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.
Luckily, there are more than a few brands on the market that fit the bill for most applications. 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:
One of the most affordable options out there is the Bushnell XLT 1.75-4x32mm. The XLT has an extremely 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 has an MSRP of just shy of $200.00 which comes with Bushnell’s straightforward warranty. The Trophy is a good option if you want to setup an optic on your firearm and still have money left over for other accessories.
Weaver 40/44 Series 2-7x32mm with Dual-X Reticle:
Weaver’s 40/44 Series also presents an intriguing choice. This model produced by Weaver has the kind of skinny profile preferred for shotguns and construction tough enough to put up with the heavy recoil of dangerous game rifles, so it should handle recoil just fine. The 40/44 series also features finger-adjustable turrets, which will come in handy dealing with the rainbow-like trajectories of slugs.
The MSRP of the Weaver 40/44 series is under $200.00, which might be more than some folks want to invest in an optic, but this Weaver is worth the money if you want an optic you can count on.
The Vortex Viper 3-9x40MM:
Finally, we’d like to suggest a n 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. MSRP on the Viper HS is $479.99, but that isn’t a lot for a n optic with such a broad range of possibilities.
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!