The Best Marlin 1895 Scope Reviews

Leupold's VX2 Scope is the best Marlin 1895 Scope

In my neck of the woods the Marlin 1895 is quickly becoming one of the most popular hunting rifles you can buy. This hard hitting 45-70 is the perfect straight walled deer hunting rifle. With a long history in the United States, it’s just as good today as it was 100 years ago. Combining the power of the 45-70 with mid range accuracy makes the marlin 1895 one of the best hunting rifles of all time. From deer to bear the this rifle can take down the biggest game North America has to offer. Before you take your rifle into the field you’re going to want a great rifle scope.


What’s The Best Marlin 1895 Scope


1. Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 Waterproof Riflescope


Notable Features:

  • Premium Optic
  • Heavy Duty Construction
  • Waterproof
  • Crystal Clear Glass
  • Easy Adjustments

Check Price:  Amazon

Leupold VX2 3-9x40 ScopeThe Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 scope is perfect for your Model 1895. Leupold is known for making high quality scopes and this is no exception.  For the price you really can’t beat the clarity of the VX-2  This 3-9x scope is affordable yet effective making it an excellent choice for your 45-70. Whether you want to shoot 50 yards or 300 yards this rifle scope will do it all.

Most Leupold scopes are known for being extremely durable and they should last a lifetime. If something does happen you have a lifetime guarantee. If you’re clumsy like me the lifetime guarantee is a huge plus.  You’re really going to be impressed with this scopes optical clarity.  With its crystal clear reticle you can see clearly in almost any lighting conditions.  With a multicoated 4 lens system Leupold uses some of the best glass in the industry. You aren’t going to find better looking glass at this price point.

Another great feature of the VX-2 Riflescope is its completely waterproof and fogproof design. With longer eye relief you have a little more wiggle room while mounting. You’ll have a full and clear sight picture that fills the eyepiece completely. It’s extremely easy to adjust a Leupold scope in the field. With oversized 1/4 MOA finger click adjustable turrets you’ll be sighting in your scope in no time.

2. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 BDC


Notable Features:

  • Reasonably Priced
  • Easy to Use
  • Waterproof Design
  • Bright Sight Picture

Check Price:  Amazon

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 ScopeThe Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 scope is another great scope by a well respected company. Nikon is known more for their cameras than their hunting gear, but they make a quality rifle scope. Personally I like the Nikon Monarch more but it’s much more expensive.  So for about 1/3 of the price of the Monarch the Nikon Buckmaster is an amazing buy.

Looking at the price alone you wouldn’t expect a lot out of the Nikon Buckmaster.  However Nikon went with a proven scope design and built it to last. This durable and versatile Riflescope is the result of a collaboration between Nikon and Buck Masters. They tried to find a scope with everything hunters need at a fraction of the price. Featuring a 100 percent waterproof and fogproof housing, moisture should never penetrate the lens. If water does somehow get into the housing Nikon has a really nice lifetime warranty on all of their scopes.

Where the Buckmaster lets me down a little bit is its lens brightness.  You’ll notice a significant drop in brightness as the sun starts to set.  That could be due to their anti-reflective system that provides over 92 percent anti-reflection capability. That being said the optic is very clear throughout most of the day.  Nikon is able to leverage their dominance in the camera industry to buy some extremely affordable glass.  My favorite thing about the Buckmaster scope is the reticle.  Nikon’s BDC reticle trajectory compensating system is designed to provide fast and simple aiming points. You won’t have to due complex range estimations before long shots. For the price you aren’t going to beat this extremely durable scope.

3. Monstrum Tactical 3-9×32 AO Rifle Scope


Notable Features:

  • Value Priced
  • Lots of Features
  • Waterproof Design
  • Oversized Turrets
  • Rangefinder

Check Price:  Amazon

Monstrum Tactical 3-9x32 AO Rifle ScopeThe third scope on my list is made by Monstrum Tactical. Monstrum Tactical is a company that I have only recently heard of. They are known more in the tactical and AR-15 communities. After looking at this scope I’m going to be looking at more of their products in the future. If you don’t want to spend a fortune this seems to be a great scope for the money.

Monstrum tactical makes the perfect scope for your hunting rifle. Due to the low price and heavy duty frame, you shouldn’t have to worry about smacking it around. The only real downside is the water resistance rating. It doesn’t have a truly waterproof design which is a deal breaker for my hunting scopes. Monstrum Tactical uses an adjustable 3-9x magnification which is the perfect amount of zoom for the 45-70. You should be able to easily reach out a few hundred yards in almost any lighting conditions.

Monstrum Tactical loaded up this optic with a ton of cool features. The adjustable reticle illumination has 5 brightness levels allowing you to see in low light environments. You’ll even be able to choose between both a red and green reticle. The range estimation feature is another option you normally don’t see at this price point. The intuitive estimation reticle will allow you to quickly estimate your shot in the woods. With a few minutes of practice at the range you’ll be able to quickly estimate range and bullet drop. The adjustable objective lens allows for a sharper focus while eliminating parallax. You’ll notice slight distortion at the edge of the magnification range, but it’s well within the acceptable range. At this price point you aren’t going to find more features than this Monstrum Tactical 3-9x scope.

4. UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope


Notable Features:

  • Lots of Features
  • Value Priced
  • Rangefinder
  • Easy to Use Turrets

Check Price:  Amazon

UTG Bugbuster ScopeThe UTG Bugbuster scope is another budget option for your rifle. UTG is a company that seems to have come out of nowhere. They were originally in the European market and they have only recently made the jump into America. The biggest selling point of UTG scopes is their price. They make and sell a large number of moderately priced scopes that offer a ton of features. If you’ve never purchased a UTG scope this is the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon.

The UTG Bugbuster scope gives you a lot of features for the low price point. It’s really amazing that UTG was able to pack all of these features into a scope this price. The Bugbuster scope is completely sealed and nitrogen filled. The Bugbuster scope is completely shockproof, fogproof and rainproof which should work in most hunting applications. I would have liked to see a completely waterproof design, but that’s hard to find at this price point. This UTG Optic features a parallax free view out to 300 yards and multicolored reticles. You’ll have an extremely wide field of view with this long eye relief optic. You won’t be forced into an uncomfortable position like other low cost scopes. You’ll even be able to change between a red green and black reticle. The different reticle colors really help in low light shooting environments. The 2″ sunshade is another feature that greatly reduces glare in even the brightest lighting conditions. The oversized turrets and brightness control makes this scope extremely easy to sight in. You’ll be able to quickly sight in this scope in a matter of minutes. If you are looking for an affordable scope don’t overlook the UTG Bugbuster.


Choosing a Marlin 1895 Scope

Based off of the classic lever action design that our forefathers carried. This big boar 45-70 has been known to take down even the biggest animals North America has to offer. The same gun can be used for anything from deer to moose and grizzly bear. With this powerful round comes a lot of recoil so you need a moderate priced scope. Even though the 45-70 was used for years in the military, it’s known more as a hunting caliber today. The powerful round and flat trajectory make the 45-70 a very respectable hunting caliber. As long as you keep your target under 200 yards it should be easy pickins.

The main components to consider when purchasing your scope is magnification and durability. You want to keep the magnification fairly low since the 45-70 doesn’t reach out very far. The low magnification opens up a lot of very nice scopes at a low price. Due to the high recoil on the 1895 you will need a scope that stands up to some abuse. While hiking through the woods one of the last thing that you want is to lose your zero. Due to Marlins side ejection port  you can pretty much choose any moderately priced optic.

Match The Scope To The .45-70 Round

You can’t just use any scope with the hard hitting .45-70 round.  You need to find a scope that will be able to with stand some serious abuse.  It will have to handle a decent amount of recoil without taking on damage.

  • Durability:  As a very general rule you need to match your scope to the gun.  The .45-70 is a hard hitting round that can take down any animal throughout all of North America.  You need to pair a hunting gun with a scope that can take some abuse.  Not only does it need to with stand serious recoil.  It also needs to be able to take the occasional ding climbing up a tree stand or withstand a downpour of rain.  So you’re going to want a scope that’s not only shockproof it has to be waterproof as well.
  • Clarity:  When I’m shopping for a new scope clarity is at the top of my shopping list.  A crystal clear scope will greatly increase its effectiveness.  You’ll especially notice a difference at dawn and dusk, which are two of the best times to hunt.  With a clear scope you’ll be able to see when the sight picture dims.  I tend to lean towards Leupold scopes, because they offer a crystal clear sight picture at a reasonable price.
  • Brightness:  Just like clarity brightness plays a crucial role in your hunting scope.  There are a lot of factors that are going to effect brightness.  The larger your objective lens size the brighter the scope is going to be.  It’s simple physics, the bigger the hole is the more light your going to get.  Multi-coating is another thing that will greatly influence brightness.  It’s really hit or miss on who has the best multi-coating.  Expensive scopes have the best coatings.
  • Magnification:  The 45-70 isn’t meant for long distance shooting.  It shoots flat out to 200 yards then drops rapidly.  Any shot out past 200 yards is going to be a guaranteed miss.  Since your max distance is under 200 yards you really don’t need a high magnification scope.  I personally prefer a 3-9 magnification on all my hunting scopes, but you might prefer a little more or less.  Since 3-9 is the most popular magnification range scopes tend to be a lot cheaper.
  • Accuracy:  When mounted and sighted in properly all of the above scopes are going to be extremely accurate.  They all use a sturdy design that will stand up to a lifetime of abuse.

Sighting in Your New Scope

Sighting in your rifle is just like any other scope, but with one major difference.  If you don’t know what you’re doing it will quickly cost a fortune.  At close to 2 dollars per round you don’t want any wasted shots. This is the perfect cartridge to learn how to reload.  With a single stage press or turret press you can make extremely accurate rounds at a fraction of the price.  If you don’t reload you are going to want to sight in your new scope as quickly as possible.

You can quickly sight in your rifle using a laser boresight in conjunction with a bench rest.  The bore sight will get you within a few inches and the bench rest will help you get the rest of the way.  Slowly adjust the windage and elevation until your consistently hitting the bullseye.  You’re going to want to sight your rifle in at 100 yards.

Outfitting Your Marlin 1895 With a Scope

By far my favorite scope is the Leupold VX2.  It has everything you need in a decent rifle scope.  The 3-9x magnification is perfect for the 45-70 and the clarity is amazing. At this price tag you can never go wrong with a Leupold scope. Cheaper options would be the Nikon Buckmaster, Monstrum Tactical or UTG Bugbuster scopes. No matter what you choose I think you’ll be happy with any of these scopes.

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