The Problem With the Mossberg Bead

Mossberg is one of two American shotgun companies that dominate the pump action game. Of the two companies that rule the roost, Mossberg is much more consistent. They don’t face bankruptcy over and over and haven’t had some massive dips in quality. Mossberg has been consistently solid and pumping out good, well-made pump-action shotguns. Those shotguns aren’t perfect, and Mossberg’s biggest problem is the Mossberg bead. 

Mossberg utilizes several different sighting systems on their shotguns. They have the ribbed high viz fiber optic sights, the ghost ring sights, and the bead sight. The Mossberg bead presents its own challenges. The main problem with the Mossberg bead is that it is directly attached to the barrel. 

Look at Remington and their bead sights. They take their bead and place it on a pedestal that boosts it a bit higher than the Mossberg bead. This is done for a reason. Look at the ghost ring sights Mossberg uses. They are placed much higher than the beads for the same reason. 

The Big Problem With the Mossberg Bead 

Anyone who has ever fired a load of buckshot from a Mossberg into a paper target has probably been confused. Why does your pattern seem to hit so high in relation to your point of aim? Maybe you’re flinching? Maybe you are sucking at recoil control? Believe it or not, that’s a big nope. 

It’s because the bead is attached directly to the barrel. If you have a ribbed barrel, then the bead is positioned perfectly. However, if you have any of the tactical or security models, the bead is stuck to the barrel. Your point of aim will always launch your load of buckshot seemingly high. In reality, the sight is too low, making it appear that your load of buckshot is hitting high. 

The bead sits right on the barrel (Courtesy of TTAG)

You can’t adjust the bead, and it’s a real pain. Back in the day, the old advice used to be to aim at the bad guy’s belt buckle, and you’ll hit them in the chest. Since then, most companies have realized that placing the bead directly on the barrel isn’t a great idea. Raise it up, make it a rifle sight, or something similar. 

Rmeington solved the bead problem.

Heck, even Turkish companies avoid putting the bead directly onto the barrel. Why Mossberg still does this is a mystery to me. It wouldn’t be hard to add a pedestal to raise the bead up a bit to prevent this point of aim, point of impact problem. It seems almost like a point of pride not to be like Remington. 

How to Fix It 

The Mossberg Bead wouldn’t be tough to fix. Just raise it up. If you are shopping for a Mossberg shotgun, I’d suggest purchasing a model with the ghost ring sights. At least if it’s for home defense or tactical use, if it’s for sporting use, look for the bead and ribbed barrel combo to get the correct point of aim and point of impact. 

If you already have a Mossberg with the Mossberg bead, then there is no hope lost. Mossberg shotguns are optics-ready. Well, they are drilled and tapped for a rail or optics mount. KE Arms makes a great mount at a great price, so give it a look. Mount a red dot, zero it, and bam, you are ready to rock and roll. Ultimately I wish Mossberg would fix their bead, but at least there is a fix available. 

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.