Introduced 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.
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 riflescopes 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 rifle, we will look at which tradeoffs are wise to make especially when you are on a tight budget.
Some scopes rate a 5 star in all of these areas but they are not affordable at all. With this 45 70 guide, we’ll not only discuss the quality of the scopes but also their affordability. Therefore, it will be easy for you to make a decision based on numerous factors.
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 scopes for 45-70 rifles in 2021.
Top 5 Best 45-70 Rifle Scopes
1.BARSKA Varmint- Best Scope for Lever Action 45-70
This scope is proven in all the best ways and it is satisfied to be one of the best for 45 70 scopes. It is fog proof, waterproof, and shockproof thanks to its sealed and nitrogen purged design. 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
- 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 – Best Scope for 45-70
Vortex optics crossfire ii 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 multi-coated this results in bright and clear images. With the dead hold BDC reticle it is good for hunting at varying ranges.
The vortex optics scope 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 vortex optics rifle scope is constructed from aircraft grade aluminum, this gives it strength and shock proof performance. It is O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, it is waterproof and fogproof.
- great scope images because of the multi coated optics
- easily adjustable turrets
- Crystal clear images
- Eye relief may not be sufficient at high magnification levels
- Edge distortion at high magnification levels.
Vortex Optics Razor Red Dot Sights
It’s an open-top reflex visual with exceptional designs that ensure the sight delivers an excellent
It has a big, clear and crisp window that will give you a sharp and broad vision when
aiming at your target. To make it durable, it has a thick and long-lasting aluminium casing.
The size of the dot can either be 3 MOA or 6 MOA, depending on whether you want an accurate target
on your rifle or one that you can easily get from a handgun.
This sight has a battery tray on the side,
making it easy to change the batteries; you don’t have to remove the sight from the weapon. The
battery can serve you for 30,000 hours on a lower setting, while a higher setting can only make it last for
Even with its tough and durable materials, it weighs about 1.3 ounces. It gets to 2.4 when the
low Picatinny mount is included. Its slight weight makes it ideal for rifles and shotguns.
Other features include,
Brightness settings with 9 levels
It has O-ring seals that protect dust, moisture and other debris from making their way into the
Fully multi-coated lenses increase light transmissions into the sight
It has unlimited eye relief for quick acquisition of your target.
Small amounts of parallax which has a very negligible effect on the performance of the sight
It has shockproof, thanks to its rugged construction materials.
It is easy to spot the 3 MOA red dot on the target regardless of the light conditions and background. You
are not likely to miss the target with the red painting being vivid.
3. ATN Thor 4, Thermal Rifle Scope – Best 45-70 Riflescope
If you are looking for a capable and inexpensive thermal riflescope, you’ll not go wrong with ATN Thor 4,
thermal rifle scope. Some of the noticeable features are;
i. Dual-core processor
This scope has an intelligent and powerful obsidian iv dual-core processor. The processor improves the
scope’s performance and features when compared to other versions of ThOR scopes. It also contributes
to its high power efficiency operations.
ii. Variable magnification
The lowest-priced ThOR 4 riflescope offers magnification power ranging from 1.25× to 5×. This gives a
detection distance of about 720 yards. The more the magnification power, the more the distance you
A scope with 7-28× magnification power can give you a detection range of about 3,000 yards and 720
yards of identification range.
The more the magnification power, the more expensive the scope becomes.
iii. 384×288 Thermal Sensor
This is a standard sensor resolution for most hunters. However, a superior version has a resolution of
640×480, which comes at a higher price. The dual-core processor ensures it’s possible to get a sharp
image on this scope when you’re spotting distant targets. The 1280×720 HD display further improves the image quality.
iv. An Ideal Range Finder and Ballistic Calculator
ThOR 4 thermal scopes come with an in-built range finder and a ballistic calculator similar to the ThOR
The ballistic calculator utilizes your rifle’s profile, environmental, and altitude conditions to determine a
precise bullet path. Coupling the ballistic calculator with the range finder improves your shooting
accuracy. It is essential when you’re shooting on a long-range.
v. Built-in Video Recording Feature
With this scope, you can choose to record or stream your shooting activity. You can choose to stream to
your smartphone or tablet while the recording is on the 64 GB SD card that comes with the scope. The
dual-core processor allows you to stream and record the video simultaneously.
vi. 18-Hour Battery Life
AThOR 4 scope has a more durable battery life despite the many features it has. Its battery life is twice
the ThOR HD series.
ATN ThOR 4 thermal rifle scope is a great deal in the market today.
4.Weaver V-3 1-3X20 – Scope for Henry 45-70
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 scope is nitrogen purged protecting it against internal fogging, which is a common nuisance with most scopes. Its high magnification also guarantees high-quality image projection hence increasing the sight picture clarity. It also gives you excellent optics. It is optimized with a 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
5. UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster – 45-70 BDC Scope
This 45 70 scope has an emerald coating for maximum light transmission and high-quality sight picture. It has a 32 mm lens with a 3x 9x magnification level which is quite sufficient for a long-range hunting experience. It has resettable turrets with ¼ MOA per click adjustments. 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 ring 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
- has an illuminated reticle
- parallax adjustment
- Multi coated lens
- Eye relief may not be sufficient at all 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 scope for 45-70 marlin. The fact that there is a wide variety of scopes in the market makes it is 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 lever-action 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.
However, the lens size is directly parallel to the magnification levels.
For instance, with a scope labelled 3 9x40mm you will enjoy long range hunting and there will be sufficient light transmission for extreme performance.
A scope with a large objective lens diameter works best in all light conditions and high magnification range.
When shooting at low light conditions 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 diameters are larger and sit much higher on the firearm when mounted and are heavier than scopes with smaller objective lens diameters.
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.
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 reticle 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.
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 performs better than MOA at long distances but they are more expensive, heavy, and difficult use.
This system uses either 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 fast focus eyepiece in order to see the full field of view without any blockage.
A long eye relief is desirable to keep your brows safe especially when using firearms with heavy recoil.
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.
The 45 70 cartridges are quite heavy and when you release the trigger, keeping up with the recoil might be a challenge.
Therefore, you will require to ensure that your scope has reliable eye relief to protect you against black eyes and other possible injuries.
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. It is also good to learn how to clean the scope lens.
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.
9. Price Range
The affordability of a product is critical before making any purchase.
Ensuring that you can comfortably pay for a particular product without straining your account is every customer’s desire.
However, when it comes to purchasing riflescopes, affordability is beyond what you see.
You will require to check on the quality of the item and compare it with the price.
However, it is essential to note that most products today are highly-priced not because they are of the best quality but rather the brand.
Let the price not deter you from getting the high quality you need.
Therefore, you will need to ensure that the price and the scope of quality meet your expectations when you are purchasing. This way, you will be guaranteed that your investment is not in vain.
Another factor to consider when it comes to prices is the scope’s response to different weather conditions.
Highly-priced scopes should allow you the convenience of use even under harsh conditions. The more you pay should also reflect on the performance of the item.
10. Ease of Mounting
If you are buying a 45 70 scope for the first time, then you need to consider mounting options for your device.
Mounting scopes on rifles is both easy and difficult, depending on your experiences and mounting style.
For instance, if your scope of choice does not come with mounting rings, you will require to know where you can find them. Look for the one you can get the best moa per click.
This will help hunt that big game. This is especially when determining the range shooting for ones in a close range.
Whether you are an all-time hunter or seasonal, getting to know that you can mount your scope faster brings a rewarding satisfaction.
You also need to know whether the scope will be secure if you mount and sight it in advance before the actual hunting period.
If you cannot mount by yourself, especially if it’s the first time, you also need to know what other options you have.
Only buy when you are guaranteed to find someone who will assist you in mounting. If there are other hunters within your area, find whether they can assist you first.
If not, ask for recommendations and get someone who will assist you and train you.
Ease of Where to Shop for the Best 45 70 Scopes
While shopping, it is essential for you to get the best scope from a satisfied vendor.
Although the manufacturers’ product rights, it is good to keep in mind that a good vendor also gives you a chance to choose between various brands.
How to Use 45 70 Rifle Scopes at Ease
If you have a lever-action rifle, you know the importance of pairing it with a good 45 70 caliber scope. However, that is not all. You have to familiarize yourself with how both the scope and rifle operate to get the most from your investment.
First, you need to know whether your scope of choice is designed as the first or second focal plane. The difference between the two focal planes is in the appearance of the image size through the lenses.
For the first focal plane, the image size will change with the magnification range, while with SFP, it appears the same size.
Most long-range hunters prefer getting scopes with SFP as it allows them the privilege of making accurate shots. With SFP scopes, it’s easy to calculate the bullet drop and perfect your aim.
Additionally, SFP scopes are comfortable to use at any shooting range.
You do not necessarily depend on the magnification range to hit your target but rather your accuracy and position.
It allows you to elevation room from 5 inches to 9 inches depending on your primary arms position. In making all the considerations one can get one of the best 45 70 scopes.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a 45-70 rifle?
This is a .45 size firearm cartridge reinforced by 70-grain powder. Its initial label was .45-70-450, which meant the 450 grains bullet and 70 grains of powder load; this was before it was named .45-70. Its popularity has increased among the US sports hunters thanks to its perfect stopping power. You can successfully use this rifle for hunting for the big game animals, including the great bears. It has widely been used to hunt the ‘African Big Six’ and the small animals, including birds. However, this rifle is not suitable for long-range shooting; it excels at short-range shooting. .45-70 has over 150 years of history.
2. What is the range of a 45-70 rifle?
It is very effective when shooting a range of about 150 yards with the least bullet drop. It can still deliver shooting accuracy on a range beyond 150 yards but turn out to be ineffective if it goes beyond 200 yards. For instance, if you use a .45-70 load to shoot 350 to 400 yards range, the bullet will drop to about 50 inches. Such a drop can significantly affect your shooting accuracy.
Because of these inefficiencies, do not use the .45-70 in ranges that are more than 200 yards. If you are familiar with windage and elevations, you can conveniently shoot long ranges with this rifle.
3. Is a 45-70 rifle too big for deer hunting?
No. You can use a 45-70 rifle to shoot for your deer hunting trip and make accurate shots if you have the shooting skill. However, you need to know where to shoot the deer to avoid damaging the meat. If possible, always try to go for the back of the deer’s shoulder whenever you are shooting one. And this will not cause tracking of the animal. Shooting through the shoulder can spoil the meat found in both shoulders.
Whether you are walking or on your horseback, the 45-70 rifle is easy to carry and flexible to mount and fire when you spot your target. You won’t have a hard time shooting when you spot a deer.
4. What is the Best scope for Henry 22 lever action
There are different brands of scopes that you can set on your Henry 22 lever action; here are the best three.
Athlon Optics Nes 3-9×40 mm
It’s the best pick because of it is affordability and quality that you can rely upon. The scope has a fully multi-coated lens which guarantees you clear images for shooting.
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40mm Riflescope
It comes with multi-coated and scratch-resistant lenses that have a 3:1 zoom ratio. The manufacturer has balanced the price range, quality and versatility to ensure you get the best from this scope. You can compensate for wind and bullet drop by adjusting the windage and elevation range adjustments.
Simmons .22 mag Truplex Rectile Rimfire 3-9×32mm Riflescope
It is a simple and low-budget scope with no complex features but basic features of a reliable scope. The scope has wind and elevation adjustment knobs that you can operate even with your gloves on. The 32mm objective lens gives you a clear visual; however, your target may appear blurred when you magnify them to the power of ×9. This is expected because of its under $50 price tag,
5. How to site 45-70 rifle?
You first need to ensure that your rifle is bore-sighted. Prepare your rifle and a stable front and rear rest for optimal stability, your ammunition, eye, and ear protection too.
Focus your riflescope by concentrating your reticle and the magnification power to your paper target. When adjusting the parallax, ensure your target is crisp and clean and the reticle isn’t wandering. Make about three shots to see how far or close your shots land on the target paper.
Check the variance and adjust your scope through its dials depending on the variance on your target paper. Don’t forget the elevation adjustments too.
These adjustments should bring your shots close to the bull’s eye, and your 40-70 rifle should be ready for short-range shooting.
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 and also one of the best scopes. However, when choosing the best scopes for 45 70 rifles, it is essential to get one that meets your hunting expectations.
Also, if you have anything that you feel we have left out or would want to be included, feel free to leave a comment in the section below. You will get the best lever action 45 70. Also if there are any best 45 70 scopes that you would wish us to include in our next post, ensure to mention them in the comment.
This way, it will be easy for users to assist one another and improve hunting adventures. The best thing is to look for that scope with the best eye relief.