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Great American Outdoors

Optics

This Is Something You Should Like…Shotguns & Modern Sighting Systems/Optics

Just because you have a shotgun, it doesn’t mean that you won’t miss your target when you shoot it. Granted, if your shotgun is loaded with birdshot, or even 00 Buckshot, it all depends on how far, or close, your target is from you. Modern shotgun ammo holds together pretty well.

But the idea that you can’t miss with a shotgun is one of the big myths about that weapon. You got to aim the shotgun like any other firearm and that means using the sights.

Most shotguns come with a simple bead sight. In general, there is nothing wrong with a bead sight. It works fine for buck/birdshot and out to 100 yards, it’s effective for slugs, it’s not perfect though.

Beads are often quite small, and they can be difficult to see, especially in low light, or if you are in a hurry the bead can work, the majority of weapons can benefit from upgraded sights and the shotgun is no different.

Most traditional shotguns intended for sporting use only have a front sight, which is usually a bead or fiberoptic rod. They are designed so your eye acts as the gun’s rear sight. Depending on the shotgun, it may be possible to have a gunsmith add a rear sight.

There are a variety of both optics and sights that are well suited for shotguns of all types — covering sporting use as well as defensive use. The cool thing about shotguns is that iron sights are still a very valid way to use these guns, but when you are surprised by an intruder in your home at 3:00am and it’s almost pitch-black something like a red dot sight could come in pretty handy.

Red dot sights improve target acquisition time, are easier to use, and allow you to shoot from unconventional positions. This is a huge perk because you’re often shooting fast-moving targets with a shotgun. With a red dot sight, you can easily track a target and pull the trigger when you’re ready.

But, in the end, it’s all about what you are comfortable with and what your needs are. Whether you are out hunting geese, ducks, or pheasants, the right optic is what works best for you and also depending on how much you are willing to spend.

In the video, the shooter’s are using a  spinner target, along with an 870 and a SxS coach gun with slugs, to demonstrate why a red dot, or rifle sights on a shotgun, actually matter.

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