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A slug gun is a weapon that usually shoots shotgun cartridges. However, instead of pellets, you can fire a slug which is like a standard bullet. This allows for increased accuracy and a cleaner shot.
Slugs are what make shotguns sexy. Being able to shoot accurately with a shotgun is very satisfying. Since you are able to shoot at longer ranges, a scope can be incredibly helpful to properly aim and account for bullet drop.
However, slugs are pretty niche when it comes to shooting in general. Because of this, most scopes are not designed with a slug gun in mind.
As such, your scope needs to be something that is perfectly suited to shooting slugs. Our list of 5 best slug gun scopes will help you make that choice according to your needs.
- 1 Best Slug Gun Scopes Compared Head-to-Head
- 2 The 5 Best Slug Gun Scopes Reviewed
- 3 What to Look for in a Slug Gun Scope
- 4 Conclusion
Best Slug Gun Scopes Compared Head-to-Head
Keeping the above factors in mind, here is our list of 5 best scopes for a slug gun.
The 5 Best Slug Gun Scopes Reviewed
Best Value : Bushnell Trophy Riflescope 3-9×40
With a compact size and the ability to stay zeroed even after enduring the thumping recoil of a shotgun, the Bushnell Trophy Riflescope is ideal for anyone looking for a versatile scope for their slug gun.
The best part of the gun is its crystal clear image. No matter if you shoot at dusk, dawn, or during the day, it is incredibly easy to stare at the target through the lens. The multi-x reticle also keeps the clutter to a minimum.
The scope also comes in 2 different variants, a 3-9×40 one and a 2-7×36 one. Whichever one you purchase is down to your personal preference.
The only major problem with this scope is that it can be difficult (but not impossible) to track prey at higher magnification. With its limited field of view, this scope is best used to shoot targets that are still or moving at a leisurely pace.
The Trophy Riflescope is also one of the cheapest on this list. At this price, you shouldn’t expect features such as illumination. Still, this is perhaps the biggest bang for your buck on our list.
Best for Lengthy Hunting Trips : Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Riflescope 3-9×40
Another scope from Bushnell, the Banner is built for hunters who like to spend the entire day in the field. While it does not have adjustable brightness (you shouldn’t expect it at its price), its lens is specifically designed for optimum brightness during dusk and dawn.
Since the scope is quite small and lightweight, carrying it around should not be a problem. The reticle on this scope is similar to the one on Bushnell Trophy, and it is possible for you to make adjustments because of wind and elevation.
While the scope is both fog-proof and water-proof, it does tend to not last particularly long. Personally, I have limited experience with the scope. However, people who have used the scope and enthusiasts on forums claim that the Bushnell Banner often breaks down quite easily.
Still, this is a great scope for anyone who is needs something cheap that can work well in all conditions. Just remember that you can only correct parallax until 100-yards (which is more than enough for a slug gun in my opinion).
Best for Long Range Shooting : Nikon Prostaff P3 3-9×40
If you are someone who likes to shoot slugs at long range, then the Prostaff P3 is perfect for you. Nikon engineered this scope to be accurate at 200 yards. If you have a gun that can shoot slugs accurately at that range, then the P3 is your perfect companion.
At those distances, being able to account for bullet drop will be very useful. Thankfully, the Bullet Drop Compensator reticle on the Prostaff P3 is up to the job. As is the case with other Nikon BDC reticles, you can use their Spot On Ballistic Match Technology to accurately tune the scope to your gun.
The P3 also has an amazing tendency to stay zeroed, even after extended use. The construction is quite rigid, allowing the scope to be used with powerful weapons. Add to that the resettable turrets, and the aluminum eyepiece that allows for quick focus, and you have a great scope on your hands.
The only problem you may run into is during the fitting of the scope. The rings are larger than usual, and you may need ancillary equipment to properly mount the P3 on your gun.
Best for New Hunters : Burris Fullfield II 2-7×35
The Burris Fullfield II is one of the smallest scopes on this list. Not only that, but it is designed with hunters in mind. As such, the Fullfield II is perfect for someone who is new to hunting and wants a scope that will make shooting easier.
With fantastic image quality that works particularly well in low-light conditions, accurately tracking the target is very easy with the Fullfield II. The thing I loved the most about it was the Ballistic Plex reticle. It is very simple and easy to use, yet it allows you to compensate for bullet drop quite adequately.
As you may expect with a magnification range like this, the field of view is not great. Not only that, but the Fullfield II has a lot of competition from scopes that offer similar features at a lower price. Still, those who are willing to spend a little bit extra will be surprised by how fun this scope can be.
What to Look for in a Slug Gun Scope
Slug guns are weapons (usually shotguns) that shoot slugs as opposed to BBs. The slugs are more akin to a standard handgun bullet rather than a shotgun cartridge. As such, it is possible to be a lot more accurate with them.
Slug guns are mostly used for hunting game such as deer. With their increased accuracy as well as their stopping power, hunters often prefer slugs for an ethical kill. With a slug, it is possible for you to hit the prey at a specific point, as opposed to hitting it with a barrage of shotgun projectiles.
A slug gun is a very unique weapon. As such, the scope needs to be something that is perfectly suited to your gun. Here are the major factors that you need to consider when purchasing a slug gun scope.
A slug gun is by no means a sniper rifle. Even though slugs are more accurate than shotgun pellets, their standard accurate range is about 50 yards. However, experienced shooters can be reasonably accurate at distances around 150 yards.
With this in mind, your slug gun scope does not need to have a lot of power. We recommend using a scope with less than 10x magnification. Anything beyond that is overkill.
The scopes on this list will have a magnification of 2-7x or 3-9x. This will allow you to have a clear vision of the target at anything from 25 to 150 yards.
Personally, I do not think the reticle type is very important when shooting slugs. Although slugs have a lot of bullet drop (often exceeding 3 inches between 50 and 100 yards), it is easy to account for it at that distance. Gauging the distance of your target only requires a little bit of practice, and any intermediate shooter can perfect it given enough time.
When I first shot slugs at my local firing range, it only took me a few shots to realize how to compensate for drop at 50,100, and 150 yards (although to be frank, I am quite terrible at shooting slugs beyond 100 yards).
Illumination is mainly down to personal preference. If you do not mind a reticle that isn’t illuminated, then it is best to save some money by purchasing a non-illuminated scope.
Construction and Durability
This is extremely important. If you are using slugs for hunting, then it is imperative that your scope can survive all weather conditions. Having a scope that is water-proof and fog-proof is an absolute necessity.
Not only that, but many slug guns have really high recoil. While the amount of recoil depends on numerous factors, it is a good idea to have a scope that is durable enough to survive a hard-hitting gun. This way, you will be able to mount your scope on various slug guns without worrying about whether or not it will be damaged.
Weight and Size
Weight in a slug gun scope is arbitrary. However, hunters should probably opt for a scope that is fairly lightweight. Hunting trips can often last for hours on end. As such, not being bogged down by the weight of your scope is quite important.
Your scope should also be very compact. When you are shooting at 100-yards or so, you do not want your scope to get in the way of spotting prey.
If you are using your slug gun for hunting, then having a scope that can be adequately camouflaged is of immense value.
Often times, you need to sneak up on prey before you are close enough to take a shot. Having a scope that stands out in the brushes may cause your prey to spot you and run away. Just to be clear, you do not need a scope with camo paint, black should do just fine. All of the scopes on this list are black.
A lot of people hunt during the wee hours of the morning or when the sun is setting. As such, image quality is of paramount importance when it comes to selecting a slug gun scope.
Make sure enough light filters into your lens for the scope to work efficiently at all times. Even if you only use your slug gun during daylight, going for a scope that has a bright image is a good idea.
Lastly, you should obviously pick a scope that has a clear image. Hunters looking to kill ethically need to make sure that their slugs will hit precisely where they want them to, and any blurriness in the image is bound to cause problems to that end.
From all the scopes above, my personal favorite is the Trijicon RS20. Although it is very expensive, its features, image quality, and durability is unmatched. With accuracy that can only be described as ‘scary’, and the ability to deliver flawless performance in any condition, this is by far the best scope for shooting slugs in my opinion.
However, those on a tight budget can still be very accurate on their hunting trips through the Bushnell Trophy. For its price, it definitely offers some of the highest quality out there. While it lacks some additional features such as illumination and adjustable brightness, it will get the job done with ease!