View Full Version : Night Sight on shotgun?

October 21, 1999, 08:35 AM
Is a front night sight on a shotgun (coupled with a ghost ring rear sight) necessary, when there is a Surefire tactical light mounted on the shotgun already? I've heard they are useful, but have also been told that a night sight on a shotgun is not that necessary if it has a Surefire unit on it already. That person told me that night sights are more useful on handguns than shotguns.

October 21, 1999, 09:40 AM
I have a Remington police gun with the night sight.I don't have a surefire light on the gun,but the sight illuminates very well.It appears it would be useful in a low light or no light situation so you could at least have an idea of where your round may be heading.The surefire light would certainly illuminate the intended target,but I still think the sights would be easier to see if they where night sights,because the surefire light probably isn't gonna help illuminate your sights much,but night sites may not be that necessary,especially in a close quarters situation.I don't have much experience but thats my take on the matter.Thanks,RS

Dave McC
October 21, 1999, 01:13 PM
The Tactical 870 here that's part of my homeowner's insurance has a hooded front sight. In low light scenarios, it serves as a big fast sight itself for rapid target acquisition at HD ranges.

BTW, it also protects the front sight from bumps.

Tactical lights have both pros and cons. For police work, they make more sense than for HD.

October 22, 1999, 04:15 AM
Mr. Dave Mc C,

I disagree with your notion that mounted lights "For police work, they make more sense than for HD." They make just as much sense for the homeowner. Many untrained shotgunners believe the light is to be "on" constantly. The tatical light is supposed to be flashed on and off quickly to I.D. the threat. Having done that the operator's next move is to immediately move to another location and engage the threat with the light off. An exception would be when ambient light truely is pitch black. Then the light is on only long enough to acquire a sight/point picture and fire the weapon. The key here is to move everytime the light is used. The threat will usually fire his weapon at the last lit location. So to answer Shamster's question, yes, the tritium sight is benificial when used in conjunction with a weapon mounted light. This is what is taught at ThunderRanch. There are a few other variables, but this is the basic principle.

P.S. You better be sure of what your shooting at and I.D. the threat 100% or the lawyers are going to have a field day with you. Only a light will do this for you.

Dave McC
October 22, 1999, 09:21 AM
Coffee Guy....

What you say is true. But...

A homeowner has little or no backup available,and is dealing with an unknown numner of assailants. Just how fast do you think you can move under those circumstances?

And while IDing a target is essential, a homeowner knows his house better than any intruder would.

Never went to Thunder Ranch or Gunsite, but various Govt Agencies spent lots of time and money training me.

October 22, 1999, 08:29 PM
Mr. Dave McC

Shamster asked a very general question regarding the merits of a night sight on a shotgun with a light already mounted. I attempted to address the question with a general answer. As I stated on my response, there are other variables. I don't know what sort of residence he lives in. It may be a very small apartment with little or no room to move in. I may be a large 6,000+ sq. ft. home. Each would dictate a different weapon choice. Are there others in the residence? Wife? Children? I sure hope he doesn't zap a family member on a midnight snack because he didn't ID the threat. In response to your assertion that Shamster knows his house better than an intruder has several deficiencies. Since he can't control the circunstances on which he first becomes aware of an intruder I'll assuume a worst case. It's night and Shamster is sound asleep. He has no dog, nor alarm. How long will it take Shamster to become fully awake, obtain a weapon, assess the threat from the noise which awoke him? His intruder entered his house fully awake, weapon in hand, and his body pumped full of adrenaline with quick reflexes. What if the intruder is just there to steal his television and had no weapon? Only a light will let you assess the threat. In most states the use of deadly force under this situation would be an unjustified homocide. Civilians MUST make sure of the threat before pulling the trigger. In the civil case which is sure to follow, the argument of "I saw him move as if reaching for a weapon!" is not sufficient for civilians as it is for LE. If it turns out he didn't have a weapon, You're TOAST! What Shamster needs to do is assess his needs based upon his unique circumstances. As far as how fast I can move under these circumstances, I'm greased lighting when someone is trying to harm me.

October 22, 1999, 09:40 PM
Why not put one on? It certainly would not hurt. If you don't want to use the light that would bring attention to you when investigating a disturbance you can use the night sight. If you do use the light well the night sight will be just a regular sight.

- Ron V.


Dave McC
October 23, 1999, 08:05 AM
Whole lot of ifs in those scenarios, Expresso. Part of my skepticism about night lights and sights for HD is my experience with same. Had one of the Mag Lite conversions with pressure switch. It had lots of drawbacks including being a great snagger of stuff.And, the KISS principle still applies.I also cavil at the concept that technology can substitute for tactics and training.

However, it's his butt on the line. We aficionados tend to split hairs and nitpick. If he wants one, let him try it out.

BTW, I strongly urge a run through with the weapon of choice(UNLOADED, of course)in the house by every responsible adult. And, a discussion about what to do should be held at intervals with all folks over the age of reason,including non-combatants.

Also,here at Casa McC, we've a row house. With the family on the top floor, where the sleeping quarters are, any BGs can have their pick of the furnishings on the bottom floors.
That's what insurance is for.
But, any BGs setting foot on the stairs going up will be met with deadly force.

As for being greased lightning, with all due respect,here's a quote.....

" Those who have not seen War little realize the changes men have in combat. Time's pace alters, with one's own movements seemingly slowed to a snail's pace,and the simplest of actions accomplished only with great exertions".-Churchill.

After one war and 20 years in MD Prisons w/o more than minor,honorable scars,I may or may not be capable of moving like lightning, but more importantly, it looks like I moved correctly.

Have a good'un...

Rosco P. Coltrain
October 24, 1999, 04:24 PM
Espresso, Law enforcement officers are ordinary civilians. They are not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and are thus classified as civilians.

October 25, 1999, 02:13 AM
Espresso, your thoughts about shooting unarmed thief are not true in Kali where you are assumed to have the presumption of fear of great bodily injury upon a forced intrusion, that is not a member of your family and so allowed to shoot, but your fear for life must be honest, ie no laying in wait with "IR light on shotgun and nightvision headset" (you might go down in court) This is what I have read in "How to own a gun and stay out of jail" This is Kali version dont know if this book is also written in other states.

The beauty of the second Amendment is that it is not needed until they try to take it. T JEFFERSON

Dave McC
October 25, 1999, 03:41 AM
Erick, just found this site last week,and happy I am I did. Seems like a great place.


Dependence on a mechanical object subject to breakdowns and battery failures.

Cost, oft cash is better spent on more ammo and range time than accessories and gizmos.

Can snag stuff big time. Also the extra weight( While helping to reduce recoil) may be too much for some folks. With extended mag, Side saddle,and full load of ammo, the House 870 here runs over 9 lbs w/o the light.

Also, your location can be pinpointed exactly. A violent BG in the house will be firing nanoseconds after that light comes on.
And, he now knows where you are.


Positive target ID. Big one.

For police work, one could be absolutely essential. Most police work is done in buildings the cops are not that familiar with. Home owners usually can find their way around in the dark.

Thanks for the Surefire site, I'll check it out.