Best 45-70 Rifle Scopes

best 45-70 rifle scopeIntroduced in the 1870s the 45-70 lever action government riffle, such as the marlin, has proven over the years to be a true performer in short-range, medium-range, and big game hunting. It gave rise to the best 45-70 rifle scopes. By using these scopes, one will be able to hunt down the big game.

Its relevance to this present day can be attributed to Its original 405-grain load which is sufficient for any big game hunting, when loaded with the right bullet, within its range limitations.

In addition, due to its low bullet velocity, it does not destroy edible meat in small animals. Choosing the best 45-70 rifle scopes can be quite hard keeping in mind that there is quite a vast number of riflescopes in the market, each one of them having its pros and cons.

Today, I will take you through the most important considerations when choosing the right rifle scope for your .45-70 riffle, we will look at which tradeoffs are wise to make especially when you are on a tight budget.

Some of the most important things to consider are durability, magnification, eye relief, clarity of scope image and accuracy. Some scopes rate a 5 star in all of these areas but they are not affordable at all.

We can all agree that all the features that the top scopes offer are not necessary for a hunter, for example, a magnification of more than 12x may not be necessary for the majority of the situations.

Usually, a magnification of between 3x-9x is satisfactory even for long shots. Having done some research on the offers in the market here are 5 of the best rifle 45-70 rifle scopes in 2019.

ProductMagnificationUnique FeatureImageCheck Price
1.BARSKA Varmint Mil-Dot Riflescope10-40 x 50mmLong-range scope
2.Vortex Optics Crossfire II CF2-31007 Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes3-9x40mmHas adjustable turrets
3. Weaver V-3 1-3X20 Riflescope (Matte)1-3x20mmGreat performance in low light
4. UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings3-9x32mmHas an illuminated Reticle
5. Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope3-9x32mmDurable

Top 5 Best 45-70 Rifle Scopes

1.BARSKA Varmint Mil-Dot Riflescope

This scope is proven in all the best ways. It is fog proof, waterproof, and shockproof. It, therefore, impresses a unique demographic of individuals who need the scopes because they use them mostly during harsh weather conditions. It is a scope to consider among the 45 70 scopes.

You will also appreciate the adjustable objective, large objective lenses, and long-range magnification power. This explains why the scope has received such high ratings from the buyers.

It allows you to see clear images that are close to the rifle and those far away. You will also have the ability to see what you are hunting, even if it is dark at night.

If you are looking for a scope that is diverse and pocket friendly, this is the scope you need to buy. It gives you all the features you need to hunt both in low and normal lighting conditions. 

The adjustability of the objective lens can be corrected for parallax errors according to the distance that they are shooting.


  • Affordable price
  • High quality images
  • Long-range scope
  • Large objective lens
  • Weatherproof
  • 1/8 MOA clicks for accuracy precision


  • No BDC reticle
  • Too sensitive to use with larger rifles
  • No illuminated reticle


2.Vortex Optics Crossfire II CF2-31007 Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes


This is another scope that is among the best 45-70 rifle scopes. This 45 70 scope has a 40mm lens with a magnification of 3x-9x. The lenses are antireflective and fully multicoated this results in bright and clear images.

With the dead hold BDC reticle it is good for hunting at varying ranges. It has a long eye relief of 3.8 inches which may not be ideal for all riffle shooting angles. The fast focus eyepiece allows quick and easy reticle focusing.

Its turrets are finger adjustable with 1/4 MOA clicks that can be reset to zero after sighting in. This rifle scope is constructed from aircraft aluminum, this gives it strength and shock proof performance. It is O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, it is waterproof and fogproof.


  • Durable,
  • great scope images because of the multicoated lens
  • easily adjustable turrets
  • Fogproof


  • Eye relief may not be sufficient at high magnification levels
  • Edge distortion at high magnification levels.



3.Weaver V-3 1-3X20 Riflescope (Matte)

This is the other type of the 45 70 scopes. If you are looking for a scope that will make you close to medium range engagements easy and fun, the Weaver V-3 riflescope is one you should consider. The first thing you will notice about it is its sturdy construction.

It can withstand most weather conditions, harsh terrain, and still perfect for low-light conditions. The one-piece tube is made of aluminum alloy construction, which has a matte black coat finish, thus guaranteeing sufficient camouflage. The nitrogen purge prevents the internal fog, which is a common nuisance with most scopes.

It also gives you excellent optics. It is optimized with the light transmission so that you have the edge-to-edge clarity you need. These lenses ensure that you have clear and crisp images of your target, and you will not have to deal with glare from your lens.

Of course, you want to enjoy accuracy, and the ¼ MOA provides that to you. You will hear a click that will tell you when you have made an incremental adjustment.


  • Easy to adjust
  • Excellent accuracy
  • Compact construction
  • Great low light performance
  • Does not need batteries
  • No distortion
  • Excellent light transmission


  • Does not come with a scope cover
  • The elevation and windage adjustments sometimes interfere with each other




4. UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings 


This  45 70 scope has an emerald coating for maximum light transmission. it has a 32 mm lens with a 3-9 magnification which is quite sufficient for hunting. It has resettable turrets with ¼ MOA per click adjustment.

Its red and green illumination allows for more effective scope use under diverse environments and lighting conditions.

This riffle has the tactile range estimating mil-dot reticle which has enhanced accuracy and performance. The scope is durable and can withstand harsh conditions and recoil power.

It is completely sealed and 100% nitrogen filled. It is shock fog and rainproof. This riffle may not offer sufficient eye relief at all magnification powers.

It offers the best eye relief at power 3 also eye relief will depend on the specific refile your using. This scope is great for the price.


  • Great scope images
  • durable
  • has an illuminated reticle
  • parallax adjustment 
  • Fogproof


  • Eye relief may not be sufficient at all magnification levels




5.Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope



If you are on a tight budget this is the scope to go with. It’s a true performer and great for the price. It has a lens of 32 mm and a magnification of 3x-9x. its lenses are fully multi coated and it has clear and crisp images. It has suregrip rubber surfaces that are easy to adjust.

The scope is light, strong and durable. It can withstand vicious recoils and harsh handling. It is also waterproof, fogproof and shockproof. Its eye relive is 3.75 inches which are not comfortable at higher lens magnification.


  • Durable
  • Holds zero quite well.
  • Fog proof


  • There is some distortion around the edges of the field of view.

  • Eye relief is not sufficient at high magnification levels



Factors to Consider When Buying the Best 45-70 Rifle Scopes

The more choices we have the harder it becomes for us to settle on any of the 45 70 scopes. The fact that there is a wide variety of scopes in the market makes it hard for most people to narrow down to which one they should buy.

Well, it doesn’t have to be hard, taking a step by step approach will make it not only easier but also leave you satisfied with the choice you made. Different scopes will have different features targeted to a specific use.

Today I will take you through the steps for choosing the best 45-70  rifle scopes suited for your needs.

1. What do I need the scope for?

Asking yourself this question is the first and also the most important step when deciding which scope to buy. May you need a scope for hunting, hitting targets or hunting?  Furthermore, knowing the distance from which you will be shooting will help you narrow your choices even more.

For example, if you need a gun for hunting you should decide if you doing short range hunting, medium-range hunting or long-range hunting. This will help you establish the magnification power that you need.

You should also take the riffle that you will be using into consideration, the range of the riffle will determine the magnification that you need. 

Lastly, it is important to consider the environment in which you will be using the scope. For your scope to perform well in adverse weather conditions it needs to be fog-proof and waterproof. In addition, it should be strong enough to withstand harsh handling for example in the forests.

2. Consider the magnification that you need

The magnification of a scope is how big the target appears. Different scopes come with different magnifications. Some have variable magnification while others have a fixed magnification. The magnification power of a scope will highly determine its price. Those with a fixed magnification are usually cheaper. When buying a scope, you will see something like “3-9×40”.

This means it has a variable magnification, the target is three times large when at its lowest magnification and 9 times larger at its highest magnification. For hunting a magnification of more than 12x is not necessary, however for long range shooting one would need a high magnification.

There is no benefit of buying a scope with a higher magnification than that you need, in fact, it will impact negatively on your hunting experience, it will lead to inaccurate shots and wasted ammo. If you need a scope for short-range hunting and you are on a tight budget, buying a 4x fixed scope would be a  good decision. This is also to look at when looking for the best scope for elk hunting,

3. Objective lens diameter

Objective lens diameter is the diameter of the front lens of the scope, opposite to the eyepiece. The objective lens diameter determines how much light enters the scope and consequently how bright the scope images are. The lighting condition, the range you will be shooting and the magnification you will be using are key to consider when choosing a scope with the right objective lens diameter.

A scope with a large objective lens diameter works best in all light conditions and high magnification range. When shooting at low light condition a scope with a larger lens diameter will give brighter images as it allows more light into the scope however this only makes a difference if you are shooting at a long range.

For most scopes, an objective lens of 30-40mm will give images that are bright enough in majority of the situations however for high magnification lenses an objective lens diameter of more than 50mm is more appropriate. It is important to note that scopes with larger objective lens diameter are larger and sit much higher on the firearm when mounted and are heavier than scopes with smaller objective lens diameter. This can make it harder to get a good shooting position, it affects the comfortable cheek and weld method and it can affect proper eye alignment with the reticle.

All this sums up to less accurate shots at close range. Larger objective lens diameter works best when shooting at higher magnification.

4. Reticle

Reticles are important in getting an accurate aiming point and can greatly improve your shooting performance. Many advancements have been on the reticle over the years from the simple dot reticle to the more advanced mil-dot and BDC reticle (bullet drop compensator reticle).

There is an array of reticles to choose from, all having specific features targeted to a specific use, for example, the mil-dot reticle has dotted crosshairs that help to determine the distance of the target while the BDC has horizontal lines on lower half which helps one to determine bullet drop at various distances to the target.

 For someone who is not well experienced with reticles, it is wise to go with the simple duplex reticle since the more advanced ones may be quite challenging to get used to. Some reticles are illuminated while others are not, the illuminated give good performance even in low light conditions.

5. Adjustments

The windage and elevation adjustments turrets use two main adjustments systems, namely the MOA (minute of angle) and MRAD (miliradian). 1 MOA corresponds to 1 inch when shooting at 100 yards. 1 MRAD is roughly 3.6 inches at 100 yards. MRAD perform better than MOA at long distances but they are more expensive, heavy and difficult use.

This system uses either the micro friction adjustments or click adjustments. Generally, the click adjustments are more convenient to use.

The MOA per click also something to keep in mind since the smaller it is the finer the adjustments will be. 1/4 MOA per click is good to go with.

6. Eye relief

Eye relief is how far your eye needs to be from the eyepiece in order to see the full field of view without any blockage. A long eye relive is desirable to keep your brows safe especially when using firearms with heavy recoils.

Eye relief decreases as the magnification times of the scope increases. Most hunting scopes have an eye relief of 4 inches or more while many scout scopes have a longer eye relief of 9 inches however they have lower magnification. 

7. Lens coating.

Lens coating reduces glare and loss of light due to reflection hence leading to better light transmission. This results in brighter and clearer images. There are different lens coating in the market, namely:

 Coated – at least one lens has at least one-layer coating

 Fully coated – a single coating on all air-to-glass surfaces

Multicoated – multiple layers on at least one surface.

Fully multicoated – multiple layers on all air-to-glass surfaces.

The type of coating will highly determine the price. It is wise to go for the fully multicoated ones if they are within your budget.

8. Parallax

Scope parallax is the inconsistency one sees when they look at a fixed scope at different positions. Some scopes are parallax free at a certain distance while others are not, however they have parallax adjustment knobs. Scope parallax will lead to inaccurate shots and wasted rounds. 

The more features a scope has the higher its price will be. To get value for your money you should go for ones with what you need, nothing more, to avoid spending more on features that you might never need. Lastly, before buying a scope you should make sure it can be mounted on your firearm. 


All of the listed best 45-70 rifle scopes are great, although they all have their pros and cons. They are all reliable, durable and they perform quite well. We can all agree that for the price they come with they are the best to go with. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm BDC Riflescope offers the best value for the price.

Leave a Comment