The 5 Best .45-70 Scopes on The Market

The 45-70 has long been considered one of the best hunting calibers of all time. It has enough takedown power to handle any big game species found across North America. For as long as I can remember this powerful rifle has been used as protection against grizzlies, black bears and even polar bears in Alaska. Even Teddy Roosevelt got in on the action with his prized Winchester model 1886 design by John Browning. The 45-70 definitely has enough power to take on big game, but it lacks a little bit in range. Shooting flat out to most hunting distances this rifle works better in the field than it does at the range. That being said with the best 45-70 scope you can definitely extend your range farther than you’d ever hope to hunt.

Which Magnification is Right For You?

Due to the relatively short range of the 45-70 you really don’t need a lot of magnification. This means that you shouldn’t have to spend a lot of money on a scope. Any medium range scope with a little bit of durability should work. Most of the time I choose a 3-9x40mm scope for all my large bore rifles. This midrange magnification offers the perfect amount of distance for any hunting rifle. It’s also the most sold magnification range on the market so scopes tend to be cheaper than other options.

If 3-9x magnification seems to be a little to much for your rifle check a few of my favorite 1-4x, 1-6x and 1-8x rifle scopes.  These low range offerings cost a little more than most of these scopes on this list, but they allow for better close range accuracy.

What’s The Best 45-70 Scope?

1.  Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope

Check Price:  Amazon

As a general rule you can never go wrong with the Leopold scope. Leupold offers a ton of clarity at an affordable price point. With durability to match Leupold’s VX-2 rifle scope is the perfect match for any 45-70.

Leupold’s VX-2 Rifle scope is by far my favorite scope for the 45-70.  I just threw one on my Marlin 1895sbl and love the quality.  I personally prefer the 3-9x magnification range, but there’s a VX-2 scope available in almost any magnification you can think of.  You might also want to consider the similarly priced 2-7x, and 4-12x40mm options.

Leupold scopes really stand out from the pack when it comes to optical clarity. You just aren’t going to get a clearer scope at this price point. With a crystal-clear site picture and bright indexed matched lens system it has some of the best glass on the market.Leupold’s patented DiamondCoat lens coating further improves optical clarity by reducing the risk of damage. With a diamond coating you won’t have to worry about debris scratching your lens and ruining your sight picture.

The extremely bright sight picture ensures excellent viewing from dawn till dusk. It offers the perfect amount of brightness for all of your hunting needs. Even in the bright summer sun and dew filled mornings you won’t have to worry about glare or fog. The perfect hunting scope not only offers a clear and bright sight picture it also has to be durable.

Leupold offers one of the most durable scopes on the market at this price point. With an absolute waterproof and fog proof body you won’t have to worry about damaging your VX-2 Rifle Scope. Every Leupold scope is ready for a lifetime abuse in the field in all weather conditions. If the scope for some reason doesn’t meet your expectations Leupold has a lifetime warranty that covers any damage done in the field. For the money you are going to find a better 45-70 scope than the Leupold VX-2.

2.  Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32mm Rifle Scope


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As no surprise to anyone that’s been around the optical industry for a while for Vortex Optics also offers an excellent option for your 45-70. Vortex Optics have long been known for offering affordable scopes that are packed with a ton of features. The vortex crossfire lineup of scopes offers a lot of value at an affordable price point. Thankfully you don’t have to spend a lot of cash to get a clear and durable scope.

Saying the Vortex Crossfire lineup of scopes is large would be an understatement. Vortex offers a crossfire scope in just about every magnification option imaginable. With a ton of great options for hunting rifles including 1-4x24mm1-6x24mm, 1-8x24mm and 2-7x32mm and 3-9x40mm.  Personally I think the 2-7x32mm option pairs best with the short range 45-70 round, but your mileage may vary.

You are going to get the same level of clarity that you would find in the more expensive Leupold scope, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be impressed. Vortex offers some of the clearest scopes at every price point. When you’re on a budget you won’t be able to beat this crossfire scope. It has an extremely bright site picture that doesn’t wash out in bright sunlight. Featuring anti-reflective and fully multi-coated lenses that will provide bright and clear views all day long. It has a really long eye relief lends an ultra-forgiving eye box that will allow you to quickly get a sight picture and acquire your target. To further speed up your target acquisition it also includes a fast focus eyepiece.

Vortex Optics has the durability to stand out from the competition. Offering one of the best warrantees in the market you won’t have to worry about damaging your scope. With a lifetime no questions asked replacement warranty you can feel confident bringing a vortex scope out into the field. With a single pieced tube construction made out of aircraft grade aluminum it can really pack a punch. The quality construction ensures a strong shockproof body that will withstand almost anything life throws at it. O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged the crossfire scope offers a completely waterproof and fog proof housing. What more can you ask for from one of the best value scopes on the market.

3.  Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm BDC Scope

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Nikon teamed up with Buckmaster’s to create one of the best value scopes on the market. Nikon’s Buckmaster II offers everything a hunter could need in a scope. With lots of features and a durable design the Buckmaster 2 is well worth a look.

It really is amazing how much Nikon packed into this affordable rifle scope. At a fraction of the price of the competition it offers a clear and bright sight picture. The bright antireflective system of multi-coated lenses provides 92% anti-reflection capability. You won’t have to worry about glare on bright summer mornings. The Buckmaster Scope offers one of the clearest sight pictures at this price range. It was designed to be used on early mornings and late at dusk when there’s not a lot of light. It offers the perfect amount of brightness and clarity for any hunting rifle.

Nikon really went all out when designing this rifle scope. It includes a lifetime warranty that protects against all forms of damage. With its durable housing that offers 100% water and frog proof protection you won’t have to worry about damaging the scope. O-ring seals and nitrogen purging insurers moisture will never get in between the lenses. What I really like about this Buckmaster scope is it’s radical. Nikons BDC Reticle allows hunters to hold dead on without having to worry about bullet drop. The range estimating reticle will allow you to extend to the outside of your 45-70’s range.

4.  Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Rifle Scope

Check Price:  Amazon

Bushnell really blew the competition out of the water with its Banner Dusk and Dawn rifle scope. They set a new level of quality at this entry-level price point. The dusk and dawn rifle scope gives a hunter everything he needs at an affordable price point.

When I first saw the Bushell banner scope I thought the price point was a mistake. How could they offer so much value at such a low price. With a completely waterproof and shockproof body it’s hard to believe they could offer it at such an affordable price. With an O-ring seal and nitrogen purged tube the Banner scope is ready for a day in the fiel.
What the Bushnell Banner scope lacks in clarity it really makes up for in brightness. It was designed to be used in extremely low light conditions and offers one of the brightest sight pictures at this price point. Multi coated optics allow an extremely high level of light transmission without suffering from glare. You’ll be able to tag in those critical first and last minutes of daylight when bucks always seem to let their guard down.  The 3-9x40mm magnification range is perfect for your hunting rifle.  With 1/4 MOA fingertip adjustments you can quickly sight in your scope and make last minute adjustments.  Further improve your accuracy using the fast focus eyepiece.

Which is The Best 45-70 Scope?

There’s really no question about it, unless want to spend a small fortune Leupold’s VX-2 scope is the way to go.  Leupold offers an extremely clear sight picture and durable design without breaking the bank.  The Vortex crossfire lineup of scopes is another great option that provides an equal level of durability.  You can even save some money and go with the Nikon Buckmaster or Bushnell Banner Dusk and Dawn Rifle scope.

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