Scope

The 10 Best Muzzleloader Scopes of 2020

Best Muzzleloader Scope

Muzzleloader rifles are not as popular as their breechloader counterparts because they are a bit difficult to use and usually have a short-range. However, newer muzzleloader guns have undergone some advancement in technology, which has increased their range to about 300 yards.

Since this is a medium-range, a scope is required so as to maintain high accuracy. Ideally, a magnification of up to 5x is recommended for such a distance. To help you get a suitable one, we have compiled a list of 10 of the best muzzleloader scopes to consider buying.

You can also read other product reviews such as scope for Marlin 336, scope for Remington 700-308, scope for AR15.

10 Best Muzzleloader Scopes – Review

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Bushnell 613944AP

1. Bushnell 613944AP (Best Overall)

  • Dusk & Dawn Brightness multicoated lenses
  • Camo Realtree AP and matte black colors
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Waterproof and fog proof
Simmons 510513

2. Simmons 510513 (Best for the Money)

  • Affordable
  • 8-point Truplex reticle
  • Waterproof, fog proof and shockproof
  • Quick target acquisition eyepiece
Burris Optics 200261

3. Burris Optics 200261 (Best Compact)

  • Compact 9.7-in size
  • 1/4 MOA click adjustments with posi-lock
  • BDC ballistic plex reticle
  • Waterproof, fog proof and shockproof
Vortex Crossfire II

4. Vortex Crossfire II (Powerful)

  • Up to 12x magnification
  • BDC, V-Plex and illuminated V-Brite reticles
  • Parallax error adjustment
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum construction
Vortex Optics Diamondback

5. Vortex Diamondback (Durable Construction)

  • 1-piece construction
  • Hard anodized finish
  • Multi-coated lenses
  • Quick-focus eyepiece
Nikon 16603

6. Nikon 16603 (Has BDC 300 Reticle)

  • BDC reticle with a 300-yd range
  • Spot-On Ballistic Match Technology
  • Spring-loaded zero-reset turrets
  • Multicoated optics
Nikon 16338

7. Nikon 16338 (Versatile)

  • Spot-On Ballistic Match Technology
  • Range estimating BDC reticle
  • Multicoated lenses
  • Parallax adjustment at 100 yds
Simmons 510519

8. Simmons 510519 (Has 8-Point Reticle)

  • 8-point Truplex reticle
  • Large 50mm objective lens
  • Sure-grip audible click turrets
  • Quick target acquisition eyepiece
Konus 7278

9. Konus 7278 (With Multicoated Optics)

  • Multicoated optics
  • Lens caps and cleaning cloth
  • Parallax error adjustment
  • Shockproof, waterproof and fog proof
Konus 7249 Shotgun Black Powder Scope

10. Konus 7249 (Has Aim-Pro Reticle)

  • Exact aiming aim-pro reticle
  • 75-yd parallax adjustment
  • Fully multicoated lenses
  • Camouflaged matte black finish

PRODUCT

1. Bushnell 613944AP

(Best Overall)

Bushnell 613944AP
  • Dusk & Dawn Brightness multicoated lenses
  • Camo Realtree AP and matte black colors
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Waterproof and fog proof

2. Simmons 510513

(Best for the Money)

Simmons 510513
  • Affordable
  • 8-point Truplex reticle
  • Waterproof, fog proof and shockproof
  • Quick target acquisition eyepiece

3. Burris Optics 200261

(Best Compact)

Burris Optics 200261
  • Compact 9.7-in size
  • 1/4 MOA click adjustments with posi-lock
  • BDC ballistic plex reticle
  • Waterproof, fog proof and shockproof

4. Vortex Crossfire II

(Powerful)

Vortex Crossfire II
  • Up to 12x magnification
  • BDC, V-Plex and illuminated V-Brite reticles
  • Parallax error adjustment
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum construction

5. Vortex Diamondback

(Durable Construction)

Vortex Optics Diamondback
  • 1-piece construction
  • Hard anodized finish
  • Multi-coated lenses
  • Quick-focus eyepiece

6. Nikon 16603

(Has BDC 300 Reticle)

Nikon 16603
  • BDC reticle with a 300-yd range
  • Spot-On Ballistic Match Technology
  • Spring-loaded zero-reset turrets
  • Multicoated optics

7. Nikon 16338

(Versatile)

Nikon 16338
  • Spot-On Ballistic Match Technology
  • Range estimating BDC reticle
  • Multicoated lenses
  • Parallax adjustment at 100 yds

8. Simmons 510519

(Has 8-Point Reticle)

Simmons 510519
  • 8-point Truplex reticle
  • Large 50mm objective lens
  • Sure-grip audible click turrets
  • Quick target acquisition eyepiece

9. Konus 7278

(With Multicoated Optics)

Konus 7278
  • Multicoated optics
  • Lens caps and cleaning cloth
  • Parallax error adjustment
  • Shockproof, waterproof and fog proof

10. Konus 7249

(Has Aim-Pro Reticle)

Konus 7249 Shotgun Black Powder Scope
  • Exact aiming aim-pro reticle
  • 75-yd parallax adjustment
  • Fully multicoated lenses
  • Camouflaged matte black finish

1. Bushnell 613944AP – Best Overall Muzzleloader Scope

Bushnell 613944AP

Photo: Bushnell

  • Objective Lens: 40mm
  • Scope Range: 3-9x
  • Eye Relief: 4 in.
  • Length: 11.5 in.

Taking the best overall spot is Bushnell’s 613944AP and this can be attributed to its Dusk and Dawn Brightness (DDB) multicoated lenses. These ensure you get a clear HD field of view even in low light environments.

The scope also stands out because it has a camouflaged Realtree AP color for invisibility. There is  a matte black option , which is ideal for hunting in low light conditions.

On the inside is a simple but effective circle-x reticle while the turrets outside deliver 1/4 MOA adjustments on every click. The maximum adjustment is capped at 60 MOA for both windage and elevation.

Other features include a fast-focus eyepiece, a 4-in eye relief, durable 1-piece construction, nitrogen-filled and sealed optics for fog proof and waterproof performance and a magnification of 3-9x, which squarely covers the range of muzzleloader rifles.

The only problem is that the scope’s objective lens is not adjustable for parallax error elimination.

Pros:

  • DDB multicoated lenses
  • Camouflaged Realtree AP and matte black color options
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Durable 1-piece construction
  • Waterproof and fog proof

Cons:

  • Non-adjustable objective lens

2. Simmons 510513 – Best Muzzleloader Scope for the Money

Simmons 510513

Photo: Simmons

  • Objective Lens: 40mm
  • Scope Range: 3-9x
  • Eye Relief: 3.75 in.

Simmons’ 510513 is the ideal scope to buy if you are on a tight budget because it is very affordable. That said, it is still well equipped for the job, featuring fully coated optics for eliminating glares.

The unit also has a 40mm objective lens, which is quite large. This works in tandem with the multicoated optics to give you a bright, high-contrast field of view. You also get a Truplex reticle with up to 8 aiming points for enhanced accuracy.

More features include 1/4 MOA adjustments with sure-grip audible clicks and a maximum windage/elevation adjustment of 60 MOA, a waterproof, fog proof and shockproof design that keeps the turret adjustments locked under heavy recoil and a quick target acquisition eyepiece.

However, you don’t get parallax error adjustment with this scope.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Fully coated optics
  • Truplex reticle with 8 aiming points
  • Waterproof, shockproof and fog proof
  • Quick target acquisition eyepiece

Cons:

  • No parallax error adjustment settings

3. Burris Optics 200261 – Best Compact Muzzleloader Scope

Burris Optics 200261

Photo: Burris

  • Objective Lens: 32mm
  • Scope Range: 2-7x
  • Eye Relief: 9.2-12 in.
  • Length: 9.7 in.

This scope from Burris Optics is quite unique due to its compact size. It measures only 9.7 in. in length, which means it occupies a smaller space above your muzzleloader gun.

Other than that, the unit has a steel-on-steel turret adjustment system that produces audible clicks for easy adjustment. Each click gives a 1/4 MOA adjustment and you get a double internal spring force with posi-lock.

This firmly secures the turret settings in place so as to maintain accuracy even after heavy recoil. Additionally, a ballistic plex reticle with bullet drop compensation points is included, which helps in range estimation for higher accuracy.

More features are multicoated lenses for eliminating glares, nitrogen-filled and sealed optics for fog proof and waterproof performance, a solid 1-piece tube that is shockproof and a very generous eye relief of 9.2-12 in.

On the downside, the scope is very expensive and has a small 32mm objective lens, which limits the amount of light that penetrates through.

More Detailed: Burris 200261 Review

Pros:

  • Compact size
  • Audible click adjustments with posi-lock
  • BDC ballistic plex reticle
  • Nitrogen-filled, multicoated lenses
  • Shockproof 1-piece design

Cons:

  • Small objective lens
  • Very expensive

4. Vortex Crossfire II – Powerful Muzzleloader Scope

Vortex Crossfire II

Photo: Vortex

  • Objective Lens: 32, 40, 44, 50mm
  • Scope Range: 2-7x, 3-9x, 4-12x
  • Eye Relief: 3.8, 3.9 in.
  • Length: 10.5-13.1 in.

The Crossfire II is actually a lineup of riflescopes from Vortex and among them is a 4-12x size, which quite a powerful magnification. This ensures you get to see distant objects clearly and therefore, can be used with other, more powerful rifles, apart from the muzzleloaders.

Additionally, you get a dead-hold BDC reticle that is ideal for hunting at long range where holdover estimation is a concern. There are also V-Plex and V-Brite illuminated options, with the latter being ideal for low light environments.

Other features include multicoated, anti-reflective lenses that prevent glares from obstructing your field of view, a shockproof 1-piece aircraft-grade aluminum build, nitrogen-purged, O-ring sealed optics for fog proof and waterproof use and parallax error adjustment from 100 yds.

The only problem is that the scope is quite expensive to buy.

Pros:

  • Powerful magnification (up to 12x)
  • Dead hold BDC, V-Plex and illuminated V-Brite reticle options
  • Shockproof, waterproof and fog proof optics
  • Parallax error adjustment settings

Cons:

  • Expensive

5. Vortex Diamondback – Durable Muzzleloader Scope

Vortex Optics Diamondback

Photo: Vortex

  • Objective Lens: 32, 35, 40, 50mm
  • Scope Range: 1.75-5x, 3-9x, 3.5-10x, 4-12x
  • Eye Relief: 3.1-3.5 in.
  • Length: 10.2-12.5 in.

Just like the Crossfire II, the Diamondback is a range of riflescopes and all of them have a solid 1-piece aluminum construction that is shockproof. On top of this, the scope’s body is anodized so as to create a hard, corrosion-proof layer for maximum durability.

On the inside, the lenses are argon-purged and sealed via O-rings, which ensures you get fog proof and waterproof performance throughout the lifespan of the product.

These lenses are also multicoated and this helps to eliminate glares so that you get a bright and clear field of view while a quick-focus eyepiece enables you to focus quickly on the reticle after making any adjustment.

Other features include a dead-hold BDC reticle that is ideal for holdover estimation and metal-on-metal precision turrets with zero-reset after sight-in. However, this product is quite expensive to buy.

Pros:

  • Solid 1-piece construction
  • Anodized corrosion-proof construction
  • Waterproof, shockproof and fog proof
  • Multi-coated lenses
  • Quick-focus eyepiece

Cons:

  • Quite expensive

6. Nikon 16603 – Muzzleloader Scope with a BDC 300 Reticle

Nikon 16603

Photo: Nikon

  • Objective Lens: 40mm
  • Scope Range: 3-9x
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 in.
  • Length: 11.4 in.

Nikon’s 16603 is characterized by a BDC 300 reticle that is calibrated for the compensation of .50 caliber muzzleloaders using 250-grain rounds and 150-grain Pyrodex charge. This reticle compensates up to 300 yds out, which is the range of most muzzleloaders.

Additionally, this reticle can be optimized for accurate use with other caliber muzzleloaders because it features Spot-On Ballistic Match Technology.

Other than that, you get a lightweight yet durable aircraft-grade aluminum construction for rugged shockproof use, a fully multicoated optical system for brightness and clarity and instant zero-reset turrets that are spring-loaded for easy referencing.

However, the scope is quite costly and its objective lens is not adjustable for parallax error elimination.

Pros:

  • BDC reticle with a 300-yd range
  • Spot-On Ballistic Match Technology
  • Lightweight and durable aluminum build
  • Multicoated optics

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive
  • Non-adjustable objective lens

7. Nikon 16338 – Versatile Muzzleloader Scope

Nikon 16338

Photo: Nikon

  • Objective Lens: 40mm
  • Scope Range: 3-9x
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 in.
  • Length: 12.3 in.

Just like the Nikon 16603, this 16338-model is equipped with Spot-On Ballistic Match Technology, which enables you to identify the exact aiming points for different rounds at different yardages. This makes it very versatile because it can be used on different rifles.

Coupled with the brand’s BDC reticle, this setup helps to eliminate the guesswork involved in holdover estimation.

Apart from that, the scope has nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed optics for fog proof and waterproof use while a solid 1-piece design ensures shockproof performance.

Other features include fully multi-coated lenses with anti-reflective layers for creating a bright, high-contrast field of view and parallax adjustment at 100 yds.

However, the unit is quite long in size, measuring in at 12.3 in. This means it occupies a lot of space above your rifle.

Pros:

  • Spot-On Ballistic Match Technology
  • Range estimating BDC reticle
  • Shockproof, waterproof and fog proof
  • Parallax adjustment at 100 yds

Cons:

  • Long size

8. Simmons 510519 – Muzzleloader Scope with an 8-Point Reticle

Simmons 510519

Photo: Simmons

  • Objective Lens: 50mm
  • Scope Range: 3-9x
  • Eye Relief: 3.75 in.

With its Truplex reticle, Simmons 510519 offers up to 8 aiming points. These are quite many and make it easy to improve accuracy by switching to different points if the target is missed.

Another benefit with this unit is its large 50mm objective lens, which allows lots of light to penetrate through to your eyepiece for bright imaging. Coupled with fully coated optics, this setup ensures you get a high contrast image for easy target spotting.

You also get a practical 3-9x magnification with a 31.4-ft and 10.5-ft field of view at 100 yds at 3x and 9x respectively, a 3.75 in. eye relief, sure-grip audible click adjustments with 1/4 MOA on each click and a quick target acquisition eyepiece.

On the downside, the objective lens is not adjustable for parallax error correction.

Pros:

  • 8-point Truplex reticle
  • Large 50mm objective lens
  • Fully coated optics
  • Easy-to-use sure-grip audible click turrets
  • Quick target acquisition eyepiece

Cons:

  • Non-adjustable objective lens

9. Konus 7278 – Muzzleloader Scope with Multicoated Optics

Konus 7278

Photo: Konus

  • Objective Lens: 40mm
  • Scope Range: 3-9x
  • Eye Relief: 3 in.
  • Length: 12.4 in.

Konus’s 7278 is also equipped with multicoated optics, which work together with the 40mm objective lens to provide a bright and clear field of view.

Aside from that, this scope comes with its lens caps for protecting the ocular and objective lens when not in use, and a lens cleaning cloth for wiping off any dirt before use.

The unit also has an adjustable objective lens for eliminating parallax error at a minimum distance of 100 yds.

Other features include an engraved ballistic 275 reticle with lateral hash marks that act as aiming points from 75 to 275 yds, a solid 1-piece design that is shockproof and nitrogen-filled and sealed optics for fog proof and waterproof use.

The problem though is that the unit has a very large size, measuring 12.4 in. in length, which makes it occupy a lot of space on the gun. It also has a relatively short eye relief of 3 in.

Pros:

  • Multicoated optics
  • Includes lens caps and a cleaning cloth
  • Adjustable objective lens
  • Shockproof, waterproof and fog proof

Cons:

  • Long size
  • Short eye relief

10. Konus 7249 – Muzzleloader Scope with an Aim-Pro Reticle

Konus 7249

Photo: Konus

  • Objective Lens: 32mm
  • Scope Range: 1.5-5x
  • Eye Relief: 2.9 in.
  • Length: 11.6 in.

As compared to the Konus 7278, this 7249-model is equipped with an aim-pro reticle that has an inner diamond to give you an exact aiming point. This design is very effective at short range because it covers a large area on the target with the diamond acting as an outer boundary.

The scope also features an adjustable objective lens for parallax adjustment, which can be done at a minimum of 75 yds.

Though the objective lens is quite small in size (32mm), its performance is assisted by fully multicoated internal lenses, which eliminate glares to give you a clear picture of the field of view.

Other features include a waterproof, shockproof and fog proof design with nitrogen-purged optics, finger adjustable turrets with 1/4 MOA of movement and a camouflaged matte black finish.

On the downside, you get a very short eye relief of 2.9 in., which makes the scope riskier to use if the rifle has heavy recoil.

Pros:

  • Aim-pro reticle with an exact aiming point
  • Parallax adjustment at 75 yds
  • Fully multicoated lenses
  • Waterproof, shockproof and fog proof
  • Camouflaged matte black finish

Cons:

  • Short eye relief
  • Small objective lens

How to Buy the Best Muzzleloader Scope

How to Buy the Best Muzzleloader Scope

Photo: 1800gunsandammo.com

1. Lens

The most noticeable part of any scope is its objective lens and its size is of great importance. Bigger lenses allow more light to penetrate through to the ocular lens, which creates a brighter image of the field of view.

This makes the Simmons 510519 stand out because it has a large 50mm objective lens.

Apart from size, you need to check for multicoating. This technology basically involves the use of anti-reflective materials on the optics that prevent the formation of glares. It results in clear, high-contrast imaging, which makes target spotting easy.

Bushnell’s 613944AP takes it a notch higher by including Dusk and Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi-coated lenses, which are optimized for clear viewing even in low light environments.

An adjustable objective lens like the one in Vortex’s Crossfire II, Nikon’s 16338, Konus’ 7278 and 7249 is also good to have, although it slightly complicates the scope’s use. It might also not be really necessary for short-range shooting.

2. Magnification

With a range of about 300 yds, the best magnification required for a muzzleloader is 5x. Therefore, all the scopes above are perfectly suitable for this rifle. However, for versatile low to medium range shooting, the best scope should have a wide range around the 5x mark.

This makes the 2-7x magnification in Burris Optics’ 200261 and 3-9x in most of the others suitable for the job.

A powerful magnification like the 4-12x in Vortex’s Crossfire II is quite good but is ideal for medium to long-range shooting. However, there are various varieties of this product with different magnification strengths.

3. Scope Range

A scope’s range is determined by its magnification and reticle. That said, the ones with at least 5x magnification and reticles with aiming points of up to 300 yds are recommended.

For instance, Nikon’s 16603 has a BDC 300 reticle with compensation points out to 300 yds, as well as a magnification of 3-9x. This makes it ideal for a muzzleloader.

4. Eye Relief

Long eye relief is recommended for safety purposes. This is because it allows you to place your eye at a far, comfortable position behind the scope such that heavy recoil won’t get to you.

That said, Burris Optics’ 200261 stands out due to its 9.2-12 in. eye relief, which is very long as compared to the rest.

5. Reticles

There are many types of reticles that can be found in muzzleloader scopes. For instance, the circle-x, Truplex and aim-pro reticles in Bushnell’s 613944AP, Simmons’ 510519 and Konus’ 7249 are very easy to use because they provide exact aiming points.

On the other hand, BDC reticles are more tactical because of their range estimation capabilities. This makes them suitable for medium to long-range spotting.

6. Construction

Lastly, you need to check the scope’s durability. Using Vortex’s Diamondback as an example, this unit has a solid 1-piece aluminum construction that is coated in a hard-anodized finish. This gives it a corrosion-resistant design for long-lasting use.

Conclusion 

All in all, we recommend Bushnell’s 613944AP as the best overall muzzleloader scope because of its DDB lenses that are ideal for low light hunting, camouflaged color options and a simple circle-x reticle, which is effective for this rifle’s range.

However, if you really want to test the limits of your muzzleloader rifle’s capabilities at medium to long-range shooting, we recommend Vortex’s Crossfire II. This is because it has a powerful 4-12x magnification size and a BDC reticle for range estimation.

If you are on a tight budget though, be sure to check out the affordable Simmons’ 510513.

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