Crossbow scopes can add a whole new dimension to your hunting experience, allowing you to see greater distances and with higher fidelity. While scopes come in all sizes, prices, and magnifications, the ways they mount to the bow are quite similar. Even the best crossbow scope still won’t function if it’s been mounted improperly, so it’s important to put some extra time and effort into this process to ensure that it works correctly on your next hunt. While you could easily take it to a bow technician at your local sporting goods store, you’ll save quite a bit of money by knowing how to mount a crossbow scope yourself. The guide below will take you through the relatively simple process of mounting a crossbow scope.
Things You’ll Need to Mount a Crossbow Scope
- Flathead or Phillips Screwdriver (depending on hardware)
- Hex Wrench
- Scope Rings
- … and of course your crossbow and scope
Mounting a Scope on Your Crossbow
Before you ever get to mounting the scope, you’ll need to purchase a pair of scope rings. Most crossbows have one of three types of sight rails: weaver, dovetail, or Picatinny. The type of scope rings you need will be determined by which rail your bow uses.
The first step in mounting the scope is getting the crossbow level. The simplest way to do this is to mount the bow in a vice (preferably a paddled one). Before you tighten the vice, place a level on the bow’s flight rail and adjust it until you have the crossbow perfectly flat.
More than likely, your crossbow currently has a pair of iron sights mounted to it, which you’ll need to remove before adding the scope. Loosen their screws and slide them off the sight rail.
The next step is to mount the scope rings. It’s a pretty simple process that involves tightening the ring’s mounting hardware to the sight rail on the crossbow. If the scope rings still have their top and bottom connected, unscrew them using the hex wrench. Then, use the screwdriver to mount the bottom half of the scope ring to the sight rail. Don’t tighten them completely, though, as you’ll need to move them the proper distance apart to accommodate the scope.
Now that you have the scope rings mounted, place the scope into the bottom half of the rings and move them apart until the scope fits comfortably. Then, screw on the top half of the scope rings and you’re ready to go (almost).
Take the crossbow out of the vice and look through the scope. Do the crosshairs roughly line up with where you’re pointing the bow? If not, the rings may have been mounted incorrectly, and you’ll need to start over. Before you can actually take the scope out on a hunt, you’ll also need to sight in your crossbow.
Crossbow Scope Mount Maintenance
The scope rings can become loose over time, and you’ll need to check and tighten them periodically. You should also sight in whenever you find that the rings are loose. Accurate shots lead to clean, ethical kills, and having a mismounted scope will make them impossible.