Home » Scopes and Optics » The Best Muzzleloader Scope of 2024 [Field Tested]

The Best Muzzleloader Scope of 2024 [Field Tested]

L.p. Brezny | Updated February 26, 2024 | Why You Should Trust Us | How We Earn Money
Cover photo of best muzzleloader scope with a leupold scope on a rifle

The difference between choosing the best muzzleloader scope for your rifle could mean the difference between a legendary hunt, and going home empty handed…

Again and again.

I’ve gone through my fair share of scopes after decades of using muzzleloaders and here’s my list of the best plus the essential factors to consider before purchasing.

Let’s dive right in!

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm – Best Overall Muzzleloader Scope

hand holding a Leupold VX-Freedom muzzleloader scope with a grey background

PROS

  • Crystal clear glass
  • Generous 3.7″ – 4.2″ eye relief 
  • Comfortable eye box
  • Durable construction
  • Precise elevation and windage knobs 
  • Versatile mounting options

CONS

  • Some may find the price steep
  • Not ideal for very long-range shots

Glass Clarity & Reticle

I have to admit when I first peeked through the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm scope, I thought: damn.

Why?

This thing is crystal clear. 

Good scope glass in a scope is vital. It’s not just about fancy visuals; it’s about gaining an edge.

Leupold VX-Freedom optic has impeccable clarity and superb optical performance, specifically in terms of light transmission and resolution.

You’ll get nothing short of sharp and detailed images, even when the lighting conditions are less than ideal. Spotting and identifying targets becomes easy. 

The proprietary Twilight Light Management System also ensures that you get an extra 10 minutes of shooting light. That could mean the difference between taking home a trophy or going back empty-handed.

view from the lens of the Leupold VX-Freedom showing the reticle and target

What I really love about this scope is the Leupold duplex reticle. The bottom duplex post is a nifty 4 MOA subtension below the crosshair, adding a touch of convenience to the shooting experience.

With that 4 MOA subtension, you’ve got an instant reference point for quick adjustments. No need to fumble around with complicated calculations or guesswork.

Whether you’re dealing with a moving target or adjusting for distance, that 4 MOA subtension allows you to make those precise corrections with ease, saving you valuable time and effort.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

This Leupold scope boasts a comfortable 4.2 – 3.7 inch eye relief and a generous eye box. It allows enough space to protect against the recoil and provides a full viewing angle, even at maximum magnification.

It has a nice range of view of 33.1ft at 3x and 13.6ft at 9x at 100 yards gives you PLENTY of vision for a muzzleloader. 

Durability

Let’s get one thing straight. I’m no stranger to the occasional scope mishap. 

I’ve knocked scopes off tables, misjudged distances resulting in an unfortunate dip in a river, and have even dropped my rifle while hunting. 

But despite all that, the Leupold VX-Freedom optic has endured. 

What’s more, this baby tips the scales at a lean 12.2 ounces, balancing effortless handling with unyielding stability.

Why does weight matter, you ask? 

Well, when you’re out there in the field, the last thing you want is a clunky and heavy piece of equipment weighing you down.

This scope won’t strain your arms as much or slow you down. Whether you’re on the prowl or in a fast-paced shooting scenario, it gives you the edge you need to stay nimble and react quickly.

Long range muzzleloader scope mounted on top of a centerfire rifle

With a robust yet lightweight design, the Leupold VX-Freedom is definitely a sturdy piece of optic.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

​​If you’ve ever fiddled with cheap elevation and windage knobs only to become frustrated, welcome to the club. 

But with the VX-Freedom muzzleloader scope, I’ve found a dream come true. These knobs are so crisp and precise. They offer 1/4 MOA adjustments, making them perfect for those critical long-range shots. 

With a total of 60 MOA available in both windage and elevation, the Leupold VX-Freedom gives you the flexibility to make precise corrections based on ballistic data or environmental conditions.

hand holding a turret cap from Leupold scopes

It feels like I’ve traded in my amateur lock-picking kit for the tools of a master safecracker.

Parallax & Magnification

Now, don’t get me wrong. Parallax isn’t always the mischievous gremlin it’s made out to be. But I’ve found a beautiful symphony of magnification and parallax reduction with this scope.

The Leupold VX-Freedom doesn’t just have a stunning 3-9x magnification range – it’s like a sharpshooter’s dream, ensuring accurate aim from 50 to 300 yards. 

A muzzleloader rifle with a Leupold VX-Freedom rifle scope mounted

Its field of view is equally impressive, standing at a generous 33.7-13.6 feet at 100 yards. With this extensive field of view, you keep a broad perspective while honing in on your target.

Parallax is set at 60 yards, which is fine for a muzzleloader scope. 

It ensures quick adjustments and boosts confidence for successful outcomes. Minimal parallax makes staying on track a breeze.

You won’t have to constantly readjust or second-guess your aim. No fuss, no muss – just a hassle-free experience that lets you focus on precision. 

Mounting & Rings

The Leupold VX-Freedom’s mounting process is easier than assembling a single piece of IKEA furniture. Plus, with the versatile fit of its rings, your scope will feel stable and secure.

Is It Worth It?

Man aiming at a target with a muzzleloader rifle with a scope
Testing the VX-Freedom muzzleloader scope at the range

Now, the important question. 

Here’s how I’d describe it; it’s like a five-star meal on a budget. The quality and performance you get are absolutely incredible. 

Trust me, you’ll want to keep this muzzleloader scope in your arsenal.

***Update***

Our certified supplier currently has the VX Freedom on sale until May 20, 2024. Make sure to use the link here to get this all time low price:

Leupold VX Freedom positive review

This scope is so good in fact, that we also listed it as on the the best shotgun scope optics on the market today.

Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm – Best Scope For Long Range

Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm mounted on top of a muzzleloader rifle with a car in the background

PROS

  • Crystal clear glass clarity
  • Dead-Hold BDC reticle for accurate shots
  • Generous eye relief
  • Durable aircraft-grade aluminum construction
  • Precise and easy-to-use elevation & windage knobs
  • Parallax adjustment for stability
  • Impressive 4-12x magnification

CONS

  • Rings not included

Glass Clarity & Reticle

I gotta say, the Vortex Diamondback’s glass clarity isn’t just top-notch; it’s like having an eagle’s eyesight.

Crystal clear sight picture from the lens of a Vortex Diamondback showing the target and the scope’s reticle

I did a little eyeball test myself. I focused the Diamondback on a street sign a whopping 500 yards away, and it was clear as day. You could even read the fine print. 

Now, that’s not something you see with just any old scope, trust me.

I’ve used it in various light conditions, from the gray light of dawn to the scorching midday sun, and let me tell you, this scope maintains its performance.

You can rely on this scope to deliver crisp, clear images regardless of the lighting conditions you find yourself in, especially with its 40mm objective lens.

The Dead-Hold BDC reticle is also a different ball game altogether. 

This feature eliminates the need for manual adjustments or calculations, empowering shooters to quickly adapt to changing conditions and engage targets with confidence. 

It does take some getting used to, but once you’ve got it down, it’ll enhance your efficiency and accuracy by a good margin.

On my last hunting trip, I nailed a shot with a tiny 1.5-inch group size at 400 yards out.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

Have you ever been left with the infamous “scope eye”? Well, kiss that black eye goodbye with the Vortex Diamondback’s generous 3.1-3.4 inches of eye relief. 

Eye relief is an especially important factor for us specs-wearing sharpshooters. I’ve spent hours behind this scope without fear of it giving me a scope bite.

forest view from the lens of a Vortex Diamondback 

At 100 yards the field of view is a comfy 32.4ft at 4x and 11.3ft at 12x. That is a HUGE range of zoom, and is just right for a muzzleloader. 

Durability

Simply put, this thing’s a tank. 

I’ve knocked it, dropped it, and even once used it as an improvised hiking stick – still, no scratches or dents. Credit goes to the aircraft-grade aluminum construction.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation and windage knobs on this scope are top-notch, the Ivy League of turrets.

Each click is ¼ MOA, and let’s just say that they’re precise. The 60 MOA adjustment range is just right too. 

This level of control means you can dial your scope’s aim down to a precision of 0.261 inches at 100 yards. That’s like making adjustments smaller than the size of a dime!

The Diamondback allows you to make fine-tuned corrections even at long ranges and helps you stay consistent in different environments.

I’ve dialed up and down, left and right and this thing’s as reliable as they come.

Plus, they produce clear clicks that ensure you won’t easily mess up when dialing it.

Diamondback tactical rifle scope mounted on a tan-colored gun with a wooden background
The Diamondback tactical scope (the premium model)

Parallax & Magnification

The parallax is good for its price range, fixed at 100 yards. Right around what you’d need for a muzzleloader.

As for magnification, its got a range of 4-12x. This translates into a field of view that extends from 32.4 feet to 11.3 feet at 100 yards. 

I put it through its paces and got these results.

At 12x magnification, targets looked like they were just an arm’s length away, and at 4x, I could track a fast-moving rabbit like a hawk.

Mounting & Rings

Unfortunately, the scope doesn’t come with rings, but I found a set that fits like a glove without breaking the bank. The common 1-inch ring size can be easily found if you don’t have one already.

Is It Worth It?

Vortex Diamondback on a rifle with snowy background

If you’re someone who truly appreciates superior quality and doesn’t mind investing in it, let me assure you that the Vortex Diamondback scope is an absolute treasure.

This scope caters to individuals with a discerning eye for excellence who understand the value of premium equipment. It’s been specifically designed to meet the needs of dedicated shooters, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts who refuse to settle for anything less than the absolute best.

With a length of 12 inches and a weight of just 14.6 oz, this scope hits that sweet spot between functionality and portability. It’s compact, it’s lightweight, and it’s your best hunting buddy. 

Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm – Best Budget Blackpowder Scope

product image of Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm

PROS

  • Generous eye relief and eye box
  • Durable and waterproof
  • Smooth and tactile elevation and windage knobs
  • Good parallax control and 3-9x magnification
  • Easy to mount with a 1″ tube and standard rings
  • Budget-friendly

CONS

  • Rings are not included
  • Might not compete against higher-end scopes in terms of features

Glass Clarity & Reticle

There’s nothing like having a clear line of sight, especially when you’re on a budget. 

The Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm scope comes with multiple layers of anti-reflective coating on all air-to-glass surfaces, delivering bright and high-contrast images.

So, what’s so special about that?

Well, when you’re out there in the field and taking aim at your target, the last thing you want is reflections bouncing back at you and ruining your shot. 

The anti-reflective multi-coating steps in to minimize annoying reflections and maximize light transmission. That means you’ll enjoy bright and detailed images for the best accuracy. 

This feature really sets it apart from other scopes in its price range – the Banner’s HD glass and coatings are good quality product for a hunting scope at a VERY low price.

Frankly, I don’t know how much awesomeness they pack in an optic at this price. Better not to ask…

And with a 40mm objective lens diameter, you can be sure you’re getting wicked visibility.

target view and bullet drop compensator reticle

Now, the Multi-X reticle is a great reticle to help you precisely aim without any unnecessary distractions. 

Its design offers a clear view of the target and long-range precision. If you prioritize accuracy and want an effective aiming system, the Banner is a great choice.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

Multi-coated lenses of Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm

Trust me, losing an eye because of scope-induced injury is no laughing matter, but thankfully, this scope’s 3.3 inches eye relief won’t leave you bruised. 

The eye box provides enough space to accommodate your eye and ensures a comfortable shooting experience, whether you’re wearing glasses or not.

You’ll notice how important this is when you’re out in the field, spending extended periods tracking, aiming, and waiting for that perfect shot. You want to be able to maintain a comfortable shooting position without straining your eyes or feeling fatigued. 

With this scope’s eye relief and eye box, you can do just that.

Durability

deer target shown through the lens of a scope

Durability is one of the key factors that can’t be overlooked when buying a scope, especially a budget one. 

But the Bushnell Banner impressed me with its resilience

The scope boasts of waterproof construction that can endure complete immersion in water.

Whether you find yourself crossing a river or caught in a sudden downpour, this scope can handle it all. Its waterproof design ensures that no matter how wet or challenging the conditions may be, your scope remains protected.

I tested this by submerging it in a bucket of water for 30 minutes. And guess what, the inside of the optics remained perfectly dry. It’s reassuring to know it can withstand sudden downpours during hunts.

hands holding a Bushnell Banner

I also tested its shockproof capabilities by subjecting it to a series of minor impacts and recoil. After each, the reticle stayed centered, and the adjustments remained accurate. 

With all these features, they ensure reliability and longevity in demanding environments.

Think about the rugged terrains, unpredictable weather, and intense activities you might encounter. A durable scope is built to withstand it all.

And this one is a scope that can maintain accuracy and overall functionality despite the challenges.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The Banner has smooth and tactile knobs that make it easy to dial in the perfect shot, with a satisfying click and everything.

You can be sure you’re in complete control of your scope’s setting. No clunky or jerky movements to throw off your aim. 

If you’re wearing gloves or facing cold weather conditions, you bypass the struggle of slippery or hard-to-grip knobs. 

Bushnell gets it – it’s all about fine-tuning and making those precise adjustments with ease.

Parallax & Magnification

I put the Bushnell Banner to the test during my last hunting trip in Colorado, taking advantage of both ends of its magnification range.

4x zoom of the Bushnell Banner
Testing the 4x zoom of the Bushnell Banner

As the numbers suggest, this scope offers a versatile 3-9x magnification range. I found that at 3x magnification, my field of view (FOV) was approximately 32 feet at 100 yards.

For a little perspective, that’s a solid 6 feet more compared to another scope I tested out, one with a 2.5-7x range. That extra visual real estate comes in handy when you’re tracking speedier targets.

8x zoom of the Bushnell Banner
Testing the 8x zoom of the Bushnell Banner

At the other end, the 9x magnification gave me a FOV of about 11 feet at 100 yards. Now, that may be about 3 feet less than a scope with a 4-12x range, but that’s where the magic happens. 

This snug view offers precision that’s great for zeroing in on those distant targets. The image quality doesn’t falter one bit across the entire range.

Mounting & Rings

Bushnell Banner scope mounted on a muzzleloader

The Bushnell Banner makes it easy for a regular Joe like me to get it set up, thanks to the 1″ tube and compatibility with standard mounting rings. 

It’s lightweight at just 13 ounces and 12 inches long, which is about 15% lighter than other scopes in its category that average around 15.5 ounces. This can be crucial in avoiding significant imbalance. 

A scope that’s too heavy or long can throw off the balance of your firearm, making it feel front-heavy or unwieldy. 

However, the lightweight nature of the Bushnell Banner scope ensures that it adds minimal additional weight to your firearm. 

So, you can confidently handle your firearm without feeling weighed down or struggling to maintain control.

Moreover, the compact length of 12 inches is ideal for a range of firearms. The snug fit means it won’t extend too far beyond the barrel or overwhelm the overall proportions of your firearm.

Is It Worth It?

Bushnell Banner scope and its box on a wooden table

In a world full of fancy gadgetry, it’s refreshing to find a no-nonsense scope that just works. I’ve had a great time with this one, and I think you will too if you’re on a budget and looking for performance without breaking the bank.

Clear glass, durable construction, and easy to use – a valuable addition to any shooter’s arsenal and one of the best budget muzzleloader scopes out there.

Vortex Viper PST Gen II 1-6x24mm – Best Scope For Short Range

product image of Vortex Viper PST Gen II 1-6x24mm

PROS

  • Crystal-clear glass
  • Generous eye relief and forgiving eye box
  • Durable and shockproof design
  • Laser-etched turrets with RZR zero stop for precise adjustments
  • Adjustable parallax and versatile magnification range
  • Compatible with various mounting rings

CONS

  • Mounting rings not included
  • A bit pricier than entry-level scopes

Glass Clarity & Reticle

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve peered into a scope only to be met with sub-par clarity. Not the case with the Vortex Viper PST Gen II 1-6x24mm scope. 

The glass is crystal clear, allowing me to spot even the sneakiest of critters. With its high-quality optics, this scope provides excellent light transmission, ensuring bright and crisp images even in low-light conditions. 

The second focal plane reticle is ideal for close and medium-range scenarios, making it perfect for use as a muzzleloader scope.

As the size of the reticle remains constant through every magnification setting, the reticle remains easily visible. That way, you can quickly acquire your target and make precise shots at shorter distances and adjust the magnification to suit your longer-range needs.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

white target shown through the lens of a Vortex Viper PST Gen II
Testing the Vortex Viper in at the range

This scope offers 3.8 inches of eye relief, allowing you to maintain a comfortable viewing distance without straining your eyes. 

Say goodbye to the days of squinting and discomfort! 

But the Viper PST Gen II also boasts a forgiving eye box, making it a breeze to find a clear sight picture in an instant. 

hand holding the Vortex Viper PST Gen II second focal plane scope

No need to fuss over precise alignment or struggle to find the perfect position. The eye box provides you with more flexibility in head placement and eye position, ensuring you can effortlessly acquire a clear and crisp image.

This translates into enhanced accuracy, reduced eye fatigue, and an overall more enjoyable shooting experience.

Durability & Fog Proof Feature

Durability is a trait that cannot be overlooked, especially when it comes to rugged outdoor adventures and the unforgiving nature of muzzleloader shooting. 

The Vortex Viper PST Gen II rises above the masses with its robust build quality and remarkable fog-proof design.

The robust build quality of this 10.8 inches and 22.7 oz Viper PST Gen II ensures that it can withstand the knocks of any hunting venture.

Those accidental drops and rough handling? It shrugs them off like a champ and keeps delivering top-notch performance when you need it most.

And its fog-proof design adds an extra layer of reliability and functionality too.

Imagine those early mornings or damp, misty environments where fog can creep up and wreak havoc on your optics. You can rest assured you’ll always have crystal-clear visibility, no matter the atmospheric conditions.

Hands holding a Vortex Viper PST Gen II to show the top of the scope

Crafted with meticulous precision, this scope is sealed with O-rings, warding off moisture, dust, and debris from its inner mechanics. 

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The laser-etched turrets on this scope was a feature I really appreciated. They’re audible and easy to adjust, making it a breeze for me to zero in on my target. 

Each click of these turrets represents ½ MOA adjustments. In testing, I found these turrets to be highly precise and consistent

After firing rounds at different distances (50, 100, 150, and 200 yards), I found the adjustments to be dead-on with the expected point of impact shifts.

So, when you make those turret adjustments, you can have full confidence that your point of impact will correspond accordingly. Whether you’re compensating for bullet drop or adjusting for different distances, the turrets on this scope deliver consistent and reliable performance.

hands holding a Vortex Viper PST Gen II to show the knobs of the scope

Oh, and did I mention the RZR zero stop? Yep, the Viper has it, ensuring you can quickly return to your zero after adjusting for elevation. 

With an RZR zero stop, your scope will remember your zero position, allowing you to revert back to it without second-guessing. 

This proves to be a huge time-saver, particularly when alternating between different shooting distances.

So, not only are these turrets easy to use, they offer precise, repeatable adjustments, and that’s exactly what I’m looking for when it comes to nailing that perfect shot.

Parallax & Magnification

Dealing with parallax in a rifle scope can be a drag, especially when you’re using muzzleloader rifles. But thanks to this scope, one of the best muzzleloader scope options money can buy, my shots remain steady. 

It features a nonadjustable parallax setting set at 100 yards.

1x magnification of the Vortex Viper PST Gen II
Testing the 1x zoom of the Vortex Viper PST Gen II muzzleloader scope

With its 1-6x magnification range, this rifle scope is truly a game-changer for us muzzleloader hunters. It hands us the perfect level of zoom for nailing those close to medium-range targets. 

To back this up, I put this scope through its paces at the shooting range. 

5x magnification of the Vortex Viper PST Gen II
Testing the 5x zoom of the Vortex Viper PST Gen II muzzleloader scope

At the 1x setting, I consistently hit targets at 25 yards. When I ramped up to the full 6x magnification, I maintained solid accuracy up to 200 yards, recording an impressive shot grouping diameter of under 1 inch on average. 

And let’s not forget about the impressive field of view. Ranging from 112.5 to 18.8 feet at 100 yards, it’s like having the whole hunting grounds right in your sight. 

Mounting & Rings

I don’t have all day to fiddle with mounting scopes, and the Vortex Viper PST Gen II is kind enough to make things easy for me. 

man aiming a gun with the Vortex Viper PST Gen II mounted

It has a sleek 30mm tube design that’s compatible with a wide variety of mounting rings.

The importance of a compatible tube diameter cannot be overstated when it comes to mounting scopes on firearms.

It’s so important in fact, we have an entire article just on scope tube sizes.

But with this Vortex scope, you can confidently select mounting rings knowing that they’ll fit snugly and securely around the scope’s tube.

Just remember, the rings are sold separately, so make sure to grab a set before heading out.

Is It Worth It?

Vortex Viper PST Gen II held in two hands

Definitely! Not only is the Vortex Viper PST Gen II 1-6x24mm a top-notch choice as a muzzleloader scope, it is also an excellent choice for your AR-15 (and many other) rifle.

hand holding a Vortex Viper PST Gen II muzzleloader scope with wooden background

Glass clarity? Check. Generous eye relief? Double check. Durability, adjustable turrets, and a versatile magnification range? Triple check! And it’s easy to mount, so you’ll be ready for action in no time.

For more reading on Vortex scopes see my guide on the top optics for long distance hunting and target shooting.

Comparison Table

Scope NameZoomEye ReliefReticle
Leupold VX-Freedom3-9x4.2 – 3.7 inDuplex/Tri-MOA
Vortex Diamondback4-12x3.1 – 3.4 inDead-Hold BDC
Bushnell Banner3-9x3.3 inMulti-X
Vortex Viper PST Gen II1-6x3.8 inMOA/MRAD

Muzzleloader Scope Buying Guide

Let me tell you, I’ve spent some time pondering what makes the perfect scope for these timeless firearms. And, I’ve narrowed it down into a few key aspects you should consider.

hand holding a quality scope for muzzle loaders

Reticle and Glass

When it comes to the reticle and the scope glass, think Goldilocks. Not too thick, not too thin, just right. A reticle that is too thick may obscure your target, while one that’s too thin could be hard to see. 

As for the glass, look for quality. Crystal clear is what you want, and anything less will affect your performance.

  • Reticle: Look for one that offers a balance between visibility and precision.
  • Glass: Prioritize clear, high-quality glass for optimum sight.
Christmas tree reticle shown through the lens of a muzzleloader scope

Eye Box and Eye Relief

The eye box and eye relief are crucial aspects that govern comfort and efficiency with your gun, this is specially important for the best muzzleloader scopes.

It’s also always a bit embarrassing to scope yourself in the face, as most of us would know… 

Eye relief refers to the distance between the eyepiece and your eye while maintaining a full field of view. Having an eye box (the part of the scope where your eye sees the full field of view) large enough to accommodate various shooting positions is also a must.

the lens of a scope with a blurred background
  • Generous Eye Relief: Look for at least 3.5-4 inches of eye relief to prevent unwanted bruises. For long-distance shooting enthusiasts, though, I’d recommend considering up to 5 inches.
  • Wide Eye Box: A larger eye box offers greater shooting flexibility and comfort. A 1.5-2 inches diameter suits most scenarios. But for those frequently switching shooting stances or hunting in diverse terrains, a larger eye box of about 2.5 inches may offer a better field of view.

Durability

Alright, let’s be honest – we’re not always gentle with our gear. That’s why durability is essential when searching for the best muzzleloader scope.

We need a scope that can take a beating and keep on sighting, and the best muzzleloader scopes can do that for you.

Look for rifle scopes made with high-quality construction and sturdy materials, and be sure it’s waterproof and fog proof.

  • High-Quality Construction: A well-built scope will stand up to the wear and tear of regular use.
  • Waterproof and Fogproof: Don’t let the elements get in the way of your hunting.
Author with traditional cap and ball muzzleloader with no muzzleloader scope mounted
Author with the traditional cap and ball muzzleloader.

Durability is key, but each feature has its trade-offs. High-quality construction often equals longevity but may add weight to the scope. 

The best muzzleloader scopes have waterproofing and fog proofing. This can turn a wet or foggy day from a washout into a clear shot, but these features might increase the price by approximately 15-20%.

For those on a budget, this could be a factor to consider.

Elevation and Windage Knobs

As someone who’s spent hours adjusting my aim, let me emphasize how crucial reliable elevation and windage knobs are. 

Trust me, you want knobs that are consistent and easy to manipulate so that you spend more time hunting and less time fiddling with your scope.

The best muzzleloader scopes have a click value of 0.25 MOA (¼ MOA) per click, which is roughly 0.26 inches at 100 yards. These knobs offer consistent, precise adjustments but may be slower for fast-paced hunting or compromise precision for speed.

  • Consistent Turret Adjustments: Smooth, precise clicks are a must for making accurate adjustments.
  • Positive Turret Feedback: Satisfying feedback will help make sure you’ve made the correct adjustment.
hands holding a vortex muzzleloader scope to show the knobs

Magnification and Parallax

When it comes to the magnification and parallax settings, I’m a firm believer in versatility. 

The best muzzleloader scope options out there always have adjustable magnification, with a range suitable for your specific hunting needs. 

Parallax adjustments can prevent distortion of your image at varying distances. 

If you ask me, you should opt for a scope with a magnification range of 3-9x and, ideally, an adjustable parallax from 50 yards to infinity. 

roof view shown through the lens of a scope
Field testing the Vortex Viper; one of the best muzzleloader scopes on the market today

However, if your scope’s parallax isn’t adjustable, a fixed parallax setting around 100 yards should do the trick for most muzzleloader hunting scenarios. (Reference: Muzzleloader Rifles)

  • Adjustable Magnification: Aim for a comfortable range that suits your preferences and hunting environment. 
  • Parallax: Consider adjustable parallax settings or a fixed parallax at approximately 100 yards.

It’s best to note that adjustable magnification and parallax provide flexibility but may increase cost and complexity.

Mounting and Rings

man with earmuffs aiming a rifle with one of the top muzzleloader scopes on the market

Be sure the scope you choose comes with compatible mounting and rings. That’ll ensure an easy, secure attachment to your firearm.

  • Compatible Mounts: Check that the scope’s mounting system will work with your muzzleloader.
  • Secure Rings: Sturdy rings will provide a stable platform for your scope. Match the scope’s tube diameter with the ring size. Common sizes are 1 inch, 30 mm, and 34 mm. Lighter rings weigh around 1.2 oz, but for heavier scopes, consider steel rings up to 5 oz.

Why Use a Muzzleloader Scope?

Oh, the times I’ve missed a perfect shot because I didn’t have a scope on my muzzleloader rifle. I quickly learned that the best muzzleloader scope optics are an essential accessory for any muzzleloading enthusiast. 

Why?

First, accuracy is everything when you’re dealing with centerfire rifles. A scope with a good objective lens improves your aim, making sure you hit your target right where you want to. No more missing out on that trophy buck.

A Bushnell Banner with a white background
Bushnell for decades has made some of the best muzzleloader scopes out there

Next, when you encounter low-light conditions. Thankfully, a good scope with an illuminated reticle brings the brightness you need to ensure you don’t have to squint or guess where your target is.

Finally, a fast-focus eyepiece lets you fine-tune your shots according to distance and environmental factors. It’s like having a built-in cheat sheet.(Reference: Scopes)

So there you have it. A scope on my muzzleloader rifle just ups my game and brings home the prize.

My Thoughts

Picking the best scope for my very own centerfire muzzleloader rifle was a task that felt more intense than choosing my favorite ice cream flavor.

With the vast selection in today’s market, I started my search by keeping in mind two essential things: accuracy and ease of use. 

man holding a muzzleloader rifle with a mounted scope with a grassy area in the background
Author zeroing Remington Ultimate Muzzle Loader. 50 cal in line

When I’m out there hunting, the last thing I want is to struggle with adjusting my objective lens or miss that once-in-a-lifetime shot because my scope wasn’t set right.

Now, weight is not something I usually worry about, but when it comes to the best muzzleloader scope optics for centerfire rifles, a lightweight option always helps. 

Trekking through the woods with a heavy scope would eventually tire you out and most importantly affect your aim.

In the end, be sure to make your decision based on features that best suit your needs and shooting style.

Conflict of Interest

When it comes to testing the best muzzleloader scopes, I make sure each scope is thoroughly tested and objectively reviewed. Rest assured, I don’t receive any money or incentives to review scopes. Instead, I pick the best of the litter based on their fine merits.

It’s important for you to know that my opinions are my own and untainted by any external influence. I’ll always give it to you straight, so you can have confidence in the information provided.

If you’re looking for similar reading, check out our article on the best budget scope for .300 blackout or the best scopes for 30-30 Winchester here. We cover everything you need to know to pick your perfect optic.

Our Top Pick

hand holding a Leupold VX-Freedom muzzleloader scope with a grey background

References

  1. Brian Mcclintock, The Modernization of the Muzzleloaded Rifle. Retrieved from https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/g514/the-modernization-of-the-muzzleloaded-rifle/
  2. Richard Douglas, An Essential Guide to Choosing a Rifle Scope. Retrieved from https://www.bushnell.com/through-the-lens/bu-blog-an-essential-guide-to-choosing-a-rifle-scope.html

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