Best Red Dot For Shotguns

Finding the best red dot for shotguns was no easy task. We knew going into this that durability was going to be a very important factor. The recoil from a 12 gauge is something that many budget red dots just can’t withstand. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t try. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a $30 red dot for your shotgun, you might want to think twice. That said, we were able to identify a few great options in a range of budgets.

In addition to durability, there were several other factors that we considered when looking for a shotgun red dot. Battery life is always a huge factor for us and is often what sets high-quality optics apart from the budget red dots. We also considered brightness range as a big factor when it comes to this application, as lighting conditions can change drastically, especially when hunting. Whatever your need, we’re confident that you’ll find some great options here.

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We ultimately decided to break down our shotgun red dot review by application. Are you using this for competition, hunting, home defense? The application in which it’s used will determine which red dot is best for your shotgun.

1. Vortex Venom [Best For Hunting]

Vortex is known for their quality optics. It’s reassuring to find a company that stands behind their product, so much that they offer a lifetime warranty. We’ve actually had the pleasure of working with Vortex customer service once in the past and they truly do a phenomenal job at serving their customers.

The Vortex Venom is a popular optic, often used on pistols. This micro red dot comes in either a 3 or 6 MOA option. Some people prefer a larger dot for faster target acquisition. This is especially helpful when you’re shooting at fast-moving targets. If you’re using this red dot for hunting bird, we’d recommend looking at the 6 MOA version. If you need a little more precision, the 3 MOA option may be better suited for you.

The Venom offers hard anodized, waterproof and shock-proof construction, making it a great option for shotgun use in harsh environments. Vortex promotes up to 30,000-hour battery life when used on lower brightness settings. This red dot offers 10 brightness settings, allowing you to adjust depending on your lighting conditions. There is even an auto-brightness setting that will adjust the intensity of the dot depending on the light around you. If you’re looking for the perfect hunting red dot for your shotgun, we highly recommend the Vortex Venom.

Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight - 3 MOA Dot,Black
  • Durable hard-anodized, aluminum construction
  • Up to 30,000-hour battery life
  • 3 & 6 MOA dot size options
  • 10 brightness settings + Auto mode
  • Auto shut-off
  • Parallax-free
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Waterproof
  • Fog-proof
  • 2. Sig Sauer Romeo5 [Best For Home Defense]

    The Romeo5 is a red dot that we’re very familiar with. In fact, we’ve used it on many rifles throughout the past couple of years. Sig Sauer is well-known for their quality firearms and this optic does even more to promote their good reputation. It’s durable, offers an excellent battery life, and has a lot of features found in much higher priced red dots.

    While we’ve primarily used the Romeo5 on AR-style rifles, this optic makes an excellent choice for a shotgun red dot. We found the included low-rise mount to work best for us when attaching it to a shotgun, as there’s no real need for a co-witness. Through all of our testing on 12 gauge shotguns, not once did this red dot lose zero, or even flicker in the slightest.

    One of the main reasons that we feel this is the best shotgun red dot for home defense is because of its (2) night vision compatible brightness settings. Another big factor in its rank for this category is the auto-on feature that immediately turns it on when it senses the slightest motion. These are two huge factors in a red dot for home defense. If all of this weren’t enough to convince you to consider this optic, the price point is also unbeatable.

    SIG SAUER ROMEO5 1X20mm Tactical Hunting Shooting Durable Waterproof Fogproof Illuminated 2 MOA Red...
  • Solid, aluminum construction
  • 40,000+ hour battery life
  • 2 MOA dot size
  • 10 brightness settings - 8 daylight & 2 night vision
  • Auto-on / auto-off
  • Ultra-low parallax
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Waterproof up to 1 meter
  • Fog-proof
  • 3. Bushnell TRS-25 [Best For Range Use]

    The Bushnell TRS-25 is one of the most popular red dots in the budget category. We’ve tested it on many platforms, including AR-15’s, AK-47’s, and even some pistols. We’ve been blown away at the quality of this red dot, which is offered at an unbelievably low price. While we’re not necessarily ready to put the Bushnell on a defensive weapon, we haven’t experienced any issues that would make us believe it’s not fit for that application.

    The TRS-25 has stood up to the recoil from several higher caliber rifles and performed flawlessly for us using 12 gauge shotguns. This red dot held zero through many slug rounds and we didn’t experience even so much as a flicker.

    We’d say the biggest drawback to the Bushnell TRS-25 is the battery life. It’s estimated to last up to 3,000 hours when used on low to medium brightness intensity. That’s still not half bad, especially for range or plinking use.

    If you’re on a tight budget, but looking for a shotgun red dot that is well-built and holds zero, we highly recommend the TRS-25. Don’t be fooled by the low cost of this optic. We were incredibly impressed by its durability and features at such a bargain price.

    Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x20mm, Black
  • Durable, shock-proof construction
  • 3,000 battery life when used on lower brightness settings
  • Waterproof
  • Fog-proof
  • 3 MOA dot size
  • 11 brightness settings
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Conclusion

    No matter what purpose you plan to use your shotgun red dot for, we’re confident that any of the above options will serve you well. Truth be told, you could choose any of these for almost any application. Our analysis is merely an opinion of how we feel a particular red dot could best be used. They’re all great options for shotgun optics, as each one of them has been tested for ultimate durability to withstand the heavier recoil felt from a shotgun. We hope this helps to point you in the right direction when it comes to choosing the best red dot for your shotgun.