10 Best Red Dot Sights For Shotgun in 2024 – [Top Rated Choices & Review]

Hey there, fellow shotgunners! Joel Mccartan here, and boy, do I have a treat for you today. We’re going to dive deep into the world of red dot sights for shotguns. Now, I know what some of you old-school hunters might be thinking – “Red dots on a scattergun? That’s just fancy nonsense!” But trust me, once you try one of these bad boys, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.

I remember the first time I slapped a red dot on my trusty 12-gauge. It was like someone flipped a switch in my brain. Suddenly, those fast-flying clays weren’t quite so tricky, and tracking birds through the brush became a whole lot easier. Red dot sights have revolutionized the way we use shotguns, offering faster target acquisition, improved accuracy, and better performance in low-light conditions. Whether you’re blasting clays, hunting turkeys, or defending your home, a quality red dot sight can give you a serious edge.

But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the right one? Well, that’s why I’m here. I’ve spent countless hours testing, researching, and talking to other hunters and shooters to bring you this comprehensive guide to the best red dot sights for shotguns in 2024. We’ll be looking at factors like durability, battery life, reticle options, and overall performance to help you make an informed decision. So, let’s dive in and find the perfect red dot for your shotgun!

Trijicon RMR Type 2

Kicking off our list is the Trijicon RMR Type 2, and let me tell you, this little powerhouse has earned its reputation as one of the toughest red dots on the market. I’ve seen guys literally throw these things across the range (not recommended, by the way) and they just keep on ticking.

The RMR Type 2 is built like a tank, with a rugged aluminum housing that can withstand serious abuse. But it’s not just tough – it’s smart too. The updated electronics in the Type 2 model have solved the battery connection issues that plagued the original RMR, making it more reliable than ever.

One of the standout features of the RMR Type 2 is its crystal clear glass. The lens offers minimal distortion and excellent light transmission, giving you a crisp, bright dot even in challenging lighting conditions. Speaking of the dot, you’ve got options here. The RMR Type 2 is available in several different MOA sizes, but for shotgun use, I find the 3.25 MOA dot to be just about perfect. It’s small enough for precise aiming when you need it, but large enough to pick up quickly on fast-moving targets.

Battery life is another area where the RMR Type 2 shines. With up to 4 years of continuous use on a single CR2032 battery, you won’t have to worry about your sight dying at a critical moment. The automatic brightness adjustment is a nice touch too, ensuring your dot is always visible without being overpowering.

Now, I’ll be honest – the RMR Type 2 isn’t cheap. But in my experience, it’s worth every penny. I’ve had mine mounted on my turkey gun for three seasons now, and it’s survived mud, rain, and more than a few accidental bumps against tree trunks. The dot is bright enough for sunny days but can dial down for those pre-dawn setups.

The only real downside I’ve found is that the small window can take some getting used to, especially if you’re coming from traditional iron sights or a larger red dot. But with a bit of practice, you’ll be picking up that dot faster than you can say “gobble gobble.”

If you’re serious about your shotgunning and want a red dot sight that can handle anything you throw at it, the Trijicon RMR Type 2 should be at the top of your list. It’s not just a sight – it’s an investment in your shooting performance.

Aimpoint ACRO P-2

Next up on our list is the Aimpoint ACRO P-2, and let me tell you, this little sight is making waves in the shotgun world. The ACRO P-2 is a fully enclosed red dot sight, which means it’s built to handle the toughest conditions you can throw at it.

Now, you might be thinking, “Joel, isn’t the ACRO designed for pistols?” And you’d be right. But here’s the thing – what works for a pistol often works even better for a shotgun. The ACRO P-2’s robust design makes it perfect for handling the punishing recoil of even the heaviest shotgun loads.

Let’s talk about that enclosed design for a moment. Unlike open emitter sights, the ACRO P-2’s LED emitter is completely protected from the elements. That means no more worrying about rain, snow, or mud obscuring your dot. For us hunters who don’t let a little bad weather stop us, this is a game-changer.

The ACRO P-2 features a crisp 3.5 MOA dot, which I find to be a great compromise for shotgun use. It’s small enough for precise aiming when you need it, but large enough to pick up quickly when you’re swinging on a fast-moving target. The dot itself is incredibly clear and sharp, with minimal blooming even at higher brightness settings.

Speaking of brightness, the ACRO P-2 offers 10 daylight settings and 4 night vision compatible settings. Whether you’re in bright sunlight or the dim pre-dawn light, you’ll be able to see your dot clearly. The large buttons on the sight are easy to manipulate, even with gloved hands – a big plus for those cold morning hunts.

One of the most impressive features of the ACRO P-2 is its battery life. Aimpoint claims a whopping 50,000 hours (over 5 years!) of continuous use on a single CR2032 battery. That’s not just marketing hype – I’ve had mine running for over a year now without a hiccup.

Now, it’s not all sunshine and roses. The ACRO P-2 does have a somewhat limited field of view compared to some larger red dots. This can take some getting used to, especially if you’re accustomed to a wider sight picture. Additionally, mounting the ACRO P-2 on some shotgun models can be a bit tricky, and you might need to invest in a specific mount.

I recently had the chance to use an ACRO P-2 on a friend’s shotgun during a day of sporting clays, and I have to say, I was impressed. The enclosed design gave me peace of mind when a surprise rainstorm rolled in, and the dot was easy to pick up even on fast-crossing targets. It’s a bit bulky compared to some other options, but the bombproof design more than makes up for it.

If you’re looking for a rugged, reliable red dot sight that can handle any conditions you might encounter, the Aimpoint ACRO P-2 is definitely worth considering. It’s not the cheapest option out there, but for serious shotgunners who demand the best, it’s hard to beat.

Holosun HE509T

Next up on our list is the Holosun HE509T, and let me tell you, this sight is shaking things up in the red dot world. Holosun has been making waves with their feature-packed sights at competitive prices, and the HE509T is no exception.

First things first, let’s talk about construction. The HE509T features a titanium housing, which gives you exceptional durability without adding a ton of weight to your shotgun. This is a big deal for those of us who spend long days in the field – every ounce counts when you’re trekking through the woods or marshes.

One of the standout features of the HE509T is its versatility when it comes to reticles. You’ve got options here – a simple 2 MOA dot, a 32 MOA circle, or a combination of both. This flexibility is fantastic for shotgun use. The plain dot is great for precision work, like when you’re reaching out with slugs. The circle-dot combo, on the other hand, is perfect for wingshooting, giving you a large, easy-to-see reference that helps with leading your target.

Now, let’s talk about one of my favorite features of the HE509T – the solar failsafe. This sight has a small solar panel that can power the reticle in bright conditions, even if your battery dies. As someone who has had an optic fail at the worst possible moment (right as a flock of geese was coming in – still kicking myself over that one), this feature gives me a lot of peace of mind.

Battery life on the HE509T is impressive, with Holosun claiming up to 50,000 hours on the medium setting. In practice, I’ve found that you can easily get a couple of years of use out of a single battery. The sight also features Holosun’s “Shake Awake” technology, which puts the sight to sleep when it’s not moving and instantly wakes it up when you pick up your gun.

The glass on the HE509T is clear and provides a good sight picture, although some users (myself included) have noticed a slight blue tint. It’s not a deal-breaker by any means, but it’s worth mentioning. The window is a good size for a compact red dot, striking a nice balance between a wide field of view and a low-profile design.

One potential downside to the HE509T is that changing the battery requires removing the sight from your shotgun. This means you’ll need to re-zero after every battery change. It’s not a huge issue, but it’s something to be aware of.

I’ve had an HE509T mounted on my home defense shotgun for about six months now, and I’ve been really impressed. The circle-dot reticle is perfect for fast target acquisition in high-stress situations, and the solar backup feature gives me confidence that the sight will work when I need it most, even if I’ve neglected to change the battery.

For the price, the Holosun HE509T offers a ton of features and solid performance. If you’re looking for a versatile, durable red dot sight for your shotgun without breaking the bank, this one should definitely be on your radar.

Burris FastFire 4

Alright, let’s talk about the Burris FastFire 4. This little powerhouse has quickly become a favorite among shotgunners, and for good reason. It’s a versatile, lightweight sight that punches well above its weight class.

First off, let’s talk about the FastFire 4’s size and weight. This thing is tiny – we’re talking just 1.8 inches long and a featherlight 1.6 ounces. For those of us who are conscious about every ounce on our shotguns (looking at you, upland hunters), this is a big deal. The low profile design means it won’t interfere with your sight picture if you’re used to shooting with a bead.

But don’t let its small size fool you – the FastFire 4 is packed with features. One of the standout elements is its multiple reticle options. You can choose between four different reticles: a 3 MOA dot, an 11 MOA dot, a 3 MOA dot with a 100 MOA circle, or an 11 MOA dot with a 100 MOA circle. This versatility is fantastic for shotgun use. I find the 3 MOA dot perfect for slug work, while the larger options are great for wingshooting.

The glass on the FastFire 4 is clear and provides a good sight picture. The dot is crisp and easy to pick up, even in bright conditions. Speaking of brightness, the FastFire 4 has three manual brightness settings, plus an automatic mode that adjusts to ambient light conditions. In my experience, the auto mode works well in most situations, but it’s nice to have the manual options for those tricky lighting scenarios.

Battery life is another strong point for the FastFire 4. Burris claims up to 50,000 hours on the lowest setting, which translates to about 5 years of continuous use. In practice, I’ve found that you can easily get a couple of years out of a battery with normal use. The sight uses a common CR1632 battery, which is easy to find and replace.

One of the things I really appreciate about the FastFire 4 is its user-friendly design. The brightness controls are easy to manipulate, even with gloved hands. The battery compartment is on top of the sight, which means you can change the battery without removing the sight from your shotgun – a big plus in my book.

Now, it’s not all perfect. The FastFire 4, being so lightweight, isn’t quite as robust as some of the heavier, more expensive options out there. It’ll handle normal use just fine, but I wouldn’t recommend using it as a hammer (not that you should be doing that with any optic). Also, some users have reported that the controls can be a bit finicky, especially when trying to switch between reticle options.

I’ve been running a FastFire 4 on my clay target shotgun for about six months now, and I’ve been really impressed. The lightweight design doesn’t mess with the gun’s balance, and the ability to switch between reticles is handy. I use the 3 MOA dot for most shooting, but the circle-dot combo is great for instinctive shooting on rabbit targets.

For the price, the Burris FastFire 4 offers a lot of features and solid performance. If you’re looking for a versatile, lightweight red dot sight for your shotgun, this one should definitely be on your shortlist. It’s especially well-suited for hunters who are weight-conscious or for those who want a low-profile optic that won’t drastically change the feel of their shotgun.

Sig Sauer Romeo5

Next up on our list is the Sig Sauer Romeo5, and let me tell you, this little sight has been making waves in the red dot world. Sig Sauer has been crushing it in the optics market lately, and the Romeo5 is a perfect example of why.

Let’s start with the basics. The Romeo5 is a compact, lightweight red dot sight that’s built to withstand the tough conditions we often find ourselves in as shotgunners. It’s fully waterproof and fog-proof, so you don’t have to worry about it failing on you during those early morning duck hunts when the weather’s less than ideal.

One of the standout features of the Romeo5 is its motion-activated illumination system, which Sig calls MOTAC (Motion Activated Illumination). Essentially, the sight powers up when it senses motion and powers down when it’s still. This is a game-changer for battery life. Sig claims up to 40,000 hours of runtime on a single CR2032 battery, and while I haven’t quite put that to the test, I can say that I’ve been running mine for over a year now without needing a battery change.

The Romeo5 features a 2 MOA dot, which I find to be a great all-around size for shotgun use. It’s small enough to allow for precise aiming when you need it (think turkey hunting or shooting slugs), but it’s still easy to pick up quickly when you’re swinging on a fast-moving target. The dot is crisp and clear, with minimal blooming even at higher brightness settings.

Speaking of brightness, the Romeo5 offers 8 daylight settings and 2 night-vision settings. I’ve found that this range covers pretty much any lighting condition I’ve encountered, from bright sunny days to overcast evenings. The controls are simple and intuitive, with large buttons that are easy to manipulate even with gloved hands.

The sight picture on the Romeo5 is nice and wide, giving you a good field of view. This is particularly important for shotgun use, where you often need to maintain situational awareness of your surroundings. The glass is clear and I haven’t noticed any significant tinting or distortion.

Now, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Some users have reported issues with parallax, particularly at extreme angles. In my experience, this hasn’t been a significant problem for shotgun use, but it’s worth being aware of. Additionally, while the brightness adjustment works well, cycling through all 10 settings can be a bit slow if you need to make a quick change.

I’ve had a Romeo5 mounted on my go-to shotgun for about three years now, and it’s been a faithful companion through countless range sessions and hunting trips. The motion activation is brilliant – I never have to remember to turn it on or off. It’s handled everything from hot summer days on the skeet range to frigid mornings in the duck blind without missing a beat.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Romeo5 is its price point. For the features and quality you’re getting, it’s an absolute bargain. It performs like a much more expensive sight, making it an excellent choice for shooters who want high-end performance without breaking the bank.

If you’re in the market for a reliable, feature-packed red dot sight for your shotgun that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, the Sig Sauer Romeo5 should definitely be on your radar. It’s a versatile, durable sight that can handle pretty much anything you throw at it.

Vortex Venom

Next up on our list is the Vortex Venom, and let me tell you, this little sight has earned its place in the hearts of many shotgunners, myself included. Vortex has built quite a reputation for offering quality optics at reasonable prices, and the Venom red dot sight is no exception to this rule.

The Venom is a compact, lightweight sight that won’t add much bulk to your shotgun. It weighs in at just 1.1 ounces, which means you’ll hardly notice it’s there. But don’t let its small size fool you – this sight is packed with features that make it a great choice for shotgun applications.

One of the standout features of the Venom is its low-profile design. This is particularly beneficial for shotguns, as it allows for a more natural cheek weld and doesn’t interfere with your peripheral vision. The sight comes with multiple mounting options, making it versatile enough to fit on a variety of shotgun models.

The Venom offers a choice between a 3 MOA or 6 MOA dot. For shotgun use, I tend to prefer the 6 MOA option. The larger dot is quicker to acquire in fast-moving situations, which is often the case when you’re swinging on a flushing bird or a speeding clay target. That being said, the 3 MOA dot is still a solid choice, especially if you plan to use your shotgun for longer-range applications with slugs.

One feature I really appreciate about the Venom is its auto-brightness mode. The sight can automatically adjust the dot intensity based on ambient lighting conditions. This is particularly handy when you’re moving between different environments, like stepping out of a dark blind into bright sunlight. Of course, if you prefer, you can also manually adjust the brightness through 10 different levels.

Battery life is always a concern with red dot sights, but the Venom performs admirably in this department. It uses a CR1632 battery, which is easy to find and replace. Speaking of replacing, the Venom features a top-loading battery compartment, which means you can swap out the battery without removing the sight from your gun. This is a huge plus, as it means you don’t have to re-zero your sight after every battery change.

The glass on the Venom is fully multi-coated, which provides a clear, unobstructed view of your target. The sight picture is wide and open, allowing for good situational awareness – a crucial factor in many shotgunning scenarios.

Now, it’s not all perfect. While the Venom is plenty durable for most uses, it’s not quite as rugged as some of the more expensive options on this list. If you’re extremely hard on your gear or plan to use it in very harsh conditions, you might want to consider a more robust option. Additionally, some users have reported that the dot can “bloom” or appear less crisp at higher brightness settings, especially in very bright conditions.

I’ve had a Venom mounted on an old Remington 870 for about two years now, using it primarily for clay shooting and the occasional upland hunt. The low profile works great with the shotgun’s rib, and the auto-brightness feature is handy when moving between sunny fields and shaded woods. It’s not the toughest sight out there, but for the price, it’s hard to beat.

One thing I particularly love about the Venom is how intuitive it is to use. The controls are simple and straightforward, making it a great option for shooters who are new to red dot sights. And let’s not forget about Vortex’s legendary VIP warranty – they’ll repair or replace your sight if it’s damaged, no questions asked. That kind of peace of mind is worth a lot, especially when you’re investing in a piece of gear that you plan to rely on in the field.

All in all, the Vortex Venom offers an impressive blend of features, performance, and value. It’s a versatile sight that can handle a wide range of shotgunning applications, from clay shooting to hunting. If you’re looking for a reliable, user-friendly red dot sight that won’t break the bank, the Venom should definitely be on your shortlist.

Leupold DeltaPoint Pro

Now, let’s talk about the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro. Leupold is a name that’s been trusted by hunters and shooters for generations, and their DeltaPoint Pro red dot sight lives up to that legacy of quality and performance.

The first thing you’ll notice about the DeltaPoint Pro is its distinctive triangular shape. This isn’t just for looks – the design provides a wide field of view, which is crucial for shotgun applications where you need to maintain awareness of your surroundings. The sight window is nice and large, making it easy to pick up your target quickly.

One of the standout features of the DeltaPoint Pro is its motion sensor technology. Like some other sights on this list, it will automatically shut off to conserve battery when it’s not in use, and spring back to life as soon as it detects movement. This is a great feature for those of us who occasionally forget to turn off our sights after a long day in the field.

The DeltaPoint Pro is available with either a 2.5 MOA dot or a 7.5 MOA delta-shaped reticle. For shotgun use, I’m particularly fond of the 7.5 MOA delta option. The larger reticle is quick to acquire and naturally draws your eye to the center, which is perfect for the fast-paced nature of most shotgun shooting.

Durability is a strong point for the DeltaPoint Pro. It’s constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum and is waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. I’ve seen these sights take some serious abuse and keep on ticking. The lens is made from scratch-resistant diamond-like carbon, which provides excellent clarity and can stand up to the rigors of field use.

One feature that sets the DeltaPoint Pro apart is its tool-less top-loading battery compartment. This means you can quickly and easily change the battery without removing the sight from your shotgun. No need to re-zero after a battery swap – a huge plus in my book.

The controls on the DeltaPoint Pro are intuitive and easy to use, even with gloved hands. You can cycle through 8 brightness settings to find the perfect intensity for your shooting conditions. The sight also features a manual brightness override, allowing you to quickly max out the brightness for use in very bright conditions.

Now, it’s worth noting that the DeltaPoint Pro is on the larger side compared to some other options on this list. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – the larger window provides a great sight picture – but it does mean the sight sits a bit higher on your shotgun. This can take some getting used to, especially if you’re accustomed to shooting with just a bead sight.

I’ve got a DeltaPoint Pro on my slug gun, and it’s a match made in heaven. The wide field of view makes it easy to stay aware of my surroundings while keeping the dot on target. The 7.5 MOA delta reticle is perfect for shotgun work – it draws the eye naturally and allows for instinctive shooting.

The DeltaPoint Pro isn’t the cheapest option out there, but in my experience, you get what you pay for. The clarity of the glass, the durability of the construction, and the thoughtful features make it worth the investment for serious shotgunners.

If you’re looking for a top-tier red dot sight that can handle anything you throw at it, the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro should be high on your list. It’s especially well-suited for those who appreciate a wide field of view and don’t mind a slightly larger sight profile on their shotgun.

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25

Now, let’s shift gears a bit and talk about the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25. This sight is proof that you don’t always have to break the bank to get a reliable red dot for your shotgun.

The TRS-25 is a compact, no-frills red dot sight that’s been a favorite among budget-conscious shooters for years. Don’t let its low price fool you, though – this little sight can hold its own in a variety of shooting situations.

First off, let’s talk about size. The TRS-25 is tiny, measuring just 2.4 inches long and weighing a mere 3.7 ounces. This makes it an excellent choice for shooters who want to add a red dot to their shotgun without significantly changing its balance or handling characteristics.

The sight features a 3 MOA dot, which I find to be a good all-around size for shotgun applications. It’s small enough for precise aiming when you need it (like when shooting slugs), but still large enough to pick up quickly when you’re swinging on a fast-moving target.

One of the things I appreciate about the TRS-25 is its simplicity. There’s just one control knob that turns the sight on and off and adjusts the brightness. No complicated menus or buttons to fumble with – just twist the knob and you’re ready to go. The sight offers 11 brightness settings, which I’ve found to be plenty for adapting to different lighting conditions.

Durability is always a concern with budget-friendly optics, but the TRS-25 holds up surprisingly well. It’s nitrogen-purged for fog proofing and O-ring sealed for water resistance. I’ve seen these sights handle rain, snow, and the occasional accidental drop without missing a beat.

The glass on the TRS-25 is fully multi-coated, which helps with light transmission and provides a clear sight picture. The field of view is good for such a compact sight, though not as wide as some of the more expensive options on this list.

Battery life is decent, though not spectacular. The sight runs on a single CR2032 battery, and Bushnell claims about 3,000 hours of use at a medium setting. In practice, I’ve found it’s a good idea to change the battery once a year just to be safe.

Now, it’s important to set realistic expectations. The TRS-25 isn’t going to have the same level of clarity or the advanced features of a sight that costs five times as much. The dot isn’t quite as crisp as what you’ll find on higher-end sights, and you might notice some slight tinting of the glass.

I keep a TRS-25 on an old beater shotgun that I use for introducing new shooters to the sport. It’s perfect for this role – simple to use, reasonably durable, and I don’t have to worry too much if it gets knocked around a bit. The sight has survived countless range trips and even a few hunting excursions, and it’s still going strong.

One tip if you’re considering the TRS-25: invest in a quality mount. The included mount works, but upgrading to a solid aluminum mount can really improve the sight’s performance and durability.

All in all, the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is an excellent choice for shooters on a budget, or for those who want to try out a red dot without making a big financial commitment. It’s also a great option for a backup or “beater” gun that might see rough use. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of more expensive sights, it gets the job done reliably and at a price point that’s hard to beat.

EOTech EFLX

Now, let’s talk about a newcomer to the world of compact red dots – the EOTech EFLX. EOTech is well-known for their holographic weapon sights, but the EFLX represents their entry into the more traditional red dot market, and it’s making quite a splash.

The EFLX is a compact, rugged sight that brings EOTech’s reputation for durability and clarity to a smaller package. It’s designed to compete with high-end pistol red dots, but I’ve found it performs admirably on shotguns as well.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the EFLX is its incredibly clear glass. EOTech has always been known for their high-quality optics, and they’ve brought that expertise to bear here. The sight picture is crisp and distortion-free, with minimal tinting.

The EFLX offers a choice between a 3 MOA dot or a 6 MOA dot. For shotgun use, I lean towards the 6 MOA option. The larger dot is quicker to pick up, which is crucial in the fast-paced world of shotgunning. That said, the 3 MOA dot is still a solid choice, especially if you plan to use your shotgun for longer-range applications.

One of the standout features of the EFLX is its impressive battery life. EOTech claims up to 25,000 hours of use on a single CR2032 battery at medium settings. That’s over two years of continuous use! In practice, you’ll probably want to change the battery annually just to be safe, but it’s nice to know you’ve got that kind of longevity.

The EFLX is built to withstand serious abuse. It’s constructed from aluminum and is waterproof up to 1 meter. The sight also features EOTech’s “Fog Resistant Technology,” which helps prevent internal fogging in extreme temperature changes – a real bonus for those early morning duck hunts.

One feature I particularly appreciate is the auto-brightness mode. The sight can automatically adjust its intensity based on ambient light conditions, ensuring your dot is always visible without being overpowering. Of course, you can also manually adjust through 10 daylight settings and 4 night-vision compatible settings.

Now, the EFLX isn’t without its drawbacks. It’s one of the pricier options on this list, which might put it out of reach for some shooters. It’s also a bit on the heavy side for its size, weighing in at 1.8 ounces. This isn’t a huge issue on a shotgun, but it’s worth noting.

I had the chance to test an EFLX at a 3-gun match recently, and I was thoroughly impressed. The large window made target transitions a breeze, and the dot was crisp and clear even under the bright match lights. It handled the recoil of my 12-gauge without a hiccup, maintaining zero throughout a grueling day of shooting.

The EFLX is compatible with several popular mounting standards, including the Trijicon RMR footprint, which gives you plenty of options for mounting it on your shotgun.

While the EOTech EFLX might be overkill for casual shooters, it’s a fantastic option for serious competitors or those who demand the absolute best from their equipment. If you’re looking for a top-tier red dot sight that combines durability, clarity, and long battery life, the EFLX is definitely worth considering.

Swampfox Sentinel

Rounding out our list is a bit of an underdog – the Swampfox Sentinel. Swampfox might not be as well-known as some of the other brands we’ve discussed, but they’re making waves with their feature-packed, affordable optics.

The Sentinel is primarily designed as a pistol red dot, but its compact size and durability make it a great option for certain shotgun applications, particularly for home defense or turkey hunting setups.

Let’s start with the basics. The Sentinel is tiny, measuring just 16mm wide and weighing a mere 0.62 ounces. This makes it one of the smallest and lightest options on our list. Despite its diminutive size, it’s built to be tough. The body is made from 7075 aluminum, and it’s waterproof, shockproof, and fog resistant.

The Sentinel comes in two flavors – a 3 MOA dot version and a 6 MOA dot version. For shotgun use, I’d lean towards the 6 MOA option. The larger dot is quicker to pick up, which is crucial in the fast-paced scenarios where shotguns often shine.

One of the standout features of the Sentinel is its “Shake N’ Wake” motion-sensing technology. The sight automatically powers on when it detects movement and shuts off after a period of inactivity. This helps conserve battery life while ensuring your sight is always ready when you need it.

Speaking of battery life, the Sentinel runs on a single CR2032 battery and boasts an impressive 2-year battery life. In practice, I’d recommend changing the battery annually just to be safe, but it’s nice to know you’ve got that kind of longevity.

The glass on the Sentinel is clear and provides a good sight picture, especially considering its price point. The lens is multi-coated for improved light transmission and durability. The field of view is naturally limited by the sight’s small size, but I’ve found it adequate for most shotgun applications.

One feature I particularly appreciate is the top-loading battery compartment. This means you can change the battery without removing the sight from your gun, so you don’t have to re-zero after every battery swap.

Now, it’s important to note that the Sentinel’s small size can be both a blessing and a curse. While it keeps your shotgun’s profile slim and doesn’t interfere with your sight picture, it can make the dot a bit harder to pick up compared to larger sights. This is something that can be overcome with practice, but it’s worth considering.

I mounted a Sentinel on a friend’s Mossberg 500 Cruiser, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. The small size works well on shorter barrels, and the shake awake feature is handy. It’s not my first choice for wing shooting, but for a home defense shotgun or turkey gun, it’s a solid option.

The Swampfox Sentinel has a few more features worth mentioning. It offers 10 brightness settings, allowing you to adjust the dot intensity to match your environment. The controls are simple and intuitive, with two buttons on the side of the sight that are easy to manipulate even with gloved hands.

One potential drawback of the Sentinel is its relatively limited track record compared to more established brands. However, early adopters have reported positive experiences, and Swampfox offers a solid warranty to back up their products.

In terms of mounting, the Sentinel uses the Shield RMSc footprint, which is becoming increasingly common on compact pistols and some shotguns. This gives you a good range of mounting options, but you’ll want to make sure it’s compatible with your specific shotgun model before making a purchase.

Overall, the Swampfox Sentinel offers a lot of bang for your buck. It’s a great option for shotgunners who want a compact, lightweight red dot without breaking the bank. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of some higher-end options, it covers all the basics and then some.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right Red Dot Sight for Your Shotgun

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this review of the best red dot sights for shotguns in 2024. From high-end options like the Trijicon RMR Type 2 and Aimpoint ACRO P-2, to more budget-friendly choices like the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 and Swampfox Sentinel, there’s a red dot sight out there for every shotgunner and every budget.

When choosing a red dot sight for your shotgun, there are several factors to consider:

  • Durability: Shotguns produce significant recoil, so you need a sight that can handle the punishment. Look for sights with robust construction and good shock resistance.
  • Battery Life: Nothing’s worse than having your sight die in the middle of a hunt. Longer battery life means less worry and maintenance.
  • Dot Size: For most shotgun applications, a larger dot (5-6 MOA) is often preferable as it’s quicker to acquire in fast-moving situations. However, if you plan to shoot slugs at longer ranges, a smaller dot might be better.
  • Field of View: A wider field of view can be beneficial for shotgun use, especially for wing shooting or sporting clays.
  • Ease of Use: Simple, intuitive controls are important, especially if you’ll be using the sight in high-stress situations or with gloved hands.
  • Size and Weight: Consider how the sight will affect your shotgun’s balance and handling.
  • Price: While you often get what you pay for with optics, there are quality options available at various price points.

Remember, the “best” sight is the one that works best for you and your specific needs. A competitive clay shooter might prioritize different features than a turkey hunter or someone setting up a home defense shotgun.

Personally, I’ve found that the Trijicon RMR Type 2 offers the best balance of durability, performance, and versatility for my needs. However, the Holosun HE509T is a close second, offering similar performance at a more affordable price point. For those on a tighter budget, the Sig Sauer Romeo5 provides excellent value for money.

Whichever sight you choose, remember that adding a red dot to your shotgun will likely require some adjustment to your shooting technique. Spend time practicing with your new setup to build proficiency and confidence.

Red dot sights can significantly enhance your shotgunning experience, whether you’re blasting clays, hunting birds, or defending your home. They offer faster target acquisition, improved accuracy in low light conditions, and can help extend your effective range, especially when using slugs.

As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more innovative features in red dot sights in the coming years. But for now, any of the sights on this list will serve you well in your shotgunning endeavors.

Remember, the most important thing is to get out there and practice with your chosen setup. A red dot sight is a tool, and like any tool, it takes time to master. But with patience and practice, you’ll soon wonder how you ever managed without one.

Until next time, this is Joel Mccartan signing off. Keep your eyes on the dot and your shots on target! Happy shooting, folks!

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