Our Top Picks
Leupold VX-Freedom Riflescope
Best on a Budget
Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical Riflescope
So you found your powder and bullet for the best groups? Now, it’s time for a reliable optic – especially if you’ll be using your muzzleloader to hunt! We’ve done the homework for you to find the best scope for a muzzleloader to help extend your shooting range!
Comparison of the Best Scopes for Muzzleloaders
Last update on 2021-09-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Muzzleloader Scope
Magnification will determine the most suitable use for your muzzleloader scope more than any other feature. If you’ll be using your muzzleloader for competition shooting, find a variable power optic with a maximum magnification of at least 10x, like the NightForce NXS 2.5-10X42 Rifle Scope.
Muzzleloaders are hard-kicking rifles since you’re generally shooting larger projectiles, and the last thing you want is a scope hitting your eye after every shot. So it’s also important to consider a scope’s eye relief. Get a scope with at least 4 inches of relief and you’re good to go.
As we said earlier, muzzleloader rifles are very powerful, similar to a high-powered centerfire rifle with a little longer recoil impulse. So invest in quality scopes that can survive regular kicks from the muzzleloader. After all, you can always mount that scope on another rifle if you have one, or if you’re planning to get a new one.
Get a scope with a reticle that will support the type of shooting that you’ll do the most. For quick-paced long-range target shooting, a reticle with elevation and windage markings is great for quick adjustments.
If you’ve got plenty of time to make adjustments on the scope or if your first shot is critical, you can go with a simpler duplex reticle and use the adjustment turrets to dial in the proper point of aim.
5 Best Scopes for Muzzleloaders
Best Overall: Leupold VX-Freedom Riflescope
What suits a muzzleloader better than a scope that’s been machined to withstand daily use and abuse from even the heaviest calibers?
The VX-Freedom Riflescope features Leupold’s impressive light management system. This technology delivers optimum light transmission and reduced glare so you can hunt from dusk to dawn. This scope is also designed and tested to perform in the most extreme weather conditions and temperatures.
However, the VX-Freedom’s parallax is fixed at 100 yards so we don’t recommend it for short-range shooting. That’s generally not a problem for modern muzzleloaders, but if your gun will be used regularly in the 50-yard range, you may want to consider a scope designed specifically for muzzleloaders or shotguns to get one with parallax tuned for shorter ranges.
What Customers Say
Best on a Budget: Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane Riflescope
The Vortex Diamondback may cost less than most brands but it performs smoothly and efficiently.
The Vortex Diamondback is equipped with a precision-glide erector system for smooth magnification changes even in the worst weather. That’s one of the reasons why it’s a great companion for the muzzleloader rifle.
This scope is also perfect for long precision shooting because its side parallax knob and exposed tactical turrets make adjustments hassle-free. These turrets can’t be locked but they’re very tight and are resettable.
If you’re looking for a muzzleloader scope that gets the job done but doesn’t break the bank, we highly recommend the Vortex Optics Diamondback.
What Customers Say
Best for Competition Shooting - NightForce NXS 2.5-10X42 Rifle Scope
If you’ll be joining a muzzleloading competition and are willing to invest in a high-end scope, the NightForce NXS 2.5-10X42 riflescope will help you get to the top of the race.
Unlike other scopes, you won’t experience image blurriness or fuzziness when at the highest magnification setting, only bright and crisp images. It’s also night-vision compatible so you can hunt smoothly at night when most species of big game come out.
Finally, the NXS 2.5-10×42 Riflescope is equipped with Nightforce’s proprietary MOAR reticle to help improve your accuracy. Its objective is 42 mm in diameter but its compact profile and light transmission were not compromised.
With the NXS Riflescope, you definitely get what you pay for.
What Customers Say
Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10x44 Rifle Scope
The Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10×44 Riflescope is engineered as an all-around scope. It uses the Dead-Hold BDC reticle so you can shoot at varying ranges without worrying about hold-over estimation.
The Vortex Viper HS is constructed from hard-anodized aluminum and its exterior lenses are covered with Armortek coatings as protection from scratches. It comes with capped quick-reset turrets for protection from accidents. We also love how they click audibly and smartly, so controlling them for adjustments is a breeze.
However, with this Viper model, the eye box gets a bit tight at 10x magnification. Other than that, this riflescope doesn’t disappoint.
What Customers Say
KONUS Pro 275 Muzzleloading Scope
Our last scope is specially manufactured for muzzleloaders. The Konus Pro 275 is engineered to survive even the most punishing recoil and can also be used on airguns.
Its ballistic black powder reticle features reference lines for more precise aiming from 75 to 275 yards. This feat will help you sight in easily because you don’t have to spend time estimating hold over angles, particularly when taking difficult shots.
This optic also has crosshairs that are etched on the glass so they won’t break no matter how strong the recoil is. Its lateral hash marks also offer wind drift compensation and guarantee accurate leads on moving targets.
What Customers Say
Frequently Asked Questions
Do muzzleloaders require a special scope?
Muzzleloader rifles have very strong recoil so low-quality scopes won’t do. They don’t necessarily need special scopes, quality optics that can withstand heavy recoils, have long eye relief, and are efficient for long-distance use will do. We’ve listed the scopes above that are capable of those and more, like the Leupold VX-Freedom, so choose from them.
Can you put a rifle scope on a muzzleloader?
Yes, you can definitely put a rifle scope on a muzzleloader. This will help you extend your shooting range so you can make the most out of the muzzleloader’s power and energy.
What's the difference between a muzzleloader scope and a rifle scope?
A muzzleloader scope is designed particularly for muzzleloader rifles so they can withstand significant recoil. Also, they’ll often have parallax adjustments for 50 yards rather than 100 yards since some muzzleloading rifles have limited ranges. While most rifle scopes can also survive heavy recoil, not all of them are fit to be mounted on a muzzleloader rifle. Follow our buyer’s guide above so you’ll know how to choose the right scope.
Can you put a red dot scope on a muzzleloader?
Yes, you can, but we don’t recommend it. First of all, some states forbid the use of electronics during primitive weapons season. So before using a red dot on your muzzleloader, make sure that it’s legal in your area. Secondly, red dot optics are more susceptible to battery failure, and you don’t want that to happen in the middle of a hunt.
Whether you’re a traditionalist who loves the thrill of shooting with a centuries-old weapon, you just love the challenge and accuracy offered by individually hand-loaded rounds, or you want to extend your hunting season, the muzzleloader rifle is worth the adventure. And, it will get even more exciting once you’ve mounted your chosen scope.
Again, if you’ll be using a traditional muzzleloader, don’t forget to check the primitive firearms regulations where you shoot or hunt. Happy shooting!