Here, we’ll learn about the benefits of using a shotgun scope, types of such scopes, and the aspects you must consider before buying one.
Best Shotgun Scopes Comparison Chart
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Simmons Prodiamond Shotgun Prohunter Riflescope (4x32, Matte)
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Nikon Prostaff P3 Shotgun 3-9X40 BDC 200 Riflescope
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Bushnell Trophy Riflescope, 1.75-4x32mm, 1" Main Tube, Circle-X Shotgun Slug, Matte Black
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Should I Put a Scope on My Shotgun?
Yes. You should put a scope on your shotgun. If you already are a good shooter, adding a scope will improve your accuracy. If you are average or a newbie, then it is a necessity.
Adding a scope helps with quick target acquisition and compensation when you are trying to shoot a moving target. Scopes are obviously better than iron sights, that’s why they are used.
Plus, scopes also provide a bit of magnification, which will also come in handy while shooting distant targets or if you have an old pair of eyes. On top of that, some scopes have illumination capabilities, which allow you to shoot accurately in low light conditions. Other types of scopes (reflex/red-dot) also add a tactical advantage to your shotgun.
How to Choose a Shotgun Scope
There are certain important aspects you need to consider before choosing a scope for your shotgun. These include:
Shotguns are extremely durable and are among the most roughly handled type of firearm. Plus, a lot of people use them for hunting deer, turkey, rabbits, and other small game. Therefore, they are subject to a lot of rubbing and scratching against thick bushes, trees, and who knows what else. They also tend to have a jerky recoil, so a scope must be durable enough to endure all the factors about to be inflicted on it.
Clarity and Magnification
A good shotgun scope must project a crystal clear sight picture. Shotguns have a limited range compared to rifles, so you must have a clear sight picture for better accuracy. Another factor is the magnification. You can opt for a fixed or variable magnification scope depending upon your choice.
Shotguns can cause serious injuries to the shooter as well as bystanders because of their recoil. A shotgun scope must have a long eye relief so that target acquisition is quick and easy, plus the shooter doesn’t get injuries like “scope eye”. The eye relief factor is exceptional for shooting moving targets.
A shotgun scope must not have a very shiny finish, as its glare may scare away targets. Try to choose a scope with a matte black finish or a finish without glare.
Last of all, you may want to have a shotgun scope with some amount of brightness, like a red dot or illuminated reticle. This might come in handy when shooting ducks at dusk. But eventually, it is your own decision.
Quick Take - The Best Shotgun Scopes
These are our recommendations for the best shotgun scopes:
Review of the Best Shotgun Scopes
Below are the best shotgun scopes of the year. Let's see why they made our list!
Overall, the best shotgun scope on our list is the Bushnell Trophy Shotgun Scope. This scope features a durable aluminum-based body, which has been nitrogen purged, thus making the scope waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.
The scope has fully multi-coated lenses which deliver a staggering 91% light transmission, so you can use the scope in dim lighting conditions. The scope has a Circle-X reticle which allows you to track and hit your target with accuracy. The scope is apt for use with shotguns while hunting deer, turkey, and other small game.
This second focal plane scope has a maximum eye relief of 3.9 inches, which is good enough for hunters. The magnification of the scope can be adjusted between a range of 1.75x to 4x, allowing you to see targets easily at 150 yards.
The scope has easily adjustable turrets for setting windage and elevation. The entire scope has a Realtree AP camo finish so you can easily blend in with your surroundings while hunting ducks or deer. The scope projects a clear image of the target and is good for big game hunting.
The Bushnell Trophy Shotgun Scope has variable magnification and projects a clear sight picture. The already coated camo finish is a plus, and the lifetime warranty by Bushnell is obviously a no-brainer for buying the scope.
TRUGLO is an emerging player in the weapon accessories market and has churned out some exceptional products from its facility. Such a product is this shotgun scope. This scope has a one-inch main tube made from aircraft grade aluminum, which already speaks of its durability and strength.
The scope has a fixed magnification of 4x and a large objective lens of 32mm. The lens is fully multi-coated and allows a good amount of light to pass through, thus projecting a crisp and clear image of the target. The scope has adjustable turrets for windage and elevation settings. The turrets feature a leaf spring-based mechanism for quick and easy adjustments with bare hands.
It also includes ⅜” weaver scope mounting rings so the scope is easy to install on shotguns that already have weaver rails. The scope has a long eye relief of about six inches. Plus, the eyepiece is protected by a rubber guard to prevent any unexpected injuries to the eye.
The scope has a compact design which allows you to mount it over short receivers as well. The thick diamond reticle doesn’t dim away and helps you with shooting targets with accuracy, especially ducks and deer. The scope is available in a matte black and camo finish which is a plus. The package includes elastic lens caps so you don’t have to spend money separately to buy them.
The Truglo Shotgun Scope is a clear and durable scope which is easy to mount on rifles. The scope includes all the necessary extra accessories and is covered by a limited lifetime warranty. Overall, it is good for hunting big to small-sized game.
The Prohunter Shotgun Scope from Simmons features a durable metal-based tube body, along with a compact design to mount on the shortest receivers. The scope allows a fixed magnification of 4x and a large objective lens of 32mm. The high-quality, multi-coated lenses produce a sharp, crisp, and clear image of the target.
This scope is probably the clearest in its class, as far as general user reviews are concerned. The scope features a true zero windage and elevation adjustment mechanism which retains its setting even under rugged use and heavy recoil. The scope also has a QTA eyepiece for quick acquisition of targets.
Plus, the Prodiamond reticle with its thick edges and thin center allows aiming at targets to be a breeze. The scope is exceptional for turkey hunting. Additionally, the scope is nitrogen purged and resistant to water, fog, and shocks.
The eye relief of four inches is considerably good for hunting and tactical applications. According to the manufacturer: “The Pro Hunter recoil-proof construction can resist 1,000 rounds from a .375 H&H magnum rifle or 12-gauge slug gun firing a 3.5-inch shell”. So the scope speaks for itself.
The Simmons Pro Hunter is a compact and durable scope to mount on your rifle. The scope is quite versatile and can be mounted on a scout rifle if you wish. The true zero settings handle recoil very well.
The Nikon Prostaff P3 Shotgun Scope finally found a place in our list. Nikon is known for the quality of its optics, so it becomes almost inevitable to conclude a scope list without one. The scope features a one-inch main tube made from aircraft-grade aluminum, which speaks of its durability and resistance to wear and tear.
The fully multi-coated optical system delivers a crisp and clear image of the target. Plus, the large 40mm objective lens allows a good amount of light to pass through, thus making the scope good for low light shooting.
The scope has a variable magnification of 3x-9x with a generous eye relief of 3.9 inches and a quick focus eyepiece. The scope also offers audible spring-loaded, instant-zero turrets so you can adjust the windage and elevation quickly when needed.
The best feature of the scope is its BDC reticle, which has drop marking to let you take shots as far as 200 yards, without making any adjustments to the turrets. This improves your overall accuracy when shooting with slugs.
The housing of the scope is nitrogen filled, so the scope stays resistant to water, fog, and shocks. Nikon also offers a lifetime warranty on its products, and the trust associated with its brand name is also a point to consider.
The Nikon Pro Hunter is a reliable scope and delivers exceptional performance especially with distance shooting. It is backed by Nikon’s trust and warranty and is good for overall use with shotguns
Best Shotgun Scope for Slugs:
Bushnell Trophy Riflescope, 1.75-4x32mm, 1" Main Tube
The ballistics and range of slugs are a bit different compared to buckshot, so it requires a specific scope. The Bushnell Trophy Riflescope features an aluminum one-inch body with variable magnification of 1.75 to 4x.
The scope has a big objective lens of 32mm and offers a wide field of view, so you don’t have to adjust the sight picture after every shot. The fully multi-coated optics allow 91% light transmission inside the scope and ensure that it delivers the brightest images under low light conditions.
The nitrogen purged scope is waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. The scope has a considerable eye relief of 3.25 inches and the turrets are finger-adjustable. The scope features a Circle-X reticle, which allows for easy target acquisition and precise shooting at small and quickly moving targets. It works great with shotguns of all sizes and calibers
The Bushnell Trophy Slug scope is best for working with shotguns that shoot slugs. The scope is quite inexpensive and is also covered by a lifetime warranty.
Benefits of Investing in a Great Shotgun Scope
Shotguns are widely used among people for both hunting and self-defense. In fact, it is among the most popular kind of weapon for home defense and hunting deer and ducks. A lot of states require you to use shotguns for hunting deer, which eventually means that you’ll end up having a shotgun whether you prefer it or not.
A good shotgun scope greatly improves your target acquisition, response time, and accuracy. Whether you are shooting with slugs or buck shots, having a scope on your shotgun greatly improves your chance of success.
A shotgun scope also helps with shooting a moving target with precision. Other than that, the magnifying power of such scopes lets you shoot distant targets with ease, especially if you have an old pair of eyes. Whether it is a competition, hunting, or self-defense, having an accurate shotgun greatly improves your performance.
Types of Shotgun Scopes
Shotgun scopes differ in their features and functions. Such scopes differ in qualities such as durability, magnification, price, and design.
Different scopes are made using different kind of materials. The two types of material are metal or polymer. Choosing a metal-based scope is always a good choice since it is more durable and can withstand the harsh conditions of hunting terrain.
Scopes can either have fixed or variable magnification. A fixed magnification scope doesn’t require you to adjust the power and remains intact. Plus, it has fewer moving parts. However, such scopes only allow you to see at a fixed distance. On the other hand, variable scopes offer a wide range of magnifications so you can adjust the power according to the distance of the target you are shooting at.
Shotgun scopes are available in a wide range of prices. They range from $50 to upwards of $1000 and even more. However, you should always consider your individual budget, and the features of a scope before spending your money. Shotguns are only effective up to a limited distance, so spending a lot of money on them is not an intelligent decision.
Shotgun scopes can either be simple riflescopes, red dot scopes, or reflex sights. Each of these has its own advantages. It all depends upon what kind of scope you are comfortable with.
A shotgun scope definitely improves the accuracy of a shotgun. These guns are primarily and necessarily used in most hunting applications and self-defense. A good shotgun scope must be durable, lightweight, clear, and have an anti-glare finish. Scopes differ in their design, magnification power, price, and size, so it’s up to you to choose the scope that suits you best.