Shotguns are great. A single shot and BAM!, your target isn’t getting back up after that whether it is deer or a hog. But that’s only if you are willing to go that close.
What if you didn’t want to go close? Well, shotguns are one of the worst guns for long-distance shooting and that’s where scopes come into play.
So after testing 25 scopes on my Remington 870, and spending numerous hours in the wild, I reviewed the 6 best shotgun scopes for 2023.
Shooting long distance with your shotgun is about to get a whole lot easier!
If you do not have time to read all the details and want to make a quick purchase, here’s a lowdown of our favorite scopes for shotguns.
Our Top Picks for Shotgun Scopes
- Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 – Our Top Pick
- Nikon Prostaff P3 Shotgun BDC 200
- TRUGLO TruBrite 30 Hunter
- TRUGLO Traditional 30mm Red-Dot Sight
- Vortex Optics Viper Red Dot Sight
- Simmons Prodiamond Shotgun Prohunter Riflescope
Table of Contents
Best Shotgun Scopes
• Adjustable brightness
• Excellent recoil resistance
|Nikon Prostaff P3
|• 9x magnification, highest in a shotgun scope
• Bullet drop compensation up to 200 yards
• Excellent visuals in any weather
|• Large exit pupil
• 5 MOA windage/elevation adjustments
• 4x magnification for better aim
|TRUGLO Traditional 30mm
|• Comes with a camouflaged finish
• Unlimited eye-relief
• Red and Green Reticle dots available
|Vortex Optics Viper
|• Automatic brightness adjustment
• 1 MOA Windage and elevation settings
• Compact size and ultra-light build
|• Excellent durability
• QTA eyepiece for quick aiming
• It is fog proof and water-resistant
If you’d prefer more details, let’s dive into those.
#1: Bushnell Trophy TRS-25
Worried you might have to spend thousands of dollars to get a good scope for your shotgun? You are in for a treat. Light, durable, and affordable, the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is everything you could ask for in a scope. Here’s all about it.
You want quick-fire shots and the scope allows for just that thanks to its sharp red dot sight and unlimited eye relief that allows you to use both eyes and also frees up your peripheral vision.
And when you take those heavy 12-gauge shots, you won’t have to worry about recoil either as the metal housing makes it very durable (strong enough to even handle the bumps and falls).
You neither have to worry about fog. Equipped with tightly sealed o-rings and nitrogen purge, the scope keeps out moisture build-up so you can comfortably hunt even during humid weather or sudden weather changes.
Furthermore, to keep your vision clear at all times (dim-lit situations included) the red dot comes with 11 brightness settings which can be adjusted in seconds using the conveniently placed adjustment dial.
Mounting also takes mere seconds and can be done with almost every Picatinny and Weaver-rail making it a highly versatile unit that can be used not just with shotguns but also for rifles and pistols.
Even the battery life won’t disappoint you. It gives an amazing 3000-hours before needing replacement. But if you are still worried about battery life, you can always get an extension pack.
To top it all off, you can grab this for less than $100 which makes it a real bargain buy.
My only issue with this scope is that the night vision isn’t that great so you’d want to plan all your hunting trips during the day.
- Weighs just 4oz
- Costs less than $100
- Comes with 11 brightness levels
- Adjust brightness in seconds with the dial
- Good battery life
- Nitrogen purging prevents fog build-up
- Metal housing provides excellent durability
- Mounts in seconds with both Weaver and Picatinny rails
- Excellent recoil resistance
- Night vision is average
#2: Nikon Prostaff P3 Shotgun BDC 200
With an almost perfect rating, Nikon Prostaff P3 is one of the best-selling shotgun scopes on the market, and for good reason. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
One of the standout features of this scope is its magnification. While most shotgun scopes do not come with magnification, this one has a whopping 9x magnifier thus, allowing you to aim at enemies from a distance other scopes won’t allow.
It also has a reticle tailor-made for 12-gauge shotguns giving you a bullet drop compensation of about 150 to 200 yards. Now, that isn’t great for hunting deers but nonetheless, it is helpful in other situations.
Being manufactured by Nikon, its excellent optics quality comes as no surprise. Allowing just the perfect amount of light, it gives you sharp, HD visuals with excellent colors and contrast.
And those visuals are not impacted by any fog or moisture build-up thanks to the sealed o-rings and the nitrogen purge.
Furthermore, adding to the comfort of usage and making aiming from a distance easier is the quick focus eyepiece and generous eye-relief.
Durability is another strong suit of this scope. With an aircraft-grade aluminum build, it can easily handle all the bumps and since a single tube has been used, recoil-resistance is also pretty good.
Windage and elevation turrets are conveniently located. Though it can be slightly harder to turn them at first, they are clearly marked so you get precise readings (because out in the wild, there’s no place for guesswork). And since these are spring-loaded, resetting them to zero is a breeze.
- It comes with a 9x magnification
- It has a bullet drop compensation of about 200 yards
- It is fog-resistant
- Windage and elevation are easy to adjust with turrets
- Resetting to zero takes just seconds
- Gives you sharp images in any weather
- Durable build, recoil-resistant
- Costs a little higher than other scopes
- Turrets are harder to turn at first
#3: TRUGLO TruBrite 30 Hunter
Truglo is another very popular brand when it comes to scopes, especially for shotgun scopes and the TruBrite 30 Hunter proves just why.
Though its magnification isn’t as high as the Nikon, it still is a huge plus that it has a 4x magnification giving it the edge over most other shotgun scopes (deer, varmints, coyotes, or hogs, it is perfect for them all).
Another feature I love about this scope is the two pre-calibrated BDC turrets as it helps engage enemies at a longer distance.
All elevation and windage adjustment is available at your fingertips. The leaf-spring mechanism is smooth and durable so you won’t have trouble with the dials for years to come.
Just like the others on the list, even this one fog and waterproof thanks to the nitrogen purging. It has the same aircraft-grade aluminum build and thus can take all the beating that comes with hunting in the wild.
The 4” eye-relief and the large exit pupil further help while aiming though we would have preferred an unlimited eye relief.
Also making aiming easy is the one illuminated reticle which gives you a clear sight in low light (cloudy or dusky, the weather isn’t going to be a hindrance anymore). Then there is the wide-field view as well so you can scope over a larger area.
Included in the package is a lens cover as well. Though you might want to take special care with this one as the cover quality is poor.
Another downside of this scope is that the glass is subpar. But considering its low cost, it still makes for an excellent scope.
- An affordable scope
- Comes with a 4” eye relief and large exit pupil
- The illuminated reticle is perfect for low light situations
- Fog-free and waterproof build
- Excellent durability
- 2 pre-calibrated BDC turrets for a better long-distance aim
- .5 MOA windage/elevation adjustments
- Leaf-spring mechanism for smooth adjustments
- 4x magnification
- Lens quality is subpar
- Lens cover quality is poor
#4: TRUGLO Traditional 30mm Red-Dot Sight
If you are looking for a cheaper scope from TRUGLO that does not compromise with durability or ease of aiming, this is just what you need.
Wrapped in a camouflage finish, and designed a little like a bazooka, it is one of the most eye-catching shotgun scopes on the market while perfectly keeping you hidden in the wild. It is also available in black if you do not find the camouflage finish appealing.
Unlike the previous TRUGLO, this one comes with a flip-up lens cover that adds to the durability of the scope as it keeps out dust and dirt when the scope is not being used. You also have the option of going in for the standard lens cap, though it is not as convenient to store when not in use as it needs to be detached.
Furthermore, it weighs 0.44 lbs which in tandem with the lanyard system makes it ultra-easy to carry. And since it is right around your neck, it can be locked and loaded in a matter of seconds. Further helping with the quick mounting is the integrated-weaver style mounting system.
Making it easier to aim even in low-light conditions is the illuminated reticle. And if you are choosy about colors you will be happy to know you can choose between red and green reticles.
Unlike most other cheaper shotgun scopes, this one comes with a replacement battery included in the package thus saving you the cost of buying an additional battery while giving you better run-time.
In case you are using a Remington 12 GA shotgun, forget about the difficult mounting system as this scope comes with an integral saddle mount adding to the applicability of the scope.
With an unlimited eye-relief, it makes getting precision aim easier and you can also aim with either eye. It also has a slightly wider field of view helping you scope a wider area.
On the downside, a 5 MOA is a tad higher than we would like for a long-range shot but should be enough for close to mid-range shots.
Also, the quality of the lens cover is poor so make sure you use it with care or it might just break off or shatter.
Lastly, it has only 2x magnification. It is lesser but better than scopes that have no magnification.
- Comes in camouflage finish
- A flip-up cover protects the lens from dust
- Lanyard system makes carrying it easy
- Unlimited eye-relief
- Illuminated reticle for low light conditions
- Easy to mount and detach
- Red and green reticle colors available
- Replacement battery included with the package
- Affordable and yet good durability
- 5 MOA isn’t ideal for long-range shooting
- Lens cover quality is poor
- Comes with 2x magnification
#5: Vortex Optics Viper Red Dot Sight
Looks a bit like a toy but is packed with features sure to impress any hunting enthusiast, the Viper Red Dot by Vortex Optics is another excellent purchase, and here’s why.
What I like most about this scope is the auto-brightness feature. Unlike with other scopes where you need to adjust brightness with dials, here the illumination of the red dot adjusts automatically based on the surrounding lighting.
But if you like the traditional method, there are 10 brightness levels to choose from which can be adjusted easily with the dial placed on the left.
Furthermore, it sports a multi-coated lens for more clarity while the 1 MOA windage and elevation settings make aiming easier. Then there is the unlimited eye-relief as well adding to the ease of using the scope.
So you can mount the scope on any gun easily, it comes with a Picatinny mount.
Another feature I love about the scope is its amazing battery life. While it gives 100+ hours on full settings you can get a whopping 30,000 hours on the lowest settings (no charger? No problem).
Its strong build makes it shockproof while the sealed o-rings in tandem with the nitrogen purging keeps water and fog out. It also means the scope needs little maintenance since dust and dirt do not enter in.
It is also one of the lightest and most compact scopes at 2.1oz and thus carrying it whether in a backpack or while mounted on the gun is easy (you won’t ever feel a pinch of it).
One of the drawbacks of this scope is its magnification. It only has a 1x magnifier and thus its range isn’t as high as some of the others mentioned above.
Also, it is on the expensive side as it costs above $300.
- Automatic brightness adjustment
- Multi-coated lens for clear, sharp visuals
- 10 manual brightness settings
- Excellent battery life
- Lightweight and compact
- It has 1 MOA Windage and elevation settings
- Good durability
- Waterproof, fog proof, and dustproof
- On the expensive side
- Just 1x magnification
#6: Simmons Prodiamond 1.5-5×32 Shotgun Prohunter Riflescope
Last but not least on the list is the Simmons Prodiamond shotgun rifle scope and for anyone looking for a scope for occasional use, this is another scope worth consideration, and here’s why.
What I like most about this scope is its 5x magnification that gives you a closer look at the deer or hog from a longer range and is well supported by the 32mm objective lens ensuring your visuals are clear and bright.
The reason the lens works like a charm is that it is multi-coated and thus allows the perfect amount of light to enter for a vivid display. It is also pretty durable thanks to its rugged build and thus won’t break even if you were to drop it.
Elevation and TrueZero windage can hold zero and can be easily adjusted with dials that are strategically placed for quick-fire changes. They are also capped to prevent damage.
There is also a fast-focus aim point, an eye relief of about 4” that in tandem with the Quick Target Acquisition (QTA) eyepiece ensures you are locked onto your target in a matter of seconds.
Once again, you do not have to worry about fog or moisture build allowing you to use the scope irrespective of the weather conditions.
It is also one of the lightest shotgun scopes at just 260g and thus barely adds to the weight making it easier to move around with it. But that does not mean it compromises durability either.
Lastly, it works with a variety of shotguns and is also easy to mount and detach, another reason why it is great for hobbyists.
On the downsides, its vision is limited to about 70-80 yards. Anything beyond that and it is most likely to be blurry.
Plus, it isn’t completely waterproof and thus should not be submerged in water. Also, it doesn’t hold that well against recoil as some of the others mentioned above.
- Great scope for occasional hunting
- Comes with 5x magnification
- Multi-coated lens for a vivid display
- QTA Eyepiece makes aiming easier
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Excellent durability
- Easy to remove and mount
- Weighs just 260g
- Vision is limited to about 70-80 yards
- Not waterproof and should not be submerged
- Recoil resistance is a tad lower
Are you not using shotguns while hunting because you think they cannot be used for long-distance aiming? Well, with a scope, your shotgun gets a completely different dimension.
Yes, it won’t turn into a rifle but you can still aim from a fair distance. And in this guide, we’ve covered all the details you need to buy the best shotgun scope based on your budget and hunting experience level.
In case you are using a different scope and would like to share your review of it, do let us know about it in the comments section below or write to us via the contact form and if we love it, we’d even add it to our article.