Best Crossbow Sights For The Money – 2019 Top 4 Ranking
If the iron sights on your crossbow just aren’t cutting it anymore, but you don’t feel the need to move into a scope, you might want to consider a new sight, such as an open dot sight or a closed dot sight. Whatever your preference, you will want to research which are the best crossbow sights out there, and which are the ones you should avoid.
With that in mind, we’ve pulled together the research for you and reviewed many of the most popular crossbow sights available on the market. We look at each sight in exacting detail, picking apart the good and the bad of each crossbow sight, so you can choose the best possible model for your budget and your personal use. Before we go into all the nitty gritty details, here are the top 4 best crossbow sights for the money we have reviewed so far:
- Ultimate Arms Gear Tactical CQB Crossbow Sight
- TruGlo Traditional Red Dot Crossbow/Gun Sight
- TruGlo Red Dot Open Dual Color Sight
- BARSKA Red Dot 30mm Crossbow Sight
Best Crossbow Sight on a Budget
If your budget is tight the Best Budget Model of crossbow sights is easily the Ultimate Arms Gear Tactical CQB Crossbow Sight. This particular sight offers you an integrated ti-rail for mounting accessories to the scope, and is fully fog proof, shockproof and water resistant. It also provides rock solid performance at an inexpensive price, which is admirable for a sight that costs less than a night out at the movies.
Best Crossbow Sight Overall
On the other hand, if you want to spend a bit more, the Best High End Model is the TruGlo Traditional Red Dot Crossbow/Gun Sight. This red dot sight offers a 2.5 MOA reticle dot for more precision shooting at longer ranges, offers 95% light transmission, and provides unlimited eye relief. On top of that, the TruGlo Traditional Red Dot Crossbow Sight doubles as a low-powered scope, offering 2X magnification.
What About Recurve Bow Sights?
While we haven’t yet ranked the top recurve bow sights, we recommend you check out this Foundry35 guide on choosing and using a bow sight. It has useful information on the differences between a single and multi-pin sight, their advantages and disadvantages, and discussion on the sighting process.
What To Look For in a Crossbow Sight?
With those things out of the way, we will move on to look at just what we inspect when we are reviewing dot sights for your edification. We put each and every dot sight through its paces, testing it rigorously and reporting back to you the results of that testing.
One of the first things you will want to evaluate is your need (or lack of a need) for magnification. If you want to bring the target a bit closer to you, then you will want to look for a crossbow sight that offers magnification. There aren’t nearly as many sights that magnify the image as there are sights that are plain vision dot sights, but there are a few out there. Our best high end model is just one such sight.
Next, you’ll want to pay careful attention to the optics of the sight, and how well they’re manufactured. Not all optics are created equally, and we will let you know how well the optics are produced. For instance, the coating on lenses isn’t always the same, so you need to decide for yourself whether you want optics that are fully multi-coated, or if just multi-coated will do. For most hunting situations, you want to get the most light transmission you can, so you should be looking for a sight with fully multi-coated optics.
You should also look at the quality of the dot reticle. Does the sight just have a single dot, or does it provide 3 dots for shooting at various ranges? What do your particular needs dictate? If you’re going to hunt from the same tree stand all the time, you might be fine with a single dot sight. On the other hand, if you stalk your prey or hunt from various distances, the ability to use range-compensated dots is a huge boon when you’re lining up for that kill shot.
You should also pay careful attention to the dot size. Many red dot sights these days are using 5 MOA dots, which can be too large if you are hunting from further than 10–20 yards. I prefer a 2.5 MOA dot, even for close range hunting, because the dot won’t get in the way of figuring out where my shot placement is. Your mileage could vary here, but a happy medium can always be found in a 3.5 MOA dot sight.
When you’re hunting, you also want to know how well the sight can transmit light. After all, some of the best hunting conditions are low light conditions, and the ability to see your target despite low lighting is crucial in putting that delicious meat in your freezer. The more light transmission a sight has, the better suited that sight will be for hunting.
At the same time, you will want to check the illumination settings of the sight. Sometimes, the dots can be too bright, which results in a ghosting or halo effect around the dot in lower lighting conditions. A well-made dot sight will have adjustable illumination, and the illumination settings will be field-tested to ensure they are just bright enough to see the dot without causing the dot to explode in a bright starburst of light obscuring your target.
Quality of the Housing/Body
Moving on to the body of the sight itself, you should keep in mind what the body is made out of. My personal preference, for durability’s sake, is aircraft grade aluminum, because this allows the sight to have a fair bit of shock resistance and usually makes it equally at home on a shotgun or rifle as on my crossbow. Unfortunately, cheap plastic housings are all the rage, including almost the entire lineup of TruGlo dot sights.
You should also look at the size and weight of the sight, since you will have to carry it around mounted on your crossbow. We will help you understand just how big the sight is and how much weight it will add to your kit. For most hunting purposes, you’ll probably want a sight that adds less than half a pound to your overall crossbow weight.
Ease of Mounting
You don’t want to have to take your crossbow to a bow technician just to mount the sight, so it’s essential to know how easy the sight is to mount. You should also note whether or not the sight has an integrated mount, or if it uses rings. If it uses rings, does the sight include rings or do you have to purchase them extra? Most sights have integrated mounts for Weaver or Picatinny rails, so you should look carefully and make sure your crossbow has that type of rail as opposed to a dovetail mount. If you have a 3/8″ dovetail mount on your x-bow, you will probably need a Picatinny-to-dovetail adapter for most crossbow sights.
Ease of Sighting In
Once you have your sight mounted, you will almost always have to sight it in. How easy or difficult a sight is to sight in varies from model to model, so make sure you read up on our experiences sighting in. At its best, a crossbow sight will be easy to sight in, with convenient fingertip adjustable controls for windage and elevation, and will hold zero practically forever. For multi-dot setups, sighting-in the sight will configure the dots to flawlessly hit your target at 10, 20, 30 or more yards out. If you only plan on hunting from 20–30 yards, your best bet might just be a single-dot sight.
How Easy Is It to Use
Finally, you’ll want to know how easy the sight is to use. Does the sight’s instruction manual include a description of what range the dots are calibrated for? Does the manual make sighting in easier, or harder? These little details are important, and you should pay close attention to them. If the sight has all the bells and whistles but is hard to use, it might be worth moving on to the next crossbow sight. After all, simple to use means little possibility of failure in the field, so pay attention to this fact.