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The 5 Best Scopes for a Mossberg 500

The best scope for a Mossberg 500 is the VX Freedom 3-9X40mm. Made of aircraft-grade aluminum, it’s an all-around quality scope at an affordable price. However, if you need a scope that quickly adjusts to different ranges, consider the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm scope.

Keep reading to see a roundup of some of the best shotgun sights available on the market.

Best Overall: Leupold VX Freedom

The VX Freedom 3-9X40mm scope from Leupold was introduced in 2018, replacing the VX-2 with a well-rounded line of scopes that have excellent optics and rugged design at a relatively affordable price. The one-inch (2.54 cm) main tube is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and features a scratch-resistant finish.

The Twilight Management system improves the image quality of the scope in low-light conditions, as well as cutting down on glare in the process. The eye relief on this scope is between 3.7 and 4.2 inches (9.3-10.6cm), making it very comfortable to shoot for individuals with smaller or larger proportions.

The scope also comes with a lifetime warranty if it ends up malfunctioning somewhere down the line. This is an excellent value for the price point and a really great all-around scope.

Best Middle Ground: Vortex Optics Diamondback

The Vortex Optics Diamondback line of sights is well known for the clarity of its multi-coated glass and argon-purged fog proofing. This scope features a fast-focus eyepiece that allows you to acquire your target and place your shot with speed and precision. The scope is also fully weatherproofed, to boot, making it a good choice if you expect to be facing all kinds of weather.

The turrets are finger-adjustable, which avoids the need for a screwdriver. The scope does lack parallax adjustment. However, since you’ll likely be hunting at relatively short ranges with your Mossberg 500, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

The Diamondback line also comes in a wide variety of variants, including tactical variants that offer greater scope, repeatability, and a wider range of power. However, these other variants will be more expensive than the basic model.

Here’s a video of a review of the product:

Best Adjustable Optics: Vortex Strike Eagle

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm scope is a Low Powered Variable Optic with parallax adjustment made from aircraft-grade aluminum for a solid, easily adjustable experience. The scope is nitrogen purged, making it resistant to fog, and it features ArmorTek coatings on the lenses for superior scratch resistance.

Shooters will notice the reticle design doesn’t feature an actual central crosshair. The reticle instead consists of an illuminated semicircular icon with hashes and a dot at the center. The semicircle works well for quick target acquisition, while the dot and hashes allow for more precise shots at higher magnification.

The magnification can also easily be adjusted with a rotating turret that stays in place quite well. The Strike Eagle is a great option if you want an easily adjustable scope that can be adapted to different ranges quickly and easily.

Best Bang for Your Buck: Burris Fullfield E1

The Burris Fullfield E1 3-9X40mm is a great budget scope that performs really well with the Mossberg 500, considering the price. The reticle features “cascading windage and elevation dots”, which allow shooters to easily adjust the scope for ranges up to 500 yards (457.2 meters).

The scope also features HiLume multi-coated lenses to reduce glare and improve light collection. The parallax adjustment is a nice feature for scopes in this price range. The scope is also nitrogen purged to cut down on internal fogging. The E1 is fully waterproof and shockproof.

The rugged design of the scope holds up well to regular use and is protected by a lifetime warranty. If you’re in the market for a decent scope that won’t break the bank, then the Burris Fullfield E1 is probably your best bet.

Best for Closer Targets: Eotech EXPS2-0

If you’re willing to spend a little bit more, and you want something good for things more up-close, then the Eotech EXPS2-0 might be right for you. This isn’t actually a scope, but it is one of the best sights available for a Mossberg 500 in this price range. Eotech sights may be a bit more expensive, but this is much more cost-effective than some of their more military-grade sights.

The EXPS2-0 has a 1.2 x 0.85 inch (3.048 x 2.159 cm) viewing window, which is actually wide enough for the iron sights on the shotgun to still be usable. The EXPS2-0 has infinite eye relief, making it a good option no matter how far your eye is from the sight itself. The brightness of the reticle can be easily adjusted, and the optic actually has a quick-release lever on the bottom for easily removing or replacing the sight.

The adjustments happen in ½ MOA clicks, requiring a screwdriver or a coin to adjust the knobs. This ensures that your sight won’t get bonked all over the place when you’re moving your shotgun around.

Why Use a Scope on a Shotgun?

Hunting with a shotgun is a great experience. The main advantage of using a shotgun for hunting is the spread of the shot. This makes shotguns the gun of choice for many hunters shooting waterfowl or other birds that are easier to hit in flight with a large shot pattern. 

Still, it may seem strange to mount a rifle scope on a shotgun. Nonetheless, there are many advantages to using a scope that apply to shotgun hunting as well as hunting with rifles.

Using a scope or other enhanced optics on a shotgun helps speed up target acquisition and improve target visibility and range judgment. It also compensates for other factors, like slug drop-off, and consolidates sight into a single point, rather than relying on two points of focus to align the shot.

Especially if shooting smaller games at longer ranges, using a scope can have a substantial positive effect on your shot placement.

Of course, there are different types of scopes that are more suited to use with shotguns than others. The main difference will be magnification. While rifles can be used effectively at ranges up to or even exceeding 500 yards (457.2 meters), shotgun hunting typically happens at much shorter distances. For example, most duck hunting shots take place at around 40 yards (36.5 meters).

What Makes a Good Shotgun Scope?

A good shotgun scope will be effective at a variety of relatively short ranges and enhance your visibility and target acquisition for distances suited to shotguns. Easily adjustable scopes and scopes with good repeatability are also preferable when hunting with a shotgun.

The specific qualities of a good scope will vary according to what you’re shooting at, but precise shot placement, drop compensation, and value are the most important considerations.

Conversely, some rifle scopes will be incapable of physically mounting on a shotgun. Others will have very high magnification powers that won’t be necessary when hunting game with a shotgun. A good shotgun sight will also typically have more eye relief compared to a rifle, as you’ll be leaning less into the scope when aiming your shot.

The recoil threshold is another important point about shotgun scopes. Some rifle scopes that perform well at lower calibers may not hold up as well to the increased recoil of a shotgun. All of these things are important considerations when selecting a scope for your Mossberg 500.

For more, check out The 9 Best Quality Night Sight Brands.