The Best Shotgun Scopes for 2022

When you’re hunting with a shotgun, common sense clearly tells you not to expect any sniper-style shooting feats. For many hunters, the need for a shotgun scope seems laughable. “I’m just shooting a turkey, and not that far away. Why would I need a scope?”

Believe it or not, the addition of a scope to your shotgun can dramatically improve your chances of bagging that trophy Tom. And that isn’t to mention those who hunt larger game with slugs, which requires even greater accuracy with your favorite shotgun. While it’s true that you can get a bead on your target using iron sights, the assistance of a scope is like the difference between reading in fine print and reading in large print. With a quality scope, your time is much better spent and frustration is reduced to a minimum.

In this guide, you’ll find the reasons that you should consider purchasing a shotgun scope, what to look for when making a decision, and finally the four scopes we most highly recommend.

Reasons why Shotgun Scopes make a Difference:

Crosshairs

Crosshairs allow you to pinpoint your target without playing guessing games.

Scope

With a scope, you aren’t tempted to raise up to check the movement of the bird or other game animal. As many hunters have learned, this is a major reason for losing that bird that seemed a sure thing.

Magnification

It never hurts to have a clearer view of your target.

Whether you’re hunting turkeys or whitetail, a scope can improve your game to the point that you’ll wonder how you ever got along without one. Although the addition of a scope to your gun may add a small amount of weight, it more than makes up for it by making your trek into the woods so much more profitable.

What to Look for in your Scope

When you decide it’s time to begin shopping for a shotgun scope, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some important tips to help you make your decision when a world of choices make settling on the right scope a victory in itself:

Durability conquers all.

When you’re choosing a shotgun scope, the most important thing to keep in mind is that in order get your money’s worth, your scope will need to be tough. When you’re crashing through the thick brush or your gun slides down from the tree stand and lands against the trunk with a crack, once you’ve given thanks for the fact that it didn’t go off and kill anyone, you’ll be thankful you chose a scope that could stand up to anything your shotgun can handle.

Clarity is a must.

Another top priority for choosing a shotgun scope is clarity. Although it isn’t necessary to buy the priciest scope to achieve maximum resolution – more about that later – there’s no point buying a scope that makes discerning the difference between your target and the background a mystery. Make sure the scope you choose provides a sharp view of whatever you point it at so your eyes get the break they’ll need when you’ve been peering so hard for so long.

Keep it simple.

As you begin shopping around, you’ll find that different scopes offer different features. While many of these may seem tempting and like downright must-haves, keep in mind that anything that adds complication to your scope is one more thing that can break and render your scope useless. Unless you know that your scope would still work if a certain feature became inoperable, keep it simple and forego the fancy features.

Pricier doesn’t mean better.

Although it’s true that you get what you pay for, when it comes to shotgun scopes, there’s really no need to spend an arm and a leg. As long as a scope fulfills these other requirements, don’t be afraid to settle for a scope that just gets the job done without an exorbitant price tag. Unless you plan to make your living hunting, a cheap yet adequate scope should be all you need.

Slight magnification is plenty.

Obviously, with a shotgun, you don’t have much need for long-distance reconnaissance. As long as the scope provides slight magnification, you should be pleased with the results.

Shiny scopes are easily spotted.

It would be a shame to head out with your Mossy Oak gun stock and RealTree head-to-toe camo, just to have the deer turn tail and run at the flash of morning sun glinting off your gun scope. When looking for your shotgun scope, keep in mind that camouflage is just as important for scopes as it is for gunstocks. If you can’t find a suitable camo-colored scope, a matte-finished scope will prevent sunlight from giving away your presence to any vigilant wildlife you’re trying to evade.

Brighter isn’t always necessary.

Sure, it’s true that the brightness feature can be helpful for hunters out in the wee hours of the morning. Still, there’s no need to worry about making your scope too bright since you’ll be hunting when it’s somewhat light anyway. Why tempt yourself with ultra-bright technology when bagging that deer at night while it’s not legal to do so can get you in serious hot water. Although laws differ from state to state, good sportsmanship alone would dictate that too much technology can take the sporting chance out of the equation and cheapen the experience for everybody.

Reviews of the Four Best Shotgun Scopes on the Market

With each of these things in mind, here are four top examples of shotgun scopes that should provide what you need to make your hunting experience that much more profitable.

Bushnell Trophy Shotgun Scope with Circle-X Reticle

Color: Matte Black
Weight: 12.7 ounces
Magnification: 1.75x to 4x

The Bushnell shotgun scope is an all-around winner. The matte black, lightweight scope isn’t crazy expensive, but its durability makes it a favorite and one that many hunters will buy again – after their first one finally gives out after fifteen years.

 

Top features of the Bushnell Circle-X Reticle Shotgun Scope:

  • Wide view field allows minimal movement
  • 100% waterproof, shockproof and fogproof
  • Rain guard HD lens coating
  • Fast-focus eyepiece
  • 91% light transmission
  • 1/4 MOA fingertip windage and elevation adjustments
  • Multi-coated optics allow for excellent contrast and clarity
  • Perfect for multiple hunting applications
  • Backed by Bushnell “no questions asked” lifetime warranty
  • 1.75-4X magnification
  • 3.5 ” eye relief

Nikon ProStaff Shotgun Hunter 2-7 x 32 Black Matte Riflescope(BDC 200)

Nikon ProStaff Shotgun HunterColor: Black Matte
Weight: 13.9 ounces
Magnification: 2x to 7x

True to its name, the Nikon ProStaff Shotgun Hunter Riflescope integrates professional Nikon technology into this cutting-edge tool to make hunting precise and smooth.

Top features of the Nikon ProStaff Shotgun Hunter Riflescope:

  • 3.8 inches of eye relief keeps you safe from recoil
  • 100 yard field of view
  • Nitrogen-filled housing to keep out fog and moisture
  • Bright, crisp images
  • Works great with muzzle-loaders
  • Zero-reset turrets with spring-loaded adjustment knob
  • Quick-focus eyepiece
  • Great even with severe shooting angles

Simmons ProHunter ProDiamond Reticle Shotgun Scope, 4x32mm (Matte)

Simmons ProHunter ProDiamondColor: Black Matte
Weight: 8.6 ounces
Magnification: 4x

The affordable Simmons ProHunter ProDiamond shotgun scope offers advanced technology at an easy-to-swallow price. The sharp focus is made possible by the use of high-quality optical glass so that you can see your target clearly, regardless of the weather.

Top features of the Simmons ProHunter ProDiamond Reticle Shotgun Scope:

  • TrueZero windage and elevation adjustment keeps your focus fixed
  • Durable construction can resist 1,000 rounds from a 12-gauge slug gun firing 3.5-inch shells
  • O-ring sealed, 100% waterproof housing
  • 4-inch eye relief protects vision
  • 25 years of customer satisfaction
  • Multi-coated optics offer clearly contrasting images
  • Pro-Diamond reticle
  • Easy grip and adjustment

Truglo Compact Strut N Rut Scope

Color: Camouflage
Weight: 16 ounces
Magnification: 3-12x

The Truglo Compact Strut N Rut Scope is an excellent choice for hunters targeting turkey and deer. It’s made of aircraft quality aluminum to provide a durable, scratch-resistant, and non-reflective matte finish that is optimal for use while hunting.

 

Top features of the Truglo Compact Strut N Rut Scope:

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Fully-coated lenses providing maximum brightness, clarity, and contrast
  • Fingertip windage and elevation adjustments
  • Diamond reticle
  • 100% waterproof and fogproof
  • Nitrogen gas filled
  • Finish is durable and scratch resistant

Regardless whether you choose one of these fine scopes or another one not listed here, be assured that the addition of clarified sighting will improve your hunting results dramatically. Happy hunting!

Reviews of the Best Telescopes of 2022

Humans have always been fascinated with the stars, and children have grown up being amazed by space for years. Today, there are a number of excellent telescopes that are designed by various manufacturers for specific astrological purposes. Some of these telescopes are extremely advanced and take a lot of technological knowledge in order to operate.

However, there are numerous ones on the market designed for children and amateurs and do not require a lot of previous technological background knowledge. After all, everyone has the right to enjoy the beauty of the stars. If you are interested in astronomy and telescopes, you will be able to find all of the information that you could possibly need below.

 

Best Telescope for Beginners – Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ

Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQIf you are a beginner, the AstroMaster Reflector Telescope is by far the best choice on the market. It has a lot of higher-end features that other brands do not provide in this price range, and it is an easy telescope to set up. This is extremely important for beginners because you have to know how to set up a telescope correctly in order to get the most out of it. Most beginners are still learning about astronomy in general, and therefore, they are content to see the simple things and wonders of space.

With the AstroMaster Reflector Telescope, they might not be able to see far off galaxies, like with a higher powered telescope, but they will be able to see things like the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter. These things are fascinating for beginners, and it is an excellent starting point. With this telescope, you will get access to two different eyepieces that get up to 100 x magnifications. When using this telescope, it has been recommended that you also use the CELE705 lens kit. These lenses will enhance your view, giving you the best experience available.

The dimensions of this telescope are 11 inches by 17 inches by 32.25 inches. It isn’t as large as other telescopes, which will make it easier to handle for beginners, and when it is assembled, it is only 12.7 kilograms. Therefore, it will be easy to move for most beginners, regardless of their age. When it comes to brightness, this particular telescope is actually three times brighter than other telescopes that are considered to be 60mm scopes. The only downside that people have found about this particular telescope is that the start pointer on it is not all that easy to use.

According to the reviews of the people who have used this telescope, this telescope is a good telescope, but it is really designed for beginner observation and not deep sky observing. They also said that the price of this telescope is excellent for the quality that it will provide you, especially if you are a beginning astronomer. After all, if you are a beginner, you do not want to spend a lot of money on your first telescope, while trying to figure everything out.

 

Best Telescope for Kids – Vixen Space Eye

Vixen Space Eye 50mmA universe is an amazing place, and kids are often times fascinated with stars. However, just like most things, it doesn’t make sense to purchase an expensive telescope for a child. That is one reason why this particular telescope is the best telescope for kids. The Vixen Space Eye Telescope is a 50 mm telescope, and other than price, it has a lot of features that make it perfect for a child. Unlike a lot of other telescopes, this one only weighs 6 pounds, which means it will be easier for kids to move around when using it.

This particular telescope comes with everything that a kid could want and need in order to enjoy the universe. The telescopes dimensions are 13 inches by 8 inches by 37 inches. According to some of the customers who have purchased this particular telescope, one of the best things about it was its mount. With cheaper telescopes, you sometimes have to deal with the object are watching skipping slightly when trying to move the telescope. However, the Space Eye 50 mm Telescope has slow motion controls.

Due to this, it will make it easier for a kid to actually be able to steady the telescope and follow the objects that they want to without having to worry about the object getting blurred and losing eye contact with it. Another aspect about this particular telescope is the fact that it actually is powerful enough to allow kids to see the rings of Saturn under certain conditions. This is important because although the moon is both unique and extraordinary, there is nothing better for a new astronomer than seeing the beauty of Saturn layout before their eyes.

Another excellent aspect about this particular telescope is the fact that you can actually purchase an adapter for it that will allow you to be able to hook your smartphone up to it. This is an excellent way to also introduce you or your budding astronomer to astrophotography. This adapter is actually designed to work with most types of smartphones, and it will add on hours and hours of fun from this particular telescope for your kid and even yourself.

 

Best Telescope for Astrophotography – Celestron NexStar 130 SLT

Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized TelescopeAstrophotography is a little more difficult than regular observation. One of the biggest differences is the fact that you need a telescope that is actually designed to be able to take the photos needed and desired. According to many astrophotographers, the NexStar 130 SLT computerized telescope is by far the best one available on the market for anyone that is actually interested in astrophotography. This telescope comes with a focal ratio of f5, and it has a focal length of 650mm.

While using this particular telescope, you will find that it is extremely easy to move, and this is entirely thanks to the fact that it has a motorized Altazimuth mount. You will not have to worry about being able to follow objects in order to get that perfect picture of your favorite object in the sky. It also has SkyAlign. This is an excellent aspect about this telescope because you will no longer have to worry about just looking at one object. With SkyAlign, you will actually be able to align the telescope with any 3 celestial objects in the sky that are bright.

There have only been two things about this particular telescope that have been logged as needing help. The first thing is its battery. The battery life is rather short compared to others. Therefore, it is imperative when using this telescope that you charge the battery to full before heading out to do your astrophotography. After all, you would not want to be in the middle of your project and have the telescoping die. The second thing about this telescope is that it is a little sensitive to vibration. Therefore, when you are using it, you need to make sure that it is on a surface that will not conduct vibration.

However, the pros of the NexStar 130 SLT far outweigh these minor setbacks. For instance, you will not find another telescope in its price range that has as wide a field of view as this telescope. Therefore, you will be able to broaden the horizons of your astrophotography experience. It is also very light and portable. Therefore, you will not have to worry about it being too heavy to move around as you see fit.

 

Best All-Around Telescope – Gysker AZ70400 

It can be difficult to locate a telescope that sits at the crossroads of affordability, power, and clarity. However, the Gysker AZ70400 solves that problem by accomplishing goals in all three of the previous categories.

In addition to your purchase, you get the tripod and a 25mm and 10mm eyepiece. The AZ70400’s focal length is 400mm, which is technically on the lower end of their products, but its power is still impressive.

There are no computerized or electronic aspects about the AZ70400, so you can just manuever the telescope by hand. It does come equipped with an inverted star finder which should aid in your search for objects in the night sky.

 

Best Telescope for the Money – Celestron NexStar 4 SE

Celestron NexStar 4 SEThere are thousands of different telescopes that are available on the market, but when looking at price vs features, the Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope is by far the best telescope for the amount that it costs. This telescope has a state-of-the-art computerized operating system, and this will allow you to be able to view a number of excellent and beautiful celestial objects. Although this telescope can be used by beginners, it is designed more for a more advanced astronomy observer. With the single touch of a button, you will be able to find thousands of different planets, galaxies, and stars, and you will be able to enjoy the entire world of astronomy from the privacy of your own backyards or your favorite star gazing spot.

According to the people who have used this particular telescope have given it an overall excellent review, but there are a couple of things you should be aware of before purchasing this telescope. First off, this telescope can actually use rechargeable batteries, but these batteries are not included with the actual telescope. Therefore, you will need to purchase them separately. Plus, due to its size, it can be rather limited when it comes to being able to view deep into space. However, its size is also one of its best tributes. Thanks to this, it is both small and portable, which means you can carry it around a lot easier to the places that you wish to star gaze from.

The computerization components of this telescope are also very trackable, which means you will be able to keep track of the different celestial bodies that you observe with the telescope. Another thing that actually makes this the best telescope for the money it costs is the fact that you can also take part in amateur astrophotography. You will be able to take pictures with it, but it will be rather limited. They will not be as high quality as a telescope that was designed for such things. This telescope is motorized, and therefore, you can actually align the telescope to be able to track whatever you want from planets, nebulae, galaxies, and stars.

 

Best Telescope for under $100 – Meade Instruments Infinity 70mm AZ

Meade Instruments Infinity 70mm AZ Refractor TelescopeThere are a lot of different telescopes that fall into this price range, but just like everything else, there is one that is superior. In this price range, the telescope that is superior is the Meade Instruments Infinity 70 mm AZ Refractor Telescope. This telescope has an aperture of 70mm (2.8 inches), a focal length of 700mm, a focal ration of f/10, and a rack-and-pinion focuser. When you purchase this telescope, you will also receive an instructional DVD and an Astronomical software, which will help you take your stargazing to the next level. For its price range, you will be able to view farther out into space than with other telescopes like it, but it was not designed to allow you to observe far away.

It comes with an Altazimuth mouth that has a slow-motion control. This is excellent and helps to make sure that the view does not skip when trying to move it manually. Because of this, you can also track the things that you want to track, regardless if it is day or night. This telescope has 2 barlow lens which always you to double the magnification power of all eyepieces. It has two different eyepieces to choose from. The low eyepiece is 26mm, and the high eyepiece is 6.3 It provides you with a red dot viewfinder, which will allow you to point at the celestial objects that you want to see. Therefore, you will be able better observe to your desire. Another asset to purchasing this telescope is the fact that it actually comes with an accessory tray. This is very convenient if you are observing the stars out and away from any furniture. It is actually big enough for your phone and keys.

Another reason why this is such an excellent telescope for its price is the fact that you can use it at night to observe the universe and during the day to observe things like birds and the ocean. The assembly of this particular telescope is very easy, especially since it is a refractor telescope. This means you will never have to worry about aligning mirrors. You will actually be able to use it straight out of the box.

 

Best Telescope for under $200 – Orion StarBlast 4.5

Orion StarBlast 4.5If you are looking for the next step up to your beginning telescope, the Orion StarBlast II 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope is the next logical price. It is still reasonably priced, and it will give you the best experience possible for a telescope within its price range. This particular telescope is able to view a number of different things in the night sky. Not only can you see planets and moons, you will also be able to see a number of deep space objects as long as they are bright enough. If you are new to astronomy, you can actually start out with this telescope because it is easy to set up and use, but it is also suitable for an intermediate astronomer who is looking upgrade.

The eyepieces that it comes with are Expanse telescope eyepieces, and they will actually give you a 66-degree field of view. Unlike cheaper telescopes, you will even be able to see the Andromeda galaxy with this one, and the first time you see it, you will be in awe of its absolute beauty. It also has fast f/4 optics, which means that you will be able to see a lot more celestial objects without having to hunt for them, thanks to the widened field of view that it provides. This telescope does come with a EQ-1 equatorial telescope mount with a slow-motion control. Basically, this means that you will be able to follow celestial objects across the night sky without having to worry about your view being skipped.

With these controls, you will never have worry about moving your telescope by hand. You can actually just enjoy a smooth viewing of your favorite celestial objects. The dimensions of this particular telescope are 44 inches by 12 inches by 20 inches, and it weighs a little less than 20 pounds. Therefore, it is heavy enough to be held down firmly, but it is not so heavy that you cannot move it as needed to set it up. This telescope requires a Lithium-ion battery, and it comes with one. Therefore, you do not have to worry about going out and finding one of your own.

 

Best Telescope for under $1,000 – Meade Instruments LightBridge 12-Inch Truss Tube Dobsonian Telescope

Meade Instruments LightBridge Dobsonian TelescopeWhen you get up to this price range, it is imperative to do the research. The LightBridge 12-Inch Truss Tube Dobsonian Telescope has received the best results and reviews for the people who have actually used it. It has a number of excellent features that will allow you to have the best astronomy experience possible for its price range. This telescope has a focal length of 1525 millimeters, and it has an aperture of 12 inches. This will actually allow you to see celestial objects a lot brighter than most other telescopes available on the market for less than $1,000. As an added bonus, this particular telescope actually comes with a 1-year limited warranty.

This is extremely important, because everyone knows that it is possible for accidents to happen. You do not want to purchase so a high quality telescope without having some protection for those accidents. The focal ration of this particular telescope is f/5, and the dimensions of this telescope are 29 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches. It does weigh close to 100 pounds. Therefore, it is imperative that you are careful when moving it, because it is not the easiest telescope to move around once you have it set up and placed in the desired spot. However, the beautiful experience that you get with this telescope is especially worth it.

Before you are able to use the telescope, you will actually have to get 8 AA batteries in order for it to work. It is recommended that you purchase higher quality batteries in order to avoid them being drained quickly and you missing out on a beautiful astrological event that might only come around once in a life time. This telescope actually stands around 5 feet tall. Therefore, you will not have the need for any other type of mount, and this particular telescope is excellent for visual observing, but it is not recommended for someone that wishes to partake in astrophotography. However, if you live in a big city or an area with high light pollution, this is the perfect telescope because it will actually allow to see through it and view deep sky observations.

 

Best Telescope for under $2,000 – Celestron Advanced VX 8″ f/10 EdgeHD Telescope

Celestron Advanced VS EdgeHDIf you are interested in going big, the Celestron Edge HD Telescope and its usual bundle is by far the best deal in the $2,000 price range. First off, this telescope comes with a 2 year warranty, which is extremely important, especially due to the expensive nature of this telescope. When observing the stars, you never know when something might happen to knock over your telescope or something else. So, this warranty will allow you to have peace of mind when out having fun and observing celestial objects. The Celestron Edge HD 8” Telescope comes with a 1.25 inch eyepiece, a 1.25 inch 90-degree mirror diagonal.

It also comes with a Celestron Advanced VX Mount that is a tripod mount. This will actually make it a lot easier to set up. These types of mounts are generally more stable, which means they are less likely to be tipped over by an accident while trying to observe the stars and other celestial objects. This telescope weights around 85.5 pounds, and due to its weight, it is imperative to make sure you plan where you want to observe from prior to moving it. This will cause you a lot less trouble than having to constantly move it once it is set up. One of the only downsides to this particular telescope is the fact that you cannot merely use regular batteries to charge it.

It actually needs 12 volts in order for it to work. Therefore, you will need an inverter and a car battery to make it work or a power port I a nearby vehicle. However, the excellent results that this particular telescope will provide you in your observing experience are completely worth it. You will be able to look and see just about anything that you really want, within reason. Some people have even reported that while using this particular telescope, they were actually able to get 120 second exposures without having to deal with see the star trails. This telescope actually takes astrophotography to a whole new level. Plus, it is excellent due to the fact that vibration is not an issue when this telescope and mount are used together.

 

Things to Know when Buying a Telescope as an Amateur Astronomer

If you are new to astronomy, it can be extremely difficult to learn everything on your own, and if you are not careful, you could make costly mistakes when buying your telescope. One of the most important things to remember when buying your first telescope is that there is no substitute for quality. Although you might find an appealing telescope at your local department store, it is always a better idea to purchase your telescope from an actual telescope store or from a place where you can find just as high a quality of the telescope.

If you are willing to put in the time and really learn astronomy, you can actually save yourself a lot of money, especially if you are a younger astronomer. For instance, joining an astronomy club is a great way to learn the different constellations. By doing this, you will actually be able to find a telescope that is cheaper and more simplistic to use. Some astronomers might tell you that you need all of these technological features on your telescope in order to take seriously. However, it is not always important to have these features. A lot of times, people want these features for the sake of having them, but they could honestly get by without them lightening the expensiveness of their telescope choice.

When practicing astronomy, it is important to know that observation is key to having a good experience. One of the things that separate expert astronomers from amateur astronomers is their observation skills. Therefore, it is imperative that you make sure to work on these skills because it will actually assist you in being able to get a smaller telescope that will most likely cost less. Generally, there are two types of astronomers that people want to be: Visual astronomer or an astrophotographer. As an amateur astronomer, it is always better to start out as a visual observer, because the equipment and knowledge of astronomy are a lot more extensive in order to do astrophotography.

 

Reputable Brands of Telescopes

There are a lot of different brands that manufacture telescopes for both professional and amateur astronomers. Below, you will be able to find a few different reputable brands that are some of the best in the industry.

Celestron – Celestron has been manufacturing telescopes and accessories for over 50 years, and all of their workers provides quality craftsmanship that actually make them one of the best manufacturers, in the industry. They have telescopes designed for every type of an astronomer, regardless if they are a beginner or a professional. One of the best things about Celestron telescopes is the fact that they are extremely easy to assemble, and those who purchase them are always guaranteed satisfaction.

Sky-Watcher – If you have ever been to a star party, then you have probably seen a Sky-Watcher telescope, especially if you live in Europe. They have been around since the 1960s, and currently, they are actually known as the #1 fastest growing telescope brands in Europe, and their reputation is starting to grow everywhere else as well. They are the manufacturers that actually created one of the first Dobsonian telescopes, which is one of the most popular types available on the market.

Zhumell – Zhumell is known for their beginner telescopes. They have a wide range of these types that are low cost being less than $200. They have been around for years, and they are by far the best brand available on the market for that young or inexperienced astronomer in your life.

Meade – There are different stages of being an amateur in astronomy. Some are kids and some are adults. Meade understands that this is important knowledge to know when manufacturing telescopes. Currently, they are one of the top manufacturers when it comes to creating telescopes for any amateur despite this knowledge or age.

The Best Red Dot Sights of 2022

Anyone who uses a gun for target practice or hunting will agree that having a sight is essential for being able to accurately hit a target. Traditional iron sights can be used to achieve this desired accuracy; however, red dot sights provide a faster way to aim and shoot without missing. While these sights were typically used by the military, they are now often employed for recreational means, including hunting and paintball. Red dot sights are popular to use for aiming at moving targets, especially since this type of sight allows you to line up the target and take a shot at a quick rate of speed. Let’s take a look at some of the best red dot sights on the market, and then we will cover key features to look for and evaluate when purchasing a red dot sight.

What is a Red Dot Sight?

If you are unsure of what a red dot sight is or how it differs from other types of sights, here are some additional details to go over before exploring the following options: Any non-magnified, illuminated sight that can be equipped to a shotgun, a rifle, or a handgun is considered a red dot sight. The reticle or “red dot” is created by an LED or a laser diode light that is reflected or projected into the field of view. This “red dot” is aimed directly in your line of sight to become the aiming mechanism that lines up the gun with the targets to make the perfect shot.

The Best Red Dot Sights on the Market

1. Athlon Optics Midas TSR2 Red Dot (Our top pick)

Athlon may not be the biggest name on the market, but they are one of the most impressive of late. Their latest generation of products have all been high performance at an affordable price, and their Midas Red Dot series is a great option for anyone in need of a quality red dot. One of its most impressive features is its battery life. At medium brightness, it claims to have an incredible 50,000 hours of juice! To make this battery life even better, it has a built in motion sensor that automatically turns the unit on and off. And its fully multicoated glass lives up to the quality that I’ve seen in the rest of Athlon’s line. Athlon has several other versions of this sight as well depending on how much power you want. I highly recommend giving this unit a try, you can check its price here.

2. Vortex SPARC 2 Red Dot Sight

The Vortex SPARC 2 is a well built, extremely sturdy sight that provides great features at a really reasonable price. An upgrade to Vortex’s original SPARC, the light weight sight is built to impress, and many reviewers have not had problems with it standing up to the tests of time at all. The battery life of this sight at minimum brightness can last up to an incredible 5,000 hours. A six hour auto shut down feature is also present to help preserve battery life. A simple button press makes it easy to adapt the color, shape, and illumination of the reticle. This sight also features a fully multi-coated lens as well as waterproof optics to keep moisture, dust, and debris away from the lens. It is also parallax free, which allows for more rapid shooting while you have both eyes open. Click here to see the current price.

3. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Rifle Sight

The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is a great, durable, lightweight sight that does not lack in quality. The multi-coated lens has an amber bright, high contrast coating that is designed to help you quickly distinguish where your target is in any lighting. The parallax free design adjusts to your eyes, which allow rapid shooting with both eyes open. The sight has the ability to adjust the size and the illumination of the reticle to three different levels and preserve the battery life. An additional feature that is useful for shooting excursions in the great outdoors is the waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof construction. Click here to check the current price.

4. Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic

The Aimpoint PRO is a great sight that has new, never-before-seen features incorporated into its’ design that maximizes the performance and battery life of the device. The sight can be turned on and left on for at least three years before a new battery will be required. The service date and battery change reminders are perfect for tracking and making sure that you never let your batteries die while you are out on a hunt. The front lens of this sight also features a band-pass coating, which enables compatibility with most types of night vision devices. Both the front and the rear lens are set back from the edge to cushion the sight from impact devastation and safeguard it from scratches and fingerprints. The Aimpoint PRO also has a mount with a removable spacer as well as a torque limiting twist knob that optimizes the pressure places on the rail. Click here to see the current price.

5. Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro Spec Sight NV QD 

The Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro Spec Sight NV QD is ideal for someone looking to purchase a high quality, cost-effective sight. The double pane lens helps to eliminate parallax, which is a very helpful and common feature among red dot scopes, and the sight has four different reticle patterns to allow for maximal customization. You will also have the unique ability to mount the sight in front of a night vision monocular to create a co-witnessed sight setup. Furthermore, if you are in pursuit of a fast target, this sight is equipped with a quick detachable rail mounting system and an internal interlocking system that holds zero extremely well; therefore, you won’t have to worry about frequently readjusting this sight in the field. Finally, you can be sure that this scope will hold up in multiple types of environments and situations due to its durable aluminum frame and metal shield. Click to see the current price.

6. Burris FastFire III with Picatinny Mount

The Burris FastFire III is a very versatile sight that was built to stand up to rugged outdoor life for long periods of time. Windage and elevation adjustment upgrades are available with this sight. This Picatinny mounted sight has a 3 MOA dot reticle that can be adjusted to three brightness settings, and it also sports an automatic brightness setting that adjusts to the current lighting conditions. Battery access is conveniently located on the top so the sight so that it does not need to be removed when the battery needs replacing, and the low battery indicator will help you best prepare to have a fully powered sight for your next adventure. This Burris FastFire III also comes with waterproof and shockproof features.

Choosing the right sight is imperative for any hunter or marksman. Whether you are shooting for the fun of the sport or for the competition of it, it is best to find a sight that you are comfortable using. The key is to be able to make an accurate shot without spending a long time lining up the shot, especially if you are aiming at a moving target. Red dot sights are a great option for accomplishing that, but make sure you are aware of the important features to consider when purchasing one. Remember, expense does not always equal quality. The five sights listed are all excellent choices, but continue reading the content below before deciding which red dot sight is best for you. Click here to see the current price.

Benefits of a Red Dot Sight

• Faster Targeting Capabilities

Once a target is acquired, it is easy to quickly center the reticle on the target and fire the gun. There is no need to align the sights and take time to aim. This type of sight gives a much greater accuracy rate when taking aim at a moving target.

• Greater Field of View

Red dot sights have a wider field of view than most tube style sights. Having a wider field of view allows for a shot from a greater distance, but the sight is still not magnified so being reasonably close is still recommended.

• Unrestricted Eye Relief

For most sights, it matters how far away the shooter’s eye is from the sight, but with a red sight, the eye relief is unlimited. This feature allows for faster targeting, because it takes away part of the restraint placed upon someone who is aiming with another type of sight.

• Works Well with Low Light

Red dot sights are easy to aim in the dark of night. The cross hairs of most sights become invisible in the dark, but the red dot is even visible in the darkest environments.

Features to Consider when Purchasing a Red Dot Sight

• Housing Configuration

A red dot sight can come in either a tube style or an open style. The tube style is closer to a traditional sight in appearance. This type of housing allows the shooter to apply filters and protective covers to the lens, which could make the “red dot” easier to see in bright sunlight. Open sights do not have the classic tube style. These types of sights consist of only the bare basics, and objective window to see through and a source of illumination. Since an open housing configuration has less room for flair, filters cannot be used to enhance the viewing experience.

• Type of Projection

Red dot sights include both holographic and reflex sights. With a holographic projection, the sight is illuminated from the front of the lens and a laser diode light is projected onto the viewing window to create a holographic red dot to assist with aiming at a target. Reflex sight projections are much more common in red dot sights that are used for recreation. A reflex sight reflects an LED light that is positioned behind the lens into your line of sight.

• Style of the Reticle

The reticle is effectively the “red dot” that is used to bring the gun in line with the target. All Reticles are designed to be illuminated to make it easier to shoot in low lighting conditions, but they are not required to be red or to be a simple dot. The color and patterns of red dot sights vary, so it is best to find one that allows comfortable shooting. Styles range from a single dot, to cross hairs, or even bullseye patterns that can be displayed in a red or green color. A good sight will be able to utilize multiple patterns and adjust to the desired color. The size of the reticle can also often be adjusted. A bigger dot typically means that targeting is faster. Make sure to avoid fancy styles; it is important to naturally align your eye to the center of the reticle for faster target finding.

• Battery Life of the Sight

The battery life of any red dot sight is extremely important. You need to know that the reticle will be there when it is needed, and a sight that has a short battery life presents the chance of the light going out when you are getting ready to aim for a target. Without the reticle, targeting becomes more complicated and accuracy can suffer. Reflex sights that use LED’s to create the “red dot” consume much less energy than holographic options. A good sight should be able to get roughly a thousand hours of usage before the battery life diminishes. Make sure to preserve battery life whenever possible by turning the sight off when it is not being used. Shooing in cold weather can also be a factor of how long the battery life will last, so make sure to always carry a backup just in case.

Tips for Choosing a Red Dot Sight

• Higher Price does not mean Better Quality

Spending a lot on a sight is not always going to guarantee that the quality is better than the cheaper models. Sometimes advertising will suck you into a more expensive red dot sight that is missing key features, like being able to change the shape or color of the reticle to something that allows your eyes to focus at a faster rate.

• Compatible with Gun

Not all sights are able to be mounted to just any gun. Sights are designed to go with certain types of guns, and they will only fit properly on those styles. Make sure the sight that you are looking to purchase is compatible with the gun you own or are looking to own.

• A Comfortable Size and Weight

Make sure the sight is an appropriate size for your gun and the area where it will be stored. The weight of the red dot sight will affect the overall weight of the gun. Make sure that the gun can still be handled effectively with the sight attached to make assure that the accuracy of your aim is not diminished.

• Mounting the Sight

Mounting the sight to the gun is an extremely important step. If the sight is slightly off, then your whole aim will be off as well. Take your time when mounting and adjusting the sight to assure that it is straight. Your precision when mounting the sight will help you nail the target every time.

Overall, there are multiple features to take into consideration when making your red dot sight purchase. A sight equipped with all of the right features fit for you will take your recreational hunting or target shooting to the next level.

Athlon Optics Helos BTR GEN2 2-12×42 Rifle Scope Review

I have to say, I wouldn’t have picked the Helos BTR at first glance. It’s just not my type of scope for my hunting rifles. I like simple, no moving parts, and plain reticles. But after Athlon sent me this scope to try, I’ll admit that I became a convert. It’s more elegant than needlessly complicated, more elegantly durable than fragile. And the features it has, though not necessarily designed for what I’m going to use it for, are excellent.

This scope is in the mid range of the market, and has very high quality glass with Advanced Fully Multi-Coated lenses. The image quality from this scope was actually pretty shockingly good. So far I’ve only tested it at the range, but I’m really looking forward to using it in the field this fall. One thing really cool about this scope is the wide range of zoom settings. Starting at only 2 power, it can be used in very close up situations. It’s very rare that I’ve seen a scope go down to 2 power before, but I can imagine plenty of instances when it’ll be useful. And a 12 power on the high end is more than enough for my purposes, as hunting shots are never taken at super far distances. It also has a 42mm objective lens which gathers plenty of light and gives a good wide field of view without being overbearingly huge.

This scope is offered in a few different reticles, all of which fall into the category of complicated “christmas tree” reticles. That means they have a variety of hold points to account for both elevation and windage, and you can make accurate shots in a variety of situations without adjusting the turrets at all. In the past I’ve skoffed at such complicated reticles. After all, they do make the sight picture very complicated and harder to understand in the heat of the moment. My scope has the AHMR2 FFP IR MOA option. This reticle has hold overs that are designed for a variety of cartridges in 100 yard increments out to 700 yards, and can also be used to make distance estimates out to 600 yards based off of a deer’s body. After shooting this scope once, I can tell that my fears of complication were overblown that and that it’s going to make an excellent addition my arsenal. Here’s the scope reticle so you can see for yourself it’s versatility:

The scope has true precision zero stop and locking turrets, which are very intuitive and feel extremely solid. I have a much more expensive Night Force scope on another one of my rifles, and I think the Athlon’s are designed better. They are beefier, lockable, and seem ready to withstand the rigors of the field.

I mounted this scope using Talley one piece rings to my Tikka 6.5mm Creedmore, which has quickly become my go to rifle to hunt with. After getting it all dialed in, I took it to the range. I haven’t been able to do a ton of shooting with it yet (the ammo shortages have been making that harder and harder), but I did get it zeroed immediately thanks to the awesome and precise measurements from the turrets. It’s intuitive to use, and I’m looking forward to refining the scope and get it dialed in to take a mule deer this fall.

Overall, I would highly recommend this scope for a lot of people. It’s not a simple beginner scope like I would recommend to a new hunter, but if you have the budget for it and the desire to step up to a more versatile scope, this is a fantastic option.

 

Athlon Optics Neos 3-9×40 Rimfire Riflescope Review

Athlon has been impressing me lately with a lot of their quality sporting optics. One of their most popular items of late has been the Neos riflescope, particularly the version designed specifically for rimfire rifles. I’d been wanting to get my hands on it for a long time after reading some excellent reviews and seeing it climb the bestseller charts, and they sent me one to put through the ringer.

First off the basic details. This is a 3-9 power scope with a 40mm objective lens. It is fully multicoated to increase light transmission. It’s tube is constructed from a single piece of aircraft grade aluminum, and it’s waterproof and nitrogen purged for fog resistance. The scope is available in three different reticle options: Center X, BDC 500 IR, and the BDC22 Rim Fire that I tested out.

I was immediately impressed by this scope. I’d been looking to get a scope on my old Savage bolt action 22 (which was my very first rifle!), which hasn’t had a scope mounted on it since I broke the cheap one that I first put on it. The Neos was a perfect fit for this great old gun of mine. It mounted without issue, and zeroed in only a few quick adjustments at the range. It looks great, like a much more expensive scope, and is definitely one that I’m going to be showing off.

The reticle is designed specifically for use with a .22lr. When zeroed at 50 yards, it has bullet drop compensation marks for 75, 100, 125, and 150 yards. That definitely gives you a lot of great options for a caliber that you won’t be using beyond that distance anyway. The second focal plane design also means you can use those drop compensation marks at any zoom setting on the scope.

The scope is simple and very user friendly. After I’d zeroed it in at 50 yards, I handed the reigns over to a couple of teenagers who were out shooting with me. They easily and intuitively picked up how to accurately take shots with this scope/rifle combo and were shooting tight groups immediately, even though in one case he had never shot a rifle before.

Overall, considering this scope can be had for just barely over a hundred dollars, I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants a scope on their 22. It makes the joy of plinking more accurate and stretches your effective distance. It’s also an obviously very high quality scope that is built to handle large calibers, so it’ll be able to take a beating. You can’t go wrong with this scope.

Athlon Optics Argos HMR 2-12x42mm Riflescope Review

I’ve tested a lot of Athlon’s binoculars over the last few years, as well as recently a spotting scope and a red dot sight. However, I hadn’t gotten ahold of one of their rifle scopes until just recently, and boy was I looking forward to putting it through the paces. Athlon is very proud of their riflescopes, and rightly so. That seems to be the area where they focus most of their energy, and customer reviews have been excellent on every scope I’ve looked at. So when they sent me their new Argos HMR 2-12x42mm, I was beyond stoked to test it out (and not only because it gave me an excuse to buy another hunting rifle).

The scope they sent me has the illuminated BDC 600A reticle in it, which is a fantastic reticle. In most of my guns I run a standard duplex type reticle, sometimes with re settable elevation turrets. However, such turrets are notoriously unreliable, and though I’ve never had any problems yet, I’ve always been tempted to try something like what this Athlon scope has. The various marks are set up to be your holds for 100-600 yards. Athlon advertises it working with a wide variety of calibers. I put this scope on a new 6.5 Creedmore Tikka Superlight, which of course shoots very flat, and the reticle isn’t perfectly dialed for it. However, it will work great for me with a 200 yard zero, with the next holds down being for 250, 325, and 415. Those are great holds for my purposes of hunting deer and elk. The illumination is also a great feature that really helps the reticle stand out. I initially had a difficult time getting focused when I first started shooting thanks to how thin the reticle is, however once I got the parallax and focus adjusted it worked great, and the illumination makes it that much better! The thin reticle of course is ideal for taking longer shots. My only complaint is that the reticle light dial is a little bit tough to move. It’s possible that it will loosen up with use, but I could imagine it being tough to work in the cold when my fingers are numb.

The Athlon Argos HMR on my new Tikka T3x Superlight in 6.5 Creedmore. This is proving to be a very deadly hunting set up!

This scope has a zoom of 2-12 power. What’s especially impressive here is that low end 2 power. The most common scope I see is a 3.9 power, so this scope not only has the ability to zoom in further, but also the ability to zoom OUT further, which can be instrumental when hunting in close quarters. It’s rare I see a scope that has that low of a minimum zoom, and I totally love it. The 42mm objective lens is also great, it keeps the scope light which is perfect for hunting purposes.

Zeroing and adjusting the scope was a breeze. I mounted it using a scope mounting kit and Talley one piece alluminum rings, which I highly recommend to create a bombproof seal between the scope and rifle. The first shots at 50 yards were almost dead on without any adjustment. After dialing in there, I went to 100 and then finally 200 to get totally zeroed in. The scope has easy to use 1/4 MOA clicks on large adjustment rings. They are also covered with screw on caps, which is by far my preferred style of scope adjustments unless you want a resettable elevation turret. I know this scope will stand up to the elements and abuses of hunting without any danger of it losing its zero.

The glass in this scope is excellent, and meets the standards of what I would expect for a scope in this price range. It doesn’t compare to something like a highend Nightforce or Schmidt & Bender, but of course it also costs a tenth of what those scopes do, and I wouldn’t dare bring something like that into the field. This scope definitely is in that sweet spot where it is a nice enough setup to do everything I need it to in the field, but it doesn’t cost so much that I feel like I need to bubble wrap the whole thing before I step out my door.

Overall, I was very impressed with this scope. I didn’t get to test out the long range holds built into the reticle yet as the ammo shortage limited my range time, but I’m looking forward to testing it more and then carrying it on some hunts in the near future! If you want to check out this scope, take a look at it on Amazon here.

Athlon Optics Midas TSR3 Red Dot Hands On Review

Athlon has been one of my favorite companies of late, as they have been producing some great optics at very competitive prices. Their red dots in particular have been getting some very positive feedback, so I was very excited when they sent me their Midas TSR3 model to test out. I ran it through its paces and was very impressed.

Athlon is selling four different red dots right now that represent four different size classes. The TSR3 is the second largest of them, and I absolutely loved this size mounted on my AR. There is no need on a gun like that to have a super compact sight. Conversely, the enormous objective and ocular lenses on this optic gave it crystal clear vision and the ability to very quickly pick up a target. After using this red dot, I don’t think I could ever go back to a smaller sight. I was also incredibly impressed with the glass quality. The model tends to be about a couple hundred bucks, and with optics in that price category sometimes the glass is hit or miss. However, Athlon did a great job here. I was very impressed, although I shouldn’t be surprised since the glass is fully multicoated and I’ve always had good luck with their products.

The Athlon Midas TSR3 mounted on my standard DPMS AR-15.

Mounting the sight was easy, just a simple wrench tightening and it was solidly on my AR’s rail, it definitely won’t be moving on accident. I ran it through a bunch of shooting, starting with zeroing. It has 1/2 MOA adjustments underneath screw on caps, which is perfect for a red dot like this and makes zeroing the sight easy. The sight has a simple two button control for dialing the brightness of the red dot. Even on the middle and lower settings, the dot was more than bright enough to work outdoors. And obviously in a lower light setting it will be highly visible.

This offering from Athlon boasts a claimed 50,000 hour battery life. It uses Smart Power Management, putting itself in sleeping mode after 5 minutes of no motion detection. This is a great feature that makes total sense on a sight like this, and I’m not sure why all red dots don’t have something similar!

Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend this red dot highly. There are a lot of good options out there when it comes to tactical sights, and this is one of the best if you are looking for something without magnification for your AR or similar rifle for close up shooting.

Rangefinders Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals 2020

If you’re in the market for a new rangefinder, or are looking for a great gift, this Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a great time to pick one up.

Here are some range finders to look for this holiday season.

Top Pick: Upland Optics Perception 1000 Laser Rangefinder

While it was just released and unlikely to be discounted so soon, Upland Optics’ new rangefinder is worth a look. We’re big fans of their binoculars, so we expect great things from this new product. With 1000 yard accuracy and weather resistance, this would make a fantastic gift for the sportsman on your holiday shopping list (or even for yourself!). Be the first to own this excellent rangefinder.

Under $100: Simmons Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder

This under $100 rangefinder offers in-view LCD and 10 to 600 yard accuracy. If you want a budget pick that will still get the job done, the Simmons rangefinder is a good option. This is a popular rangefinder for bowhunters.

Nikon Aculon Laser Rangefinder Good Deal

The Nikon Aculon is a solid rangefinder at a good price. It’s compact and lightweight, and it is optimized for 6 to 550 yards. This is a great option for bowhunters and golfers as it has great optics and is easy to carry around.

Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 with Horizontal Component Distance Rangefinder 

A little pricey, this rangefinder has excellent optics and great grips. It’s designed for the elements, so it’s weatherproof and lightweight. It features the well-known Vortex design and offers accuracy for 10 to 1000 yards.

 

Give the Gift of a Rangefinder

Many hunters and golfers want a rangefinder, but it’s often at the bottom of their “must-buy” list. That’s why a rangefinder makes a great gift for your loved ones this holiday season. Keep an eye out for sales and deals this Black Friday and Cyber Monday and into the month of December.

 

 

 

 

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Telescopes Sales & Deals of 2020

Telescopes open the way to the stars for us. They’re not the most common gift that comes on a birthday or in a stocking but they are definitely worth it. Telescopes come in a variety of sizes and powers, so it’s important to do your research beforehand.

If you’ve ever wanted to glimpse the stars, planets, nebulas, and just about everything else space has to offer, you should consider our picks for the best telescopes of 2020. Telescopes are not just for the experienced professional. Nowadays, they are becoming a lot more user and family friendly, so you can have yours set up in only a couple of hours or so.

Click here to see all Cyber Monday deals on telescopes

 

Telescopes Current & Expired Deals

As you can see, Celestron dominates a large part of the telescope market with their wide range of telescopes. If none of these telescopes appeal to you, keep in mind there are still plenty of manufacturers that produce telescopes of varying power levels and difficulty ratings.

Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker

Celestron 70mm Travel Scope

Celestron NexStar 130

Celestron NexStar 8

Gskyer Kid’s GT Telescope

Meade Instruments Infinity 70mm

 

Telescopes to Watch For

Gskyer German Technology Telescope

 

Do Telescopes Make Great Gifts?

While not exactly cheap, telescopes help us see the wonders of the universe. Not everyone can be an astronaut, but we all have chances to get unparalleled glimpses of space. A telescope makes a great gift for the budding explorer and anyone with an unquenchable curiosity.

Nowadays, some telescopes have astrophotography capabilities. Astrophotography is exactly how the name sounds. Not only will you see the uncountable number of objects in the sky, you’ll be able to save pictures of them so you can look back on them.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals and Sales for Rifle Scopes 2020

Rifle scopes are a must have for every long-range hunter. There a multitude of scopes on the market that come with different attachments and capabilities. Some are good for short range and others for long range. Check out our list of the best rifle scopes of 2020.

These tools are intricate pieces of hunting tech and require the utmost precision to maintain and use properly. We can understand why their price is so high, but this Black Friday/Cyber Monday, you can expect scopes to be on sale as hunting seasons continue and conclude around the country.

Rifle scopes make great gifts because, with proper maintenance and care, they can last you a long time. Compared to other tools and gear that a hunter uses, a rifle is one thing that you won’t have to replace every season or so. If you don’t see a rifle scope on here that you like, check out the general listing page for a complete look at the best selling available scopes.

Click here to see all scopes on sale right now!

 

Rifle Scopes: Current & Expired Deals

ATN X-Sight II 5-20x/85mm

CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope 6-24×50

UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster

Nikon ProStaff 4-12 x 40

 

Rifle Scopes to Watch For

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn

VX-1 3-9X40Mm Duplex Matte

Bushnell Trophy Xtreme X30 6-24×50

 

Why Rifle Scopes Are a Good Decision

Hunting seasons open and close year round. A rifle scope makes a great gift, especially during Black Friday/Cyber Monday when they are at their cheapest. The maintenance doesn’t just begin and end with keeping it clean. Since your scope will be tuned to your preference, consistent checking on the accuracy and measurements will ensure that its always ready for your next excursion.

You should also consider the type of railing that comes with your rifle and make sure it is the type that will fit your new rifle scope.