What is the Best Shotgun Scope? [2017 Review]

LAST UPDATED: September 10th 2017
GUIDE: Chris Browning

So, you’re in the market for a shotgun scope. You may be asking yourself, what is the best shotgun scope? Well, I have an answer for you. I did the research and found a few really good shotgun scopes for you to choose from.

My top pick in shotgun scopes is the Bushnell Trophy Red Dot Rifle Scope.

This scope will help you quickly distinguish between a brown tree and a brown critter with it’s Amber Bright optics. Multicoated optics help you see in low light conditions. It is nitrogen filled so it is waterproof and fogproof.


Do You Need A Shotgun Scope?

Is there a difference between a shotgun scope and a rifle scope? Are they interchangeable? I have heard some people say they use a rifle scope on their shotgun and I have also heard stories about how it didn’t work out so well for them.

Some even wonder why you would use a scope on your shotgun. Turkey hunting doesn’t seem like there would be a need for a scope. It’s not like you are going to snipe that turkey from a long distance.

Adding a scope to your shotgun will actually improve your chances of getting that turkey with a clean shot. Larger game calls for even greater accuracy than turkey hunting.

Yes, you can shoot your game with iron sights but using a scope is like reading the fine print. It’s much easier to do with your readers on. With a scope you will be less frustrated and have more time to get more kills.

Crosshairs

With a scope you will not be tempted to raise your head and look to see if that bird, or other animal, is moving. Crosshairs allow you to pinpoint your target at all times.

Magnification

It can’t hurt to have your target magnified. For the cost of a small amount of weight added to your shotgun, you will be able to see your targets much more clearly.


What To Look For

When you are shopping for a scope for your shotgun, there are some things to keep in mind. There are many scopes to choose from so here are a few things to look for as you are choosing the right scope for your shotgun.

Durability

The most important thing that you need from your shotgun scope is it needs to be worth the money. When you are out in the woods you will need a durable scope that lasts for the long haul.

Clarity

Another very important feature to look at is the scope’s clarity. Having a clear view doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive scope on the market. You want the scope to have a sharp view of whatever you point it at so your eyes get the relief necessary.

Magnification

Slight magnification is enough for a shotgun scope. You don’t need magnification as powerful as a rifle since you won’t be shooting as long of a distance.

Price: Expensive Doesn’t Always Mean Better

As long as the scope fulfills these other requirements listed, you really don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on a scope for your shotgun. Unless you make your living from hunting, a simple scope that gets the job done is probably good enough.

Less Is More

As you are shopping around for a shotgun scope, you may see all these different, tempting, features. Keep in mind that every gadget and feature is one more thing that can break and make your scope useless. Unless you think a certain feature is a must have, you can probably do without it.

The Look

Remember that shiny scopes can be easily spotted. You don’t want to head out on your hunting trip camouflaged from head to toe and realize your shiny scope reflects the sun and catches the attention of the wildlife.

If you can’t find a camo scope, or don’t want one, make sure the scope you get is a matte finish.


Shotgun Ammo

A simple 12 gauge shotgun is a versatile gun. It’s amazing how many things you can do with it. There is a wide range of ammo for your shotgun that you can use for hunting birds, hunting deer, and defending yourself.  

Birdshot

This is cheap ammo. Every shotgun owner need to have multiple boxes of this around. Although they are meant for clay birds, many hunters have used birdshot for feathered birds too.

For some shotgun owners, this may be the only type of shot they use. There’s just so many things you can do with it. You can shoot all day long and not feel like you are wasting a lot of money.

Turkey Loads

A lot of companies make specialized turkey loads. These shells are designed to give a reliable shot for something the size of a turkey head out to about 45 or 50 yards. They are more expensive than birdshot but they may be what you need for turkey hunting.

Buckshot

Buckshot is good for deer at close range. It is also good for self defense. It can have quite a bit of recoil, but there are brands that make “reduced” or “managed” recoil shells.


Top 5 Shotgun Scopes

Enjoy the versatility of your shotgun. Get out there and shoot it. For now, let’s get on with the top picks for scopes for our shotgun.

1. Bushnell Trophy Red Dot Scope

Bushnell Trophy Red Dot ScopeThis scope is an all around winner. It comes in camo or matte black, it’s lightweight, not too expensive, but it’s durable and gets the job done.

Features

  • Matte black or camo option
  • Quality optics
  • Crisp display
  • Durable
  • 3 MOA  red dot sight
  • 11 brightness levels
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Amber Bright optics
  • 3.7 ounces
  • Protective lens cover

Pros

  • Waterproof gaskets are durable
  • Doesn’t fog up
  • Holds zero
  • Tough and rugged to last
  • Affordable
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Clear glass

Cons

  • Red dot is not the best

2. Nikon Prostaff Hunter

Nikon Prostaff HunterSince this is a Nikon, you expect it to be a good scope. This scope lives up to it’s name. This scope makes hunting precise and enjoyable.

Features

  • Bright images
  • 100 yard field of view
  • Zero reset turrets with spring loaded adjustment knobs
  • Quick focus eyepiece
  • Nitrogen filled
  • 3.8 inches of eye relief
  • Works with muzzle loaders

Pros

  • Holds up to heavy recoil
  • Great optics
  • Mounting is easy
  • Ideal for deer shooting
  • High quality

Cons

  • On the heavy side

3. Simmons Pro Hunter Shotgun Scope

Simmons Pro Hunter Shotgun ScopeThis shotgun scope is affordable yet offers advanced features. You will be able to see your target, regardless of the weather, thanks to the quality optics.

Features

  • TrueZero windage adjustments keeps your focus fixed
  • Waterproof
  • 4 inch eye relief
  • Weighs 8.6 ounces
  • Pro diamond reticle
  • Easy grip and adjustment

Pros

  • Holds zero
  • Quality glass
  • Easy to adjust
  • Dependable
  • Affordable

Cons

  • A little on the heavy side

4. Truglo Compact Strut N Rut Scope

Truglo Compact Strut N Rut ScopeThis scope is excellent for those looking to hunt turkey and deer. It is made of aircraft quality aluminum for durability.

Features

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Coated lenses
  • Fingertip windage and elevation adjustments
  • Diamond reticle
  • 100% waterproof and fogproof
  • Nitrogen filled
  • Scratch resistant

Pros

  • Clear sights
  • Good eye relief
  • Perfect for a turkey hunting day
  • Diamond reticle is nice
  • Holds zero

Cons

  • Not the best for the money
  • Not the most durable

5. UTG Red/Green Dot Scope

UTG Red Green Dot ScopeThis scope made the top picks since it is all around durable and rugged. It has clear sights and is waterproof and fogproof.

Features

  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Great field of view
  • Red or green dot
  • Affordable

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Holds zero pretty good
  • Won’t fog up
  • Nice range of brightness adjustment
  • Adjustments work well

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Rear dust cap hits the QD mount
  • Parallax effect is pretty bad

Final Thoughts

As you can see, you want a different scope for your shotgun than one for your rifle. Having a scope on your rifle is a great option for hunting.

Our Pick
 Bushnell Trophy Red Dot Scope
Best Shotgun ScopeBushnell Trophy Red Dot Rifle Scope

This scope is an all around winner. It comes in camo or matte black, it’s lightweight, not too expensive, but it’s durable and gets the job done.

Check Lowest Pricing

There a a lot of choices in scopes for your shotgun. I went with the Bushnell Trophy Red Dot Scope because it has all the features and qualities that we talked about in this article. At the end of the day, it gets the job done great, without breaking the bank.

For more gun scopes reviews, visit this page.

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