In this article, I list the best reflex sights for shotguns, and I also share our tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years for first-time users.
Missing a target is something any shooter has experienced. It’s embarrassing and frustrating. But it happens, even to the best of us.
What if we told you that there’s a way to improve your accuracy and speed? No, it’s not training (although it’s important!). A reflex sight can do the trick.
A reflex sight allows you to keep both eyes open while shooting in various conditions (day/night, winter, etc.). It’s lightweight but packed with features that improve target acquisition.
- The Best Reflex Sight for Shotgun: Top 8 Picks
- 1. Burris Fastfire III Reflex Sight with Picatinny Mount
- 2. Holosun Ring Open Reflex Holographic Sight
- 3. Browning Buckmark Reflex Sight
- 4. Sig Sauer Romeo 3 Max Reflex Sight
- 5. Leupold DeltaPoint Pro Reflex Sight
- 6. Aimpoint Micro T-2 Red Dot Reflex Sight
- 7. Sightmark Ultra Shot Reflex Sight M-Spec
- 8. Vortex Optics Reflex Razor Red Dot Sight
- Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Reflex Sight for Shotgun
- FAQs About Reflex Sights
- #1 Is a Red Dot Sight the Same as a Reflex Sight?
- #2 What Are the Advantages of Using a Reflex Sight on a Shotgun?
- #3 Are Reflex Optics Better Than Iron Sights?
- #4 Is a Red Dot Better Than a Green Dot?
- #5 Are Reflex Sights Good for Short or Long Range Shooting?
- #6 What Dot Size Is the Best for a Shotgun?
- #7 How Do You Mount a Reflex Sight on a Shotgun?
- #8 How Do You Zero a Reflex Sight?
- Top Picks
- Final Thoughts
The Best Reflex Sight for Shotgun: Top 8 Picks
1. Burris Fastfire III Reflex Sight with Picatinny Mount
This reflex sight is known for its versatility and accuracy.
Thanks to its lightweight design, this reflex sight can be used as a primary optic or paired on top of another one.
It features an automatic brightness sensor, which will adjust to match the conditions. Alternatively, there are 3 manual brightness settings available.
It also offers two dot sizes. The 3 MOA is great for pinpoint accuracy, whereas the 8 MOA is ideal for short-range shooting. It also has a windage adjustment of 86 MOA.
Another note on versatility: this reflex sight is compatible with almost all kinds of guns, such as a handgun, shotgun, hunting rifle, and tactile rifle.
I’ve been able to mount it on top of my AR ACOG sight and directly on my pistol.
This reflex sight provides parallax-free, 1x magnification for greater awareness and accurate field of view. Plus, the lenses are polished to provide a clear and crisp picture of your target.
Constructed with metal, this reflex sight is a durable but lightweight optic at only 3.2 oz. It also has a waterproof roof to keep your vision clear.
- Easy to install
- Convenient auto brightness settings
- Snap-on cover included for added protection
- Pinpoint accuracy even for those with astigmatism/eye issues
- Accurate and wide field of view
- Battery cover isn’t threaded properly
- Difficult to use with only one button for on/adjust/off
2. Holosun Ring Open Reflex Holographic Sight
This open reflex sight is packed with technology. It’s also a holographic sight, which makes it extremely versatile.
For starters, this optic uses both battery and solar power energy. For the battery, it uses a CR2032 lithium battery, which has up to 50,000 hours of battery life.
Pioneered by Holosun, it features its innovative Solar Failsafe Technology. That’s what makes it an excellent holographic sight.
This allows automatic brightness adjustment so that your reticle will dim down to match the lighting whenever you move to a darker spot, such as indoors.
I found it most useful in tactical situations when starting outside a building then moving inside where it suddenly grows dark.
This reflex sight provides a Multi-Reticle System (M.R.S.). It has 2 MOA dot and a 65 MOA ring, and you can choose from a dot only, ring only, or a dot-and-ring combination.
Plus, it allows you to turn on/off certain parts of the reticle so that you can choose the best reticle for your situation and target.
This high-quality product allows an unlimited field of view, which I find ideal for firing with both eyes open
It has an integrated QD mount for easy mounting and removal.
Holosun’s Shake Awake Technology allows you to save energy. Once it’s been motionless for some time, it shuts the LED off. Then, all you have to do is shake it to instantly activate the LED again.
All of this is packed in a titanium-alloyed, shock-resistant hood to make it last for years.
- Easy to install
- Crisp and clear reticle
- Uses solar power as a backup
- Convenient, battery-conserving auto on/off feature
- Long battery life
- Battery is time-consuming to change
- Some reports of loose/wobbly mount after several uses
3. Browning Buckmark Reflex Sight
BEST BUDGET PICK
Don’t let the small price tag of this product fool you.
This affordable product makes it easy for entry-level shooters to obtain expert-level comfort and accuracy.
Depending on your need, this model provides 4 reticle patterns to choose from. It also has a wide field of view at 15.7m/100m to get a better look at your target and its surroundings.
It has a 7-position brightness rheostat, making it suitable for shooting in the day or night. It’s also durable as it uses a rugged aluminum alloy housing with a matte black finish.
This product is compatible with standard Weaver-style bases. It uses a #2032 lithium battery, which is already included in your order.
This optic is most ideal for pistols or rimfire rifles and has fully multi-coated lenses.
- Can handle recoil
- Wide range of reticle options
- Compatible with all types of firearms
- Some reports of distortion
- Reticle doesn’t lock, requires re-zeroing
4. Sig Sauer Romeo 3 Max Reflex Sight
This Sig Sauer optic features a high transmittance red notch reflector. This ensures powerful brightness, light transmittance, and zero distortion.
Users can select from two types of dots: 3 or 6 MOA dot. The reticle also has over 12 illumination intensity settings for a faster engagement with the target.
One of the notable technology is the MOTAC™ (Motion Activated Illumination System). This saves battery energy when it’s not actively in use.
It uses a readily available CR2032 battery, which provides up to 25,000 hours of run time.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the battery power can be side-loaded without having to remove the optic from the firearm.
It’s made with aircraft-grade CNC aluminum, which makes it lightweight and durable. It’s also waterproof and fog-proof, allowing complete water immersion up to 1 m (around 3.3 ft).
Lastly, this one includes a low-profile M1913 Picatinny mount in your order.
This means there’s no need to buy any extra tools or accessories, which saves you money and effort in the long run.
- Long-lasting battery
- Unlimited lifetime guarantee
- Made with durable, high-quality materials
- Compatible with all firearms and mounts
- Cover is too flimsy
5. Leupold DeltaPoint Pro Reflex Sight
This exposed reflex sight features a DiamondCoat aspheric lens. These scratch-free lenses increase the field of view by up to 56% and provide shorter eye relief.
This model has been impact tested to ensure it will perform in the harshest conditions. It can survive a minimum of 5,000 impacts on the Punisher, which is Leupold’s recoil stimulation machine.
Plus, it’s waterproof and fog-proof, so you can submerge it up to 33 ft underwater.
I’ve managed to get it wet while crossing a river and it didn’t affect the quality at all!
This one also has no problem adjusting to multiple pressure changes and temperatures. For instance, this product can be used in temperatures ranging from -40ºF to 160ºF.
This optic focuses on ease of use. The battery compartment is located on the top and it can be removed without any tools. With just one click, you can adjust the dot size.
It features a Twilight Red Dot Light Management System, which allows you to see better in dark conditions and provides standard color consistency.
Last but not the least, it has a Motion Sensor Technology. After 5 minutes of inactivity, this one deactivates the illumination to save the battery.
- Excellent zero hold
- Large and high quality viewing window
- Easy to re-install battery
- Simple, easy to use controls
- Limited mounting options
- Dot can’t be seen when adjusting brightness
6. Aimpoint Micro T-2 Red Dot Reflex Sight
This Aimpoint Micro reflex sight is a good option for those looking for a lightweight but compact product. It’s a personal favorite of mine!
It features a 1x parallax-free optic with 2 MOA dot. It has over 12 brightness options: 4 night vision compatible settings and 8 daylight settings, including one for extra bright sunlight.
This one has an advanced objective lens system that provides a better light transmission. It includes front and rear plastic flip cap covers to protect your lens.
This product has reinforced windage and elevation turrets, which aren’t something you always get in red dot sights.
On top of that, this model is waterproof and durable. It can be submerged up to 80 ft. With one CR2032 battery, it can run up to 50,000 hours (over 5 years) of constant operation.
While carrying all these features, this product remains convenient as it only weighs 3.4 oz.
I’ve taken it on hunts, to the range, and to competitions, and it hasn’t disappointed me!
- Long battery life of 50,000 hours
- Lightweight and compact
- Lens flip covers provide extra protection
- Includes windage and elevation turrets
- Has 2 MOA dot
- Need to be careful with counterfeit products
7. Sightmark Ultra Shot Reflex Sight M-Spec
This Ultra Shot reflex sight is made with cast magnesium alloy with a protective shield. This shockproof frame can shield itself from impact for up to .50 caliber recoils.
It also received an IP68 waterproof rating, making it submersible up to 40 ft.
This one features digital switch controls with 12 illumination levels: 6 brightness levels for daytime use and 6 night vision modes.
It’s equipped with dual-pane glass and a parallax-corrected lens system. This provides a large field of view to provide users with better accuracy.
It features an interlock internal locking system and illuminated reticle. For the reticle, it has a 65 circle dot crosshair and also a 2 MOA.
This optic offers up to 1,000 hours of battery life and has a low power consumption. Not to mention, it’s also lightweight and durable.
You can’t go wrong with this Sightmark offering, I promise.
- Crisp and clear reticle
- Excellent zero hold
- Wide adjustment range with 120 MOA
- Has a Quick-Detach (QD) Picatinny/Weaver mount
- Not fog-proof
- Buttons are hard to use
8. Vortex Optics Reflex Razor Red Dot Sight
This one is compatible with a wide variety of firearms and equally wide usage in shooting applications.
It features a premium wide-field lens that provides unlimited eye relief. It also has a daylight bright red dot for an easier target inspection regardless of lighting conditions or background.
There are over 9 illumination levels designed for various conditions. At the highest setting, you can use this for 150 hours. At the lowest, this one lasts for up to 30,000 hours.
The lenses are coated with anti-reflective XR and ArmorTek coatings. These help increase light transmission while protecting the lenses from oil and scratches.
This product uses aircraft-grade aluminum to ensure waterproof and shockproof performance. It needs a CR2032 battery, which can be easily switched in and out.
It includes a Picatinny mount in your order, so there’s no need to buy any additional equipment. This is a compact optic that only weighs 2.5 oz with the mount.
- Compact and lightweight
- Made with durable, high-quality materials
- Large viewing window
- Unlimited eye relief
- Lifetime “no questions asked” warranty
- Requires an Allen key to adjust the optic
- Buttons are too close to the lens
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Reflex Sight for Shotgun
Now that you’ve taken a look at my recommendations, you might be wondering what’s the best reflex sight for you.
I’ve listed factors you should consider before buying the best reflex sight for your shotgun.
These should take into account the shotgun as a weapon and how you plan on using it.
Reticle size is measured in MOA, or minute of angle. What size you need will depend on your shooting intentions.
The MOA will tell how much distance you’re able to cover. It also refers to the size of the dot, where a higher number means a bigger dot.
To put it into perspective, 1 MOA is equal to 1 inch at 100 yards. Similarly, 4 MOAs will translate to covering 4 minutes of the angle at 100 yards.
Lower MOAs are useful for pinpoint accuracy for a more accurate shot on your target at longer distances. This is useful in competitions that have a small target.
Larger MOAs are better for shooting faster at close ranges but have less precision. Since the dot is larger, it will cover a broader area of the target.
There are two housing configurations for reflex optics: open and tube.
For open types, the optical window, which is the only optical element, doesn’t require aluminum alloy housing. This allows you to see the reticle through an open window.
The result is a more compact design and a wider field of view. This allows you to view the target and its surroundings, providing a tactical advantage.
But because of their design, you cannot use any filters or accessories on this type of sight.
It also has an exposed light path due to its heads-up display (HUD). This may be a disadvantage in case something blocks the path.
Tube types look similar to telescopic red dot sights because it has a cylindrical tube surrounding the optics.
Tube types are compatible with various accessories, such as optical scopes, filters, and protective covers.
Because of their tube enclosing, the reticle and dot will appear brighter even in broad daylight. This will improve your accuracy and precision.
Which one is better? Both have their pros and cons, so it will depend on what you need.
Size & Compatibility
When choosing the best reflex sight, it’s important to consider if it’s going to be compatible with your firearm, base, and purpose.
Some models are compatible with all types of firearms. But some may not have the ruggedness to last a few rounds. Some may not fit at all.
In terms of mounts, some models include a Picatinny or Weaver mount in your purchase. Keep in mind that if your gun fits on a Picatinny mount, it will not fit on a Weaver rail.
If your order doesn’t include a mount, check how much it will cost separately. If you’re tight on budget, purchasing extra equipment may end up being more expensive.
Consider the compatibility with other accessories as well. For example, you might need two optics or a magnifier. Not all reflex sights are compatible with magnifiers, so make sure to double-check this.
Last but not least, consider the size of the product itself, which refers to the bulk and weight of the reflex sight, as this will play a big factor in your success.
The majority of reflex sights use AA, AAA, or CR batteries. The battery lifespan can range anything from 2,000 to 50,000 hours.
The best battery would be the CR2032 battery, which provides up to 50,000 operating hours. This eliminates the need to carry around a spare battery.
Along with this, consider the battery compartment or aluminum alloy housing. Some products have reported issues of battery covers being difficult to re-install.
There are some models that use solar energy as a backup. Select Trijicon models and the Holosun Ring Open Reflex Sight are some examples.
I highly recommend them if you don’t want to mess about with batteries.
It’s important to choose a high-quality model as it is directly related to durability.
A reflex sight may have fancy features, but those features will be nothing if the product won’t stand the test of time.
Check if the product is water-, fog-, and shock-proof. These are bare minimum resistances your scope should come with.
You probably won’t be jumping into the water with your firearm. But the waterproof feature will help during rainy or snowy days.
A waterproof product doesn’t mean it will be fog-proof as well. On days with heavy fog and mist, it’s entirely possible for your optic to clog up and disrupt your vision.
Lastly, shockproof refers to how well an optic will handle the recoil. Some products don’t hold zero well, and some might even end up having loose screws after a few rounds.
I think it’s best to check customer reviews to verify a sight’s durability in the field.
If you’ve been looking at product listings online, chances are you’ve seen a handful of customer reviews that complain about counterfeit products.
The sad reality is that there are a lot of vendors that sell fake products of well-known brands.
Some are very crafty to the point that it’s difficult to tell them apart by appearance only. And you end up telling them apart once you start using it and the quality falls short.
Counterfeit products are more common for high-end brands such as Leupold, Aimpoint, Vortex, etc.
So how can you tell if a product is a knock-off? Here are a few tips I employ to keep from getting scammed:
- Check the manufacturing or shipping location: Let’s say the brand says their products are made in the USA, but the product listing states a different location. Chances are, it’s fake.
- Cost: If it’s priced unusually low, then it’s better to be suspicious. An exception is if it’s a used product, of course.
- Customer Reviews: This is probably the most reliable information. Check what previous buyers have said about the product.
The best feature is the one you need the most. What does this mean?
A reflex sight may have all these fancy technology and features. But at the end of the day, if it’s not something you need, then it’s useless.
So when buying a reflex optic, ask yourself: What features do I need?
Below is a list of features I usually consider.
- Windage & Elevation Adjustments: Some models allow you to adjust by hand, whereas others require you to use a separate tool.
- Brightness: Check how many options you need in terms of illumination. Along with this, check if you need night vision or automatic adjustments.
- Field of View: The best kind of optic will offer unlimited eye relief. A large field of view will help you view the target and its surroundings.
- Controls: Check if the optic uses a manual or digital control. Since many products are compact, sometimes the button can be located near the lens. This makes it difficult for to make, especially if you’re in the middle of shooting.
When purchasing any item, an expensive product can be a dealbreaker.
The good news is that reflex optics are available in various cost ranges.
An expensive product doesn’t always mean it has better quality. Instead, consider the various features and see what’s the best one for you.
Along with that, check the warranty and return policy.
Some manufacturers don’t offer one at all and I wouldn’t buy a product this expensive from them.
The upside is that most manufacturers offer a warranty but always double-check the details.
Does the warranty apply to the entire set or certain parts only? How long is the warranty valid for?
These are some questions to keep in mind, even if a manufacturer offers a “lifetime” warranty.
FAQs About Reflex Sights
#1 Is a Red Dot Sight the Same as a Reflex Sight?
No, it’s not.
A red dot sight is an umbrella term for all sights that use a red dot.
This means a reflex sight is one of the many types of a red dot sight. All reflex sights are red dots, but not all red dots are reflex sights.
The distinct characteristic of a reflex sight is that it uses LED to project the red or green dot onto its lens. The projected dot hits the lens, reflecting it back to your eyes.
With that, I also have a Shotgun Red Dot Sights Buying Guide if you want to learn more about the difference between the two types.
#2 What Are the Advantages of Using a Reflex Sight on a Shotgun?
Reflex sights provide accuracy, speed, and precision shots while remaining compact and lightweight.
They help provide better accuracy as many models are designed to work both day and night conditions. Plus, they can also cover a wide range of distances.
Many good models have a large viewing window and unlimited eye relief.
This way, you can keep both eyes open when shooting, which causes less strain on your eyes in the long run.
Pinpoint accuracy also helps in acquiring a moving or faraway target. The red dot sight will put your target within your field of view for a more accurate shot.
They are also more affordable and lighter than prism and holographic sights.
Last but not the least, reflex sights have a long lifespan. The lifespan depends on the quality of materials and battery.
For the battery, lithium batteries, such as CR2302, can last up to 50,000 hours. Some models use solar power, making them more energy-efficient.
In terms of the materials, most, if not all, reflex sights are made with durable materials such as aircraft-grade aluminum.
With proper care, these will last you for years.
#3 Are Reflex Optics Better Than Iron Sights?
Yes. Why? Reflex optics are more accurate and reliable.
Iron sights have been around forever. Because of this, the design can be a bit outdated unless you’re a skilled shooter.
With iron sights, one has to imagine the point of impact on a target.
Chances are, you’ll be using only one eye to shoot as this is how iron sights are typically used.
Lastly, the aim point is nowhere near as accurate or visible. Reflex optics use LED technology, which can perform well in both daylight and nighttime.
To compare, an iron sight, even if has a tritium or fiber optic, won’t be as visible or bright. This is a clar disadvantage, especially for long-range shooting.
#4 Is a Red Dot Better Than a Green Dot?
A red dot allows for a faster acquisition speed because it catches the eye faster. It also has a less of a chance “blending” into the background.
In cold or freezing temperatures, a red dot will have no operational problems. But depending on your product, a green reflex sight may not work at all.
Green dots also have their advantages. I find them easier to see in low light settings, such as nighttime.
It doesn’t require a high brightness setting, so this can conserve battery power.
Green dots also cause less eye strain, making it more beneficial for those with astigmatism.
#5 Are Reflex Sights Good for Short or Long Range Shooting?
They are suitable for both short and long-range shooting.
For short ranges, it’s advisable to choose a bigger dot size.
For longer ranges, a smaller dot would work better. To achieve better precision, you could also zoom in using a magnifier.
But there are other factors to consider, such as the firearm used, dot size and type, and the skill level of the person.
With that being said, reflex sights are much better suited for a close-range if you’re using it without a magnifier.
#6 What Dot Size Is the Best for a Shotgun?
It depends on the condition you’re in and what you need it for.
If your target is at a close distance and you need speed, a bigger dot will suit you better.
If you need precision, it’s better to get a smaller dot. This comes in handy in situations such as target shooting or mid-range hunting.
Here’s a quick rundown of dot sizes for your information:
- 1 to 2: Provides a very precise aiming dot, suitable for longer ranges. But people with eye problems may struggle to locate the dot.
- 3 to 5: Provides a clear and accurate dot, suitable for close and mid-ranges. Suitable for target shooting and self-defense.
- 6 to 8: Provides speed, suitable for close ranges and rapid shooting. Suitable for handguns and shotguns. The larger dot also helps people with astigmatism.
If you’re unsure, your local gunsmith shop will provide a wealth of information to help you calibrate your settings based on your needs.
You can also check out my Buying Guide on Shotgun Optics for more options.
#7 How Do You Mount a Reflex Sight on a Shotgun?
Mounting a reflex sight for a shotgun will require Allen wrenches and Hex keys.
If your package doesn’t include a Picatinny rail or Weaver mount, you can get it from your local gunsmith.
The installation method is slightly different for long and short guns.
A rifle, shotgun, carbine, and machine gun are all examples of long guns.
For long guns, it’s best to mount the optic on top of the receiver end of the rail. This provides more stability and balance.
Installing a reflex sight on a long gun is pretty straightforward. Once you have a rail, all you have to do is tighten the bolts and screws in place.
For short guns, it’s trickier.
Besides the tools listed above, you’ll also need a mounting plate. This mounting plate will replace the rear iron sight on a pistol or SMG.
Instead of relying on the screws, it’s a smart idea to use a blue Loctite threadlocker for extra stability.
A blue Loctite will allow you to replace or remove your mounted scope when needed.
On the other hand, a red Loctite is a permanent attachment, which won’t allow any adjustments in the future.
Once the sight is mounted, it’s a good idea to do a few test rounds to shake it via recoil. This will tell whether the screws are tight enough.
#8 How Do You Zero a Reflex Sight?
Also known as sighting in, zeroing means aligning the red dot with your firearm so that you can accurately aim at your target.
If you have used a rifle scope before, zeroing a reflex sight is a similar process that you shouldn’t have much problem transitioning to.
When zeroing for the first time, it’s best to turn the optic off or ignore it. If possible, flip it down once it’s zeroed.
For the next step, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Since each model is different, the information provided will differ.
For best results, make all variables as consistent as possible. This includes your firing position, the ammunition used, trigger control, and so on.
Fire at least three test shots. Take note of all the information you got from these rounds.
From there, check what kind of adjustments need to be made.
Calibrate your settings and repeat the process until you get zero locked in.
My reflex sights buying guide should give you an idea of which reflex sight is the best for you.
But if you’d like my two cents, these are my highest recommendations:
This is the best reflex sight for shotgun that checks all the marks in my book.
For starters, it’s versatile. It fits all firearms and can be paired with another sight if needed.
The features are impressive, too. It has an automatic sensor to adjust the brightness levels, and 3 manual settings as a backup.
Plus, there are no extra tools needed for elevation and windage adjustments. It’s also waterproof and shockproof. Made with high-quality aluminum, it can withstand years of punishing recoil.
All of this is available in a compact design weighing only 3.2 oz and at a very reasonable price.
Runner Up: Holosun Ring Open Reflex Holographic Sight
This sight is a close contender. For this one, it’s all about features. It uses a CR2032 battery, which is said to last up to 50,000 hours. As a backup, it uses solar power so it’s one dependable product.
This sight can provide accurate shots with its new LED technology and various reticle combinations. This titanium-alloyed sight will last you for a long time with its battery-conserving auto on/off feature.
As we’ve seen from this article, reflex sights come in all shapes and sizes.
I hope that my article provided enough information for you to find the best reflex sight for your needs and budget.
Remember, a reflex sight is one method for improving your speed and pinpoint accuracy. At the end of the day, it’s all about practice, dedication—and some luck.
CHANGELOG: August 25, 2022 - Added 1 new article link March 28, 2022 - Made updates to the content January 19, 2022 - Added 1 new article link September 30, 2021 - Added new product link options September 14, 2021 - Reviewed and updated article links, updated article title