Opinions on ghost ring sights?

Tactical, combat, military, law enforcement and home defense use of a Remington 870 shotgun.
Dr. Marneaus
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Opinions on ghost ring sights?

Post by Dr. Marneaus » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:12 pm

Hi all!

My 870 Police magnum simply has a front bead.

I've been considering the installation of a set of ghost ring sights. I wanted to keep this shotgun as simple as possible, but i've realized a front bead isn't always the BEST option.

My last two shotguns had ghost rings from the factory (mossberg 930 SPX and a Benelli SuperNova). I feel I may have taken them for granted. I have shot with the bead and first of all, it's uncomfortable for me to keep my face that low on the gun and results in a bit of cheek slap (never happened to me with any other shotgun?).

Considering the installation of a simple set of ghost rings, like the Trak-Lock sights by scattergun tech. Thoughts?

Also, any idea on the cost to have something like that installed? The reciever needs drilled and tapped, obviously, and I am not comfortable doing that to a $600 gun.

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Re: Opinions on ghost ring sights?

Post by Chief Brody » Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:23 am

My gunsmith quoted me $120 to install GR sights. Including the actual parts, I'd be into it the job $250-$300. I always hear great things about them but that's just too much for me. The next change to my 870P will be a barrel with rifle sights. $150-$170 out the door, and I can swap on the original bead-sight barrel any time I want - without that rear sight being fixed into position on the receiver. Really looking forward to it, I'll hopefully have that barrel within the next few weeks.

What kind of shooting do you do? Do you need the sights for longer distance work? For me, it's my HD gun that I bring out to the range and to steel plate matches several times a year. I'd like to be a lot more confident taking those 50+ yard slug shots. I know many shooters are more than competent with the bead, but I'd like some real sights.

Steve
Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready. - T.R.

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Synchronizor
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Re: Opinions on ghost ring sights?

Post by Synchronizor » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:39 am

Chief Brody asked the key question. What will you be using this gun for?

A front bead sight has many advantages. It's simple, durable, easy to use in low light, fast on target, completely integral to the barrel, and fairly accurate out to medium ranges. A basic fixed-choke barrel with a front bead is one of the best choices for typical home defense and range fun. No choke threads that need to be babied, no sights that need adjusting, nothing on the receiver that you need to pull off to go bird hunting; just point, shoot, and run a brush through it every once in a while. You will need to practice with it to develop consistent technique and work out where to hold the bead, but any other sight system will require practice and adjustment as well.

If cheek slap is the main reason you're looking for something different, it'd probably be better to first adjust/improve your technique, modify your stock to fit you better, or find another stock for the same reason. A good, consistent cheek weld is important for accuracy with a front bead (and it helps with most other sight systems as well). It puts your eye at the same place each time, maintaining a fixed point of impact relative to the bead. And if you want something that sits a little higher or is easier to see in specific situations, there are a variety of other front sights on the market that can be installed on your gun very easily.

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Chief Brody wrote:The next change to my 870P will be a barrel with rifle sights. $150-$170 out the door, and I can swap on the original bead-sight barrel any time I want - without that rear sight being fixed into position on the receiver. Really looking forward to it, I'll hopefully have that barrel within the next few weeks.
I did the same thing. I have an 18.5" barrel with a front bead and a fixed cylinder bore, and a 20" barrel with rifle sights and interchangeable chokes. The former is the tough, fast, KISS riot barrel for self-defense. The latter is a little slower, more maintenance-intensive, and doesn't handle being knocked around as well, but it's more precise and versatile enough for anything from combat to competition to various hunting roles. Toss in a longer vent-rib Rem Choke barrel for birds and clays, and you're set for just about anything.

Dr. Marneaus
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Re: Opinions on ghost ring sights?

Post by Dr. Marneaus » Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:25 am

I plan to use it for HD and range, I don't hunt. I understand the simplicity and advantages of the front bead, but for some reason I dislike it.

I will be taking training classes with this where slug and buck shot placement will be highly important.

I like the idea of the factory barrel with the rifle sights, duh, simple solution. I can keep or sell the bead barrel and even if I don't sell it, i'll only be out the same cost as the actual ghost rings themselves. Smart.

I dont know how to sight with a bead sight. From my knowledge one would normally look down the vent rib, and the bead is a reference, not the actual "sight post" (i hear they call it a "miss me bead" when used as such).

When looking down the shotgun, am I only supposed to see the bead resting on the top of the reciever, or am i supposed to be able to see the bead base and the top of the barrel?

I had previously been sighting with just seeing the bead resting on the flat of the reciever if that makes sense, and I have to pull my face so far down and angle my head that my puts the front corner of my cheek bone at a downward angle pressed directly against the rib of the stock, which is why it hurts like an SOB. Like I've said, ive shot plenty of other shotguns, bigger and smaller, heavier and lighter, with all variety of loads, and never experienced this before. Perhaps i'm sighting too low or something? Maybe my technique is a little off, but im pulling everything tight to the shoulder and not letting the gun flop around during recoil, and I don't see why it would be only this gun if it was my grip/stance?

Anyway. I know the rifle sights wont be as "quick" as a ghost ring, but even for close up home defense work I cannot see it normally being necessary to perfectly align rifle sights. I'd assume whatever can be done with a bead can be done to a similar extent with rifle sights.

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Re: Opinions on ghost ring sights?

Post by Pigiron » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:50 pm

When I purchased my 870P I was expecting one with a Parkerized finish and rifle sights. To my surprise it was deeply blued and beautiful with a bead sight. That set in motion a few things. First was a shooting session. Check. Next move was sending the barrel to Vang Comp for a workover. Check. After that I bought two replacement barrels from Remington. First was a fully rifled barrel with rifle sights. After that was a 28" ribbed barrel for skeet and wing shooting.

I now have a platform for all seasons and all reasons. YMMV.

Dr. Marneaus
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Re: Opinions on ghost ring sights?

Post by Dr. Marneaus » Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:40 pm

Yeah, It had crossed my mind to pick up an 870 express barrel (matte black, at least it would be a little closer to the parkerized finish) down the road so it could be used as a field gun with various chokes.

I did order an 18" rifle sighted barrel that is parkerized so i can compare how I like it to the bead, and then decide which to keep.

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Re: Opinions on ghost ring sights?

Post by Synchronizor » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:58 am

Dr. Marneaus wrote:I dont know how to sight with a bead sight. From my knowledge one would normally look down the vent rib, and the bead is a reference, not the actual "sight post" (i hear they call it a "miss me bead" when used as such).

When looking down the shotgun, am I only supposed to see the bead resting on the top of the reciever, or am i supposed to be able to see the bead base and the top of the barrel?

I had previously been sighting with just seeing the bead resting on the flat of the reciever if that makes sense, and I have to pull my face so far down and angle my head that my puts the front corner of my cheek bone at a downward angle pressed directly against the rib of the stock, which is why it hurts like an SOB. Like I've said, ive shot plenty of other shotguns, bigger and smaller, heavier and lighter, with all variety of loads, and never experienced this before. Perhaps i'm sighting too low or something? Maybe my technique is a little off, but im pulling everything tight to the shoulder and not letting the gun flop around during recoil, and I don't see why it would be only this gun if it was my grip/stance?
I just weld my cheek, look right over the flat top of the receiver, and put the bead on target. With a consistent cheek weld and a properly-fitting stock, the shot goes to the same spot every time. You're not wrong about the beads on vent-ribs, but throwing birdshot at passing birds or clays is not the same thing as throwing slugs or buckshot at large, close-range, slow-moving/stationary targets.

Your technique may or may not be contributing to your issues, but it's sounding more and more like your stock just isn't fitting you properly.
Dr. Marneaus wrote:Anyway. I know the rifle sights wont be as "quick" as a ghost ring, but even for close up home defense work I cannot see it normally being necessary to perfectly align rifle sights. I'd assume whatever can be done with a bead can be done to a similar extent with rifle sights.
You can point-shoot quickly using only the front sight of a two-element iron sight setup with practice, but you'll tend to shoot high doing that, so you won't have the same range and precision you'd have with a bead sight (regarding that, here's a video of a guy who knows what he's doing hitting targets up to 80 yards out with a bead-sighted 590A1). Of course, if the threat is further away you'll likely have the time to align rifle or ghost-ring sights properly.

If a bead flat-out doesn't work for you, by all means, find something different that does work. Just consider that there're no universally superior or inferior sight systems. Different setups all have their advantages and disadvantages to suit different situations and preferences.

Dr. Marneaus
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Re: Opinions on ghost ring sights?

Post by Dr. Marneaus » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:10 pm

Synchronizor wrote:
Dr. Marneaus wrote:I dont know how to sight with a bead sight. From my knowledge one would normally look down the vent rib, and the bead is a reference, not the actual "sight post" (i hear they call it a "miss me bead" when used as such).

When looking down the shotgun, am I only supposed to see the bead resting on the top of the reciever, or am i supposed to be able to see the bead base and the top of the barrel?

I had previously been sighting with just seeing the bead resting on the flat of the reciever if that makes sense, and I have to pull my face so far down and angle my head that my puts the front corner of my cheek bone at a downward angle pressed directly against the rib of the stock, which is why it hurts like an SOB. Like I've said, ive shot plenty of other shotguns, bigger and smaller, heavier and lighter, with all variety of loads, and never experienced this before. Perhaps i'm sighting too low or something? Maybe my technique is a little off, but im pulling everything tight to the shoulder and not letting the gun flop around during recoil, and I don't see why it would be only this gun if it was my grip/stance?
I just weld my cheek, look right over the flat top of the receiver, and put the bead on target. With a consistent cheek weld and a properly-fitting stock, the shot goes to the same spot every time. You're not wrong about the beads on vent-ribs, but throwing birdshot at passing birds or clays is not the same thing as throwing slugs or buckshot at large, close-range, slow-moving/stationary targets.

Your technique may or may not be contributing to your issues, but it's sounding more and more like your stock just isn't fitting you properly.
Dr. Marneaus wrote:Anyway. I know the rifle sights wont be as "quick" as a ghost ring, but even for close up home defense work I cannot see it normally being necessary to perfectly align rifle sights. I'd assume whatever can be done with a bead can be done to a similar extent with rifle sights.
You can point-shoot quickly using only the front sight of a two-element iron sight setup with practice, but you'll tend to shoot high doing that, so you won't have the same range and precision you'd have with a bead sight (regarding that, here's a video of a guy who knows what he's doing hitting targets up to 80 yards out with a bead-sighted 590A1). Of course, if the threat is further away you'll likely have the time to align rifle or ghost-ring sights properly.

If a bead flat-out doesn't work for you, by all means, find something different that does work. Just consider that there're no universally superior or inferior sight systems. Different setups all have their advantages and disadvantages to suit different situations and preferences.
Thanks again for the good advice. I plan to get out soon and shoot the thing a bunch to see how i can adjust and what is comfortable, if anything at all.

I DID go ahead and order a barrel with the rifle sights. It should arrive before the weekend so I can test it out and see if I like that better.

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Re: Opinions on ghost ring sights?

Post by Dr. Marneaus » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:00 am

Out with the old in with the new.

Havign slightly higher sights already feels better.

I plan to shoot it a bunch this weekend.

Question....on rifle sights, at what distance should i be sighted in at for elevation? 25 yards? 50 yards? Is there even much of a difference between the two?

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Chief Brody
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Re: Opinions on ghost ring sights?

Post by Chief Brody » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:44 am

That looks awesome, and it's exactly what mine will look like soon. Very cool.
I think 50 yards would be the standard distance to zero those sights.
Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready. - T.R.

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