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Best red dot sights for shotguns

Brady Kirkpatrick Avatar
Best red dot sights for shotguns
Photo courtesy of Burris Optics.

It isn’t uncommon to find shotguns where the only implement for aiming is a single bead at the end of the barrel. Thankfully the modern firearms industry has given us many options to fix this issue, with the red dot sight being a top option in the shotgun arena. We are going to look at some options out there and find the best red dot sights for a given purpose.

These are the best red dot sights for shotguns

Best Overall – Trijicon RMR Type 2

Pros

  • Rugged construction
  • Lightweight
  • Compatible with night vision
  • Clear glass
  • Excellent battery life
  • Automatic brightness
  • Proven track record

Cons

  • More expensive than some options
  • Must be removed to replace battery
  • Smaller window than some options

The Trijicon RMR Type 2 is the best overall option for a red dot for your shotgun. Light and rugged, the Trijicon RMR Type 2 is an excellent red dot that is capable of holding up to the recoil of a shotgun while at the same time adding functionality. We chose the RMR Type 2 because it increases your shotgun’s usability without noticeably adding to the strain of using the shotgun.

Being able to trust your optic in a real-world environment is important, and the RMR Type 2 has a record that you can trust. It can be found on a myriad of firearms across multiple types and purposes. This proven track record should reassure anyone looking to purchase one that their hard-earned money is well spent on a Trijicon RMR Type 2.

With shotguns being one of the most flexible firearms, the optics that go on your shotgun need to be equally flexible. The RMR Type 2 meets that requirement. There are three different options for MOA for the RMR Type 2. These options are 1 MOA, 3.25 MOA, & 6.5 MOA. Each option has its purpose, with the 6.5 MOA option being an excellent choice for a home defense shotgun.

Best Value – Burris FastFire 3

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Small size
  • Automatic off after 8 hours
  • Automatic brightness

Cons

  • Lacks shake awake feature
  • Small size
  • Heavier than other options

The value option on our list is the Burris FastFire 3. A mini red dot, the FastFire 3 comes in at a much more affordable price point. 

The affordable price point does not mean that the FastFire 3 does not come with features. Offered with both 3 and 8 MOA dots the FastFire 3 also has automatic shutoff and brightness detection. For an optic that is often available for less than $200, the Burris FastFire 3 provides a lot of value.

The Burris FastFire 3 uses a CR 1632 battery which is rated to last for 5000 hours. For most users, this battery will last plenty long and provide lots of use before the battery needs to be replaced.

The controls for turning the Burris FastFires 3 on and adjusting the red dot are very simple. A side button turns on the red dot and cycles the three brightness settings. 1 MOA adjustments can be found on the right side and top of the red dot, and the optic can be turned off by holding the on button.

The small footprint and light weight allows the end user to mount it easily, and the red dot fits in most cases with ease. Combine this with the Burris FastFire 3’s simple control scheme, and you have a nice, easy-to-use package. 

As a budget optic, the FastFire 3 does not have all the features that more expensive red dots possess. The shake-awake feature is missing. Additionally, while being constructed of aluminum the FastFire 3 does not have the same rugged feel of more expensive red dots like the Trijicon RMR Type 2. 

In the world of red dots and optics, it is easy to get discouraged looking at the high-end AimPoints and Trijicon’s and feeling like you have to spend an arm and a leg for something functional. The Burris FastFire 3 ensures you can have your optic and keep all your limbs too.

Best Red Dot Sight for Home Defense Shotgun – Holosun 507c X2

Pros

  • Shake Awake
  • 50,000 Battery Life
  • Night Vision Compatible
  • Convenient Battery Compartment
  • Multiple Reticle System
  • Solar & Battery Power

Cons

  • Not as durable as some options
  • More expensive than some comparable red dots

When seconds count, you don’t want to be fumbling with the switch on your red dot to get it to turn on. The Holosun 507c X2 and its shake awake feature ensure that when you need your optic on and ready to perform, it will be so. 

The Holosun 507c is a versatile red dot. The 32 MOA reticle is great for the distances one can expect to experience in a home defense scenario with the 2 MOA reticle providing the option for longer shooting distances without having to change to a different optic.

The battery life on the Holosun 507c is excellent. At 50,000 hours, you will not be worrying about the life of your battery. Additionally, the solar power option is also available to help extend the life of the battery.

Ruggedly built, the Holosun 507c has an aluminum housing, and its shockproof design will hold up to the robust recoil of a 12 gauge shotgun. The small design of the red dot allows it to avoid most bumps while at the same time being able to withstand those bumps when they invariably happen.

The open design of the optic allows the shooter to keep both eyes open and mitigates the larger window option of Holosun’s 510c series red dot. Keeping both eyes open also allows the shooter to have better vision making it easier to identify targets.

Best Red Dot Sight for Tactical Shotgun – Aimpoint Micro T-2

Pros

  • Proven track record
  • Long battery life
  • Night vision compatible
  • Lens Clarity
  • Tough and Durable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Lack of automatic shutoff

In the world of tactical optics no name has more cache than Aimpoint. Seeing use on the battlefields of the Global War on Terror, domestically by law enforcement departments, and by thousands of regular Americans, Aimpoints Micro T-2 is an excellent optic.

A simple straightforward optic, the Aimpoint Micro T-2 simply works. It has a standard 2 MOA dot. The lens is clear and has unlimited eye relief.

The Aimpoint T-2 has several options for adjusting the brightness of the optic. Eight daylight and 4 night vision compatible settings allow you to adjust the red dot for your personal preferences and the environment.

The Aimpoint’s track record of excellence extends to the Micro T-2, and anyone considering this red dot should purchase with confidence. Aimpoint stands by the durability of the Micro T-2 by offering a 10-year warranty for personal use.

Another nice aspect of the Aimpoint Micro T-2 that sets it apart from its competitors is the built-in flip-up caps. While not required, they are a nice touch that shows the premium nature of the Micro T-2.

Vortex Venom

Pros

  • Vortex Lifetime Warranty
  • Compact
  • 3 & 6 MOA dots available
  • Auto Brightness
  • Can change batteries without removing the sight

Cons

  • Not as rugged as some options

The Vortex Venom is a mid-budget red dot that directly competes with red dots made by Holosun, Sig Sauer, and Trijicon. Slotting into the market at a lower price point than the Trijicon RMR Type 2, the Vortex Venom is a good choice for those wanting the benefits of a high-quality red dot without paying for the branding of Trijicon or Aimpoint.

Ten illumination settings provide adjustability to the shooter’s preferences and/or light conditions. This enables the user to select the best brightness level for their use. Automatic brightness control can also be used. This allows the Venom to adjust its brightness to suit the current light level without requiring user input.

Weight is a factor in the Venom’s favor. It weighs significantly less than competitors like the Sig Romeo5. The light weight does not mean this red dot is lightweight in terms of performance. The aluminum housing makes it tough enough for everyday use, and its unlimited eye relief makes it perfect for using with both eyes open. Anyone mounting a Vortex Venom on their shotgun should feel secure knowing their red dot will perform when it is called upon.

The legendary Vortex warranty is one of the biggest selling points for any Vortex optic, and the Venom is no different. If you have an issue with your Venom, Vortex will make it right.

Sig Romeo5

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Automatic off
  • Shake Awake
  • Very affordable
  • Durable enough

Cons

  • Not as durable as premium brands
  • Only one reticle option

The Sig Romeo 5 is a budget red dot that directly competes with optics made by Vortex, Holosun, Burris, and others. By fitting into this mid to lower tier of red dots, it can appeal to budget-conscious consumers who want a quality product for their hard-earned dollar.

Lower price, though, does not necessarily mean lower quality. The Sig Romeo5 is an excellent optic. It is night vision compatible. Boasts a 40,000 hour battery life. Has both shake awake and automatic off features, and with an aluminum house is durable enough for both casual and professional shooters.

Ten illumination settings provide adjustability to meet the shooter’s preferences and/or light conditions. The Sig Romeo5 also is frequently sold with both high and low mounts allowing you to mount the red dot at your preferred height on your shotgun.

There is the possibility that some shooters will experience issues with proper aiming from the Sig Romeo5 based on their sight angles with the lens. This isn’t an issue that all shooters experience, but being aware of the issue can help limit its impact.

Whether this red dot is sitting on a shotgun used for 3-gun competitions, taken to the woods to hunt turkey, or on a shotgun used for home defense, the Sig Romeo5 is up to the task.

How We Chose our Top Picks

When choosing the top pick for the best red dot for a shotgun, several factors were considered. The most important criterion is the purpose of the shotgun the red dot would be used for. After this first consideration, ruggedness, size, battery life, and cost all played a role. 

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the best red dot depends on what each individual shooter values the most. The wide array of red dots available allows each person to explore the options available and make the best choice for their given situation. 

The Trijicon RMR Type 2 was the best option for our intended purpose but the other red dots listed here also have their place and are used by thousands of shooters across the United States.

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