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Making a custom rear sight for the 'slugger' shotgun: a fully adjustable rear sight on a slug shotgun certainly beats having to aim down the bare rib of the barrel. But a custom sight might require some ingenuity when fitting on a ventilated-rib shotgun.

When a father, brought me his young son's Winchester Model 1300 shotgun to have a rear sight installed, I gave it some serious thought. It was obvious that a low sight would be required to prevent too-high slug impact at normal shooting distances. The son wanted to use the front bead for wing shooting, so the rear sight would have to be mounted to just clear the rib. My search for such a sight turned up nothing. They didn't want the available clamp-on rib sights commonly used as shotgun sights for shooting slugs, so I suggested modifying an existing leaf-type rear sight I had on hand. It was mutually agreeable and appeared to be a workable plan.

The blade-type sight I worked over had a 3/8-inch dovetail and a fold down leaf. To make low mounting possible, the leaf had to be removed and the dovetail milled down. Following these changes, a much lower replacement leaf sight was made and silver-soldered in position. Then a hole was drilled into the front of the sight for attachment through a rib stud. The hole was beveled deeply to fit a flat-head #8-40 screw. The screw head was ground flatter for a low flush fit with the sight blade.



On the Model 1300, the last 3 inches of the ventilated rib slopes downward about six degrees, providing room for the lowered leaf of the two-inch sight. The sight screw was attached directly into the rear-most interfacing rib stud. The rib studs are made of steel, providing a sturdy anchor for the screw threads. It was necessary to bend the sight blade downward to follow the sloping contour of the rib in this area, and to give it sufficient tension to hold the elevation-adjustment leaf.

A temporary stepped elevation leaf was tried as the shotgun was being sighted-in at 50 yards. The stepped elevation leaf must be kept below the sight aperture to avoid obscuring the view. A final stepped sight adjustment leaf was then fitted. My first attempt at sighting-in the shotgun at 50 yards produced high impact, so I raised the front bead about 1/8 inch, using a higher brass bead as a replacement. This solved the problem.

I used a small round file to finally form the 0.085-inch, half-moon rear sight aperture, which permits the 0.190-inch front bead to just fit the aperture borders with the eye 16 inches from the rear sight. The sight was then blued.

Despite the required modifications, this special rear sight for a Winchester Model 1300 slug gun was a worthwhile project. Shortly thereafter, the young hunter used the gun to bag a fine whitetail buck. All in all, project was a good move in helping keep more of our youthful hunters afield.

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Title Annotation:Fine Tuning
Author:Johnson, Norman E.
Publication:American Gunsmith
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2009
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