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Best Muzzleloader Scopes – Buyer’s Guide

Best Muzzleloader ScopesMore and more hunters are using muzzleloaders for their hunting adventures.

And you don’t have to be an expert hunter to use one or have deep pockets to own one.

Muzzleloaders have become user-friendly and affordable.

Aside from that, using a scope together with a muzzleloader can get you to hit that elk or deer dead on.

Not any scope can be fit on a muzzleloader, but there are companies that produce scopes specifically for such guns. The only problem is getting to choose the right one.

Muzzleloaders have their own specifications just like other rifle arms but most importantly, they have simple mechanisms.  So there are features and functions that need consideration when looking for a scope.

Muzzleloaders are specifically made for hunting. And to be able to go hunting in any weather or lighting situation, you need certain features for that.

So you need a scope that’s weatherproof and durable and that delivers clear images in poor lighting conditions. You also need to check whether the scope has coated lenses for sharp viewing.

TOP PICK — Leupold 170680 VX-3i 3.5-10x40
Verdict
The Leupold VX-3i is a low-priced muzzleloader scope that’s designed for your shooting or hunting heeds. Sporting a large objective lens and multi-coated lenses, the VX-3i delivers clear visuals in low light. You would expect that since it’s cheaply-priced that it would deliver mediocre performance. But its quite opposite, this scope not only does it multiple reticles to give you accurate shots, but it also has a parallax adjustment feature to ensure that your long-range shots are on the mark.
Pros
Duplex Reticle; SFP
1-inch Diameter Maintube
3:1 Zoom Ratio
Twist Parallax Adjustment
Scratch Resistant Lenses
100% Waterproof
Cons
Poor Eye Relief
4.7
TOP PICK

Also, there is nothing wrong with going for a scope that has illuminated reticles as you can go night hunting. But you need to dig a bit deeper into your pockets to get a scope that has an illumination option.

So let’s take a look at what you need to check when deciding on a muzzleloader scope. And based on our research and customer reviews, we have also discussed in this guide some of the best muzzleloader scopes out there.

Muzzleloader Scopes Comparison Chart

Model

Leupold 170680 VX-3i 3.5-10x40

Leupold 174180 VX-Freedom 3-9x40

Nikon 16596 PROSTAFF P3 2-7x32

Burris Optics 200161 Fullfield II 3-9x40

Carl Zeiss 522701-9920 Terra 3X 3-9x42

Photo

Leupold 170680 VX-3i 3.5x10x40

Leupold 174180 VX-Freedom 3-9x40

Nikon 16596 Prostaff P3 2-7x32

Burris Optics 200161 Fullfield II 3-9x40

Carl Zeiss 522701-9920 Terra 3X 3-9x42

Magnification

3.5-10x

3-9x

2-7x

3-9x

3-9x

Objective Lens Diameter

40 mm

40 mm

32 mm

40 mm

42 mm

Reticle Type

Duplex, SFP

Duplex, SFP

BDC

Plex, SFP

Z-Plex, SFP

Main-Tube Diameter

1"

1"

1"

1"

1"

Field of View

29.8-11 ft @ 100 yds

33.7-13.6 ft @ 100 yds

44.6-12.6 ft @ 100 yds

33-13 ft @ 100 yds

36-12.3 ft @ 100 yds

Max Windage/Elevation Adjustment

57 MOA

60 MOA

90 MOA

50 MOA

48 MOA

Exit Pupil Diameter
11.4 - 4 mm

4.7 mm (High)

16 - 4.6 mm

13 - 5 mm

13.8 - 4.6 mm

Eye Relief
3.6 to 4.4"

3.66 to 4.17"

3.8"

3.1 to 3.8"

3.6"

Length

12.6"

12.39"

11.5"

12.2"

12.4"

Weight

12.6 oz

12.2 oz

14.3 oz

13 oz

18.4 oz

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5 Best Muzzleloader Scopes (as of April, 2020):

1. Leupold 170680 VX-3i 3.5-10×40 Muzzleloader Scope Review

The Leupold 170680 VX-3i 3.5-10×40 is the newer version of the original VX and the company changed a few things. One of the things they changed was the pricing.

The new VX-3i is much cheaper than the original version, which is great for people who don’t want to spend much on a muzzleloader scope.

Leupold 170680 VX-3i 3.5x10x40

Via: @outdoor_life

That said, the Leupold VX-3i has a magnification range of 3.5x to 10x and this makes it a great hunting scope. Scopes with more than 10x magnification are not ideal for hunting because it’s hard to track a moving target on high power.

Plus such scopes tend to be heavier and expensive. But the Leupold VX-3i is in line with what most hunters look for in a hunting scope when it comes to magnification.

It has a 40mm objective lens with a wide field of view. The glass lens is of higher quality than the one Leupold used on the original VX, so as you can expect, the VX-3i has sharper visuals.

It has an easily adjustable eyepiece that you can use it to quickly focus on a target. And there is a locking ring and this ring keeps the eyepiece in place once you have adjusted it. You only need to unlock the ring to reorient the eyepiece and then lock it when you get a sharp focus.

Leupold 170680 VX-3i 3.5-10x40 Review, Pros and Cons

It has adjustment turrets for adjusting the reticles for improved accuracy. They are easy to turn and use. And you can hear the click stops as you turn the turrets. Also once you make the adjustments and make your shot, you can reset the turrets to zero.

Leupold 170680 VX-3i 3.5x10x40 has the Duplex reticle

There is also a side focus turret that is designed to remove parallax. And it also easy to turn and use. And the great thing about the side focus turret is by tweaking you can see views that are miles away very clearly.

Leupold 170680 VX-3i 3.5x10x40

Via: @pduarte07

As for strength and durability, the VX-3i has a solid, waterproof construction that can withstand any kind of weather condition.

Main Features

  • Duplex Reticle; Second Focal Plane
  • 3:1 Zoom Ratio
  • Ultra-Lightweight 1-inch Maintube
  • Twilight Max Light Management System
  • Blackened Lens Edges
  • BAS (Ballistic Aiming System)
  • Eco-Friendly, Lead-Free Glass Lenses
  • DiamondCoat 2 Protective Lens Coating
  • 1/4 MOA per Click Impact Point Correction
  • 57 MOA Windage/Elevation Adjustment Range
  • Twist Parallax Adjustment
  • Twin-Bias Spring Erector System
  • Easy Turn Power Selector with Larger & Brighter Numbering
  • Made with 6061-T6 Aircraft Quality Aluminum, Matte Finish
  • 100% Waterproof, Fogproof & Shockproof
Verdict
Pros
Multiple reticle options
Coated lenses for sharp visuals
Waterproof construction
40mm objective lens with a field of view of 29 to 11 feet at 100 yards
Magnification range of 5x to 10x for short and long-range shooting
Crisp clear visuals in dim conditions
Easily adjustable turrets with audible click stops
Parallax adjustment feature for clearer viewing
Cons
Poor eye relief
4.7

2. Leupold 174180 VX-Freedom 3-9×40 Muzzleloader Scope Revew

4.5
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The Leupold 174180 VX-Freedom 3-9×40 is an entry-level scope that is made for hunters. The magnification base of 3x is adequate for hitting objects that are a few yards away. And the 9x max magnification helps bring objects closer for a more accurate shot.

You can adjust the magnification easily and without resistance. And you can pick the magnification that works for you between 3x and 9x.

Leupold 174180 VX-Freedom 3-9x40

Via: @instantsean

It has windage and elevation turrets that come with caps to protect them from damage. And you can reset the turrets to zero after taking a shot. They are also smooth and snug-free. So you can adjust the turrets and set your holdovers without a problem.

Leupold 174180 VX-Freedom 3-9x40 Review, Pros and Cons

The VX-Freedom has crisp images, which is the one thing hunters always want in any kind of scope. So it’s great to see that it uses superior glass and coated lenses for clear sighting even in poor lighting conditions. The lens surfaces are also coated to protect them from scratching.

Notably, the scope has a Twilight Light feature for adjusting the brightness of the images to give you clearer images.

The objective lens size of 40mm is pretty standard. You can get clear visuals at any distance because the lens gathers plenty of light.

Leupold 174180 VX-Freedom 3-9x40 has the Duplex reticle

And what’s great about the VX-Freedom is that you can use it in freezing conditions and it will still give you excellent performance. So it does give you the flexibility to go hunting or shooting despite the weather conditions.

Leupold 174180 VX-Freedom 3-9x40

Via: @ozzie.reviews

It has a rugged design that is light in weight and durable. And you can be assured that the VX-Freedom is going to give you years of service.

Via:@mischief_machine

Main Features

  • Ultra-Lightweight Design
  • Duplex Reticle; Second Focal Plane
  • 3:1 Zoom Ratio
  • Ultra-Lightweight 1-inch Maintube
  • Twilight Light Management System
  • Scratch Resistant Lenses
  • 1/4 MOA per Click Impact Point Correction
  • Easy-To-Grip Power Selector
  • Made with 6061-T6 Aircraft Quality Aluminum, Matte Finish
  • 100% Waterproof, Fogproof & Shockproof

Leupold VX Freedom Review:

Leupold VX Freedom Review

 

Verdict
Pros
Uses multicoated lenses for sharp views at all distances
It has two reticle options
Adjustable turrets with click stops
Scratch-free lenses
The lenses are fog proof
Waterproof and shockproof body
Aluminum build for durability and strength
Magnification range of 3x to 9x
40mm objective lens for sharp views
Light in weight
Cons
Hard to sight in as the scope does not respond well to the turret adjustments
4.5
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3. Nikon 16596 PROSTAFF P3 2-7×32 Muzzleloader Scope Review

4.3
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Nikon 16596 Prostaff P3 2-7×32 muzzleloader scope is a versatile scope that you can use for any outdoor activity. It has a 32mm objective lens, which is coated to give you clear views at varying ranges.

Some people prefer scopes with larger lenses because they gather more light and by doing so deliver sharper views. But what is amazing about the Prostaff P3 is that it has a wide field of view. And this usually a key feature for many shooters and hunters.

When it comes to image quality, the Prostaff P3 delivers crisp clear views. And this is due to the fact that Nikon uses multicoated lenses on their optics, which prevent glare.

Nikon 16596 Prostaff P3 2-7x32 uses multicoated lenses

And so the images are always clear no matter the distance. Also, the lenses are purged with nitrogen gas to prevent internal fogging.

The scope has low magnification, which expert hunters say is the best for activities like hunting. Its base magnification is 2x and you can increase that power up to 7x. And the 7x is not too high.

Nikon 16596 PROSTAFF P3 2-7x32 Review, Pros and Cons

You can see small and big animals at long ranges and they won’t appear blurry or distorted.

Nikon 16596 Prostaff P3 2-7x32 has spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets & aluminum turret caps

The windage and elevation turrets on this scope are capped to protect them from damage. And the turrets turn without resistance enabling you to quickly adjust the reticles for a sharper focus. And you can reset the turrets to zero once you have taken your shot.

One downside with the Nikon Prostaff P3 is that it doesn’t have a parallax adjustment option. And this could be due to the low magnification, but nevertheless, this is a feature that many users prefer to have on their scopes.

The Prostaff P3 has 3 different reticles you can choose from depending on what it is that you are doing. And two of them are the Mildot and BDC reticles which are fairly common in riflescopes.

Nikon 16596 Prostaff P3 2-7x32 muzzleloader scope has 3 different reticles

It has an aluminum body that is weatherproof and shockproof. And you can expect to use this scope for years because it is made to last.

Main Features

  • Fully Multicoated Optics
  • Nikon’s BDC Reticle
  • Generous, Consistent Eye Relief
  • 3x Zoom Ratio
  • 1-Inch diameter main body tube
  • Spot On Ballistic Match Technology
  • Quick Focus Eyepiece
  • Spring-Loaded Instant Zero-Reset Turrets
  • Aluminum Turret Caps
  • Rugged, Ergonomic Design and Construction
  • Waterproof, Shockproof & Nitrogen Purged
Verdict
Pros
Multicoated lenses to remove glare and deliver clear views
32mm objective lens with a wide field of view
2x to 7x magnification
Aluminum body for strength and durability
Reticle options you can adjust to your hunting or shooting situation
Adjustable eyepiece for quick focusing
Excellent eye relief
Shockproof and waterproof
Easy to adjust turrets
Affordable
Cons
No parallax adjustment knob for parallax removal
4.3
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4. Burris Optics 200161 Fullfield II 3-9×40 Review

We added the Burris Optics 200161 Fullfield II 3-9×40 to our list because of the many positive reviews and high ratings. We couldn’t help but wonder why this budget scope seems so popular until we tested it. And the results were amazing.

The Burris Fullfield II features a 40mm objective lens that delivers clear views at all distances. And you can zoom in up to 9 times to bring far targets closer for an accurate shot.

Burris Optics 200161 Fullfield II 3-9x40

Via: @_gallagher87

The scope has an adjustable eyepiece, which when you adjust for sharp focusing, the magnification also changes. So while it’s great that you can quickly focus on your target, you cannot lock the eyepiece in position after you adjust the focus.

Burris Optics 200161 Fullfield II 3-9x40 Review, Pros and Cons

Nevertheless, the scope’s image quality is top. It uses multicoated lenses to ensure that views are clear and bright. And since it has a large objective lens, the images are clearer because the lens gathers more light.

The Burris has two reticle options, which you can adjust for windage and horizontal distance to get a precise aim. The adjustment turrets turn without a problem and once you sight in your scope, you can reset them to zero.

And like many quality scopes, the Fullfield II uses nitrogen-filled lenses for fog-free performance and they are O-ring sealed to protect them from water damage.

Burris Optics 200161 Fullfield II 3-9x40 has the Plex reticle

Overall, the Burris is an affordable scope that you would be happy to own if you don’t care much that the power ring and the adjustable eyepiece are integrated.

Main Features

  • Plex Reticle, Second Focal Plane
  • 1″ One-Piece Main-Tube
  • 1/4 Click Impact Point Correction
  • 50 MOA Windage/Elevation Adjustment
  • Index-matched, Hi-Lume Multicoated Lenses
  • Capped Adjustment Turrets can be Reset to Zero
  • Parallax Free Under 100 yards
  • Knurled Turret & Focus Knobs for easy adjustments
  • Aluminum Housing
  • Scratch & Corrosion-Resistant Matte Black Anodized Finish
  • Nitrogen-Filled, Water & Fogproof
Verdict
Pros
Fully multicoated lenses for ultimate image clarity
Large objective lens for sharp views and comfortable viewing
Weatherproof construction
Fog proof lenses
Adjustable eyepiece for fast focusing
Adjustable turrets for precision
3x to 9x magnification for short-range and long-range shooting
Great image quality in low light conditions
Lifetime warranty
Cons
The power adjustment knob is hard to turn
Dirt sticks easily onto the scope
4.1

5.  Carl Zeiss 522701-9920 Terra 3X 3-9×42 Review

Zeiss optics are some of the few optics that are in high demand. And this is because Zeiss always goes the extra mile to ensure that their optics are unmatched in performance and quality.

The Carl Zeiss 522701-9920 Terra 3X muzzleloader scope allows you to maximize performance without breaking your bank. It uses NC coated glass for crisp imaging in all weather conditions. And the 42mm lens gathers plenty of light to deliver clear views at dawn and dusk.

Carl Zeiss 522701-9920 Terra 3X 3-9x42

Via: @simen_five

It has a 3x to 9x magnification for long and short distance shooting.

And using the adjustable windage and elevation knobs, you can adjust the reticles to get a sharper focus on your target. And when you make the adjustments you can easily hear the clicks.

Carl Zeiss 522701-9920 Terra 3X 3-9x42 Review, Pros and Cons

The scope uses Zeiss designed plex reticle called a Z-plex reticle. It is a standard plex reticle with thin crosshairs that gives you an accurate aim on small or large game at any distance.

Carl Zeiss 522701-9920 Terra 3X scope has the Z-plex reticle

The Zeiss Terra 3X is nitrogen-filled to prevent internal fogging when you are out hunting or shooting in wet conditions. And the body is waterproof, so don’t worry when you are out in the field and suddenly start to rain.

Carl Zeiss 522701-9920 Terra 3X 3-9x42

Via: @kieran_crudeli

All these great features are housed in a 1-inch tube made of aluminum. The construct is lightweight and waterproof. It can also survive small falls.

Main Features

  • Z-Plex Reticle, Second Focal Plane
  • 1″ Main Tube Diameter
  • 42mm Objective Lens Diameter
  • MC Anti-Reflective Multicoated
  • 1/4 MOA Impact Point Correction
  • 48 MOA Windage / Elevation Adjustment
  • Parallax-Free from 100 yd to Infinity
  • Eye Relief: 90 mm
  • Anodized Aluminum Alloy Housing
  • Scratch & Corrosion Resistant
Verdict
Pros
Multicoated lenses for sharp views
Z-plex reticle for precision aiming
Fog-free lenses
Waterproof and shockproof aluminum body
3x to 9x magnification for shooting at different ranges
42mm objective lens with a wide field of view
Clear images
Pocket-friendly
Cons
Although the product says the lenses are fog proof some users have complained that the lenses are not
4

Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to choosing as muzzleloader scope, you are spoilt for choice as there is huge an array of brands out there to choose from. And each has its own unique features and functions.

You may find some that have basic features and usually, they are inexpensive. But there are those that come with all the bells and whistles and they are not pocket-friendly.

So before you embark on your journey to find a good muzzleloader scope, there are certain features and functions you need to look out for.

And it’s important that you do to avoid wasting your money on a scope that won’t be of any help to you. So here are some factors that you need to look at when looking for a muzzleloader scope.

Image Quality

Speaking of image quality, the scope should deliver sharp images even at dim conditions. If you are in a wooded area and when you look through your scope you are able to tell that you are looking at is a deer and not a rock.

ZeissTerra3x scope has great optics

Via: @gavinhatmaker

And you also able to make out other details, then the scope has great optics.

Magnification

Magnification helps you hit targets that are nearby or far away. For deer or beat hunting, a scope with a 3x to 9x is ideal. You may choose to go with a scope that higher magnification like 10x, but ideally, you don’t need that much power to hunt or shoot a target.

And the one thing you need to know about high magnification is that it narrows the field of view. So if your target starts running, it can be hard to track it if the field of view is small.

Also, high magnification scopes tend to be pricey and heavy.

Simplicity and Ease of Use

When all you want is a scope that can help you get an accurate aim at your target, then you don’t need anything else. Don’t go for scopes because they have extra features that can do this or that.

In most cases, these types of scopes are extremely expensive and you might find that you have no use of the features.

Stick to a scope that has a simple design, basic features, and is easy to use. Unless you are an expert hunter or shooter, some scopes have features that you might not need.

Burris Optics 200161 Fullfield II has a simple design and is easy to use

Via: @chase919

Although there is nothing wrong with a scope that has special features, but with such scopes, you need to be careful about how you handle them because they can get damaged easily.

Also, bear in mind that the extra features add to the cost of the scope. But if you are willing to spend 1000 bucks on a scope, that’s your prerogative.

Gun Compatibility

Some muzzleloader scopes are designed to fit a variety of guns. But there is no one shoe fits all scope. You need to ensure that the scope you are considering to buy can fit your rifle or gun.

Via: @ozzie.reviews

It would be pointless to buy an expensive scope, only to find out that it’s not compatible with your rifle. So that is one thing you need to check on.

Reticles

Some riflescopes have multiple reticles and some just have one. But when you are looking for a riflescope for your muzzleloader, get one that has a single reticle and a simple one.

A duplex reticle is can serve you well, but there are scopes that are specifically designed for muzzleloaders.

Generally speaking, most scopes have complex reticles, which are useful for long-range shooting. But if you are new to scopes, we recommend that you keep it simple.

Most scopes have complex reticles

Via: @ohotnik_com

Durability

A muzzleloader riflescope needs to have a sturdy and long-lasting build. Even though it gets knocked around, it should be strong enough to withstand certain levels of impact.

But its also important to keep in mind that scopes are susceptible to breakage. So if your scope falls from high ground, it may get damaged.

A riflescope should also be water-resistant. Some scopes are 100% waterproof such that even though they fall in a pool of water, they won’t get water damage. Others are not completely waterproof.

They may withstand some wetness, but it would not be a good idea to immerse them in water.

Price

When choosing a muzzleloader scope, it might be a good idea to have a budget because some scopes are quite pricey. And there is no need of spending money on an expensive scope, when you can get one that is affordable and of great quality.

Conclusion

Muzzleloaders are great hunting rifles, but even though they are easy to use, it doesn’t mean that you can take out your game each time. To do that, you need a scope to help improve your aim and give you those accurate shots no matter the distance all the time.

Muzzleloaders are powerful guns and you need a scope that can match such a gun in performance. And choosing  a quality scope is crucial. This is why we provided some pointers in this guide on how you can go about selecting a muzzleloader gun.

So we hope this guide will help you find a quality muzzleloader scope if not anything else.

Best Muzzleloader Scopes

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