Red Dot Sights for Shotguns: A Comprehensive Guide
Red dot sights are commonly used for enhancing accuracy and speed in various shooting applications, including shotguns. These optical devices project a red dot onto the target, allowing shooters to quickly acquire and aim at their desired point of impact. However, with numerous options available on the market, it can be challenging to determine which red dot sight is compatible with a shotgun. In this article, we will explore some of the best red dot sights for shotguns, discuss how to adjust and mount them, weigh their pros and cons, and provide insights into their cost.
Best Red Dot Sights for Shotguns
1. Aimpoint Micro T-1, T-2, H-1 Compact Red Dot Reflex Sight: Aimpoint is known for its durable and reliable sights, and these models are no exception. They are compact, lightweight, and designed to withstand the recoil of shotguns. The battery life is exceptionally long, some running for up to 50,000 hours.
2. Holosun HS510 Open Reflex Sight: This sight offers a large open viewing window and a solar panel backup for extended battery life. It features multiple reticle options, including a 65 MOA circle with a 2 MOA dot reticle. It is also constructed to withstand the rigors of shotgun shooting.
3. Aimpoint ACRO Red-dot Optic: The ACRO is a compact and rugged sight that can handle the recoil of shotguns. It offers a crisp and clear red dot, and its enclosed design ensures water and shock resistance. It is also compatible with night vision devices.
4. EOTech XPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight: While technically a holographic sight, the EOTech XPS2 is a popular choice for shotguns due to its robust construction and quick target acquisition. It features a wide field of view and unlimited eye relief.
5. Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Sight: This affordable option offers excellent value for the price. It is compact, lightweight, and has a 3 MOA red dot reticle. It is shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof, making it suitable for various environmental conditions.
6. Truglo Tru-Tec Micro Sub-Compact Red Dot Sight: This sight is specifically designed for shotguns and pistols, making it a versatile option. It has a compact design, a wide field of view, and a 2 MOA reticle. It also offers adjustable brightness settings for different lighting conditions.
7. Burris AR Prism Sight with Fastfire III: This unique sight combines an illuminated prism sight with a small red dot sight on top. It offers quick target acquisition, adjustable reticle brightness, and excellent eye relief. However, it is bulkier than other options.
8. Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight: The Venom is known for its versatility and affordability. It has a durable construction, clear optics, and offers a 3 MOA red dot reticle. It also features an auto-brightness mode and high-quality lenses.
9. Sig Sauer Romeo5 1X20 MM Red Dot Sight: This sight is known for its exceptional battery life, motion-activated illumination, and rugged construction. It offers a 2 MOA red dot reticle and has an integrated M1913 Picatinny interface for easy mounting.
Adjusting and Mounting Red Dot Sights for Shotguns
Adjusting red dot sights for shotguns typically involves zeroing the sight to match the firearm’s point of impact at a specific distance. Most red dot sights have windage and elevation adjustments that can be made using a small tool or coin. It is recommended to start by adjusting the windage until the red dot aligns with the shotgun’s barrel. Then, adjust the elevation to align the red dot with the point of impact.
Mounting a red dot sight on a shotgun can be done using various mounting systems, such as Picatinny or Weaver rails. These rails provide a secure attachment point for the sight. Some shotguns may require additional adapters or mounting plates to fit specific red dot sights. It is essential to ensure proper alignment and torque the mounting screws to the manufacturer’s recommended specifications to prevent shifting during recoil.
Pros and Cons of Red Dot Sights for Shotguns
There are several advantages to using red dot sights on shotguns:
1. Enhanced Accuracy: Red dot sights provide a precise aiming point, allowing for improved accuracy, especially in fast-paced shooting scenarios.
2. Quick Target Acquisition: The illuminated red dot makes it easier to acquire targets quickly and efficiently, enabling faster follow-up shots.
3. Increased Field of View: Red dot sights offer a wide field of view, allowing shooters to maintain situational awareness while focusing on the target.
4. Parallax-free: Most red dot sights are parallax-free, meaning the reticle stays on target regardless of eye position, reducing the chances of aiming errors.
However, there are a few drawbacks to consider:
1. Battery Life: Red dot sights require batteries to power the illuminated reticle. It is essential to have spare batteries on hand, as the sight may become unusable once the battery dies.
2. Limited Magnification: Red dot sights typically do not offer magnification, limiting their effective range for long-distance shooting.
3. Astigmatism Effect: Individuals with astigmatism may see a distorted or blurry reticle. It is recommended to test different red dot sights to find one that works well with astigmatism.
Cost of Red Dot Sights for Shotguns
The cost of red dot sights for shotguns can vary significantly depending on the brand, features, and quality. Entry-level options can be found in the $100 to $200 range, offering basic functionality and durability. Mid-range red dot sights typically range from $200 to $500 and offer improved features, such as enhanced battery life and more reticle options. High-end options can cost $500 and above, offering top-tier performance, premium materials, and advanced features like motion activation or night vision compatibility.
Red dot sights are valuable tools for enhancing accuracy and speed when shooting shotguns. The selection of a red dot sight depends on personal preference, intended use, and budget. The Aimpoint Micro T-1, Holosun HS510, and Aimpoint ACRO are popular choices known for their durability and performance. Mounting and adjusting red dot sights require careful consideration and attention to detail to ensure proper alignment and functionality. Despite some limitations, red dot sights have become increasingly popular among shotgun shooters due to their enhanced target acquisition and accuracy.