Understanding a Shotgun Scope

People commonly wonder if there is really a difference between a shotgun scope and a rifle scope, and if they can use them interchangeably.  Since a shotgun and a rifle recoil differently, the question people often ask is if the recoil from one type of gun will destroy the scope of another.

Gun Recoil

The recoil of a shotgun and a rifle definitely is different.  A shotgun's recoil is usually much more powerful than a rifle's recoil.  Shotgun slugs are large and very heavy, and the recoil associated with them is quite strong.  A 12 gauge shotgun, for instance, is approximately 70 caliber, which is much more than your average 30 caliber rifle.  With this in mind, the size and weight of the bullet is obviously quite different, and this partly determines the amount of recoil.

Difference in Eye Relief

Another important difference between a shotgun scope and a rifle scope is in the eye relief.  A rifle scope has a shorter eye relief, putting your eye in closer proximity to the rifle scope's eyepiece.  The shotgun has a longer eye relief, allowing your eye more distance.  If you try to put a rifle scope onto a shotgun, you'll have a shorter eye relief than you need, and this, along with the recoil, will probably cause the eyepiece to hit you in the eye or eyebrow.  Clearly, this indicates that the rifle scopes should be used for their specific type of gun, only.

A Few Examples

Just as there are many, many rifle scopes on the market today, there are also many shotgun scopes. These scopes are tailor made for the needs of the shotgun user.  The Nikon 3-9mm SlugHunter shotgun scope lets you be as far back as 200 yards while still getting a clear view.  It's a great match for a powerful slug loading gun like a shotgun.  It includes bright optics, precise click adjustments, and waterproof and fogproof performance.   Another company, B-Square, makes many shotgun scopes.  Their scopes include an aluminum alloy saddle mount and a scope with a duplex reticle, 6" eye relief, and a multicoated lense that eliminates fog buildup. If you're looking to use your shotgun for hunting and you want added accuracy, then you will certainly want to purchase a shotgun scope.  Don't just assume that all scopes are the same, and that a rifle scope is the same as a shotgun scope.   Popular guns-the harrington and richardson shotguns- for example, require specific scopes. However, do your own research and get the scope that is right for your specific type of gun. This way you can have fun being accurate with your hunting experience.