Can You Use A Rifle Scope On A Shotgun? (Answered 2022)

Scopes are designed for powerful and long-range rifles. But a question may emerge – can you use a rifle scope on a shotgun? The answer might just surprise you!

Yes, you can use a rifle scope on a shotgun if you can mount it right. Rifle scopes and shotgun scopes are different in their magnification, view of the field, and reticles. If you want to use a rifle scope in a shotgun, you have to consider the recoil differences, eye relief issues, and effective range. When choosing a rifle scope for your shotgun, you must see its durability, accuracy, and price.

There are several rifle scopes available on the market. Among them, you have to choose the most suitable one for your shotgun. Using a rifle scope increases the accuracy and aim of your shotgun.

Difference Between Rifle Scope and Shotgun Scope

Generally, people use rifles to shoot targets at longer distances. It requires higher magnification on scopes. In the case of shotguns, the thing is different. They are used for close-range targets. Most shotgun scopes have 1x magnification and employ a red dot vision.

In two ways, you can differentiate shotgun scopes from riflescopes. The parallax on rifle scopes is usually set between 100 and 125 yards at the time of manufacturing. But, typically, shotgun scopes come with the parallax fixed at 75 to 100 yards.

There’s also a problem with eye relief. Eye relief on shotgun scopes is often significantly longer than on riflescopes. Riflescopes and shotgun scopes preferences are different. It is crucial to select the correct shotgun scope for your firearm.

Difference Between Rifle Scope and Shotgun Scope


If you have more magnification characteristics on your scope, it will help you aim better. Riflescopes are available at a variety of magnification settings. It enables you to observe the thing in more detail and clarity.

You should be aware that a rifle scope has two primary lenses. The front lens receives direct light from the item or animal. Other lenses are mounted on the ocular location. It receives and magnifies the objects so you can target them more precisely.

Shotguns are used for shorter separations. They do not need as high levels of amplification. Shotgun scopes require less capacity, allowing you to focus on a proximity.

They may have amplification of roughly 3X. In contrast, the rifle degrees may have amplification of up to 20X. It is because rifle scopes are usually used for long-range shooting.

Many shotgun scopes come with some magnification. This is primarily for those whose eye scope is deteriorating.

View of field

Shotgun scopes offer a larger field of vision than riflescopes. In the field, the shortest range to target is one of the prime reasons. Furthermore, shotgun hunts are frequently conducted in highly forested regions.

The field of vision of the riflescope reduces as magnification increases. The downrange scope is limited due to the narrower field of vision. Too much magnification may cause you some difficulty at the normal shotgun range.

It might narrow down your vision, and you fail to see what’s surrounding or beyond your target. Finding and tracking your target with the scope may be difficult if your target bolts or moves.


Reticles on shotgun scopes are more straightforward than those on riflescopes. They are because of the lower distances involved. Red dot scopes work well with shotgun scopes in some instances. The rifle scope reticle is somewhat better than the shotgun reticle.

The marks for MOA or Mils are found on the reticles of hunting riflescopes. These are measurement angles for distance. It is not accessible at shotgun ranges by a rifle scope to predict distance, windage, and elevation.

Bullet drop change isn’t necessary at the shorter range. It is where most of the shotgun scopes are utilized. The majority of hunters who use shotguns with scopes do not change windage and elevation.

Using A Rifle Scope in A Shotgun

Yes, you may use a rifle scope on your shotgun. It will increase the precision and consistency of your aim. A rifle scope is just for use as an accessory on rifles. However, you may use a rifle scope on a shotgun to have a good hunting excursion.

If you want to use the rifle scope in a shotgun, some facts need to be kept in mind.

Using A Rifle Scope in A Shotgun

Difference of Recoil

If you want to buy a rifle scope for your shotgun, keep your shotgun recoil into consideration. The higher the weight of the bullet, the more recoil you’ll feel while shooting with a shotgun.

When you place a rifle scope on your shotgun, it absorbs the recoil when you fire the weapon. If the rifle scope cannot withstand the recoil stress, you will miss your aim.

A shotgun pounds your shoulder the same way as a big caliber rifle. That energy is transferred to the scope. Compared to a 12-gauge shotgun, most rifles have a very light recoil. It’s easy to see why a scope designed to handle the 17.1 ft. lbs. of recoil energy of a.270 Weatherby Mag would fail when mounted on a 12-gauge shotgun that generates 54 ft. lbs. of recoil energy.

So, before buying the rifle scope for your shotgun, you must make sure it can take the shock created by the rifle. If it fails to take the shock, it might lose its target and aim.

Issue with Eye Relief

This is the second most crucial factor to consider when buying a rifle scope for your shotgun. The wider the distance between your eyes and the rifle scope, the more your eyes will be protected.

When you fire a shotgun, it tends to come back with a lot of power. It might be enticing for some people. However, most rifle scopes have an eye relief of between 3.4 and 3.9 inches. This distance is safe and comfortable for mounting. It is also suitable for holding the gun in the appropriate position.

Shotguns have far more powerful recoil. Keeping your eye less than four inches from a scope’s lens might give you negative results. The metal eyepiece’s impact on your forehead, face, or to your eyeball can be disastrous. Due to this, shotgun scopes often have a greater eye relief than riflescopes.

You will need a rifle scope to maintain a significant distance between you and the scope. As a result, you may have to shield your eyes while shooting with a shotgun. It will give protection from any undesired accidents. So, while shooting with your gun, make sure your eyes are far more long-distance.

Effective Range

The effective range is the distance between your rifle and your targeting object. Make sure you have a rifle scope mounted on your rifle or shotgun. If you want to make an accurate shot, a rifle scope allows a shooter to shoot more accurately at a longer distance.

A rifle can shoot at a distance of 100 yards. But you can set a target to shoot at a distance greater than that with a rifle scope. Using a rifle scope, you can establish your aim approximately 300 yards away. As a result, shooting an item from a greater distance becomes more comfortable for a hunter.

Choosing The Right Shotgun Scope

You’re probably thinking about getting a scope if you’re using a barreled shotgun for hunting. While shopping for a new shotgun scope, there are a few things to consider. It is critical to find the correct scopes for your shotgun.

Durability with Quality

Shotgun hunting frequently entails challenging and enduring harsh circumstances. These environmental and topographical problems must be included in your selection.

Additionally, the tremendous recoil of shotguns may be imposed. Shotgun scopes are customarily designed to withstand these extremes.

Lower-cost scopes or scopes from unknown manufacturers may be branded. They may be named shotgun scopes, but they will not have the same level of durability. Shotgun scopes have to face a lot of strain due to recoil.

When choosing a scope, think about its quality and durability. Choose a scope manufacturer with a track record of producing high-quality scopes. Check the warranty provided by the manufacturer.


One of the primary reasons for mounting a scope on our shotgun is to increase accuracy. It will be a waste of time and money if the scope you select doesn’t help you to enhance your accuracy.

But instead, it becomes a liability. Choosing a lousy scope is much worse than having no scope. So, when you select your scope, be careful.

Even a shotgun with a slug barrel needs to be precise. A slug barrel is a shotgun barrel. It is rifled and designed primarily to discharge slugs rather than shots. A shotgun with a barrel-like shape is known as a slug gun.

To get better accuracy, you have to select your scope carefully. It will ultimately assist you with your accuracy and aim. It will boost your confidence too.

Think Outside the Reticle

Many red-dot scopes are more capable of delivering the level of accuracy required. These red dot optical scopes are often smaller. They are lighter and provide infinite eye relief.

Often, red dot optical scopes are ideal partners for slug shotguns. It is because of this combination of capabilities.


Price has an impact on most of us. We virtually all have budgets and must stick to them while making purchases. The objective is to find the optimal balance of features, durability, and affordability.

There are several excellent shotgun scopes available at practically every price level. When you compare these different scopes with care, you’ll get the ideal scope. It will fulfill your demands and expectations in the end.

Good Rifle Scopes for A Shotgun

Considering the alternatives to the standard crosshair and optical scope, shotgun scopes, like riflescopes, are being affected by new optical technology. Almost every week, more options become available.

The following are some of the popular new options:

Red Dot Scope

Red dot scopes are becoming popular among shotgun users. Shooters, as an alternative, choose the standard reticle. These non-traditional scopes provide hunters with a variety of other options. Red dots are faster at acquiring targets and more practical at close quarters.Red Dot Scope

The battery life of red dot scopes is usually rather lengthy. Some can run for up to 50 thousand hours on a single battery. This means you can leave your weapon at the ready without worrying about the scope going out when you need it.

On the downside, most non-holographic red dot scopes feature a two-MOA reticle. That’s double the size of a holographic scope’s reticle. A red dot scope reticle covers two inches of your target at 100 yards. But a holographic scope reticle covers only an inch.

When shooting in low-light situations, red dots are handy. If the brightness on your eyes can go high enough, the red dot can also function well during the day.

Holographic Scope

Shotgun shooters are less likely to use holographic scopes. When using a holographic scope, hunters must retrain themselves to fire in a new manner.

Holographic Scope

The majority of holographic scopes are directed with both eyes open. Shotgun hunters benefit from aiming with both eyes open. It gives them a larger field of view in their peripheral vision.

The reticle will remain focused when you glance downfield using a holographic scope. If you use other red dot scopes, the reticle will become hazy and unfocused. That’s because faster targeting is always appreciable. Holographic scopes have a significant advantage here.

Another benefit is that holographic scopes have a one-MOA reticle. It retains the same size when enlarged. This is more precise than conventional red dot scopes. It uses a two-MOA reticle that grows in size as magnification increases.

Infrared and Night Vision Scope

The most advanced scopes that are presently placed on shotguns are night-vision lenses. Two sorts dominate this group.

Infrared and Night Vision Scope

Traditional night vision scopes use light-gathering equipment. It provides a brighter image at night and is quite popular.

The most technologically advanced form of night vision is infrared technology. It detects heat rather than light. The expense of the technology is the disadvantage of these non-traditional scopes.


Now you know the differences between shotgun and rifle scopes. You should be able to choose the best shotgun scopes for you. Choosing the best rifle scope for your shotgun will assist you in your aim and accuracy. But if you buy the wrong one, it can damage your purpose.

So, can you use a rifle scope on a shotgun? Remember that scopes, like your rifle or shotgun, are just instruments used to complete a task. Selecting the finest scopes will help the process to go more smoothly. It will produce more rewarding and productive results.

Louis Harry

I love to hunt and shoot and in this course, I can feel the irritation of time-consuming shopping for the scope, especially in online so a good product review can help you to get over this and to provide you the basic knowledge so that you can get along with the dealing. But all the content available in online are not equally effective and helpful. Even most of them are really boring and lack of information or full of wrong information. Read More

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookGoogle Plus

Leave a Comment