Wacky sight picture with LEO adapter for 870


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Snowblind
November 10, 2013, 03:24 PM
I love my Mesa LEO adapter for the 870, but as part of my "tacticool scale-down" I moved back to the bead sight and removed the saddle rail/red dot setup. While the higher cheek placement was great for the red dot, which was about an inch and a half or so off the receiver, it's terrible for the bead. I have to put my cheekbone against the tube to sight along the top of the receiver, and while it does work, it's uncomfortable, and I have yet to muster the courage to load up any full-power slugs. I really don't need a cracked orbital.

I love the LEO adapter so much, I'd rather change the sight system than remove it, but I don't want to go back to the saddle rail either... I was looking at drilling/tapping the receiver and going with a rail to re-mount the red dot like the Express tactical models have. Are there any setups that would still let me hit the bead, or would I have to add a raised front sight?

What are my options here?

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Sam1911
November 10, 2013, 03:32 PM
Traditional shotguns with a single bead count on your cheek being anchored in the same place on the stock each time to act as the rear sight. Move that anchor location up off the stock and you'll be somewhere between really high and WOAH THAT'S HIGH! on every shot. So, no, if you want to use the bead you'll have to get your cheek back down to the original height. (More drop at the comb.)

There are drill & tap rail kits for that gun that would let you mount the red dot again -- and the dot doesn't care where your eye is. Or you could mont a full set of rifle sights. The rifle sights might not be comfortable to use with that stock, but at least you have a rear sight that will make you see whether or not your eye is correctly aligned with the front sight vis-a-vis the bore.

Snowblind
November 10, 2013, 03:58 PM
I did some low-power slugs, and couldn't even get on the paper at 50 yards. My buddy was saying I was up high all the time, but even when I compensated way low, I wasn't even hitting the cardboard backing, and after $30 of shells with not a single hit I gave up.

The goal of this rebuild is 'sleekness,' meaning keeping things tight in to the weapon's original geometry, nothing sticking out to get snagged. Saddle rail with red dot was great, but besides weight (which is another target goal) it stuck out a lot. I was looking at these rail + ironsight options:

http://www.amegaranges.com/product_pages/images/VCS_images/VCS_ghost5-25.jpg

...but it looks like you need a lot of gunsmith work, including both a drill + tap and a new, higher front sight. Are there kits like this that let you use the bead?

Sam1911
November 10, 2013, 05:03 PM
Well, any higher rear sighting system -- whether a taller rear sight, or a stock comb that raises your eye higher than it "should" be -- is going to require that you raise the front sight by that same amount. If your new stock comb sits 1" higher than before, that front bead would have to come up 1" above the standard location. If you get rifle sights for it, you'll have to make sure they're tall enough that you can get your eye comfortably behind them while on the comb of that new stock.

Raise the stock, lose that "original geometry."

That type of stock isn't designed to look cool, but to raise your eye so you can effectively use optics. If you aren't using optics, that stock doesn't make sense.

AI&P Tactical
November 10, 2013, 08:03 PM
Are you calling the High tube adapter an LEO? I ask because the LEO is a Low tube adapter and Mesa stopped making the Low tube for that reason. You want a Low tube then you get the LEO. An LEO adapter is used with all sights. People who want Optics would go with the High Tube Adapter and not the LEO. From you post I am thinking you have the High Tube and not the LEO.

Sam1911
November 10, 2013, 08:25 PM
Wait... you mean THIS THING? :scrutiny:
http://mesatactical.com/products/images/15155/LEO-1.jpg
http://mesatactical.com/products/category/high-tube-telescoping-stock-adapters-and-conversion-kits/

There's high and then there's HIGH. And that is HIGH. Seems like an adapter to raise your cheek up so far you need a huge riser to raise your sights enough to catch up. Which is nice if you job is selling things to people which fix the problem you created when you sold them that other thing! :D

However, even the LEO version...

http://mesatactical.com/products/images/15164/HT.jpg
Has no drop at the heel and will raise your eye higher above the sight plane than the traditional style stock.

Sam1911
November 10, 2013, 08:28 PM
Compare with this:

http://www.remington.com/~/media/Images/Firearms/Shotguns/Model-870/Model-870-Express-Super-Mag-Synthetic/870exp_smag_syn-prod.ashx?w=570&bc=ffffff

Sam1911
November 10, 2013, 08:30 PM
love the LEO adapter so much,Maybe part of the response here would be to figure out why you love the adapter so much? What does it do for you that the traditional stock -- or a youth version if you want it shorter -- does not give you? A more traditional shotgun stock is more solid, more comfortable, a better aid in pointing, and doesn't have this problem.

So why are you keeping the AR-15 doohickey?

ugaarguy
November 10, 2013, 10:34 PM
If you want an AR-15 style stock on your 870 without the higher sights that the Mesa adapters require have you looked at a Blackhawk / Knoxx stock? The Blackhawk / Knoxx AR-15 style stocks maintain the downward sloping comb so they can be used with factory beads and sights. They offer a cheek riser for higher mounted sights like some of the taller red dots.

AI&P Tactical
November 11, 2013, 12:13 AM
You do not use a shotgun in fighting like you do in sport shooting. Your Delta Farce Ninja Elite Commando Instructors have people all hunkered down on the stock, neck bent forward and down and surrendering all peripheral vision. A fighting shotgun should be shot like a pistol because they are both close quarter weapons and used at about the same distance. You don't raise your pistol shoulder height then lay your face on your bicep to sight so why would you do that with a shotgun. Your raise the shotgun to eye level. Your head is up and facing forward to use all your peripheral vision. The recoil pad will be slightly infront of you right ear. If you need to pick up the sights you don't bend forward and lay your face on the stock. You simply slightly tilt you head over and pick up the sights. The recoil pad will still be infront of your ear. That is how you shoot a combat shotgun if you want to stay alive. That is how I trained my HRT and others and that is how you fight with a shotgun. Save all that cheek weld for sport shooting were peripheral vision does not matter.

The Mesa LEO Adapter is for use with the Enidine Buffer tube. If not using the recoil reducing tube I see no reason for an M4 stock on a shotgun unless that is a personal preferance which is fine.

Snowblind
November 11, 2013, 12:29 AM
I like the LEO, and yes, it is the LEO, not the high-tube or whatever on Earth that full-length rail combo is, for a number of reasons:

1) It's invincible. I looked at some polymer adapters, and while I'm all about the benefits of polymer, metal seems ideal here.
2) Adjustable stock. I loved the traditional stock my gun came with, as it was a full-length LOP and helped with my praying-mantis frame. Adjustable lets me roll however I see fit, comfy and long, or compact and maneuverable. Knoxx stocks are great in this regard too, but I like the LEO better because:
3) You can use any pistol grip you want. The Knoxx stocks are great in that they give you the proper drop in comb, but you're stuck with the molded-in pistol grip. It's also mostly polymer.

I'm no pro, but to me just having a pistol grip does not mean you should shoot your shotgun like a pistol... in fact the Mesa adapters are supposed to mimic the AR-15 geometry, (perhaps the LEO is a special case, though) so if anything, you'd be shooting it like a rifle. Now, I know I've messed up the formula by having AR-15 geometry with shotgun sights, that's what I'm trying to rectify.

Personally, I think whatever you're most comfortable with is what's going to keep you alive. Even with my crazy broken sight picture I did 43/45 clays last time I was out. It was ugly, awkward and uncomfortable, but even so, I could get my sight picture and get on target fast enough to take the shot and not miss. How do I make it comfortable, too.

Sam1911
November 11, 2013, 07:50 AM
Even with my crazy broken sight picture I did 43/45 clays last time I was out. It was ugly, awkward and uncomfortable, but even so, I could get my sight picture and get on target fast enough to take the shot and not miss.

Wait...and yet you couldn't hit paper ONCE with a $30 worth of slugs? Something does not compute.

Honestly, we've given the answers.... fix your stock or fix your sights.

Or keep struggling along as you are. Not sure what else to say?

Sam1911
November 11, 2013, 07:59 AM
A fighting shotgun should be shot like a pistol because they are both close quarter weapons and used at about the same distance. You don't raise your pistol shoulder height then lay your face on your bicep to sight so why would you do that with a shotgun.
I do understand what AI&P is saying here (I believe) and I agree with it (admittedly on second reading).

"Practical" defensive/combat type shooting at across-the-room distances is much more effective when using a "squared-up/heads-up" stance, very similar to the modern Isosceles pistol method. A shorter length-of-pull and a higher sight line is most effective here, to let you keep better balance, better fluidity, and both eyes engaged. This is really very effective with the high sight-line and stock arrangement of the M-16/M4 rifle, and of low-magnification optical sights and red-dots.

Ideally, you should have a good cheek weld AND be looking through your sights at the same time -- without scrunching down behind low sights or a low-mounted scope. With the traditionally stocked shotgun -- given practice -- you aren't hampered by the low bead, at the distances where this is most appropriate, because your brain learns to expect the sight picture with the bead somewhat lower than a more classic stance.

Snowblind
November 11, 2013, 11:56 AM
Wait...and yet you couldn't hit paper ONCE with a $30 worth of slugs? Something does not compute.

Honestly, we've given the answers.... fix your stock or fix your sights.

Or keep struggling along as you are. Not sure what else to say?
No, I think you're right. I think you got me the nugget I was looking for in your first post, but I wanted to see where others weighed in as well. I was also looking for recommendations for items similar to the Vang Comp sight/rail combo I posted. Or maybe that magic spell to make all my sight picture dreams come true?

And yes, "something does not compute" certainly went through my head regarding the success/failure disparity between skeet and slugs. Obviously the sight picture is good enough for clays but not for slugs.

Thanks for the help, Sam.

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