For many hunters, the idea of having a scope on your shotgun can be laughable, but having the shotgun scope will significantly increase your chances of bagging that trophy. With shotguns, you should not be expecting any sniper-like feats, but hunting with slugs do become a little tricky as the distance becomes greater.
We have set out to look into the top shotgun scopes and show you how these scopes could improve your accuracy as well as many of the benefits that they will bring to the table. Hunting game with slugs can really be tough and this is certainly the right time for you to upgrade your shotgun sights to a versatile and dynamic scope for your next hunting trip.
Before we simply dive into the optics of the scopes and show you how important they could be, there are a few things that you need to know about these scopes. We have broken these down into the features you need to consider before you buy and the benefits that these scopes could bring to the table.
Table of Contents
- 1 With that being said, let’s look at the top best shotgun scopes of 2018
- 2 Benefits of hunting with a shotgun scope:
- 3 Key features to look for in the best shotgun scopes:
- 4 Bushnell Trophy Shotgun Scope with Circle-X Reticle
- 5 Simmons ProHunter ProDiamond Reticle Shotgun Scope
- 6 Nikon SLUGHUNTER BDC 200 Riflescope
- 7 Nikon ProStaff Shotgun Hunter 2-7 x 32 Black Matte Riflescope
- 8 Weaver V-3 1-3X20 Riflescope
- 9 Leupold 113867 VX-1 Shotgun
- 10 Konus 7249 Shotgun Black Powder Riflescope
- 11 The best scope for sports hunting
- 12 Final Thoughts
With that being said, let’s look at the top best shotgun scopes of 2018
Benefits of hunting with a shotgun scope:
There are various benefits associated with scopes, but these benefits will certainly help you bag that game and to help lessen the amount of wasted bullets. With a scope, life becomes much easier and distance not as much of an issue as you will find out. Here are a few benefits:
Without a scope, we like to compensate more in front or above the target and since sights are already lacking in terms of accuracy, this could cause you to completely miss the target and you will have to go trail hunting in the hope of a decent blood trail. Having a scope will allow you to focus on shooting where the crosshairs are pointing and this will result in more kill shots.
- Better magnification:
Have you ever judged something to be bigger than it actually is? Well, having a scope will give you a clearer view of the target and this will also allow you to see the actual size and the target much better. The scope might add weight to the already heavy shotgun, but it will definitely make the shot easier.
Key features to look for in the best shotgun scopes:
Now that you understand how beneficial the shotgun scope could be, you should look at some of the key features to ensure that you are buying the best scope for your money. Shotgun scopes are also available in all sizes and shapes and with these features; you could narrow down the selection and eventually pick the best one for your needs and rifle. Let’s look at a few of these features:
- Durability: Not all scopes are designed for all weather conditions and with the right scope, you will be able to get through any weather condition and continue hunting. Hunting in the rain is not all that fun, but if your scope is not durable, the rain or the slightest of bumps could significantly damage it and set you back a few dollars for a new one.
- Clarity: What is the point of having a scope if you cannot clearly see through it? Having a clear view is really important and you will need to make sure that you can see the target without any blurry interference. This will ensure that you get the best value for your money and a more accurate shot.
- Magnification: While you will certainly not be reaching sniper distances with your shotgun, better magnification will be ideal for shotgun users. This will allow you to zoom into the target and get a better shot off to bag the trophy from distance.
- Brightness: The brightness of the scope will depend on the time of day you plan on hunting. If you are planning a hunting trip in the wee hours of the morning, you should focus on the brightness and this will also allow you to see target that you might not have. Brightness might be a way to save some costs if you are not hunting in the darker hours.
- Weight: The weight of the scope is important if you plan on trekking long distances after the prey. The weight of the scope will also affect your ability to shoot whilst standing and otherwise you might need to rest the gun on something to improve your accuracy. Weight will also be determined by personal preference.
- Design/color: Finally, we have the design or color of the scope. While stalking your prey, nothing can be as irritating as the shine of your scope giving away your location and your presence. We recommend looking for colors with less shine in the sun to ensure that you are not spotted as you make your way closer.
Not all of these features will have the same level of importance to everybody, but we believe they are important when it comes to selecting the best possible scope for your shotgun. Price is not included in the list, but we would also like to mention that price is not as important as functionality and having the necessary features.
Bushnell Trophy Shotgun Scope with Circle-X Reticle
Color: Matte black
Special features: Waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof, added rain guard HD with 91% light transmission in any weather condition, lightweight, lifetime warranty.
The Bushnell Trophy Shotgun scope with Circle-X Reticle is one of the more advanced shotgun scopes you will find. The scope comes in a matte black color and does not produce any significant shine in the wild. The scope is also water, shock and fog proof, which should allow you to hunt in any weather conditions without impaired vision or distance.
The main feature of this scope is the 91% light transmission and this will make it the ideal hunting scope in low light conditions. You will be able to hit the game just as they are settling down at night without having to compensate or add additional light sources.
One thing we really like about the scope is the weight. The scope only weighs in at 1.6lbs and this will be ideal for walking longer distances to find your target. The scope is very durable and the slightest bump will certainly not damage the scope. This scope is also backed by the Bushnell lifetime warranty and you can buy this with confidence.
In terms of pricing, the scope is on the pricier side, but when you take into account the value and the features as well as the multi-functional use it provides, you will get your money’s worth. With this scope, you would not need to look anywhere else or even consider buying a new scope.
- Fully multi-coated optics
- 91% light transmission
Simmons ProHunter ProDiamond Reticle Shotgun Scope
Special features: Lightweight, TrueZero windage, and elevation adjustment system, easy to adjust range in 100 yards, Waterproof, shockproof, and shockproof.
The Simmons ProHunter Pro Diamond Reticle shotgun scope will allow you to get up close and personal with your target. The scope comes in a black color and the shine that is created might be the only flaw in the design.
The scope features 4X optical zoom to help pinpoint your target and it only weighs 9.3 ounces. low light makes it perfect for carrying around on those longer hunting treks. The main draw of the scope is the ability it gives you to adjust for wind and elevation. This TrueZero system has been patented by the brand and will not be found in any other scope.
The scope is also water, shock, and fog proof and you will be able to get through the elements without any damage. Adjusting the range is also quite easy and you should be on target with every shot and bag that big trophy. The only fatal flaw is the shine from the scope itself and this does give away your position from time to time. Covering the scope will also close up the adjustment knobs and defeat the scopes main purpose.
We highly recommend this scope in low light situations and when there is no shine, the scope will be extremely effective. The scope is lightweight and also one of the cheaper options on the market, which will ensure that you do get great value for your money.
- Multi-coated optics and high-quality optical glass provide the brightest, sharpest image in its class
- Exclusive truezero windage and elevation adjustment system for a locked-in zero that lasts through even the most extreme hunts
- Raised tab on power change ring provides an easier grip and surer adjustment
Nikon SLUGHUNTER BDC 200 Riflescope
Color: Matte black
Special features: Patented Nikon BDC 200 with a unique design for longer ranged shots, 5-inch eye relief, improved brightness and light transmission, includes spring-loaded reset turrets for ¼ inch adjustments.
Nikon has been well-known in the optics world for their quality products and the Nikon Slughunter BDC 200 Riflescope certainly fits in the same category. This scope brings longer ranged shots to the shotgun and will allow you to see the target up close before pulling the trigger. The magnification on the scope is phenomenal and you will be able to reach 9X optical zoom.
The scope also provides 5 inches of eye relief and this should protect your eyes from any possible damage or shock. The improved light and brightness transmission will allow you to hunt in low-light conditions and the spot-on ballistics match technology will allow you to shoot without compensation for the drop off at longer distances.
On the right shotgun, this scope has been proven to be lethal at around 200 yards and you will no longer need to get too close to the target and risk giving yourself away. The Slughunter’s quick focus eyepiece will also make it ideal for sports hunting and be shooting on the go.
Since Nikon is a trusted and reputable brand, it should not be any surprise that this is a high-end scope, but we still recommend it for hunters looking to improve range and sports hunters. The scope is definitely versatile and will provide you with great use.
- Featuring Nikon's Patented BDC 200 Reticle with a unique, open circle design that makes long-range shots easier
- A consistent 5-Inch of eye relief keeps your brow safe - even against the heaviest recoil
- Made with Nikon's fully multicoated optics for maximum brightness and light transmission
Nikon ProStaff Shotgun Hunter 2-7 x 32 Black Matte Riflescope
Color: Black matte
Special features: BDC 200 with easy-to-see reticle, zero turret reset for easy field adjustments, multicoated lens for optimal light and brightness transmission, lightweight, quick-focus eyepiece.
The Nikon ProStaff shotgun hunter riflescope is another top optic designed scope from Nikon. The scope features a matte black color with no shine off the scope and it also has 2-7X optical zoom. This might not bring you as close to the target as the previous scope, but it certainly will make life easier when hunting longer distances.
The zero turret reset feature has once again been integrated and will allow you to make in-field adjustments on the go. The scope has also been designed for sports hunting and quick focus. You will be able to shoot instantly with the instant aiming points and the BDC 200 will allow focusing the scope in on 200 yards.
This scope is very lightweight and will be ideal for hiking longer distances and the multicoated lens will provide you with optimal light and brightness transmission. The scope has been designed for use with aerodynamic polymer-tipped slugs and muzzle velocities of 1900-2000 feet per second.
We highly recommend this scope for the multiple features it provides and the amount of zoom to get you closer to your target. This scope will be ideal for sports hunters and it will also be great for people looking to improve the range on their shotgun. The scope is a little expensive, but you will certainly get great value for your money.
- Slug gun riflescope with 2x to 7x magnification and 32mm objective lens
- BDC 200 reticle with easy-to-see ballistic circles that provide instant aiming points
- Zero-reset turrets simplify field adjustments; generous 3.8 inches of eye relief
Weaver V-3 1-3X20 Riflescope
Color: Matte black
Special features: Dual X Reticle with ¼ inch adjustment at 100 yards, offers a wide range of view, lightweight, waterproof, shockproof and fog proof.
The Weaver V3 riflescope is one of more uniquely designed scopes you will find on the market. The scope has been durably designed and it is shock, water and fog proof, with added multicoated lensing for light and brightness transmission.
The scope also features a dual X reticle that will allow you to make adjustments of a ¼ inch at 100 yards. The scope also offers a wider range of view and we have measured this to be approximately 30 yards. This means that you could low light switch between targets and keep secondary targets in your line of sight.
The shorter magnification does; however, limit you when it comes to range and this will not be the ideal scope for those longer shots. The scope will be extremely accurate at 300 yards when in the hands of a trained professional, but this might take some time for the average hunter to learn.
In terms of pricing, this is one of the more expensive scopes you will find and we do believe that you will get good value for your money. The only downside, as we have already mentioned, is the magnification, but as you get more accustomed to the scope, your accuracy and efficiency with the magnification should improve.
Leupold 113867 VX-1 Shotgun
Color: Matte Black
Special features: Lead-free glass used for the optics, lightweight design, offers great magnification, multicoated lens for light and brightness transmission, fast target acquisition.
The Leupold VX-1 Shotgun scope is another high-end scope for the regular hunters and it has been designed from lead-free materials to help preserve and protect the environment. The lensing on this scope is quite fascinating and it offers 2-7X optical zoom. This will certainly bring you close enough to the target to ensure that you do get better accuracy.
The scope features multicoated lens and this lens will give you perfect light contrast and dim down some of the brightness, which will make the view clearer in all weather conditions. The wider rage the scope provides will also be ideal for sports hunters and you will be able to get your target in the scope much faster, which ensures that you do not miss that big trophy shot.
This scope is very lightweight and will be ideal for standing shooters without putting too much extra weight on the gun. We do recommend this scope for professional hunters, who hunt on a regular basis. The scope is quite expensive, but with all of these features, you can be sure to hit that big trophy and get your money’s worth.
Konus 7249 Shotgun Black Powder Riflescope
Color: Powder black
Special features: tactical style glass-etched engraved reticle, rugged design to withstand the elements, multicoated optical lens for brightness and light transmission, finger adjustable windage, extremely durable.
The Konus 7249 Shotgun black powder rifle scope is one of the most durable scopes you will find. The scope is extremely versatile and it features military grade technology to ensure that you hit your target every time. The tactical style glass-etched etched reticle is most commonly found on military scopes to help reduce any damage and allow it to withstand the elements.
With this technology, it should come as no surprise that the scope is shock, water and fog proof and the added multicoated lens will also allow you to see through the lens in all weather and light conditions. Infield adjustments can also easily be done with this scope and the windage is finger adjustable.
The main draw of this scope is the durability and the cheap price it commands. We highly recommend this scope for the price and the value it provides and we do believe that you will enjoy the tactical military edge that has been added. Long range hunters might have some troubles with the magnification, but this can be learned and you will be able to adjust.
The best scope for sports hunting
Sports hunting is a very complex activity and it combines stalking or hunting with physical movements. Sports’ hunting is great with a shotgun, but you will need to have the right scope attached. We have not chosen one specific scope as our number one choice, but we would like to recommend the Nikon brand for their versatility and the wider range they offer. The added magnification will also be great and you will be able to shoot on the go.
We would like to thank you for reading this article and we do hope that 1 of these 7 scopes has appealed to you and meets your needs. Choosing the best one of the 7 was quite a daunting task, but we have put a lot of thought into our choice chose the Bushnell Trophy Shotgun Scope with Circle-X Reticle for its near-perfect transmission of light and brightness. The scope is also one of the most durable on the market and the price is not too bad either.
We would also like to encourage you to let us know what your thoughts are on our selection and if you think we might have missed any of favorite shotgun scopes. Please also share your experiences as well as the ranges of your longest shots with us in the comments and maybe you could help someone without a scope find the best one for their needs.