I love Mossberg shotguns. I have a fair number of them, and they tend to be my preferred pump gun option. They’re great guns, but they aren’t perfect.
On Mossberg’s tactical shotguns, they tend to either use ghost ring sights or a bead sight. On the bead-sighted guns, they attach a low bead directly to the barrel. This isn’t optimal, and Defender Tactical offers a solution in the form of their HighBall bead sight backed by their SafetySight design.
The problem with the standard bead being so low is that it will often mess with your point of aim and point of impact. This isn’t too noticeable with standard birdshot or buckshot, but it does make slugs and modern buckshot like Flitecontrol hit high on target. The shorter the barrel, the more this POIA/POA shift affects your accuracy.
It’s such a noticeable problem that instructors used to teach shooters to aim for their belt buckle to hit targets center mass. It’s a problem that Remington fixed by using a pedestal on which to mount their bead. Mossberg hasn’t done that yet, but the Defender Tactical HighBall sight fixes the problem in a simple, efficient, and affordable manner.
The HighBall and SafetySight
Defender Tactical sells the HighBall front bead and he SafetySight safety switch replacement separately, but also as a kit. The HighBall is a bigger, higher bead that rises off the barrel to compensate for those POI/POA issues. It’s a bigger bead in diameter, made of solid marine brass and a nice bright gold color.
The SafetySight is a replacement rear sight with a pronounced hump and a white tick mark combined with your thumb safety switch. It’s not a proper rear sight but a secondary reference point.
Installation of the bead is simple. A 4mm socket pops the bead off without a problem and installs the new sight very easily.
Removing the Mossberg safety is another issue. Mossberg uses an odd, easily stripped screw. Once that’s out of the way, the safety sight snaps on without issue and mounts with a standard Allen head screw.
The entire kit costs $25 with shipping. Defender Tactical is a small, family operation. That’s a surprisingly good price especially compared to other replacement beads, and the fact you get a bigger, larger-sized safety is a nice touch.
If you’re going to order one of these, the HighBall is the way to go. It solves the Mossberg standard bead problem quickly and easily. Prior to installing it, I took a stock Mossberg 500 with the standard bead and fired a few rounds at 15 yards. My ammo of choice is slugs and Federal Flitecontrol loads. I used the Sage Dynamics targets and aimed at the chin on the target.
At only 15 yards, the rounds consistently struck several inches high. No big surprise.
After swapping the beads, I grabbed another handful of slugs and Flitecontrol and repeated the test. The POI/POA issues were gone like yesterday. The rounds hit right where I aimed. Right in that stupid target’s heart.
Besides correcting the POI/POA, the replacement bead is much easier to see. It’s massive and isn’t easily missed. I like big beads, and I cannot lie.
It’s a simple upgrade that ensures I’m putting loads right where I want them.
The SafetySight isn’t to be mistaken for the Safety Sight Colt M1900, but is a fairly similar idea. The safety switch is also a sight. Mossberg’s tang safety switch is aligned with the front sight. The raised SafetySight hump provides a sight high enough to be used in conjunction with the front sight. It’s not as precise or as exact as a dedicated rear sight, but it provides a quick and easy-to-use second reference point.
For longer-range slug-throwing activities, it’s quite handy. I wouldn’t say it greatly improved my slug accuracy, but what it did do is help prevent the occasional flyer. It’s also a quick and easy reference if you have to get a slug fired off fast with good accuracy. It helps remove and correct human error more than anything else.
If I made a pie graph of things that affect accurate shooting, human error would occupy the biggest slice by far. If your shotgun doesn’t have a rear sight, this is a simple upgrade to improve accuracy and it mixes perfectly with the HighBall front bead. Not only does it act as a handy sighting solution, but as a larger, improved safety. It’s quick and easier to switch on and off with ease.
A Winning Combination
The SafetySight and HighBall combined are a rock-solid kit for improving your Mossberg 500 or 590 series shotgun. These two little pieces make a huge difference in how your Mossberg shotgun shoots. It’s well suited for a stock gun or even a Shockwave. For $25 it’s the best dollars-for-performance upgrade I can suggest. Check it out here.