View Full Version : Shotgun Scope Advice

March 28, 2002, 10:20 PM
I'm looking for a shotgun scope for deer and turkey hunting. Any suggestions as to where I might find some good reviews? Any personal suggestions or advice?

March 29, 2002, 01:23 AM
I use a simmons Pro-Diamond 4 power on my Marlin 12 ga. Slug Gun for the local turkey shoots and really like it. It's held up well and has never moved after sighting it in and it's had hundreds of slug rounds shot thru it over the past two years.

They also make it in a 2 X 32, 1.5 - 5 X 20 and a 2.5 X 20. One of these might work for what you want. I did try a Tasco on the Marlin when I first got it but it only held up for a few rounds. The Simmons is a much better scope and using the different parts of the diamond makes it easy to shoot various distances with confidence as to the hold over or under.

Dave McC
March 29, 2002, 05:16 AM
Many off brand scopes lose zero practically from day/shot one. I suggest a name brand in a shotgun model. These are built to handle the kick. Leopolds are probably the best, but pricey.

Also, the saddle mounts tend to shift under use, and are as frustrating as heck. Still haven't found one that'll stay where it's supposed to. Good luck....

March 29, 2002, 05:52 AM
I'm not trying to be a smartass here, but I've often wondered about the usefulness of a shotgun scope. Given that a shotgun isn't exactly a long range weapon, are fixed sights generally enough? Educate me here. If they're as frustrating as Dave makes out, seems like money might be better spent on peep sights.

Dave McC
March 29, 2002, 06:42 AM
Guyon, that's my choice. Seven deer in the last two seasons with peeps on divers weapons. And one checked in with a longbow.

But, I hunt close and have many shot opps under 50 yards(practically all). Not everyone can do that.

IMO, there's a pressing need for a quality scope/mount combo that stays put, keeps on working and costs less than say, $300.

March 29, 2002, 08:03 AM
Dave McC:

Would you think it better to drill and tap the receiver to mount the scope rather than getting a cantilever or saddle shotgun mount?

Dave McC
March 29, 2002, 06:10 PM
Probably, but it means dedicating a shotgun to just scope style deer hunting. I could do it, with my plethora of 870s, but haven't since what I use works so well.

I've no experience with cantilevers, and my experiences with saddle mounts were not good.Keeping a zero past 5 or 6 shots seems impossible. Maybe they've improved, but I'm not holding my breath...

The KISS principle applies here. Many repeater receivers are thin metal, and getting enough thread is difficult, but possible. Once mounted, I'd be tempted to leave a scope on permanently.

With my old eyes,going to a scope would make sense, but I'm doing OK with the peep. I am switching over to LH, the eye on that side focuses better than the right. Last doe taken this last season was a left handed shot.

March 30, 2002, 05:19 AM
You might be surprised how far a decent slug gun will shoot. At our last slug match of the fall we had a 28" steel circle at 165 yards. We had 12 shooters on the line. This was shot offhand and 8 out of the twelve hit it the first time thru, many hit it the second and I think it took 4 rounds to finally find the winner. The club is basically a muzzle loading club that puts on slug matches in the fall, the guys running it didn't think anyone would hit it with the slug guns but were amazed that they would shoot that far accurately. We also shoot a 8" circle at 70 yards, the guys that hit it move on and have to shoot a the 4" circle.. Even then it might take a couple of rounds to thin them out. I remember one match hitting the circles 8 times to finally win that match.

People don't give enough credit to a good slug gun. Most people do not take the time to work with them and find what works in their gun or take the time to learn to shoot them well. They are not an easy gun to shoot well. Everyone shoots them but when you're trying to squeeze the trigger and thinking it's the same a s a 22 and knowing it's going to rock you it's a bit tougher than it might seem.

I don't think that a shot should be more than a 50 yards for most guys and 100 yards for the fella than really knows his gun and does his homework. The new sabots work well in the rifled barrels and even a smoothbore will shoot the rifled slug well if you find the right one that works in your particular gun.

A few of the shooters use a red dot and for hunging I'd probably lean that way also. I've had good luck with the Tasco on my handguns and they have held up well even on my handcannons. I bet it would even work well on a shot barrel, might have to try that some day.

I agree that a good mount is probably more important than the brand of scope you put on it. Luckily my Marlin had a very good cantilever style mount that has never given me any problems, if you're leaning towards a scope it would probably pay to have a really good mount made and or mounted by a custom gunsmith. I use SSK for all my handguns and I bet they could come up with a good mount for your shotgun also.

There is one ole' timer at the matches that uses peep sights, he does very well also.... he knows how to use them and he's tough on the 25 and 50 yard targets.

Dave McC
March 30, 2002, 07:03 AM
At a Redneck Jamboree a few years ago, I kept ringing a 12" gong at 130 yards offhand.That was with a peep, my Deer 870, and Winchester 1 oz HP Slugs. Slugs, with the right equipment, are capable of more than most will credit them for.

Given unlimited funds, I'd probably set up a bolt action slug rifle w/ scope, but I'm not holding my breath waiting. Meanwhile, the freezer's full of venison.

March 30, 2002, 09:21 AM
I have a Leuopld 1-4 power Shotgun Scope on my Mossberg 695 bolt action. Sure the scope cost more than the gun, but ..... I've always had this thing for high quality optics, and I've NEVER had one fail on me.

Good luck with your decision!