best tactical shotgun sights

Best Tactical Shotgun Sights

Do you want pinpoint accuracy for your shotgun? These firearms are already designed for short-range shooting, but you can get on-target easier with a quality sight. The number of models available is good news for hunting and target shooting.  A shotgun-friendly sight is generally a better option in certain situations than bead sights.

Here’s what to look for in best tactical shotgun sights. Start with its performance in dim environments. This is a must-have feature for shooting applications like home defense. One related issue to consider is how well the sight’s lens functions in low-light environments. As always, the reticle should be clear for the red dot, reticle, and holographic sights. You’ll also want a sight that can withstand the recoil of heavy-hitting loads like slugs. Finally, 1X magnification is super-recommended for shotgun sights.

What Makes a Good Tactical Sight?

When picking a red dot shotgun sight it’s important to know what to look for. This will help you to choose wisely. In the case of shotgun sights, it’s important that the unit provides close-range accuracy. This makes it ideal for hunting turkeys or ducks within a 100-yard range, for example.

In terms of accuracy, you’ll need to get into the nitty-gritty of a particular unit. That includes features like the magnification, reticle, and lens. At the end of the day, the shotgun sight should help you get on target.

Another key functionality is the sight’s ability to function in low-light environments. This isn’t really needed when picking a bead sight, but it’s something you’ll typically want with tactical sights.

Finally, the sight’s overall durability is a big issue for shotgun sights. This includes the housing itself as well as components. When firing heavy loads, you’ll want a sight that can handle a lot more recoil than pistols.

What Features Do They Have and Need?

When picking a shotgun sight there are many features to take up. Here are some of the main ones to consider:


First, the proverbial “You get what you pay for” generally holds true. If you want a good quality sight then you should be ready to shell out more money. Fun Fact: The world’s most expensive gun optic is the 72mm Hensoldt by Zeiss with a $12K price tag.

If you’re looking for a red dot sight for shotguns you can spend a lot less dough. In fact, you can find several quality units in the under-$200 and under-$100 price range. The key is to focus not only on a unit’s price point but also value. You’ll (literally) get more bang for your buck!


When picking an optic for shotguns this should be a top priority. You’ll want a unit that can deal with the recoil of heavy loads like slugs. For example, an “aluminum” housing is ambiguous, so it’s important to find out whether it’s flimsy or aircraft-grade metal.

For best results look for a unit that’s shock-proof. This is another generic term so do your homework about what this means from one model to another and look for advanced shock-proofing.

You should also look for water/fog-proof sights in order to protect the unit while you’re in the field. Manufacturers tend to use terms “water-resistant” and “waterproof” loosely.

So, it’s better to look for units with standard waterproof metrics like International Protection (IP) waterproof ratings. This means you could submerge the unit in a certain depth of water for X minutes and it would still work.

Brightness Settings

Today’s optics manufacturers often state in product descriptions how many brightness settings their unit has. It’s something to look for in shotgun-friendly units. You’ll typically want to shoot in different environments so the-more-the-merrier rule generally applies.


It’s of the utmost importance that the reticle on your shotgun sight is crisp and clear. That’s true whether you’re using a reflex, holographic, or red dot sight. The reticle should look like a dot in a donut instead of a bunch of grapes.

Minutes of Angle

Something called minutes of angle (MOA) is yet another issue to consider when picking a sight and is related to the red/green dot’s size. For example, 1MOA basically means 1-inch at 100 yards, 5MOA covers 5 in. at 100 yds., and so on. In general, you should go with a unit ranging from 1MOA to 4MOA.

Red/Green Reticles

These are the main options when picking firearm optics. These Christmas colors might seem like a mere detail but there’s a difference, and it explains why some units have red and green reticles.

There are a few key situations. In some lighting environments, it can be very tough to see green-colored reticles. In below-freezing temps during winter hunting, green LEDs aren’t a good option either. In these cases, a red reticle is better.


Since shotgun-shooting is usually done within close range, a true 1X Magnification should be on your shopping list of key features to look for in a sight.

These sights are designed so you can keep both eyes open when shooting the firearm. This is a must-have feature for tactical rifles although it’s less critical for hunting season.

Another of the biggest perks of 1X sights is they’re designed for shooting in a wide range of light conditions. This is typically a feature you’ll want in optics for these guns.


What’s good enough? High-end sights have a battery life of hundreds of hours. So, make sure to consider how many hours you can use the unit until you need to juice it up.

Make sure to read some reviews because some manufacturers claim their batteries last X hours on a single charge but verified customers sometimes report otherwise.

An auto shut-down feature is a handy feature to look for. This can save you tons of money in the long-term and helps when you simply forgot to switch off the unit.

One X-factor to consider is the availability of a particular battery type. The longest battery life won’t mean much if it also takes you forever to find a replacement unit.


Make sure the mounting hardware is sturdy and reliable. This will help to prevent a lot of possible issues whether you’re shooting small game or clay pigeons. One option is to buy a separate mounting kit to make sure the sight is securely attached to the rail.

Comparison Table

Best under-$100

Red/Green Reflex Sight by Field Sport

Best under-$200

Fastfire III by Burris

Best Overall

Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight (1x25mm) by Bushnell


Name Weight Reticle Battery
Red/Green Reflex Sight by Field Sport 4 oz. Red/Green CR1632
Fastfire III by Burris 1.5 oz. Red CR2
Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight (1x25mm) by Bushnell 3.7 oz. Red CR2032


Final Thoughts

There you have it! When searching for the best tactical shotgun sights, the above-mentioned units from makers like Bushnell and Burris are some of the best options. Some honorable mentions include 30mm/5MOA Red Dot Sight by BSA Guns and SOR52001 Romeo5 Red Dot Sight by Sig Sauer

There are tons of features to consider when picking a shotgun sight. Accuracy, reticle, and durability are some of the most important issues to keep in mind. Shotguns are already generally the best choice for short-range, low-light shooting scenarios. The right sight makes your shotgun function even better.

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