By Jim Gilliland
Looking for an inexpensive way to top off a Remington 870? Firefield has a versatile option. The Agility 1X30 Dot Sight for 870 shotguns is a straightforward design that works exactly as advertised and comes in way below the price point of some dedicated shotgun optics.
I started with it in a Remington 870 tactical in 12-gauge, a short shotgun that I use the most on the range and for home defense. The Firefield is perfect for both. It comes with a built-in saddle mount, so all you can place it on is the Remington 870, which it was designed to fit. I did not like the limitation imposed by that design, but it does make for a simple and straightforward mounting solution.
To mount this optic, you simply tap out the pins holding the fire control system of your shotgun. Place the mounting saddle over your receiver, place the supplied screws through the mount into the holes where your original pins went in, and then tighten to fit. During the mounting process, I found that the mounting saddle was a little tight, and I scratched the receiver. Other than that, this sight fit well and mounted with no other issues.
This little unit comes packed with a ton of features, like four different reticles available in red and green: 5 MOA Dot, Circle Dot, Crosshair and Circle Dot Crosshair. It takes a common 2032 watch battery. I like having the option of dialing through the different reticles, as sometimes I use different ones for scenario based training. I found that the green reticles helped during low light as they were less obtrusive and didn’t “star pattern” as badly, while the red worked best during bright sunny days. I did not see any variation in the POA/POI while changing through the reticles, but I was using #8 shot while I was doing most of my range work.
The sight is designed to sit low on the receiver and had a comfortable cheek weld that felt natural. I am not a normal shotgunner and have issues with standard bead-front sights. I normally shoot well over my targets if engaging quickly, because I place my cheek too high on the comb. But with this little sight, I found it a very natural transition between my AR with a red-dot sight to the 870 shotgun with the Agility 1X30 Dot Sight. Transition times between targets were quick and centered. In the field, it was very nice to have a definitive aiming point where I could expect the center of the pattern to be. Turkey, beware!
All in all, this optic with a retail price of $83.99 was a surprising pleasure to use. It is very user-friendly and gives the shooter enough options to play with to set it to personal likings and have a few left over. I was not overly upset about the tiny scratch on my Rem 870, as it is a working gun and I am fairly rough on my tools. However, I would be hesitant to be as haphazard in placing this on my Remington 870 Wingmaster and would use a little more care. I can recommend this sight for standard range use and hunting applications. I want to spend some “quality time” with it before I endorse it for “working environments.” I like to think that, if needed, my wife could use the added sight to make difference between a successful engagement and something tragic, but I’ll need more time to ensure battery life. That is one aspect of inexpensive optics that needs long-term testing. Always. A dead battery may mean more than a missed pepper-popper or follow-up on a fat Tom in the woods.