Shotgun Ghost Ring Sights: Selecting the right sight for you

Shotgun Ghost Ring Sights

Shotgun ghost ring sights provide rapid target acquisition when operating in a big game hunting or defensive environment.  Utilizing a large rear aperture that “ghosts” when the shooter focuses on the front sight, ghost ring sights are a relatively inexpensive upgrade that provide the shooter enhanced performance.   The Scattergun Technologies, Sage and Vang Comp Systems ghost ring sights each has it own advantages and disadvantages.  Lets see how they compare to one and other.

Each one of these sight systems has been installed in house by Rifleshooter.com on Remington 870 shotguns.  Links are provided to installation posts at the bottom of the page. Note that each one of these systems can also be installed on the Remington 1100 and 11-87 shotguns as well.

Each of the sights featured have been provided by Brownells

Rear sights

The Vang Comp (top), Sage International (middle) and Scattergun Technologies (bottom) rear sights.

The Vang Comp (top), Sage International (middle) and Scattergun Technologies (bottom) rear sights.

Each of these systems uses a different approach in the rear sight design.

  • Vang Comp Systems: The Vang Comp rear sight is winged to protect the rear sight aperture,  it provides screw adjustable windage and elevation and a rail to mount optics.  The screw adjustments on this rear sight are unique compared to the other two systems. This sight is also available without the rail. Installation of the rear sight & rail requires drilling and tapping 4 holes and drilling a clearance hole for the sight adjustment screw.  The sight is constructed of aluminum. 
  • Sage International: The Sage sight has heavy steel wings to protect the rear sight assembly.  Elevation and windage adjustments are made on sliding dovetails and locked with a screw.  Installation of the sight requires the drilling and tapping of two holes.  The sight is steel.
  • Scattergun Technologies: The Scattergun Technologies sight does not have wings to protect it.  The rear sight aperture is secured in place with a screw.  Mating ridges in the sight and sight base allow the shooter to make elevation and windage adjustments.  Installation of this sight require drilling and tapping two holes.  The sight is steel.
The Vang Comp rear sight (left) provides the shooter with an elevation adjustment screw.  On the Sage, the shooter unlocks the pinch screw on the side of the rear sight and slides the entire assembly to adjust elevation.

The Vang Comp rear sight (left) provides the shooter with an elevation adjustment screw. On the Sage (right), the shooter unlocks the pinch screw on the side of the rear sight and slides the entire assembly to adjust elevation.

The Scattergun Technologies rear sight is secured on the sight base with a single screw.

The Scattergun Technologies rear sight is secured on the sight base with a single screw.  Elevation and windage adjustments are made by simply sliding the sight towards the front or rear, left or right.

Vang Comp Systems (left), Sage International (center) and Scattergun Technologies (right).  Note the relative placement of each sight on the receiver.

Vang Comp Systems (left), Sage International (center) and Scattergun Technologies (right). Note the relative placement of each sight on the receiver.

Front Sights

These systems differ greatly in the attachment of the front sight with methods ranging from epoxy to silver solder.

  • Vang Comp Systems: The Vang Comp Systems front sight has two wings protecting an M16 style front sight post.  It is provided with an XS big dot tritium front sight, however, the user can choose from the myriad of M16 style sights available.  Installation of the front sight requires the use of high temperature silver solder.  Additionally, since the sight is furnished in the white (unfinished), it and the barrel need to be refinished.  This is the only one of the three sight systems that requires refinishing after installation.  
  • Sage International:  The Sage front sight has two sturdy steel wings to protect the front sight.  The front sight has a tritium insert and is screwed into the base.  Three different heights are provided (see photo).  Installation of the front sight requires pressing the front sight base over the barrel then drilling and tapping one hole to secure it in place.
  • Scattergun Technologies: The Scattergun Technologies front sight does not have protective wings.  The wide, square topped front sight is equipped with a tritium insert.  Installation requires degreasing the front sight and the bead base on the barrel.  The unit is then glued on with epoxy supplied with the sight.  As an added measure of security, the sight can be cross pinned through the sight and base with a 1/16″ roll pin.  With the exception of the cross pin, installation of the Scattergun Technologies’ front sight is the easiest of the three sights reviewed here.

 

Vang Comp Systems (top), Sage International (center) and Scattergun Technologies (bottom).

Vang Comp Systems (top), Sage International (center) and Scattergun Technologies (bottom).  Attachment methods vary; the Vang is silver soldered, the Sage is press fit and pinned with a screw and the Scattergun Tech is epoxied in place (we also cross pin ours).

All of these sights are equipped with tritium inserts.  Vang Comp (left), Sage (center) and Scattergun Technologies (right).

All of these sights are equipped with tritium inserts. Vang Comp (left), Sage (center) and Scattergun Technologies (right).

Discussion

Each one of these sights performs as intended in the field.  Cost and installation typically factor heavily in deciding which sights to use.

The Vang Comp sights offer a well refined system with the ability to integrate optics.  This comes at the expense of the most difficult installation and the need to refinish the barrel.

The Scattergun Technologies sights are simple, low profile, and offer an excellent sight picture.  Any doubts about the effectiveness of the epoxy method have been settled with us because we have used a set since the mid 90s.  Removing the cross pin and striking the sight with a hammer does not budge it.  The Scattergun sights are the easiest to install.  If you don’t have a bead base on your barrel, an oversized screw can be drilled and tapped into the barrel to epoxy to.  We have also reshaped rifle sight bases into a tenon to receive the sight with files.  Both methods work well.  The lack of wings protecting the front and rear sights isn’t necessarily a disadvantage either.  The wings provide addition snag points, especially if operating in confined spaces such as a vehicle.

The Sage International sights are relatively easy to install, requiring three holes to be drilled and tapped.  The sights are very strong, but bulky for our tastes.  Additionally, the front sight presented a less refined picture then the other two models shown here.

Overall we prefer the Scattergun Technologies Trak-Lock II and Vang Comp sights.  All things being equal, they each have their pluses and minuses.  If considering price and installation, the Scattergun Technology sights are hard to beat and can be installed by an amateur gunsmith.

To see how each set is installed, click on the links below:

To purchase ghost ring sights for your shotgun, visit Brownells. Links to each sight are posted below.