Whether you are shooting at birds or bad guys, you need a reliable and accurate sight for your shotgun. I’ve never been much for shooting shotguns with a powered scope, unless it’s a deer slug. Let’s face it, here in the ozarks most bucks are harvested with 30 caliber or an arrow. My experience with shotguns has been within 30 yards. I have a couple little gems for my visitors that will make your shotgunning experience much more consistent.
My two favorite shotgun sights for close up encounters on clay or people are the Burris SpeedBead and the XS Ghost ring sight. Both allow you to have a good size field of view, but still be able to maintain accuracy. When shotgunning at close quarters, Field of View aka FOV, is extremely important. Being able to have a wider FOV is important when finding and following targets. A shotgun was not designed to hone in on a 1 inch target area, it was designed for quick and meaningful shots.
The Burris Speedbead is available for several Remington, Benelli, Franchi, Beretta, and Stoeger models. On most of these shotguns it is a very simple to intermediate installation process. In most cases it only involves removing the buttstock, sliding on the sight, and re-attaching the buttstock. There is a tad more involved in fine tuning the sight, but is still well within the capacity of the average bear. Burris understood being able to co-witness the stock iron bead sight in case batteries fail. The height of most Speedbeads allows direct co-witnessing of original sight. However if you would like to raise the sight they do offer 1/8 and 1/4 inch risers. For the money, Burris is hard to beat on a good quality shotgun sight for your Remington 870 or 1187. Check it out here Burris SpeedBead Red Dot Reflex Sight (Remington 870 12 Gauge)
The other favorite of mine was also a favorite on my Marlin 1895 Stainless Guide rifle. The sight is produced by XS Sights, and is part of their Ghost Ring line. The sights are amazing on just about any rifle close up or long range. They allow for fast target acquisition and allow for extremely accurate shots. If you are mounting them on a Remington 870, 1100, or 1187 with a factory front bead, they only require moderate help of a gun smith with the rear sight. You can get a set-up using the factory rear mount, but it really limits your field of view and is almost pointless. I recommend having a gunsmith tap new rear mounts to use the proper XS rear sight. It lengthens your site radius which in turn increases accuracy and FOV. Why do they call it a “Ghost Ring” sight you ask? Well in close quarters combat being able to focus primarily on your front sight and targets near, is very important for fast first shots and quick accurate follow up shots. When you focus in on your front sight, the rear ring becomes a noticeable hazy circle, and your eyes will naturally help position the front sight in the center. XS Ghost Sights are amazing not only for your Shotgun, but also for rifles and pistols. Make sure to check it out here New XS Sight Systems REM.870-1100-1187 W/STRIPE GHOST Increased Accuracy At Extended Ranges