The vast majority of casual firearm users might not ever consider using any anything other than the traditional iron sights on their shotguns. I mean, most people don’t think of shotguns as firearms that are meant to be aimed and are more of a point in the general vicinity and pull the trigger type weapon. The reality is, shotgun red dot sights can be extremely advantageous to shotgunners in certain shooting applications.
Here are our top picks for best red dot sights for shotguns
Best Budget Pick
|Bestsight 1x40mm Scope|| ||$49 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|SIG Sauer Romeo 5|| ||$111 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|EOTech 512 Holographic Weapons Sight|| ||$418 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Aimpoint Micro T-2 Sight|| ||$809 Shop NowClick to read my review|
Whether you are using a shotgun in a tactical situation or even certain types of hunting scenarios such as turkey or using slugs to hunt deer, a reflex sight or red dot sight can really make a difference.
In this article, we are going to point out at what aspects make the best red dot as well as reflex sights for shotguns. We will then take a look at our four picks of the best red dot sights for shotguns that outperform all the other options on the market.
We hope that by the end of this article, you will have a better idea and appreciation for shotgun optics and how they can be used to your advantage in both tactical and hunting situations.
Shotgun Optics Buyers Guide
- Durability: When you are planning on utilizing a reflex sight for shotguns or a red dot shotgun sight, chances are the application you have for your firearm requires pretty heavy loads that produce a good deal of recoil.
A lot of these sights use electronics, and it is important that your sight is built to absorb this recoil without losing function or knocking off your zero setting, especially when using slugs or a choke producing a tight pattern. If you’re shooting loads with a wide spread pattern, holding zero is not much of an issue. All of the sights on our list are built to withstand punishing recoil load after load.
- Lenses: One of the main purposes of these sights is not just to provide more accuracy but also to provide the ability to have a more clear picture in low light settings. You want lenses that have been treated to allow maximum light transmission and also be able to resist scratching and abrasion.
- True 1X: For just about all shotgun purposes you are not taking shots at anything over 100 yards. If you are and are successful, please let us know what you are using. These sights are designed to give you more precise aiming and ability to shoot in various light conditions more accurately.
They are also designed to allow you to shoot while keeping both eyes open, which is a common component of a true 1X sight. While not as important for hunting scenarios, this is a must for shotgun sights used on tactical rifles.
- Red dot: Whether you are using a true red dot, reflex, or holographic sight it is important that the reticle is clear and crisp throughout the range of brightness settings. Having a blurry reticle detracts from the intended benefits of these shotgun sights. On top of this, you should be aware of the range of brightness settings that are available. Being able to fine tune the brightness settings quickly in the field can be very beneficial. You should also be aware of the battery life on these scopes and keep a rough estimate on how much life you have used. The best sights are going to have a battery life that lasts hundreds of hours, but it is also up to you to manage as well. Some scopes will have automatic shutdowns or other technology to help conserve battery life and can end up saving you quite a bit of money in the long run.
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The 4 Best Shotgun Red Dot Sights
It’s easy to lose track with the countless of different options and products you can find online or in your local store. Manufacturer’s descriptions always sound promising and apparently every one of them offers the best sight on the market. To make your final decision easier we point out 5 great options down below and let you know what we like about them.
If you’re looking for a solid, dependable red dot for your shotgun without breaking the bank, you should check out this offering from Bestsight.
Its no-nonsense sturdy build (anodized aluminum alloy) and lens quality stands up to its pricier competitors. The 40mm objective lens delivers excellent resolution and handles low light conditions well.
You can select from 5 brightness levels and cycle between green and red reticles, which makes this scope a good choice for home defense and CQB. You may prefer the green reticle for day shooting too as it’s easier to see and therefore reduces stress on your eye.
It delivers true 1x magnification suitable for home defense, enabling a fast sight picture on up-close and fast-moving targets. Importantly, the rails (11 or 20mm weaver compatible) and lens casing are ‘anti-seismic’ which means the scope can withstand the shotgun’s recoil, is dust/waterproof, and maintains its zero.
We were surprised the scope didn’t ship with its 3V CR2032 lithium battery but for this price, it wasn’t a big deal picking one up at a local Walmart for a couple of bucks.
The Bestsight is rugged, dependable, and affordable. It ticks the boxes for a tactical shotgun scope. Its rheostat-controlled brightness and green dot also makes it a decent companion for turkey season.
- Compact, strong optics
- Green/red reticles
- Fast target acquisition
- Only 1x magnification
- batteries not included
The SIG Sauer Romeo 5, and the Romeo series of red dot sights in general, provide you with some of the best value for any red dot sight on the market today. That’s because these sights are very inexpensive in comparison to other competing sights, and yet are highly durable, very bright, adjustable, and provide you with excellent value for the money.
This is a 2 MOA Red Dot. It’s designed to fit to any Picatinny rail system, and is very robustly built. It has a waterproof rating of IPX-7, which is higher than many competitors.
That all being said, this red dot is actually not built by SIG Sauer, but is built by Holosun (SIG Sauer contracts Holosun to build the sight for them).
One of the most notable aspects and feature about the SIG Sauer Romeo 5 is the fact that it comes with Motion Activated Illumination. So long as the sight is turned on, it will turn off on its own after a long period of stillness. However, when it senses motion (such as when you pick up the rifle with the sight attached), it will automatically reactivate.
This feature is very beneficial because it means you don’t have to worry about turning the sight on and off. Just keep the sight on, and the red dot sill shut off after a period of inactivity in order to conserve the battery life (which can last for more than 40,000 hours) for as long as possible.
Take note that the motion activated illumination system will not work when the sight is turned off, so you need to make sure that it’s always turned on for it do so.
This sight also ships with a Co-Witness Riser Mount, to help clear plenty of space so you can still view your open sights or flip up sights through the scope. In other words, you can keep the red dot turned off and still line up the rear sight of your rifle with the front sight through the sight picture.
If you are in need of a high quality, bright, adjustable, and durable red dot for your semi-automatic rifle, but without spending a fortune as you would with an EOTech, then the SIG Sauer Romeo 5 is one of the best options on the market today.
- Multiple Brightness Settings
- Fairly Priced
- Comes With Motion Activated Illumination
- 40,000 Hour Continuous Battery Life
- Designed To Attach To Picatinny Rails
- Very Compact and Lightweight
- Very Durable Construction
- Ships With Co-Witness Riser Mount
- Only 1x Magnification
If you want a shotgun reflex sight, this sight goes above and beyond your expectations. Regarding shotgun optics, this scope covers all aspects one would need while in the field from tactical to hunting scenarios.
The reticle on this holographic, yes holographic we are talking about EOTech here, features a 65MOA ring with a 1MOA red dot that can put you on a target quickly. Further adding to the quick target acquisition is the large aperture window that gives a wide field of view.
The reticle is illuminated and can be adjusted to 20 different brightness settings with a crisp reticle throughout the range.
In terms of durability, you are not going to have an issue with this sight being banged up or knocked off zero with the quality aluminum housing. It is also highly waterproof and can even be submerged up to 10′ and still be able to perform properly.
This scope is also extremely easy to install and can fit directly on any Picattiny and Weaver style rails.
We really like the windage and elevation adjustments that can be made if you know you are going to be taking shots at increased distances and they are both clearly labeled. While you have to have a coin or other tool to make the adjustments, they hold very well. This scope holds its zero as well as any other scope on our list and will not be knocked off during normal use of the scope/firearm.
The battery life on this shotgun optics is extremely long, and it features an auto- reticle shutdown that helps to conserve battery life.
In terms of holographic sights, this particular model is slightly heavier and longer in overall length. If used on its own this is not an issue, but if you are looking to mount a magnifier or other accessories, you might find space limited.
- Excellent reticle illumination
- Extremely rugged and weather resistant
- Fast target acquisition
- Holds zero
- Takes up a lot of rail space
For shotgun red dot sights, the Aimpoint Micro T-2 is top of the line. While higher on the price range, you are never going to need another red dot sight for your shotgun. Period.
The lenses on this scope are not matched expect for scopes on the highest end of the price range. You will get incredible light transmission and will find the image in the scope to be bright and clear in any lighting situation.
This shotgun red dot sight is built to perform in any situation and you don’t have to worry about this scope holding up to bumps, scrapes, or recoil that a working shotgun and optics go through with its aluminum construction and hard anodized finish. While it is durable, it is also very compact and light coming in at only 3.7oz, near weightless.
The reticle is illuminated and can be switched between 8 different brightness settings. Each setting maintains the crisp, 2MOA red dot. It is also compatible with a range of nightvision equipment making it an excellent choice for tactical use.
This is a true 1X scope that will allow both eyes open shooting characteristics. Even when focused solely through the scope, you will benefit from a wide field of view.
On top of this, it is extremely fog and waterproof. This scope can be submerged in water up to 80’ and come out performing as well as it did out of the box.
Battery life on this scope is incredible, and you will not need to worry about changing the batteries until hundreds of hours of use.
This is an overall simple but efficient red dot sight that you absolutely cannot go wrong with. It is both easy to use and easy to mount. Once mounted and zeroed in, you will not have to think twice about it holding to that zero.
- Light and compact
- Incredible optics and reticle
- Very durable
- Shock, water, and fogproof
- Great battery life
- Easy to mount and use
- It costs some money
So, we now come to the point where we must choose our pick for the best shotgun red dot sight. While all of these sights are great options, we give the edge for the best red dot sight for shotguns to the Aimpoint Micro T-2 Sight. Whether you are using it for tactical or hunting purposes, the T-2 provides all the necessary aspects of a superior red dot shotgun sight. However, it does cost a pretty penny. If you want something that does the job for a fraction of the price we recommend the Bestsight 1x40mm Scope.
So, whatever application you have in in mind for your tactical or hunting shotgun, we hope that this article has shown the benefits of shotgun red dot sights and shotgun reflex sights.
While they are not perfect for all hunting applications, they can be the missing link to more successful turkey and deer hunts, and regarding tactical scenarios, it’s almost a crime not to have one of these sights mounted to your 12 gauge.