This winter, when I received my escort shotgun from Tools of the Trade, the hunt began for a good, quality optic. But where do you begin in this quest? There are a million and one choices, from standard iron sights, to the insanely high end with all the bells and whistles that perhaps only an IT genius would ever get figured out. But for a shotgun, the extra “necessities” of high zoom, eye relief, crystal clear, night vision heat seeking scopes was not needed. At least, not for a guy like myself.
First up to try was an eotech knockoff. It looked the same, weighed the same, and heck. even smelled the same. But was it? After the simple installation, it only took a few shots to figure out that this was NOT going to work for me. The Holographic sight came with a quick release for attaching to a picatinny rail which was spring loaded, and tension adjustable with a screw on the outside. After setting to where I though was tight enough, and 5 shots later, the scope was no longer holding tightly. Easy enough, tighten it a bit more and try again. This was not the case. 5 shots later, and it was loose again. After a few bad words and a call to my buddy, I tried it once more, with the same results. Most likely this was just not made for the recoil a 12 gauge pushing 3 inch fur droppers can put out. So back to the books we went.
Second try was a cheap, simple BSA optic reflex sight. This did not have the quick release, however 2 bolts holding it on. And it held on, and was quick to get zeroed in on my shotgun. Shot after shot, the sight held true to the rail. I was smiling, so I decided it was time to try it in the woods.
The first trip was a good one. The sight was still on the gun, but no coyotes or fox presented themselves to give it the true test. I placed the gun back into the hard case to head off to spot number 2. When I arrived, I took the gun out and ventured to the small field set back into the woods. As I always do when I arrive, I turned on the sight to make sure everything was good, and to my surprise, it was not. The red dot had made its way from center to high left side. And without a way to quickly adjust the sight, the gun was set on my lap and not picked up again the entire day. This BSA was not going to be for me either, because I cannot explain in words how upset I would be to pull up on an incoming predator and notice that my sight was no longer where it needed to be.
I had recently been to a small sports show and been speaking with a gentlemen about his choice sight for a shotgun. He said I HAD to try out this sight, a Sight Mark Ultra Shot QD. They could be had for cheap, and installed like a breeze. He had a new, fancy shotgun sitting there with this sight installed, and said it had seen its abuse, but never failed him. I was thinking, “yea right, everybody says that about a product they are trying to push”, but I decided maybe I would give it a try.
I finally was able to locate them. This sight can be purchased through Tools of the Trade Sales and Service for about $115, and it really DOES install like a breeze. It has stayed tight after the quick first installation, and has not left the zero from where I originally set it. It has taken some abuse, mostly just popping water jugs and wooden targets at the range, but also bouncing around in a case, and smacking things on the way into and out of the woods. This is a reflex sight, not a holographic like an eotech, but lets face it, this simply is NOT an eotech. It is much cheaper, and perhaps will not last as long or be as reliable for as long a time as a high priced sight, but for the money I have been very happy with it. I have not gotten a chance to take any predators down with it, but hopefully this summer will be the time to properly break it in.