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The scope has become a must-have but the question is: can you put a rifle scope on a shotgun? Well, it is the fact that a rifle scope is something that gives you a more zoomed image of the target and helps you shoot accurately.
So can you use it on a shotgun? Yes, a rifle scope can be used on a shotgun and used to hit the target accurately. But it is not recommended to do as rifle scope has more zooming power, and less eye relief which makes it a bit difficult to hit accurately.
This was a brief introduction, but the question required an input answer. So, in the section below, I will go into depth and give you the reason why I don’t recommend to you use rifle scope on a shotgun. Let’s start.
Also Read: How to Sight in a Thermal Scope?
Is It Possible to Mount a Rifle Scope on a Shotgun?
Mounting a rifle scope on a shotgun is possible, but it comes with some limitations. Despite all the limitations, you’ll still be able to mount, and use rifle scope on the shotgun and start shooting.
But it is never recommended to mount a rifle scope as there are many limitations. For example, the rifle scope cannot handle the recoil of the shotgun and if you use a rifle scope, chances are high that you’ll smash your face due to recoil.
There are many differences between rifle scopes and shotgun scopes. Keep in mind that shotguns are usually used to hit the closer target, whereas the rifle scope is used when you intend to hit a distant object or target.
But the issue comes with magnification power. The rifle scope will give you very high magnification power which you won’t be able to handle. For shotguns, the scope with only 1x is more than enough. Handling the higher magnification of a rifle scope while using it on the shotgun will be really tough.
Differences Between Rifle Scopes and Shotgun Scopes – Shotgun scope vs rifle scope
As I said earlier, there are many differences between the shotgun scopes and the rifle scopes. So when you use the rifle scope on the shotgun, you fail to hit the target efficiently. In the section below, I will go into depth and cover the whole topic that will help you understand the differences between them.
You can also read this if your scope got wet: How to Get Moisture Out of a Scope?
1- Magnification Level
One of the main differences between Rifle scopes and shotgun scopes is the magnification power. Generally, rifle scopes have higher magnification levels than shotgun scopes, which can make it easier to shoot accurately at long ranges.
It might sound like you will hit a distant target, But shotguns are used to hit the closer target. So, you won’t need higher magnification. But when you use a rifle scope on a shotgun, then the higher magnification will reduce the field of view and make the visuals shaky.
However, high magnification levels will surely make it more difficult to aim quickly at close targets. This is one of the main differences between the shotgun and rifle scopes.
2- Aiming Quickness
Shotgun scopes are designed to help you aim quickly at moving targets, such as birds or clay pigeons. As I said earlier, shotguns are used for closer targets, so moving the gun quickly is important. But the rifle scope has higher magnification which affects your aiming quickness.
Also keep in mind that shotgun scopes typically have a wider field of view than rifle scopes, which can make it easier to track moving targets. In contrast, the rifle scopes are designed for more precise aiming at stationary targets, but they don’t perform well in aiming and shooting the closer target quickly.
3- Eye Relief
Another key difference between rifle scopes and shotgun scopes is eye relief. Don’t you know what eye relief is? Eye relief refers to the distance between your eye and the scope lens.
Shotgun scopes usually have longer eye relief than rifle scopes, which can make them more comfortable to use, especially if you’re shooting a shotgun with heavy recoil. So, when you use a rifle scope on the shotgun, then these rifle scopes won’t be able to handle the recoil of a shotgun.
More importantly, the shorter eye relief of rifle scopes makes it very uncomfortable for the users to shoot the target accurately. This is why the rifle scope is not recommended to use on the shotgun.
4- Recoil Levels
It is the fact that you will more recoil in the shotgun. So the shotgun scope is made in such a way that it has capabilities to handle more recoils of shotguns. On the other hand, the rifle scope is less capable of handling the recoil.
So, when you use a rifle scope on the shotgun, then the recoil of the shotgun will affect or smash your face as the scope won’t be able to handle the recoil. This is another prominent reason that suggests that you should not use the rifle scope on the shotgun.
Important Considerations to Use Rifle Scope on Shotgun
So, now you’re well aware of the differences between the rifle scopes and the shotgun scopes. Now, it is time to talk about some very important considerations to use rifle scopes on the shotgun.
You should always keep in mind that Shotguns have a significant amount of recoil, which is a big challenge for a rifle scope. The recoil can cause the scope to shift or even break. So be careful while choosing or using the rifle scope on the shotgun. If you’ve decided to use a rifle scope then I recommend you choose a high-quality and strong scope that must be able to bear shocks.
The reticle of a scope is the crosshairs or other aiming points. When using a shotgun, a reticle designed for precision long-range shooting usually doesn’t remain to be effective.
This is why I suggest you use a red dot sight instead of a rifle scope on the shotgun. The dot of red dot sight will help you in shooting the target perfectly. If you use a rifle scope, don’t shoot by trusting on the reticle or crosshairs.
There are different types of rifle scopes available in the market. So, you should choose one that is compatible with the shotgun. The scope must be able to physically mount to the shotgun and be compatible with the shotgun’s ammunition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use rifle scopes on the shotgun, however, your shooting performance will be affected.
I recommend you use a shotgun scope on your shotgun. There are also some other popular options including red dot sights, holographic sights, and low-magnification scopes.
Although using scopes increases your accuracy, they can add weight to the shotgun, which can make it more difficult to carry for extended periods of time. Moreover, the scopes can be more difficult to use in close-quarters situations.
The primary benefit of putting a scope on a shotgun is improved accuracy. With a scope, it is easier to hit targets at longer ranges and in low-light conditions.
I’m a passionate outdoor activist who has got special love for optics. The school studies in optical mechanics and the travelling experience has made me an expert in optics like binoculars, scopes, and other devices. Stay connected with us for in-depth knowledge!