Finding the best shotgun scope presents an interesting problem. You typically don’t want to spend a lot of money for a rig that probably won’t see season-long use, but at the same time, you need a scope that is high enough in quality and durability to put up with the punishing recoil slug guns oftentimes deliver.
Picking one with a slim profile is also preferable due to the fact that the comb drop on shotguns is geared more towards open sights than a mounted optic. If the optic cannot be placed in a low mount the whole package becomes awkward to use.
Best Shotgun Scopes
Luckily, there are more than a few brands on the market that fit the bill for most applications, even for beginners. Let’s jump in and take a look at our top picks in the grid below and feel free to read on for a more detailed breakdown of each optic choice.
Bushnell XLT 1.75-4x32mm
- Fully multi-coated optics and rain guard HD offer 91% light transmission in any weather
- 100% waterproof, Fog proof and shockproof 1 inch one-piece tube construction with integrated saddle
- 3-9X magnification with multi-x reticle and 4 inch eye relief
One of the most affordable options out there is the Bushnell XLT 1.75-4x32mm. The XLT has a slim profile to facilitate low mounting and a reticle geared towards hunting. The 1.75-4 magnification range is more than enough for most slug shots and the XLT also features Bushnell’s high contrast lens coating that helps the hunter pick out targets in the dim light that so often accompanies brush hunting.
Finally, the Trophy comes with Bushnell’s straightforward warranty. The Trophy is a good option if you want to set up an optic on your firearm and still have money left over for other accessories.
Vortex Optics Crossfire II
- The 3-9x40 Crossfire II riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The...
- With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box, you'll be able to quickly get a sight picture...
- Anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses provide bright and clear views for the user.
We’ve covered the Vortex Optics Crossfire II numerous times on our site and for a good reason. The Crossfire II is a great scope for someone looking to not go too far out of their price range and get bang for their buck. With a multi-coated lens that is water, fog, and shockproof this scope can handle anything. The shockproof abilities of the Crossfire II really come into shine when put on a shotgun with a lot of recoil. You no longer will have to worry about losing your accuracy after just ten shots.
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II is a solid sight in most situations, which is why we included it on our list of the best shotgun scopes. The only downside is that this scope does not come with flip-up scope covers. The scope does come with two caps attached by stretch bands to protect the lenses of the scope when not in use.
The Vortex Viper 3-9x40MM
Finally, we’d like to suggest an option that’s a little outside the box, the Vortex Viper 3-9x40mm. While Vortex is usually associated with tactical or long-range rifle applications the Viper has several features that make it desirable for mounting. The Viper has A compact design for low mounting, excellent light transmission for low-light hunting, and is a tough optic with all the durability of other Vortex products. Especially helpful is the Viper’s increased elevation adjustment range which will be priceless for lobbing in those slow-moving slugs.
Vortex markets most of their Viper models mostly as a product for the AR-15 or other tactical rifles, but it will fit like a glove on many models. There is also no reason the Viper HS can’t spend the fall on your shotgun and the summer on your AR-15; it has enough adjustment range for both applications. Viper HS isn’t a lot for an optic with such a broad range of possibilities.
Burris Fullfield II
- HIGH-GRADE GLASS - High-grade optical glass provides excellent brightness and clarity with lasting...
- PRECISION- GROUND LENSES - Quality, precision-ground lenses are larger than those of comparable...
- EASY ADJUSTMENT - Durable, integrated-eyepiece design has no-slip grip for easy adjustment in the...
Another great option is the Burris Fullfield II. The Fullfield II is a great option and has a lot of similarities with the other scopes on our list for about the same price. Like the others, this scope is fog, water, and shockproof although we did notice that it seemed to lose accuracy after 100 rounds or so. Whether that was our own mistake or the scopes we have yet to verify.
The Fullfield is made from a solid one-inch tube and is nitrogen-filled which is what helps it remain fog and waterproof.
Shotgun scope shopping shouldn’t be taken lightly. We understand the demand for a top-end scope especially if you plan on slug hunting for larger game. You need something that’s going to be flexible enough to give you the field of vision you want at both close and long ranges and the bottom line is that any of these options we’ve provided you here should give you years of trouble-free quality use. Good luck and happy hunting!