When it comes to optics for crossbows, there are all sorts on the market.  Some are not so good, and others leave you wandering why it took so long to shoot with one.  For magnification, you can choose from just about anything—0X to 9X. Inside the scope is the reticle, defined as some configuration of horizontal and vertical crosshairs, though for crossbows, it also includes any object projected or suspended across the field of view. Choices begin with a simple, single red dot or crosshair. With them, you sight-in for a fixed distance—typically 20 yards—but you must compensate for longer shots by holding higher. Multi-reticle scopes are the most popular, particularly those with three or four dots or horizontal crosshairs. The top one is sighted in for 20 yards, and the next are fixed at intervals that will be dead-on at 30, 40 and 50 yards, respectively, on most bows.

If you going to spend a ton of money on a crossbow, don’t skimp on the scope.  You need to have a quality scope too. 

Red dot scopes are the most basic type of scope with no magnification but just the red dot(s). All you need to do is adjust that red dot to lie in the target and then shoot. There is also a wide range of the brightness settings as well. For the places where you have enough light, you may not need to adjust these settings.

A contrast to the red dot ones, an optic scope that has the magnification.

I’m currently using the XBI 1.5×32 SR crossbow scope from Hawke Optics.  I’ve shot other “quality scopes”, but this scope is by far the best I’ve used up until now.  Unfortunately, if there is a better scope on the market other than what Hawke has to offer, I will not find it. The reason is simple, Hawke has won me over.

Many crossbows come standard with a scope, but they are not the best on the market.  If I’m shooting a quality crossbow, I want a quality scope on top of it.

With both red and green illumination, along with great clarity, this scope is perfect for low light hunting conditions.

The Hawke XBI has everything I need in a scope and sighting it in was a breeze.  I simply set the scope to the speed of my PSE FANG LT, sighted the scope in at 10-yards.  Then I stepped back to 20-yards and made any adjustments to zero the scope in.  Now the crossbow was ready to shoot out to 100-yards. 

With 10-yard aim points from a 20 yard zero out to 100 yards, and adaptable to crossbows shooting 240 to 425 fps, this scope will fit the bill for just about any crossbow on the market.  And with a lifetime warranty, Hawke has your back if something goes wrong with the scope.

Hesitant to think it was that simple, after zeroing my scope in at 20-yards, I moved back to 50 yards and shot.  My bolt hit within 1-inch of the quarter size dot I was shooting at.

 I was definitely impressed with how Hawke XBI scope on top of my crossbow built my confidence in my ability to shoot.  Not only was I hitting targets at distances I’ve never thought I could hit with the scopes I used in the past, but wildlife as well that are within 50-yards or less.  A confident hunter is often a successful hunter 

I must add that just because crossbow or scope manufacturers boast that their gear can effectively shoot out to 100-yards, don’t do it at live animals.  Too much can go wrong between the time you pull the trigger and the bolt reaches its intended target.  Leave these long-range shots for “fun in the back yard”.  Even though you hear phrases like, “this crossbow shoots like a rifle”, remember it’s still a bow, and shots must be kept within reason.  I wouldn’t think of taking a shot past 50-yards at a deer or other animals, even though I’m consistently hitting the bullseye at 80-100 yards when playing around. 

People who criticize crossbows don’t realize that ethical hunters will keep their shots not that much further than what hunters are shooting their compound.  I will not shoot past 40-yards with my Mathews, so you can see I’m only gaining 10-yards with my crossbow.  But not really.  Every deer I have killed with my crossbow has been at 30-yards or less from me when I pulled the trigger.  It comes down to being a good hunter, and letting the animal present a good shot at close range.  There isn’t any need for those long-range shots with any type of archery gear.  Leave that to the rifle hunters.

When choosing a scope for your crossbow, you need to be aware of a couple of terms that will help in the decision making.

You always hear about a scope’s magnification.  The magnification portion of the scope measures how much better you can see an object through the scope, then with your naked eye. 

The field of view is the scope’s sight picture at a specific distance.  For example, a scope could have a sight picture of 11 feet at 100 yards.  Remember that the higher the magnification is, the narrower the field of view is.

Of course, I recommend any scope from Hawke, but there are other quality scope manufacturers on the market.  If you don’t go with Hawke, you at least owe it to yourself to find a quality scope for your crossbow.  Hawke isn’t paying me to say good things about them or tossing scopes in the mail to me.  I believe in this product, purchase them just like other hunters, and am more than happy with the results from their products.