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How to use the bead?

Discussion in 'Other' started by scottcc, Jun 12, 2021.

  1. scottcc

    scottcc .22LR

    Messages:
    21
    I’m new to shotguns and recently bought a tactical 930 semi auto with bead sight. Instead of “upgrading” to ghost ring sights or optics, I’d like to learn how to use the traditional bead sight. Yes I’m sure that YouTube might have a few videos on it, but instead of getting maybe bad advice. I’m asking for proven advice and maybe YouTube videos that will give me sound methods.
    The shotgun seems to fit me naturally, that I can get the bead picture centered over the receiver effortlessly, if that’s good start.
    meanstreak likes this.
  2. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

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    That's really all you have to do is line up the bead.

    Bead sights are much faster to point/aim than other things where you have to line up multiple points on the gun.

    Point squeeze.

    It's really no harder than that.

    I will mention, you'll need to pattern the gun and pattern it at varying distances so you'll know if you need to "hold over".

    Hardly any shotguns shoot true point of aim and even then, with how shot shells work, no two shells will be exactly alike either but you'll get an idea after seeing the "pattern" where you need to aim. But with some time behind it, you'll be busting clays or seeing squirrels fall out of trees and hear the thud before you know it.

    Get some cheap shells and some pizza box lids or some cheap poster paper and have at it. Once you figure out where to aim, shoot something smaller. I like pop cans.

    If you can hit a pop can and put a bunch of pellets in it, you'll be able to hit a rabbit or squirrel.

    It just takes time to get comfortable and familiar with it.

    But that's the fun part :)
    meanstreak, Bobster and scottcc like this.
  3. Ernst

    Ernst .30-06 Supporter "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    1,431
    John makes very good points.

    So many folks believe a shotgun is a scatter gun and doesn't need to be aimed.

    Just remember that your typical shot pellet pattern only expands about one inch per yard from the muzzle. Therefore, as John recommended you should pattern your gun at various distances. I've always recommended 3, 5, and 7 yards to begin with. Then at the max range you plan to shoot.

    Until you have a few hundred shells through the gun you likely won't be consistent with your aim point but practice will end in good results. You'll here various theories regarding site picture. Some will say you must use your eye as the rear sight. Others will say only focus on the target. I'm with John regarding a clear focus on the bead. Try different methods once your comfortable with the gun to see what works best for you and what you're shooting. Varies with still and moving targets

    Regards and welcome to the forum!
    meanstreak, scottcc and John A. like this.
  4. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

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    16,401
    Yeah, if you're not used to shooting a shotgun, the first couple of boxes of shells may not be aimed real well (flinch). That's often a normal response because you think you're going to get your brains kicked out but most semi's are usually more soft shooting than their single shot counterparts.

    That's why I suggest handicap/low brass shot especially at first because they don't kick as hard and they're cheaper too plus most semi's have less recoil due to how the action works. The handicap loads may or may not cycle your shotgun. Would be great if they do, but I wouldn't really expect that they will. Most semiauto shotguns won't cycle low brass. I'll mention that up front. At least not without some tweaking. But don't let that disappoint you.

    This also helps you learn the "manual of arms' of how to remedy a feed or ejection failure because that is one of the harder things to learn with a semi. So, while they do have their advantages, there are some things that can make it a little harder to shoot too.

    After you are comfortable shooting the gun, then pattern it at various distances. And you can also work your way up to the heavier loads once you're comfortable with it.

    As for how I use a bead sight.

    I had honestly never given it a whole lot of thought. I shoulder the gun and look at the front bead while ignoring the receiver altogether. I just put the bead on target and squeeze for a stationary target.

    Shooting fast moving targets (like skeet or running rabbits), takes a slightly different approach because you have to aim at an even more exaggerated lead to the target. Plus, it takes some time for the pellets to reach the area where the fast moving target is going to be so you have to anticipate that. But for now, I'd concentrate on familiarizing yourself with the gun, putting some low recoil/ handicap/ low brass shells through it and eventually pattern it to see where to aim.

    I generally shoot about 15 yards after familiarizing myself with the gun to start patterning there. Then every 5 yards after until I reach the point where the shot pattern (pellet count) is getting light. That gives me the idea of knowing what the maximum distance that I should pull the trigger.

    And I'm not going to get into different chokes yet. Different chokes are made because they have different purposes. Ranging from improved cylinder to modified choke to extra extra full turkey chokes. But, we'll cross that bridge later if you want to.

    Nothing wrong with starting out at close distances. That will be quick to show you where your point of aim/impact for your specific gun is going to be. Whether it's a little high, or low or right or left of the bullseye.
    meanstreak, scottcc and Bobster like this.
  5. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

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    Yeah, aiming is important.

    I have found that at distances at less than ~12-15 yards, most of the pellets will not even leave the wad. It takes some time before the pellets actually spread out.

    And why aiming at close distances are even more important than farther away because at close distances especially, it's more like you're aiming a rifle or pistol because there is very little spread.

    Eventually at further distances and faster targets and once you are a lot more comfortable, eventually you'll end up just using the bead as a reference of where the muzzle is and will largely look at the target and start to ignore the bead more and more as you get used to the gun.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't aim at farther away either. So, please don't misunderstand what I'm saying.

    My main point that both Ernst and myself are making is: aiming is important.

    But I think you'll see what I'm talking about as you shoot it more.
    meanstreak and nitesite like this.
  6. nitesite

    nitesite Average Guy Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    6,375
    I know that at all the AL APOST shotgun qualifications/familiarizations I ever did, the bead seems set up for 100-yards with slugs. Officers were shooting low at 50-yards until they found they needed to aim lower near the belly.

    Some inexperienced shotgunners/shooters asked if the slug starts rising after leaving the barrel. :)
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
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  7. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    12,521
    The key with the bead is having your cheak in a consistant position in the receiver so that you are looking straight down the barrel with your eye as close to the top of the receiver as possible.

    Over time it will become second nature and you will not even be conscious of it

    If you don't do it, your shot placement will be all over, esp as yardages increase and esp with slugs.

    Good form is easy to learn but bad form is really hard to unlearn.
    meanstreak, scottcc and John A. like this.
  8. scottcc

    scottcc .22LR

    Messages:
    21
    Sounds like a bit of fun practicing is in order. Hopefully the ammo crunch dies down quicker than projected.
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  9. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

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    That's the spirit.

    It will be fun.

    There are few things more therapeutic in this world than being able to take your gun out and watch things disintegrate.

    There have been times in my life that I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders and have been wound up tighter than a drum and stressed to the end of my wits.

    Then after blowing through a few boxes of shells and watching pop cans bounce across the back 40, feel like a whole new man.
    meanstreak, scottcc and nitesite like this.
  10. Jmm14534

    Jmm14534 20g Supporter Premier Member

    Messages:
    574
    Proper shouldering or “mounting” is also very important. The good news is that you can practice this anytime and no ammunition required. As already mentioned proper positioning is important for consistency and should become second nature. The stock should be high up on the shoulder area and tight to the cheek. Bring the stock up to your head don’t bring your head down to the stock. If you do this in front of a mirror then you will see the results and you can make adjustments accordingly.
    Body position should also be considered. You should be positioned roughly in the direction of the target with weight on your front foot to counter act the recoil.
    Good luck and most importantly have fun!
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
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  11. meanstreak

    meanstreak .30-06 Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    4,492
    Man, the potential for learning and review is unlimited in Mossberg Owners. I have not had my shotgun out of the safe in about 3 years. Good review.

    Thanks for the question Scott, thanks for the info fellas.
  12. James Fischer

    James Fischer .22LR

    Messages:
    19
    Given the discussion above, why does a Mossberg 590 Shockwave Not-A-Shotgun have a bead sight? I'm certainly not putting my cheek anywhere near the handgrip when firing. I don't care for myself, I put CT LS-250G green lasers on our his & hers matched Shockwaves, but the bead sight just seems to tempt the uninitiated to make a significant error in judgment.
  13. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

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    Just a guess but the front sight is so you have a point of reference of where the barrel is pointing when you're AIMING the gun? When I was using a shockwave grip, I was holding the gun out in front of me and still using the front sight as an aiming reference.

    As for anyone that wants to use the grip as a cheek piece, I would wager to bet they'll only do it once.

    I believe most anyone would know better before picking it up. And if they don't, won't take them very long to realize their mistake.
    fellmann likes this.
  14. fellmann

    fellmann Esoteric Supporter Premier Member

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    1,165
    Excactly :D You push forward / away with the forend grip arm.. not fully straight arm, just a bit bent so it can absorb / take the recoil
    John A. likes this.
  15. Ernst

    Ernst .30-06 Supporter "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    1,431
    Once you get familiar with the push / pull method of shooting a Shockwave you'll find it very easy to aim the weapon using the bead sight. In fact, some even shoot clays with a Shockwave. The aiming technique without a shoulder stock is no different than an AR pistol without a brace. There are several videos online showing the aiming techniques.

    Regards
    fellmann likes this.
  16. James Fischer

    James Fischer .22LR

    Messages:
    19
    So, can anyone offer any theory on why the bead sight on a Mossberg is so "low" at shorter distances? What distance do they expect/design the bead target to be at? When I slide in a laser boresight to double-check the Crimson trace laser (it literally takes a 2nd laser to align the first laser!), the bead is always lower - at 10 yards it is several inches low.

    I haven't bothered to sit and keep looking at progressively further-away targets, but there has to be some distance at which the bead is accurate in the vertical plane as well as horizontal. is this known?
  17. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

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    16,401
    Well, to be honest, this is why it's important that you pattern your gun. Each shotgun is going to be a little different. And being a smoothbore just throwing big handfuls of pellets, is never going to shoot exactly the same twice anyway.

    But perhaps this may help explain your question about the elevation. It has a lot to do with the sight being located higher than the bore, and the fact how gravity and velocity work.

    Even a shotgun will have a somewhat rainbow trajectory.

    [​IMG]

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