A while back, I wrote about the problem with the Mossberg bead. The sum of that article was basically that Mossberg puts their bead way too low on their barrels, which results in an issue with modern buckshot and slug loads. They tend to appear to shoot high. A good bit after writing that article, I ran into a company called Defender Tactical that produced rails for the Mossberg series shotguns. They also produce a sight system that aims to fix the Mossberg bead problem they call the HighBall.
HighBall is a clever way to name the system. Defender Tactical simply took the Mossberg bead and made it taller and much bigger. This does two things. First, it corrects the point of aim, point of impact problem with slugs and Federal Flitecontrol by simply raising the bead a bit. It sits at about the same height as a Remington bead on a pedestal.
Second, a bigger bead is easier to see. Shotguns are close-range fighting weapons, and in close-range scenarios, fights move fast. Bigger sights are easier to see and, therefore, easy to shoot faster with. The Highball provides you with a simple and affordable fix that’s easy to install on any bead-sighted Mossberg shotgun.
But Wait, There’s More
That’s not where the Defender Tactical sighting systems end. Alongside the HighBall, they created something called the SafetySight. The SafetySight replaces the rear safety with a larger easier to access safety that also doubles as a rear sight. At the front of the safety is a raised portion with a simple white line in the center.
Align the SafetySight with the HighBall, and you have a stand-in rear sight that allows you to get a bit more precise with your modern buckshot loadings and slugs. The combinations of the SafetySight and HighBall are a must-have. The combined price is quite attractive, and if you have a stock bead, it’s not going to work well.
At the Range
When it comes to cheap buckshot loads, the difference isn’t as obvious. When you start shooting slugs and buckshots like Federal Flitecontrol, the difference is night and day in terms of point of aim and point of impact differences. The HighBall alone makes it much easier to put those tight loads of buckshot exactly where you want them.
Even with just the HighBall sight, your speed and ability to put lead on target are impressive. That big bead is very easy to see and catches the eye nicely.
With the SafetySight combination, you get an even more effective and precise combination. It really shines when it comes to slug use. At 50 yards, a bead sight kind of sucks by itself, but the SafetySight and HighBall combo makes it very easy to throw slugs with excellent precision. Even out to 100 yards, there is a drastic improvement.
Is it better than a dedicated set of ghost ring sights? No, but it’s the peak of bead sights, especially on Mossberg shotguns. The combination of the two sights is an awesome addition to your Mossberg 500 at a very low price point. For 25 bucks, it’s tough to beat. Check it out here.