How to/Details of sighting in a...SHOTGUN! - MP-Pistol Forum

How to/Details of sighting in a...SHOTGUN!

This is a discussion on How to/Details of sighting in a...SHOTGUN! within the Shotguns forums, part of the Armory category; Searched but could only find threads relating to sighting in rifles and AR's. I have a Mossberg 500 with Williams rifle sights and a red ...


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Old June 10th, 2010, 05:49 PM   #1
 
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Searched but could only find threads relating to sighting in rifles and AR's.



I have a Mossberg 500 with Williams rifle sights and a red dot reflex sight. To sight them in I have a Sightmark magnetic bore laser.



What's the optimal range to sight in a shotgun? Note I'd be using both buckshot and slugs in my setup, but its not for hunting or clay. Is 50 yards the rule of thumb or would it be a much shorter range for a shotgun? Buckshot is good to about 20-25 yards and slugs out to 60-75 yards so then would 50 yards be the middle mark for zeroing? Thanks.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 05:56 PM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougarspeed' post='260799' date='Jun 10 2010, 05:49 PM
Searched but could only find threads relating to sighting in rifles and AR's.



I have a Mossberg 500 with Williams rifle sights and a red dot reflex sight. To sight them in I have a Sightmark magnetic bore laser.



What's the optimal range to sight in a shotgun? Note I'd be using both buckshot and slugs in my setup, but its not for hunting or clay. Is 50 yards the rule of thumb or would it be a much shorter range for a shotgun? Buckshot is good to about 20-25 yards and slugs out to 60-75 yards so then would 50 yards be the middle mark for zeroing? Thanks.


I'd sight in for the longest shot you think you will take...that's where it will mean the most. Up close, with buckshot, you won't notice much of a difference.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 06:30 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougarspeed' post='260799' date='Jun 10 2010, 07:49 PM
What's the optimal range to sight in a shotgun? Note I'd be using both buckshot and slugs in my setup, but its not for hunting or clay. Is 50 yards the rule of thumb or would it be a much shorter range for a shotgun?
Not for hunting or clays - then what is the use? HD, would be my guess. But, whatever, use dictates the range. If it is a house gun, what is the longest shot you would have? Surely not 50 yards, but then I am only guessing what you are going to use it for.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 06:55 PM   #4
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Mossberg 500 with ? size barrel??? If it has rifle sites, then it may be a rifled barrel and it will affect how a shot shell wad will scatter.



A shotgun is more of an instinctive weapon. It is designed to be point and shoot and the scatter takes care of the variance in the aim. If you have a rifled barrel, then you need an aiming device and shoot slugs that is was designed for. If it is a smooth bore 18", then a simple fiber optic bead or ghost ring will make you a shotgun master. Skip the optics, they are not needed with a scatter gun, unless you have a tight choked turkey gun or a meat shooter.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 06:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougarspeed' post='260799' date='Jun 10 2010, 07:49 PM
What's the optimal range to sight in a shotgun? Note I'd be using both buckshot and slugs in my setup, but its not for hunting or clay. Is 50 yards the rule of thumb or would it be a much shorter range for a shotgun? Buckshot is good to about 20-25 yards and slugs out to 60-75 yards so then would 50 yards be the middle mark for zeroing? Thanks.


Kind of depends on the "shot" you are using too 7-1/2, 4 shot, 00 buck, slug. Only sighting I ever worried about was for slugs and where they'd hit and how far out they'd hit it. Different shot is best pattern at what range.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 07:31 PM   #6
 
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It is the 500A model, 20" smooth bore barrel. I would be using it for HD/SHTF.



I disagree with the shotgun being instinctual and just point-and-shoot. Even with buckshot, I'd want the best center mass hit with no pellets missing and possibly causing unwanted damage or casualties. I want to zero it as perfectly as possible with surgical precision.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 07:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougarspeed' post='260822' date='Jun 10 2010, 09:31 PM
It is the 500A model, 20" smooth bore barrel. I would be using it for HD/SHTF.



I disagree with the shotgun being instinctual and just point-and-shoot. Even with buckshot, I'd want the best center mass hit with no pellets missing and possibly causing unwanted damage or casualties. I want to zero it as perfectly as possible with surgical precision.


Get yourself a man sized target (get a couple). Set it up and blast it. Step forward or back until you blast out about 2/3rds of the chest area. That will be your longest distance for surgery.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 04:28 AM   #8
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Buy the ventilated handguard that has ghost ring sights attached and you will have all you need. The 20 inch smoothbore will not stabilize a slug to the point that it will group consistantly at longer ranges.



As far as instinctive goes, get some light loads, clay birds and a thrower and go out an practice a little hitting them. That should help on the instinctive part.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 05:17 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmidwest' post='260810' date='Jun 10 2010, 08:55 PM
It is designed to be point and shoot and the scatter takes care of the variance in the aim.
This just isn't true. At close ranges such as HD, the shot is tightly grouped and is pretty much a hit all, miss all proposition, especially with a good HD load like Federal Fight Control.



Again, zero it for your longest inhouse shot as HD is much more likely than SHTF. Then try longer ranges noting how much adjustment you need to make on the longer shots.



To find out what shotguns and various loads will and won't do, go to http://www.theboxotruth.com/ .
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Old June 11th, 2010, 10:43 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougarspeed' post='260822' date='Jun 10 2010, 10:31 PM
It is the 500A model, 20" smooth bore barrel. I would be using it for HD/SHTF.



I disagree with the shotgun being instinctual and just point-and-shoot. Even with buckshot, I'd want the best center mass hit with no pellets missing and possibly causing unwanted damage or casualties. I want to zero it as perfectly as possible with surgical precision.


I have a 500A with a 28 inch smooth bore barrel and I would have to say instinctual shooting is probably the best way to describe shooting a moving target, and the more you practice, the more surgical you become. For rifled slugs on a stationary target, my longest comfortable shot is at 75 yards using fiberoptic turkey sights (and my grouping is not pretty at that distance). For buckshot, I really wouldn't count on it beyond 50 yards.



If you want to become really good with your shotgun, I highly recommend shooting trap, sporting clays, or skeet. At some point, you will not need to look at the sights and will only focus on the target. From experience I can tell you that once you have made that transition, you will be able to take out any target less than about 40 yards away very, very quickly with great accuracy.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 11:30 AM   #11
 
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Wife has a Mossberg 500 Bantam 20 Gauge (Magnum model) and can put a Brenneke Slug (Short Field Tatical) within the size of your fist at about 25 yards. That is using both of the small metal sights atop of the barrel and in front receiver. All Iron. We dont do scatter shot. They spread too far apart past 10 yards to be useful for home defense.



With a 870 Marine Magnum Smoothbore Over iron sight I expect my Federal 1600 fps slug to zero close to 60 yards, Brennekes at about the same distance and the Winchester Super X Magnums to be irrevelant zero all the way to the back wall of that range 100 yards. It will hit something the size of a man and it wont matter where it hits because body parts will be scattering.



I prefer the winchester super X magnum rounds because only the slug and a small bit of wad leaves the weapon on it's way to the target. And the damn thing shoots so flat so fast, I'm half tempted to try pumpkins at 200 yards.



The other rounds like Federal and so on will have more plastic crap following the slug out of the weapon and making more holes all over the target you are trying to zero at. You have to forensic examinate the thing to see which is the true hit from the slug.



Inside of 10 yards, Zero does not matter much.



Double Ought with sufficient velocity and total shot weight or solid slug (Or even a sabot out of a rifled barrel) will all equally do the job of stopping the bad guy inside the bedroom.



Anything inside 6 yards like across a room, sights such as reflex etc are a bit much.



But obtaining a true zero over iron sights? Well, we refer to the side of the ammuntion box and look up on the internet Brenneke, Federal and Winchester zero distances as well as rise and fall distances prior to zero and after zero. If Memory serves, the brenneke short field magnum will zero at 66 yards after rising about 8 inches and falling to it and falling about.. 17 or more inches at 100 yards.



I have said enough. I tend to babble nonsense and screw up the topic at hand so... that is all i have here.



Hand gun zero? Just aim the crimson trace at the man sized target at any range and adjust it until bullet hole appears where you had it. However, Iron sights on the handgun will hit perfect at 5 to 8 yards with a error that increases further out for me. Anything less than three yards, I am digging out the K Bar.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 12:36 PM   #12
 
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Thanks for the replies.



I've been basically doing this make-shift for now since I can't get to the range this week. Bear with me.



From my house to the end of the back yard its 49 yards. I have a saw blade nailed to a wooden post at about 5'7" high (for high visibility on the laser projection.) I've been sighting in the iron sights but have them on the lowest slide (pushed all the way back/down on the rear sight) and the laser is a bit higher than the front sight, but I can't adjust it anymore. Are these bore sighters not all that accurate and I'm better off going to the range and just shooting/adjusting until its zeroed?
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Old June 11th, 2010, 01:27 PM   #13
 
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My Crimson Trace sights tend to wash out beyond 7 yards on very strong sunshine days and make me shoot iron.



I hope your saw blade is not too reflective, I worry that you may be beaming yourself in the eyes or perhaps making FAA fall out of the tower when planes squawk about laser beams.



If you cannot find a zero with a laser within adjustment availible to your bolts via tools... maybe you are trying to shoot too far?



Sure you can light something up at 5 miles at night with a dot, but can you hit it?
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Old June 11th, 2010, 01:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougarspeed' post='260906' date='Jun 11 2010, 02:36 PM
Are these bore sighters not all that accurate and I'm better off going to the range and just shooting/adjusting until its zeroed?


Correct, BUT they will get you close enough (short range) to get a hole in the target. Then you can live fire to zero from there. Going to the range for live fire is always best. Also using a bench rest (sand bag, tripod,etc) is a big help.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 02:19 PM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by HungrySeagull' post='260917 View Post
If you cannot find a zero with a laser within adjustment availible to your bolts via tools... maybe you are trying to shoot too far?


49 yards can't be too far for a shotgun, especially slugs. I dunno, maybe I'm doing it wrong. I'll have another go at it.
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