What Is The Difference Between A Shotgun Scope And A Rifle Scope?

Using a scope is the most common thing that happens in shooting. However, since these tools are standard, you need to understand the difference to get the right one.

Besides, to get an accurate shot, you need to understand the difference between a shotgun scope and a rifle.

One factor you should remember is that the scope is different for various types of guns. Therefore, before you head to any shop, you should know the differences.

Knowing the difference will help you buy the proper scope for your weapon. Let’s have a look!

Difference Between A Shotgun Scope And A Rifle Scope

Difference Between A Shotgun Scope And A Rifle Scope: With Major 5 Difference

1.The Reticle Difference

A reticle is one of the essential parts of a scope that will answer the difference between a shotgun scope and a rifle scope.

Besides, it is one of the essential parts that bring about accuracy in shooting. Additionally, there are various shapes of the reticle for different scopes, but one common thing is the shooting point.

The rifle scopes come with a shooting point and calculations according to the features of the tool.

If you review the rifle scope, you will find out that most of these kinds of scopes offer a mathematical rot: the rate of wind flow, the average range of the object, distance covered, among many more.

On the other hand, with shotguns, you will have to consider a good scope for a shotgun?

It is because shotguns only show the shooting points. Sometimes, the shooting point could be a round figure or just a dot at the center of the tool.

Therefore you could get the shooting point but lack a mathematical calculation. Moreover, it will need you to calibrate some of the features for long-distance shooting.

2.Eye Relief

Can you use a rifle scope on a shotgun? To understand and have the proper scope, you need to check through the eye relief feature, recoil, and practical range issue.

With a shotgun scope, you will have a more extended eye relief than the rifle scope.

The shotgun scope is made because shotguns use more recoil (kickback) compared to long-range rifles.

With a shotgun scope eye relief, you will notice that it is easy to get the position and the target correctly, and it is safe for your eye.

If you use a rifle scope in a shotgun, you will have shorter eye relief, so it may harm your eye when the shotgun produces standard recoil.

The effective range generally means in a particular range (or distance), a firearm performs precisely or hits the target accurately.

In general, a shot gun’s effective range is a maximum of 100 yards, whereas a standard rifle’s effective range is 300 yards plus.

So it is evident, shotgun scope and rifle scope built for different purposes.

So, should you use a rifle scope on a shotgun?  In considering eye safety and effective performance, my recommendation is not to use a rifle scope on a shotgun, if possible.


The limitation of the distance is also another significant factor that will differentiate rifle scope vs. shotgun scope.

If you are using the shotgun scope, you will notice that you tend to get less than 100 yards of the limited scope.

With such a situation, it isn’t easy to use the scope for your rifle since you will get more than 100 yards clear with the yard.

The rifle scope comes in handy as it is designed for long-distance shooting. You can correctly use the tool, and it will serve great for more than 100 yards.

Can you use a shotgun scope on a rifle? Having this tool on your long-range rifle will not be effective due to the distance specifications.

However, if you cannot manage a rifle scope in the shooting time and only get your hand on a shotgun scope, then you can go for it.

A shotgun scope is better than no rifle scope, right? (Something is better than nothing?)

4.Power Usage

The rifle scopes usually come with higher use of power since they are suitable for extended shooting.

Besides, if the object is small, it will tend to use more high power. At a higher scope, you can quickly shoot about 30-40 mm objects. Besides, the use of power is related to the magnification of the scopes.

The scopes of the shotgun work well with low power. With a short distance shot, low power is enough to hit any tiny objects.

Can I use a crossbow scope on a shotgun? Yes, it will be helpful as it engineers shooting short, accurate distances.


In general, the rate of magnification depends on the model of the scopes. The two models offer variance in magnification.

A rifle gun provides better magnification as compared to a shotgun. Because of long-distance rifles, which give an excellent magnification on any target object.

Does vortex make a shotgun scope? Yes, it is an excellent material that enhances the functionality of the device.


Above are some of the key differences between the rifle and shotgun scope. Besides, note that it is essential to know the factors to choose the proper scope in the market.

You also need to understand that you will miss the target if you get the wrong scope. I hope this above Riflescope vs. shotgun scope explanation will mature your decision-making judgment while buying your scope.

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