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Old November 14, 2002, 09:47 PM   #1
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'Splain me something please

What is the deal with sights on a shotgun for defensive purposes? Is this a fashion trend or what?

I have shot many tens of thousands of rounds of buckshot and several thousand rounds of slugs through "riot" type shotguns. Slugs were shot out to 100 yards, buck out to 40. I have not seen the need for any sight. I will admit that someone else paid for the bulk of my practice ammo, but you damn sure don't want to be within 150 yards of me with a bead sighted improved cylinder shotgun if you have bad intentions.

Are the sights meant to take the place of practice or what? One thing I KNOW, and that is sights are SLOW no matter the type when compared to point shooting. Point shooting CAN be just as accurate providing you actually practice.

Not picking on any one or anything, just curious is all. Thanks for the levelheaded replies to help me see what this is about.

On edit: my personal belief is if you have the time to use sights you have the time to retreat or evade, possibly to get a rifle or just to get out of there. Any comment on that?
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Old November 14, 2002, 10:59 PM   #2
Navy joe
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While I currently shoot a 18" bbl. 870 with a fiberoptic bead front and do quite well with it I still want sights. I can get good off-hand hits at 100 with slugs, but holdover is a bear. Most slugs advertise about 19-20" drop at 100 with a 25yd zero, more like 25 out of the short gun.

I have the same problem you have with sights, they slow down the intended use of a SG on moving targets. I can't imagine trying to shoot birds with rifle or ghostring sights. I want a windage and elevation adj. rear sight with an express style blade. Full low elevation should make the sight go away, leaving me seeing just the reciever rib. Front would remain std. or fiber bead. Nobody makes it, I might have to.
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Old November 15, 2002, 01:24 AM   #3
Andrew Wyatt
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Admittedly, I'm primarily a rifle guy, and I aim everything, even shotguns.

however, I find a ghost ring sight to be a much more accurate way of delivering lead on target compared to a bead.

with a shotgun with a stock designed for sights as opposed to a bead, ghost rings are no slower.
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Old November 15, 2002, 05:55 AM   #4
Dave McC
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H, people vary incredibly, some folks can acquire sights almost as fast as others can use a bead.

Many of us use the peep or GR sight setup and find it quite fast.I've not shot a practical COF lately with both timed, but the times are not much apart, if at all.

Like you, I've shot up ammo I'm not paying for and done it with a bead only, and with good effect.At 100 yards, using ammo and a shotgun I'm used to and know, torso hits from a rested position are quite possible.

My "Serious" shotguns have peeps because they double as deer guns, and I like precise placement for humane and certain kills on deer. Human opponents, different set of rules.

"Serious" shotguns are aimed, mostly aimed quite fast,but aimed. Recreational shotguns are pointed, except for deer guns.

One of the biggest bumps in the learning curve when learning clay or wingshooting is learning to not aim. Those used to rifles have lots of trouble with this.
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Old November 15, 2002, 07:44 AM   #5
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I think you hit it on the head: fashion or fad, just like everything costs more if they name it tackycal.
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Old November 15, 2002, 08:40 PM   #6
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I defy anyone to shoot as accuratly with a bead at 75+ yards as with sights.
if you think ghost ring sights are slow, then you have not used them.
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Old November 15, 2002, 09:52 PM   #7
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Ghost ring sights are very fast. Medium range slug placment is precise. [75 to 100 yards].
Attached Images
File Type: jpg blk 1100 sites.jpg (86.9 KB, 161 views)
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Old November 16, 2002, 12:02 AM   #8
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OK, I'll play.

I have an 870 with rifle sights. I prefer them over ghost ring or bead. I will put myself up with anyone shooting slugs or buck at any distance within 100 yards. speed or accuracy.

And I didn't say I'd win the contest, but I'll be right there with you. No I'm not a shotgunning god. I'm just pretty good and I practice alot. I can acquire my sight instantly because I have put so many rounds down range I know when my gun comes up my sights WILL be aligned. Then it is pretty much "point" shooting.
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Old November 16, 2002, 01:32 PM   #9
Dave McC
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CowdogPete, I note you're nigh exactly 2 decades younger than me. Older eyes find open sights rather hard to use. I believe you'll notice a change in the near future. For those who can use open sights, they are fast and effective.

The downside,open sights on a shotgun have little more sight radius than handguns. Going to a peep on my oldest 870 gave me about twice that with open sights.

Erick, IMO it's more like until we put sights on our guns, we don't know how accurate we can be with them.
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Old November 16, 2002, 09:39 PM   #10
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I have used peep, regular irons, and ghost ring sights on shotguns. Some of these were solid 3 MOA at 100 yards in my hands, meaning they are pretty darn accurate for a slug gun.

I never slandered sights, or even said that they are bad. I simply asked what the motivation is for using them.

I also never considered more than "minute of bad guy" accuracy necessary with a shotgun and defensive type shooting. Groups on paper are great, and so is shooting that group quickly, but how many of you have shot at moving targets while YOU are moving and tried to sight accurately? I certainly hope you are not stationary picking your shots if ever in a real defensive situation, and can guarantee you the guy/s you are trying to shoot are not going to hold still for you. This brings up one of my original points, practice until it is second nature or face failure. While moving and shooting at a moving target point (instinctive?) shooting is the only way to go in my mind.

I readily admit I have never had the opportunity to shoot other than rifle sights while I was moving at a moving target. In my case the sights were very nearly in the way, and they darn sure did not help.

Cowdogpete hits on what I have learned, shoot until you can just shoot without any other thought.

I apologize if I riled some of you up, was not my intention. I should have included moving targets in the original question to be more clear.
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Old November 16, 2002, 10:16 PM   #11
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The rifle sights on my 870 Police are quick to acquire.

I went a bit overboard and installed the tritium front blade and rear leaf kit.

I could probably have gotten away with a plain bead front sight. This gun is kept with 3" Magnum 000 buckshot, and with the Extra Full Turkey choke insert, the pattern is tight, to say the least. So I don't feel too bad about that big set of rifle sights on a defensive shotgun.

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Old November 16, 2002, 10:49 PM   #12
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I see you cut a hole in the heat shield for the sights. Looks good.
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Old November 17, 2002, 09:12 AM   #13
Al Thompson
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I think it's a matter of distance

I've owned. shot and hunted with all three types of sights. For slug use past 15 yards, I need some sort of rear sight as I tend to lift my head in dynamic situations.

For home defense, the bead works fine, for me. If for some bizzare reason I had to move outside (adding distance), I'd want some sort of sight system where I have a rear sight.

If I was LE, the ghost rings would be much more important to increase my flexibility for target engagement.

FWIW, I've played with my Scattergun Tech 870 at 200 yards. I've seen it in print that a slug is inaccurate at 2ooy. My gun with Remington slugs will put them in a 2 foot circle at that distance.

One thing I've noted with several different shotgguns is that slugs and buckshot often do not have the same POI/POA. Sights do give me the ability to zero the SG. Beads, you have to run what ya brung. Or shim your stock.....
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Old November 25, 2002, 06:01 AM   #14
Dave McC
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Semantics indeed, Erick. The bottom line is that we need better sights(and regular practice) to do our best work.

How much of this is excessive is moot, it's hard to be too accurate...
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