means you will never find any dust getting in the way of your shots.

Muzzleloader hunters will love this long-lasting scope because the features and durability are specifically made for use on a muzzleloader rifle. It is one of the toughest scopes on this list as a result.

Pros
  • Waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof for accidental bangs and drops
  • Long eye relief
  • Wide field of view
  • Duplex reticle that is a staple for muzzleloader hunters
  • Included flip caps to protect the lenses
Cons
  • On the heavier side

5. Bushnell Banner 3-9×50 (Best Budget Scope)

Bushnell Banner 3-9x50 (Best Budget Scope)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 3-9x
  • Objective Diameter: 50 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 25.4 mm (1 in)
  • Reticle Options: Multi-X reticle
  • Field of View: 14 – 40 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane scope
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Capped
  • Length: 16 in
  • Weight: 19 oz (538.6 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.7 in
  • Other Special Features: Multicoated lenses, one-piece tube construction, fast focus eyepiece, IPX7 waterproof, shockproof, fog proof

The Bushnell Banner 3-9×50 is one of the best budget muzzleloader scopes you can buy today. It is a muzzleloader scope with a large objective lens, good-quality glass, and a very low price point.

Muzzleloader rifle scopes like the Banner are an excellent option for those starting out in shooting because they will not drain your wallet too much. Plus, this muzzleloader scope does all the basics very well.

It has a large 50mm objective lens bigger than the standard rifle scope size, a reliable zoom range, and coated lenses. While it does not have reticle illumination or other cool features, you get a reliable scope at a consumer-friendly price.

Pros
  • Amazing value for money versus other muzzleloader scopes
  • Great Duplex style reticle for both muzzleloader hunting and long-range shooting
  • Good eye relief for the price
  • Larger objective lens for light transmission
Cons
  • No reticle illumination or extra features

6. Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16×50 Multi-X (Best Long-Range Scope)

Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16x50 Multi-X (Best Long-Range Scope)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 4-16x
  • Objective Diameter: 50 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Reticle Options: Multi-X
  • Field of View: 6 – 25 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Capped
  • Length: 14.1 in
  • Weight: 20 oz (567 g)
  • Eye Relief: 4.3 in
  • Other Special Features: Side focus minimum 10-yard adjustable parallax, fully multi-coated lenses, IPX7 waterproof, fog proof

The Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16×50 Multi-X is the best muzzleloader scope for long-range shooting. It has a crystal clear sight picture, excellent light transmission, and perfect zoom range for long-range shots.

This is the right muzzleloader scope for people who need to stretch the range on their centerfire rifle or muzzleloading rifle as far as possible. The Elite has a wide magnification range from 4x to 16x, which covers most muzzle-loaded shooting conditions.

The long eye relief on this muzzleloader scope is perfect for a muzzleloading or black powder rifle with heavy recoil. The scope is also constructed specifically for guns with more recoil.

Pros
  • Perfect magnification range for a long-range muzzleloader scope
  • Built to withstand heavy recoil on centerfire rifles and muzzleloading rifles
  • Elevation and windage turrets are hard to nudge accidentally
  • Adjustable parallax to see up close and range better
  • Easy to adjust for windage or bullet drop
Cons
  • A bit bulky with the large objective

7. Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10×44 (Best Hunting Scope)

Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10x44 (Best Hunting Scope)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 2.5-10x
  • Objective Diameter: 44 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Reticle Options: Dead-Hold BDC
  • Field of View: 10.9 – 47 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Capped
  • Length: 12 in
  • Weight: 18.4 oz (521.6 g)
  • Eye Relief: 4 in
  • Other Special Features: One-piece tube construction made with aircraft grade aluminum, ArmorTek scratch-resistant coating, XR fully multi-coated optics with HD lens elements, waterproof, shockproof, fogproof, fast focus eyepiece

The Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10×44 from Vortex Optics is one of the best muzzleloader scopes you can buy for hunting. It has a clear reticle, great light transmission, and the perfect zoom range to hit most game animals accurately.

The Viper HS works on both a centerfire rifle and a muzzleloading rifle, thanks to its high recoil resistance. The zoom range is also perfect for both closer and longer-range shots.

The fully multicoated optics are great because they eliminate glare and objective lens reflections that might otherwise impede your focus during muzzleloader hunting.

Muzzleloader hunters will also love this scope because of the long eye relief that makes it comfortable to get a cheek weld while reducing the chances of scope bite.

Pros
  • Dead-Hold bullet drop compensator reticle is perfect for deer hunting
  • Magnification range works for both close-range and long-range hunting
  • Muzzleloader hunters will love the great light transmission
  • Long eye relief
  • Turret adjustments are smooth for capped turrets
Cons
  • No reticle illumination

8. Aimpoint Micro H-2 2-MOA Red Dot (Best Red Dot Scope)

Aimpoint Micro H-2 2-MOA Red Dot (Best Red Dot Scope)

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Key Features

  • Red Dot Type: Tube-style
  • Magnification: 1x
  • Objective Diameter: 18 mm
  • Illumination Color: Red
  • Brightness Settings: 12
  • Reticle Type: 2 MOA
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.5 MOA
  • Parallax: Parallax-free
  • Field of View: N/A
  • FFP/SFP: N/A
  • Battery Life: 50,000 hours
  • Length: 2.7 in
  • Weight: 6.7 oz (189.9 g)
  • Eye Relief: Unlimited
  • Waterproof: Yes (up to 15 ft)
  • Shockproof: Yes
  • Gun Type Compatibility: Rifles, full-size handguns, shotguns
  • Attachment/Mount Type: Picatinny rail, Weaver rail
  • Other Special Features: Reinforced turret protection, anodized high-strength aluminum housing

The Aimpoint Micro H-2 is an excellent option for muzzleloader optics if you do not want the downsides that most muzzleloader scopes have, like limited eye relief, weight, bulk, and parallax.

This red dot is very compact and lightweight but still very durable, so it can handle hard recoiling guns like other scopes on this list. Aiming in is also quick, with its unlimited eye relief and no parallax.

However, you should get this scope if you only need fast target acquisition and not long-range muzzleloader shots. It maxes out at only 1x magnification, and a supplementary magnifier might not work on your muzzleloader weapon.

Pros
  • Very long battery life
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Resistant to shock and high recoil
  • Durable construction
  • Parallax-free shooting with unlimited eye relief
Cons
  • Limited zoom and range

9. Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40 (Best BDC Scope)

Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40 (Best BDC Scope)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 4-12x
  • Objective Diameter: 40 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 25.4 mm (1 in)
  • Reticle Options: Dead-Hold BDC
  • Field of View: 11.3 – 32.4 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Capped
  • Length: 11.9 in
  • Weight: 14.6 oz (413.9 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.1 in
  • Other Special Features: Made with aircraft-grade aluminum, fully multi-coated lenses, waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof

The Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 is the best muzzleloader scope for those who want to correct for bullet drop quickly and easily. This has the best BDC reticle out of all the scopes on this list.

The Dead-Hold BDC reticle is very accurate on this Vortex Optics Diamondback scope, which helps to reduce the guesswork usually required when adjusting for elevation and windage.

The scope itself is very durable in construction, has good light transmission, and does not trade these features for bulk and weight. At only 14.6 ounces, it is not too heavy either.

However, I wish this scope came with slightly more eye relief because the eye box is approaching the level of some fixed magnification scopes.

Pros
  • Dead-Hold bullet drop compensating reticle is clear and accurate
  • Good muzzleloader scope for making quick adjustments
  • Lightweight and not bulky
  • Capped turrets still feel clicky while reducing accidental inputs
Cons
  • Eye relief could be a bit longer

10. Nightforce NX8 4-32×50 (Best Scope for Competition)

Nightforce NX8 4-32x50 (Best Scope for Competition)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 4-32x
  • Objective Diameter: 50 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Reticle Options: MOAR, MIL-XT, MOA-XT, MIL-C, TReMoR3
  • Field of View: 4.6 – 26.1 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: First focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA/0.1 MRAD adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Exposed
  • Length: 13.4 in
  • Weight: 28.6 oz (810.8 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.5 in
  • Other Special Features: Included power throw lever, ZeroStop system to return to zero quickly, Digillum reticle illumination, adjustable parallax from 11 yards to infinity

The Nightforce NX8 4-32×50 is one of the best muzzleloader scopes you can buy for competition shooting. The long-range nature, FFP reticle, and great eye relief combine well to give you the win on any comp you want to participate in.

Having a 4x to 32x zoom scope is crucial for long-range competition shooting, whether using traditional centerfire rifles or hard-recoiling muzzleloader rifles.

Nightforce scopes are known for their variety of reticle options, which come in either MOA or MRAD. Plus, they are in the first focal plane, the standard for competition scopes.

However, you will pay the price when it comes to both the weight and the cost of the scope. It is on the heavier side at 28.6 oz and comes in at a staggering $2,200.

Pros
  • Great zoom range for competition shooting
  • Surprisingly good eye relief, considering the zoom
  • Great variety in reticle options
  • First focal plane reticle is perfect for competition shooters
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

11. Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40 (Best Mid-Range Scope)

Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40 (Best Mid-Range Scope)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 3-9x
  • Objective Diameter: 40 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 25.4 mm (1 in)
  • Reticle Options: Dead-Hold BDC
  • Field of View: 12.6 – 34.1 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Capped
  • Length: 12.2 in
  • Weight: 14.8 oz (419.6 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.8 in
  • Other Special Features: Comes with removable lens covers, zero-reset turrets, made with aircraft grade aluminum, waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof, fast focus eyepiece

The Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40 is one of the best scopes you can buy if you are focused on shooting at midrange targets. The zoom range, reticle, and zero reset turrets contribute to this.

This Vortex Optics scope has good eye relief that makes aiming quicker for those midrange shots. Combine this with the BDC reticle, and you have a scope that balances aiming speed and precision well.

Being priced at $200, this scope is a perfect example of how midrange-focused scopes don’t need to be very expensive. The only feature that I would add to this scope is reticle illumination.

Pros
  • Long eye relief
  • Dead-Hold BDC reticle is clear and balances fast aiming with precision
  • Perfect zoom range for midrange shots
  • Capped turrets also reset to zero quickly
Cons
  • No reticle illumination

12. Konus KonusPro 3-9×40 (Best Entry-Level Scope)

Konus KonusPro 3-9x40 (Best Entry-Level Scope)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 3-9x
  • Objective Diameter: 40 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 25.4 mm (1 in)
  • Reticle Options: Engraved Ballistic 550
  • Field of View: 12.5 – 38 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Capped
  • Length: 12.9 in
  • Weight: 17.2 oz (487.6 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3 in
  • Other Special Features: Waterproof, shockproof, fogproof, heavy-caliber recoil proof, included lens caps and cleaning cloths, multicoated optics

The Konus KonusPro 3-9×40 is the best entry-level muzzleloader scope for beginners looking to get into shooting. It comes in very cheap, with scope caps in the box, and is rated for high recoil guns.

You do not have to worry about your muzzleloader gun damaging the scope because it is shockproof-rated and rated for use with higher recoiling guns.

While this is a great scope for beginners, it does have a relatively short eye relief. However, if your budget is very tight, this is still a great option that does the basics splendidly.

Pros
  • Great price point at just over $100
  • Turrets are capped but also have grips
  • Rated for use on heavy-caliber recoil rifles
  • Comes with lens caps and cleaning cloths in the box
Cons
  • Short eye relief

13. Burris Eliminator IV LaserScope 4-16×50 (Best Scope with Rangefinder)

Burris Eliminator IV LaserScope 4-16x50 (Best Scope with Rangefinder)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 4-16x
  • Objective Diameter: 50 mm
  • Tube Diameter: N/A (Direct Mount)
  • Reticle Options: X96
  • Field of View: 9 – 33 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.125 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Capped
  • Length: 13.5 in
  • Weight: 28.8 oz (816.5 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.5 – 4 in
  • Other Special Features: Fully multi-coated optics, Digital Inclinometer, Smart Dope Card, laser range finder, ballistics calculator, wireless remote, reticle illumination with five brightness settings

The Burris Eliminator IV LaserScope 4-16×50 is a unique scope on this list since it is the only one with an accurate and reliable laser rangefinder.

Features like the laser range finder and Smart Dope Card precisely tell you where to aim to get the shot on target every time you squeeze the trigger.

If you want a scope with many high-tech features to make shooting easier for you, this is the scope to buy. However, the high price and heavy weight might be a deal breaker for some people.

Pros
  • High-tech scope with top-of-the-line features
  • Laser range finder works well up to 2000 yards
  • Smart Dope Card adjusts the aiming points to your rifle's caliber
  • Compatible with muzzleloaders
  • Ultra-precise click values
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

14. Burris FullField E1 3-9×40 (Best Field of View Scope)

Burris FullField E1 3-9x40 (Best Field of View Scope)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 3-9x
  • Objective Diameter: 40 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 25.4 mm (1 in)
  • Reticle Options: Plex, Ballistic Plex E1
  • Field of View: 13 – 33 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Capped
  • Length: 12.2 in
  • Weight: 13 oz (368.5 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.1 – 3.4 in
  • Other Special Features: High-grade optical glass, index-matched Hi-Lume multicoating, shockproof, waterproof, fogproof

The Burris FullField E1 3-9×40 is the best muzzleloader scope for those who want a wide field of view. As the name suggests, it gives the shooter a full field of view, among other good scope qualities.

Unlike other muzzleloader scopes, the FullField maintains a good field of view all the way up to the higher zoom level lenses. This is crucial for situational awareness, ensuring you do not get tunnel vision and miss threats closing in on you.

The only thing that I think needs tweaking on this scope is the eye relief, which is a bit short. However, for an absolute bargain price of around $200, you cannot complain.

Pros
  • Very wide field of view for the zoom level all the way through to the high magnifications
  • Good value for money
  • Multicoating helps with a clear image picture
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Eye relief could be a bit better

15. Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5×32 (Best Lightweight Scope)

Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5x32 (Best Lightweight Scope)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 1.75-5x
  • Objective Diameter: 32 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 25.4 mm (1 in)
  • Reticle Options: Dead-Hold BDC
  • Field of View: 23.1 – 68.3 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Capped
  • Length: 10.2 in
  • Weight: 13 oz (368.5 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.5 in
  • Other Special Features: Made with aircraft grade aluminum, fully multi-coated optics, waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof

The Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5×32 is the best lightweight scope for muzzleloaders. It is also very compact while not sacrificing important considerations like image quality and eye relief.

At only 13 ounces, this scope is one of the lighter ones on this list. It does not add any bulk either at only 10.2 inches in length, which helps to make it a good option for people who hike a lot.

The only limitation of this scope is long-range shooting, which the 5x maximum magnification will not be able to do well.

Pros
  • Pop-up dials are great for quick adjustments
  • Very compact and lightweight for a variable optic scope
  • Wide field of view
  • Good eye relief
Cons
  • Not suitable for longer-range shooting

What Are Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Muzzleloader Scope?

Before buying a muzzleloader scope, you should consider these important criteria. The importance of each factor differs between each shooter, so pick and choose wisely.

Purpose and Shooting Style

ScopePurpose and Shooting Style
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 UltimateSlamAll-purpose short to mid-range shooting
Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 4.5-14x44Tactical shooting
Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10x40Short to mid-range shooting
Muzzle-Loaders Genesis Scope 3-9x40All-purpose hunting and shooting
Bushnell Banner 3-9x50Tactical shooting
Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16x50 Multi-XLong-range shooting
Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10x44Short to mid-range hunting
Aimpoint Micro H-2 2-MOA Red DotClose quarters combat
Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40Short to mid-range tactical shooting
Nightforce NX8 4-32x50Competition shooting
Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40All-purpose short to mid-range shooting
Konus KonusPro 3-9x40Short to mid-range shooting
Burris Eliminator IV LaserScope 4-16x50Tactical shooting with laser rangefinder
Burris FullField E1 3-9x40Short to mid-range hunting
Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5x32Short-range shooting and hunting

Your shooting style and purpose are two critical factors that will significantly influence what scope you end up getting.

For example, a higher zoom scope might not be ideal for you if you will only be using the scope at close range, where aiming speed and quick target acquisition are more important.

Magnification Range

ScopeMagnification Range
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 UltimateSlam3-9x
Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 4.5-14x444.5-14x
Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10x403-5-10x
Muzzle-Loaders Genesis Scope 3-9x403-9x
Bushnell Banner 3-9x503-9x
Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16x50 Multi-X4-16x
Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10x442.5-10x
Aimpoint Micro H-2 2-MOA Red Dot1x
Vortex Diamondback 4-12x404-12x
Nightforce NX8 4-32x504-32x
Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x403-9x
Konus KonusPro 3-9x403-9x
Burris Eliminator IV LaserScope 4-16x504-16x
Burris FullField E1 3-9x403-9x
Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5x321.75-5x

Lower magnification range scopes are lighter and are better suited to close-quarters roles, while higher magnification range scopes are better for longer-range precision roles.

Objective Lens Diameter

ScopeObjective Lens Diameter
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 UltimateSlam40 mm
Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 4.5-14x4444 mm
Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10x4040 mm
Muzzle-Loaders Genesis Scope 3-9x4040 mm
Bushnell Banner 3-9x5050 mm
Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16x50 Multi-X50 mm
Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10x4444 mm
Aimpoint Micro H-2 2-MOA Red Dot18 mm
Vortex Diamondback 4-12x4040 mm
Nightforce NX8 4-32x5050 mm
Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x4040 mm
Konus KonusPro 3-9x4040 mm
Burris Eliminator IV LaserScope 4-16x5050 mm
Burris FullField E1 3-9x4040 mm
Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5x3232 mm

A larger objective lens will let in more light, which greatly helps image clarity, especially at dawn or dusk. However, it adds to the scope’s bulk and weight, which is a trade-off you must consider.

Low-Light Performance

In any scope, low-light performance is determined by the objective lens diameter and the coatings on the lens. Fully multi-coated scopes with large objective lenses are the best for low-light performance.

Eye Relief

ScopeEye Relief
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 UltimateSlam3.7 - 4.2 in
Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 4.5-14x443.3 - 4.2 in
Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10x403.6 - 4.4 in
Muzzle-Loaders Genesis Scope 3-9x403.5 - 4 in
Bushnell Banner 3-9x503.7 in
Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16x50 Multi-X4.3 in
Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10x444 in
Aimpoint Micro H-2 2-MOA Red DotUnlimited
Vortex Diamondback 4-12x403.1 in
Nightforce NX8 4-32x503.5 in
Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x403.8 in
Konus KonusPro 3-9x403 in
Burris Eliminator IV LaserScope 4-16x503.5 - 4 in
Burris FullField E1 3-9x403.1 - 3.4 in
Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5x323.5 in

Eye relief is how far back your eye can be from the eyepiece to still see clearly through the scope. Longer eye relief is recommended, especially for muzzleloader scopes that generate high recoil.

Adjustments (Turrets) for Windage and Elevation

ScopeTurretsAdjustment Click Value
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 UltimateSlamCapped0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 4.5-14x44Exposed0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10x40Exposed0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
Muzzle-Loaders Genesis Scope 3-9x40Capped0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
Bushnell Banner 3-9x50Capped0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16x50 Multi-XCapped0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10x44Capped0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
Aimpoint Micro H-2 2-MOA Red DotExposed0.5 MOA
Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40Capped0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
Nightforce NX8 4-32x50Exposed0.25 MOA/0.1 MRAD adjustment per turret click
Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40Capped0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
Konus KonusPro 3-9x40Capped0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
Burris Eliminator IV LaserScope 4-16x50Capped0.125 MOA adjustment per turret click
Burris FullField E1 3-9x40Capped0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5x32Capped0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click

The elevation and windage turrets can either be capped or exposed. Capped turrets are a bit harder to adjust but are also harder to accidentally nudge, while exposed turrets are easy to turn but also easy to accidentally miscalibrate.

Focal Plane (FFP or SFP)

ScopeFocal Plane
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 UltimateSlamSecond Focal Plane (SFP)
Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 4.5-14x44Second Focal Plane (SFP)
Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10x40Second Focal Plane (SFP)
Muzzle-Loaders Genesis Scope 3-9x40Second Focal Plane (SFP)
Bushnell Banner 3-9x50Second Focal Plane (SFP)
Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16x50 Multi-XSecond Focal Plane (SFP)
Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10x44Second Focal Plane (SFP)
Aimpoint Micro H-2 2-MOA Red DotN/A
Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40Second Focal Plane (SFP)
Nightforce NX8 4-32x50First Focal Plane (FFP)
Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40Second Focal Plane (SFP)
Konus KonusPro 3-9x40Second Focal Plane (SFP)
Burris Eliminator IV LaserScope 4-16x50Second Focal Plane (SFP)
Burris FullField E1 3-9x40Second Focal Plane (SFP)
Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5x32Second Focal Plane (SFP)

An FFP scope will have a reticle that changes in size depending on your zoom level. It is ideal for shooters who want to retain perfect scaling with their hash marks or holdovers, no matter the zoom.

An SFP scope is ideal if you want the reticle to stay the same no matter what zoom you have. It is ideal for more predictability and aiming speed.

Whether you prefer the first focal plane or the second focal plane will be up to your personal preference.

Lens Coatings

ScopeLens Coatings
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 UltimateSlamTwilight Light Management System
Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 4.5-14x44SpectraCoat Multi-Coated Lenses
Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10x40DiamondCoat 2
Muzzle-Loaders Genesis Scope 3-9x40Fully Multi-Coated
Bushnell Banner 3-9x50Multi-Coated
Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16x50 Multi-XMulti-Coated
Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10x44XR Fully Multi-Coated
Aimpoint Micro H-2 2-MOA Red DotMulti-Coated
Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40Fully Multi-Coated
Nightforce NX8 4-32x50Broadband multi-coating
Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40Fully Multi-Coated
Konus KonusPro 3-9x40Multi-Coated
Burris Eliminator IV LaserScope 4-16x50Fully Multi-Coated
Burris FullField E1 3-9x40Hi-Lume Multi-Coated
Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5x32Fully Multi-Coated

Having HD lens coatings and fully multi-coated ones helps with light transmission. However, other coatings like oleophobic, glare-reducing, or scratch-resistant ones are more focused on increasing the durability of your lenses.

Durability and Weather Resistance

ScopeWater Resistant?Shockproof?Fogproof?
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 UltimateSlamYesYesYes
Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 4.5-14x44Yes (IPX-7; up to 1 m)*no dataYes
Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10x40YesYesYes
Muzzle-Loaders Genesis Scope 3-9x40YesYesYes
Bushnell Banner 3-9x50Yes (IPX-7)YesYes
Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16x50 Multi-XYes (IPX-7)YesYes
Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10x44YesYesYes
Aimpoint Micro H-2 2-MOA Red DotYes (up to 15 ft)YesYes
Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40YesYesYes
Nightforce NX8 4-32x50YesYes*no data
Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40YesYesYes
Konus KonusPro 3-9x40YesYesYes
Burris Eliminator IV LaserScope 4-16x50NoYesYes
Burris FullField E1 3-9x40YesYesYes
Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5x32YesYesYes

Having a durable scope entails ensuring it is at least waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof. The more durable scopes are also rated to be usable with muzzleloaders, which have heavier recoil.

Budget and Price Range

ScopePrice
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 UltimateSlam$299
Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 4.5-14x44$519
Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10x40$399
Muzzle-Loaders Genesis Scope 3-9x40$119
Bushnell Banner 3-9x50$112
Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16x50 Multi-X$239
Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10x44$499
Aimpoint Micro H-2 2-MOA Red Dot$815
Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40$195
Nightforce NX8 4-32x50$1935
Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40$149
Konus KonusPro 3-9x40$109
Burris Eliminator IV LaserScope 4-16x50$1409
Burris FullField E1 3-9x40$145
Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5x32$229

Your budget is one of the most important factors when deciding between two scopes with similar features. Focus on the features that you will actually use and need to see which scopes fit in that budget.

Warranty and Customer Support

ScopeWarranty
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 UltimateSlamLeupold Lifetime Guarantee (lifetime warranty)
Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 4.5-14x44SIG SAUER Electro-Optics Infinite Guarantee (limited lifetime warranty)
Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10x40Leupold Lifetime Guarantee (lifetime warranty)
Muzzle-Loaders Genesis Scope 3-9x40‎Limited lifetime warranty
Bushnell Banner 3-9x50Bushnell Lifetime Ironclad Warranty
Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16x50 Multi-XBushnell Lifetime Ironclad Warranty
Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10x44Vortex VIP (unlimited lifetime warranty)
Aimpoint Micro H-2 2-MOA Red DotLimited 10-year warranty
Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40Vortex VIP (unlimited lifetime warranty)
Nightforce NX8 4-32x50Transferable limited lifetime warranty
Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40Vortex VIP (unlimited lifetime warranty)
Konus KonusPro 3-9x40Lifetime Replacement Warranty
Burris Eliminator IV LaserScope 4-16x50Burris Forever Warranty (lifetime warranty)
Burris FullField E1 3-9x40Burris Forever Warranty (lifetime warranty)
Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5x32Vortex VIP (unlimited lifetime warranty)

While most companies offer “lifetime warranties,” check their limitations and disclaimers. Some exceptions for warranty coverage include being a secondhand buyer, modifying the scope, or not having the original receipt.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

After learning more about muzzleloader scopes, you might have questions about how they work. Here are my answers to the most commonly asked ones.

What Is a Muzzleloader Scope?

A muzzleloader scope is a specialized scope explicitly designed to be used with muzzleloading firearms. A muzzleloader is a firearm whose ammunition is loaded from the front of the barrel rather than the back.

Most muzzleloaders have higher recoil than standard breech-loading ones. When choosing a scope, get one that has shock resistance, is shock proof, or is specifically meant for use on muzzleloaders.

You should also get a scope with reticles and parallax settings that are more appropriate for the ranges you can shoot muzzleloader rifles at, typically about 200 yards.

What Scope Size Is Best for Muzzleloaders?

Most muzzleloader shooters will be good with a 1x to 5x magnification scope that is lighter and more compact. Smaller magnification is usually better because muzzleloaders do not typically have a good long-range ballistics profile.

Do Muzzleloader Scopes Have Specific Reticles?

Yes, they are usually calibrated for a specific caliber and black powder loads that differ from your traditional centerfire rifles. Holdovers usually go out to 200 yards at 50-yard intervals.

Final Thoughts on the Best Muzzleloader Scopes

The best muzzleloader scopes all have one thing in common – their resistance to hard-hitting recoil. As long as you keep that baseline feature, pick any scope from the list you want according to the features that matter most to you.

You should pick your scope based on what feature is essential to you. When in doubt, I recommend the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 UltimateSlam, though what may be best for me may not be right for your needs.

Choosing a scope is mostly up to personal preference, but you are good to go as long as you get a scope that has good optic quality, resists recoil well, and fits within your budget.

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