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RaymondMillbrae

Installing an LPA ghost sight & HiViz front sight onto a Remmy 870

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OK, folks,

I’m back again with a cool little project. I will be showing you, step-by-step, how to install an LPA rear ghost ring sight, and a HiViz TAC1001-M fiber optic front sight, onto a Remington 870P shotgun.

I had a lot of questions before I started this project, mostly in regards to the front sight installation. I was not sure if I should epoxy it into place, or if I should get it drilled through INTO the bore, tapped, and then have the screw end ground flush.

In the end, I decided to have a gunsmith make this decision for me. If he could guarantee the work, I would be OK with his decision. But in my search of the San Francisco Bay Area, I called over 15 different gunsmiths, and of those 15...only three or four would drill and tap a rear sight onto my Remington 870P. And that's not even mentioning my front sight.

What?!

And of those three or four gunsmiths, there was still a two to four week waiting period. (It is currently hunting season here, and the "good smitties" are over their neck in work). By the way, I did a Google search on gunsmith reviews, and I was really surprised how much negative feedback some of the local gunsmiths get for shoddy work. Some of the work (and professionalism) done by these specific gunsmiths border on total incompetence!

Hmmm...a two to four week waiting period, and the possibility of shoddy work?

Fogitabowdit!

I decided to do the work myself.

After massive searching and meditating on shooters internet responses, I decided that a large majority of them did not have a clue as to what they were talking about. It sounded like they were just repeating what they had heard or read…but had never really thought it through - especially when telling me NOT to drill through to the bore. (HiViz and Remington, both, verified the legitimacy of this type installation...if done correctly). On top of that, smitty's have been doing this for years and years on shotguns without problems.

On a side note - it’s funny how you can ask a question about an installation project, and because no one knows how to do it, you get no response. (Which is OK..I understand that). But AFTER the project is done, everyone sees what has been done, and interjects to add their own “knowledge and wisdom” of the procedure. (Ha ha ha ha…watch and see).

Let me also preface this tutorial by saying “I AM NOT A GUNSMITH”! So please don’t take this information as God’s spoken truth and run with it. This is a project I took-on, based on the fact that I am pretty mechanically inclined, and I have a very decent understanding of what I was doing. (If there were any errors, please feel free to point them out in an instructional way, for myself, and for all the other readers to benefit from).

Anyhoo…with no further adeu…here is my pet project.

In Christ: Raymond

Below are a few pictures of the LPA rear ghost ring sight. It is a very solidly built sight, and every single adjustment of the screw has a very audible, and felt, CLICK.

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cont’

Edited by RaymondMillbrae

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Now we are going to start with the very first step - leveling everything out perfectly.

Why?

Because this is how we will find the TOP DEAD CENTER of the barrel. (If you have a vented and ribbed barrel, you do not need to worry about finding this point on the barrel - but you will still need to find the "top dead center" of your receiver). In order to find this point on the barrel, you must first make sure your receiver is perfectly level. Once the receiver is perfectly level, you can now find the "top dead center" of the barrel..

In the next few pictures, you will see the process I took to achieve this result.

You must make sure the weapon is perfectly leveled fore and aft, and left to right. (I cannot remember the “technical terminology” for this leveling process, so we’ll just let the pictures talk you through it).

Remember...you must first level-out your receiver in order for you to find the top dead center on your barrel. I cannot emphasize this enough!!!

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cont’

Edited by RaymondMillbrae

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OK, now that the front sight is perfectly level, you need to make sure that little puppy moves nary a millimeter. (In other words, do what you need to do so it does not move at all).

Once it is PERFECTLY in place, use a center punch to mark the spot for the front screw. Once the point is marked, we can now start with the drilling and tapping procedure.

Below is a picture of the drill and tap sets I purchased from MidwayUSA. (They cost me something like $9.50 for each set). The top package is the drill and tap I needed for the two HiViz-supplied 6/48 screw. HiViz said that this is the prefect size screw, and thread, for the front sight. It gives the best balance of strength and hold for the size.

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I also want to interject here to say that I am only drilling one hole for the front sight. (The sight actually came with two holes, and two 6-48 screws). But securing the front sight by drilling two holes was not necessary. The rear part of the front sight will be reinforced/secured using an adhesive. I thought this was most prudent, as it would be difficult getting any tool deep enough into the barrels bore to work on the rearmost hole - if I had drilled a second hole. On top of that, HiViz said one screw was all it really took, and that a strong adhesive in the rear would be more than enough.

So now the drilling begins. The first thing I did was drill a small pilot hole. This gives me the best chance for accuracy, and prevents the drill bit from "walking away" from the counter-punched hole I made on the barrel. Once the pilot hole was drilled, I then proceeded to use the drill bit that came with the tap...and then I tapped it as well. (See pictures below).

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Let me also say that all the holes were drilled by hand. (Nothing more than my huge anaconda biceps barely contained within my shirt sleeve, and a Milwaukee cordless drill). From experience I know that I can drill a very perpendicular hole in thin metals. But it is when drilling thicker metals that I would rely on a drill press or a milling machine. Some of the drill bits and taps in my photos will look crooked - but they are not. All the holes were drilled and tapped very carefully...and then I posed the drill bits and taps for the pictures.

Now we can place the screw in the front of the sight and take a look at what we have. Here is a picture of the screw protruding into the barrel. (See pictures below).

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Wa-La! Done with the front sight...for the moment.

We will now proceed to the rear sight

Cont’

Edited by RaymondMillbrae

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The next step is to see where the rear part of the receiver starts to curve downward. (The base of some rear sights are curved, and are mounted on the curved portion of the receiver, almost at a 45-degree angle). This LPA sight is flat on the bottom, so we will need to determine how far back we can mount the rear sight WITHOUT it overhanging the part of the receiver that starts to curve downward. Experience has also taught me that the more distance there is from the rear sight to the front sight, the more accuracy I will get. So I am trying to find the rearmost part of the receiver I can mount the sight.

So how do we do this? With a straight edge.

Get a straight edge, and place it flat on the receiver. Now look to find the spot where the receiver starts to dip away from the straight edge. This is now the point that you cannot cross. Make sure to mount the rear sight slightly forward of this point, just to be on the safe side. (See pictures below).

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Now that you have this point, go ahead and lay your rear sight on the receiver and get ready to mount it PERFECTLY CENTERED. (Notice that my Remington 870P has grooves on top of the receiver. This helped me to find the center, as all I had to do was “eye it” in the center of the grooves).

Once the sight is centered, counterpunch/mark the spots directly through the rear sights mounting holes. Be very accurate, and take your time. I used an automatic center punch to mark all my drill points. (See picture below).

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OK..it was starting to get dark (and chilly), so I decided to move everything indoors into my office. The next phase will be continued in the comfort of my cozy warm office.

Cont’

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OK, now that I am toasty warm and inside, let’s continue.

First, lets get that front sight finished, so we can let the adhesive start to cure while working on the receiver.

The first thing I did before starting this project, was to look around for a good adhesive. I came across a few good products (Black Max being one of the best products out there, because of the elasticity that is included in the formula), but decided on Acraglas Gel. (See picture below).This stuff is an epoxy that will not budge, and it is only being used to give the front sight screw some added support. It will not be the sole support for the front sight. On top of that, it was free. (I had some left over from a bedding project I did for my Volquartsen .17HMR rifle with a carbon fiber barrel).

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The tools for this job will be a Dremel tool (with the long, flexible, shaft), and various bits. These bits will range from medium, to fine, to a polishing tip to be used in conjunction with Flitz polishing compound. (I did not use the course one in the picture).

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First we needed to scratch-up the underside of the front sight to remove some of the black finish. Then I scratched-up the upper part of the barrel, making sure it was on the parts that would be covered by the sight itself. This will give the Acraglas Gel some rough metal surface to adhere to. (See pictures below).

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Once that was done, it was a few minutes to pull out the ole Acraglas gel, mix it up (with a touch of black pigment dye), and scoop a bit of it onto the underside of the front sight. Make sure not to place too much of any adhesive on the front sight, as this will build-up under the sight and will actually raise the sight a few millimeter or more above the barrels surface. (See picture below).

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Now we get a smidgen of Loctite, place it on the HiViz-included 6-48 screw, and we’re almost done. (See picture below). As always, when working with smaller screws, use common sense and DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN THE SCREW! Just enough to keep it nice and snug will do. Let the Loctite do it’s job as well.

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Now we’re going to move to the fine, finishing, detail work.

Follow along, Grasshoppers.

Cont’

Edited by RaymondMillbrae

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This next phase is probably the most detailed. You will need to have a very steady hand, and the proper grinding and polishing heads.

Place a medium-grit stone into your Dremel tool, and VERY SLOWLY start to grind away the screw threads that were protruding into the barrels bore. (Make sure you have very good lighting illuminating your work area, as this is very small, detailed, work). Once you are just about to touch the barrel, switch over to a fine-grit polishing stone. You want to make sure that you do not dimple the surface of the barrels bore. Use your fingers periodically to check for smoothness. (Sorry…I have no pix of this process).

Once it is done, switch to a polishing wheel on your Dremel, and use some Flitz polishing compound. Polish carefully, continuing to use your finger to check the smoothness. Make sure you do not overdo it, as Flitz is an abrasive compound…and it will grind away your barrel if you are careless.

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My barrel came out really nice. It is glass smooth on the inside, with nary a dip into the barrel. I tried to take a close-up picture, but the camera does not do it credit. It looks kind of scratched in the picture…but in actuality, it is as smooth as glass. I guess the camera picks-up every little detail. (See picture below).

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So now we flip the barrel over to look at the finished front sight. It looks awesome, and it is very secure.

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The front sight is now done, so let's mozey-on-over to the receiver end of this project.

The first thing I do is grab the second drill/tap packet. It contains the drill and tap for the LPA-included 8-40 screws. (See picture below).

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cont’

Edited by RaymondMillbrae

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Now the second thing we need to do is remove the barrel and bolt assembly. We will be drilling through the receiver, and you do not want to drill into the inner workings of your Remmy.

So now that the barrel and bolt assembly are removed, lets start drilling the receiver. And like the front sight, I always use a smaller drill bit to make a pilot hole. Once the smaller pilot hole is finished, I switch over and use the included drill bit. Once you start tapping the hole, make super sure to use cutting oil. The receiver is a bit meatier (thicker) than the barrel, so go very slowly. Let me reiterate...very slowly!! (The included drill bit seemed kind of small, and I had to use a bit more oil and caution when tapping these holes). Make sure you proceed slowly, or you run the chance of snapping-off the tap in the drilled hole.

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Once the mounting holes are drilled and tapped, place the LPA ghost ring site into place, screw in the screws, and make sure all went well. (See picture below).

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Now I want you to notice something. Did you notice that the elevation screw in the middle of the LPA sight had been removed? This is because the elevation screw protrudes out of the bottom of the sight and would hit the receiver, not letting you make the adjustment to bring the point of impact downward. (See picture below).

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So what do I do?

This is a question I had before starting on this project...which was ultimately answered by a person whom I trust. He told me, "Go ahead and drill the receiver to allow the screw free access to move".

So in the below two pictures, you will see me marking the place where the hole will be drilled, and you will also see me countersinking the mark to start the pilot hole. I also used a drill bit that was SLIGHTLY larger than the screw itself. (No need drilling larger than you have to).

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cont’

Edited by RaymondMillbrae

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Now I'm done, right?

All that is left for me to do is clean-up the burrs from the inside of the receiver…right?

Nope!

I was lazy, and was hoping that I could reach through the ejection port to do this job. But I quickly realized that it was not going happen without causing un-necessary marks on other parts of the receiver.

So now I had to remove the trigger housing to access these spots. Softly punch out the two pins on the receiver and...POP...the trigger housing is out and in your hand.

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Once the trigger housing was removed, I got a ¼" inch drill bit and countersunk the holes to clean everything up. This was done with a drill bit and my Herculean fingers. No electric drill was needed for this job. (See pictures below).

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That was the very last step. Now that everything was done, I placed a drop of blue Loctite on each mounting screw, screwed them snugly in place...and I was finally done. (See picture below).

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And since my Remington 870P was still disassembled in pieces, I took advantage of this fact and thoroughly cleaned my weapon.

Now it was time to put it all back together, do a functions check, and sit back and admire my work.

Cont’

Edited by RaymondMillbrae

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OK, now it is the next morning, and it is time to show the finished product.

Below is a pictures of my Remington 870P, and the new front and rear sights.

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All I can say is “WOW”!

The LPA rear ghost ring sight is fantastic. It is solidly constructed, and looks Neanderthal stong.

But what really caught my attention was the HiViz front sight. That thing glows like you wouldn't believe. The fiber optic rod is long, and has a set of ears on either side of it to protect it. And because the fiber optic rod is so long, it gathers light like you wouldn't believe.

Just take a look at this beasty. (See below picture).

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Below are a few more pictures to see the sights from my eye's perspective. (I got a solid cheek weld, measured the distance from my eye to the rear sight, and placed my camera lens the same distance).

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Both of the sights are great, and I cannot wait to try them out. I am a very excited and happy camper!

Let me close off this tutorial by saying that the HiViz customer service was exceptional!!

I did something stupid while I was waiting for the drill and taps to arrive (I accidentally snapped my original fiber optic rod), and called HiViz for help. Not only did Christine (chief financial officer) send me out a few extra fiber optic sights for free...but I also got to speak with the owner.

Oh my gosh...those guys are cool as heck, and super helpful.

And to put the cherry on the sundae, they even told me they have a new, smaller-sized, fiber optic rod for my TACM1001-M...and sent me a few of those for free as well. (The original FO rod was .168", and the new, smaller FO rod was .135" - as per my Dillon calipers).

Bottom line, I think this job of mounting sights can be done if you are mechanically/tool inclined, and have worked on metal before. But if you do not know how to work with metal, and you have no experience grinding very small parts, then take it to a gunsmith who can do this for you. (And who will also accept financial responsibility for any damage to the weapon that they may cause).

You can do this...I did.

Enjoy, and continue to educate your fellow shooters!

In Christ: Raymond

Edited by RaymondMillbrae

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Impressive looking work! Good on you for taking the initiative and personal responsibility to make it happen.

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Ohhhhhhh...my...gosh!!

This new set-up is incredible.

I went to the indoor range with my wife Saturday night (JACKSON ARMS) and test fired the sights. Needless to say, they were "spot on"!

The rear LPA sight has 10 elevation adjustment notches. And when I went there, I had it set dead in the middle. (Notch number 5). The windage sight was also centered dead in the middle.

I went there with 60-rounds of 00-buck, and 4 rounds of slugs. (Those were the only slug rounds I could find in my office).

The first slug round was 4" inches high and 1" inch to the right at the 20 yard range. A quick adjustment put me dead center.

These sights are the absolute bomb.

When I went to the range, there was that lingering thought in the back of my mind that the front sight height would not co-witness with the rear ghost ring sight. But I figured that with an ADJUSTABLE rear sight, it would all be OK.

My gamble paid off...they were spot on.

The 00-Buck was great, and presented nice patterns at 7 to 15 yards. (I didn't try shooting them out to 20 yards, as they are primarily home defense loads).

Bottom line, I got home and proceeded to pump-out 100 low recoil slugs on my shotshell press. I used two different "low recoil" formulas, and I am ready for the next dry day at the action range.

Sorry about not having pictures, but the wifey forgot to bring the camera. And after we were done with the target (with 00-Buck loads), there was no use bringing them back home to photograph.

More later.

In Christ: Raymond

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look have to do the same thing with a Benelli 18 barrel. What kind of groups can you get with your knew sights and slugs at 50 meters? The only reason I ask is because the sight looks a little fat for a good group.

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FB3GDQ,

I ultimately decided to place the SMALLER fiber optic rod onto my front sight.

Why?

Because the larger fiber optic rod was big...and actually, after some thought, it was a little larger than I wanted. On top of that, even the smaller fiber optic rod glows like you wouldn't believe when outdoors.

Remember, the fiber optic rod is not used for sighting. The sole purpose of that fiber optic rod was for super-quick front sight acquisition.

This is why a rear fiber optic sight is not needed. (In my opinion).

I also do not use the fiber optic rod to sight-in on a target. For the close "in your face" targets...yes. I point it a touch high of dead center, and go BOOM.

But for the longer distances, I will only use the fiber optic rod to find my front sight quickly, and then I will use the TOP OF THE FRONT SIGHT to aim for the center of the bullseye. (Or target).

And very lastly...I have not tried any 50-yard shots yet.

I am working-up two different low recoil slug loads at the moment, and they will be tested-out on Saturday after practice. (We have a USPSA match Sunday morning at the Richmond R&GC).

I will post more feedback on this a tad later.

Shoot with a purpose.

In Christ: Raymond

Edited by RaymondMillbrae

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that is very good, I thought they had to be soldered on the barrel

Harmon

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Raymond, thanks for the great write-up. I have bookmarked this page and continue to review it. I recently picked up via PPT a new 'used' 870. It is the 18.5" front bead sighted Talo edition. It came with a receiver mounted UTG rail and a low cost reflex sight. For various reasons I have decided to remove the mount and move to a more traditional sight setup. In its place I added a 6 shot side saddle (not totally happy with this either...should have sprung for the Mesa Tactical). I will be using this gun for simple HD and slug shooting out to 30-50 yards and think what you have done with the LPA and HiViz sights is perfect for my needs.

So I have a couple questions if you don't mind. First, what barrel did you start with? Judging from your pictures it looks like it was a traditional ramped bead (like mine) that you ground off.

Lastly, when you actually tapped the receiver for the LPA ghost ring sight did you do that by hand or with a drill press mounted tapping machine?

I had this post all setup with links to pictures but being this is my first post I was not allowed to add links. Next time :)

Thanks!

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JavaBrewer,

It was the stock 870P barrel. And if memory serves me correctly, the white dot was mounted onto a metal base, which was then brazed onto the barrel. If you look at some of the pictures, you can see where I actually knocked it off and ground it flush to the barrel.

As for the tapping and drilling, it was all done by hand...no press.

Let me also say, this is not the best setup for competition. But for home defense, property defense, or a good bear defense rifle with slugs...it is awesome.

In Christ: Raymond

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Raymond, thanks for the update. Attached is a picture of my standard bead sight. Is that what you started with and if so what steps did you take to remove it in preparation for the HiViz install? Of course I could just seek out a 20" barrel and cut it down but that's going to drive the costs for this project even higher.

Not sure how long I have to wait before I can post with links - I have a Photobucket account which would be so much easier. :)

Thanks again - I think you did an outstanding job. There is a page on Iron Badger where a person did the same install and credited you for it.

Regards,

David

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