With the renewed popularity of the combat shotgun, there is a recognition of the need for good sights to engage targets at range more accurately. The golden bead that the classic hunting shotguns came stock with are fine for up close fighting and breaching shotguns, but are all but useless at range with slugs. I was pleased to see Remington put the XS ghost ring sight system on their tactical model. Not only does the Remington 870 Tactical have ghost ring sights, but it comes with a rail for attaching a sight of your choice. XS can help you put this the whole system on your gun. The XS shotgun sight kit has the rail and ghost ring sight system on their website for about $175.
Being that my shotgun came from the factory with the XS sights and rail system, I found the sights to hit right where they were supposed to at a range of 50 yards as long as you line them up the right way. The right way to line up the sights on the XS ghost ring sight is to have the big white dot centered in the rear sight. This is very different from what you may be used to with conventional sights like the M16/4 platform. If you are familiar with the sighting method for diopter sights, then this may be a little bit of an easier transition for you. Trust me when I say that you will learn very quickly how sensitive this sighting method can be out to 100 yards.
In a short video by XS, they show you how to zero the ghost ring sights properly. But if you get these sights on the Remington 870 Tactical out of the box, I have found that you do not need to make too aggressive of a correction on the range when confirming your zero. The one thing I will suggest for you is that you use a Laser boresighter as an initial technique to get on paper. With the sight radius being as long as it is, this may not be necessary. Another method you could use is to graduate your ranges for confirmation, such as starting at 25 yards and graduating to 100 yards in 25 yard increments. This is probably the safest method you could use to confirm your zero. If you are going out to 100 yards, remember that the one thing you should worry about is the windage adjustments, and not so much the elevation unless it is off by a good amount. Save the fine tuned adjustments for when you are on paper at the range you are wanting to be zeroed at.
Having used the sights on my shotgun for about 2 years and a considerable amount of range sessions, I have picked up a few things and learned a few things about what you may come to expect from this sighting system. First lesson you may wanna learn from me is that you need blue Lok-Tite on the screws that secure the rail. I recommend applying this before zeroing your ghost ring sight, and especially out of the box or right away during installation.
I lost my very front screw somewhere on the range when doing one of my training sessions. I got home, locked back my action, and one of the other screws just fell to the ground. As you can see, I still do not have a replacement screw in, but I am hoping the torquing I did on the last two screws was enough to make up for the lack of a third screw. Unfortunately , I do not feel like I can trust the rail to stay in place with an optic if it only has two out of three screws.
Beside the screw issue, the sight has kept its zero at my predetermined 50 yard zero. I set this zero because the average target will be difficult for me to “get a bead on” out at 100 yards, pun intended.
If you are looking for a ghost ring sight to bring out the accuracy potential of your Remington 870, I can’t suggest these sights enough. I know it is common to think of the shotgun as a scatter gun that sprays a fog of wide pattern shot in the general direction or the attacker. I think you will find that the shotgun can deliver 00 Buckshot in very tight groups at up to 15 yards and beyond, depending on the ammo. This brings the shotgun up to the level of a rifle in terms of how important it is to aim your shots. Shotgun ammunition technology, as with other bullet technology, has taken off as of late. With this being the case, I think the need for a more accurate sighting system will be less of a “nice to have” item, and more of a “need to have” item, as time goes on.
You can get your very own XS sights right.
If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting our Veteran Editorial by becoming a SOFREP subscriber. Click here to join SOFREP now for just $0.50/week.