View Full Version : Clip on/Magnetic Fiber Optic Sights

November 19, 2008, 10:47 AM
Getting on on years, the 'ol eyes aren't what they used to be. Last season I had a chance to try a buddy's shotgun that had one of those fiber optic rod "beads" attached and the results were impressive.

Want to add these to my shotties for duck and goose seasons this year, but not keen on replacing the existing beads or doing any drilling on my Brownings.

Soliciting opinions on the best "no gunsmithing" fiber optics for waterfowling??


November 19, 2008, 12:12 PM
In my opinion, for any kind of wingshooting, or clay targets - they're a waste of money.

The only reason a wingshooting shotgun has a front sight at all, and a mid bead usually, is so when you mount the gun you can make sure the gun is not canted / gun was mounted properly where you want it ( lining up the front sight above the mid bead in a figure 8 is classic goal for a good mount).

Once you see a target ( duck, clay, etc.) you should never look at the beads / your eyes should exclusively follow the bird - nothing else. If you do look at that front sight, it will stop your swing, and its probably a lost bird.
The idea on a shotgun is to feel the lead - not to measure your lead or look at your front sight.

For several years Browning has been putting HiViz sights on the front of their guns - but its a marketing tool vs an asset. There are a little bit of an asset in early morning - so you can see that the gun is mounted correctly.

November 19, 2008, 12:38 PM
The only reason a wingshooting shotgun has a front sight at all, and a mid bead usually, is so when you mount the gun you can make sure the gun is not canted / gun was mounted properly where you want it ( lining up the front sight above the mid bead in a figure 8 is classic goal for a good mount).
If you have a vent rib without a center bead, get one -- you'll wish you'd done it sooner.

November 19, 2008, 01:00 PM
I wasn't referring to a front/rear combination but rather a fiber optic replacement or cover for the front bead that shows up better in low light for my old eyes.

November 19, 2008, 02:33 PM
This should be exactly what you are looking for. Mine works great


Hope it helps.

November 19, 2008, 02:58 PM
I wasn't suggesting you buy a combination HiViz front sight / mid bead either - I was trying to explain why there is a front site and a mid rib bead -on a wingshooting shotgun at all. HiViz, gold bead, white dot, etc as the front sight - its still the same issue / you don't need a front sight, except to know if the gun is mounted properly and level / and despite our respective eye issues most of us can see whatever front site there is on our guns to get a good mount. But if you're asking if a Hi Viz front site helps on your mount - yes, it might, so then its a good buy.

If I wanted a HiViz site on an older gun, I would probably have a gunsmith remove the existing front bead and install a small HiViz vs using the magnetic one if it were my gun. My older Brownings just have a front bead - and a mid rib bead / the newer generation guns have the HiViz ....but to me it doesn't matter.

I can relate to eye issues / with 20-350 and bifoculs myself / and now a prism in the bifocul prescription. Once you get the gun mounted - what type of sight is on the gun is irrelevant to any sucess in wingshooting because you should never look at the site as you begin, execute or complete a shot on a moving target - so in general, I still think they're a waste of money vs using whatever came on the gun. But if you think it will give you an edge - then I would have a gunsmith install a permanent one on the rib not the magnetic one.

November 19, 2008, 03:02 PM
The hi viz sight cocers the existing front bead so all you see is the fiber optic bead.

November 19, 2008, 03:27 PM
Various types of front sights to "improve" visibility have come and gone. There are simple brass beads, white beads, plastic beads/blades that gather a little light, plastic rods that gather a lot of light and shrouded tubes who's glow appears only when you're properly aligned with the rib. I recall one that had a battery for an independent light source. I'm sure there are additional types I've missed.

I'm a grandfather and have old eyes, too. For the the last 7-years, I've been under the continuing care of a retinal specialist. Between the floaters and bright spots, once I determine that the gun is coming up correctly, I have no need for the sights. I'm doing my best just looking for the target and then seeing my lead.

The last shotgun gun I bought came with a standard white bead and a red low-glow sight. Since the red one was installed, I thought it couldn't hurt to gave it a try. I shot a few rounds of skeet with disappointing results. The red glow had been a distraction, and my vision had been unwittingly shifting back and forth between the target to the glowing sight -- not good. Changing to the white bead corrected the situation. As your vision decreases with age and/or other problems, the more likely your eyes are going to respond to the dominant element within view. This should be the target, not your sight. Also, your ability to change focus slows with age as does the ability to adjust to different brightness levels. The older you get, the more important it is to keep your eyes on the target, and not the gun.

Contrary to BigJimP's recommendation for a permanent installation: If you decide to give one to the hi viz sights a try, may I suggest a magnetic one. Use it only for very low light conditions, as soon as the glow starts to be the dominant feature in your view, put it aside and go back to your OE sight. However, practicing at a duck tower (with your OE sights) under low light conditions could be your best bet.

November 19, 2008, 04:16 PM
Good point Zippy - I had not thought about putting it on under low light conditions / then taking it off. Interesting thought ...

Getting old is fine / its the lack of good vision that sucks ....

November 19, 2008, 05:38 PM
Getting old is fine / its the lack of good vision that sucks ....
Ain't that the truth

November 19, 2008, 06:56 PM
The hi viz sight cocers {sic} the existing front bead so all you see is the fiber optic bead.

sidetracking just a bit. Does the hi viz "snap on" sight work alright with a plain barrel that has been cut down and therefore has NO bead sight to fit it up to. And how do they look installed. How about moisture getting trapped under it and rust problems?

November 19, 2008, 07:42 PM
i had a hi viz birdbuster magnetic fiber optic on my vent rib. 12 ga. 870 it looked nice was easy to pick up, didn't fall off easily. had a few different colors bases lightpipe styles. so it would fit a variety of vent rib barrels. i took it off.


the problem, it sat higher than the bead, not alot but enough to see it did. it was basically making me hold low. be sure to check your shot spread/pattern. it may change your poa. you may have to adjust your poa to compensate.

November 19, 2008, 08:23 PM
I didn't use the magnetic ones, but I got some of the true glo globe sights that screwed on the vent rib, pinching around it, not into it.

The stupid things popped off under the recoil of the turkey loads I was testing.

November 19, 2008, 09:41 PM
Well, lots of useful information. Thanks! Ended up getting this . . .
TruGlo GloDot Xtreme

Came in a pack of 4 with different width mounts and 4 colors of tubes. It has a good magnetic fit. I like the idea of being able to take it off should it get to be more bother than good. All my guns just have the front bead - some silver - some gold. Was having trouble picking that up at first shooting light. Hopefully this will help - it not then off it comes.

November 20, 2008, 11:23 AM
Rem870hunter mentioned that his magnetic sight sat enough higher than his 870's OE bead that his hold had changed. How does the TruGlo's height compare with your OE sight?

November 21, 2008, 05:07 PM
i took a few pics of mine and can't get them to post, i don't know why sometimes it will without a problem and other times it won't post. yesterday i couldn't even get the site to work on my computer.

November 21, 2008, 05:27 PM
38544 hopefully that picture works. the first pic was too big to load so i had to crop it to fit.

November 23, 2008, 04:00 PM
Okay. Used it this morning duck hunting in flooded timber. The TruGlo site does not elevate much at all from the existing bead - maybe 1-2mm if that. The top of the mount is fairly thin, much more so than the HiViz I see pictured above on rem870hunter's link (thanks for that).

It is a wonderful improvement for me at least. The green pipe shows up amazingly bright in barely any light. As the day got brighter that diminished greatly against a light background. However, I tried the red pipe and it works best in full daylight.

I can see that I'll probably be using the green one at first shooting light then switch to red or remove it altogether after the sun rises above the trees.

Good advice to focus on the target rather than the bead. I didn't find the brighter bead distracting and just naturally oriented on the birds without thinking too much about it. Accuracy was much improved for me in darker conditions and about the same in full daylight.

November 23, 2008, 04:37 PM
Your pic worker fine, thanks...
Looks like the new sight is about half-a-bead higher than the OE sight. You'll just have to cover your target a pinch more to stay centered.

Happy to hear it's working so well for you. I guess I'm just easily distracted.

November 23, 2008, 05:12 PM
your welcome zippy.

ram slammer i'm glad it worked for you. out of curiosity does the true glo you have sit as high as my hiviz or lower?

November 24, 2008, 06:54 AM
rem870hunter: I would say no, I don't think it's that high. The center of the TruGlo light tube is 2.5mm from the surface of the barrel rib. I guess it depends on the existing bead height of particular shotguns whether that's higher or lower than the original bead. On the 2 shotguns I've tried it in so far it's about the same height as the bead. Looks like they designed it to get the end of the fiber optic tube as low as they could. It's recessed downward at the front. (I'll try to get some pics up tonight to illustrate.)