The 4 Best Slug Gun Scopes — Shotgun Optic Reviews 2023

best slug gun scope shotgun optic reviews 2015

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The slug gun is a piece of art. It’s a prime example of why the shotgun is so versatile and beloved by serious hunters. A slug gun is just a shotgun that has been turned into a rifle. Like any good hunting rifle, a slug gun can benefit from a solid scope. But not any scope will do for a slug gun the scope should be tough as nails. Shotguns and slug guns can have some mighty recoil, and a scope not built to handle it will eventually work itself apart. Not only that, but some scopes may not fall apart but will hardly be able to hold zero.

Slug guns have a limited range, further than a shotgun but not quite like a real rifle. A slug gun scope should be designed for medium ranges, around 200 yards, a bit further for the pros out there. This means the optics should be of low to moderate power. Anything too powerful and you risk the reticle now properly aligning for further shots. A slug gun is commonly used in the brush, so its scope should be able to pick up light in a canopy. The most important factor though, is your comfort using the optic.

Here are what we believe are the 4 best slug gun scopes on the market:

Bushnell Trophy XLT Circle X Shotgun Scope

The Bushnell Trophy XLT shotgun scope is designed by one of the most preeminent scope makers in North America. Bushnell constantly produces quality optics for hunters and sportsmen while maintaining a good, solid price. The XLT Trophy circle derives its name from its interesting and handy reticle. This is a cross hair inside a crosshair. The scope can be used for slugs and buckshot. Buckshot uses just the circle whereas slugs are better suited for the internal crosshair.

The Bushnell Trophy XLT is a variable optic with a 1.75 – 4x magnification, perfect for a slug gun. The 32 mm objective lens and fully multi-coated optics produce nearly 91% light transmission. The Bushnell XLT is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof, as well as featuring a solid one-piece tube construction. The XLT features ¼ MOA adjustments with fingertip controls to ease in sighting in the optic and weapon.

The Bushnell XLT comes in two finishes, either matte black that is extremely nonreflective or RealTree AP. The XLT is tough, capable of withstanding the brutal recoil from 12 gauge three and a half inch loads, round after round. The XLT is a superb optic, and being designed for a shotgun has not stopped it from being used on a lever or semi-automatic rifles either. This is easily among the best slug gun scopes.

Simmons Pro Hunter Shotgun Scope

The Simmons Pro Hunter line has been a popular choice for hunters using everything from 22 LR weapons for squirrels, to ARs for sport and bolt action rifles for long range precision shooting. The Pro Hunter has extended their brand into the shotgun realm and introduced what they call the Pro Diamond reticle. The Pro Diamond reticle is another crosshair in a crosshair design. However, instead of an internal crosshair you have a diamond shaped internal reticle. Simmons claims this aids in shooting and patterning buckshot.

The Simmons Pro Hunter is waterproof and dustproof and sealed nice and tight. Like any good slug gun optic, it is shockproof since every shot is essentially a shock to an optic with a 12 gauge slug gun. The optic is also fog proof for those early morning fogs.

The Simmons Pro Hunter Shotgun model has a 32 mm objective lens and is excellent at gathering light due to its multi-coated optics and high-quality glass. The Simmons Pro Hunter is a fixed-power optic with a 4x magnification. Fixed power optics tend hold better zeroes and withstand more abuse overall without losing zero. Lightweight and compact, this is perfect for any backcountry slug gun.

Monstrum Prism

The Monstrum Prism is rated for shotgun use, and is a dandy choice for deer hunting. The last time I was out deer hunting with a shotgun, I was cursing the lack of a good sight as a light misty rain started to fall and obscure vision.

This lightweight, compact high performance red dot would have been a godsend. With 3 power magnification, a nicely sized 30mm objective lens, and the reliable construction Monstrum is famous for, now is your chance to learn from my mistakes and equip your slug gun with the best sight before you go out hunting again.

Nikon Prostaff P3 Shotgun

When it comes to firearms, the more purpose-built an accessory is, the more likely it is to work in a manner the user wants. Nikon makes it apparently clear in the title for this optic—the Prostagg P3 Shotgun scope. The P3 is a 3-9 power optic which is quite powerful for a slug gun, but does encourage the user to be precise. The 40mm objective lens provides brilliant light transfer and, of course, the optics are fully multi-coated. The P3 is a mighty optic, designed to withstand the mighty recoil from a shotgun slug for round after round.

The P3 Shotgun uses 5 inches of eye relief to ensure your eyebrow does not become victim to scope eye. The turrets are finger tip adjustable and have a spring-loaded instant reset capability. The P3 features a circle based bullet drop compensator that allows you to take your target down at extended ranges with a predictable drop pattern. The Nikon P3 Shotgun scope is very easy to use and the BDC is dead on after a bit of adjustment and zeroing. All in all, the Nikon Prostaff P3 Shotgun is likely the best slug gun scope period.

Scoping a Slugger

Some may argue a slug gun only needs a simple set of iron sights to be effective. Sure, this is true to a degree. However, a scope will always be more precise and quicker on target. A good scope will allow you to place accurate shots on targets in an effective manner. You won’t just be hitting the deer but hitting an area of the deer that will instantly drop it when you’re using a 12-gauge slug. A scope will always increase the effectiveness of any weapon, even a shotgun, and we hope you’ve found the best slug gun scope here. Good luck!

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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