Best Sights for the Remington 870 – Complete Buyer’s Guide for 2019

With opening season approaching around the corner, hunters are looking for accessories to enhance their weaponry to make this season productive.

Such an accessory could be a sight, informally known as a scope, an aiming aid based on a refracting telescope. A basic scope typically consists of a reticle mounted onto a device, in order to provide the best aim.

In this article, we are going to be discussing the best scopes available on the market for the Remington 870.

Best Sights for Remington 870 Comparison Chart

Product

Our Rating

Price

BURRIS - SHOTGUN SPEEDBEAD™

EOTECH - 512 HOLOGRAPHIC WEAPON SIGHT

XS SIGHT SYSTEMS - SHOTGUN BIG DOT TRITIUM FRONT SIGHT

TRUGLO - GLO-DOT II SHOTGUN SIGHT

SIMMONS - PROHUNTER SHOTGUN / HANDGUN SCOPES

Types of Shotgun Scopes

Single-bead Sight

The most basic type of shotgun scopes, the single-bead sight, consists of a bead at the end of the gun barrel to cover the target when the shooter takes aim.

This scope can be used without a ventilated rib; a rail along the barrel-top that the shooter sights upon to help take aim.

Bead sights are best used when shooting fast flying targets such as birds or clay disks.

Double-bead Sight

A double-bead sight, like the single-bead, has a bead at the end of the barrel and mid-way down.

Some shooters tend to lift their heads as they take aim to see if the target is hit. The double bead forces the shooter to keep his cheek tight to the stock thereby increasing accuracy and aim. It can be used with or without a ventilated rib.

Post and Blade Sight

Rifle, iron, and open scopes all fall under the category of the ‘post and blade’ sight. This type of sighting system, which usually comes with an un-scoped rifle, consists of a rear notched blade and a front post.

Unlike single and double bead sights, the shooter can self-adjust the windage and elevation of this sight.

Usually made of fiber-optic cables, the P&B sight is optimal for use in low-light conditions when shooting stationary targets. Open sights usually have high resistance to recoil and don’t have batteries that require unlike red-dot scopes.

Red-dot Scopes

Red-dot Scope

This type of scope is mounted directly over the receiver and does not have typically magnification properties. Though the name implies the projection of a red dot, the scope actually has a holographic red dot illuminated inside the tube.

It can be adjusted for brightness in light-changing conditions and is usually ideal for stationary targets.

How to Choose the Best Scope for Your Shooting Style

Choosing the right scope for your shooting style may seem like an easy process, but there are a plethora of factors to consider.

For long range hunting, the ideal scope should have excellent quality glass, high powered optics, a ballistic turret, parallax adjustment and illumination.

For all-round hunting, one should get a scope with eye relief and a duplex reticle.

Keeping these factors in mind, we will now discuss how to choose the best scopes for four specific shooting styles.

Tactical

For tactical shooting, fixed power scopes are typically used. Although robust and waterproof, due to their lack of flexibility, variable power scopes are now preferred over fixed ones.

For tactical scopes, a magnification range of 2.5-10X is ideal, as too much magnification can result in a small field of view and mirage problems.

Though larger scopes offer better resolution, they need to be mounted higher, increasing the likelihood of reflecting light and revealing one’s position. 

Larger tubes tend to add more weight and require greater adjustment, hence 30 mm is ideal.

Windage and elevation turrets are common as they provide audible and tactile clicks so you can keep track as you adjust the cross-hairs.

When it comes to reticles, illuminated ones are highly recommended as they aid shooting in dim light. With this, having side focus knobs for parallax adjustments can greatly improve your range.

Slug Gun

Slug gun shooting is a great style of hunting that employs accuracy and precision. Slug gun scopes should be adjusted for heavy recoil and have average magnifying power, either fixed or variable within the 3-9X range.

Eye relief is a must, which can be gained through a shorter tube. A ballistic reticle, illumination option and weatherproof model are highly desirable for this style.

Hunting

The primary consideration when choosing your scope for hunting should be distance.

Small game hunters in forested areas won’t require much magnification since trees are an obstacle, while large game hunters out West may require greater vision.

For most recreational hunters, a magnification of 3-9x is ideal as increased magnification could lead to missing shots and wasted ammo. This range is also best for off-hand shooting and following targets.

For mid-range scenarios, a fixed power 4x scope is best. On the other hand, for long open distances 24x or 36x may be the most cost-effective solution.

The scope should also have a solid construction, eye relief of around four inches, and be weatherproof. A parallax knob adds consistency to shots and is necessary when hunting small game.

For larger game however, one’s breathing and heart rate cause movements that outweigh parallax. Single-bead scopes are best used for small game due to their accuracy and red-dot for larger game.

Competitive Sports and Games

For bench-rest competitive shooters, target scopes with fixed lenses of 35x to 60x magnification are the best. Wide objective lenses increase target visibility and a reticle with fine cross hairs is preferred for the same reason.

Competitive handgun hunting scopes usually have long eye relief and simple bold cross hair or ballistic reticles. For Rimfire scopes, red-dot sights are preferred.

Quick Take - The Best Remington 870 Sights

Best Sights for the Remington 870

The Remington 870 is a pump-action shotgun mostly used for sport shooting, hunting and self defense. According to its intended use, most owners prefer to take advantage of upgrades such as a new scope, rather than stick with the factory version. In this section, we’ll be discussing the best rated sights for the model.

1. BURRIS - SHOTGUN SPEEDBEAD

This product merges the Burris FastFire II red-dot reflex sight with a steel mounting plate that easily fits between a shotgun’s stock and receiver.

This is perfect for aligning the site with the rib. 4" of eye relief are an added bonus. In case of battery failure, the front bead can still be used to focus and aim.

Pros:

  • Improves sight in dim light
  • Simple alignment
  • No wiggle

Cons:

  • Positioning of red dot and gold bead distracting
  • Difficult mounting

Bottom Line

Easy controls and sight adjustments. Slightly difficult mounting but once fixed in place, it stays mounted. Product comes highly recommended by those who've used it firsthand.

2. EOTECH - 512 HOLOGRAPHIC WEAPON SIGHT

The EOTech Model 512 is perfect for anyone who wants speedy focus, rough usage, and reliability. The model mounts onto a Weaver or MIL-STD 1913 rail and is user friendly when it comes to installation. 

The scope runs on 2 AA batteries and can run for up to 1,000 hours (lithium) or 600 (alkaline) at a brightness setting of 12.

Pros:

  • Parallax free 0* magnification allows open-eyed shooting
  • Large field of view
  • Body robust and hard-wearing
  • High level precision

Cons:

  • Relatively low battery life

Bottom Line

Performs well in long and short ranges, is an attractive, versatile model. But, it's low battery life and lack of night vision mode may dissuade potential buyers.

3. XS SIGHT SYSTEMS - SHOTGUN BIG DOT TRITIUM FRONT SIGHT

This model includes a highly visible, tritium dot front sight, encircled by white ring epoxies over the pre-existing front bead. This enhances target focus while also improving dim light, sight acquisition after muzzle flash.

The sight can be placed over existing bead sights from .125 to .140-inch diameters. This model also comes with adhesive.

Pros:

  • Looks good
  • Tough
  • Gives improved sight picture

Cons:

  • Problems with adhesive and setting up

Bottom Line

Easy installation, albeit a little messy but worth the money as it is a high quality product. Bright sight and white ‘big eye’ is very visible in daylight. Top class product.

4. TRUGLO - GLO-DOT II SHOTGUN SIGHT

A colored, high resolution optic rod fits nicely behind a factory front bead on a plain barrel shotgun (12 or 20 gauge).

A notch near the base of the sight uses the factory bead to locate the Glo-Dot II sight along the barrel axis.

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Looks good
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Single colour

Bottom Line

A cost-effective upgrade, the TRUGLO allows brighter visuals with the fiber optic upgrade and provides easy installation and a snug fit. Product comes highly recommended.

5. SIMMONS - PROHUNTER SHOTGUN / HANDGUN SCOPES

Multi-coated optics and superior glass allow this model to replicate the sharpest images in its league.

It also has an Exclusive TruZero windage and elevation adjustment system for a long-lasting zero-in. The Quick Target Acquisition eyepiece brings 3.75" of eye relief.

Pros:

  • Water-proof, shock-proof and recoil proof
  • Easier grip and adjustment
  • HD clarity

Cons:

  • None

Bottom Line

Recommended for its good quality, excellent eye relief and good field of vision. This model provides good value for its affordable price.

How to Sight in a Remington 870 Scope

There are many ways to sight in a Remington 870, some are easy and expensive, while others require a little more effort, but can be installed at a cheaper price.

The first step when sighting in a gun manually, is to remove the bolt from the rifle. The gun will then need to be stabilized; if no additional equipment is available at the range, sandbags can be used.

With the rifle in place, look down the bore of the gun and place a sight picture directly over a target.

Unscrew the scope and adjust it so that the cross-hairs lie directly over the target. Reinsert the bolt and shoot a round at 25 yards towards the target and adjust accordingly.

You can also use a bore sighting kit, which includes spuds of different diameters meant to be stuck down the bore of the gun to lock it in place. A scope aligner (with a grid) clamps down to these.

Then, focus on a target and readjust the cross-hairs of your scope accordingly. Modern methods also employ the use of laser bore kits, which work in a similar way.

Some gunsmithing may be required when mounting a scope to the Remington 870. Most people make use of sandbags and trigger pins to replace the bolt.

However, the most foolproof way of mounting a scope is to drill and tap the receiver before installing the rail.

Conclusion

Hopefully this has given you a better understanding of factors to consider when choosing the best scope for your Remington 870. There's no perfect scope for every scenario, but depending on how you plan to use your gun, the ideal scope, suited to your needs, can surely be found.

We hope this has contributed toward your next scope and has been an excellent resource. Be sure to visit us again after using the model you chose and let us know how it performed. We love hearing from readers and look forward to hearing from you!

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