Gear Reviews

Best Turkey Shotgun Scope & Optic: They Make A Huge Difference

Best Turkey Shotgun Scope
Andrew McKay
Written by Andrew McKay

You are probably wondering why you need a shotgun scope or optic for turkey hunting. Not all hunters use scopes for hunting for turkeys, but there are a few things to consider when you decide if you want one or not.

Hunting turkeys takes work and can be time consuming, so when you finally get that shot, you want it to count!

Reasons to Consider a Shotgun Scope

Shotgun Scope

Some hunters will argue that a shotgun scope is just another thing to worry about or break. You might also hear that it is not worth the weight since turkeys often close shots.

I personally think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and an extra pound or so does not bother me.

Even though the bird may be close and the pattern is large, the same advantages are found when shooting any gun with a scope.

  • An optic forces you to focus on the front site and get into the correct position to shoot. It minimizes shooter error.
  • You are going to miss fewer turkeys – period. A scope forces you to site the bird at long or close range.
  • It’s a fact that your depth of focus is going to decrease as you get older. A scope lines up the bird at a distance and helps compensate for the loss.

This article will suggest some of my top picks, and then take you through the pros and cons of specific scopes.

Our Top Picks

ProductWeightShock ResistantWaterproofPrice
TRUGLO Traditional 30mm Red-Dot Sight7 ouncesYesYesCheck price on Amazon
Simmons Truplex Riflescope (3-9X40, Matte)10 ouncesNoYesCheck price on Amazon
Bushnell Trophy Shotgun Scope with Circle-X Reticle, 1.75-4 x 32mm, Matte Black16 ouncesYesYesCheck price on Amazon
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x20mm, Black3.7 ouncesYesYesCheck price on Amazon
TRUGLO 4x32mm Compact Rimfire and Shotgun Scope Series18 ouncesYesYesCheck price on Amazon
Sightmark Mini Shot M-Spec LQD Reflex Sight7.6 ouncesYesYesCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider

There are several important features to consider when purchasing your scope. I’ll briefly take you through them so you can make an informed decision. A good scope is not cheap.

Weight and Dimensions

Shotgun Scope

Keep your scope light. It’s no fun to walk several miles with weight and then have to trudge back with your two large Toms.

You can purchase a good scope for around a pound, and less than 18 inches. Dimensions and size will vary, but these are a couple of general guidelines.

Crosshair

Scope Crosshair

The cross-hair in your scope forces you to focus on your shot. Your shots are more accurate, and the misses reduced.

A cross-hair or aiming point is also referred to as a reticle, and there are several types to consider. This article on Reticles does a nice job of describing the different types and uses.

  • Bullet Drop Compensating Reticles
  • MilDot Reticle
  • Illuminated Reticles

Clear

Turkey Scope Clarity

When hunting for turkey, your target is often close. It is important your scope optics be crisp and clear, but you don’t need high resolution. Make sure you have a clear view of your target and you should be in good shape.

Shock Resistance and Durability

Scope Durability

There are a few things to consider when it comes to durability.

You are going to be out in the woods, and potentially moving fast if hunting something other than turkey, like rabbits. Make sure you have a scope that is going to hold up to being handled and moved around a lot in tough terrain.

Weather is another factor. It may be cold, rainy (especially during turkey season), snowy, etc. Your scope needs to be able to stand up to these conditions.

Finally, don’t forget recoil. A shotgun typically has a good bit of recoil, so make sure the scope you choose is shock-resistant.

Magnification

Scope Magnification

The correct magnification is important for a turkey scope. You won’t be shooting from far away, so a 2-7 32mm is acceptable. Ultimately, magnification is a personal choice.

Keep in mind that with a scope, you won’t have as much eye relief as you will with a red dot, and it will be harder to swing around to sight a fast-moving bird.

Top Product Reviews

Below is additional detail on the scopes listed in the table above.

TRUGLO Traditional 30mm Red-Dot Sight

Truglo Red-Dot Sight 30mm APG
  • Weight: 7 ounces
  • Dimensions: 9 x 5.8 x 2 inches
  • Specific features: Adaptable, has a flip lens, eye relief, elevation adjustment
  • Weight: 7 ounces
  • Best use: Low light, short distances

The Truglo Red-Dot APG Scope is a versatile red dot that can mount on a Weaver or a Picatinny mount. The ability to adapt it for different mounting systems is one of its strengths.

The 5-MOA red-dot reticle is crisp and clear, providing optics often found in more expensive red-dot scopes. The lens is clear, and you have a nice wide view, and with a lower magnification, this is an ideal red-dot for a shotgun.

At this price point, you will be hard-pressed to find a more durable optic that is dependable and reliable when you need it.

PROS

  • Great price
  • Good eye relief
  • Wide field of view
  • Versatile/Easy Mounting

CONS

  • Durability/Quality complaints
  • Covers not attached to sights
  • The red dot is not a sharp dot
  • Screw covers instead of twist knobs

Check Price & Specs

Simmons Truplex Riflescope (3-9X40, Matte)

Simmons ProHunter ProDiamond Scope
  • Weight: 10.08 ounces
  • Dimensions: 15.40 x 3.10 x 3.30 inches
  • Specific features: Wide view, non-reflective coating, multi-coated lenses
  • Best use: Low light, a short distance

This is a budget scope at a low price, but it receives strong reviews. If you prefer a scope instead of a red-dot this scope provides a good magnification range @ 3-9 x 40mm.

The Simmons Truplex is a simple, sleek scope with features found in higher priced models – 8-point riflescope, Fully-coated optics, 1-4-MOA SureGrip audible-click windage, and elevation adjustments, Waterproof, fog proof, recoil proof, Truplex reticle.

If you are considering moving to a scope on your shotgun, give this scope a try. You might find that your “test scope” ends up becoming your “permanent scope.”

PROS

  • Sleek, low profile design
  • Low price
  • Durable against recoil
  • Versatile/Easy Mounting

CONS

  • Some durability/Quality complaints, ie., plastic knobs
  • Adjustments click a little “mushy”
  • Average eye relief
  • Some parallax complains

Check Price & Specs

Bushnell Trophy Shotgun Scope with Circle-X Reticle, 1.75-4 x 32mm, Matte Black

Weight: 16 ounces

Dimensions: 16.25 x 3 x 2.5 inches

Specific features: Low profile, shock proof, waterproof, fog proof

Best use: Moving turkey, harsh weather and terrain

The Bushnell Trophy Circle-X Scope is very light in weight and sits low on the shotgun. You don’t have to worry about recoil or alignment with this scope. The optics are great, with a multi-coating lens and high clarity of your view. That means this scope is great for low-light situations.

The high contrast is great, as you can discern the turkey from the background. Great for short distances, it has a low magnification as you don’t need anything powerful when hunting for turkey. Plus, you get a large field of vision from the scope and you can see any intrusions in your view with ease.

The camouflaged exterior hides well in the wooded environment, and the scope does not give off any glare that may send your turkey running. Highly dependable, this scope is hard-pressed to be destroyed, and even the lenses are reliable and tough. You will love the shockproof, fog proof, and waterproof features, too.

PROS:

  • Nitrogen filled to keep the fog away, also waterproof and shock proof
  • Long life
  • Durable against any weather
 CONS:

  • Some hunters found it hard to get to True Zero
  • Somewhat expensive for some hunters

Related: The Weaver Quad Lock Detachable Rings are made of high-quality materials and can have a quad lock to keep everything secure. Great for extra grip, it is lightweight and made of aluminum.

Check Price & Specs

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x20mm, Black

Weight: 3.7 ounces

Dimensions: 5.4 x 3.4 x 2.2 inches

Specific features: Compact, Very Light, 1x Magnification

Best use: Low light, close targets, tough terrain

The Bushnell Tasco Riflescope is known for being high in clarity and has great optics overall. The design is sleek and easy to use, and it’s built to last many years. The scope itself is compact and is made for shotguns and rifles and black powder hunting. This scope can handle heavy timbers or thicker brush areas.

You will love how durable this shotgun scope is as well as the shockproof, fog proof, and waterproof features. This makes it easier to use in any weather, from rain to snow to humid conditions. There is a 1-inch tube in it, and it also features multi-coated optics, which makes the transmission of light pretty bright and clear for you to shoot your turkey successfully!

Decently priced, users love this rifle scope for many reasons, but mainly for the clarity, ease of use, and the ability to use it in all types of weather conditions.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Shock proof, fog proof and waterproof
 CONS:

  • No illuminated reticle
  • Rings and base are not attached to scope upon arrival

Related: If you would like a more comfortable piece for your eye while you look through your scope, consider the UTG Rubber Scope Eyeshade as it is made for various sizes, made from rubber, and comes with an adapter kit for ease of use.

Check Price & Specs

TRUGLO 4x32mm Compact Rimfire and Shotgun Scope Series

Weight: 11.4 ounces

Dimensions:10.5 x 4.9 x 3  inches

Specific features: Weaver style rings, Diamond reticle, 4″ eye relief, fully-coated lenses

Best use: All types of weather

The Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Riflescope is one tough scope. Made with high-quality optics and materials, it is designed nicely and made to last you many years into the future. This scope is matte black, affordable, and very light to use.

The features of this scope are many, and that’s what users like best; having many features to use and tinker with. So not only will you get a wide view of sight, but you will find that this scope is fog proof, waterproof, and shockproof, too. One nice extra is the rain guard lens coating so that you can use it in any weather.

The clarity and the contrast are amazing, making this scope perfect for various kinds of hunting, not just for turkey. With a 1.75 to 4x magnification, you will see there are 3.5 inches of eye relief and that the scope is easy to adjust, as well as mount and dismount.

PROS:

  • Wide view
  • Waterproof, fog proof, and shock proof
  • Great for many types of hunting
 CONS:

  • Appears as if you are looking through a tunnel
  • Eye relief is too harsh

Related: If you need some 2 piece rings to go around the scope to keep it on your shotgun, the AccuShot Picatinny/Weaver Rings will work for you. They are made to use every day and can work with scopes up to 61 mm.

Check Price & Specs

Sightmark Mini Shot M-Spec LQD Reflex Sight

Weight: 7.6 ounces

Dimensions: 3.7 x 1.8 x 2.2 inches

Specific features: light weight, 10 brightness settings, waterproof

Best use: All weather, close-range precision

Users can’t say enough about the Sightmark Mini Shot M-Spec LQD Reflex Sight! This scope is fully coated to have a brighter view no matter if you are out during dusk or late night and early mornings. You will see that the view is clear with high contrast, and the scope allows you to hone in on a moving turkey.

You will love the quick finger adjustments for the wind and elevation, which help you get your shot successfully. The eye relief is quite nice and will not strain your eyes as you look for your next trophy turkey. The low magnification is nice for a shorter range of distances, and you can shoot easily in brush or bushy areas.

The look of the scope is nice, and it is built to last for many years in harsh terrains. Users love that it is fog, moisture, and shockproof, so it has the ability to work in any weather type.

PROS:

  • Great clarity
  • Easy to use, quick finger adjustments
  • Multi coated lenses
 CONS:

  • Very pricey versus others
  • Circle in the scope should be bigger

Related: While turkey hunting, you can make the turkey come to you with a turkey call! The Woodhaven Custom Calls Turkey Call comes in a 3 pack and is highly durable and versatile so that you can change calls.

Check Price & Specs

Concluding Thoughts

That is the end! We hope you have found what we had to say informative about turkey shotgun scopes. The features to consider will be important when you are in the market for a new scope, so we hope you keep them in mind.

The importance of brightness, magnification, clarity, and other factors will ensure you get the best shotgun scope for your next hunting trip. You will surely see your accuracy improve and have a better time hunting because you know you have what you need to make a successful shot using the scope.

Shotgun Scope

Keep in mind that your scope does not need to be very pricey, but it should be very tough and handle whatever your shotgun does. We hope your next hunting trip is better because of a shotgun scope!

Thank you for reading our article, and I hope you have taken away a lot of new information about turkey shotgun scopes. If we have missed anything or have any stories for us, please leave them in the comments section below. As always, thank you for reading!

About the Author

Andrew McKay

Andrew McKay

Andrew McKay is a seasoned hunter and fisherman from Anchorage, Alaska. Andrew thinks that he is the luckiest person in the world, as he lives in the most gorgeous place in United States and does what he loves to do. As a member of Alaska Professional Hunters Association and International Hunter Education Association, he is always looking for the ways to improve his skills and to teach people around him.