The shotgun is a powerful and versatile weapon. It’s capable of hunting everything from squirrels to bear by just swapping ammo. It’s a short-range weapon and is best accessorized with a short-range sight.
A red dot sight of some kind is the perfect shotgun sight system. They work regardless of the external conditions and give a simple but reliable reticle for your shotgun. Shotguns are designed for rapid-fire shooting in close quarters.
In this scenario, the red dot rules and always has. A red dot on a shotgun is a natural extension of the weapon and makes target acquisition quick and straightforward. The right red dot makes your shotgun handle faster, shoot with greater precision, and be ready to use rain or shine.
Bushnell TRS 25
1 Lithium Metal
1 CR2032 Lithium
Aimpoint Micro T2
1 CR2032 Lithium
TruGlo Tru-Tec 30mm
Burris FastFire 3
1 CR1632 Lithium
1 CR2032 Lithium
1. Bushnell TRS 25
If you want proof that good red dots exist at a budget, then look no further than the TRS 25. The Bushnell TRS 25 came out of nowhere and has steadily dropped in price to be one of the most affordable optics on the market.
The TRS 25 is a compact red dot sight with a 25 mm objective lens. It comes with a low mounting system but is compatible with high mounts as well.
On a shotgun, a low mount works just fine. The mount attaches to any standard Picatinny rail and locks down with relative ease. The 3 MOA red dot is precise and easy for your eye to catch.
The TRS 25 has 11 different brightness settings. This number of settings provides enough options to get you from dark nights to the brightest portions of the day. The dot is sharp until you get to higher settings.
At a certain point, it flares out a bit, but it’s still small and precise. This is especially true for shots at shotgun ranges.
The TRS 25 is also durable and tough. It needs to be because a shotgun has some mighty recoil. The TRS 25 is completely shockproof so it can withstand the rearward force of a shotgun’s wicked recoil. It can take 12-gauge buckshot and keep on keeping on.
The TRS 25 is waterproof and fog proof. The matte-finished unit is nitrogen purged to protect the optic from internal fog. The TRS 25 uses a single CR2032 battery. This provides 3,000 hours of battery life when used at a moderate setting.
The Bushnell TRS 25 is easy to use, easy to mount, and well suited for any shotgun. If you want to step up from iron sights for hunting, then the TRS 25 is perfect. It would also be well suited for home defense as well as plinking and even competition shooting.
2. Eotech 512
Eotech makes one of the most fascinating red dot reflexive sights on the market. The Eotech 512 is a holographic sight that, unlike others, uses something more than a red dot. The 512 uses a more complicated circle and dot reticle.
This reticle sight system is perfect for a shotgun and makes it easy to take precise shots as well as quick and brutal shots for close-range combat. You can easily swap between slugs and buckshot and hit targets at their respective ranges with the 512.
The 512’s reticle is a small 2 MOA dot centered in a 68 MOA circle. Once zeroed for slugs, you can use the small center dot to hit your target. At close range, it’s easier to use the 68 MOA ring with buckshot.
The famous Eotech optics are used in Special Ops around the world. These optics are waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. They can withstand massive amounts of abuse, including the shock from recoil, short drops, and lots of movement and use.
The Eotech 512 is a full-sized optic that lasts up to 1,000 hours with Lithium batteries. The 512 is also completely waterproof. It can be submerged to 10 feet of water and still runs and works without issue. Besides being super tough, the Eotech 512 is quite versatile.
The 512 offers 20 different brightness settings and provides many options regardless of how bright or dark the day is. The reticle is crisp and clear at any brightness level and remains easy to see indoors and out.
The Eotech 512 comes with an integrated low mounting system that’s easy to attach to any Picatinny shotgun rail.
The Eotech 512 is well suited for any caliber of shotgun and works for tactical applications, home defense, hunting, and much more. This is an awesome optic that’s easy to use for any kind of shotgun shooting.
3. Trijicon RMR
If you want to go as lightweight as possible, then the Trijicon RMR is the optic for you. Shotguns are very simple weapons that offer a limited effective range. They rule at up close and personal use. You don’t need a massive optic to make them work well.
The Trijicon RMR is one of the smallest red dot sights on the market. It’s also one of the toughest. It’s widely issued by the military. The USMC uses it on machine guns and rifles. The optic works. It’s extremely strong, durable, and easy to use.
The type 2 RMR is one of the best micro red dots ever created. There are several different models available. I think the best for a shotgun is the 3.25 MOA red dot with a low mount. The Trijicon RMR with a 3.25 MOA dot is a shotgun sight.
The Trijicon RMR’s 3.25 MOA dot is easy to see and quick to acquire, but small enough to be precise if you swap over to slugs. This combination of dot and micro-optic makes you faster, more accurate, and, best of all, adds little weight to your platform.
The Trijicon RMR auto-adjusts to any brightness level and delivers a responsive reticle sight system that provides you with an easy to see reticle no matter the time of day. The Trijicon RMR is powered by a single CR2032 that lasts up to 2 years with normal use.
The Trijicon RMR is completely waterproof and shockproof. This is a go-to war optic that provides you with years of hard use. It’s rugged, well made, extremely durable, and capable of lasting through tens of thousands of shotgun rounds.
It shrugs off rain and recoil like it’s nothing. The Trijicon RMR is an outstanding mini red dot sight and is an excellent option for keeping things lightweight and low profile on your shotgun.
4. Aimpoint Micro T2
Aimpoint is the OG red dot manufacturer. They created the first red dot optic ever and have been massively successful since then. The Aimpoint brand has become one of the most prominent red dot manufacturers in existence.
They provide optics to the US Army, including Spec Ops units from around the world. The Aimpoint T2 is a micro red dot sight that brings Aimpoint’s famed durability, clarity, and precision to a subcompact optic.
The T2’s clear glass gives you excellent light transmission. This makes the T2 an excellent option for low light conditions. It gives you excellent clarity and allows you to see the environment in front of you easily.
The Micro T2 is small and adds hardly any bulk to your weapon. It weighs only 3.7 ounces when you include the mount.
Speaking of mounting systems, it comes with a low mount, but a higher mount is available. On a shotgun, a low mount is perfect. The T2 series of optics provides quick target acquisition at anywhere from 5 yards to 50 yards.
The optic is bombproof and can take massive amounts of force, is completely waterproof, and incredibly rugged. Aimpoint is well known for its ability to build incredibly well-made optics. The T2 is a premium grade optic. Everything about it is well made.
This is an expensive optic, but it’s worth every single penny. The Aimpoint T2 is perfect for police, military, and home defense work. It’s also an awesome optic for hunting.
With just a single battery, the T2 provides five years of battery life with continuous use. The Aimpoint T2 is even night vision compatible and has four-night vision settings. There are also eight daylight settings.
The T2 is compatible with magnifiers if you want to shoot slugs accurately at longer ranges. The T2 simply gets it done. On a shotgun, it gives you the ability to rapidly and accurately engage targets with birdshot, buckshot, and slugs.
5. TruGlo Tru-Tec 30mm
TruGlo is well known for producing budget brand optics that are easy to use and surprisingly rugged. If you are on a bit of a budget, the Tru-Tec 30mm may be the perfect red dot for you. This is part of their new tactical line of optics and is quite impressive.
This 30mm optic is a full-sized red dot optic that is very easy to use on a shotgun. It’s long and powerful and very easy to manipulate. The reticle is a very sharp 2 MOA. This small MOA red dot is well suited for launching slugs or buckshot downrange.
The smaller dot is a trade-off. Bigger dots are typically faster to get on target with, but smaller dots like this one are easy to use at longer ranges or on smaller targets. The Tru-Tec would be perfect a shotgun hunter.
With its wide field of view, the small dot would allow you to easily see small game like rabbits, squirrels, and even birds. The dot is also precise enough to launch slugs at deer out to 150 yards. Of course, with buckshot, the dot is still plenty useable.
The Tru-Tec is a CNC machined design that is shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof. The unit uses a single CR123A battery in a side-mounted battery compartment. The Tru-Tec has 12 brightness settings for low and high light conditions.
The Tru-Tec is ready to work out of the box and functions easily on any shotgun. The simplicity of the design is a strength. Anyone can use this optic out of the box without any special instructions.
The controls are simple--two buttons that are easy to use and understand. The adjustment caps are tethered so they won’t be lost. The integral mount makes it easy to mount to any standard scope rail.
It works and works well. TruGlo optics are not designed for duty use, but the Tru-Tec is plenty tough for home defense. Personally, I see this as a better option for hunting, but it can pull dual duty if needed.
6. Burris FastFire 3
If you want a more affordable micro red dot sight, then the Burris FastFire 3 is for you. This little red dot is super small and lightweight. It’s designed for quick shooting, and shotguns are excellent quick shooting weapons.
Burris FastFire 3 can even be used to replace the front bead sight of a standard shotgun. The FastFire 3 is one of the only red dots I know of that can be used for shooting clay pigeons and birds. It’s small, thin, and light.
Burris produces a wide variety of different mounting system options. This includes specialized shotgun mounts as well as standard Picatinny rail mounts. These specialized mounts allow you to mount the optic between the stock and receiver and gives you a very low-profile sighting option.
It aligns perfectly with the front bead sight of your average shotgun. This shotgun front sight gives you a much better low light performance than any bead sight. It’s more reactive and easier to aim at both close and long ranges.
The FastFire can be mounted to traditional scope rails for easier access. The Burris FastFire 3 has three manual modes to include a low, moderate, and bright setting. There is also an automatic setting that detects the ambient light conditions around the gun and adjusts the reticle.
The automatic setting is very responsive and adjusts the light quite quickly. I appreciate what the Burris FastFire 3 is and does for such little money. The FastFire 3 is available in both 8 and 3 MOA variants.
The 3 MOA variant is more versatile and plenty big enough to catch with ease. The 8 MOA variant may be okay for close quarters but a bit big for use with slugs. The FastFire 3 is small, reliable, and perfect for shotguns.
7. Holosun HS510C
As far as Chinese made optics go, the Holosun brand is easily the best. These are not ultra-cheap and crappy optics. Holosun optics are pro-grade designs that would be at home on a home defense or tactical shotgun.
The HS510C is a holographic red dot optic with an Eotech style reticle. This reticle features a 2 MOA dot in the center of a 65 MOA ring. You can also alternate between dot only, ring only, and dot and ring combinations.
If you’re the type to swap between slugs and buckshot often, I could see a lot of utility for using a dot only design for slugs and a ring only reticle for buckshot. The small 2 MOA red dot ensures your target isn’t obstructed at slug ranges, which are perfect for precision shots.
You could pattern your shotgun to coincide with the ring and use it to estimate your shot spread at longer ranges.
The Holosun HS510C is dual fuel powered with both solar power and battery illumination. The solar panel powers it 90% of the time with the battery taking up the other 10%. The power system provides a seamless transition between battery power and solar power.
The battery lasts 50,000 hours. That’s years of use from a single CR2032. The Holosun HS510C is made from titanium alloy. Its shock-resistant frame with an integral QD mount allows for easy on and off capability. The HS510C is an affordable, but incredibly well-made optic.
It’s perfect for pump actions, semi-autos, and even single shots. The HS510C is more of a tactical optic but would work well for hunting too. It’s waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof. On top of that, it’s backed by an excellent warranty.
Shot Out Shotguns are awesome weapons. They are used for home defense, police, and military work, as well as hunting, 3-Gun, trap, and skeet, and so much more. Packing the right optic on the gun can make a big difference.
A shotgun equipped with a red dot is quicker on target, more precise, and well equipped to deal with whatever situation is in front of it. Choosing the right sight can be hard, but the above list offers different options at all budgets. Let us know what you like below.