Scopes for Slug Guns.
Slug-gun scopes normally range from about 1X to 4X although some makers offer variables in the 2-7X range. Most of these scopes feature extended eye relief, allowing them to be mounted farther from the shooter's eye than a normal riflescope. Don't underestimate eye relief; if the scope is too close to the eye, the shooter sees only a small area of actual magnification and risks getting "scope bit."
The rundown of scopes is impressive as almost all manufacturers offer a scope for shotgunners. Here are just a few.
Three of Simmons' shotgun scopes utilize an exclusive ProDiamond reticle in which a center diamond bisected by a fine crosshair. This feature is available in the 7791D (1.5-5x20), 7789D (2x32) and 7790D (4x32) models. The inside of the diamond covers 14 inches at 40 yards, about the size of a whitetail's vital zone.
Bushnell produced two new scopes this year with the shotgunner in mind. The Banner 1-4x32 and 4x32 feature the firm's Circle Plex reticle--a broad outer crosshair joins an aiming circle in the center, and within that circle is a fine crosshair. The fixed-power version's parallax is set at 50 yards, which is a boon to short-range shooting.
Weaver, a traditional name in scopes, offers its V3 1-3x20 matte black scope with extended eye relief that allows the optic to be mounted farther forward on the slug gun.
Leupold & Stevens sells all the scope powers a slug gunner could ever need: 4X, 1-4X and 2-7X. Both Vari-X II variables and the fixed M8 4X have 33mm objectives, and they come in a matte finish. The variables offer four choices of reticles--Duplex, CPC (a steady-tapering version of the Duplex), Leupold Dot and Post & Duplex--and hunters can select the M8 with either a Duplex or German No. 1 reticle.
Burns makes a red-dot sight (SpeedDot 135) and two traditional scopes (the iX XER and 2.5 Fullfield) specifically for slug and muzzleloader shooting. The latter two models offer large fields of view, and both come in nonreflective matte black finishes. Characteristic of all Burns scopes, they offer easy-to-zero, finger-adjustable windage and elevations adjustments.
BSA now offers its popular Catseye 1.5-4.5X with an illuminated, European-style reticle. The scope features five inches of eye relief, and with the flick of a tiny switch on top of the scope, the reticles turn bright red.
Zeiss's Varipoint VM/V 1.5-6x42 T* is a multi-purpose riflescope with an illuminated dot ideal for shooting in dim conditions. This capability is enhanced by the company's T* coating.
Nikon's Monarch UCC Sabot/Slug 1.5-4.5x20 features the company's proprietary Ultra ClearCoat lens coating, which, according to the manufacturer, transmits 95 percent of available light. It boasts 3% inches of eye relief.
The Kahles 1.5-6x42 is built on a 30mm tube, and it is available in two lighted reticle styles; one is based on the European style, but instead of a completely intersecting crosshair, it sports a red dot at the junction; the other is a lighted plex-style reticle where the thinner portion is illuminated.
Swarovski's 3-9x36 is built on a one-inch tube and features the 4A reticle, essentially a European-style, post-based reticle. Another option is the 1.254x24, built on a 30mm tube; get it with the No. 24 ring reticle--a plex crosshair meeting a circle that encloses a dot aiming point.
Leica's three Ultravid variable power scopes include a 1.75-6x32mm model that is available with LeicaPlex, HeavyLeicaPlex reticle or Post & Plex reticles. All reticles are positioned by low-profile positive click finger adjustments and are calibrated for 1/4 MOA. The scopes offer generous reticle adjustments for both elevation and windage, while reticles maintain a constant size at all power settings.
Swedish-made Aimpoint 3000 (one-inch rings) and 5000 (30mm rings) scopes provide an electronic red dot in the center of the sight as an aiming point. On both models, the red dot covers three inches at 100 yards, and the sights are especially useful in low light.
Pentax's Lightseeker Zero-X SG Plus, available in matte black or camo, offers no magnification, permitting sighting with both eyes. Its Deepwoods Flex Reticle combines a crosshair with a circle that encompasses 30 inches at 40 yards.
Sightron shotgun scopes are built to withstand the heaviest recoil, and its SII series 2.5x20 and 2.5-7x32 scopes give wide fields of view. The 2.5-7X model features the company's Double Diamond reticle; at 4X, the outside, thick diamond has a 30-inch spread while the thinner inside diamond has a 15-inch bracket area.
Tasco's Bantam lineup features two fixed-power 2.5X scopes with a generous six inches of eye relief. The 20mm objective version weighs 7.5 ounces and the 32mm model weighs nine ounces. Both have the Pro Shot reticle, which provides an inner, center circle for an exact aiming point and works as a rangefinder, too.