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AsmelEduardo 02-15-2010 09:31 PM

Optics in a Shotgun
This morning I visited an uncle that show me his new (new to him) Mossberg 500, 18.5" barrel (beautiful thing), he brought it from a friend leaving the country... what it caught my attention was the Tasco red dot (>30mm).... I think that a red dot is a great help in home defense and/or low light situations... What do you think is the best red dot for this purpose? Do you think that shotgun optics are useful in home defense?

Exactly this setup without heatshield and fiber optic.

hillbilly68 02-16-2010 12:52 AM

Opinion follows... nooooooooooooo! At least for self defense shotgun, no optic. Ghost ring at most, but usually just the standard bead will be sufficient.
Again, just my opinion. :)

lonyaeger 02-16-2010 01:06 AM

Asmel, I think it's overkill. In close quarters, I would think the shotgun would do the job without much need for precise aiming....just my opinion! :)

slowryde45 02-16-2010 01:25 AM

I guess I'm the loaner on this one...if there is a chance that another family member might happen to be the one that has to pick up the shotgun, then the red-dot could be useful to them. For myself, I like ghost rings. But at night, ghost rings don't do you much good unless you have a front bead that glows in the dark to give you something to line up with. We (the family) has practiced what to do in the event that something goes "bump" in the night, has gotten past the alarm and the dogs, ie- the kaka is about to hit the fan. Interesting to note, they were faster acquiring a target with a red-dot than with the ghost rings, especially if it is a high-stress situation, or waking up out of a deep sleep. And some of the red dots offer multiple reticles, so they can pick which one works best for them, easiest to use, etc. One thing we did do, is turn down the brightness of the dot, almost to "off". The reason being it was easier on the eyes, less distracting, while still offering a good target picture.

I do have an Insight Arcturus flashlight mounted to my handguard, that offers 120 lumen output on high beam, but also has a STROBE setting to blind just about anyone in a dark house (except the person holding it). It also has the crenelated crown, to get anyone's attention if you poke them with it. ;)

But, hey...go with whatever works best for you, and what you feel most comfortable with. And if anyone else in the house is going to use it, make sure they are comfortable with "how" it works, too.;)


Lindenwood 02-16-2010 03:15 AM

I put a red-dot on my shotgun that came with Ghost-rings. Even without the dot on, the front sight will "co-witness" with the dot's tube, almost acting like a coarse aperture sight. But, with the dot on, aiming is much faster than even with the GRSs, and not to mention easier.

The co-witnessing is what sold me on it. I get the advantage of the optics, but get the utility of open sights.

And btw, this was more to get better aiming at distances more like 10+ yards, while keeping good accuracy for slugs. For HD I probably wouldn't even bother turning on the dot as the longest I'll have to shoot in the next few years will be like 5 yards inside my home, and I can point-shoot at least to that point. If it were more like a "defend the castle" situation where I knew it was coming (heard shots in the hallway, or there was rioting going on or whatever), I would probably go ahead and turn on the dot. But either way, with the way it's set up now I could easily be as accurate (with slugs) as with a bead if the dot was lost (battery failure, electronics failure, or even if it was severely knocked off zero). So really the only way I'd end up worse off would be if somehow the whole dot got knocked off (which would obviously be pretty hard, heh).


Though at the same time I am still contemplating going back to the plain GRSs just for the greater simplicity. The way they are designed, I know I could drop it off the back of a truck and the receiver would probably break before the sights got significantly damaged or misaligned. And that definitely inspires some confidence.

IGETEVEN 02-16-2010 04:04 AM

I use the KISS philosophy. My tactical HD shotgun is strictly point, pump and shoot, with no optics. I have enough night lights throughout my home in bedrooms, hallways, stairway, living and dinning rooms, that I am never in complete darkness, giving me recognizable visibility. I have motion detector lights on all sides of the exterior of the house and a night activated exterior flood light.

There are only the two of us in the home, so anything walking on two legs that succeeds in breeching the exterior/interior perimeter, alarm system, and the dogs, will be met with extreme prejudice and resistance. YMMV, to each his own. Nice looking shotty, Asmel. :)


robocop10mm 02-16-2010 12:36 PM

Personally, I think there is more of a need for a good white light mounted on the HD shotgun. Target identification is vitally important unless you live alone. Imagine the horror of killing a friend or family member that you "thought" was an intruder.

For those who call the shotgun a point and click weapon, take some realistic measurements inside your home where a shot is likely. Then pattern your gun at those ranges. You may be surprised how tight the pattern is. You can miss at 12 feet.

Lindenwood 02-16-2010 01:23 PM

Heh, I put the GhostRing rear back on last night.

But still, optics on a shotgun with a scope larger than just HD can be practical. But, I am going to try to accomodate as much as I can with the GRSs and see how limited I am with them after a while.

Jo da Plumbr 02-16-2010 01:50 PM

I donít see any optics helping with a pistol grip like that.. When you fold out the stock OK but putting a pistol grip shotgun up to the face?

I have a HD shotgun with folding stock and agree with Robo the tactical light is most important. I went the extra and put a light laser on mine. The GF may grab it and the laser sight works from the hip and helps her a lot.


skullcrusher 02-16-2010 02:04 PM

It really comes down to what makes the user more comfortable at aquiring the sight. Many people like the red dot because it is easy to gain a sight picture quickly. Now, it is my own opinion that if a red dot is used, the user needs to be very familiar with the sight. Turning it on to level 10 in low light will not help, and fumbling with the sight dial can take up valuable seconds.

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