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7 Best Red Dot for Shotgun [Tactical Situations & Hunting]

Best Red Dot for Shotgun

Are you looking for the best shotgun red dot sight for your hunting, home defense, or tactical needs?

You’re in the right place.

We’ll help you find the BEST red dots for shotgun usage scenarios. We even have an in-depth guide at the end!

Feeling curious now? Read on!

Best Value
Burris AR Prism Sight with FastFire III
Best Overall
Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight
Budget Pick
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Scope

7 Best Red Dot Sights for Shotguns: Turkey & Deer Hunting, Home Defense, Tactical Situations

NOTE: For this list of the best red dot sights available, we also included reflex sights and holographic sights. There are many options at your disposal!

1. Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight

BEST OVERALL

Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight

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We’ll kick things off with the best red dot sight on our list, the Vortex Optics Venom. This compact optic is pretty much a complete package!

If you want quick target acquisition, convenience, durability, and versatility for both hunting and tactical situations, this one’s for you!

Features:

  • Reticle Size and Color: 6 MOA red dot
  • Build: Waterproof, shockproof
  • Material: Aluminum housing, matte anodized finish
  • Optical Coating: Fully multi-coated objective lens, ArmorTek scratch-resistant
  • Brightness Settings: Manual mode (10 levels), automatic brightness mode
  • Battery: Up to 150 hours on the highest setting, up to 30,000 hours on lower settings
  • Mounting Options: Weaver/Picatinny Rail

Overall Thoughts

What makes this the best out of all the shotgun red dot sights on our list? The deciding factors were its high-end features and unbelievably reasonable price!

With its 6 MOA red dot, it’s perfect for short to mid-range encounters, which are common scenarios for shotgun users!

Vortex Viper 6 MOA red dot reticle diagram

Let’s not forget its build. Being waterproof and shockproof means it can withstand loads of abuse and is useful for tactical situations!

As for brightness settings, 10 levels is a decent number.

However, what makes it stand out is its automatic brightness sensor! It adjusts according to your environment’s light conditions!

The longevity of its battery is super impressive. Also, its mounting options mean you can use it for both hunting and tactical shotguns!

Other Specifications:

  • Length: 1.9 inches
  • Weight: 1.05 oz.
  • Windage and Elevation Adjustments: 1 MOA per click
  • Extra: Lifetime warranty

We’ve already mentioned that it’s compact, but it’s also lightweight.

Handling your shotgun will be easy, and you also have other settings to tweak based on your shooting environment!

The icing on the cake is the lifetime warranty. You can pretty much have this best red dot sight for the rest of your life!

Pros
  • High-end features
  • Reasonable price
  • Can be used for both hunting and tactical situations
Cons
  • No night vision capabilities

2. Burris AR Prism Sight with FastFire III Red Dot Reflex Sight

BEST VALUE

Burris AR Prism Sight with FastFire III Red Dot Reflex Sight

Our best value option is a bit different compared to the other red dot sights for shotguns. If you’re wondering why, it’s because it’s a 2-in-1 combo!

The AR Prism Sight with the FastFire III offers you ultimate flexibility, which is uncommon in a premium red dot sight for shotgun users.

What makes it great is that it’s cheaper than premium red dots!

AR Prism Sight Features:

  • Reticle Size and Color: 3 MOA black, red, or green reflex sight
  • Build: Shockproof and waterproof
  • Optical Coating: Multi-coated lenses
  • Brightness Settings: 5 red and 5 green illumination settings (Off is black)
  • Battery (Continuous Operation): 200 to 500 hours
  • Mounting: Picatinny
  • Elevation and Windage Adjustments: 70 MOA

Burris AR Prism Sight

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Thoughts on the Prism Sight

The first part of the combo, the AR Prism Sight, provides you with an option for long-range shooting.

It may be an AR optic, but it also gets the job done as a sight for shotgun wielders!

This scope offers you versatile choices that let you adapt to different shooting situations. From multiple reticle options to many adjustable settings, you can use it in various conditions!

Don’t forget its durable build and damage-resistant lens. You know you have a scope for the long-term!

The only downside is its unimpressive battery life. You’ll have to change it more often than other options!

FastFire III Features:

  • Reticle Size and Color: 3 or 8 MOA red dot
  • Build: Shockproof and waterproof
  • Optical Coating: Multi-coated lens
  • Brightness Settings: Automatic brightness sensor and 3 manual settings
  • Battery Life: Up to 5 years (Thanks to automatic time-out feature)
  • Mounting: Picatinny
  • Elevation and Windage Adjustments: 115 MOA (Elevation) and 86 MOA (Windage)

Burris FastFire III

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Thoughts on the FastFire III

As for the 2nd half of this package, the Burris FastFire III shares some similar features with the AR Prism Sight. However, this is your option for short-range encounters!

Its 8 MOA red dot provides you with that choice. It even has a sensor that automatically adjusts your attachment’s brightness setting so you can shoot in any light conditions!

Other adjustable settings allow you to adapt to different situations. The FastFire III also has an automatic time-out feature that lets you easily conserve battery life!

As for mounting, both shotgun red dot sights have Picatinny mounts. That only means this combination was made for tactical versatility!

We dive deeper into this optic in our Burris Fastfire vs Trijicon RMR guide if you’re interested to know more.

Pros
  • Options for both long and short-range situations
  • Numerous adjustable settings
  • 2-in-1 package offers ultimate flexibility
Cons
  • Two separate power sources to think about
  • Heavier than other options

3. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Scope

BEST BUDGET OPTION

Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Scope

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Looking for the best red dot sight to NOT hurt your bank account? If so, the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is your budget red dot sight of choice!

It has almost everything you need in a shotgun red dot sight. What’s best about it is its super-affordable price!

Features:

  • Reticle Size and Color: 3 MOA red dot
  • Build: Waterproof, shockproof, nitrogen purged fog-proofing
  • Optical Coating: Multi-coated
  • Brightness Settings: 11 brightness settings
  • Battery (Mid Setting): Up to more than 5,000 hours
  • Mounting: High-rise Weaver-style mount

Specifications:

  • L x W x H:  79 x 46 x 48 mm. (3.1 x 1.8 x 1.9 inches)
  • Weight: 130 g. (4.6 oz.)
  • Water Resistance: 25 meters (80 feet)

Overall Thoughts

It’s difficult to find modern sighting systems with a price like the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25. That alone makes it stand out.

What about its other red dot sight features?

Let’s start with the reticle. You get a 3 MOA red dot which is great for different ranges. However, that’s your only reticle choice!

What makes it really stand out is its build. You get a waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof red dot sight for an EXTREMELY low cost!

This cheap optical attachment even comes with a multi-coated lens which prevents any damage to it. The number of brightness settings is decent too. It lacks some low-light capabilities, though.

Its battery’s longevity is also impressive. As for its mount, the high-rise style allows you to shoot with a head-high position. It even provides you with peripheral vision control!

Other Specifications:

  • Length: 2.5 inches
  • Weight: 102 g. (3.6 oz.)
  • Windage and Elevation Adjustments: 1 MOA per click

Some added plus to this little but efficient red dot sight is its compact size and lightweight nature. Handling your weapon will still be easy!

Lastly, your adjustable windage and elevation allow you to adapt to the shooting scenario. Overall, at the price you’re paying, we’d say that the Bushnell TRS-25 is a STEAL for the best red dot sight if you’re on a budget!

Pros
  • Most affordable option
  • Very sturdy
  • Impressive battery life for the price
Cons
  • Lacks compatibility for low-light situations

4. Aimpoint Micro T-2

Aimpoint Micro T-2

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The Aimpoint Micro T-2 is arguably one of the best shotgun red dot sights on the market today.

Being lightweight, compact, and durable, it makes landing accurate shots so much easier!

Features:

  • Reticle Size and Color: 2 MOA red dot
  • Material: Anodized high strength aluminum housing, semi-matte black
  • Optical Coating: Anti-reflex coating, multilayer coating
  • Brightness Settings: 4-night vision compatible settings and 8 daylight settings
  • Battery Life (Continuous Operation): 50,000 hours at daylight setting 8 (15,000 Lux, room temperature)
  • Mounting Options: Weaver/Picatinny Rail

Overall Thoughts

The Aimpoint Micro T-2 may only have a 2 MOA red dot reticle, but it’s enough to fulfill most of your shooting needs. That also doesn’t take anything away from its other useful red dot sight features!

Its durable build ensures you have an optical attachment that lasts long despite heavy usage. Also, its fully multi-coated lens will always be in its best shape to give you a bright sight picture of your target!

With brightness settings for both night and daylighting environments, you have tons of flexibility. You can use your weapon at any time of the day!

Its extremely long battery life is what’s most impressive. Capable of up to 50,000 hours of continuous operation, you know that the chances of this red dot sight failing are especially slim!

With compatibility for both Weaver and Picatinny mounts, the Aimpoint Micro T-2 can be used on a hunting or tactical shotgun too!

Other Specifications:

  • L x W x H:  79 x 46 x 48 mm. (3.1 x 1.8 x 1.9 inches)
  • Weight: 130 g. (4.6 oz.)
  • Water Resistance: 25 meters (80 feet)
  • Lens Cover: Front (Solid) and rear (Transparent) flip-up lens covers

As for some added features, it’s very compact and lightweight. Wielding your shotgun and rapid target acquisition will be so much easier!

Its water resistance makes it useful for tactical situations. The flip-up lens covers also allow you to quickly uncover your lens and aim when the situation calls for it!

Pros
  • Durable build
  • Brightness settings for both day and night scenarios
  • Extremely long battery life
Cons
  • Only one basic reticle option

5. Sightmark Ultra Shot Reflex Sight (M-Spec)

Sightmark Ultra Shot Reflex Sight (M-Spec)

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If you’re looking for a shotgun reflex sight for mid-range shooting, then the Sightmark Ultra Shot Reflex Sight (M-Spec) should be right up your alley!

Features:

  • Reticle: 65 MOA circle dot crosshair (60 MOA circle w/ 5 MOA subtension, 2 MOA red dot)
  • Reticle Color: Red
  • Material: Magnesium alloy body, aluminum protective shield
  • Lens Coating: AR red
  • Brightness Settings: Off, 10 daytime, 6 night vision
  • Battery Life: Up to 2,000 hours
  • Mounting: Picatinny
  • Activation: Motion sensor technology

Overall Thoughts

Like some options on this list, the Sightmark Ultra Shot Reflex Sight (M-Spec) is compact, sturdy, and has brightness settings for almost all light conditions.

So instead of bringing up some features that it shares with other red dot sights, let’s talk about what makes arguably the best reflex sight available.

First, let’s talk about its reticle. It’s a versatile reticle with multiple shooting points and a 2 MOA red dot that enables quick target acquisition at mid-range! Sweet, huh?

Sightmark reticle diagram

Second, it’s one of the few options on this list that makes use of motion activation. Once this attachment senses motion, the reticle automatically pops up! Quite convenient!

Other Specifications:

  • L x W x H:  102 x 47 x 59 mm. (4.01 x 1.85 x 2.32 inches)
  • Weight: 9.6 oz.
  • Water Resistance: IP68 – waterproof to 40ft/12m
  • Windage and Elevation Adjustments: 120 MOA
  • Extra: Integrated sunshade

The icing on the cake for this optic is its anti-reflective lens coating and integrated sunshade. These will easily shield your eyes from bright light!

They also minimize bright sunlight glare and reflections! Your aim will always be on point!

The only downside with this is some Amazon users have complained that the sunshade can be quite flimsy. So keep that in mind!

Pros
  • Versatile reticle
  • Integrated sunshade
  • Motion sensor technology
Cons
  • Some users complain that the sunshade is flimsy

6. EOTech Holographic Sight

EOTech Holographic Sight

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If you need a shotgun red dot for close-quarter situations and fast-moving targets, the EOTech 512 is your best bet. In fact, it’s the most popular holographic sight in EOTech’s lineup!

Features:

  • Reticle Size and Color: Red EOTech One Dot Reticle
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Brightness Settings: 20 daylight settings
  • Power Source: 2 x 1.5 V AA batteries (Lithium, alkaline, or rechargeable)
  • Battery (Continuous Operation): 2,200 hours (Alkaline), 2,500 hours (Lithium)
  • Mounting Options: 1″ Weaver or MIL-STD-1913 rail

Overall Thoughts

It’s an operator-grade holographic sight that enables faster target acquisition and is known for its reliability and durability.

You get EOTech’s most popular reticle, but the user has to establish the ranges for them depending on which loads and calibers they use.

EOtech holographic sight picture

Being operator-grade, you know it’s a sturdily-built optic made for the long-term. It also has numerous daylight settings, but the downside is its lack of night vision capabilities.

However, having AA batteries as an easily available power source, you avoid a lot of hassle with this HWS. Finding replacement batteries are super easy; they can last for more than 2,000 hours too!

Other Specifications:

  • L x W x H: 142.2 x 50.8 x 63.5 mm. (5.6 x 2.0 x 2.5 inches)
  • Weight: 326 g. (11.5 oz.)
  • Water Resistance: 10ft. (3 meters)
  • Windage and Elevation Adjustments: 0.5 MOA per click

As for other upsides, the EOTech 512 is compact and lightweight. Having your sights mounted doesn’t impact your weapon’s handling!

Great water resistance also makes it practical for tactical situations. With adjustable windage and elevation settings, you can seamlessly adapt to your environment!

Pros
  • Easily replaceable and accessible power source
  • Operator-grade shotgun red dot
  • Doesn't affect weapon's handling
Cons
  • Only one basic reticle option
  • Not night vision compatible

7. Leupold DeltaPoint Pro Reflex Sight

Leupold DeltaPoint Pro Reflex Sight

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If you’re looking for shotgun red dots that offer a lot of conveniences, then the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro should be your pick. We’ll talk about how it makes your life easier below!

Features:

  • Reticle Size and Color: 2.5 MOA red dot
  • Material: Aluminum housing, steel sheath
  • Build: Waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof
  • Optical Coating: DiamondCoat Aspheric Lens
  • Brightness Settings: 8 illumination settings
  • Battery Life: 300 to 1,600 hours (Varies according to intensity)

Overall Thoughts

It offers your usual red dot sight reticle, brightness setting adjustments, and decent battery life. However, there are other features that make this one of the best red dot sights out there!

First, we’ll talk about its build. Being waterproof and shockproof, you know it can withstand abuse, harsh weather, and even usage in tactical situations.

Being fog-proof, however, ensures that your lens is crystal clear at all times! Its DiamondCoat Aspheric coating also ensures that it’s scratchproof!

Another thing to point out is how the battery is easily accessible. Changing it is easier compared to other reflex sights!

Other Specifications:

  • L x W x H:  1.31 x 1.3 x 1.82 inches
  • Weight: 2 oz.
  • Windage and Elevation Adjustments: 60 MOA (1 MOA per click)
  • Extra Features: Motion sensor technology and lifetime warranty

Being compact and lightweight, properly wielding your shotgun won’t become an issue. The lifetime warranty also means you have a shotgun red dot sight for life!

Another convenient feature is its adjustable windage and elevation settings. You can seamlessly tweak your sight for different situations!

Its motion sensor also gives you extra ease of use. It automatically activates or deactivates illumination when it senses motion. It even helps conserve battery life!

Pros
  • Lots of convenient features
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Lens always provides crystal clear sight picture
Cons
  • Battery doesn't last as long as other reflex sights

Choosing the Best Red Dot Sight for Your Shotgun: Features to Consider

Now that you’ve seen the best red dot sights for shotguns, here are some key considerations before you finalize your decision.

These will help you find the red dot optic that fits you best!

#1 Your Red Dot’s Reticle Size and Pattern

Various reticle sizes and patterns are ideal for various situations. Will you be shooting from close range or long-range? Are your targets big or small?

Red Dot Tip: Choose an option that offers multiple reticle patterns and sizes. This will allow you to have a red dot sight suitable for different situations!

Dot sizes can range from 3 to 12 MOA, and a reflex sight normally doesn’t go past 6 MOA. For shotguns, however, 8 MOA is a nice sweet spot since they’re mostly for short-range shooting.

#2 Reticle Color

Similar to holographic sights, most red dot sights have illuminated reticles. This provides shooters a better contrast against environments with dark lighting!

The right reticle color helps, especially for shooters with astigmatism. They find that the illumination of a green dot fades or distorts less than a red dot sight!

#3 Red Dot Sight Durability

A strong build ensures your red dot sight can withstand any abuse.

You wouldn’t want your optic to give you a zero setting while shooting slugs or just go kaput after a few rounds, would you?

#4 Is Your Red Dot’s Lens Properly Coated?

The proper coating protects the lens of your red dot sight from scratches, abrasions, or even dust.

Some red dot sights even have high-performance lens coatings offering maximum light transmission!

#5 Multiple Brightness Settings

You’ll be encountering environments with different levels of lighting. Having multiple brightness settings will help you a lot!

You can control your optic’s brightness when the environment’s light is overwhelming. Having low-light settings also helps you shoot in darker scenarios!

#6 Battery Life Matters

A shotgun red dot sight uses a simple LED to create a very convenient point of aim. Because of that, they obviously depend on battery power.

So if you’re taking your shotgun with you when you work or go hunting, make sure to find a red dot sight that has long battery life. It should last throughout the time you use it!

#7 It Should Enhance Your Accuracy

Your chosen red dot sight should, obviously, help you take better precision shots.

Whether it’s a hunting or tactical scenario, your optic should always help you land your shot accurately!

#8 Mounting Options

There are typically two mounting options to choose from, either a Picatinny or Weaver-style mounting system. What you get can depend on your shotgun!

A hunting shotgun may come with its own optic mount or a Weaver-style mount. As for a tactical shotgun, a Picatinny rail is the typical affair.

Pro Tip: A Picatinny mount is usually better. It accepts most optic mounts on the market!

#9 Cost

Price, of course, plays a huge part in our purchasing decisions. However, for a red dot sight, try not to focus on the price range as much.

Why should we pay less heed to the price?

Simply put, when it comes to optical attachments, a higher price doesn’t always mean better quality.

But if you’re a budget buyer, it’s understandable if the price becomes your primary consideration!

Why Use a Red Dot Sight on Shotguns? Do I Really Need One?

There are multiple benefits any user can gain from having a red dot sight on their shotgun.

To answer the pressing question of why you would need one, we’ll go through them one by one.

A Red Dot Sight Has Unlimited Eye Relief and Parallax

If you’re wondering what eye relief is, it’s the distance between your eyeball and your optical attachment that lets you obtain the maximum field of view.

Having your eye too close to your sight means the recoil will pop you in the head once you pull the trigger. Unlimited eye relief helps you avoid that!

As for parallax, it occurs when your target and reticle are on different planes within the scope. It looks as if your reticle is swimming around your target. Having a red dot sight counteracts that!

A Red Dot Sight Is Better Than Iron Sights

Comparing the two directly would automatically make a red dot sight stand out more. It’s easier to use, makes target acquisition so much easier, and even allows you to shoot from unconventional positions!

Why is it so important, though?

Typically, you’ll be shooting fast-moving targets with your shotgun. Having a red dot sight makes tracking your quarry so much faster, and all that’s left to do is — when you’re all set, pull the trigger!

The only downside is red dots operate on battery power. There’s a possibility of it running out, but that seldom happens!

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we’ll answer any possible questions you still have leftover.

Hopefully, we’re able to cover everything!

What Are Ghost Ring Shotgun Sights?

The first thing we’d like to point out is that a ghost ring sight is a type of iron sight. It’s also a pretty recent innovation on your traditional aperture sight.

What makes it different is the extremely thin rear ring and slightly thicker front sight. The thin ring minimizes the target’s occlusion, and the thicker one makes it quicker to find!

This is why some consider a ghost ring sight to be the fastest type of aperture sight. It’s quite accurate and easy to use. What makes it better is it obscures your target less compared to other iron sights!

Ghost Ring Fact: You can see ghost ring sights normally installed on riot and combat shotguns. They’re even installed on custom handguns and are starting to be used as a backup sight for rifles!

What Is the Effective Range of a Tactical Shotgun?

You’d usually assume that shotguns are short-range weapons. A tactical shotgun, however, says otherwise.

In fact, it’s effective at both close-range and up to a range of 100 yards! This makes a tactical shotgun a very flexible and versatile weapon!

All the more, shotguns with the best reflex sights or red dots will be even MORE effective.

Which Red Dot Does the Military Use?

If you want to know which red dot sight the military typically uses, it actually depends on the weapon or the situation they’re using it for.

In some cases, they would prefer the Aimpoint Comp series. These sights are tested by soldiers and have been proven in combat.

In fact, for over 20 years, the U.S. Armed Forces have been using it as their M68CCO Close Combat Optic!

On the other hand, taking the USSOCOM as an example, their optic of choice would be the Trijicon RMR Type 2 for their handguns or pistols. It’s even used by law enforcement!

Do Navy SEALs Use Red Dot Sights for Their Shotguns?

Yes, they do.

In fact, they’re commonly photographed using well-known red dot sight brands such as Aimpoint and EOTech for their firearms!

However, we’d also like to point out that Navy SEALS normally use many varieties of optics for their shotguns and rifles. It’s because they like customizing their weapons according to their preferences.

Choosing the right-fitting optical attachment makes properly wielding their weapons so much easier for them!

Wrapping Things Up: Our Winners

You probably can easily choose your next red dot sight by now. To conclude this article, please allow us to reiterate why we chose these three as the best red dot sights for shotguns.

Best Budget Option – Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Scope

This one’s a no-brainer. For an unbelievably low price, you can get almost everything you’re looking for in red dots for your shotgun!

Best Value Pick – Burris AR Prism Sight with FastFire III

One of the best red dot scopes (with a green dot option) and one of the most compact reflex sights combined for an affordable price? Just take our money!

Best Overall – Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight

Our best overall pick is the best for a reason.

For the price you pay, you get the PERFECT optical attachment for almost ANY situation you’ll encounter with your shotgun!

Conclusion

That’s all, folks.

We hope this buying guide helped you pick the ideal red dot (or green dot) optic for you and has answered all your burning questions!

 

CHANGELOG:

May 16, 2022 - minor content edits

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