Best MuzzleLoader Scope – Top 11 Reviews

There is a growing trend to scope muzzleloaders, whether these are traditional black powder rifles or modern inline muzzleloaders.

With a scoped muzzleloader, you will definitely increase your black powder rifle’s accuracy potential from close rimfire ranges to a couple of yards.

Besides precision and quicker aiming, the best muzzleloader scopes would allow you to shoot in harsh environments, especially in low light conditions.

Similar to ordinary scopes for centerfire, scoping a muzzleloader requires a thorough market examination and selecting a muzzleloader scope that works for you and your hunting needs.

Magnification

Since most of these guns shot at reasonably short ranges, there is little reason to invest in high magnification scopes. Usually, a magnification of 2x or 3x is enough for older or antique muzzleloaders. Still, if you have a modern muzzleloader rifle and the ambition to shoot long-range targets, then optics with 12x magnification is the top end for your needs.

Lens quality

Today, muzzleloader guns are used predominantly for hunting, so a simple yet durable scope with multicoated lenses and protective coatings is a must. The high-quality coated lenses maximize light transmission and provide excellent clarity and sharpness.

Reticle

If you can choose, take one made explicitly for muzzleloader firearms.

While reticle selection is all about preference, an uncomplicated reticle will fit perfectly with a muzzleloader rifle. It would be best if you avoided complex reticles for use in the muzzleloader scope.

Considering a relatively hefty kick of muzzleloader recoil, the best solution is an engraved reticle. 

As earlier mentioned, as a hunting tool, the muzzleloader scope with an illuminated reticle is always a better option than without.

Construction/materials

Muzzleloader rifles are notorious for their fierce recoil, so they need a simply designed scope that is durable and recoil proof to endure even the most powerful black powder loads. 

A reliable and proven solution is a single piece construction that uses aircraft-grade materials, glass-etched reticles and a 30mm main tube.

Of course, it is assumed that all muzzleloader scopes are waterproof and fogproof to withstand the rugged hunting conditions and the test of time.

Best Muzzleloaders Review – New Products Updated

  1   NightForce 2.5 Muzzleloader Scope

If you want the top muzzleloader scope to maximize your blackpowder rifle’s performance, the sleek and compact NightForce 2.5 Muzzleloader Scope is an outstanding choice.

NightForce 2.5 Muzzleloader Scope belongs to the famous NXS series built to rugged, military-grade specs. It comes in the modest 2.5-10 power magnification, which is the optimal power range for muzzleloader firearms.

NightForce 2.5-10x42mm NXS combines the supreme quality lenses and 42mm objective to provide incredibly low-light performance offering the best balance between size, weight, and magnification.

The NightForce NXS 2.5-10×42 is available with several ballistic MIL or MOAR illuminated reticles.

The glass-etched reticle, hardened bronze materials and rugged 30mm maintube make this versatile compact scope tough and reliable for the most demanding needs hunters and shooters may have.

NightForce 2.5 Muzzleloader Scope is equipped with tactical turrets that have ZeroStop absolute-zero-return feature.

This military-grade rifle scope is water, fog, and shockproof. It comes with a Power Throw Lever (PTL) for instant magnification changes.

  2   Leupold VX-Freedom Muzzleloader

Though the Leupold VX-Freedom series belongs to the budget optics class, they are reliable scopes featuring the common 1” scope body, a proprietary lens coating system and scope housing machined from durable 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum.

The VX-Freedom with model number 174184 comes in a classic 3-9×40 configuration that is the near-ideal choice for the vast majority of American hunters.

As its name implies, Leupold’s VX-Freedom Muzzleloader scope is designed with blackpowder lovers in mind.

This muzzleloader-specific model is equipped with a new Sabot Ballistics Reticle (SA.B.R.), which has hold points from 50 to 300 yards.

Like other Leupold’s optic lines, VX-Freedom sports the Twilight Light Management System to enhance light transmission and color fidelity adding up to 10 extra minutes of shooting light.

  3   Nikon Prostaff P5 2.5-10×42 BDC

As the ProStaff line is Nikon’s flagship line of scopes, these models are water, shock, and fogproof to handle harsh hunting environments and powerful recoil without worry.

Furthermore, these simple, affordable optics boast adjustable fingertip turrets that are zero-reset capable and compatible with Nikon’s Spot On Custom Turrets.

The Nikon ProStaff P5 2.5×10 comes with fully-multicoated optics that keep image quality pristine.

Combined with 1″ aluminum tube and 42mm objective, the Nikon Prostaff allows for up to 95% light transmission for brighter views in less-than-ideal light conditions.

Though a P5 2.5-10×42 isn’t tailored specifically to muzzleloader, the eye relief of 4.0″ to 3.8 is generous and well suited for it.

Unlike the classic 3x ratio, a 4:1 zoom ratio is ideal for virtually any situation, particularly when you mount it on a modern muzzleloader.

  4   Nikon XR BDC 300 3-9×40 Muzzleloader Scope

The Nikon XR Inline BDC 300 3-9×40 muzzleloader scope is tailored specifically to black powder rifles. 

Nikon XR BDC 300 3-9×40 scope features a customized BDC 300 reticle with unique, easy-to-see “ballistic circles” that provide you holdover points out to 300 yards.

Besides trajectory-compensating reticle, the XR Inline muzzleloader scope is compatible with Nikon’s SpotOn Ballistic Match Technology to calculate shots out to 300 yards.

This high-quality muzzleloader scope offers five inches of eye relief, the most generous distance in class.

A bright optical system and Nikon’s fully multicoated optics will provide maximum brightness and light transmission.

Nikon’s new “Inline XR” 3-9x rifle scope has spring loaded, zero-resettable, 1/4 MOA turrets. 

The scope is built around single-piece 1″ aluminum alloy tube, which is Nitrogen-filled and O-Ring sealed to be 100% waterproof, shockproof and fogproof.

  5   Nikon Buckmasters II BDC 3-9×40 Muzzleloader Scope

Nikon’s last scope on our list, which is appropriate for muzzleloaders, comes from Buckmaster’s II lineup. The Nikon Buckmaster II 3-9x40m is budget friendly optics designed for avid American deer hunters.

Along with the most popular hunting magnification range, 3-9x, this reliable piece of hunting equipment is O-ring sealed and purged with nitrogen gas for waterproof and fog-proof integrity.

Though somewhat shallower consistent eye relief of 3.6 inches, the Buckmasters II is shockproof to withstand the heaviest recoiling cartridges and blackpowder hard kicking projectiles.

Nikon’s Fully Multicoated lenses combined with BDC reticle with see-through aiming circles offer optimum light transmission from dawn to dusk and an advantage for long range shooting.

  6   Thompson Center Rifle Scope 1x32mm

The Thompson Center 1x Fixed Power rifle scope is a dedicated muzzleloader scope for some Thompson Center blackpowder models, but it will undoubtedly match other rifles and muzzleloaders’ make and models.

This compact and lightweight scope with a 32mm objective lens and 1x magnification will meet all muzzleloading hunters’ demands, such as fully coated lenses for a good image of the target and a wide 60’ field of view at 100 yards.

While Thompson/Center’s 1×32 scope offers the tradition of muzzleloader hunting, it features the Centerplex reticle with an inner circle for simple holdover estimations.

Thompson Center Hawken Hunter Rifle Scope is machined of 1 inch aluminum tube which is Nitrogen-filled to prevent fogging.

The Thompson Center is a well known brand in the muzzleloader world, but the Thompson Center 1x32mm rifle scope as an entry model is better suited for beginners than for the seasoned hunters.

  7   UTG 4X32 1″ Crossbow Scope

Although UTG/Leapers designed this scope for use on crossbows, this quality hunting necessity under $100 will work really well as a muzzleloader rifle scope.

The UTG 4×32 scope sports a unique Pro 5-Step reticle with five lines representing a different shooting distance. The standard black reticle has red or green illumination with 5 adjustable brightness levels. The adjustable illuminated reticle is controlled by the left side located dial. The scope comes with target style elevation and windage lockable and zero resettable turrets.

The UTG 4×32 crossbow scope features broadband lens coating that is comparable in praxis to fully multicoated lenses.

The 1” scope housing is constructed from durable aluminum and filled with nitrogen to prevent it from fogging up.

If you are looking for a cheap 4x magnification scope for your hunting muzzleloader with a decent low-light performance, the UTG 4×32 would be an optimal choice.

  8   Vortex Optics Copperhead 3-9×40 Rifle scope

Another excellent choice for muzzleloader starters comes from Vortex under the name Copperhead 3-9×40 Rifle scope.

Aside from the Vortex’s Crossfire II series, Copperhead is another budget friendly line of scopes that you should definitely look at.

This budget friendly hunting scope features a 3-9 power range, which is really ideal for most hunters.

With fully multicoated lenses and decent glass quality, actually the same glass as the Crossfire II, the Copperhead 3-9×40 has all the features any muzzleloader hunter needs.

As a typical hunting rifle scope, the Vortex Copperhead 3-9×40 is O-ring sealed for waterproof and weatherproof performance and employs a Dead-Hold BDC reticle. The 1-inch tube is nitrogen-purged for fog-proof integrity.

The Copperhead is machined from a single piece of aircraft grade aluminum built on a 1-inch tube.

  9   UTG 3-12×44 30mm Compact Scope

This is a second rifle scope from UTG in this overview, and it certainly deserves it. The UTG 3-12×44 30mm Compact Scope is living proof that great scopes can be affordable.

A central feature of the UTG 3-12×44 is its Illumination Enhancing (IE) reticle that offers the Multi-color mode with 36 colors.

The textured turrets are lockable, while the parallax is controlled with a Side Wheel Adjustment System (SWAT).

The scope compact body is completely sealed and nitrogen purged, making it fully adequate for rigorous hunting fields and inclement weather conditions.

Like all UTG rifle optics, this cost-effective scope model comes with quick-detachable rings, sunshade and flip-open lens caps.

The UTG Compact Scope is constructed of a 30mm durable aluminum tube, which makes it shockproof to any muzzleloader rifle caliber, but also pretty weight at 23.2 ounces.

 10  KonusPro 275 Muzzleloading Scope

Like its name implies, the KonusPro 275 Muzzle Loading Scope is specific made for muzzleloader rifles. 

This budget-friendly optics’ selling point is its Ballistic 275 Blackpowder Reticle that provides the shooter with a system of reference lines for aiming points from 75 to 275 yards. 

The illuminated engraved reticle is set in the Second Focal Plane (SFP), making it highly durable and versatile for use on any firearm or airguns.

The KonusPro 275 has multicoated glass for a clear and bright sight picture and a 40mm objective bell for enhanced light-gathering capacity.

The scope comes with capped turrets featuring 1/4 MOA per click impact point correction.

The Pro-275 has a mechanism and optical system packed in a 1″ main tube, waterproof, fogproof, and shock-resistant.

 11   Simmons Truplex Rifle scope 3-9X40

If you prefer a compact and lightweight scope, a Simmons Truplex 3-9×40 rifle scope may be the right choice for you.

The most affordable optics in our overview, this 8-Point 3-9×40 rifle scope, is actually a decent, little scope that we recommend to beginners and experienced hunters.

The Simmons 8-Point rifle scope is compact and sleek optics with mid-sized 40mm objective and a 1.0″ tube making it a perfect companion to your modern or antique muzzleloading rifle.

Surprisingly, as an entry-level optic, this Simmons 8-Point unit has fully multicoated lenses, which provide high contrast and enhanced brightness for a clear and crisp image.

The scope housing is o ring sealed to be waterproof, fogproof, and recoil proof, while the aircraft-quality aluminum tube construction makes the Simmons 8-Point rifle scope ready for any hunt.

Final thought 

Combining the very traditional piece of equipment with the most modern technological advancements transferred in an optical sight is quite astounding. 

Like many seasoned hunters and rifle enthusiasts, once you have decided on a proper muzzleloader scope, you will be able to fire a consistent and clean shot farther than standard 70-100 yards.

Loyal Brezny

L.P Brezny has been writing and reviewing product as well as how to projects for the past 50 years. He has authored four books on shooting with three on long range, and one covering shotgunning. With 26 years on a metro police department as a street officer and the rank of SGT / training L.P. has covered all the bases regarding weapons and street survival.

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