Oh, yeah. Totally get that. Aimpoint has a bunch of YouTube videos where people are shooting hares and pheasants with their red dots mounted half-way down or even near the muzzle. They want me to buy an Aimpoint and put it on my shotgun.
My questions is - and maybe people just never do this in North America, I don't know - would extended shooting damage the rib in some way? Or not at all.
I have a Fastfire 3 on my Browning Gold Hunter 20ga right now, using a Meadow Creek Mounts unit that puts the very light sight very low right on the top of the rib. The dot is 8moa. I also have one on a rail on my Mossberg 590 S. I have no trouble picking up clays with the RD, and it also works well with slugs, and tight-patterning specialty loads. What the dot does is take your mount and head position out of the equation. If the dot is in the right place, the bird will break. You can adjust it to place the pattern anywhere you want in relation to the aiming point.
JB has written about a gathering of gun scribes where they shot some clays. According to him, everyone shot better using the gun with IIRC, an Eotech mounted on it.
It’s a tool, not a cure-all, and can help you see what you’re actually doing, stopping your swing for instance. You still need to keep both eyes open and look at the target, but the dot shows where the gun is pointed, sometimes not where you think.
An open reflex model like the FF is faster and less obtrusive than a closed one like the Aimpoint IMO, especially when mounted out on the rib. No plans to put one on my Citori, but the same mount that’s on the auto will fit it as well. I could very easily use it with a slug in one barrel for deer and shot for turkeys or grouse in the other, as so far anyway, the poi at closer ranges is close enough with the other guns I’ve tried.
Back in the early to mid-90s, I shot a Remington 11-87 with a Tasco ProPoint IV mounted on the rib. It was at a dealer demo shoot.
It was a weird-looking gimmick, big ol' 40mm red dot sight perched about a third of the way down the barrel. To see through it, I had to position my chin near the top of the comb. Talk about awkward!
I've gotta admit, though, it was really easy to hit trap targets with this setup - call pull, connect the dots, slap the trigger, and crush targets! It was goofy-looking, for sure, but it seemed to work pretty well.
I think mounting that Aimpoint that far out on the rib is ridiculous. Red dot sights are about perspective. The further away from your eye it is, the more of a disadvantage they are.
The thing with a red dot sight is that the dot itself always looks the same size to your eye regardless of how far away it is from your eye. However, the "window" you look through to see that dot appears smaller the further it gets away from your eye. That dot is easier to find when you are looking for it through a big window. You want that window close to find the dot more easily.
Also, when that dot is on target, it is on target no matter where it is in the window. It doesn't have to be in the center of the window to be on target. If the dot is on the target, you are on target. You want a "big" window so that dot has room to move around in it, if needed. Maybe you didn't achieve a perfect mount for a sudden shot. Maybe you have to contort a bit for an animal coming from your 3 o'clock position. No matter. Put the dot on the target, and your gun is on target, even if you are seeing that dot in the upper corner of the window.
You want the sight as close to your eye as reasonably possible. If you don't have a red dot to understand what I've talking about, try this: put a 1 inch paper dot on your living room wall, then look at it through a drinking straw from across the room. Hold the drinking straw near your eye, then try it again with that drinking straw at arms length. At which distance was it easier to find the dot? The dot size stays the same to your eye, but the size of what you look through doesn't.
A lot of people didn't like that mount that Burris made for their Fastfire that fit between the stock and the receiver that put their Fastfire right in front of your face. But Burris knew how all this worked, and that was the best location for the sight if you are needing to find that dot as quickly as possible.
I have red dots mounted on two shotguns. An Aimpoint T2 on a Maxus II slug gun, and a Trijicon RMR on my SX4 buckshot/turkeyshot gun. Both of those I pretty much aim like rifles. Nonetheseless, action can be fast with deer up close and finding that dot quickly is critical. I want those sights as close to my eye as possible so I can find those dots immediately in a "big window."
I happen to think with small, fast game, like rabbits or quail, no red dot sight at all is best. Just a fiber optic front sight on the end of your shotgun barrel is best. But if you do use a red dot on a shotgun, you need it as close to your eye as possible. Every milimeter forward of that becomes more and more of a disadvantage.
I agree about getting the RD as close as possible, if the gun permits that as my 590 does. The FF3 on the rib mount however, is very unobtrusive due to its very thin frame around the window. When I mount it, I’m conscious of the dot, but barely aware of the rest of the sight.
When we shoot clays, a few of us like to call out tough shots, for the other guys. One day I was shooting the Mossberg with the FF, and the trapper called a pair for me, followed by, “left handed?”. I gave him a dirty look then said, “okay”. Got ‘em too, to my great surprise. Hope to turn that rig on some foxes or yotes soon if I can get my leg sorted out.
I've never mounted anything to the rib on a shotgun barrel, so no experience with it. But have been told to be careful about the weight of anything you do mount to a rib as it could pull the rib off the barrel under recoil. Anyone else ever hear that? Or seen a rib pulled off? Only red dot I have on a shotgun is on a very specific use turkey gun and for that I had a spot milled into the receiver and D&T for the footprint of a Burris FF.
It isn't what happens to you that defines you, it's what you DO about what happens to you that defines you!