Hunting is a whole lifestyle to me! It’s more than a hobby and something I was always very passionate about from the day I first went to the woods with my dad.
He brought me to this exciting world of chasing prey and feeling the thrill of the chase, the patience to wait, and the exhilaration of the kill. It’s like nothing else. Finding the best shotgun scope only enhances the process.
Today’s hunter will go for arms that are convenient and feature-rich. One such weapon is a shotgun. Like most of the enthusiasts, I wanted a scope to better my shooting and that applied no matter your level of experience or brilliance of aim.
I did a lot of research. What I found is that scopes for shotguns actually have some clear differences from rifle scopes.
Today I’m going to talk about 6 different scopes that you can get and how to choose the best shotgun scope that’s suitable for your needs and hopefully your budget!. Let’s begin!
Best Shotgun Scopes 2021
Make sure you pay enough attention and choose the one that best suits your shooting style. Here is a quick list of the best shotgun scopes:
|Top||Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x20mm, Black||Prime||CHECK PRICE|
|TRUGLO 4x32mm Compact Rimfire and Shotgun Scope Series, Diamond Reticle, Black||Prime||CHECK PRICE|
|Simmons Truplex 8-Point Riflescope (3-9x32, Matte)||Prime||CHECK PRICE|
|Bushnell Trophy Rifle Scope with Multi-X Reticle, Matte Black, 3-9 x 50mm||Prime||CHECK PRICE|
|Bushnell Trophy Rifle Scope with Multi-X Reticle, Matte Black, 3-9 x 50mm||Prime||CHECK PRICE|
|Monstrum S330P 3X Prism Scope | Black||Prime||CHECK PRICE|
The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 comes with a red dot sight. The brand is a reliable and reputed name in the scope industry and most hunters or shooters already knows a lot about it. This model was one of the budget version that focused on beginners.
The most impressive part is the red dot. It’s a great feature to aim and get your target in no time. Also the zeroing is perfect for most of the time.
If you use the scope for fifty yards, you’ll notice the zeroing is damn fast. It holds pretty well for a good amount of rounds, probably a hundred.
The image quality is nice with brightness more than enough and actually surprising if you consider the price. I think, for a hundred dollar price range, this scope does a decent job to offer the most basic features that any level shooter o hunter would love.
It includes an amazing dot, crisp image quality, great battery, fine brightness level, and good performance. You get all of these in a budget. So undoubtedly it’s a great opportunity to save money without compromising quality.
- The red dot in this price is amazing.
- Some features are better than the high-end brand’s scope.
- Zeroing in 50 yards is super-fast.
- A great crispness under this price range.
- Clear and bright optics for optimum viewing.
- The installing process could have been easier.
- Removing the clear plastic shield from the battery isn’t mentioned in instructions.
TRUGLO Diamond Reticle is a lightweight and easy operating shotgun scope that comes under a fifty dollar price range.
The complete coatings on the lens will ensure a user can get the maximum clarity with superior brightness level. Also, the image is quite contrasted.
The scope comes with a rubber eye guard. So you are on the safe side while dealing with heavy recoil. It is long lasting and scratch-free to endure rough usage. The non-reflective finish is matte and gives a premium feel.
The scope includes weaver rings as well. It comes with a diamond reticle that will help you to do deer and turkey hunting effortlessly.
With a crisp crosshair and easy adjustments that need no extra tools, this scope shines brightly for such good pricing. It is one of the best budget scopes you can have. A great optic configuration that will do justice to old eyes also. A pleasing and surprising quality scope that will serve for years.
- The scope comes with rimfire rings attached.
- The zeroing right out the box is perfect.
- A little minor tweak is enough to shoot fifty or more yards easily.
- A great optic for even problematic eyes.
- Adjusting the windage and elevation does not require any tools.
- You need to contact a qualified gunsmith for installing.
- The rings are attached but not installed.
The Simmons 517793 offers a bunch of good looking features in a decent price range. With multiple coating on the optic and great quality glass, you are ought to get a sharp and bright image whenever looking through it.
Also, the unique elevation and windage adjustments will stay on zero every time with locked-in zero systems.
There are also raised tab on the power change ring. So you get a surer adjustment with easy grips.
The magnification is 4x to give a decent zooming capability. Also, there’s a 32mm objective lens for proper and maximum light transmission.
Where most other scopes in this price range have a difficult time staying zeroed, this lightweight accuracy tool will do a great job here even in heavy recoil. The mounting needs very less time and effort.
It’s one great choice for close range hunting within fifty to seventy yards. The most prompting thing I loved about this scope is the way it handles heavy recoil.
- The awesome eye relief does a great job.
- Very lightweight and easy to handle.
- The low profile and finger adjustable turrets have a cap.
- Looks premium in reality.
- It is a great scope with an easy installing process.
- It has some distortion at the end of the glass.
- It comes with a dark ring.
The Bushnell 751432 Trophy is a shotgun scope that comes with a durable matte finish.
The one inches main tube protects the optic pretty well. It’s magnification ranges from 1.75x to 4x that’s a variable setting.
The 32 mm objective is pretty good to gather enough light. So image quality is clear and noise free.
The optic lens has multiple coatings. So a better amount of light enters the optics easily.
The scope is also fog and shockproof. It can also manage better water resistance but sometimes lacks.
The scope is pretty good at functioning. However, it might not be the perfect scope for people who have poor sights. Unless they get an extra cantilever ring to get proper eye relief.
The barrel visibility is another issue that the manufacturer should fix. But yet if you consider the overall price it isn’t a bad scope for sure.
- It does a great job for good accuracy.
- It’s good for concentric sighting with reticles.
- The parallax distance does a fine job.
- .22 rimfire target distances are pretty well with this scope.
- Picture quality is good and bright.
- The eye relief needs proper improvement.
- Any power less than 3x makes the barrel visible.
The EOTECH 512 is a shotgun scope that supports the Holographic sight feature. The scope comes with 68MOA ring along with a 1MOA dot reticle.
It’s image quality and resolution is pretty good for bright and sharp observation. The mounting is super easy and you can do it all by yourself.
This scope also supports adjustable brightness. You can enjoy up to twenty brightness settings. Each of them is meant to serve in specific light conditions.
So no matter which environment you choose to hunt or shoot, the scope will aid you like a true friend.
The water resistance is up to ten feet. However, I’m not so impressed with this aspect. However, with a limited ten years warranty, the scope is still a great deal.
A scope is a durable tool you would defiantly want to spend your money on. Yes, it has some issues but they do not make any huge harm or difficulty. In fact, if you consider its excellent FOV, quality, zeroing, dot, battery life, and other aspects, it’s a great package for shooting activities.
- The most noticeable good thing is its durability.
- Its huge field of view will help for the better observance.
- The setting up is stress-free and rapid.
- Keeps you on target no matter what angle of view you use.
- A high-quality glass scope for shotguns.
- You would need time to adjust with a pixally reticle.
- The glass becomes shady when it rains during night time hunting.
The S330P is a compact shotgun scope. Yet it is pretty hard wearing with prism sight and other valuable feature sets. The 3x magnification is fixed and clear.
You get a 30mm objective lens that will gather enough light and give a good resolution image. It’s great for 500 yards shooting and good rapid mid-range aim acquisition.
It comes with prism glass optical scheme. Also, the system helps to get better optical quality in a small package. The reticle is different from the red dot.
It is present and showable no matter if there’s illumination or not. But it is a pretty good type to give optimum quality images.
If I have to describe the scope in one word then I’ll say “a perfect budget killer”. I hardly noticed any complain and most consumers have a positive take on the scope.
The focusing is great and the way you need to have. It does a fair job when focusing up to hundred yards range.
No matter if you drop it hard it easily withstand such an incident and still provides a good service. A great scope indeed!
- A good deal at this price point.
- Switching between red, black and green are easy.
- The focus is perfectly adjustable.
- There’s no need for iron sights.
- It’s a reliable model from the brand.
- The red led is kind of blurry.
Benefits of Shotgun Scopes!
Still confused if you should spend your valuable money to get a shotgun scope? The benefits you get from a shotgun scope will garnish your experience. It’s not a luxury but a need that sometimes holds you back from making a perfect shot. Here are some enthusiasms for you.
You Feel Zero Eye Strain!
No matter if you have the finest vision ability, have poor eyesight or age is making sight worse, using a shotgun to point and hit a goal can be tiring. A scope will ease this strain by making it stress-free to focus on the aim. It will allow you to hit with maximum precision. It will make the entire experience fun and worthwhile.
No More Sight Alignment Problem!
You do not need to line up your shot once you are using an attached scope. This unique aspect is popular as crosshairs. It points precisely where the bullet will shoot. This gives an exceptional benefit when using a shotgun scope.
Bright and Lit!
While pointing, one wants good light. In case you are firing in dark circumstances, a scope helps to answer this difficulty. It comes with distinctive lighting features that mend the dim situation.
Get Rid of Tilting Issues!
If you are one of those people that need to keep sloping their shotgun, you do not have to be concerned anymore. The shotgun scope will help you uphold your aiming point. It uses crosshairs to uphold the chosen level and sort out the problem. As a result, while practicing, you would not have to deal with these tilting problems repeatedly.
Zooming = Accuracy!
Magnification would give the exact view of your target. This will enable you to get a nice clean shot. It is what any shooter or hunter wishes to have. A shotgun scope will provide you the zooming unlike when you use the bare eye.
Typical Riflescope vs. Shotgun Scope
There are many differences between rifle scope and shotgun scope. For that reason, you must know the facts of rifle scope vs. shotgun scope. If you do not know the differences, you may not get an accurate result from the shooting.
Fact 1: The Limitation of Distance
One of the major differences between a shotgun scope and typical riflescope is the yard distance. Most of the time while using the shotgun scope you would require a hundred yards or less than that range. This is because shotguns need less yard distance and they are mainly used for close-range hunting or shooting.
On the other hand, a riflescope will typically include higher yard distance limitations. So using a riflescope for a shotgun will totally ruin the distance specification rule.
Fact 2: Difference in Magnification Ranges
Most of the time there are various magnification specs available on different models of scope. The range keeps varying from one version to another. But if we talk about shotgun scope and typical riflescope then the disparities are high and very noticeable.
Because of the short yard distance that a shotgun offers, a scope with less magnification gap is what suits perfectly. On the other hand, a typical rifle scope will provide high magnification ranging that is unnecessary for a shotgun.
Fact 3: Difference in Power
Just like the magnification and yard distance, the power also varies between a shotgun scope and a typical riflescope. This is directly connected to the magnification of each scope type. Generally, a shotgun will do well with low power scope. Since it has a short-distance shooting ability, a low power scope will satisfy the requirements to shoot any tiny object.
Most of the shotgun scope will feature 2x or 3x magnification. However, in a typical rifle scope, this power is up to 50x since these are meant for long range shooting or hunting. This is completely inappropriate for shotgun purposes.
Fact 4: Dissimilar for Eye Relief
Another major difference that is noticeable in these two types of scope is eye relief. The shotgun scopes will usually offer better eye relief compared to the riflescope. It makes it easier to get the zero position more accurately. So hunting with these scopes is comparatively simple. Also, the shotgun scope holds the recoil more comfortably.
On the other side, a riflescope is completely opposite. They have a design for long-range shooting and so it’s a bit tricky to hold the zero position with such distance. Also, the recoil complexity is another issue you get with a typical riflescope and it is usually because of the high magnification power.
Fact 5: Differences in Reticle
The reticle is one of the major essential segments of scope, we all know. It’s the reason for accuracy. There are various types of shapes that are available for the scope. But one thing is common, the shooting point.
When you look through the riflescopes, you would notice only one shooting point. However, there are other mathematical calculations that depend on the scope features basically. Most of the riflescope will offer you calculations based on wind flow rate, distance coverage time, a range of objects, and others.
On the opposite, the maximum shotgun scope will tend to show the shooting point alone. You can figure out the shooting point by a circle figure or merely a dot at the mid-area of these scopes. You will find the dot easily noticeable but the calculations will be somewhat hard to understand.
But when you decide to shoot with a shotgun, you shoot within hundred yards mostly. So there’s hardly any need for utilizing such information that is meant for long range shooting. Fair enough!
These are some of the major disparities that I noticed between riflescopes and shotgun scopes. There will be a lot of options to get from the market. If you can’t identify the right one from the wrong one then your whole purpose will get ruined. Make sure you get a scope that is meant for shotguns. A typical riflescope with huge power, high magnification, and unnecessary features will wreck your activity.
Learn Shotgun Scope Terminology!
All shotgun scopes have a sizing scheme. This is recognized through a number range. It mentions the enlargement ranges and the objective lens span.
The first figures of a 4-9x 45 scope would denote it is a variable shotgun scope that is proficient of 4 times nearer than the bare eye and up to nine times in exaggeration. The key here is how lower the least magnification is.
The high range is not a fact. Because of the higher zooming, the low light you get through the optic. Also, shotguns are mostly capable to deal with less magnification.
The ending number is the objective lens size. Most measure it by millimeters, and usually, they are 45 millimeters. While some of the thrilling models go up to 70 millimeters, although it isn’t essential. The more the size of the objective lens, the better the light you get through your optic. It is this subtle balance of zooming and objective lens diameter that decides the perfect detail. This is vital for the clearest shot.
Field of View is one more term you would hear when seeking at different hunting scopes. This spec denotes to how many feet left to right you can view while you are peeping through the scope.
Generally, you would have about a 20 to 30-foot FOV or Field of View at a hundred-yard distance on three times magnification. As the zooming goes down, the FOV goes up. At nine times zooming, the FOV would only be about fourteen feet. Other common glossaries are:
- Ocular lens – The lens nearest to your eye.
- Objective lens – The lens nearest to the aim.
- Coatings – A few lenses are coated to avoid clouding or scratching.
- Elevation alteration – You would be able to control it by a grip on the flank of the scope. Modifies the up/down drive caused by spontaneous motion.
- Windage alteration – This is coordinated by a grip on the top of the scope. Modifies the right/left action that takes place for the wind.
- MOA – The windage and elevation handles are identified as Moa or Minutes of Adjustment.
- Reticle – This is what you see when you glance through the scope. Usual ones are mildot, dot, plain crosshair, and duplex crosshair. Meekly a subject of preference, really.
- Bullet drop compensators (BDC) – This is a tuning knob that is precise to your ammo and caliber. The idea is to approximate the distance to the mark and button it into the BDC for a correct impact.
What Factors Should You Consider To Get A Perfect Deal!
When you are looking for a shotgun scope, there are so many things that you would have to keep in mind. The first and foremost important thing is common sense. Trust your instincts. But then again, you have to also educate yourself with proper research. Here I’ll give you some of the must-think-about factors that should make a change to grab a great deal.
What’s Your Purpose of Use?
What activities are you into? Is the shotgun scope constructed for that purpose? Trying to adjust the scope to something it is not intentional to be used for is a problem waiting to happen. Do the control ring and parallax control ring gives a firm, no-nonsense grip relief grooves? Do you need them primarily for daylight use or you would require one for low light conditions? Or maybe you need both? Are you going to use your scope for law enforcement and military applications? There are so many questions you need to answer properly. Ask yourself! Note it down if required.
One more thing is, it actually does not matter how much you’re scope costs. Especially if you don’t understand how and when to use them. Practice makes anything look flawless, understanding your equipment makes it safe.
What type of scope you need will also get an impact on your current skill level. If you are a beginner a basic scope will do justice. While pro players do not need a tool for barely practicing. They need it because of its accuracy for big hunts or games. So again the purpose makes the purchase choice different. Do you get my point?
The extra features you get in a shotgun scope will lead you to an extra payment. It is very obvious and most over-excited beginners will feel it is the right thing to do. However, the truth is different! To be honest, this is not necessary when you are just starting off.
If you are a beginner don’t jump into high-cost equipment straight away. You do not need extra features at the beginning. You need the basic ones! Wait a bit and practice more. Get the high feature scope once you step into an expert level of whatever shooting activity you are trying out.
Maximum basic optics will have all the usual features. For example, a scope might provide waterproof and fog proof benefits. However, it might not be shockproof. If you feel that extra feature is not necessary, leave it.
Look for a Stable Scope.
This is definitely a top priority you should think about. It’s obvious that nobody wants to go back and keep purchasing new scopes barely after a few days of the last acquisition. So you would have to check through the material.
Make sure the quality is good. A tough scope is what will keep any bad situation tolerable. It must withstand a hard fall or minor scratching. These things are obvious to happen when you are shooting or hunting.
The Optimum Clarity.
You must check that the tool would be able to differentiate your observing target and its background paraphernalia. It’s a waste of money buying a scope that gives the same viewing you get with bare eyes.
The scopes that have a good quality lens and multiple coatings will do great. These scopes tend to offer sharp and bright images you need the most. So makes sure you are diligent enough to notice the specification that ensures a clear scope.
The Zooming Must Suit Your Activity.
Only high magnification will ensure you get the clearest image. Right? No, it’s not true to some extent. Even with little magnification, sometimes your scope does a good job to help you aim. Especially with shotguns.
I explained previously that shotgun does not work with too high zooming power. It operates with less magnification. So just ignore long-distance reconnaissance when you are buying a scope for a shotgun.
A Reasonable Price Tag.
A cheap item is often expensive in the long run. But, you must also know that not every expensive scope will deliver what you expect it to. Some scopes with high features and aspects eventually turn out to be a great disaster and it’s a very common thing that happens to a lot of people.
But why does this happen? Simply because the features that it offers don’t implement well with your activity. That’s the reason why you should consider the necessary feature list first of all. Then check if the scope you are looking to buy meets these requirements. Otherwise, you would be barely buying the brand’s name.
If you choose to go with an expensive scope always make sure to check the brand’s reputation. Check for other benefits such as warranty and replacement facilities. This way you would be able to distinguish whether the manufacturer has enough confidence in his or her product.
A Quality Reticle System.
The aiming point when projecting a shoot within an objective lens is known as a reticle. It’s lit sometimes to make things easy while hitting a target. So it’s vital to understand what type of reticle you would be going with.
A few scopes will implement the basic dot reticles. This type of reticle has a very sophisticated design. The most common designs are bulls-eye, star, or cross. You must pick a reticle based on your activity purpose.
If I have to explain it a bit more deeply then there can be two situations. Suppose you are shooting from a bit further distance. Then a small dot will do the trick. While for close ranging a large dot works the best.
Simplicity is The Key!
The face of technology is always changing. There’s always the latest update to feature a bonus advantage that the previous version does not have. So it’s very exciting when you notice the latest upgrade on scope and you think about buying it as soon as possible.
But consider it with a calm mind. Sometimes the latest features are very complicating and hard to use at first. People around you will also need time to get adjusted with these technologies.
It becomes even harder if you are barely a novice shooter. So spending too much for a complex feature update isn’t a smart choice for most people. Going with the crucial features and keeping it simple is a choice that never goes in vain.
Stay Tuned with Legal Requirements.
It actually depends on the state you are living in. The law keeps varying in a different place for purchasing a weapon scope. You should always check if there are any requirements regarding possession. Make sure you are allowed to own one.
Avoid Shiny Scopes!
I know a shiny surface will look great and most of us love glazing finishes. But sometimes it’s a huge disadvantage. This shiny housing makes it easier to spot your scope.
So when you are hunting in too sunny days, the shine might make your prey aware of your presence. The glint will simply help your target to run away. So it is better to go with scopes that have a camouflage or matte finish.
Easy to Use
There are so many models available today. Each of them is ready to offer a bunch of features and favors for you. As a result, you get distracted and forget about one of the most important factors. The ease of use!
Yes, it’s important to make sure your scope is easy to understand and operate. A scope with multiple features is complex and for a beginner, this will simply snatch them away from the interest by making them tired.
That’s why it is vital to ensure you understand the device well. Check multiple reviews if necessary and make sure the scope you are wishing to buy is simple to use.
Our Top Pick
Frequently Asked Questions
What Power Should I Get for Deer Hunting?
Typically in the Midwestern nations, a scope with 3-9X power is ideal for deer hunting. The common shot will be fairly short at between seventy and a hundred yards maximum of the time.
In the western nations like Montana or Colorado, where it is more like a broad open country, high power is definitely a good choice. In these regions, the usual shot can be, practically, from mountain to mountain at near to thousand yards. A 26x power rifle scope can be really handy here.
What Is Parallax?
One term you would need to figure out is parallax. This is the propensity of the reticle to transfer off the target lacking any movement of the scope at all.
When a scope is sighting in at a precise range, suppose a hundred yards, parallax can happen at gaps that are either smaller (twenty yards) or much bigger (two-hundred yards) than that. There are scopes that will allow you to get rid of these errors through adjustments.
What Illumination Reticle Is Right For Me?
There are many reticles that offer to illumine red or green with numerous brightness settings. Green is the coolest light or shade for the human eye to see. It reasons into no typical “night sightlessness” related with typical or high power flashlights. High-power green laser light reflects extremely well with the eyes of prey. So it helps for faster detection. It works well for both low-light hunting and game spotting.
Fixed Or Variable, Which One is A Better Choice?
The fixed scope is known to be more durable, lightweight, and visually better. It is widely popular and low price. People of any class can easily afford one. These scopes are made of high-quality material.
However, unlike the variable scope, it does not allow you to adjust. You can get both types according to your preference. The best shotgun scopes in the fixed section will offer 2x to 5x zooming. While the variable category scope should offer something between 1x to 4x.
How Much Recoil Will I Experience While Shooting?
It depends on the size of the shotgun you have. A twenty gauge gun will give less recoil than the sixteen gauge one. The most recoil-creating shotgun is the one that weighs ten gauges. You should consider your strength as well as the recoil force.
The more recoil your gun provides the longer eye relief you would need. For example, a shotgun with ten gauge weight and magnum rounds will require an eye relief of a minimum of four inches long. This measurement is a must if you want to keep your scope away from hitting in the eye.
The best shotgun scopes will make a huge difference in your shooting activity. You would notice the change next time you bring it along for hunting or shooting.
The variety of usability with great weather combating and also easy functionality is making shotgun scopes more popular. Do yourself a favor and get a suitable scope.
No matter if you are a beginner or a pro hunter with fox eyes. You should have this outstanding accuracy tool in your gear bag!