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Rifle scopes

Top 7 Best Scopes for .45-70 Rifles of 2024

When you’re looking to enhance your 45-70 rifle, selecting the right scope can make all the difference.
Expert reviews and top picks, such as the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 BDC and the Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm, emphasize features like clear optics, durability, and precise reticles. But with so many options, how do you choose the perfect scope for your needs?
Let’s explore the top-rated scopes and consider the critical factors that can elevate your shooting experience.

Top 7 Best Scopes for .45-70 Rifles on the Market 2024

Note: The following advice comes from my personal perspective. What works for me might not work for you, but hopefully it sparks some ideas!

Vortex Optics - Crossfire II 2-7x32 BDC Scope

The Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 BDC (CF2-31003) is an excellent choice for hunters seeking a lightweight, durable scope with a fast focus system and clear field of view. Constructed from lightweight aluminum, this scope is both robust and manageable, making it ideal for extended hunting trips.
The Dead-Hold BDC reticle, with .01 mil increments, aids in accurate shot placement over varying distances. You’ll appreciate the 3.9-inch eye relief, ensuring comfort during long sessions.
Additionally, its waterproof and fogproof features guarantee reliable performance in adverse weather conditions. Weighing just 14.3 ounces, the Crossfire II offers excellent portability.
Backed by positive customer reviews and Vortex Optics’ reputation for quality, this scope is a top pick for serious hunters.
Best For: Hunters seeking a lightweight, durable, and reliable scope with a fast focus system and excellent clarity.
Lightweight and durable aluminum construction
Dead-Hold BDC reticle with .01 mil increments for accurate shot placement
Waterproof and fogproof for reliable performance in adverse weather conditions
Limited to 2-7x magnification, which may not be sufficient for all hunting scenarios
Field of view of 12.6 feet might be narrower compared to other scopes
Some users might find the 3.9-inch eye relief less than ideal for their preferences

UTG 3-9X32 1 BugBuster Scope

For those seeking a rugged and versatile scope for their 45-70 rifles, the UTG 3-9X32 1 BugBuster offers an excellent choice with its shockproof, fogproof, and rainproof capabilities. Built on the True Strength Platform, this scope is completely sealed and nitrogen-filled, guaranteeing durability in various weather conditions.
With a magnification range of 3-9x and a 32mm objective lens, it provides a clear and adjustable sight picture. The red/green dual illumination and a range-estimating mil-dot reticle enhance targeting accuracy. Additionally, the scope includes premium zero lockable and resettable turrets for precise adjustments.
The large field of view and accommodating eye relief make it user-friendly, while the lightweight aluminum construction ensures it’s easy to handle.
Best For: Those seeking a rugged and versatile scope for their 45-70 rifles that performs well in various weather conditions.
Shockproof, fogproof, and rainproof capabilities
Red/green dual illumination with range-estimating mil-dot reticle
Premium zero lockable and resettable turrets
Potential eye relief concern for some users
Comparatively older model (Model Year: 2013)
Might require some adjustment instructions for optimal use

Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm Riflescope

If you’re seeking a rugged and reliable scope for your 45-70 rifle, the Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm Riflescope, with its unbeatable accuracy and best-in-class optics, is an excellent choice. This scope, designed and assembled in Leupold’s Oregon factory, features a magnification range of 2-7x and a 33mm objective lens diameter, making it versatile for various shooting scenarios.
Constructed from durable aluminum, it utilizes a dovetail mount and comes with Leupold’s Full Lifetime Guarantee, ensuring long-term performance. Tested to rigorous ruggedness standards, the VX-Freedom provides clear optics and reliable windage and elevation adjustments. It’s been highly rated by users, boasting a 4.7 out of 5 stars from 63 ratings, highlighting its quality and reliability.
Best For: Hunters and shooters seeking a durable and reliable scope with excellent optics for a variety of shooting scenarios.
Clear optics and reliable windage and elevation adjustments
Durable aluminum construction with a dovetail mount
Backed by Leupold’s Full Lifetime Guarantee
Not equipped with night vision capabilities
Higher price point compared to some competitors
Limited to a maximum magnification of 7x

Crimson Trace Brushline Pro Riflescope

With its 2-7x magnification and rugged construction, the Crimson Trace Brushline Pro Riflescope is perfect for hunters and shooters seeking reliability and precision for their 45-70 rifles. The scope features a 32mm lens diameter and weighs a mere 13.6 ounces, ensuring it won’t add unnecessary bulk to your setup.
Its field of view ranges from 44.5 feet at the minimum magnification to 12.8 feet at the maximum, providing ample visibility in various situations. The 3.5 inches of eye relief enhance comfort and safety, while the 1/4 click value allows for precise adjustments.
Constructed from lightweight anodized aluminum and equipped with multi-coated lenses, the scope is both waterproof and shockproof, ensuring durability in the field. The exposed, spring-loaded zero-reset turrets make windage and elevation adjustments quick and straightforward.
Best For: Hunters and shooters looking for a reliable, lightweight, and precise riflescope for their 45-70 rifles.
Lightweight construction at only 13.6 oz
Multi-coated lenses for clear, sharp images
Exposed, spring-loaded zero-reset turrets for quick adjustments
No night vision capability
Limited magnification range of 2-7x
Best Sellers Rank indicates it’s not a top-tier popular product

Burris Scout Scope

The Burris Scout Scope’s generous 9.2 to 12 inches of eye relief makes it an excellent choice for shooters who prioritize both-eyes-open shooting and quick target acquisition. With a compact and lightweight design, this optic is perfect for those looking for a versatile and reliable scope.
The variable power option, ranging from 2.75x to 7x magnification, guarantees accuracy, while the Ballistic Plex reticle offers trajectory compensation. Constructed from durable aluminum, this scope is fog, water, and shockproof, guaranteeing longevity and resilience in various conditions.
The multi-coated lenses provide clear optics, and the finger-adjustable, low-profile turrets allow for easy adjustments. With its forward mounting design, the Burris Scout Scope is ideal for extended eye relief, enhancing your overall shooting experience.
Best For: Shooters who prioritize both-eyes-open shooting, quick target acquisition, and need a versatile, reliable scope with extended eye relief.
Generous 9.2 to 12 inches of eye relief for comfortable shooting
Durable construction with fog, water, and shockproof features
Multi-coated lenses for clear and precise optics
Limited to a maximum magnification of 7x, which may not be sufficient for long-range shooting
No night vision capability
Compatibility limited to specific devices (handgun, rifle) and mounting type (wall mount)

6. Monstrum 2-7x32 Rifle Scope

Offering 2-7x magnification and a glass rangefinder reticle, the Monstrum 2-7x32 Rifle Scope is perfect for hunters and tactical shooters seeking precision and durability.
Crafted from 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum, this scope is both lightweight and robust, guaranteeing it withstands the rigors of the field.
The dial-controlled reticle illumination, available in red or green, enhances visibility in various lighting conditions.
High-profile scope rings included in the package ensure ideal placement on your rifle, while the water and fog resistance assure clear vision in challenging environments.
With a maximum magnification of 7x and 3.5 inches of eye relief, the Monstrum scope provides exceptional clarity and ease of use, making it a reliable and cost-effective choice for your 45-70 rifle.
Best For: Hunters and tactical shooters seeking a durable, precise, and cost-effective rifle scope with variable magnification and rangefinder reticle.
Sturdy and lightweight construction from 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum.
Dial-controlled reticle illumination in red or green for enhanced visibility.
High-profile scope rings included for optimal placement.
Minor quality control issues reported by some users.
No night vision capability.
May require adjustments out of the box to hold zero effectively.

HAWKE Vantage 2-7x32 AO Mil-Dot Hunting Scope

A 1-inch mono-tube chassis makes the HAWKE Vantage 2-7x32 AO Mil-Dot Hunting Scope an excellent choice for hunters seeking durability and strength for their 45-70 rifles.
This scope features fully multi-coated lenses, ensuring enhanced light transmission, which is important for clarity and brightness in various lighting conditions.
You’ll appreciate the low-profile fingertip turrets with 1/4 MOA adjustments, allowing for precise targeting. The high torque zoom ring facilitates easy magnification changes, while the Mil Dot reticle provides multiple aim points.
Designed to be waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof, this scope is built for rugged use. The adjustable objective allows for parallax correction, ensuring accurate shots.
Additionally, it comes with the Hawke Worldwide Warranty, offering peace of mind.
Best For: Hunters seeking a durable and high-performing scope for their 45-70 rifles, especially in varying lighting conditions.
Fully multi-coated lenses for enhanced light transmission and clarity.
Low-profile fingertip turrets with 1/4 MOA adjustments for precise targeting.
Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof design suitable for rugged use.
Some users experienced issues with scope adjustments.
Mixed feedback on holding zero and accuracy.
Not compatible with night vision devices.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Scopes for 45-70

When selecting a scope for your 45-70 rifle, you need to take into account several critical factors to guarantee peak performance and reliability.
Focus on the magnification range to align with your shooting distances, the eye relief to uphold safety, and the reticle type for precision.
Additionally, evaluate the build quality for durability and the weather resistance features to withstand various environmental conditions.

Magnification Range Options

Consider the magnification range options like 2-7x or 3-9x to guarantee your .45-70 rifle performs at its best for your specific shooting needs.
The 2-7x magnification range is ideal for close to medium-range hunting or shooting, providing a wider field of view that can be vital for target acquisition in dense environments. This range allows for quick adjustments and is particularly suited for situations where you may need to switch targets rapidly or track moving game.
On the other hand, a 3-9x magnification range offers more zoom flexibility, making it suitable for medium to long-range shooting. This range enhances the precision and clarity of your shots, allowing you to engage targets at varying distances with greater accuracy. The ability to zoom in closer can be especially beneficial when aiming for small or distant targets, ensuring you maintain a clear and detailed sight picture.
When selecting your scope, keep in mind that the magnification range significantly impacts your shooting experience. It’s vital to align this feature with your intended use, whether you’re engaging in close-quarters hunting or long-range marksmanship. Balancing magnification with other factors like reticle type and scope weight ensures top performance for your .45-70 rifle.

Eye Relief Importance

Regularly prioritizing eye relief is essential when selecting a scope for your 45-70 rifle, as it guarantees you maintain a full, clear sight picture while safeguarding against recoil injuries. The 45-70 rifle, known for its substantial recoil, demands a scope with generous eye relief to prevent the notorious ‘scope eye’ or any other recoil-related injuries.
Typically, a minimum of 3 inches of eye relief is recommended for 45-70 scopes. This ensures that your eye remains at a safe distance from the scope, providing both safety and comfort during shooting sessions. Longer eye relief becomes even more crucial when dealing with high-recoil firearms like the 45-70, allowing for quick target acquisition and accommodating various shooting positions.
When considering scopes, those with ample eye relief are preferable, as they enhance your shooting experience by enabling a comfortable and secure position behind the rifle. This is particularly significant for high-recoil applications where maintaining a consistent and safe eye distance is paramount.
Ultimately, by choosing a scope with adequate eye relief, you ensure both your safety and your ability to quickly and accurately engage targets, making your 45-70 rifle more effective and enjoyable to use.

Reticle Type Selection

Choosing the right reticle type for your 45-70 rifle can greatly enhance your shooting performance and accuracy. When selecting a reticle, consider options like BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator), Mil-Dot, Duplex, or Illuminated reticles, each catering to different shooting scenarios.
Matching the reticle type to your shooting style is essential. For instance, if you engage in long-range precision shooting, a reticle with holdover points is beneficial, allowing you to compensate for bullet drop at varying distances. This guarantees accurate shots even at extended ranges.
Mil-Dot reticles are particularly useful for tactical shooting and range estimation, offering precise ranging and holdover points. They help you gauge distances accurately and make necessary adjustments for bullet trajectory.
For quick target acquisition, a Duplex reticle might be more suitable, with its simple design facilitating faster aiming.
In low-light conditions, an illuminated reticle can greatly improve visibility, enhancing target acquisition and accuracy. The illumination allows you to see the reticle clearly against dark backgrounds, ensuring you don’t lose sight of your target.
Ultimately, selecting the appropriate reticle type depends on your specific shooting needs and conditions, ensuring excellent performance from your 45-70 rifle.

Build Quality Consideration

When choosing a scope for your 45-70 rifle, prioritize build quality to guarantee durability and performance in diverse conditions. Start by looking for scopes made from durable construction materials like aircraft-grade aluminum or high-quality aluminum alloys, which offer longevity and reliability. A well-built scope will withstand various shooting environments, ensuring it remains functional over time.
Additionally, consider scopes with sealed optics to prevent moisture and dust intrusion. This feature is vital for maintaining clarity and functionality, as it helps protect the internal components from environmental factors.
Multi-coated lenses are another important aspect to look for, as they increase light transmission, improve image quality, and reduce glare, providing better visibility in different lighting conditions.
Robust turret systems are also a key factor in a high-quality scope. Scopes with precise adjustments and reliable zero-holding capabilities will enable accurate and consistent shooting. These features ensure that once you’ve set your scope, it maintains its setting, allowing for precise targeting without constant recalibration.

Weather Resistance Features

How can you guarantee your 45-70 rifle scope performs reliably in any weather conditions?
Start by looking for scopes with waterproof and fogproof features. These characteristics ensure that your scope remains functional regardless of rain, snow, or humidity.
Scopes purged with nitrogen or argon are particularly effective at preventing internal fogging, maintaining crystal-clear visibility even in rapidly changing temperatures.
Additionally, check for O-ring seals, which provide a vital barrier against moisture, dust, and other contaminants, preserving the scope’s internal integrity.
Durable construction materials like aluminum not only enhance the physical robustness of the scope but also contribute to its weather resistance, allowing it to withstand harsh outdoor environments without compromising performance.
Lens coatings also play an important role in weather resistance. Opt for scopes with weather-resistant coatings on the lenses, as these coatings help repel water, ensuring clear visibility during inclement weather.

Weight and Balance

Balancing your 45-70 rifle with the right scope is essential for maintaining accuracy and ease of use. When selecting a scope, consider its weight to make sure it doesn’t unbalance your rifle during use. An unbalanced setup can compromise your shooting accuracy, making it important to choose a scope that complements the weight distribution of your rifle.
Opt for a lightweight scope that won’t add unnecessary strain or affect your shooting stability. A well-balanced scope can greatly enhance your shooting experience by improving handling and reducing fatigue, especially during extended shooting sessions. The overall comfort and performance of your 45-70 setup are directly influenced by the weight and balance of the scope you choose.
It’s important to remember that a heavier scope might seem more durable or feature-rich, but if it disrupts the balance of your rifle, it could negatively impact your shooting accuracy and ease of use. Therefore, aim for a scope that offers the right balance between weight and functionality.

Turret Adjustments Ease

Selecting a scope with easy and precise turret adjustments is vital for achieving the most accurate shots with your 45-70 rifle. When you’re out in the field, you need turrets that offer smooth, tactile clicks to make quick and accurate adjustments for elevation and windage. This guarantees you can maintain zero and make the necessary changes without fuss.
It’s essential to look for scopes with zero resettable turrets, allowing you to conveniently zero in and return to your original settings after making adjustments.
Audible and tactile feedback from the turrets is another significant feature. This enables you to confirm your adjustments without taking your eyes off the target, ensuring uninterrupted focus. The turrets should also have clearly marked graduations and easy-to-read numbers to facilitate quick and accurate adjustments.
This is particularly beneficial in dynamic hunting or shooting environments where time is of the essence.

Price and Warranty

When selecting a scope for your 45-70 rifle, you should also take into account the price range and warranty to ensure you get the best value and protection for your investment.
Scopes for 45-70 rifles vary widely in price, from budget-friendly models to premium options with advanced features. It’s crucial to compare the cost of these scopes against their included features and durability, ensuring you balance the initial investment with long-term performance.
A key factor to take into consideration is the manufacturer’s warranty. A robust warranty can offer peace of mind, protecting you against defects or malfunctions. Some brands provide lifetime guarantees, while others may offer more limited coverage. Assess the scope’s warranty coverage, including repair or replacement policies for any damage or issues that may arise.
When evaluating your options, factor in the price-to-warranty ratio. This involves analyzing how the scope’s cost aligns with the quality and extent of the warranty provided. Aim to find a balance between affordability and quality assurance, ensuring that your chosen scope not only fits your budget but also offers reliable protection and performance over time.
This approach will help you make a well-informed decision, maximizing the value of your investment.


When selecting the best scope for your 45-70 rifle, consider critical factors such as magnification range, eye relief, reticle type, build quality, and weather resistance.
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II, UTG BugBuster, and Leupold VX-Freedom, among others, offer distinct advantages in these areas.
By evaluating these elements carefully, you’ll guarantee peak performance and reliability in the field, making an informed decision that enhances your shooting accuracy and overall experience.
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