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
What is Tritium night sight?
If you are someone who wants to have better shooting sight with your shotgun at nighttime, then Tritium night sights are what you’ll want to install onto it. These particular sights have the ability to illuminate on their own by relying on a small amount of tritium gas that glows. This glowing gas creates a bright dot which you can see in dark or dim areas. The tritium gas should be able to last you for 10-12 years before you have to replace it. Tritium night sights are the opposite of fiber optic sights, which are helpful for aiming in the daylight. The night sight can replace the current front sight of your weapon and give it a focusing ability that it didn’t have before.
One of the biggest benefits of having a tritium night sight for your shotgun is that you don’t have to use batteries with it. This will save you a lot of money if you frequently go shooting at night. Other kinds of sights, like red dot sights, cost people a lot of money each year in batteries alone. Plus, they need to be switched on when you want to use them and the tritium night sights glow all the time. Tritium night sights do not require any light exposure and their exterior is durable enough to sustain many harsh environmental conditions. Most of the tritium night sights are made in the United States by American gun parts manufacturers. So, you can be sure you’re getting the very best sight possible.
Why you need night sight on your shotgun?
If you go shooting at nighttime with your shotgun, then it will be a big challenge to see which direction you’re shooting at. Fortunately, there are night sight accessories that you can attach to your shotgun so you can see where you’re pointing your weapon. Now some people might complain that you still can’t see your target in the dark with a night sight. However, what it does allow you to do is aim your weapon in the dark because the night sight will emit a small green light from the tritium gas inside of it. So, for example, if an intruder were to break into your home and cut the power in the house, you’d still be able to aim your weapon with the night sight on it. Remember it is not powered by batteries so the light will always stay on. Just make sure you keep the night sight attached to your shotgun at all times and you will be able to aim it whenever you need it.
Night sights are very small attachments that can go on the front or rear of your shotgun. They are also very lightweight so it won’t make your shotgun any heavier when you’re carrying it around. All this convenience makes it easy to add on other attachments to your shotgun, such as a tactical flashlight. With the night sight and flashlight on your shotgun, you would be able to both see your target and aim precisely at it. Night sight it can be seen in both darkness and daylight environments.
If economics is a factor in your decision to purchase a shotgun accessory, then rest assured that the tritium night sight will not break the bank for you. The average tritium night sight costs anywhere from $40 to $100. That is considered to be very cheap as far as sight accessories go. Best of all, they are easy to attach to your shotgun and won’t require you to go to a gunsmith or learn any special skills with firearm assembly. But just in case you still have problems, the sights come with instructions that are easy to understand.
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 Remington 870, Remington 1100, or Remington 11-87 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.
The Meprolight night sights are sold in a set of two. One night sight attaches to the front sight area of your shotgun while the other night sight attaches to the back as a rear sight. You will notice right away that the light of the front sight dot is a little bit brighter than the light of the rear sight dot. This is how the shooter will be able to focus and aim at their target effectively. All Meprolight Tru-Dot night sights can be purchased with a 10-year warranty on its illumination ability. This means if the illuminating light of the night sight stops working within the 10-year period after you purchase it, then you can get it replaced for free by the manufacturer.
The Meprolight Tru-Dot night sight is priced at around $101. This is a little bit more expensive than the average tritium night sight but it is well worth the money. The night sight is compatible with three different models of the Remington shotgun. Plus, it will also fit multiple versions of each model as well. Just make sure that you have barrel with rifle sights. For example, if you own a Remington 870 Magnum Express or a Remington 870 Tactical, the Meprolight night sights can attach to either one of these weapons. All you have to do is make sure it is a Remington 870, Remington 1100, or Remington 11-87. Best of all, the attachment process can be done within minutes and you don’t need any experience to do it either. You can read the instructions quickly and learn everything you need to know from there.
|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. This ghost ring sight set is compatible with the Remington 11-87, Remington 1100 and Remington 870 shotgun. 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.
The sight itself emits a green dot which is generated from the tritium that exists inside it. A thin white ring surrounds the green dot so you can easily see it both night and day. There are also steel side wings on the sights which protect its front blade from any accidental damage that may occur. Sometimes people will drop their shotgun or bang it into something accidentally, causing unforeseen damage to their accessories. Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about that with this ghost ring sight set because it is durable enough to sustain all kinds of heavy impact. That is why it is a tactical-grade sight. In addition, there is a rear sight base that comes with this set and it can fit onto the shotgun’s receiver. However, you will need to do some drilling and tapping for this installation to be successful. If you are not comfortable performing these actions on your shotgun, then it may be better to have a gunsmith or an experienced professional do this for you.
The cost of the Remington shotgun tactical ghost ring set is $166.50. If you are just interested in purchasing the banded front sight only, then you only have to pay $81. Someone who is a beginner will probably just want the front sight because it is easier to install. But if you are more experienced and want the full benefits of this ghost ring sight, then choose the full set and see what it can really do for you.
|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 Remington 870 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.
To install this tritium front sight attachment, the front sight beads on your shotgun need to have a diameter from .125 inches to .140 inches. You will also need an epoxy to install the sight. Brownells Acraglas Gel would be perfect for this. After you fill the cavity, place the sight over the front sight bead and press down until it fully cures. If the existing bead on your weapon is too big or too small, replace it with one which matches the diameter size that was just mentioned. You may even have to do some drilling and tapping on certain shotgun barrels.
There are three versions of the Shotgun Big Dot Tritium Front Sight that you can choose from. The Remington Pedestal version can fit onto the barrels of any Remington shotgun that have a front sight pedestal. The cost of the Remington Pedestal is $58.50 and the sight color is green tritium with white ring. The Vent Rib front sight version can fit on the barrels of any shotgun that have ventilated ribs. This one also costs $58.50 and has a green color tritium element with white color ring. The Plain Barrel front sight version can fit on the shotguns that have round barrels to them. Same price and color sight as the previous two.
The Shotgun Big Dot Tritium Front Sight is easy to install as long as you pay attention to the front bead sizes. Make sure you follow the instructions if you have any doubts about what you’re doing during the installation process.
|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|
SCATTERGUN TECHNOLOGIES™ TRAK-LOCK® Ghost Ring Sight System
The Remington Track-Lock Ghost Ring Front Sight by Scattergun Technology is one of the best sight attachments you can ever put on your shotgun. What makes this sight particularly special is that its light source comes from tritium gas rather than from a battery, laser, or bulb. This tritium sight is self-illuminating so you never have to worry about turning it on or off. That way, the light can always be seen in the dark no matter if the gun is in your possession or not. This makes it perfect for virtually any type of use. You will benefit from having this front sight no matter if you’re a hunter, law enforcement officer, military officer, competitive shooter, or recreational shooter.
The Track-Lock Ghost Ring is compatible with the Remington 870, Remington 11-87, and Remington 1100 shotgun. It is made to be a front sight attachment for your Remington shotgun, which is far superior to the standard OEM front sight that comes with your weapon. Just make sure you have a 12-gauge shotgun because it can only fit on barrels with this gauge. There is no epoxy accessory that comes with this sight either, so you have to purchase them separately. This is the only downside though because everything else about this front sight is great. Not only is it easy to install onto the shotgun, but it is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and totally safe to use.
Scattergun Technology makes all their Remington Track-Lock Ghost Ring Front Sights in the United States of America. This can reassure Remington owners that they’re putting a quality front sight attachment onto their shotgun and not some knock off made in China. The price of this authentic tritium front sight with standard rear sight is $119.99. Tritium fron sight with tritium rear sight set is $149.99. You can find it for sale at almost any sporting goods website or retail store that sells gun parts. It currently only comes in a black color, but that should be fine because most Remington barrels are also black and they will blend together perfectly.
The Track-Lock Ghost Ring comes with instructions on how to install it to your shotgun as a front sight. It is very easy to do and you don’t need to be a gunsmith to figure it out. After you install it, you won’t ever want to take it off because it makes aiming at your target so much easier to do.
Eros from Italy have installed SCATTERGUN TECHNOLOGIES™ TRAK-LOCK® Ghost Ring Sight System on his Remington 870. You will find out how to install Scattergun Technologies ghost ring sights and what advantages they give you.
Please note that installation of the SCATTERGUN TECHNOLOGIES Ghost ring night sights requires receiver drilling and tapping.
First of all I want to say a big “thanks” to all members of my team: my friend Omar and his good dog Zeus and to Marianna for the coffee.
Double check that your gun is completely unloaded and clear from any barrel flags or dummy shells, or any sort of ammunition. I am not a professional gunsmith so don’t try to do this if you’re not sure that you will be able to follow the instructions or if you don’t have needed skills. I am not responsible for any damage you will do to you or to your gun.
The track-lock tritium combat sights kit from Wilson Combat contains a little plastic bag of epoxy glue
for the front sight, two 6/40 inch screws for the receiver (you need to tap and drill the reicever completely) and the allen wrench to fix them, but there’s no pin to cross-pin the front sight.
If you would like to mount the front sight in that way you need an extra 2mm pin that you will have to buy yourself.
I drilled the front pedestal where the bead was placed (need to remove it completely) and the front sight (2mm hole), then i degreased and grinded the surface of the pedestal. I have mixed the Loctite Fixmaster (1 part of hardener and 4 parts of resin) and then I put all parts togheter and crosspinned the front sight.
After that I can say that the process isn’t as simple as it seems because you need a patience to do that kind of job. Believe me, you will find some trouble and much more than you can imagine doing a modification like this one.
You have to plan the process carefully.
For example I have broken a tap (6/40 of inch UNF tap which is used for Scattergun rear sight) inside the hole on the remington reiceiver (about a 2,7 mm hole on the rear sight mounting point).The Remington 870 receiver it is machined from a thick and strong steel block. You’ll need a good drill and a drill press to do that and buy a good kit of 6/40 inch tap. This will help you for sure, believe me, guys.
Another trouble was that the glue inside the Scattergun sights kit was unusable because it was damaged. I asked some help by email to Wilson Combat and a guy replied to me promptly. Scott from Wilson Combat said that, if I wasn’t located in Italy, he could send me another glue kit for free, but due to the country restriction he couldn’t. He helped me to find out a replacement for the epoxy and we found that the Loctite Fixmaster is similar and works perfect. It is a a good replacement of epoxy in such situation.
At the end of the process you will see the final result…I hope you like it and that it will help someone around the web…
Get Scattergun Trak-Lock Ghost Ring Sight Set here: http://tinyurl.com/cbmqaee
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