The 3 Best 45-70 Scope [2020 Update]

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In this guide I’m going to show you the best 45-70 scope.

In fact:

These are the same scopes that many optic experts and competitive shooters use.

The best part?

I’ve sorted the scopes by use. So whether you’re on a budget or need a solid scope for 45-70 rifle, you’ll find it here.

Let’s get started!

The 3 Best 45-70 Scope

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best 45-70 scope:

  1. Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7×32: Best Overall
  2. Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20: Best for Lever Action
  3. Leupold VX-R Hog 1.25-4×20: Best for the Budget

1. Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7×32: Best Overall

The Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7×32 is the best overall scope.

In fact,

This scope provides the highest levels of clarity, durability, and precision out of the many rifle scopes I’ve tested.

Want to know how? Keep reading, starting with…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The Burris 200261 Ballistc Plex has crystal clear glass.

The index-matched Hi-Lume multi-coating is a fancy way of saying this optic performs well in low-light while also reducing the glare.

This means you’re less likely to blow your cover while hunting, and you can stay out longer.

This optic also uses quality lenses in a larger size than comperable scopes which helps with better light transmission.

This scope uses a Ballistic Plex reticle. It’s simple, elegant, and effective.

The marks are sharp and thin for precise aiming with ballistic drop marks if you want to shoot at varying or extended distances without having to adjust the windage and elevation knobs.

It’s also a second focal plane, meaning the scale of the reticle maintains its size throughout all magnifications- so the reticle remains readable no matter the distance.

It’s a low frills reticle that offers versatility for short or medium target ranges without sacrificing fast target acquisition by loading the reticle with too many hashmarks or numbers.

It’s simple; it’s clean; it’s lethal.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The Burris 200261 has 9.2-12” in of eye relief.

This allows for both one and two eyes open shooting.

To go more in depth, the scope has a decently generous eyebox at 2x that’s easy to find for fast snap shots. This holds all the way up to 5x and 6x for a crisp picture alignment.

At 7x, the eye relief is still more than comfortable, but it’s the eyebox that gets finicky. You have to be aligned exactly behind the reticle to see clearly because the eyebox become fairly narrow at that point.

If you’re head is slightly off-center, the picture will have a hazey blur effect or black out entirely.

With proper technique this isn’t really a problem. It also helps to make sure that the scope has been properly mounted with the correct relief.


Overall, the Burris 200261 has a rugged construction that’s waterproof, shockproof, fogproof, and ready for whatever you throw at it- or throw it at.

Every scope is individually recoil, water and fogproof tested to ensure its quality before leaving Burris.

The outer tube is manufactured from one solid piece, maximizing it capability to withstand shock and vibration from heavy recoiling calibers.

On the inside of the optic, the internal assemblies are precision-gauged and hand-fitted to maintain a consistent point of impact regardless of shock and vibration. This holds for all magnification ranges.

The scope’s Nitrogen gas purged body means that the scope is fog-free in the cold, rain, inclimate temperatures, or fluctuations. You’ll have a clear shot no matter the weather.

A lot of scopes use Nitrogen purging to seal the inside of their optics, but Burris actually takes it a step farther by filling and purging this optic 24 times to truly evacuate any moisture.

Burris also uses specially made quad seals to provide double insurance against leakage.

Also ideal it the scope’s lightweight and compact design. It’s only 9.7 in long and 13 oz, making it easy to carry in the field.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

There aren’t a lot of flashy features on this scope, but it invests the highest performance quality into the pieces that it does have.

The elevation and windage adjustments are steel on steel, sturdy, repeatable turrets with audible clicks.

The low-profile turrets create a sleek profile and don’t obstruct your view when you’re aiming with both eyes.

They’re finger-adjustable with a Posi-lock system that locks your adjustments into place with a double internal sprin-tension system.

Zeroing was easy. It only took 5 rounds at 25 yards before moving out to 100 and I was able to get it quickly dialed in after that.

Once the reticle is zeroed, the covering tube replaces the internal spring and locks the inner tube in place.

It holds zero through all the shock, recoil, and vibrations that come with the lifestyle.

Parallax & Magnification

This optic has a versatile 2x-7x magnification range which makes it ideal for short- and mid-range distances.

It performs its absolute best at 75-100 yards, but can be pushed to 300 yards.

The magnification ring is a little tough to turn, but I’d rather have ti tight than loose.

Mounting & Rings

There are no rings or mounts included with the optic.

Personally, I’m a fan of the 1” Warne QD Low Rings.

This optic is best mounted in front of the ejection port for extended eye relief and both eyes open shooting. This also helps with fast target acquisition and situational awareness.

I also like to add lens covers to protect my optics from the elements. The Vortex Optics Flip Cap Optic Cover, Size 3 fits both ends of this scope very snugly.

Is the Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7×32 worth it?

The combination of clarity, durability, and unbeatable warranty is what makes the Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7×32 the best overall variable-power scout scope on the market.

It’s an ideal optic for shooters who need a working rifle, carbine, or multi-purpose scout rifle.

Here’s why:

  • Posi-Lock system
  • Burris Forever Warranty
  • Straightforward Ballistic Plex reticle
  • Index-matched, Hi-Lume multi-coating

The durability alone is one of the reasons why I keep coming back to this particular scope for all of my short- and mid-range shooting needs.

If you’re considering the Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7×32, you won’t be disappointed.

Burris Scout Rifle Scope, Compact and Slim Optic with Medium Magnification
  • Scout Scope fixed 2.75x-20mm matte black heavy plex
  • 1-piece tube construction, reinforced quad-seal gas seals and Hi-Lume Multi-coated lenses
  • Water, fog and shockproof

2. Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20: Best for Lever Action

The Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20 is an amazing scope and perfect for lever action.

In fact, I’d call it the best scope for 45-70 lever action rifles.

It’s what I use for so many reasons.

Want to hear what they are? Keep reading…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass on this scope is crystal clear and crisp.

This is because the lenses are fully multi-coated, which helps to let in more light. This in turn gives you better, truer colors for a bright sight picture.

The VX-Freedom also features the Twilight Light Management System. This is Leupold’s signature system that allows you to see in dim or low-light conditions. Like those dawn and dusk times where prey is most prevalent.

Plus, this scope has a Duplex reticle for quick, easy target acquisition.

The Duplex reticle has thicker outer posts and thinner crosshairs, which draws your eye right to the center of target. The crosshairs also allow you to make those long range, precision shots.

And it’s nice and clean looking, unlike some of the more complex reticles that just clutter up your sight.

I use it all the time for varmint hunting on my .17 HMR rifle and the duplex reticle makes it easy to spot and quickly target my prey.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20 has 4.17-3.74 inches of eye relief.

This is actually more than the average for this type of scope, which means you don’t have to worry too much about having the perfect cheek weld, although that’s always important.

The eye box is also quite generous, so you’ll get a wide field of view.


The Leupold VX Freedom is built to last, just like all of Leupold’s products.

It’s super lightweight and compact, which is what makes it so perfect for a lever action because it doesn’t weigh it down too much.

That’s because it’s made from aircraft quality aluminum, so this thing can definitely take a beating. I’ve knocked mine around a bunch and there’s not a mark on it.

On top of that, it’s waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. And, it has scratch resistant lenses, making it solid, sturdy, and dependable.

If that’s not enough, Leupold offers a lifetime warranty for this scope. And I can personally attest to the company’s amazing customer service.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation and windage turrets are ¼ MOA and are very precise.

The adjustments are finger clicks, so they’re very easy to make. Plus, you get a nice, solid click with each adjustment that you can feel and hear.

What about zeroing?

The process only took me about 15 minutes to get it zeroed, so it was pretty fast and easy.

So far, the zero has held. I’ve gone through at least 500 rounds and never had to make an adjustment.

Parallax & Magnification

The Leupold VX-Freedom has a variable magnification of 1.5-4x.

This is my personal sweet spot for all types of hunting. As I mentioned earlier, I use it for varmint hunting. I also move it over to my .308 rifle for deer hunting when I need to.

Although, I will say that I wish it started at 1x for a little better close range, like for home defense and close quarters combat. But the 1.5x isn’t a huge difference.

The parallax is fixed on this scope and I haven’t noticed any problems with it. Even without the perfect cheek weld, there hasn’t been any distortion.

Mounting & Rings

This scope doesn’t come with any kind of mount or rings, but for the quality and the price, I wouldn’t expect it to.

Plus, rings aren’t that expensive. I’d recommend the Leupold QR rings. They work well for a lever action and you can easily switch the scope back and forth between your rifles, like I do.

I personally like to have flip back lens covers too. So, Leupold’s Alumina covers are also a great add on.

Leupold Alumina Flip Back Lens Cover - 20mm
  • Model #59030 - Alumina flip back lens cover in size 20mm

Is the Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20 worth it?

The Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20 is a great all around scope and perfect for lever action.

It has:

  • Duplex reticle
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Crystal clear glass
  • Compact and lightweight
  • ¼ MOA finger click adjustments
  • Twilight Light Management System

If you want the best scope for 45-70 lever action rifles, try the Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20. You won’t regret it.

Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20mm Riflescope, Duplex Reticle, Matte Finish
  • Repeatable 1/4 MOA precision finger clicks offer intuitive, simple adjustment over a lifetime of dependable use
  • Complete waterproof and fogproof integrity: ready for a lifetime in the field, in all conditions
  • Crafted from 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum

3. Leupold VX-R Hog 1.25-4×20: Best for the Budget

You want the best riflescope on the market for all of your hunting needs.

But many of them are wildly out of your price range.

Well, except the VX-R Hog 1.25-4×20 scope, which is an affordable option.

Oh, and it’s a better deal than many of those overly priced hunting scopes.

So how is this scope any better for a budget-friendly price?

Keep reading to find out…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass clarity is excellent.

In fact, this scope has the clearest glass on the market for a fraction of the price.

This is due to its full multi-coated lenses, giving the best clarity in any environment.

Plus, the glass is scratch-resistant. So you’re getting high-quality glass clarity that will last.

What about the reticle?

The specialty FireDot Pig Plex Reticle is push-button illuminated.

And it’s specifically designed for hunting hogs.


This scope’s FireDot feature gets your eye on the target quickly and accurately.

Which means you’ll be getting the fastest target acquisition possible.

So 100 yard kill shots are made easier and more achievable.

But keep in mind that any range past 200 yards isn’t practical for the wide reticle.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The eye relief is 3-4 inches.

Which is a generous amount of space, which means more comfort for your eye.

Plus, the eye relief is the perfect amount to make that fast target acquisition really effective.


This scope is constructed of aircraft quality aluminum, while also compact and lightweight.

Plus, it has an argon and krypton gas blend which helps it resist the harsh effects of thermal shock.

Which means this scope can put up with a ton of abuse in any temperature.

So if you prefer to go hunting at night in the middle of freezing cold winter, this scope can handle it all.

And if that weren’t enough, it’s also waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The turrets have a great range of windage and elevation with this scope.

This is due to its tactile repeatable finger click for swift adjustment.

Which means these turrets are easily adjustable in seconds.

Plus, if you want to make a distant shot, you can adjust for the windage just by using distinct finger clicks.

So adjusting while on the go is as easy as can be!

But does it zero?

Yes, and zeroing is made easy with this scope.

Just sight in between 200-300 yards and it’ll hold zero really well.

Parallax & Magnification

The magnification is 1-4x, which is all the zoom power a stalking hunter needs to get that shot.

And the scope is parallax free.

Mounting & Rings

This scope doesn’t have a mount included, so here’s my recommendation.

I paired this Leupold VX-R Hog scope with the Leupold Mark 30mm Matte Mount. It’s lightweight, sturdy, and works as well as any scope mount on the pricier side.

Leupold Mark Scope Mount
  • Model #177094 - Mark scope mount in size 30mm in Matte finish

But what is included with this scope?

It comes with standard bungee lens covers, which aren’t bad.

But if you’d like something more durable to cover your scope lens, I recommend getting the 20mm Leupold Alumina Flip Back Lens Cover for a secure fit.

Leupold Alumina Flip Back Lens Cover - 20mm
  • Model #59030 - Alumina flip back lens cover in size 20mm

Is the Leupold VX-R Hog 1.25-4×20 worth it?

If you’re an avid hunter, I would highly recommend the VX-R Hog 1.25-4×20 scope. Especially if you’re hunting in harsh conditions such as a thick forest or marshy swamp.

Leupold VX-R Hog 1.25-4x20mm Riflescope, FireDot Pig Plex Illum. Reticle, Matte Black
  • The 30mm maintube offers incredible strength and allows for the greater range of windage and elevation adjustment.
  • Illuminated FireDot Ballistic reticle.
  • Crafted from 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum

Here’s why:

  • FireDot Pig Plex Reticle
  • Tactile finger-click adjustment
  • Excellent glass clarity
  • Ultimate thermal and shock resistance

This scope comes with lifetime warranty. So Leupold will repair or replace your scope, no matter what happens.

If you’re a hog hunter, this scope is a no-brainer. When it’s been designed to hunt hogs with the Pig Plex reticle feature, you know you’re about to have the greatest hunt of your life.

Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best 45-70 scope guide.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which scope will you pick for your 45-70 rifle ?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

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