The Best Shotgun Sights: Iron, Ghos Ring, Fiber
Some of you may have seen your grandfather or older shooters lick their finger and touch the bead sight on their shotgun. Why was this done? There are many explanations and Hollywood has created some of the reasons but the one that makes the most sense is that the moisture puts a little shine on the sight. Some might say they do not need a shine and may need the sight blackened with a smudge pot as some used to do. It simply proves that everyone has his or her own techniques and style. The soot from the smudge was flat black and did not give off any reflection. In other words absolutely no glare. If the color of the front bead is the same as your target you may have a hard time distinguishing the two so on occasion you may need a contrast for better accuracy.
Different Types of Shotgun Sights
Shotguns can have bead sights, double bead sights, sights with a ventilated rib line, ghost ring sights, red dot scopes, blade sights, rear notched sights with a front post and magnifying scopes.
Typically, scopes are used when firing rifled slugs because of the extended range. Scopes are for stationary targets because it is very difficult to track a moving target through a scope. The shooter is forced to look up from the scope to use their peripheral vision to help find the target. Bead sights are usually for moving targets because the target can be followed rather easily with the bead. Bladed sights are used for stationary targets such as deer and turkey.
Double beaded sights usually have a ventilated rib running along the length of the barrel. The larger bead is at the end of the muzzle and the smaller bead sight halfway back. Some experts claim that having the two beads and a ventilated rib helps to maintain sight alignment because some shooters tend to look over the top of their sights immediately after depressing the trigger. Forcing the shooter to line up both beads along the rib will keep their cheek welded to the stock. Double beaded sights are used for flying birds and other moving targets.
Red dot scopes may or may not have magnification and the dot is not projected onto the target. The dot is used to line up the target through the scope. There is simply a red dot illuminated inside the scope tube. A red dot sight is for stationary targets.
Rear notched sights or sometimes called “v” sights are lined up with the front post. This ensures the weapon is lined up and once the front post is on target, the trigger is pulled. This type sight helps the shooter maintain their natural point of aim better.
Ghost ring sights can be mounted on tactical shotguns for close combat shooting. The shooter’s sight picture through the ghost ring is more pronounced at short distances. If using shot in your weapon you can adjust the spread to correspond to the sight picture at various ranges. The ghost ring sight is not ideal for moving targets.
Obviously, there is more to shooting than lining up on a target. Different shooting environments require different type sights. You would not use a scope for skeet shooting, or duck hunting because you simply cannot track through a scope. Open sights or beaded sights are ideal for skeet or bird hunting. As with anything, it will take practice and experimentation to find out what works best for you.
The Best Shotgun Sights
Shotguns come with factory installed sights, they are usually very simple but serve their purpose. Usually, you will find bead sight or rifle sights on shotguns. Some shotguns with bead sight also have mid-bead which helps to align bead more accurately when shooting slugs.
You can upgrade factory sights to make them better and easier to use. There are many variants of sights which are suitable for home defense, competitions are fun shooting.
So what sight is the best for your shotgun? It’s not the most expensive one but the one which makes aiming and shooting easier.
Here are several of the most popular aftermarket sights which you can install on your shotgun…
Light gathering, fiber optic shotgun sights for plain barrels
Clamp on sight
There is inexpensive solution for plain barrel of 12 or 20 gauge barrels. You can get light gathering sight which snaps in place behind factory front bead. It stays in place under recoil and makes aiming much easier even in cloudy weather. The dot shines brightly making it easier to find it and aim on target.
The TRUGLO Glo-Dot II Shotgun Sight is very popular, inexpensive and easy to install:
The Truglo Glo Dot II Shotgun Sight will add an easy-to-see glowing front sight dot to your existing shotgun. This dot is created from a fiber optic rod which attaches right onto the shotgun’s barrel. You do not have to be a gunsmith or use the services of a gunsmith to attach this sighting accessory to your weapon. You can just snap the rod onto the barrel and it will be securely in place. The only requirement is that you have a shotgun that is either a 20-gauge or 12-gauge. The make of the shotgun does not matter as long as you meet this requirement.
The diameter of the fiber optic rod is only 0.078 inches, so it will not cover targets on a long distance. The plastic base of the sight has a matte finish and is 2 ½ inches long. The base contains a notch which utilizes the front bead of the barrel to accurately locate the glowing dot along the axis of the bore.
You can purchase the sight to have a glowing dot that is either red or green. They are the same quality and price, but just a different color. Both will work just as effectively when trying to aim in any conditions.
These sights are made for un-ribbed shotgun barrels that are 20-gauge or 12-gauge. And although the sights consist of plastic and polymer materials, they are constructed to be durable enough to sustain harsh environmental conditions, such as weather.
If you’re looking for a better front sight while you’re out in the woods or even trying to defend your property against unwanted intruders, then a small investment for the Truglo Glo-Dot II will go a long way.
The price is only $16.99 at Brownells.
|Get TRUGLO Glo-Dot II Shotgun Sight on Brownells|
Light gathering rifle sights which replace factory sights
If you have rifle sights or ghost ring sights on your shotgun then it will be very easy to replace them with aftermarket fiber optic sights.
This type of sight is directly replaces factory sights. Williams Gun Sight Fire Sights available for Remington 11-87/1100/870, Mossberg 500, Winchester 1300 and Browning BPS.
There is a bright red dot on the front sight which is visible in all sorts of different lighting conditions. Another piece in the set is a rear sight shaped like a U which has 2 bright green dots. This will help you alight your aim with the front sight, so you can accurately shoot at your target.
Williams Gun Sight Shotgun Fire Sight Sets is machined out of aluminum material and colored in black. The U-notch of the rear sight and the red bead on the front sight contain fiber optics and are easy to see in any environmental conditions. There are instructions included with the sight sets to make installation as easy as possible for you. Please note that you cannot install these sights onto a shotgun barrel that is vent-ribbed. Also, if you’re using a Remington 870, 1100, or 11-87, it needs to have a front sight ramp with a 3/8-inch dovetail.
There are multiple versions of the Williams Gun Sight Shotgun Fire Sight Sets available, based on the make and model of the shotgun. The shotgun versions available for this are the Remington 870, Mossberg 500, Remington 1100, Remington 11-87, Browning BPS, and Winchester 1300. The only requirements for these particular shotguns are they need to have a slug barrel or turkey barrel and they must still have their original factory sights.
You can purchase the fire sights on the Brownells website. The cost of the fire sights for the Remington 870/1100/11-87 model is $24.99. It is a multi-colored sight of both red and green. The fire sights for the Winchester 1300 shotgun costs $28.99 but the sight color only comes in red. Another version of the fire sights that only come in red is for the Mossberg 500. These sights cost $27.99. Finally, the fire sights of the Browning BPS come in red too and they cost $45.00.
All Williams Gun Sight Shotgun Fire Sight Sets are manufactured in the United States to ensure they’re top quality.
No gunsmithing required, installation takes just 5-10 minutes. Very good choice for hunting and competitions.
|Get Williams Gun Sight Fire Sights on Brownells|
Light gathering, fiber optic shotgun sights for vent rib barrels
Light gathering, fiber optic rod sights for vent rib barrels
It would be even easier to install a light gathering sight on a vented rib shotgun barrel. There are so many sights available.
There are two several types of sights for vent rib barrels. You can install rifle sights, bead sight or rod sight which is longer and has fiber optic insert.
You can choose one of the many sights available. Some of them are attached using screw, some of them attached using just two-sided adhesive tape or even magnets. All ways are good and reliable.
Light gathering sights are used by most competitive shooters a hunters.
|Get Fiber Optic Rod Sights on Brownells|
Light gathering, fiber optic rifle sights for vent rib barrels
You can even have rifle sight on vent rib shotgun. Williams Universal Slugger Sight can be attached directly to vented rib:
The Williams Gun Sight’s Universal Slugger Sight is compatible with all shotgun models, which is why it’s called “universal.” The only requirement is that the shotgun barrel is vent-ribbed because this is the only way the Universal Slugger Sight can be attached. The purpose of this sight is so you can equip a ribbed shotgun with rifle-style sighting. Some like to call this as converting a ribbed shotgun into a slug shotgun.
The great thing about the Universal Slugger is that you can use your favorite shotgun with it and are not restricted to just a few models that you don’t care for. It only takes a few minutes to add the Universal Slugger to your shotgun and once you do, it won’t take long for you to notice how much better your accuracy is. Installing the Universal Slugger just requires you to clamp it onto the vent-rib, making it fast and easy to either install or remove. The Universal Slugger is also adjustable for the elevation and windage.
There are two pieces included with this set. The first piece is a front sight which features a glowing red dot that can be seen in most environmental lighting conditions. Of course, the more light that exists in the environment, the brighter the red dot will be. The second piece is the rear blade that has a U-notch to it. There is a glowing green rod on both sides of the U-notch which allows the shooter to have increased precision and accuracy with their aimed shots.
The Universal Slugger is machined out of aluminum and has a black matte finish. The red dot on the front sight and the green rods of the rear blade are made of optical fiber. The sight set comes with installation instructions and even a wrench to assist with it. On the Brownells website, the cost to purchase this set is only $31.99. Since it was made in the United States, it is easy to assume that you will be very satisfied with this particular sight set.
Very interesting sights for those shooters which want to have rifle sights for more precise shots. They are especially good for slugs.
|Williams Universal Slugger Sight on Brownells|
Tritium Sights (Night Sights) for Shotguns
Meprolight Shotgun Night Sights for Benelli, Remington 870 and Mossberg 500/590
The Meprolight Tru-Dot Sight Set replaces factory Remington 870 rifle sights. This is one of the best solutions for adding night sights to your shotgun. These night sights use tritium gas to create a bright green dot that can be seen in darkness. But what makes the Meprolight particularly special is its brightness level. When compared to other standard tritium night sights on the market, the Meprolight shotgun night sight is 20% brighter. This will make it much easier for you to aim weapon in the dark. Also, don’t worry about running the lights with oils or solvents because the light tubes inside of the casing are sealed tight through a special bonding process that is patented by Meprolight. This bonding process involves the use of blue steel, which ensures that the night sight can sustain tough environments without any risk of damage to it.
|Get Remington 870, 1100, 11-87 Night Sights on Brownells|
XS Sight Systems – Remington Shotgun Tactical Ghost Ring Sight Set
The Remington shotgun tactical ghost ring sight set by XS Sight Systems is the perfect solution for converting the front sights on your Remington shotgun into ones that will let you see in the dark or in low lit environments. This set contains banded front sights and a ghost ring rear that will surely give a tactical upgrade to your existing front sights. It is very easy to install and can be done in a matter of minutes. The sight set comes with shims which allow the clamps of the barrel band to firmly fit on the muzzle and secure the sight in place. By doing this, the sights will be able to handle the impact of the heavy recoil that comes from firing the weapon. Instructions are included with the ghost ring set in case you have any questions about the installation process.
|Get XS Sight Systems – Remington Shotgun Tactical Ghost Ring Sight Set on Brownells|
XS Sight Systems – Shotgun Big Dot Tritium Front Sight
The Shotgun Big Dot Tritium Front Sight by XS Sight Systems is a tritium based front sight for your shotgun. It can easily be installed right over the front bead sight which came with the weapon. The tritium produces a green dot on your front sight with a large white ring that surrounds it. This will improve the focus of your target and will make it much easier for the shooter to see in the dark or in low light environments. But even if you happen to be in the daylight or some bright room, you will still be able to see the large white ring that surrounds tritium element. The best part is that it is self-illuminating and you will never have to worry about buying batteries for it.
|XS Remington 870 Pedestal Big Dot Tritium Sight|
|Brownells Acraglas Gel|
Sight with Both Tritium and Light Gathering Inserts
If you want to have the all-purpose sight for your shotgun then the best sight is the one which you can use both night and day.
Advanced Tritium Fiber Optic technology combines glow-in-the-dark tritium with a bright, fiber optic rod to keep you on target during all lighting conditions. Highly visible, 3/16″ diameter green dot ensures quick sight acquisition. Heavy duty, precision-machined aluminum base with protective wrap-around cage prevents damage and snagging. Mounts to barrel with included 6-48 tpi screws that hold tight under the heaviest recoil. Hardcoat anodized for durability. Not designed for ventilated rib barrels; gunsmith installation recommended.
|Get TruGlo Brite-Site with Tritium/Fiber Optic on Brownells|
Red Dot (Holographic Sights) on Shotguns
Holographic sights on shotguns are pretty popular nowadays. Read more about them in following articles:
How to Mount a Red Dot Scope to a Shotgun
6 Best Red Dot (Reflex, Holographic) Sights for Shotgun