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HomeSHTFShotgun Purple Dots - Shopping for and Capturing Information

Shotgun Purple Dots – Shopping for and Capturing Information

Shotgun red dots against steel target

Debating whether or not to “pull the set off” on shotgun purple dots? There are many causes it’s a good suggestion. Let’s dig into the topic.

Rising Curiosity in Purple Dot Sights

Dot sight gross sales are by the roof, pushed largely by the latest wave of optics-ready handguns and miniaturized purple dot sights (MRDS). Due to their tubeless building, we refer to those small optical sights as “open-emitter” designs. The AR-15 is one other vastly fashionable dot-sight platform, lots of which make the most of bigger “closed-emitter” (tubular) dot-sights – like Aimpoints.

Shotguns have remained on the sidelines, though the most recent unorthodox tactical designs have spurred new curiosity in dot sights. Kel-Tec’s KSG and S&W’s M&P 12 are two examples of this style. As a result of each are as optics-friendly as any AR, they lend themselves to the complete gamut of dot-sight decisions. By comparability, sporting gun choices are extra restricted.

Earlier than we get began, it’s value noting that not all “purple dot sights” incorporate purple aiming factors (reticles). Some are inexperienced, or purple/inexperienced selectable, with reticles of varied patterns. Subsequent up, the design of the sight, and its mounting system: Sporting weapons have shares configured to put the shooter’s eye straight above the barrel so, as a normal rule of thumb, the decrease the peak of the dot the higher. New tactical shotguns just like the KSG make use of straight-line shares that may deal with taller or bigger sights.

The KSG and S&W get pleasure from brisk gross sales however, general, the shotgun market continues to be pushed by hunters and claybird shooters. As a result of thousands and thousands are readily available in households as nicely, sporting weapons make an excellent start line for purple dot sights.

Sporting Shotguns and Dots

A couple of years in the past I used to be invited to hunt a small native farm filled with deer. The one kicker: it was positioned in a shotgun-only space. Missing a devoted slug gun, the expedient resolution was a 12 Gauge Beretta Mannequin 1301 Competitors autoloading shotgun.

Though marketed primarily for combat-type shoots like 3-Gun, it was already sitting in my protected. Its 24-inch barrel had a ventilated rib with a mid-bead, however its receiver was manufacturing unit drilled and tapped. A fast name to Beretta produced a one-piece Picatinny rail which was simply put in with a screwdriver. Relatively than go along with a scope, I mounted an MRDS; a Burris FastFire III.

Burris FastFire III Hyperlinks for Value Comparability:

MRDS/Open Emitter Instance

Because of a earlier trial at 40 yards with Winchester’s plain Tremendous-X 2 ¾” 1-oz. slugs (utilizing the barrel’s two beads), I knew the Beretta had potential. I hoped the precision of the Burris’s 3-MOA dot would lengthen helpful accuracy to round 100 yards so, out to the vary I went with a couple of extra containers of slugs.

The zero course of was straightforward utilizing the sight’s 1-MOA click on changes and accuracy proved greater than satisfactory. However, one gripe was the extra peak of the brand new Burris Quick-Hearth sighting system. It was decrease than a scope, however I’ve at all times been fussy about stable cheek-welds.

A second name to Beretta produced a gel-type cheek-pad with an adhesive backer. The ultimate Burris/1301 system was nonetheless trimmer than any scoped options – and hopefully extra immune to recoil-induced slippage.

As for the small Burris sight, I’ve had good outcomes with three Quick-Hearth evolutions; FF-I, FF-II, and FF-III. The latter is a greater design as a result of its CR-1632 battery hundreds from the highest. This eliminates issues over zero shifts widespread to bottom-loading varieties. It’s additionally waterproof, an enormous plus in rain or snow.

A push-pad gives three brightness ranges along with an auto-adjust setting. Battery life is rated at 5,000 hours and the sight’s auto-shut-off function helps preserve energy. Like different MRDS sights, the Quick-Hearth can also be small and lightweight at 1.5 ounces.

SHOTGUN Dots Beretta
Beretta Mannequin 1301 Competitors in deer (or turkey) mode, with a Burris Quick-Hearth III MRDS. The goal (reversed) exhibits a 75-yard group fired with 12 Ga. 2 3/4″ WW Tremendous-X slugs. For these , the rear peep is an XS Backup. The entrance sight is a Williams clamp-on.

Though my last shotgun/red-dot system had promise, that 12 months’s tag was crammed earlier than I ever acquired an opportunity to attempt it on deer. A couple of months later although, spring turkey season commenced. Issues went nicely sufficient that I caught with this mixture – no less than, for some time.

Between a number of extra spring and fall seasons, it accounted for a pile of turkeys, all laid low by hard-kicking 3-inch magnums. Then, throughout one fall hunt, I detected a slight rattle. Shock. The Picatinny base was unfastened regardless of the usage of blue thread sealant. One other aggravation; the gel-pad wanted common consideration to maintain from curling off the floor of the artificial inventory. Ultimately, I wound up restoring the 1301 to its authentic configuration so it may double-duty as a backup discipline gun.

As most wing-shooters know, aerial targets are hit by pointing moderately than deliberate aiming. Earlier than eradicating the dot I did give it a attempt on claybirds, however the final result was just about the identical as earlier efforts with different dots  – not practically as efficient as a typical barrel, and a complete lot much less intuitive. This accounts for the shortage of dot-sights on regulation skeet and entice fields.

That mentioned, some shooters do use dot-sights with success on airborne targets. I’ve witnessed this firsthand by my son. Though his Benelli M-4 Tactical 12 Ga. shotgun is an unconventional selection, it tumbles crows with authority. It’s additionally removed from a standard turkey gun.

However, it’s pistol-grip improves management when taking pictures from contorted positions. The three-MOA Burris FF-III mounted to the gun’s receiver additionally helps heart dense patterns thrown by tight turkey chokes. A swap to a rifled choke-tube and slugs transforms the Benelli right into a deer gun. These hundreds all generate loads of recoil, however the Burris continues to operate reliably atop the Benelli’s stable Picatinny rail.

SHOTGUN red dot sight with turkey
A small MRDS is extra recoil resistant and a greater match for a lot of shares. This Burris FFF-III has survived a pounding from its 12 Ga. Benelli M-4 host. That mentioned, a set of back-up iron sights does supply reassurance when electronics are concerned.

For sporting functions, a dot-sight might be at its finest for turkeys or deer. However, since some wing-shooters additionally use dots, one MRDS that might cowl the whole lot is the Burris SpeedBead. It’s basically a FF-III mounted atop a vertical plate, sandwiched between a receiver and butt inventory. The Velocity Bead is offered to suit a number of fashionable shotguns, however set up requires elimination of the inventory.

Burris SpeedBead Hyperlinks for Value Comparability:

Defensive Shotguns

For a few years I used to be Officer in Cost of a busy authorities firearms operation and one significantly fascinating aspect was our high-speed shotgun program with reactive and transferring targets, just like fashionable 3-gun occasions. Continuous ranges supplied ample alternative to play with a development of defensive shotguns – the whole lot from stubby Mannequin 870 pumps to twin journal KSGs and extremely abbreviated Shockwaves.

Wants Evaluation First

The cool-factor is alive and nicely however we should always separate tacticool from actuality. Simply my two cents: I a lot choose a typical shotgun able to offering a stable gun mount to the most recent tactical bananas (validated by shot-timers and tons of shells). After experimenting with numerous shotguns, our mainstay LE stock advanced to 21” rifle-sighted M-870 police weapons with prolonged magazines and side-saddle shell holders.

Though heavy when absolutely loaded the additional weight tamed recoil, and the sights permitted helpful WW slug accuracy out to no less than 75 yards. No worries about useless batteries or broken optics both. Some optical mixtures end in weapons as heavy, or heavier, than our battle-scarred Remingtons.

Remington 870 stock photo
This Remington Mannequin 870 Specific Tactical will work nicely as is, however the rail is there for individuals who need optics. A small MRDS can be the higher match for the sporting comb of this inventory.

To achieve a extra compact shotgun, we fielded some personalized M-870s with 14” barrels and durable ghost-ring night-sights. Wilson Fight/Scattergun Applied sciences did the modifications, which reworked them into in failsafe close-quarter weapons. After all, at that time they grew to become NFA shotguns.

The Shockwaves present an end-around to that course of, however I’d moderately go the KISS route by way of an 18” model with a butt-stock – like Remington’s M-870 Specific Tactical pump.

Closed-Emitter Dots

Given the straight-line configuration of Kel-Tec’s KSG and S&W’s M&P 12, tall sights are a necessity, making a dot-sight the right selection. And, as a result of peak is much less of a priority, a closed emitter (tube) design will work nicely. A number of years in the past we (my company) procured a bunch of KSGs to be used with less-lethal munitions.

We mounted 30mm Aimpoint Execs due to their confirmed reliability on our AR-15 carbines, employees familiarity, and logistics. The two MOA dot works nicely on both platform and battery life is near-eternal.

Kel-Tec’s KSG is a superb host for a closed-emitter dot dight like this Aimpoint Patrol Optic (PRO). As a result of straight-line design of the shotgun, extra sight peak is a bonus.

Different good however pricier picks embrace a number of smaller Aimpoint fashions. One benefit of a closed-emitter design is its potential to just accept lens caps. Most additionally facilitate straightforward battery exchanges. The MRDS items are viable options, however some have to be dismounted, ensuing within the want for re-zeroing – a trouble given the expense (and shortage) of ammunition.    


Like scopes, dot sights will be helpful for shotguns, with the added benefit of limitless eye reduction. Shoot with each eyes open and discipline of view turns into a non-issue. From a sporting perspective they could be a good selection for area of interest roles (equivalent to these talked about above).

I mounted an MRDS to the receiver of my autoloading Beretta, however the higher (though extra pricey possibility) would possibly’ve been an Aimpoint Micro S-1. This small closed-emitter dot-sight is designed to lock on a ventilated rib. Seasonal set up is one chance. One other is a separate pre-zeroed barrel.

Or (as talked about in my earlier shotgun scopes for deer looking publish), some pumps and autoloaders will be fitted with cantilever barrels; these with bases that stretch rearward over their receivers. As a result of they’re designed to just accept optics, quite a few choices turn into doable.

Dot Choices

After all, the optics market is now saturated with dot-sights – far too many to checklist right here. Thus, I went with private expertise.

All of our company’s Aimpoint Execs (a lot of ‘em) are nonetheless going robust regardless of years of robust use.

Burris FastFire
Burris FastFire III with its included mount. The newest FF-3 model has improved battery life. One other latest addition is an FF-4. Notice the top-loading battery compartment.

As for my Burris FastFire III (now offered as a FF-3), it nonetheless works high quality on an S&W .44 Magnum Mannequin 629 revolver – a adequate testomony for me (ditto for my older FF-I & FF-II variations). The FF-III is now listed as a FastFire 3, and it’s been joined by an FF-4.

Tikka 12 gauge
Tikka 12 Ga./.223 Mixture Gun (re-chambered from .222 Rem) with a 1st Gen Konus Atomic. The purpose was “small and lightweight”, completed by way of this tiny however inexpensive closed-emitter dot sight.

The one dot sight presently earmarked for shotgun use is a comparatively cheap 1st-gen Konus Atomic. This tiny closed-emitter sight endures with out points on a European 12 Ga./.223 mixture gun.

Leupold Delta Point Pro
Leupold’s Delta Level Professional, proven right here on an S&W M&P CORE Pistol. This MRDS model mounts on to the slide however bases can be found to suit scope bases.

I’ve little question the Leupold Delta-Level Professional at present residing on a 9mm S&W M&P pistol would deal with something a shotgun may ship.

Vortex Solar
The Vortex SPARC Photo voltaic ships with two Picatinny-type mounts of various heights, making it an excellent contender for conventional or straight-line tactical shotguns. Battery life is eons.

One dot sight I haven’t but tried on a shotgun is the 30mm Vortex SPARC Photo voltaic, however I consider it has actual potential based mostly on an intensive shakedown atop a 9mm AR-15 carbine. ARs of this sort are straight blow-back designs that generate a handy guide a rough recoil impulse, which the small Vortex shrugs off.

Shotgun Purple Dots Remaining Take

Regardless of the selection, I’d consider a dependable mounting system, which just about guidelines out most aftermarket Rube Goldberg techniques. And given the pounding a 12 gauge shotgun can dish out, store for an excellent guarantee. We’re speaking electronics and circuitry. A product with a lifetime guarantee is indication of high quality.

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