5 Best Red Dot Scope for Crossbows in 2021

best red dot scope for crossbow
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Are you looking for solid crossbow reviews? Scopes improve the experience and overall accuracy of hunters. Beginners can estimate where their arrows will land which means you can hit the target more times than not.  Now more than just for just starting out, hunting big game using a scope improves your accuracy too. 

Now, a scope won't extend your effective range, but it does let you dial in on your aim and adjust your arc. 

We review the best red dot scope for crossbows, how red dot scopes work on crossbows, and which scope is better for money. 


Comparison Chart

BSA RD30 30mm Red Dot 5 MOA

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight

TRUGLO Red-Dot 2x42mm Sight Black

UTG 6″ ITA Red/Green CQB T-dot Sight

FieldSport Micro Red Dot Sight

Best Red Dot Scope for Crossbows

1. BSA RD30 Red Dot 5 MOA

The RD30 scope model from BSA is a well-performing product at a budget-friendly price. The company released it in the market in November 2003.

The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited became a public company on June 7, 1861. It transitioned to other products until the creation of BSA Optics in 1996.

It started manufacturing binoculars, lasers, red dots, riflescopes, spotting scopes, and other shooting accessories.

Product Highlights

The RD30 features five MOA (Minute of Angle) red dots, an angular measurement that enlarges with distance.

Its 11-position rheostat allows you to control the brightness. You can also choose between low and bright light.

This BSA RD30 Red Dot 5 MOA uses a 3V Lithium battery to function, which comes with the package.

It has a durable but lightweight housing that uses a Weaver rail attachment to ensure the scope stays secure on your crossbow as you hunt.

The 30-millimeter objective lens and illuminated red dot reticle allow you to handle different short-range targets in both daylight and low-light.

Its weather-sealed housing and fully coated lens provide clear sighting even in harsh weather conditions.

The BSA RD30 Red Dot 5 MOA's elevation and windage adjustments ensure dependable targeting from one object to the next with ease.

What We Like

We've added this one to our list of best red dot scope for crossbows because it' beginner-friendly. If it’s the first time you try a red dot scope, the BSA RD30 Red Dot 5 MOA is an affordable option.

It’s easy to mount on your crossbow, and adjusting it to your liking is straightforward.

It’s a perfect device for short-range shooting to help with your accuracy since it can hold the point of aim.

The red dot is clear and not irritating to the eyes.

The mount also fits well, ensuring that the device is firmly secured even with constant movements.

Another thing we love the most about the BSA RD30 Red Dot 5 MOA is it's shock-proof.

What We Don’t Like

The MOA dot is quite large, making it hard to use for long-range shooting since it affects shooting accuracy.

The mount’s design is also awkward and needs improvement, making it hard to install and remove.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Easy to adjust
  • User-friendly
  • Good battery life
  • Visible red dot

CONS

  • Faulty brightness knob
  • Short mounting screws

2. Bushnell Trophy Red Dot Sight Riflescope TRS-25

Bushnell produces high-performance sports optics. It has been in the industry for over 50 years, offering reliable and affordable products.

Product Highlights

The affordable TRS-25 from Bushnell comes in matte black with 11 brightness settings for the three MOA dot reticle.

It has a compact design and can hold a zero straight from the box. Its unlimited eye relief provides rapid target acquisition, accuracy, and awareness.

Its high-contrast lens features an amber-bright coating to help you distinguish different objects as you hunt.

The Bushnell Trophy Red Dot Sight Riflescope TRS-25 has a lightweight but solid build that’s fog proof, waterproof, and shockproof.

Additionally, the nitrogen-purged tube is O-ring sealed for excellent performance.

The sight’s multicoated optics allows you to see your target even in low-light surroundings without any challenge.

Its elevation and windage adjustment knobs are tight and make a click sound as it locks to your desired setting.

The Bushnell Trophy Red Dot Sight Riflescope TRS-25 operates using the affordable and long-lasting CR2032 battery.

What We Like

The Bushnell Trophy Red Dot Sight Riflescope TRS-25 has a mirrored lens that reduces glare while providing excellent light.

Plus, every knob has thick and durable waterproof gaskets.

It uses an affordable battery, making it easy to replace anytime it needs a new one, even when you are out in the woods.

The lens also stays clear even in extreme weather conditions, and the red dot is crisp and bright. 

What We Don’t Like

The field of view on the Bushnell Trophy Red Dot Sight Riflescope TRS-25 is small, and the dot disappears after a few shots.

You need to tinker on the dial to have it reappear. Also, it’s not high enough to fit AR-type rifles and may require a separate riser for mounting.

PROS

  • Well-made
  • Durable
  • Rustproof
  • Affordable
  • Small

CONS

  • Fast-draining battery
  • Not too bright in the daytime

3. TRUGLO Red-Dot 2x42mm Sight

Another addition to our list of reviews of the best red dot scope for crossbows is from TRUGLO as it's affordable and still works well. 

It’s an ideal accessory for both target shooters and hunters alike.

Product Highlights

This TRUGLO Red-Dot 2x42mm Sight has a 5 MOA reticle with 2x magnification on a 42-millimeter objective lens for quick target acquisition and a built-in magnifier.

Its tube-style design can hold zero without the need to adjust even after several shots.

It also comes in a two-color reticle illumination of red and green.

This fog proof, waterproof red dot sight works great in all weather types with unlimited eye relief and a wide field of view.

You can also easily control the brightness with its 11-position rheostat, making it suitable under any lighting conditions.

It’s also shock-resistant up to 1000 grams, making it compatible with handguns, muzzleloaders, paintball markers, shotguns, and even a crossbow.

The TRUGLO TG8030B2 Red-Dot Sight has multicoated lenses protected by see-thru flip-up caps that can provide over 95% of light transmission.

There’s also an anti-reflective interior that can remove any stray light from showing inside the sight.

The Weaver-style mounting system ensures that this lightweight sight stays secured once mounted.

What We Like

What’s great about this TRUGLO sight is the 2x optical zoom, perfect for shooters who are having trouble seeing long-range objects.

It offers a quicker target acquisition with its smaller dot size, providing better accuracy, especially for long ranges.

The adjustment knobs are tight and not moved easily, ensuring that it will stay on your set position until you change it.

What We Don’t Like

Unfortunately, the field of view became smaller due to the lens magnification, and the flip-up caps are not transparent.

It’s a bit of a challenge to distinguish the dot in bright surroundings. You may also need a mount riser for AR-type rifles.

PROS

  • Accurate
  • Zeroes quickly
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Sturdy

CONS

  • Fast draining battery
  • Flip-up cover distorts objects

4. Leapers UTG SCP-TDTDQ CQB T-Dot Sight

Leapers, Inc. started making a name in producing high-quality but affordable shooting products for the firearms industry in 1992.

Product Highlights

The solidly built Leapers UTG T-dot sight is made from matte-black-anodized aluminum.

It has slip-off lens covers and integral sunshades to keep the glare away from its 42-millimeter optic lens.

It also has a sturdy base with bidirectional dual QD locking levers that you can adjust to keep the unit secure and in place.

You can easily calibrate the locking levers using the included Allen wrench.

The Leapers UTG SCP-TDTDQ CQB T-Dot Sight functions by placing one 3V CR1620 lithium metal battery inside the left side of the variable brightness housing.

The T-dot reticle has four MOA center dots and three T-patterned posts for quick target acquisition.

The rheostat control on the unit’s left side adjusts the T-dot intensity from OFF to its maximum level.

You can rotate the knob to intensify the specific color between red and green according to your preference.

The green T-dot is highly visible in bright sunlight, while the red one seems to disappear in the lowest setting.

There’s also a lockable turret at the top for elevation adjustments. You can make ½ inch changes at 100 yards.

The windage adjustment knob located on the unit’s side also makes ½ inch changes at 100 yards.

What We Like

The Leapers UTG SCP-TDTDQ CQB T-Dot Sight is straightforward and can quickly get to the target with ease.

Its well-made construction also lasts for years. Additionally, the company honors its unlimited lifetime warranty as long as you have proof of your purchase.

The Leapers UTG SCP-TDTDQ CQB T-Dot Sight can also hold zero well.

It also has a reversible, quick-release mount, providing more options if you encounter any installation issues.

What We Don’t Like

The scope sits too high on top of the gun because of the high-rise offset mount.

Likewise, the whole unit is bulky and heavy for a red dot scope.

The mount also only works on a Picatinny attachment, and the reticle is significant compared to others.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Accurate
  • Zero lockable knobs
  • Easy to adjust

CONS

  • Bulky
  • Fast draining battery

5. FieldSport Micro Red Dot Sight

This product from FieldSport is one of the best red dot sights you can find in the market today.

Product Highlights

The FieldSport Micro Red Dot Sight has four MOA reticule that offers quick target acquisition even on moving targets.

It has 11 brightness settings that provide clear visibility on both bright and low-light conditions.

The accessible turn dial knob placed on the unit’s side allows straightforward adjustments, depending on your desired settings.

It is a lightweight product with a durable aircraft-grade aluminum body and rubber lens cover that offers fog proof, waterproof, and shockproof features to use in all weather conditions.

The unlimited eye relief can also correct any parallax concerns to provide you with more accurate shots while still providing awareness of your surroundings.

Sight mounting becomes effortless with the built-in Picatinny mount base compatible with most mounts to secure the micro red dot in place.

This FieldSport micro red dot sight functions using one CR2032 battery that offers a maximum of 50,000 hours of use.

What We Like

What is excellent about the FieldSport Micro Red Dot Sight is its overall stable built quality, especially the solid base mount.

It can hold zero well once it’s zeroed in and stay that way even after completing several shots or constant movements.

You will hear an audible click as you make adjustments on the elevation and windage settings, confirming you've locked it properly.

What We Don’t Like

The brightness settings must be on the highest to see the dot during the day.

You also need a small blade screwdriver if you need to change the elevation and windage settings.

The brightness knob also does not feel as reliable as the others but functions well and locks into place.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Clear lens
  • Well-made
  • Durable
  • Shockproof

CONS

  • Flimsy brightness knob
  • Loose screws on the battery housing

Buyers Guide

If you are on the hunt for the best red dot scope for crossbows, considering some vital factors will help you decide which one to buy.

Illumination

An essential feature in a crossbow scope is illumination since it allows you to see your target even in low visibility areas.

Illuminated scopes are powered by batteries, lighting up the reticle in green or red, which are colors not commonly visible to your targets.

Magnification

Magnification is another essential feature of a crossbow scope except if you only want to shoot your target at close range.

Using magnification allows you to focus on faraway targets. It will also give you the chance to determine the exact spot to aim your shot.

An excellent crossbow scope offers magnification anywhere between 3x and 32x.

It will help you locate a target as far as 60 yards away, enhancing your shooting accuracy.

Mounting

Make sure to check the compatibility of your crossbow and scope before buying one.

Crossbow scopes come in three mount options: Dovetail, Picatinny, and Weaver.

  • Dovetail Rail

A dovetail mount or rail comes in different types of sliding brackets you see on firearms and used primarily for telescopic sights attachment.

It’s particularly called as such because of the straight mounting bracket with an inverted cross-section that looks like a dove's tail.

It’s also called lip-off mounts since you can install or remove the sight attachment with ease.

  • Picatinny Rail

The Picatinny rail or Pic rail is also called MIL-STD-1913.

It got its name because of the military standard rail interface system offering a mounting stage for firearm accessories.

  • Weaver Style Scope Mount

The Weaver style is the most common of all scope mounting systems. It uses flat rails that have crosswise slots.

A Weaver-style base secures the Weaver-style rings underneath to the matching crosswise slot on the support.

You can remove and replace the Weaver rings from the base, even with the scope attached, without losing the zero.

Choosing what mounting type to use depends on your crossbow.

You have to make sure that mounting and adjusting your scope must be effortless.

Confirm that your scope has zero value before mounting since it determines your crossbow’s aiming accuracy.

Size and Weight

Your scope’s size and weight impact your aim because it relies on your hand’s steadiness as you focus on your target.

A massive scope is tiring to hold for extended periods, while a lightweight one is easier to carry. Look for a red dot scope that has the same size as your crossbow.

A small scope weighing less than a pound is highly recommended since it offers more accurate shots, eliminating chances of throwing your crossbow off balance.

Reticle

A reticle is the pattern or markings you see as you look into your scope’s eyepiece. It’s used as an aiming point that helps your shooting accuracy.

Some crossbow scopes come with many reticles, providing you with accurate shooting abilities at various distances without adjusting the elevation and windage settings.

Look for crossbow scopes with range markers because it allows you to determine your arrow's course at specific distances.

You will benefit from a reticle if you are shooting at areas that have targeting problems.

That's because it helps you identify the spot where to point your arrow.

Crossbow Red Dot Scope FAQs

What distance should you sight in a crossbow?

For safety purposes, it is best to start your sighting-in at ten yards. Make sure that you have a precise range before loading the arrow.

Keep your cocked crossbow pointed downrange as you place the arrow and shoot at ten yards, ensuring to hit the target.

Take another shot without changing anything, including the distance. Your second shot must hit the same spot. Then, take one more shot.

When your arrows are hitting the center of your target after adjusting your scope, you can move farther at 20 yards.

Can you hunt deer with a red dot scope?

Most hunters agree that the various scopes and sights from the last 50 years proved advantageous for them. Still, there are still many hunters who like to hunt deers the traditional way using sights. 

Nonetheless, some hunters enjoy using red dot sights and scopes even if these accessories were first made for handguns.

Red dot scopes and sights are great for quick target acquisition. They are perfect for short distances, so they became an essential accessory of military personnel and the police.

Hunters love using red dot scopes and sights in heavily wooded locations. These aiming tools come in different sizes with adjustable dot brightness.

A magnified scope is best used at a 200-yard distance or less when targeting deers and other big games. Some brands offer the magnifying lens separately.

The best red dot scope for crossbows without magnification are suitable for aiming and shooting at a 100-yard distance or shorter.

Which is better red dot or green dot?

You will find scopes that come with red or green dots. Some models feature both colors. Scientifically, red dots will catch the eye faster, especially in green surroundings. It’s perfect for quick target acquisition during the daytime. 

Green is relaxing to the eyes, reducing eye fatigue when used for extended periods. It's also the color night-time users prefer. 

Are red dot scopes good for crossbows?

For beginners, red dot crossbow scopes are excellent to improve accuracy as it helps you estimate exactly where your arrow will land. But some do say that it’s time-consuming. 

Red dot scopes have 3 or 5 points of reference while some have a single dot. The points typically show 20,30,40, and 50 yards which means it’s ideal for short distances. The aims of the arrows can be set to the highest point at 20 yards while the lowest point at 50 yards. The adjustable dials can be set to left, right, top, or bottom to accurately hot the target. 

Can you use a red dot on a crossbow?

The short answer, Yes! You’d need to align the dot of your scope with the bulls-eye. Here’s a beginner’s guide on how a red dot scope works on a crossbow.

 What's better? Red dot vs Scope

Optics come in different kinds. If you want quick target acquisition and improve your shooting accuracy, red dot sights are far better than scopes.

A sight is an optic kind that does not use magnification, while the scope is the magnified type. Since the word scope is more common in the USA, it’s typical to see the term red dot scopes. The single red dot is the fastest aiming reticle providing an excellent hit possibility for mobile targets. Both eyes stay open as you aim and shoot while remaining aware of your surroundings.

What is the best red dot scope for money?

There are many things to consider when you are on the hunt for the best red dot scope. Using one gives you an educated guess on where it will hit your target.

We can say that the Leapers UTG SCP-TDTDQ CQB T-Dot Sight proved to be the best option among the five choices reviewed. It’s built using premium materials, ensuring that it will last a long time. You will be surprised by your improved shooting accuracy due to its unlimited eye relief feature.

The heavier weight of the UTG T-dot sight and its bulkiness only show how durable the product is and will not easily break even if placed under pressure. Although some say that the battery doesn’t last, you can easily replace it with a new one since it’s affordable.

This Leapers T-dot sigh also comes with a lifetime warranty proving that the company is willing to back its products anytime.

Red Dot Advantages: Are they worth it?

The red dot is more common and has its advantages, including:

  • Speed of Acquisition: Red rays of light feature a small frequency and very high wavelength, striking the eyes faster. 
  • Background Complexity: Red dots stand out in complex backgrounds such as bushy environments or even in urban surroundings.


Green Dot Advantages: Are they any better?

The green dot is the least common and typically used together with red because of the following advantages.

  • Less Eye Strain: The most accepted benefit of a green dot is the reduced strain placed on the eyes. Hence, it’s the perfect choice for older shooters, especially those with weaker vision. Green has shorter wavelengths but a higher frequency; hence, less taxing to the eyes.
  • Power Saving: If you look at both dot colors using the same power levels, the green dot will look brighter. Therefore, if you want to save power, you can use green to light up using less energy.
  • Eyes With Astigmatism: Your eye cannot evenly focus light on the retina when you have astigmatism, causing you to have blurred vision. That is why green is better for older shooters or those with a blurred vision since it is easier and softer on the eyes, preventing distortion, headaches, or discomfort. 
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