Finding the best shotgun scopes might be a challenge. But if you know which scope will best suit your personal needs and preferences, then the search process won’t be so difficult. There are many applications where a shotgun can be used. And a really good scope would be an excellent bonus to have. If you want to up your accuracy game in target shooting (casual or competitive) or hunting, then the solution is a no-brainer.
You’ll need a great scope with clear optics, precise shooting, and the ability to make some kind of adjustments if you feel that the shot’s a little off. With that in mind, we’ll be taking a look at the top five best shotgun scopes that are currently on the market.
It’s important to find one that will be best for whatever your intent or purpose is for your shotgun of choice. Also, you have scopes that will work well with one gauge while some will be versatile and work with all others. Regardless, one of these five scopes will work for you.
Now, let’s kick off our top five list. Before we do, we encourage you to check the comparison chart below if time seems to be a bit of a factor. They will contain vital information on the scopes themselves so you have a good idea of what to expect.
Best Shotgun Scopes Comparison Chart - 2019
2-7x or 3-9x
Review Of The Best Shotgun Scopes
1 TRUGLO 4x32mm Compact Rimfire and Shotgun Scope
First on the docket, we’ll be taking a look at the TRUGLO 4x32mm Compact Rimfire and Shotgun Scope. This comes in two different finishes: Black and Realtree Extra. No matter which one you choose, you have a scope that will go perfectly well with any hunting application. If you want to blend in more with the environment, obviously the Realtree Extra finish will be much better for you. The scope itself has an objective of 32mm. So the field of view is pretty wide. And it makes for quick target acquisition. So if you’re expecting a scope that will allow you to quickly lock onto your target, the TRUGLO might just be the scope you’ll want in your arsenal.
Looking through the scope, you’ll notice that it has a rubber eyepiece. It makes looking through the scope itself a bit more comfortable. Also, you’ll notice that the image quality is quite clear and high in definition. So seeing through it will be quite amazing. There’s no grittiness, blurriness, or anything that can ruin a good quality image. The reticle is a diamond-style reticle that is almost guaranteed to increase your hit probability when going up against targets like deer or turkey. We can go so far as to say that this might be the scope you’ll want when you’re hunting the bigger game.
The scope is durable, scratch-resistant, and can take on a great deal of shock that is produced from multiple amounts of recoil. And since the lenses are multi-coated, there’s a good chance they will not easily be scratched. So inside and out, you have a scope that will be nearly impervious to any kind of damage. The scope will fit mostly on Weaver rails. So all you have to do is have one manually attached to your shotgun of choice (assuming your shotgun doesn’t already have one). If you want a really good shotgun rifle that is tough all over and provides you with a lot of accurate shooting and great clarity, this is the scope you’ll probably want.
Now, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this scope: first and foremost, it’s considered to be one of the more affordable shotgun scopes on the market. So if you’re on a budget there’s a good chance that a high-quality scope like this will appear on your radar. Aside from the affordability, it’s easy to attach on most shotguns (including shotguns with Weaver rails). Regardless, it’s a scope that will be easy to zero in. The zero settings will hold in place for a long time. No matter how many rounds you fire off, they will remain the same.
2 Nikon Prostaff P3 Shotgun BDC 200 Rifle Scope
Now we’ll be taking a look at the Nikon Prostaff P3 Shotgun BDC 200 Rifle Scope. Right off the bat, you’ll notice that the image quality on this scope is by far one of the best in the business. It’s as high-definition as it can get. It’s what Nikon scopes always good best. With this scope, you’ll also get a “dead-hold” BDC that’s designed to give you precise accurate shooting every single time. Whether you’re hunting for big game, competing in a shooting competition, or if you’re simply just shooting targets for the fun of it, this shotgun scope will give you consistent accuracy at some impressive distances.
This scope can reach out and hit targets as far as 100 yards out (maybe even more). From a hunting application, that’s still quite an impressive distance. No deer, waterfowl, or even ruffed grouse (to name a few) will stand a chance at that distance or anywhere else. It’s all about the timing and knowing where they are and when to shoot. So if you’re looking for a really good scope that will give you the edge against your targets, the Nikon Prostaff P3 gets the job done.
The pros of this scope are as follows: it’s easy to install on most shotguns. So whether you have a 12 gauge or a 20 gauge, you’ll be able to easily install this shotgun and put it to good use in a matter of minutes. Once installed, it will also take you a few more minutes to sight it in. You can quickly be able to sight it to about 100 yards easily. The zero settings will also stay on after nearly 100+ rounds fired. Plus, it has a durable body it can absorb a great deal of shock from every episode of recoil.
The cons are the adjustments for windage and elevation. Upon initial use, they tend to be a little bit stiff. But over time, they’ll be easier to use. It’s good to have easy adjustments handy and done on the fly if you feel like your shots are too far to the right or too high above the bullseye. The Nikon Prostaff P3 is proving itself to be a reliable option with shotguns everywhere. Don’t be surprised if this scope excels in a hunting application than all others.
3 Nikon Buckmaster II 3-9x40 BDC
We’ll be staying with the Nikon brand with our next scope. As expected with all other Nikon scopes on the market, you’ll get some crystal clear optics with this scope. We’re talking high-definition image quality. Along with the image quality will be a reticle that will allow you to hit your shots accurate no matter what the application is. Also, the body is made from high-quality aluminum and the lenses are multi-coated not only to help provide light-gathering ability in a low-light setting, but it will also prevent the lenses from getting damaged. So if you want a scope that’s tough all over, the Nikon Buckmaster II will be of good use.
The magnification levels range from 3 to 9 times. So you can get a good idea of what you’re target looks like while you’re sitting at your favorite hunting spot looking through the scope. The objective is measured at 40mm. Which means that it’s going to give you a wide field of view. So if you want a scope that will give you all kinds of “real estate” when it comes to the field of view, this scope will give you just that.
The wider it is, the better. And it’s a definite must if you want to use it for hunting purposes. But don’t you ever count this as useless for any other application. For example, this can be just as effective in a casual or competitive target shooting. If accuracy is one of the things that matter to you the most with any shotgun, then it takes a great scope to boost it. The Nikon Buckmaster will lead the charge in that regard whether you have a 12 gauge, a 20 gauge, or any other shotgun that you consider your most trustworthy.
One of the major pros of this scope is that it can hold zero for a long time. You can try to fire off as many rounds as possible. But don’t expect it lose your zero settings at any given time. Once you set it, you can forget and consistently shoot accurate shots. Also, this scope can reach out and touch something between 400 to 600 yards. So if you’re looking for a great scope that will reach impressive distances like this, you’ll want the Buckmaster II.
As for cons, they are quite common with some of the shotgun scopes. First, the most powerful magnification settings might cause the picture quality to get a little blurry. This means you may not be able to make your targets at some farther distances. Meanwhile, the adjustments for the reticle tend to be slow at times. So it might be a little difficult to make on the fly adjustments when needed.
The Nikon Buckmaster II once again proves itself that the Nikon brand is a name to rely on when it comes to scopes. Especially when you want the best in overall image quality. While a lot of scopes have great image quality, Nikon is by far second to none.
4 Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope
Now we’ll be shifting gears at another reliable brand that has long been trusted by many gun owners. We’ll be taking a look at the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Rifle Scope. Right off the bat, you’ll notice the red dot is at a good size. It’s at a decent size and doesn’t obscure your target at all regardless of how far away the target is. Red dot sights and scopes are known for their accurate shooting abilities. We can so as far as to say that they might be a little better to shoot with compared to scopes with your standard crosshairs and various reticles.
Now let’s take a look at the scope body. It’s made from high-quality materials that will protect the scope from shock, fog, water, and anything that might damage it. Even better, it is also weather-resistant. If it’s nice outside or raining like crazy, this scope will certainly give you a performance like nothing else. And the weather won’t obstruct your view at all. So if you want the best reliable scope for any outdoor setting, this Bushnell scope will take the ball and run with it in that regard. The red dot is a 3 MOA dot. So it’s at a really good size that will allow for excellent accuracy no matter what time of day it is.
It also comes with 11 illuminated settings that you can work within low-light or even dark conditions. If you are a night hunter, you’ll probably use this scope to your advantage. But it’s low-light conditions like the dawn or dusk hours where your chances of nailing down a target will be much better. A lot of deer and big game will be out and about at these times throughout the day. In broad daylight, it’s anyone’s guess.
One major pro is the scope is super durable. A lot of buyers were happy with this scope in general because it’s tough all over and does a good job keeping the scope’s zero settings in place. Not a single amount of shock or recoil will intend to throw it off. Plus, it’s easy to install on most shotguns. Additionally, it can also be added on most Picatinny or Weaver rails. So the versatility is a huge plus.
With the pros also comes the cons. One of the cons that some have reported is that some of the illuminations may lose its power over time. This might be due to the consistent amounts of shock that the scope has absorbed. While the zero remains protected, it seems that another feature would be sacrificed as a result.
But if you want an excellent scope for your shotgun that is made from one of the most trusted names of all scopes, the Bushnell Trophy Red Dot Sight Riflescope will be something to consider. Don’t be shocked if you ever see this scope remain as reliable as possible for the next few years.
5 Ozark Armament Rhino Red Dot/Green Dot Sight
Lastly, we’ll be taking a look at the Ozark Armament Rhino Red Dot/Green Dot Sight. Of course, one of the things that stood out to us was the red and green dots that you can use with this scope. In essence, this is a scope that has its uses in daylight and low-light setting. How do we know this? Well, let’s break it down with how both a red and green dot sight work. The green dot will be more effective out in broad daylight because it is a little less sensitive to the eyes. Plus, it’s easier to see outdoors during the day. Meanwhile, a red dot sight won’t do you any good in the day time. The only time it can ever be effective is when it’s in a low light setting like outdoors at dawn or dusk. Alternatively, if you’re at an indoor shooting range then there’s a great chance that the red dot will do you more favors over the green dot.
This scope has proven itself to also be one of the roughest, toughest scopes on the market. The body is made from the most durable materials. Specifically, the scope’s body is made of aluminum. So it can take on a lot of impact and abuse. Also, it’s so durable that no amount of shock can hold a candle to this scope. Your zero settings will hold for a long time. Something that a flimsy shotgun scope will never do. So if you’re looking for a rugged scope for your shotgun, the Ozark Armament will probably be right up your alley.
The scope can be attached to some rail system, making it easy to install. Even better, this scope can also co-witness with many shotgun front sights. So there’s a good chance that your accuracy will skyrocket considerably once you’re able to tack on this scope to your shotgun. And if anything were to happen to this scope, Ozark Armament will honor its lifetime warranty to ensure that your scope will always be one of theirs for as long as you live.
As far as the pros go, this is one of a few shotgun scopes that are high in quality but considered affordable. The quality is excellent and it performs like a high-end scope. That means you’re getting quite the steal of a deal here. If you want an excellent scope without getting your bank account depleted, then this scope will probably be a perfect fit for you.
Finally, the cons: this scope might be impressive at close ranges, but the accuracy and performance are suspect if you’re looking to shoot targets from some longer distances. It can probably do some good at 100 yards. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess. Another con is that this may not be compatible with Weaver rails. So you would be better off to get a Picatinny rail attached to your shotgun if you want to use this scope.
The Ozark Armament aims itself to be one of the best shotgun scopes on the market. Durable, reliable, and accurate are probably the three best words to describe it. Also, why settle for low quality when you can find a great quality scope for the best price.
Best Uses For A Shotgun Rifle Scope
Your shotgun is one of the best firearms you can have in your arsenal. Sometimes, a scope might be needed for some of the best applications where a shotgun can be used. Here are some of the best uses:
Obviously, you’ll be dealing with deer, waterfowl, small game birds, varmint, and so on. While it would be great to nail a single target from close range, a great scope will likely boost your accuracy and the likelihood of hitting your targets dead on from farther distances. Typically, a good 12 gauge or 20 gauge are among your more common shotguns for big game hunting.
Target Shooting (Casual and Competition)
Whether you shoot bullseyes for fun or for competition, target shooting is one of the more popular uses for any shotgun. You can use it just for fun (or for a regular tune-up to ensure that all systems are still a go). Or, you can use it for competitive purposes. A great scope will be a must if you hold accuracy to a high standard. Especially when it’s something that counts.
Your home is important. So is your own life (and your family’s life). A prowler or home invader may lurk around when you least expect it. But, you will need a shotgun just in case it happens. Even better, a scope will give you an advantage of hitting your assailant while hiding away in the shadows. If you have a good vantage point, there’s a good chance a scope will do a good amount of work.
Aspects To Consider Before Buying
Before choosing a scope of your own, it’s important to know some of the aspects that might factor into your final purchasing decision. Be sure to mull these over while you’re looking at a shotgun scope that will be intended for your personal use. Here’s what they are:
If you’re a budget shopper, the price tag will likely be the first place you look. But don’t settle on the price tag as the only reason you’re buying it. You should consider the other aspects like the quality and characteristics that make the scope in question the best. Want to know a rule of thumb that ties price into quality? Let’s take a look at the next aspect.
As a rule: quality matters most. So even if you are a budget shopper, you should always find the best scope that you can afford in terms of quality. Even if it means spending a little bit extra, it’s a lot better than having to waste money on something that’s crappy in quality and unreliable. Be sure to keep an eye out for scopes made from high-quality aluminum. They are proven to be one of the best materials for its ability to take on a lot of impact and absorb a lot of shock.
Which Shotgun Do I Have? And Does It Matter Which Scope I Use?
Some scopes will work better with all kinds of shotguns. Of course, some will excel with 12 gauges or 20 gauges. One thing to note is the recoil of your favorite shotgun. If it packs a punch like a 12 gauge, you’ll want a scope that might be as shock resistant as possible. This way, you won’t have to deal with the frustration of having to reset the scope’s zero every 100 rounds or so.
What Are My Intent And Purpose?
There’s a reason why people want to own a shotgun. Target shooting? Hunting? Self-defense? No matter what your intended purpose is, there is always going to be a scope that will work well in general purposes. But, there might be a purpose where a scope will excel the best. For example, if you want to hit a target from long range then there might be a few scopes on the market with the ability to allow that.
If you’re looking for the best shotgun scope, odds are one of these five will be a great choice for you. Be sure to consider these scopes and know which ones will stand out the best in your opinion. Remember, this choice you’re about to make will be something that will stick with you in the long term. So choose wisely and make the determination of whether or not a scope your interested in is worth the investment.