As a crossbow hunter, you know that you need accuracy at close range. To be accurate, you need to see your target clearly. The Nikon Bolt XR Crossbow Scope gives you the clarity and brightness you need to spot your game and accurately fire your arrow.
Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Now that I’ve already told you that the Bolt XR does what you want it to, you could just see if you can find one at Amazon straight away.
Or you could read on for more details about this crossbow scope. You can click an item in the box below to jump to that section, if you see something of particular interest.
- 1 What Are the Distinguishing Features of the Nikon Bolt XR?
- 2 How Do I Use the Zero-Reset Turrets?
- 3 Do I Get a Set of Rings with the Nikon Bolt XR?
- 4 How Do I Mount a Scope on My Crossbow?
- 5 What Is the Best Crossbow for Me?
What Are the Distinguishing Features of the Nikon Bolt XR?
With one unsurprising exception, there is nothing truly outstanding about the Bolt scope. It very simply has all the little features and specifications that you want in a really good crossbow scope.
You could argue that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts in this case.
The unsurprising exception is the glass Nikon uses in this scope. Nikon is known for having excellent glass in all of its optics – cameras, binoculars, scopes, etc. You should expect to find the same high-quality lenses in the Bolt XR, and you do.
Nikon claims that these lenses allow 92% of the light that enters the 32 millimeter fully multi-coated objective lens to pass all the way through to your eye. That’s a bold statement, but owners will back it up saying that this is one of the brightest, if not the brightest, scopes they have ever used.
The table below shows you at a glance the main features of the Bolt XR.
|Bolt XR Feature||Details|
|Glass||Fully multi-coated lenses|
|Reticle||BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation) to 60 yards|
|Tube Diameter||1 inch|
|Eye Relief||3.4 inches|
|Exit Pupil||10.7 mm|
|Field of View||35.6 feet at 100 yards|
|Parallax Setting||20 yards|
|Adjustment Graduation||1/4 MOA at 20 yards|
|Maximum Internal Adjustment||150 MOA at 100 yards|
Being waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof are all pretty much necessities for crossbow hunters. The weather, surroundings, and time of day could otherwise work some nastiness on your highly-prized scope. You always believe that you’ll never drop your weapon, but you know deep down that it’s always a possibility, so it’s good to know that this instrument is shockproof as well.
The BDC reticle handles distances out to 60 yards which is ample for the vast majority of targets. If you can’t get within 60 yards or your target, you’re probably doing something wrong. Maybe crossbow hunting really isn’t for you.
The eye relief of almost 3 ½ inches is great. There’s no need to try to get your eye right up next to the eyepiece end of your scope. When you find a sighting position that is comfortable, it will most likely be within that 3.4 inch range. If not, adjust the position of your crossbow relative to your head (that is, your eye) so that you get maximum benefit from your Bolt XR.
I won’t go into great detail about parallax adjustments here. If you need more information about parallax, check out the video included in this article about long range scopes. The principals are the same for both long and short range scopes.
How Do I Use the Zero-Reset Turrets?
There are a number of scopes that have the zero-reset feature, but if you have never used one before, you might wonder how exactly these turrets work.
Here are the steps needed to get the most out of them.
- Remove the caps.
- Take a trial shot (at 20 yards).
- Adjust the turrets by turning them in ¼ inch increments.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 as needed until you find zero.
- Pull the adjustment knobs to turn back to zero.
- Replace the caps.
You scope is now set for that distance. If you need to change it for a different yardage, resetting it back to the original is no longer a guessing game.
The other big benefit of these turrets is that they are spring-loaded. You don’t need to have an allen wrench in your bag or pocket to accomplish the resetting as you do on many older scopes.
Do I Get a Set of Rings with the Nikon Bolt XR?
No, this scope does not come with a set of rings for attaching it to your crossbow.
That is good and bad at the same time.
If the scope had come with rings, they very likely would have been cheaply made so as not to increase the price of the package too much.
So while you do have to purchase a set of rings (assuming you don’t already have some), you can get a decent set that will last you a good long time and will keep your scope stable.
Some crossbow owners recommend horizontal rings over vertical rings. One reason given is that verticals can lose their zero whenever you remove the scope. They also tend to put excess pressure on the scope when you try to fit it tightly to the bow.
On the other hand, you tighten horizontal rings to your crossbow as much as possible, then you mount the scope separately and make it snug enough for good stability.
Note that the Nikon Bolt XR requires 1 inch rings.
How Do I Mount a Scope on My Crossbow?
Mounting a scope on a crossbow is not that difficult, but there are some tools you will need and some precautions you will want to take before and during the installation.
The tools you will likely need are these.
- Vice, with paddingScrewdriver or
- Screwdriver or allen wrench
- Screw / thread sealer, possibly (such as Loctite)
There are several variations you can have with scope / ring / rail assemblies. I’ll try to keep it simple here. If your situation doesn’t exactly match what I describe below, I’m sure you will be able to adapt using common sense and an owner’s manual, if available.
I will assume that no part of the assembly is currently attached to your crossbow at the start.
First, mount the rail, whether Dovetail, Weaver, or Picatinny, onto your crossbow. This will be the base onto which you will attach a pair of rings (lower and upper sections) and then the scope.
Anytime you need to insert screws or bolts, you can add a little thread sealer to the screws themselves (not the thread holes). Some manufacturers state that doing so will void their warranty. The choice and risk are yours here.
Mounting the base is normally just screwing the rail onto the stock of your crossbow. If the rail comes with screws of different lengths, pay attention to where you insert each of them.
On the rail you then place the lower portions of your two rings. Again, this is simply a matter of screwing these pieces onto the rail, or in some cases bolting them there.
Next, lay your scope on the rings. Look through the scope as if you were going to take a shot. Slide the scope closer to or away from your eye until you can see the reticle clearly. This will depend on the eye relief of your scope.
Now that you can see the reticle, you may have to rotate the scope a little clockwise or counterclockwise so the lines are as close to true horizontal and vertical as possible.
When you have that distance and orientation set just where you like, add the top section of each ring, taking care not to move the scope, and tighten them with screws as well.
If you ever need or want to upgrade your scope, just reverse this procedure to remove the current optics. Then follow as many steps as needed to add your new equipment. You might not need to get a new rail or rings.
What Is the Best Crossbow for Me?
Obviously, a given crossbow will work better for you than someone else and vice versa. How do you decide which is the best crossbow for hunting or target practice for you?
There are several questions that it’s good to ask that, when answered honestly, will help you decide.
Check out this buying guide for crossbows at 2KReviews.
3 thoughts on “Nikon Bolt XR Crossbow Scope: This Is the Scope You Want”
Really nice and precise article. Can you suggest better scope for my Barnett Ghost 420?
Ethan, unless there is some reason you can’t use this Nikon scope, I would just suggest using the Bolt XR on your Ghost 420.
Thank you so much for the quick reply. Will give it a try.