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Posted: 8/6/2004 8:55:18 AM EDT
I'm building a SHTF shotgun. I have a KAC 870 RAS rail and an Aimpoint ML2 sight as the primary sight. I want some BUIS. The rear BUIS is pretty easy (I hope) - any AR-15 type, rail mounted BUIS should work.

What's a good front BUIS and how do I mount it given that the RAS does not extend out to the front of the barrel (not even close)?

Does anyone make a front sight base for 870's?
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 4:00:20 PM EDT
Mike, any chance you can put up a pic of the 870 RAS mounted up? I've been trying to see what they look like outside of tiny websaler's pics.

It won't help you in all likelyhood, but I bought a 16" IC 870 barrel from centerfire solutions with a Trijicon front bead. I'm almost certain it would be too low for the RAS to index for a sight picture though.
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 4:37:31 PM EDT
On review there's no need to kill yourself on pics, I checked the gallery on argonaut arms and decided that the RAS is still not my answer. Gun pics are always welcome though!
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 5:07:18 PM EDT
I don't yet have my RAS. I would have referred you to Argonaut Arms web site, but I see you already found it.
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 5:42:28 PM EDT
Yeah, and I noticed from reading your other threads that the RAS was on the way. Ah well...
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 7:01:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/6/2004 7:02:11 PM EDT by SinistralRifleman]
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 8:04:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/6/2004 8:05:42 PM EDT by Mike_Mills]
Yes, but the RAS offers such a short sight radius. Of those, I like the Troy the best ($240/pr). I was hoping for a sight that mounts on the front of the barrel. Anything at Brownell's, perhaps?
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 8:17:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/6/2004 8:21:54 PM EDT by SinistralRifleman]
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 9:21:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SinistralRifleman:
Originally Posted By Mike_Mills:

Any emergency that is going to cause your reflex sight to completely fail will also most likely put the gun itself out of action too. keep a bunch of extra batteries for it on the gun somehow and you'll be fine.

If I could afford an ML2 for my shotgun I would have to agree with Sinistral Since I can't, and don't often even shoot slugs, I'm shooting for a PIS (Primary Iron Sight).
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 10:58:38 PM EDT
At Iron Man we shot 8" plates at 100 yards with slugs, the guys using just a dot sight did fine. I was using a Benelli with ghost rings and had no problem zinging them. I dont think that you are going to need that much sight radius as Sinistral said "Dude its a shotgun!"
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 11:57:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2004 12:07:03 AM EDT by Mike_Mills]
Dudes, it's a hobby! I'm from California, looks are everything! Well, that and a good pair of sunglasses. ;-)

Just so we understand each other, I want something along the lines of the home page of Argonaut Armament. Perhaps I'll pass on the gold plated trigger, too much bling, too much pimp..

For Example

I think I'll wait and see how long the RAS really is before I buy. I suppose it's possible the RAS will allow mounting at about the same sight radius as in that photo. The front sight is about 1/2 way down the barrel.

Still, I thought I'd start the product research now. The research is half the fun. Got any other leads?

Anyone know where to get the plastic fore-end shown in the photo? My current one is wood.
Link Posted: 8/7/2004 12:08:42 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/7/2004 12:18:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Mike_Mills:
Dudes, it's a hobby!

Not for some of us.

I'm from California, looks are everything! Well, that and a good pair of sunglasses. ;-)

Blahh! Look away people dont waste anymore time with this thread hes from Cali....
Link Posted: 8/7/2004 9:58:45 AM EDT
LOL! (Shades on!)

Oh, come on, there is a serious side to this (self defense) and there is a "hobby/fun" side, too. I'll have fun making the shotgun, but the design parameters and usefulness of the tool is for self defense.

There's more than one aspect to everything.
Link Posted: 8/7/2004 9:09:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2004 9:20:46 PM EDT by BrobeeBiter]
Hello all...

I'll post some pictures of a KAC 870 RAS equipped with backup irons soon (took them today, have to clean them up a bit and upload to server....will do tomorrow). The KAC rail is, in my opinion, plenty long enough for both a red dot sight and a set of backups. The sight radius is ample, and is longer than alot of the short barrelled SMGs (such as a sig 552 or MP5)...it works quite well for me within the 100 yard window I usually practice in.

*edited to add photographs*

The sights are made by troy industries (www.troyind.com)...I like them the best because they have locking detents to hold them up. I had an ARMS #40 rear and a KAC 99051 front prior to the troy sights...but the KAC sight does not have the locking detent and gets puched down quite easily.

But now...off to bed!

Take care,

Link Posted: 8/9/2004 1:55:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2004 1:55:47 PM EDT by Mike_Mills]

You should post those photos in the "Show Me Your Tactical Shotgun" photo thread. They are great photos of an awesome shotgun. Who does your photography? It's good work, here and on your web site.
Link Posted: 8/9/2004 3:26:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2004 3:49:40 PM EDT by BrobeeBiter]
Hi Mike...

Thanks for the complement. I do all my own photography work (self timer is a wonderful thing sometimes). The camera is not that fancy either...95% of all my photos I took with a point and shoot canon S45. I've since upgraded to a Nikon D70 (fabulous camera worth every cent IMHO). What I really love about the D70 (above that it is a SLR) is that it has an IR remote that you can program with a 2 second delay...once you set up the camera you can pose for yourself quite well.

Take care,


edited to add: the spouse deserves much credit as well (she is looking over my shoulder with *that look*...).
Link Posted: 8/15/2004 11:33:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2004 11:33:31 AM EDT by Mike_Mills]
I ordered a set of Troy flip up BUIS to go with the KAC RAS. I think I'll take the Aimpoint off my AR and use that on this shotgun build. I ordered an EOTech 551 rev F. to put on the AR in lieu of the Aimpoint.

I need to get good tactical slings for both the AR and the new shotgun, if for no other reason than to facilitate carrying them. A sling really helps me stabilize my AR whilst firing, too. I'm not so sure about its use while firing a shotgun.
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 5:04:17 AM EDT
BrobeeBiter, can you post some better pictures of your 870? I'm thinking about building something similiar.
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 5:37:10 AM EDT
Va_Dinger: This one is not mine, but rigged up identically (with the exception that I've since added the flip up sights made by troy).

14 inch barreled Remington 870 Police
Argonaut Armament 870 CQB stock adapter
Magpul M93A Carbine Stock
Wilson Combat 1 round magazine extension
Aimpoint M2 with ARMS quick detach throw lever aimpoint mount
SureFire Integrated Forend Shotgun WeaponLight 618FA
Hogue AR15 pistol grip

Take care,

Link Posted: 8/23/2004 10:24:48 PM EDT

Care to offer some advice?

I'm trying to install the Surefire forearm. I got it on but as I cycle the action, it binds more and more tightly as I bring the forearm to the rear. I cannot really cycle it all the way without risking something.

I'm not certain, but it feels as if the rear edge of the forearm are rubbing on the barrel bottom as the forearm approaches the chamber (barrel diameter gets larger as you go towards the chamber).

Did yours bind? What was it? How did you fix it?
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 11:01:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 11:03:20 PM EDT by Mike_Mills]
Okay, I made a lot of progress today. I got an email from Surefire and some suggestions from several AR15.COMers all saying the same thing - the forearm is probably crooked on the action bars. Indeed it was.

The forearm rotated a bit while I was tightening up the nut. It wasn't much but it was just enough to cause it to bind. I loosened the nut, straightened it out and retightened the nut. End of problem.

The thing is, if it ever takes a hard bump, it could rotate back and sieze up again. I think I should "bed" it or shim it such that it cannot ever rotate again. It's a reliability thing. What say you?

I got my M93A stock, too, and got it installed. This project is coming along nicely. I will admit, though, I don't think I like the M93A for a shotgun, not yet, anyway. I think an ACE ARFX might be the way to go. I have both. I'll try it out and decide. Then, I'll get back to you and let you know what I think.

Thanks for all the help.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 4:15:49 PM EDT
Even more progress todfay on this project. Just before I left for work, the KAC 870 RAS was delivered by UPS. I now have that to install tonight. I'm going to start with the EOTech on the gun but think I will end up with the Aimpoint. The TROY sights I orderewd have not shown up yet. Hmmmm,... have to call for an update.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 6:56:53 AM EDT
Hi Mike...

Glad to read things are coming together for you! As an aside...did you get my e-mail response? I suspect your spam filter might be keeping incoming mail from my server out...

I'd love to see some photographs of your rig when it is all finished. Did you go the NFA route with a short barreled shottie...or are you sticking with a longer 18 inch one?

I originally had an eotech on my personal gun for more than a year...it was (and still is IMHO) hard to beat in the speed department. That 65 MOA circle wound up being just about perfectly representative of my shot pattern with #4 buck at ranges under 20 yards and that small dot was great for precision slug work. What made me ditch it was the battery life...I was out deer hunting with my rig and my just-about-brand-new batteries kicked the bucket (cold weather). I've since moved to the aimpoint and, while I don't like th reticle as much, the battery life trade off is worth it.

Hope it all works out for you....

Link Posted: 8/27/2004 8:55:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2004 9:02:06 AM EDT by Mike_Mills]
Well, I'm struggling to get the KAS 870 RAS installed but it's coming along. The screw they supplied is too long and doesn't retain the rail. I need a shorter screw. It's time to get out a file.

My rig has an 18" barrel. It will probably stay that way. The extended magazine is nearly identical in length to the barrel and I like the extra rounds it offers (IIRC, I get 7+1).

What's involved in "registering" or getting a "permit" for a short barrel shotgun? I'm not sure the State of California would allow it even if the Fed did. I'll have to look into that.

It's never particularly cold here in Southern California, so battery life is less of an issue. The thing is, it's an awkward movement to turn the EOTech on. Slowing the repsonse time in a self-defense situation is a bad thing. You can leave the Aimpoint turned on at all times, repalcing batteries every few months. In these situations, speed is life.

No battery is going to stop me. I can use the EOTech hood as a rear ghost ring and the front bead. If they are close enough, you can just sight along the barrel. Etc. I'm going to fight for my life and that of my loved ones. I am not going down easily. Heck, I'll beat them with the damn thing if I have to.

P.S. - Yes, Brobee, I did get your emails. Many thanks for the help.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 11:01:49 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 12:00:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2004 12:02:12 AM EDT by Mike_Mills]
Well, as of tonight, she's all done:

Remington 870 Express magnum

Argonaut Arms stock adapter
Magpul M93A butt stock
Surefire 618FA forearm

EOTech 551 rev F sight

I have a set of Troy flip ups en-route, so I guess it's not really done yet.

It already looks great. When I get the Troy's installed I'll take photos and post them.

P.S. - Installing that KAC RAS was a pain but it's a nice unit and now it's on nice and snug. Their threads had to be recut, especially so for the main mounting screw. I could not believe how much excess steel came out of that pre-threaded hole when I ran my tap through. I had to replace the original screw as it stripped while threading into those poorly cut threads. That screw was also way too long and I had to file off about 0.1", otherwise the screw would bottom out against the barrel before the RAS was captured. Simple fixes but indicative of poor quality control at KAC.
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 12:16:26 PM EDT
I received the TROY folding rear battle sight and put that on the gun. It is a very nicely made unit. I like it. I'm still awaiting delivery of the TROY folding front sight. It's supposed to be here early next week. Then this project will be 100% complete.

I hadn't seen or handled this shotgun in about a week. It has languished in the gun safe ever since I'd completed the major parts of the build. I pulled it out and installed the rear BUIS. It was then I noticed what a bitchin' gun this has become It went from a plain Jane Remington 870 Express to a full blown combat-ready firearm. I wouldn't hestitate to take this thing anywhere.

Of course, the gun has yet to be debugged at the range. It worked flawlessly in its original form. I suspect it will be AWESOME! but every project has a few little kinks that need to be found and fixed. This one will be no different. If nothing else, i need to zero the sights (EOTech and irons).

Zeroing sights for 12 ga. slugs on two sights will NOT be fun but it must be done.

I'm really warming up to the idea of using my EOTech sight on a shotgun. The 65 MOA ring makes a lot of sense to me. I'll lat you know how the range testing goes.
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 6:16:48 PM EDT
Good news Mike! I was lucky with my troy sights...all I needed was a slight windage change and things were zeroed perfectly. I'll be very curious to read about your experience here...

I'd also LOVE to see a photo!

Link Posted: 9/5/2004 6:44:58 PM EDT
Photos will be posted after I get the front sight. I wouldn't want to show it in anything but the best possible light.

Link Posted: 9/6/2004 6:44:50 AM EDT
+1 for pics and range results.

Sounds cool as hell.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 7:11:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SinistralRifleman:

Originally Posted By Mike_Mills:
Yes, but the RAS offers such a short sight radius. Of those, I like the Troy the best ($240/pr). I was hoping for a sight that mounts on the front of the barrel. Anything at Brownell's, perhaps?

dude...its a shotgun.

I've used the BUIS on my OKO with a sight radius of only 3" or less to hit steel plates with shot at 15 yards and put slugs on a man sized target at 25 yards. Looking through the center of the lens on any reflex sight works almost as well in the event it fails. The 12" sight radius the RAS would give you would be more than sufficient.

Any emergency that is going to cause your reflex sight to completely fail will also most likely put the gun itself out of action too. keep a bunch of extra batteries for it on the gun somehow and you'll be fine.

Hummmm... each day, our guys are using shotguns more and more, they are becoming very popular as a primary weapon -- we carry 14" 870s with reflex sights, the number of broken sights in the field is far more than you may think and I get a lot of feedback that the guys would prefer ghost rings over trick optics?
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 7:13:28 AM EDT
BEFORE you go and shoot your shotty, you should make sure that your action tube (the tube that the pump "handle" is attached to) doesn't hit the KAC ring around the barrel. The easiest way to check is to take the barrel out (leave the KAC RAS ring in place) and then pump your shotty and see if the action tube hits the ring. If it does, then you *will* mess up your action tube when you take it to the range. If it doesn't touch, then you're good to go.

Here's my experience with my 870 and the KAC RAS. KAC has been quick to respond but there has been no publically available fix yet (it just needs some testing I think)...should be real soon. I'm actually impressed with how fast KAC has responded to this issue.


FWIW, I don't have any BUIS on my shotty cuz I'm a snap shooter so I figure with the range that my shotty is doing, I'm confident that a BUIS would actually SLOW ME DOWN....and most likely, I wouldn't use them in a real high stress situation if my EOTech took a shit on me...in all reality, I probably wouldn't use my EOTech either as I don't have anything past 5 yards in terms of LoS in my house...so if I can't hit a torso size target with 9-shot 00 buck within 5 yards w/o any sort of sights, I shouldn't even own a shotgun....)
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 7:20:11 AM EDT
If only the RAS fit an 1100.

Nice pics all.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 12:25:04 AM EDT
Okay !

The TROY front sight I've been waiting for has arrived and has been mounted. Photos will follow very soon (tomorrow). It looks great! I'm gonna try it two different ways - with an Aimpoint and with an EOTech.

The TROY iron sights line up perfectly with the EOTech's red dot. Coincidental, I think not. More likely is good machining practices with reasonably tight tolerances.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 5:45:56 AM EDT
Source/pics of Troy foresight ass'y?

Link Posted: 9/11/2004 9:29:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/11/2004 9:30:57 AM EDT by Mike_Mills]
Here's a link to a picture of the front sight:

Troy front sight link

Here's a link to a picture of the rear sight:

Troy rear sight link
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 11:51:41 AM EDT
Most appreciated. I had a bent (now corrected) URL.

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