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Best Crossbow Scope Ever

I have been crossbow hunting for about six years and hunting with a compound bow for 30 years. During that time I have been searching for a scope that would allow me to have the same light transmission as the Zeiss scopes on many of my rifles.

Several years ago, I was able to hunt with a Zeiss and have been hooked ever since. Prior to the Zeiss Conquest 3-12x50 that I mounted on my Savage .308, I had used several medium-priced and high-dollar scopes and was plenty happy with the last high-dollar scope, until I sat over a Zeiss one day at the range.

I was first impressed with the clarity.

It was like the target was one foot away and I had on a pair of crystal-clear glasses. I could read the small writing on the target that I previously did not know was there. I immediately returned home and ordered a Zeiss. On my first hunt with the new Zeiss, I headed to the stand a good hour and a half before daylight. Once in the stand, I brought the rifle up to the rest and looked through the Zeiss.

I could see better than ever before. It was still dark, yet I could make out trees, bushes and just about the individual leaves on the trees! How could this be?

I had paid less for the Zeiss than the $1,600 scope that was on this same rifle and yet could see so much better. I was impressed – and I am not easily impressed. Other than the usual squirrels and other little creatures, I did not see a deer or pig that day, but I did have a great time using my new scope.

Later that week, I was in the stand just before dark (you know, Deer:30).

I had the rifle ready, as I was scanning the area for any movement, when a nice 7-point walked out about 110 yards away. I eased off the safety, put the crosshairs on his shoulder and slowly squeezed the trigger.

The rifle went “boom,” and lo’ and behold, I had shot me one! Once I brought the rifle back down and looked with my naked eye, I could not see diddly squat. I brought the rifle back up and looked through the Zeiss to see that the view was amazing. The view was so clear and bright it was almost like looking during daylight.

When I returned home from this hunt, I got out the Visa card and purchased four more Zeiss scopes for the other rifles I hunt with. Each and every one has the same crystal-clear view. The best part is the light transmission is better than any scope I have used.

My crossbow scopes: I have tried several crossbow scopes over the years. From scopes that cost a couple hundred dollars to one that I paid just under $600 for. None of these gave me the same light transmission or clarity as my Zeiss rifle scopes, so I was not satisfied.

My biggest problem with all of the crossbow scopes I have used is light transmission (actually the lack of light transmission). When I still hunt, most of the animals seem to visit my shooting lanes just before daylight or just before dark, so I needed a scope like the Zeiss rifle scopes I owned and was determined to continue to spend whatever it took to find one of the same quality.

A few months ago, I happened to be on the right website at the right time to find a Zeiss crossbow scope. After a few hours of reading reviews and searching for the best price, I had a new Zeiss Terra XB75 crossbow scope on the way.

Once it showed up and was mounted, I took all of the other scopes and went outside to play. I set up several targets with different size and color text on them and placed them from 20 to 50 yards away from my bench.

I then started my comparison of the scopes. I looked through each one and made notes as to the clarity and how easy or difficult it was to see all of the targets and what was printed on each.

I did this in the daylight, and then again in increments from 30 minutes before dark to 30 minutes after dark. This process took five days from start to finish to complete, as most of the work was done during the low-light periods of the day.

I also brought out one of the Zeiss rifle scopes for comparison.

After this process, I reviewed all of my notes. Here is what I came up with:

The scale is from 1 to 10, with 1 being terrible and 10 superior. Like all tests, this is my opinion. I did not use any high-tech instruments to measure these scopes. The rating numbers were based on the text I could or could not see in both bright sunlight, twilight and darkness.

I am 60 years old, but at the driver’s license renewal office, I can read every character on each line on the eye test machine – without glasses.

After I performed this test, I sighted in the Zeiss XB75 on my bow with the bolts that came with it (Excalibur) and New Archery Products field points to match the weight of the NAP FOC 2-blade mechanical broad heads I use.

Sighting it in is done by adjusting the magnification ring to the speed of your bolts and following a few simple steps. I found this to be no different than sighting in a rifle or handgun with a scope. I started by dialing it in at 20 yards and worked my way to 50 yards and then back to 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards to be sure my first five shots at each distance was still on the money.

The scope and bow performed as expected – dead on target. My groups at 20 and 30 yards were all inside of 1 inch. The 40- and 50-yard shots were 1.5-inch groups.

After this, I just had to test the bow out to 75 yards, as the Zeiss XB75 has a reticle that is designed to allow you to shoot at distances up to 75 yards in 2-1/2-yard increments.

I shot 10 shots, and the 10-shot group was just under 2 inches. All of the shots were taken using a Caldwell Lead Sled with no wind.

After this test, I shot 5 shots each at 30, 50 and 70 yards using the broadheads and was able to repeat these results. Then, I spent the next two hours sharpening the blades on the broadheads.

The bottom line is, I can see in the dark.

Last year I had a deer at one of my stands just before dark. With my naked eye I could see it, but when I looked through the scope on my bow, I could not see anything but black.

I am now ready for those sneaky little deer and pigs that come out just before legal hunting light is over.

If you have a scope on your crossbow that you are not happy with, give the Zeiss XB75 a try. I am sure you will be as happy as I am.

If all firearms were treated as if they were loaded, there would be no more accidental shootings. Shoot Straight, Shoot Safe!


Jim Hammond has had some sort of gun in his hand since he was 5 years old. He started with a Daisy BB gun as a small boy, and with careful instruction from his very safety-minded father, has become a skilled and knowledgeable shooter now willing to share his knowledge and experience as he has FUN SHOOTING. “Safety first and everything else will follow.”