Throughout history, shotguns have been the primary jack-of-all-trades when it comes to home defense and hunting. In the old days, everyone had a shotgun mounted above the front door for quick retrieval in an emergency situation. Nowadays, the scatter-gun has evolved for use in tactical and competition scenarios, as well as one of the primary long-guns in law enforcement arsenals. Taking “old faithful” and transforming it into a multi-faceted weapon is easily done with these top 5 shotgun upgrades.
Sights– A shotguns appeal is its ability to hit just about any target at close range. But if hitting the broadside of a barn is a little too imprecise for your taste, adding an aftermarket sight will hone-in accuracy as pinpoint as possible. Ghost ring sights are generally the preferred sighting system for shotguns, giving users high-speed target acquisition and enhanced accuracy. They also elevate a smoothbore’s medium-range effectiveness quite well. There is a slew of ghost rings to choose from, but one really sets the bar for all others for multi-use capabilities. The Trijicon 3 Dot Night Sight is an optic that will give you the ability to use your shotgun day or night, which is especially crucial in home defense situations.
Lights– For home defense or tactical applications, a weapon light is the difference between going in blind or fully acquiring the target. Scattergun fans might have noticed the difficulty in finding a weapon light that will fit a shotgun, as there’s no MLok or KeyMod rail to attach anything. But gun manufacturers have heard the concerns of customers and innovated a solution. SureFire is one such company, and their DSF Series Forend Weaponlight fits the illumination bill with easily accessible controls and rock-solid integration onto the shotgun platform. It features two levels of tactical illumination, ambidextrous switching, a slender ergonomic design, and legendary SureFire reliability and durability.
Stocks– Shotguns are known for heavy recoil, and the shock absorbing systems installed at the factory can’t take the hit off your shoulder enough to make firing shots comfortable. In general, a shotgun is fired numerous times during a hunt, which means your shoulder will take a beating. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you replace the subpar factory stock with a shock-absorbing upgrade. For those who run with Mossberg or Remington, one of the best aftermarket stocks would have to be the Magpul SGA stock. This must-have addition to your shotgun features an ambidextrous, user-configurable design, with a spacer system for length of pull adjustment, improved grip ergonomics, recoil-reducing butt-pad, and optional cheek risers for use with optics/raised sights. This must-have stock is available online at www.omahaoutdoors.com.
Barrel– A shorter barrel, NFA legal of course, is another must-have upgrade that will add to the versatility of your shotgun. A barrel length of 18″ is ideal and you can either cut and crown the existing barrel on your gun or better yet, order one of the appropriate size. Keeping both on hand is essential for hunters, as you can interchange barrels for different uses. Remington, Mossberg, Browning, and Benelli all manufacture aftermarket barrels, so finding one that fits your shotgun should not be a problem.
Sidesaddle– Sidesaddles, or Shell Carriers, make fumbling for shells a thing of the past. Instead of halting the action to retrieve ammunition, which is especially frustrating when you’re in the midst of a field full of pheasant, your next load is conveniently housed right on your gun. For the most part, side saddles are mounted on the side of the receiver and hold anywhere from four to eight shells. One of the most popular sidesaddles is the Sureshell Polymer Shotshell Carrier. This ammo holder has a dual rubber friction system which prevents the shells from sliding around or falling out when in the field. It holds the shells tight but at the same time retrieval is easy.
The world of firearm upgrades is vast, even for shotgun enthusiasts. Adding an extra accessory on your gun is easy, won’t break the bank, and will bring your scattergun up to a new level of versatility.