Nikon Bolt XR Crossbow Scope Review

Editor rating

4.7/5 on February 8, 2017

User's rating

127 reviews

Nikon offers a fantastic scope in the Bolt XR Crossbow Scope, which offers some great features, is pretty damn indestructible and looks great to boot. This is a scope I’d heard nothing but positive praise about so I was eager to try it out for myself.

Key Features

Fully Multicoated Lens

The lens of this scope are coated with coated with multiple layers of anti-reflective compounds, giving you crisp images with perfect clarity. To maximize brightness, the lens transmits up to 92% of available light with it’s 3x optics.

Zero-Reset Turrets

This Nikon scope offers precise aiming points and the zero-reset turrets make it easy to sight in. You can sight in at 20 yards and then simply lift the spring loaded adjustment knob to rotate back to zero and reengage, making field adjustments a breeze.

3X Magnification

This scope provides 3X magnification, letting you zoom in on your target from up to 60 yards away. The reticle is precise and magnification works flawlessly to zero in on what you need.

Wide Field of View

Nikon boasts the field of view of this scope as 35.6 at 100 yards, allowing you an easy way to examine your landscape clearly and zero in on your target quickly and easily.

Highly Durable

This Bolt XR scope is practically indestructible with it being waterproof, shockproof and fog proof, as well as being resilient to normal wear and tear. Perfect for taking out in bad weather, thanks to the weather-proof properties of this scope, you’ll be able to see clearly no matter what’s on the weather forecast that day.

First Impressions

I was pretty eager to try out this scope from the get go. My first thought was that the black matte finish looks nice and professional, not cheap looking like I’ve seen on other scopes in this price range. This scope is 8.1 inches long and a little less than 2 inches in diameter at it’s widest part. Overall, it’s quite compact and lightweight, weighing in at 11.2 ounces so you’ll only be adding about a pound to your crossbow’s weight, a definite plus if you like spending the whole day out hunting and don’t want to be lugging around heavy equipment. The Bolt XR doesn’t come with it’s only rings, which is a shame but I just used some of my own and the scope mounted very easily within seconds. If your crossbows shoots at less that 350 FPS, then you won’t have any issues sighting this in. I found it incredibly easy to sight in and loved the zero-reset adjustment turrets, which make it very easy to remember your sight-in point and then quickly flip in back to zero. My first day taking this out, it took me a little while to get used to the reticle but found the field of view fantastic and the magnification made zeroing in on deer 60 yards away as simple as if it was right in front of me. I was quite impressed by this scope.

Would I Recommend This Scope?

Overall, yes I would definitely recommend this scope. The Bolt XR offers great optics, crystal clear from beyond the stated 60 yards away. I’ve gone up as far as 76 yards and found the image absolutely as clear as if it was right in front of me. The weather proof properties are brilliant, especially the fog proof design that makes this a lovely scope to use in bad weather conditions. It gets quite cold in my state and yet this scope has always remained completely clear of any fogginess, without any additional coating. Other great features such as the eye relief, field of view and the zero-reset adjustment turrets make this a fantastic scope that I would definitely recommend.


As mentioned, the eye relief is a real winning feature here to keep your eyes safe from any recoil. The Bolt XR provides 3.4 inches of eye relief and a quick focus eyepiece with +/-4 diopter adjustment.

The weatherproof design really is fantastic, making this scope able to withstand almost anything you throw at it. Come rain, sun, snow or fog, this scope will make sure you always have perfectly clear image of your target.

The zero-reset adjustment turrets make is so easy to sight in, remember your sight in point and quickly adjust back to zero in the field. Plus being shockproof, this scope holds zero without any need for adjusting for months on end.


Unfortunately the Bolt XR doesn’t come with it’s own rings, so if this is your first scope you may need to buy them extra. However, its a minor issue and any rings of your own should work perfectly with this scope.

The BDC 60 reticle doesn’t have lines and instead has dots, which aren’t illuminated and are therefore a little difficult to see. This is something that you have to simply get used to as once you do, you’ll have no problem shooting with this scope.

The fact that the reticle is not illuminated means that this scope isn’t recommended for using in low light conditions. Without illumination it would be very difficult to see when the sun goes down. However the 92% light transmission means that during daytime, you have all the light you need.

Final Verdict

The Nikon Bolt XR is a fantastic crossbow scope that definitely holds it’s own against its competitors. With excellent light-gathering capabilities, a great eye relief, clear, crisp, fog proof optics and the ability to hold zero and adjustments well, this is a quality scope that won’t disappoint. The only real drawback is the lack of illumination but it’s a minor one compared to all the excellent features offered by the Bolt XR crossbow scope.