Bead Sights Revisited

October 22, 2022
Kevin "KJ" Jarnagin

Why would you consider replacing your bead sight? Bead sights, while helpful, serve as a reference point. However, what happens when old age sets in, eyesight begins to fade, and the bead doesn't pop like it used to? I'm reaching the age where the front bead isn't as clear, and on cloudy days it simply disappears. I'm on a mission to replace my front sight and regain my reference point.

We all know HIVIZ for their pistol and revolver sights. We also learn about the technology they put behind their sights but rarely do we stop and look at the shotgun sights in their arsenal. 

I've replaced almost all my pistol sights with HIVIZ Lightwave H3 sights. I remember a time not too long ago where you had to choose between tritium and fiber optic. Imagine being confronted in a situation where you chose a fiber-optic sight, and your gunfight happened in the dead of night? Not being able to see your sights is unacceptable. HIVIZ set out to remedy this issue with the introduction of Litewave Technology. 

The Litewave Technology combines tritium and fiber optic for 24-hour illumination. So, why on Earth would you replace a front bead with the Litewave H3 Bead Replacement Sight? Easy. Not every day is bluebird skies. There are days when the sun refuses to shine on the duck blind and the pheasant fields to glow in the winter's sun. 

In those times, I rely on an alternative source for making that front sight pop. If you've ever replaced your pistol sights with a set of tritium sights, their value is undeniable in low light/no light hours.

I had replaced my G43X sights with a set of the HIVIZ LiteWave H3. This was the first set of dual light-gathering sights that I’ve owned. HIVIZ combines tritium with the Litepipe technology, giving shooters the best day and night performance in one system. 

I was especially appreciative of them when there was a bump in the night. When I was jolted from my sleep, the glow of an illuminated front sight caught my eye. I knew exactly where the gun was because I could see the glow of tritium from my front sight. This sold me on the technology. So, why not apply that to my shotgun shooting? 

It only makes sense that you’d want to pick up the front bead quicker. I don’t know what it is about small bead sights on shotguns, but they just annoy me. I think it needs to be said that I am not a professional shotgunner, nor do I play one on TV. I am an average shot at best with the shotgun, but my shot percentage increases tenfold when I can catch that front bead quickly. 

Installation of the Litewave H3 Plain Barrel Shotgun sights is easy. I would highly recommend utilizing some Loctite Threadlocker on the screw when replacing your bead sight. The sight comes with plenty of options for differing screw sizes. If your gun doesn’t make the list of compatible models, it is likely that you must have the gun drilled and tapped to accommodate either 3-56”/2.5mm or 6-48” screws. The HIVIZ LiteWave Plain Barrel Sight is excellent on 12-, 16- and 20-gauge shotguns. 

Cloudy days happen, and that's no reason not to make the best shot possible. If you have aging eyes, it might be an excellent option to upgrade your front bead. Heck, even if your eyes are solid, you owe it to yourself to pick up the front bead quicker. Milliseconds count a stream of Blue Wing Teal rip through the spread at first light. Don't get left behind a dark bead. ~ KJ


Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often finds himself in a bass boat. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, KJ always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.

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