Best Red Dot Sights for Tactical Shotguns – 2019 Buyer’s Guide

Red dot sights are essential for anyone who is looking to ensure complete and total accuracy when firing their shotgun – which is kind of a must have quality in any sort of tactical SHTF situation. Read on to learn more about these awesome products and what they can do for your shooting.

Comparison Chart of the Best Red Dot Sights for Tactical Shotguns

Product

Rating

Price

Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5 1x20mm Compact 2 MOA

Best Overall

Atibal MT-MCRD II

Runner-up

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25, 1x25mm

Best for the Money

Vortex Optics SPARC - 2 MOA Dot

Sightmark SM26008 Ultra Shot Plus

What is a Red Dot Sight?    

A red dot sight is a tool that you mount on top of your gun, and look through when aiming to shoot targets farther away. If you aim so that the “red dot” is floating on the center of your target, you are almost guaranteed to hit it once you fire.

How Does a Red Dot Sight Work?

A red dot sight works by zeroing in on your target. It does not use magnification, unlike other scopes, so technically it can shoot at any distance. It is typically powered by batteries so that you are able to see the red dot in any lighting situation, even complete darkness.

How to Choose a Red Dot Sight for Your Tactical Shotgun

You have a better sense of what a red dot sight is, but what makes a good one? Here are some important qualities to look out for:

Battery Life

Especially in a tactical situation, you do not want your sight to suddenly die on you because you forgot to change out a battery which constantly needs refreshing. Find yourself a red dot that will last for thousands of hours on the same battery charge.

Weight

Sights are a (typically metal) tool that you attach to the top of your rifle, and rifles are already pretty freaking heavy as they are. Make sure you get a red dot that will not make your rifle unbearable to carry for great distances.

Brightness

Your red dot will not do you too much good if you can’t even see it, will it? The best red dot sights have a variety of brightness settings so that you will always be able to actually see your sight, even if it is high noon or midnight.

Quick Take | Best Red Dot Sights for Tactical Shotguns

Before diving into our review of the best red dot sights for tactical shotguns, here is a quick take of our top 3 picks:

Review of the Best Red Dot Sights for Tactical Shotguns

Now that you know what a red dot sight is and how to find a good one, let’s check out some actual products:

Pros

  • Easy to zero.
  • Extremely accurate.
  • Red dot is nice and crisp.
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • Brightness settings are adjustable.

Cons

  • Sig Sauer does not provide good customer service.
  • Lens cap is made of a soft rubber material and feels a little on the flimsy side.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are really stoked with the energy settings on this red light system. The battery life will last for an incredibly long time – one user reported almost four thousand hours of use before needing to replace it! This extended life is due in large part to the sight’s automatic shutoff setting, which deploys when it is not being used in order to preserve battery life.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We liked the mounting system on this product. Overall, the mount feels extremely solid, and it comes with both a high mount base and a lower mount base so that you can choose exactly how you would like your sight to be positioned on your weapon.

Who Will Use This Most

This product is an excellent option for casual shooters looking for something that will help them sight their shots at a day on the range.

What Could Be Improved and Why

As mentioned above, you will not be needing to replace the battery very often because the battery life lasts for an absurdly long period of time. But when you do, it can be a real pain to find the battery that will work for this sight as it is quite uncommon. You may end up buying from the manufacturer as opposed to picking one up in the store.

Bottom Line

The Sig Sauer Romeo 5 Compact 2 MOA is a fantastic product option and our best overall choice. Its only drawback is its hard to find battery.

Pros

  • Glass is extremely clear.
  • Works on a simple triple A battery.
  • Atibal provides great customer service.
  • Has a wide range of brightness settings.
  • Tough enough to withstand some intense impact.

Cons

  • Does not have any sort of motion activated features

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are particularly impressed with the brightness of this red dot. They report that it is just as illuminated as several of the more pricey competitor brands to Atibal. They are also quite pleased with how long this sight is able to hold its zero – one user says their sight has held zero after two years of regular use!

Why it Stands Out to Us

We really appreciated how versatile this sight is. It will work well both in close quarters combat, or with shooting from farther distances. And, its magnification system is compatible with users keeping just one eye open or users who really want to go for it and open both eyes.

Who Will Use This Most

Anyone who is looking for a sight that they will not have to constantly mess with in order to keep it at zero, or anyone who wants a sight that is versatile enough to be used in many different ways, will be pleased with this product.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The compartment that contains the battery is small and extremely difficult to open while the sight is mounted on the gun, particularly for users with larger hands.

Bottom Line

The Atibal MT MCRD II is a phenomenal model that comes in a very close second for our best overall choice. Keep in mind the process of changing out the battery can be frustrating, though.

Pros

  • Sight is clear.
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Has a three MOA dot reticle.
  • Has a good brightness range.
  • Lightweight, will not add a ton of bulk to your rifle.

Cons

  • Does not have a setting for snow in sunlight.
  • Lens covers are not particularly good quality.
  • Bushnell does not provide good customer service.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers appreciate the design of this product. It is a closed tube model, so there is never any chance of mud or other debris obscuring or even damaging your sight. And, it has a really cool aesthetic once it is mounted to your rifle.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It seemed completely unbelievable to us that you could find any sort of quality red dot sight for the money they are charging for this bad boy, but it is true – this is the absolute best product for the lowest price that we were able to find on the market today.

Who Will Use This Most

Anyone interested in getting a sight that is top dollar quality but not spending top dollar prices will really, really love this product option.

​What Could Be Improved and Why

Some users say that the red dot has a tendency to disappear near the top of the glass in the sight.

Bottom Line

The Bushnell Trophy TRS 25 is a top notch sight that you will not believe you can purchase for such a low price. Just keep in mind that the red dot may disappear near the top of the glass.

Pros

  • Glass is clear.
  • Nice aesthetic.
  • Dot is well defined.
  • Has an auto shutoff.
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • On the heavier side.
  • Lens covers do not stay on well.
  • Vortex does not provide good customer service.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers liked the different options that come with this sight. It arrives with a shim accessory, and Vortex also offers a combination deal where this product can be paired with a high value ammo package. It is difficult to beat that!

Why it Stands Out to Us

We were mostly impressed at how long lasting this sight is, without ever compromising on accuracy in the slightest. It will continue to work well, even after a few thousand rounds, and it will hold its zero no matter what.

Who Will Use This Most

This sight is so ridiculously accurate at such far distances, it seems made for deer hunters. This applies also particularly when you think about the fact that it can also come with a great ammo package.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Users report that some models arrive with a black “tape mark” on the lower right corner of the glass. This may not be an issue to all, but for some, it proved extremely distracting.

Bottom Line

The Vortex Optics SPARC is a top notch product option that will work well even after heavy use and comes with a lot of great additional options for you to maximize this sight. Its biggest drawback is that some models may have a tape mark on the lower right corner.

Pros

  • Holds zero well.
  • Can be detached quickly.
  • Sturdy enough to last for a long time.
  • Sightmark provides good customer service.
  • Lens will not fog up even in light or heavy rain.

Cons

  • Does not have a motion detection feature.

​What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers like the wide variety of different settings you can have with this model. Beyond the typical brightness settings, you also have an option to adjust your so called red dot to a green dot if you prefer, and to change it back again if you wish.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We were pleased with the battery life options on this model. Users report that they have not needed to change out the battery even after a year of heavy use. This quality is likely enhanced by the fact that this unit has an automatic shutoff feature, where the sight turns over after it has not been used for an hour.

Who Will Use This Most

Anyone who anticipates shooting for long periods of time and not wanting to deal with swapping out the battery will greatly appreciate this model. Additionally, anyone who is looking to break up the traditional “red dot” model will like this product, with its option to go green instead.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Some users say that the left and right adjustments on this model will not hold as well as the up and down adjustments once you have it set to zero.

Bottom Line

The Sightmark SM26008 Ultra Shot Plus is a fantastic product option that we cannot recommend highly enough. Just pay attention to your left and right adjustments the first few times you use it.

Conclusion

Red dot sights can really make it or break it when it comes to quick and easy accuracy in an intense situation. Make sure you critically think about what sight would work best for your gun, and if you want to be able to use it in everyday shooting as well. We promise, no matter what you are looking for, you will not be able to go wrong with one of the products reviewed here.

People Also Ask

Since red dot sights are not super common among casual shooters, we compiled a list of additional questions we often receive:

When Was the Red Dot Sight Invented?

People have been using reflector sights for rifles ever since the idea of using a sight first occurred to shooters, but it took a while for a true, electronically powered red dot sight to be developed. The first was in 1975, with a battery life of 1500 to 3000 hours – but the batteries used back then were mercury and highly toxic.

What is MOA on a Red Dot Sight?

MOA stands for minutes of angle, which is a unit used to measure the angle of a circle. One MOA translates to: if a target is one hundred yards away from you, the red dot will appear to be one inch in diameter on that target.

Where Should You Mount a Red Dot Sight?

This question is really a matter of personal preference. Mounting your sight farther forward on your rifle has been linked to increased accuracy when shooting, but it also makes your rifle feel much heavier and can lead to more fatigue. It is up to you which mounting system will work best.

What is the Best Red Dot Sight for Under $100.00?

The best red dot sight for under $100 is the Bushnell Trophy TRS 25, reviewed above.

How Far Can a Red Dot Sight Work?

Unlike other scopes, red dots do not work on a magnification basis, so they do not have a range in quite the same way. What that means is that, if you are able to see your target through your sight, you will be able to sight it, no matter how far away you are.

How Accurate is a Red Dot Sight?

This quality really depends on the sight. You will notice that accuracy was a big component of our reviews of our selected red dot sights. The thing about red dots is that they combine both accuracy and speed in a way that other scopes do not – the red dot is  always there, ready to go.

How to Sight in a Red Dot

Figure out what distance you want your red dot zeroed at. Use your windage and elevation adjustment knobs, looking through the glass until you have your dot on top of the iron sight’s front post. Fire a few rounds to test it and adjust if necessary.

How to Sight in a Red Dot Scope Without Shooting

Of course, there are some situations where you do not want to fire your gun while sighting – if you are testing it out at home, perhaps, and you do not want to drive all the way to the range to ensure it works. To sight in without shooting, simply make visual adjustments based on the placement of the dots. There are also laser tools you can purchase which will let you know where the gun would shoot if you did shoot it.

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