Best Slug Gun Scopes of 2020 – Complete Buyer’s Guide

Slug Guns use a heavy projectile that is designed for hunting big game and other such things. Because of the hunting nature of these guns, you need a good and accurate aim. That is where a scope comes in. These scopes are designed to aim better and faster.

For shotguns that use slugs, there is a considerable amount of recoil, so the scope should be able to handle that. There are many other aspects you should consider when buying one. This article details all those and reviews the best slug gun scopes that you can use.   

Comparison of the Best Slug Gun Scopes


Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn

  • A 40mm objective lens
  • It is 11.5 inches long
  • Built to be extremely durable
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Trijicon RS20 AccuPower 3-9x40

  • 1 inch tube diameter
  • 6.8 – 2.3 degrees field of view
  • Runner-up and best for the money
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Burris Droptine Riflescop

  • Focus is set at 50 yards in the 200019 model
  • Two different models with 40mm and 5omm objective lenses
  • Best scope for 12 gauge slug gun
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Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm

  • ¼ inch at 100 yards click adjustments
  • Uses lithium metal batteries
  • Best Nikon slug gun scope
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Leupold VX-Freedom Muzzleloader 3-9x40mm

  • 3.66 inch eye relief
  • Parallax is set to 60 yards
  • Best Leupold slug gun scope
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Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24x50

  • A single piece 30mm tube
  • 6-24x magnification with 50mm objective lens
  • Best Vortex slug gun scope
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Is Any Scope Suitable For a Slug Gun?

Technically, any scope can be used with a slug gun, but like all things, there are certain products that will suit it better. Because these guns are used for big game hunting, you will probably be shooting from a distance, and finding the right aim at the right time means the scope needs to have decent magnification.

Trijicon RS20 AccuPower 3-9x40

It should also be able to handle heavy recoil and illuminated reticles that can help with night shooting. Anything will work with slug guns, but depending on what you are using it for, the scope can have different features.      

Can You Really Find a Quality Scope That’s Affordable?

If you want a scope with fancy features like multiple optical coatings, night time assistance, and other such features, then you may want to spend a little extra money. But that does not mean that you cannot find a durable, high-quality scope with good magnification that does the job. There are many options available that you can choose form. You can find everything you need in a $100 to $300 scope easily.

There are some companies like Nikon that give pricier scopes, but those come with enhanced performance and durability. Nikon is well known in the optics world for producing high-quality lenses that give sharp and clear images, so their products are probably worth the money.

Why Did These Scopes Make Our List?

Some of the main aspects we looked into while making our best-of list are:


The quality and manufacturing standards are the most important things in any item. If your scope breaks after a few days of use, then what is the point of having a sharp lens and good aiming reticle> The body of the scope should be sturdy and balanced. How long the warranty is can give a good idea of the material. The manufacturers will have details about the construction material used and other information. 

Weather Proof

Since this scope will always be used outdoors and probably in different weather conditions and climates, it is good to have a scope that can handle all that. Waterproofing and fog-proofing are the two most important things. This will allow you to hunt easily in every weather and at any time of the day without worrying about your equipment getting damaged.


This is one of the main functions of a scope. You use it to make your target clearer for a better shot. If the resolution is not sharp or low quality, then instead of helping, it will distract you. A scope with a multi-coated lens is the best option; it will increase light transmission and help reduce flaring and ghosting.  

Quick Take: 
Our Top 3 Choices

In a hurry? Here's a snapshot of the best slug gun scopes:

Review of the Best Slug Gun Scopes

These are the best scopes that anyone using a slug gun for hunting should consider. With our in-depth reviews of these, it should become easier for you to pick your desired model. 

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Circle-X Reticle Riflescope, 3-9X 40mm, Matte Black


  • Works in low light as well
  • Has a fast focusing feature
  • 100 percent water and fog-proof
  • Multi-coated lenses for sharp image
  • Allows adjustment for windage and elevation


  • The eye relief could be better
  • There is no parallax adjustment

What Recent Buyers Report

People are amazed at the sharp lens quality that comes at such a low price. There are definitely scopes that have more features and cross $500 limit, but this one does what it is supposed to. Its sharp image results make it easy to hunt big game.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a medium-range centerfire scope. It has a variable magnification of 3-9x with a 40mm objective lens. This gives a pretty good result for hunting. The optics are sealed inside O-rings and stay dry even when completely in water. It uses anhydrous gas Argon to remove moisture and give fog resistance to the lens. To prevent reflection and flares, it has multi-coatings. This results in sharp and clear images.

Who Will Use This Most

This scope is for medium-range hunting. It provides low-light support so you can use it any time of the day. The crosshair reticle gives excellent aim. This, along with being water and fog proof, makes it suitable for different conditions. 

Bottom Line

This is our top pick because it gives you everything you will need for a good hunt without being unreasonably high priced. It has a good solid construction that will last you a long while. The simple reticle means no fuss and a clear view of the target.

Runner-up and Best for the Money:
Trijicon RS20 AccuPower 3-9x40 

Trijicon RS20-C-1900011 AccuPower 3-9X40Mm Riflescope, 1' Main Tube, MIL-Square Crosshair Reticle with Green LED, Matte Black


  • Long battery life of 31 hours
  • Adjustable elevation and windage
  • Illuminated reticle for low-light use
  • Good field of view of about 100 yards
  • Gives sharp and zero distortion results


  • The reticle doesn’t change sized when you change magnification

What Recent Buyers Report

This scope has great image quality and can perform in low-light conditions as well. The construction is good and sturdy. For a Trijicon scope, it is considered pretty low-priced. The illuminated reticle helps but can be turned off with a single button push. There are mostly only good reviews for this.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This scope has a multi-coated lens to give a sharp and high-contrast image with little distortion. The brightness can easily be adjusted and even powered off when not needed. At full brightness, its battery lasts for a good 31 hours. It uses aluminum for the body, which is weather-resistant and durable. You can adjust the elevation and windage at 60 MOA. 

Who Will Use This Most

This scope has a 3-9X magnification with a 40mm objective lens. It is good for mid-range shooting. The illuminated reticle and weather-protected aircraft-grade housing make it suitable to be used throughout the day and in rainy conditions as well.

Bottom Line

Trijicon is well-known for making illuminated scopes, and this one is no different. They also have contracts from the United States military, so one can expect rigorous testing and accurate aim from their products. This scope is one of their budget-friendly ones that has all the quality features that other products do.

Best Scope for 12 Gauge Slug Gun:
Burris Droptine Riflescope

Burris Droptine Riflescope with Ballistic Plex Reticle


  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Adjustable and low profile turret
  • Separate eyepiece and power ring
  • Adjustable windage and elevation settings
  • 3-9X magnification is good for most hunting


  • Eye relief is very little

What Recent Buyers Report

This is a good scope for low hunting; the focus range supports that. The image quality is sharp and clear. The price is not too high, and it has good construction that is dependable. The aim is accurate as well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It has high-grade optical glass that gives brightness and clarity to the image. The large lens is able to capture maximum light. It uses multi-coating to help with low-light use and glare reduction. It is completely waterproof and uses nitrogen to prevent fogging. You can also adjust for elevation and windage at 50 MOA. The outer body can handle shocks and vibrations of heavy recoil and is made of durable material.  

Who Will Use This Most

The 50 yard model of this scope is calibrated for .22LR ammo. This is more suitable for low range shooting and medium game hunting. The fog, water, and shock proofing make it suitable to be used in different conditions. It does not have an illuminated reticle, but the lens is supposedly larger to accommodate low-light use.

Bottom Line

12 gauge slug guns are used mostly for medium game at short ranges, and for that, a scope with 9x magnification does the job well. Its focus is also set at a nearer point, but you can opt for the 100-yard scope from the same model. Other than that, it has many of the features you look for in a slug gun scope.

Best Nikon Slug Gun Scope:
Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm

Nikon Buckmasters II, 4-12x40mm, BDC, Rifle Scope


  • Can handle heavy recoil
  • Water, fog, and shockproof
  • Nikon’s BC reticle for longer range
  • Multi-coated lenses for clear results
  • Makes zeroing in faster and accurate


  • Base and rings have to bought separately

What Recent Buyers Report

This Nikon quality lens at a low price is definitely a worthy buy. The glass is clear and it has an overall sturdy construction. It gives clear images and accurate focusing at 60 yards as well. This range is great for all kinds of hunting. The money is what convinces people to buy it mostly.

Why it Stands Out to Us

 It uses Nikon’s BDC reticle that lets you aim at longer distances with ease. It has see-through ballistic circles for long-range and normal sight picture for short-range. The lens is completely anti-reflective and gives bright clear pictures. It is O-ring sealed and nitrogen filled to prevent damage from fog and water.

Who Will Use This Most

This is great for big game hunting at long ranges. The magnification and reticle can handle all that comes with those conditions. The eye-relief is pretty generous, and the settings don’t change even after heavy recoil. It captures maximum light to give good aim in low-light as well. And like most scopes, the fog, water, and shock proofing make it usable in different conditions.

Bottom Line

Nikon makes some of the highest quality scopes, but that comes with a price. This scope though, has a budget-friendly design. The optics use multi-coating to give vivid images, and the reticle is simple and easy to use. You can make precise hand-turn adjustments that are quick and accurate. 

Best Leupold Slug Gun Scope:
Leupold VX-Freedom Muzzleloader 3-9x40mm

Leupold VX-Freedom Muzzleloader 3-9x40mm Scope


  • Supports Duplex and Tri-MOA reticles
  • Gives a crisp image with reduced glare
  • Scratch-resistant military standard lenses
  • Adjustable windage and elevation at 60 MOA
  • Has been rigorously tested and can handle heavy recoil


  • Does not support an illuminated reticle

What Recent Buyers Report

People buy this scope because of the name, Leupold. It has great optics and can handle big game shooting. The focusing adjustments are quick and easy. It has great value for money. The aim is accurate after adjusting for elevation and windage.    

Why it Stands Out to Us

Leupold is one of the major producers of telescope sights, binoculars, and other such things. Their lenses always give sharp vivid results with no glare and distortion. This scope has good eye relief and is water and fog proof. It is lightweight and easy to handle. It goes through many testing situations, including pressure changes, water testing, recoil handling, and extreme temperatures of -40 to 160°F.  

Who Will Use This Most

This scope can be used for big game hunting like deer at mid ranges. It is mostly used for deer. It does have illumination, but the lens can capture maximum light to give a clear image when light is a little low.

Bottom Line

For a slug gun, this is a good scope. The magnification is what you would expect for a shotgun. It has precise ¼ MOA finger click adjustments to achieve a better aim. It has a Twilight Light Management System to give sharp images and reduce glare. It is lightweight at 10 ounces and has good construction.

Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24x50 First Focal Plane Riflescopes - EBR-2C (MRAD) Tactical Reticle


  • Adequate eye relief of 3.9 inches
  • Good magnification range of long ranges
  • Fully shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof
  • Extra-low dispersion glass and multi-coated lenses
  • Smooth magnification changes by precision-glide erector system


  • No zero stop on the elevation turret

What Recent Buyers Report

This scope has a solid construction and gives clear images. The price is low compared to others. It has easy an adjustment system. The lifetime guarantee is a bonus that everyone goes for. People find it to be one of the cheapest scopes with excellent optics.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This scope has a higher range than other slug gun scopes. The focusing is precise and fast. It uses a precision-glider to give a smooth magnification change. The tactical turrets are exposed, and it has a parallax knob needed for long-range aiming. It is completely shock and waterproof. It uses nitrogen for fog proofing.

Who Will Use This Most

Because of its good magnification and large objective lens, it can be used for long-range shooting. The weatherproofing makes it suitable for rugged conditions. Getting the right focus and aim is easy with its adjustable turret, elevation, windage, and parallax.

Bottom Line

For a Vortex scope, this is the best one for slug guns. The optics are crisp and vivid with the extra-low dispersion and multi-coated lens. You get a good resolution throughout the magnification range. It is not too heavy or large to get in the way. The price is very good for the optics it gives.  

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Before buying a scope, there are some things to keep in mind to make sure you end up with nothing but the best product. 

About Slugs

Slugs used in shotguns are designed to be used for large game hunting. They are a fairly old invention that has been improved over the years for better aim. They are mostly used for short ranges and with shotguns instead of rifles. This narrows down the use to a specific environment. This can help with picking out the scope since you now know what kind of magnification and focus you will need.


This article has listed mainly 3-9x magnification lenses because, as mentioned before, slug guns are used for short-range hunting. You don’t need a scope with extra high magnification power. If you want, even a 12x one will be more than enough.  


Illumination is a good feature to have in any scope. This lets you shoot from dusk till dawn. Many scopes support illuminated reticles that are powered by separate batteries. The scopes that don’t have this feature usually try to make their lenses capture as much of the light as possible to assist in poor lighting. If the light is not an issue for you, then the normal scopes will be fine because illuminated ones might come with a higher price.


To sum it all up, a good slug gun scope has durability, accurate focusing, adjustable windage and elevation, and is weather resistant. Many people choose to buy high priced scopes, but these products prove that you can get a clear image and excellent resolution at all prices if you go for the right company.   

People Also Ask

If you have more questions regarding slug guns and their scopes, you can read the following frequently asked questions.

How Accurate is a Slug Shotgun?

Slug shotguns are accurate, have better range, and good wounding potential than buckshot.

How Far Will a Slug Gun Shoot?

A slug shotgun has an accuracy of about 50 to 100 yards. For more than that, you will need a dedicated rifled slug barrel.