How To Sight In A Slug Gun Scope

A slug gun is the bear of the rifle world, and shooting one is like being kicked by a mule. Scopes for these guns need to be low magnification, if any, and be tough enough to be able to withstand the abuse they’re going to take from the recoil. When you do have the perfect scope, you will want to zero it in as much as possible. Follow along with this guide to learn just how to sight in a slug gun scope.

how to sight in a slug gun scope

Items Needed For This Tutorial

Slug Gun With Scope Mounted – Your slug gun with the scope of your choice mounted securely on it. The scope should be low powered, as your ideal sight-in range is only about 50-yards, and you probably won’t be shooting at anything beyond 100 or 150-yards while hunting.

Target With Appropriate Range – You want a nice, safe shooting location with a good bulls-eye target so you can judge accurately where your shots are landing. For a slug gun, you want to sight in your scope no further than 50-yards. Slugs are very heavy and drop quickly, and even slight wind can alter the course of your slug. If you sight in at 50-yards for 2-3 inches above dead center, you should be hitting right on at 100-yards out during your hunt.

Lots Of Padding Or Rifle Rest – If you are sighting in just shooting as you would while hunting, you want to be sure that you have lots of padding on. The recoil is quite intense and can feel like being hit by a baseball bat. Without proper padding, you may not be able to stand fully sighting in your gun.

The other and possibly better option is to use a heavily weighted rest, like a lead sled, and strap the gun down so that it doesn’t just jump off the rest with the recoil.

Secure Rest Surface – If you are securing your gun in a rifle rest to sight in, you are going to also want a very secure surface to rest the gun rest on. A portable, folding plastic table is not going to cut it. The recoil will knock the whole table over, and the goal here is to not injure yourself. You are looking for something like a concrete bench.

Eye And Ear Protection – Without question, you will need eye and ear protection. This is very important so don’t forget your safety glasses and earplugs!

Sharpie Marker – You will use this to make marks where you want to be hitting when you aim for bulls-eye.

How To Sight In A Slug Gun Scope

For this guide, we are going to secure the gun to a rest. This makes for a more accurate sight-in and saves your shoulders for another day. Also, at a 50-yard sight-in, we are going to sight the gun about 2 inches high, which should out you pretty accurate at 100-yard after bullet drop.

Step 1 – Setting Up Your Target

Set up your target 50-yards from your bench. You probably will only be shooting while hunting at between 50 and 150-yards, so this is the best place to zero the scope. You are going to want to make a mark in a spot between 2 and 3 inches above the bulls-eye. This will put you just about dead-on at 100-yards.

Step 2 – Setting Up Your Gun And Rest

Set the Lead-Sled or rest of your choice up on the shooting bench. Secure the gun in the rest, making sure that it is centered on bulls-eye.

Step 3 – Get Ready

Double check that your scope’s reticle is on the bulls-eye. Put on your safety glasses and earplugs. These guns are loud!

Step 4 – First Shot

Take your first shot. If it hits your aiming point above the bulls-eye, it’s already where you want it. If not, it’s time to make adjustments.

Step 5 – Adjustments

For this application, you want your slug to hit approximately 2 inches above bulls-eye while your reticle is centered on bulls-eye. So, wherever your shot landed, go and make a mark with your sharpie approximately 2 inches lower than that.

This will act as a phantom bulls-eye. Now physically move your gun so that it’s pointing that direction, and make sure the reticle is centered on your phantom bulls-eye mark, so that the actual hole in the target is situated 2 inches above that. Leaving the gun in place, adjust your scope and move the reticle back to the actual target bulls-eye. This should give you the shot placement you want.

Step 6 – Second Shot

Take your second shot. It should be right about where you want it landing now. Take a few more shots to be sure. That’s all there is to it!

Common Questions

Why would I want a low powered scope for my slug gun? – A slug gun is a shotgun and just doesn’t have the range that another hunting rifle would have. Your hunting distance is only going to be somewhere between 50-150 yards. The slug is going to drop drastically after this range. Since you don’t have the distance, you want a scope that will be low powered or true 1x, but give you optical clarity, anti-fog qualities, and a good reticle.


You now know how to sight in a slug gun scope. I hope that this guide has been helpful to you for properly sighting in your slug gun. The only funky thing to remember about this gun as opposed to other rifles is the short range you have to work with and that 2-inch play you want above the bulls-eye. Ultimately, you are going for that 100-yard shot, but 50-yards is much easier to work with for these guns. Like with any other rifle, play around with it a bit until you are comfortable with the shot placement and keep on practicing.

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