What You Need To Know About Rifle Scope Vs Shotgun Scope

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Using scope in the shooting rifle and shotgun is a common thing for the shooters. Scope has become one of the major accessories of the guns in order to get accurate target shooting.

Not only hunters but also target shooters are using the scopes in the guns to get proper magnification and other advantages. However, there are many reasons of using the scopes that could be the age of the shooter or hunter; eye problem that causes you can’t get focus through the iron barrel.

One thing that you must keep in mind those scopes is different for different types of guns. The scope that you have brought for your rifle can’t be usable for your shotgun.

Before you go through the stores for buying the scopes, you must know the differences. Knowing the differences will let you to buy the right scope for your gun. Moreover, features and quality of the scopes will also fix your goal and success rate in the field of hunting or shooting.

There are many differences between rifle scope and shotgun scope. For that reason, you must know the facts of rifle scope vs shotgun scope. If you do not know the differences, you may not get accurate result from the shooting.

Fact 1: Distance Limitation

The yard distance limitation is the big difference between the rifle scope and shotgun scope. When you are using a shotgun scope, you will get less than 100 yards distance limitation with the scope.

Distance Limitation

As result, this would be hard to use the scope for your rifle because you will never get more than 100 yards clear view with the scope. On the contrary, rifle scopes are made for long range shooting capability, especially more than 100 yards.

But, having the rifle scope on your shotgun will never help you because of distance specification. Moreover, you can have clear view of the target of the targeted distance.

Fact 2: Magnification Ranges

Generally, the magnification range is different of the scopes depending on the models. However, in case of the rifle scopes and shotgun scopes, you will get high variations on the magnification.

You will have a better magnification on the rifle scopes than the shotgun. Because of having long distance rifles, you will also have a good magnification on any small objects.


As the shooting range of a shotgun is restricted less than 100 yards, you will also get lower magnification ranges of the scopes. The optical zoom option should select appropriately in order to get correct magnification range to get absolute accuracy.

Fact 3: Use of Power

Using the power is something related to the magnification ranges of the scopes. Normally the scopes of the shogun can work efficiently with low power. Because of having short distance shooting ability, low power is enough to hit any little objects. 2x or 3x is enough for the shotgun ranges that means to show the target 2 times or 3 times bigger than the actual size.

Fact 2: Power

The power of the rifle scopes are usually higher because they are made for long range shooting. Unlike muzzle loader scopes, you will have 8x, 12x even 20x on some of the scopes!

As a result, you will suppose to get higher magnification, focus using higher power. The less object size, the more you need to use the power of the scope. Higher scope is recommended for shooting a 30-40 mm objective.

 Fact 4: Eye Relief

Another difference among the scopes is eye relief. The scopes for shotgun usually provide better eye relief to the users. If you use a scope for your shotgun, you will notice that this is easy to get the position zero perfectly. Moreover, the recoil is comfortable to hold in the scopes.

Eye Relief

The thing is opposite for the scopes of rifles. As they are designed for long range, this has become harder to hold the position zero. Moreover, the complexity of getting the recoil of the scope will depend on the magnification power that you have used.

Fact 5: Reticle Differences

Reticle is one of the most important thing of a scope to get accuracy on shooting. Although there are many types of shapes of a reticle of the scopes, you will get one thing common; the shooting point.

If you go through the rifle scopes, you will have not only the shooting point but also other math calculations depending on the features of the scope. Most of the scopes provide you the mathematical calculation of the average range of the object, wind flow rate, distance coverage time and others.

Rifle Reticle

On the contrary, most of the shotgun scopes only show you the shooting points. However, the shooting points could be round figure or just a dot at the middle of the scope. You will have the dot of the shooting point but hardly get the mathematical calculations.

Shotgun Reticle

The reason behind the fact is that you will need to know the caliber power, distance of the target and wind flow information for a long range shooting. As the shotgun offers you to set a distance of 75 yards or hardly 100 yards, you may not need those information.

These are the difference between the rifle scopes and shotgun scopes. Remember that you will need to know the best scopes for your gun before you purchase. There will be a lot of varieties in the market while considering buying a scope.

Most of you want to know whether you can use the rifle scope on your shotgun during hunting or target shooting practice or not. The answer is negative because the scopes are best for the gun for which they are designed and made.

If you go through the wrong scope for the gun, you will surely miss the target and get negative result. Moreover, this could hamper the gun that you are using for shooting. The best approach to buy the best scope is to watch out the recommended scopes for your purchased rifle or shotgun.

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1 comment
Mark Carey says December 14, 2017

This is very comprehensive content about rifle scope and shotgun scope. Your tips helps me very safely hunting. Thanks for sharing.

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