How to Install a Shotgun Bead Sight


A shotgun bead sight is not used for aiming like traditional rifle sights. The bead is used as a reference point for shooting at moving targets. A single bead sight is standard on sporting shotguns, but older guns and tactical shotguns usually lack bead sights. Adding a bead to a ribbed barrel is a simple project for a novice, while drilling and tapping a barrel without a rib should be left to a gunsmith.

Things You'll Need

  • Gun vise
  • Drill
  • Drill and tap set
  • Thread-locking compound
  • Select the bead you want to install. White beads are the most common because they are visible in low light conditions, but fiber-optic beads are gaining popularity.

  • Place the shotgun in a gun vise and find the center of the rib.

  • Use a center punch to mark a spot about an inch from the muzzle.

  • Drill a small starter hole in the center of the mark. This will keep the drill bit from moving while you make the hole.

  • Use the correct tap for your bead to cut threads in the freshly drilled hole. The bead packaging will tell you what size threads to make.

  • Apply a drop of thread-locking compound to the threads on the bead and screw it into the barrel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some gun supply companies sell a special tool that will keep the drill bit centered on the rib and the hole straight. This makes the job easier.

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