Most people laugh at the idea of sights or optics on a shotgun. After all, they are the original point and click weapon. Just line up the front bead on your target, pull the trigger, and let the shot pattern do the rest, right? Well, sure that can work--this spray and pray option. And it does work. But this is the 21st Century, and we’ve got electronic sights for our shotguns now.
Reflex or Red Dot? They are really the same thing. First invented in the early 20th Century, reflector sights were a primitive version of the modern red dot sight. Eventually, the term reflector was shortened to “reflec” and of course pronounced “reflex,” and with the advent of the modern light emitting diode, which made the traditional red dot sight possible, the term carried over. Thus, we can safely say a reflex sight is a red dot sight, and a red dot sight is in fact a reflex sight. After the second World War, reflex or red dot sights have been marketed to shotgunners and for very good reason: because it’s a fast and more accurate way to aim your shotgun than its iron sights. Now, onto our recommended best red dot sights for shotguns:
A Bushnell for your Turkey Gun
You are sitting under a tree, hidden perfectly away, when that turkey you’ve been waiting all day wanders into range. Carefully, you bring your shotgun to eye level, peer through the Bushnell red dot you’ve mounted, align your sight with your target, and know for sure that turkey is going to be on the menu tonight. If you’ve gone through all the trouble to camouflage yourself, your blind, and your gun, shouldn’t you camouflage your red dot sight too? The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is a full featured red dot, with a generous 3 MOA dot, 11 brightness settings, and RealTree camouflage color that matches nearly all camouflage patterns
. Designed with the serious hunter in mind, this is the best reflex sight for shotguns if you’re into hunting, and priced to be wallet friendly to boot.
The Basic BSA
BSA is a well-known name in the field of reliable yet affordable firearms optics, and offers rather nice red dots for your shotgun at competitive prices. Their basic 30mm red dot features an 11 position brightness adjustment, and comes with a base which can be used on a standard Weaver rail or a tactical Picatinny rail. Best suited for casual hunting, home defense or sport use, this red dot sight is a great way to introduce yourself to reflex sights on shotguns. Perhaps the most basic shotgun red dot sight on the market, the BSA is a simple no frills, no gimmicks sight which will get the job done, and enhance the performance of your shotgun. After all, for folks, simplicity should be considered when searching for the best red dot sight for shotguns.
A Reflex Sight with Options
While a single red dot is nice, sometimes you want something more sophisticated. The Field Spport Red and Green Reflex Sight features FOUR different reticles, in two different colors, giving the shooter eight different choices to find the ideal reticle image for the task at hand. Along with the traditional dot, there are two different style crosshair reticles, which can make taking more precise shots even easier. Compact, and lightweight, this reflex sight
is optimized for fast shooting and rapid target acquisition, which is something many shotgunners should be able to appreciate, both in competition and out in the field hunting.
A Step up in Performance — the Barska sight
If the BSA is your typical no frills or gimmicks shotgun red dot sight, then the Barska is the next step up. Featuring a large 42mm objective lens, multicoated optics, a 11 position brightness rheostat, and an integrated mount, this larger objective lens and multicoated optics not only give you a larger sight picture, it gives you a cleaner, crisper sight picture, even in strong sunlight or suboptimal weather. If you spend time in the woods hunting or do more than casual sport shooting, this is the best red dot sight for shotguns.
But . . . Why Do I Want One on a Shotgun?
Because it’s a better form of the little brass bead on the end of your barrel. Let’s face it, a typical shotgun bead sight is better than no sight at all, but not by much. And unless you are shooting slugs from a rifled barrel, putting fancier irons on there is usually a waste of time. But, what if you could put a nice little red dot on your shotgun, and take advantage of the wonders of reflex style sights? Well, that’s why you need a red dot sight for your shotgun. It’s an electronic bead you can actually see, move around and even make bigger if you need to. They give you an edge in hunting and competitive sports, and can really make the best shotgun sights for home defense too since a small bead sight might not be readily picked up, or you need finer quality sights to take an important shot. And the best thing, is that the market is full of them.
No Matter Which One, it’s a Signifigant Upgrade
Moving from a simple bead front sight to a red dot sight for your shotgun is a major improvement. Right away, you get a bigger sight picture, crisp optics, a bold illuminated dot showing over your target. Red dots give you faster target acquisition, and work better in low light or times of bad weather, and provide you with a low cost yet highly effective improvement to the basic shotgun. No matter which red dot or reflex sight you wind up choosing, you will probably never want to go back to a simple, old fashioned bead front sight. Happy shotgunning!
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