Muzzloading rifles have been around for a very long time. Before the invention of modern breechloaders, hunters depended on muzzleloaders to feed their families. Although we now have bolt actions and semi-automatic AR-15 firearms, muzzleloaders remain popular with hunters as well as others in search of a more traditional shooting experience.
The list below contains the top ten best muzzleloader scopes for everything from hunting to target shooting.
When hunting with a muzzleloader, you only have a single shot to fill your tag. In other words, accuracy is the name of the game. While a scope won’t extend your muzzleloader’s range by substantial distances, it can help ensure your shot goes exactly where you intend it.
If you have never bought a scope for a muzzleloader before, it’s important to keep a few things in mind while shopping around.
If you don’t have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated muzzleloader scopes:
- Leupold VX-Freedom Muzzleloader
- NightForce NXS 2.5-10X42mm
- Burris 3-9x40mm Fullfield II Riflescope
- Swarovski 1-6×24 L Z6i Riflescope
- Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Riflescope
- Vortex Optics Copperhead 3-9×40 Riflescope
- Sig Sauer Sierra 6 BDX 2-12×40 Scope
- Konus Pro 3-9×40 Riflescope
- Simmons 8-Point 3-9x32mm Riflescope
- Traditions Performance Firearms 3-9×40 Muzzleloader Hunter Series Scope
Table of Contents
- How to Choose Muzzleloader Scopes?
- Best Muzzleloader Scope on the Market Review
- 1 Leupold VX-Freedom Muzzleloader
- 2 NightForce NXS 2.5-10X42mm
- 3 Burris 3-9x40mm Fullfield II Riflescope
- 4 Swarovski 1-6×24 L Z6i Riflescope
- 5 Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Riflescope
- 6 Vortex Optics Copperhead 3-9×40 Riflescope
- 7 Sig Sauer Sierra 6 BDX 2-12×40 Scope
- 8 Konus Pro 3-9×40 Riflescope
- 9 Simmons 8-Point 3-9x32mm Riflescope
- 10 Traditions Performance Firearms 3-9×40 Muzzleloader Hunter Series Scope
- Final Thoughts
How to Choose Muzzleloader Scopes?
Muzzleloaders are fairly straightforward weapons. A single shot wrapped in a wad, loaded on top of blackpowder, and ignited by a spark results in a resonating bang and a satisfying cloud of smoke. A firearm like that deserves a scope that holds to similar values. Illumination, high levels of magnification, intricate reticles, and other advanced scope features are overkill on a muzzleloader.
A simple yet durable scope with clear glass and a simple reticle pairs perfectly with these simple rifles.
Modern black powder rifles have an effective range out to about 200 yards. Older or antique muzzleloaders may fall short of that range. While it’s tempting to buy a scope with a high magnification level, lower magnification will better serve you for muzzleloader shooting. A scope with 9x magnification is the top end of what you need for effective shooting.
You can choose between a variable magnification optic and a fixed power scope. This choice mostly comes down to personal preference.
The most common calibers found in muzzleloader rifles today are .45 caliber, .50 caliber, and .54 caliber. Because muzzleloaders are pushing hefty projectiles, they also deliver some hefty recoil. The last thing you want is for your carefully sighted scope to be knocked off zero after one shot. This is where durability comes in.
Some key things to look for are glass-etched reticles, o-ring sealing, and single piece construction.
The list below covers the top ten best muzzleloader scopes available on the market today.
Best Muzzleloader Scope on the Market Review
1 Leupold VX-Freedom Muzzleloader
Coming from one of the most respected optics companies in the world, the Leupold VX-Freedom Muzzleloader scope is an excellent scope option for any muzzleloader. This scope has durability soundly covered. It features military standard scratch resistant lenses, 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum construction, and 100 percent waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof ratings.
The scope’s Twilight Light Management System can extend shooting light by up to 10 minutes, which is a major asset for deer hunting. Hunters will also appreciate the UltimateSlam reticle, which makes holdover compensation a simple task. The knurled turrets with ¼” MOA click increments allow for precise adjustments for ultimate accuracy. The parallax on the VX-Freedom is set for 60 yards, which is an optimal range for muzzleloader hunting.
2 NightForce NXS 2.5-10X42mm
If you plan on hunting deer with your black powder rifle, the NightForce NXS is an excellent option. The NXS is handsomely designed with knurled turrets, a matte black finish, and ergonomic lines that look great on a muzzleloader. This scope isn’t only nicely designed. It also packs a punch in performance.
With fully multi-coated optics, a wide field of view, and impressive light transmission, the NXS is a seriously premium optic. It is even night vision compatible.
One feature that makes this scope ideal for deer hunting is the BDC reticle. Once you have it sighted in, the BDC reticle allows you to instantly accommodate targets at varying ranges, which any deer hunter knows is incredibly important.
3 Burris 3-9x40mm Fullfield II Riflescope
You would be hard pressed to find a better muzzleloader scope for under $200 than the Burris Fullfield II riflescope. The scope’s high-grade, precision-ground optical glass is coated with an index matched multi-coating that increases light transmission. The low light performance of the Fullfield II is truly impressive.
The scope’s adjustable eyepiece is integrated for easy magnification changes in the field. With a 1-inch tube, superior gas seals, and capped turrets, the Fullfield II is completely waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. A Ballistic Plex reticle rounds out this scope’s useful features, making it an excellent muzzleloader scope option.
4 Swarovski 1-6×24 L Z6i Riflescope
Swarovski riflescopes are famous for their impeccable optical clarity, and the L Z6i is no exception. With a super slim design, ultra durable construction, and generous eye relief, the Swarovski L Z6i perfectly compliments modern black powder rifles.
The L Z6i is crafted from tough aircraft-grade aluminum. To prevent internal fogging and protect delicate internal components, the scope is nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed. The L Z6i also features SwaroClean non-stick lens coatings that resist water, dirt, oil, and tree resin to ensure you always have a clear sight picture.
Swarovski includes their SwaroLight technology in the design of the L Z6i. SwaroLight illumination automatically powers off during inactivity to increase battery life and ensure your reticle is visible in every lighting condition.
5 Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Riflescope
If you do a lot of low light shooting, the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn is an ideal option for your muzzleloader. The biggest bucks tend to wait until last light to emerge from their daytime bedding areas. Don’t miss out on a trophy because you’re running a scope that can’t perform in twilight conditions.
The capped turrets feature ¼ MOA click increments, so you can precisely zero the Multi-X reticle. The Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn is 100 percent waterproof and fogproof. It offers 3.3 inches of eye relief. With its single piece construction, quality materials, fast focus eyepiece, this muzzleloader scope is an incredible value at under $100.
6 Vortex Optics Copperhead 3-9×40 Riflescope
If you want a durable and reliable scope for your black powder rifle, look no further than the Vortex Copperhead. Once you mount this scope on your muzzleloader, you can expect high quality performance without question. The O-ring seal prevents any moisture, fog, smoke, or debris from entering the scope, and all air-to-glass surfaces are multi-coated for superior light transmission.
This scope is constructed from a single piece of aircraft grade aluminum and features a hard anodized finish for extreme durability. With an adjustable focus knob, an easily accessible magnification ring, and a dead-hold BDC reticle, the Copperhead has all the features muzzleloader hunters need. Vortex Optics offers a lifetime warranty so you can carry the Copperhead into the field without worry.
7 Sig Sauer Sierra 6 BDX 2-12×40 Scope
Sig Sauer’s optics are easy to fall in love with. Perfect for muzzleloader shooting, the Sig Sauer Sierra 6 scope is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum. The main housing is argon-purged and o-ring sealed, making it completely waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.
There is one exciting feature that really makes the Sierra 6 stand apart from the competition – its BDX-R2 digital reticle. This intricate reticle works together with Sig Sauer’s BDX rangefinder. The combo provides muzzleloader-specific ballistics so you can make precision adjustments for bullet drop over distance. This takes all the guesswork out of holdovers and wind adjustments.
The Sierra 6 also features Sig’s state-of-the-art KinETHIC Kinetic Energy Transfer Indicator. This feature is designed to help you make the most ethical shots possible.
8 Konus Pro 3-9×40 Riflescope
The Konus Pro riflescope is a great option for hunters in search of a reasonably priced optic for their muzzleloader. Although this budget optic doesn’t boast a bunch of bells and whistles, its no-frills design actually makes it ideal for black powder hunting. In fact, this scope is actually sold as part of a package with some Optima inline muzzleloaders.
The scope features an enhanced ballistic BDC reticle, which provides precise holdovers for distances out to 550 yards, which is well beyond the range of the average muzzleloader. The reticle design also features an illuminated center red dot, which facilitates rapid target acquisition. This easy-to-see aiming point is perfect for on-the-fly shooting in thick woods.
Although you shouldn’t expect the jaw-dropping image quality of a high-end scope, the Konus Pro does a better-than-average job. It is made with multi-coated optics to enhance light transmission for easier target identification in low light conditions. This is an awesome muzzleloader optic with a price tag well under $200.
9 Simmons 8-Point 3-9x32mm Riflescope
The Simmons 8-Point rifle scope looks great on both modern and antique muzzleloading rifles. It has a low profile design that won’t inhibit the classic lines of a muzzleloader.
The 9-Point’s QTA eyepiece ensures rapid target acquisition and the objective lens and fully multi-coated optics provide a high contrast and bright sight picture. The Simmons 8-Point allows you to gain a few extra minutes of shooting light, which can be the difference between a filled tag and a failed hunt.
Locking, finger-adjustable turrets offer audible ¼ MOA clicks to make fine-tuning the zero a breeze. The generous eye relief and wide field of view make this scope comfortable and safe for hard-kicking muzzleloader shooting. Fully waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof, Simmons 8-Point riflescope has a surprisingly affordable price tag. We have a hard time believing this one comes in under $100.
10 Traditions Performance Firearms 3-9×40 Muzzleloader Hunter Series Scope
Another scope designed specifically for muzzleloading rifles, the Muzzleloader Hunter Series Scope features multi-coated crystal lenses for enhanced light transmission and a clear, bright target image.
The scope is super durable and specifically designed to stand up to punishing recoil. It has a nitrogen-filled design to prevent internal fogging. It also features a lightweight, compact design that won’t weigh down your black powder rifle, making it perfect for remote backcountry hunts.
You only get a single shot when hunting with a muzzleloader. Adding a modern scope to a muzzleloader is a great way to improve your accuracy, increase your rifle’s effective range, and extend visibility in low light conditions. A simple design and uncomplicated reticle fits perfectly with the simplicity of a muzzleloader.
Look for a simple, durable scope with modest magnification, and your next muzzleloader hunt will be a lot more effective. Use the list of the best muzzleloader scopes above to narrow down your options and zero in on the right choice for you and your rifle.
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