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Old November 21, 2000, 02:22 AM   #1
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Join Date: August 28, 1999
Location: Utah, USA
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I have a Remington 870 20 ga. for home defense. But 'bumps' usually happen in the night, don't they? In the dark, how do I see that black bead to aim decently? Can I replace it with something? Can I paint it with something? Can you refer me to info on how best to modify this gun for home defense?

Sorry for the elementary question, but whom can I ask but friends?


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Old November 21, 2000, 05:46 AM   #2
Join Date: July 5, 1999
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You might consider a couple of things. There are lights that attach directly to the forend of the stock or you can use a Sure Fire light which is a different forend altogether with a self contained light. Sure Fire has a website. They are expensive, well over $200. I recently saw a nice setup at a shotgun course. It consisted of a Weaver rail attached to the forend, to which was attached a M3 tactical light. M3's are about $130 and can be found at many places that sell Glock stuff. Weaver rails are everywhere.

Another possibility is to get a peep sight with a tritium insert in the front sight. MMC and Scattergun make these and both can be had at Brownell's. This type of setup doesn't give you any light but allows you to see the front sight. I have MMC and they are nice but ridiculously expensive. I am getting the Scattergun setup (apprx $120)for a 870 20g I am setting up.

Hope this helps. I would strongly recommend a shotgun course if you plan to use a shotgun for HD.

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Old November 21, 2000, 06:46 AM   #3
Dave McC
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Target ID is crucial, but most homes, most times, have enough ambient light that a tac lite is not absolutely essential.And the ones I've tried have left me a little underwhelmed.

Also, for those of us with GR setups, a bit of Testor's Enamel in white or yellow on the back of the front sight helps pickup no end.
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Old November 21, 2000, 09:16 AM   #4
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Hesco/Meprolight makes a replacement tritium bead. I have installed a few of them, and so far, so good. The only thing is that when replacing the Remington bead you will need to drill and tap a slightly larger hole for the replacement sight. This is not a big deal. A gunsmith can do it cheaply, or you can buy the correct numbered drill bit and tap from Brownells, and do the job yourself.

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Old November 21, 2000, 09:30 AM   #5
Ned Roundtree
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Location: Lexington, KY,USA
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Some ambient light? I've run some dry drills in my house at night just to see what I can see and can't see. It is mostly pitch dark unless a light is left on. I have the Scattergun Tech ghost rings rear with tritium inserted rifle post in front. At least you know where the barrel is. Much help and I think a good investment.
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Old November 21, 2000, 09:53 AM   #6
Join Date: July 9, 2000
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I would agree that a front sight tritium insert of some sort is the most helpful addition. It is indispensible under low light, have-to-shoot-fast conditions if you don't have a weapon mounted light. The purpose of shooting the gun is to hit the target and you absolutely must be able to see the front sight to shoot accurately. Some may argue they train enough so the front sight is automatically on target when the weapon is shouldered. That only works if you are shooting under standard conditions, a situation you cannot be sure of.

I dry fire in my home virtually every day. There are many, many conditions under which I can see a target but not my sights. I paint my front sights around the tritium insert with a bright paint to enhance visualization under the widest possible range of conditions. YMMV.

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Old November 21, 2000, 03:04 PM   #7
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Join Date: November 21, 2000
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Night sights are good, but I would have to agree w/ some of the other gentlemen here. They do make tact light setups for the front grip if your shotgun. They are apllicable for semi's or pumps. My Benelli M1 Tact M 12 guage is setup this way. I do have night ghost ring sight, but the light is the ultimate. Besides you don't want to go hitting any friendly's by mistake. Light up your down range target area.
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Old November 21, 2000, 04:33 PM   #8
Join Date: July 9, 2000
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The best setup would include a weapon mounted light and tritium on the front sight. That allows for investigation into the night if you live in such an environment. If you can't afford a weapon mounted light, think through the lighting in your house. It is better to just flip on your house lights than stumble around in the dark with a threat out there, with or without a weapon light. 60-120 watt incandescent bulbs are preffered to a 6v or 9v Surefire. The Surefires are also heavy and disturb the balance of the gun.

My primary indoor house SG will soon be a youth 870 20g, minimally modified, patterned, and light enough for others in the house to use. The tactical 870 will be around, too, but is too heavy and awkward for less experienced or smaller users.

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Old November 22, 2000, 02:15 AM   #9
Bennett Richards
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Light necessary?

In a defensive situation it is imperative that one be able to not only see, but also identify the target.
The Surefire lights are bright enough to also act as a weapon as they can and will blind and disorient the target.

They are expensive... but there is a reason that most entry/counter terrorist teams in the world use them on their MP-5's and shotguns.

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Old November 22, 2000, 07:40 AM   #10
Join Date: July 5, 1999
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The M3/Weaver setup I saw was pretty slick. Relatively inexpensive, very light, and durable. The M3 can be swapped back and forth from a Glock to a SG if you so choose. I'll be trying the M3 setup on the 870 20g.

SWAT magazine recently reviewed the Quick2See setup. Looks like another good, relatively inexpensive, solution.


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Old November 22, 2000, 10:10 PM   #11
Join Date: February 4, 2000
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I have a Rem 20 ga. 870 that I turned into a tactical model with MMC ghost ring sites with tritium inserts. It can be done, is very expensive, and does work. I think the best and most economical thing for you to do is to try to add a light like others have suggested. I built mine for fun, but finding a way to mount an M3 on your 20 ga. would very useful and very effective.
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