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

Comparison of the Best Remington 870 Sights

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Burris Shotgun Speedbead

  • Red dot reflex sight for quick target acquisition
  • Parallax-free scope with maximum 4.5 inches of eye relief
  • Long-lasting battery for unimpeded usage
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Eotech 512 Holographic Weapon Sight

  • Holographic weapon sight for clear and focused sight picture
  • Wide angle of view for comfortable and accurate shooting
  • Mounts directly to Picatinny/Weaver rail and long run time
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XS Sight Systems - Shotgun Big Dot Tritium Front Sight

  • Tritium-filled vials works for almost a decade without dimming
  • Value for money replacement to the existing front sight
  • Installs easily over the existing bead sight
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Truglo Glo-Dot II Shotgun Sight

  • Colored high-resolution optic rod fits behind front sight
  • Easy to install and align, plus improves accuracy
  • Available in different colors for individual shooting preference
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Types of Shotgun Sights

Below are the primary types of shotgun sights:

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 another 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, unlike red-dot scopes.

Red-Dot Scopes

Red-dot Scope

This type of scope is mounted directly over the receiver and does not typically have 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 Shotgun Sight

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 qualities 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 crosshairs is preferred for the same reason.

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

Quick Take - The Best Remington 870 Sights

Review of the 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.

Pros

  • No wiggle
  • Simple alignment
  • Improves sight in dim light
  • Super-easy to install
  • Barely adds any weight to your shotgun
  • Perfect for hunting and target shooting
  • Easily adjustable for windage and elevation
  • Excellent for those who are dealing with poor eyesight

Cons

  • Difficult mounting
  • The sight may shift during gunfire
  • Positioning of red dot and gold bead are distracting
  • The battery compartment may be a little hard to close
  • Some have had complaints about the included mount being low in quality

What Recent Buyers Report  

A lot of new buyers were satisfied with the sight. They managed to install this in a few minutes flat and had no trouble zeroing it in. When shooting rounds, the accuracy was pretty decent and allowed for tighter shooting groups with targets situated from 50 to 75 yards out. One user said that despite his poor eyesight, he was able to shoot like a true marksman with this sight. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

They don’t call this the Speedbead for nothing. You get fast target acquisition and a quick chance to fire off each round and make it count. So if you are a competitive shooter or you want to get a quick kill shot out of the way while hunting, this sight will likely give you that ability. The quality is amazing, which means it will be able to protect itself from shock and recoil and you won’t lose your zero settings in the process. 

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 sight with the rib and the four-inch eye relief is an added bonus. In case of battery failure, the front bead can still be used to focus and aim.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will, in all likelihood, be a sight used for hunting and target shooting. And it would be a treat for older users that tend to have failing eyesight, as well. If you want a sight that will be easy to see and easy to use when it comes to hitting your targets, this just might be the one you’ll end up relying on in applications that matter most. 

Bottom Line

The Burris Shotgun Speedbead will definitely give you more than enough reasons to have this sight on your shotgun. It’s easy to install, solidly built, and can deliver consistently accurate shots like nothing else. You won’t be sorry if you decide to purchase this. It’s actually a really good sight that can get you through many years of use. 

It has easy controls and sight adjustments. It is slightly difficult to mount but once fixed in place, stays mounted. The product comes highly recommended by those who've used it firsthand.

Pros

  • Large field of view
  • High level of precision
  • Body is robust and hard-wearing
  • Durable and solid
  • Does a good job maintaining zero
  • Allows for consistently accurate shooting
  • Easy to install on most rifles and shotguns
  • Excellent for hunting, target shooting, and home defense

Cons

  • Relatively low battery life
  • The dot itself should be a bit more centered
  • Dot may not appear as crisp as some people hoped

What Recent Buyers Report  

Most new buyers had no complaints about the sight. They said the installation was a breeze and was responsible for many clean and accurate kills in hunting applications. One user said that while test shooting at the range, he had no trouble hitting his targets from ranges between 50 to 100 yards. He added that the sight was easy to use and was resistant to all kinds of shock and recoil.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This sight has the potential to run for a really long time (depending on the batteries being used). If you are using lithium batteries, you’ll have a better chance of seeing this last a long time (about 1,000 hours total time). It’s perfect for when you are out and about in the woods in low-light conditions. If you are in a home defense situation, it will still serve its purpose indoors, as well. The housing is made from high-quality materials, so it’s less likely to break or fall apart after short-term use.

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

Who Will Use This Most 

This will be an ideal sight for many applications. So if you hunt, shoot targets, or have a shotgun just in case someone dares to break inside, this sight will perhaps be the go-to choice for you. It just might be the sight you need to get you through low-light periods but still can be useful throughout the rest of the day.

Bottom Line

The Eotech 512 Holographic Weapon Sight is not a flimsy or cheap sight by any stretch of the imagination. It’s high in quality and superb in performance. And it just might be the long-term solution for you if you want each of your shots to go the distance. If you want a sight that will be easy to install and won’t obscure your targets due to its size, this just might be what you’re looking for. 

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

Pros

  • Looks good
  • Solid as a rock
  • Gives improved sight picture
  • Installs in just a minute
  • Perfect for hunting and home defense
  • Can fit on most Remington 870 shotguns
  • Allows for superior accuracy and precision

Cons

  • May get hot to the touch
  • Problems with adhesive and setting up
  • Light may be a little dimmer than expected
  • Some say the sight fails to stay in place if regular glue is used

What Recent Buyers Report  

A lot of new users had no issue with the sight and they managed to use it each and every time they went hunting or to the range. Regardless, they managed to hit targets accurately and consistently at various ranges (specifically 40 to 60 yards). One user said it was a sight that excelled when used in a nighttime situation. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This sight is probably the perfect size for use on a Remington 870 shotgun. It’s solid in construction and lights up in situations where light is low to non-existent. So it works around the clock to ensure that you get accurate and precise shots each time you fire it. This might be the sight you’ll definitely want to install if you are looking for something affordable but excellent in quality and performance. 

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.

Who Will Use This Most 

This sight will be great as a starter. So if you are looking for something that isn’t high-tech, but rather simple to use, it will get the job done. Don’t be surprised if you end up keeping it around for a good, long time. 

Bottom Line

The XS Sight Systems Shotgun Big Dot Tritium Front Sight is perhaps the one sight you can use to make shots as accurate and precise as possible. And for the price it’s going for, you’ll actually be quite happy with the overall quality and performance. Not bad for a sight that is considered a “budget” accessory.

Easy installation, albeit a little messy, makes it well-worth the money, as it is a high quality product. A bright sight and white ‘big eye’ are very visible in daylight. It is a top-class product.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Exceptionally reliable
  • Easy to install
  • Perfect for almost any application
  • Really bright, can be useful in low-light settings
  • Can be easily detached and re-attached to new shotguns

Cons

  • Single color
  • May be a little difficult to keep straight
  • Might be a little dimmer than expected
  • A few complained about the dot being small

What Recent Buyers Report  

As expected, most buyers had nothing but good things to say about this sight. They said once installed, they were able to quickly zero it in from various ranges. One user said he managed to get his Remington 870 to hit targets situated at right around 100 yards. He said the sight allowed for pinpoint accuracy and was much better than the bead sight he had used when he first started using the shotgun. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The TruGlo lives up to its name. It glows up quite nicely and definitely gives you the ability to aim at your target and hit it with accurate shots each time (especially in a low-light setting). Whether it’s dawn or dusk, you’ll have no problem knocking down a deer or a varmint. So if you love hunting with your Remington 870 shotgun and want a sight that will be great for shooting when the sun is getting up or going down, this bad boy will put in the overtime hours. 

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.

Who Will Use This Most 

If you hunt during the early morning hours or are just wrapping up at dusk, but manage to get one more go at a target (in case one suddenly appears) this sight will likely come through for you. But don’t count this out in the day time, either. It’s a sight that can still work when it’s high noon. But before the day begins or ends, it can excel as the sight that can give you precise and accurate shooting with the right kind of illumination. 

Bottom Line 

The TruGlo Glo-Dot II is likely going to be a hunter’s best friend when it comes to sights. So it will definitely be reliable in low-light situations. Whether you are just starting the hunting day or just ending it, you can put this to good use at those times when others tend to struggle with their own less illuminating sights. 

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

Pros

  • HD clarity
  • Easier grip and adjustment
  • Superior durability
  • Installs in a matter of minutes
  • Excellent image quality and clarity
  • Perfect for hunting and target shooting
  • Waterproof, shockproof and recoil-proof

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report  

A lot of new users were able to put this scope to good use on their Remington 870 shotguns. What they got was a pretty good scope that helped shots go the distance (about 100 yards, at best). Many of the new users used this while hunting for whitetail deer and other small game. One user said he couldn’t wait to put it to the test once he installed it. The following day, he was able to get a few varmint targets out of it. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

While we focused mostly on smaller sights over the course of the list, we turn our attention to what is considered to be a scope that can work quite nicely with Remington 870 shotguns. It’s a scope that can definitely take your shots to places you never knew your shotgun could go. So it might be excellent for the purpose of hunting or target shooting. Either way, it’s a solid optic you can depend on. 

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.

Who Will Use This Most 

This would definitely be a great scope for those who hunt with their Remington 870 shotguns. Of course, you’ll have a scope you can use for a casual day at the range. This might outperform some of the sights on the list in terms of daytime shooting. And it’s probably going to be used only for that purpose.

Bottom Line

The Simmons Prohunter is a scope that is worth the closer look if you are a hunter that wants a scope to make sure that every shot counts from a good distance. This may not be one of the smaller sights but rest assured, you’ll still be able to land each shot with ease. 

This is 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 crosshairs 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 choose and let us know how it performed. We love hearing from readers and look forward to hearing from you!

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