How to Install a Shotgun Bead Sight

How to Install a Shotgun Bead Sight

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Items you will need

  • Gun vise

  • Drill

  • Drill and tap set

  • Thread-locking compound

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.

    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.


    • 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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