Different Types of Shotgun Sights
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.
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.