[Guest Post]: Local ingenuity: global adaptations … [ Part 5 ]

Hiya there. Y-man again. Sorry I have been away for so long. I have been very busy and have been away from access to the internet for some time now. Sadly, I have been away from my beloved shotgun too!

Well, I’ve been back for a few weeks now and have done some further modifications to my Mossberg 500A.

All these modifications have been done mainly during this period because my country is going to have elections next year. The politicians have started stock-piling arms and ammo: these they will use to arm private “armies”(more like gangs!) which will be used to intimidate the public and the electoral bodies, and who will be used to fight other groups of thugs, as well as assassinations of rivals. All this is not very open, but it happens. It is not as if there will be running battles in the streets, but the period is normally one of heightened tension. There will be some robberies, shoot-outs, some attacks, assassinations (Some as gruesome as pouring acid down the throat of a political rival…)

So, because of this tension, even 12ga ammo (Even birdshot) has become so scarce and hard to find. Prices have gone up for the few packs one can get around: as much as $60 for a pack of 25 12ga Birdshot shells now! And even this is difficult to come by nowadays. So, I haven’t been doing a whole lot of shooting, but just sitting at home almost each day after work: cleaning that shotgun (That shotgun is spotless now!), thinking up new improvements to the firearm, and to my ammunition. (Of course: I do NOT load my firearm when doing these activities: safety FIRST!)

First, I decided to stop bothering with all those exotic sight “systems” I have been toying with. So I used a Truglo sight, like this one:

and basically JB-Welded it to my front muzzle area as a good front sight. I have had a bead before, which did not work for me, and had tried several options which also had not worked.

This one looks good.

I realized that a lot of the issues I was having with lack of accuracy with my shotgun had to do with either not having a rear sight at all, or having one that was not just good enough.

Check out my BAD day at the range here…

So I worked on the idea of fixing a rear sight on the heatshield. I welded a nut on it, gauging the elevation and direction all by hand and one eye closed 🙂

Then I glued unto this nut two bits of green light-gathering plastic from a Turkey sight I had discarded a while ago. See new aligned sight picture here:

Well, now: I have my rear and front sights ready: notice how in the sight picture the front red dot can be seen between the rear green dots?

I went to the range today and my sights work! Still needing some “polishing”, but at least, I’m putting “lead on the head”(This is a 1-foot “target” at 25 yards, free-hand shooting. Using 11 of my home-made slugs.)

For the sake of nostalgia, I gathered and collated videos of my progress in shooting over the last three years, which you can see here…

I have also radically improved my home-fabricated slugs, with a lot of progress with my home-made slug designs and casting. Check out my latest work here…The inspiration is the “LYMAN” type slugs. Note how I had to fabricate my mold?

More photos of the slugs and mold here

I know these are not new things: and most people in America and some parts of Europe take them for granted, but consider that I am working with crude basic tools, and having to fabricate many things from scratch.

“Life should be a hoot! Blow your horn!”

Many thanks, y’all!

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Pete

    Y-Man is quite the handyman. Great post.

  • Todd

    Y-Man is my hero. He works with what he has and makes the highest and best use of all his materials. Well done Y-Man!

  • CinSC

    Thanks for posting, Y-man, it’s always a treat to see what you’ve done.

    I’m very sorry to hear about the violence in your country.

    I don’t know exactly how they attach, but I wonder if you can adjust your new sights by shifting the heat shield on your Mossberg? Just a thought.

    Thanks to Steve, too, for including Y-man in the Firearm Blog.

  • Ed

    Y-man, those slugs came out great, can’t wait to see how they perform. I will keep you and your family in my prayers during the coming time of unrest in your country that you mention

    • Ed, next week there will be another Y-Man guest post about the performance of the slugs.

  • Harald Hansen

    Very interesting, Y-Man! Keep up the good work and may you and yours be safe!

  • Travis

    Nice work! Keep us updated. I really enjoyed the videos.

  • John Waters

    Excellent post and excellent work.

    I hope that you and your friends and family get past the coming elections safe and sound, God willing.

    Have you considered casting and/or machining molds from bronze?


  • Y-Man rules!

  • Griffin

    Wow, seriously, wow.

    Awesome post. Certainly makes me look at my local gun stores in a whole new light.

  • Crabula

    Great as usual.

  • Dan

    Great post. Good luck with your elections!

  • Komrad

    Your posts are some of my favorite. Keep up the good work.

  • Concerned_Soldier

    Outstanding, thanks for the guest post.

  • Cameron

    You sir, deserve a medal.

  • Adam

    I don’t comment much but I really like these posts from Y-Man – inspiring to see the spirit alive wherever people may be, and the amazing make-dos the man comes up with. Thanks for posting these!

  • Man, you are handy. Wish I had half your skills! I too have wanted better sights on my shotgun (a REM 870, very similar to your Moss 500). I started out with just strips of white medical tape on the top of the barrel (which also helps in lowlight, night conditions) . The Remington 870 I have had a simple brass bead at the end of the barrel, I have since painted it bright white and I have added a green turkey sight on the end of the barrel closest to me, but I havent liked it since I cant see “through” it to the white bead. I like your idea of cutting it in two on top of the nut. I think I will try something similar. I bought a heatshield that came with ghost sights, but they were so easily bent up I eventually just tore them off the heat shield.
    Thanks for the info.
    Question for you, where do you get your reloading supplies? I imagine if ammo is hard to come by then powder, wadding and unfired shells and primers must also be difficult.

    I don’t reload centerfire catridges for my rifles or pistols, but I have reloaded shotshells in the past, I like what you have done with your own slugs.
    Keep up the good work, and keep your head down during those elections!

  • Great job, Y-Man. Keep your powder dry, especially as the elections approach.

    John Bear Ross

  • rubbershotgun

    that is without doubt the best looking mossberg 500 shotgun that i have ever seen, i wouldnt mind owning a shotgun with a stock like that

  • Y-man is made of awesome and dusted with wonderful. I applaud his ingenuity, foresight and willingness to experiment. Only downside? Now I feel pretty humble.

  • Sian

    Y-Man continues to impress with his practical gunsmithing. Awesome post!

  • Jim

    We love you Y-Man, MacGyver of Africa.

  • Clodboy

    Fascinating as always.
    Who’d ever have expected to be overjoyed everytime we get e-mail from Nigeria 😉

  • Jason

    I always love reading the posts by Y-Man. Sir, if you are ever in my part of the USA (North Alabama), I’d like to buy you a drink!

  • Anton

    Quite a mad max gun you got there. Always a good read too!

  • Other Steve

    Geez… We certainly do take things for granted here in the states.

  • Montag

    I’m consistently impressed by Y-Man’s MacGyver spirit and amazing work, especially in such challenging conditions! Best of luck in such a challenging political climate!

  • Kevin

    Great work.

    I’m always glad to read your posts and see clever adaptations for difficult conditions.

  • Andy

    That there is a man made of WIN.

  • If Y-man had a CNC machine today, he would be cranking robots with flamethrowers out of it next week. Outstanding job, Y-man! 😀

  • I love these posts, though I do worry for the Author’s safety. There are so many westerners that fantasize about what he’s living through, and its wonderful to hear such a matter of fact take on such a terrifying situation.

  • Nadnerbus

    Man, I first started reading that post and thought “the US is getting bad, but is it THAT bad yet?” =)

    With a lot more folks like Y-man, Nigeria could be an amazing country to behold. It’s great to see anyone make do with what they have and improve themselves and their lives. That’s the spirit that moves human history forward. I can only hope that I would be as up to the task if I were in the same situation.

    J B weld is amazing stuff. I’m waiting to get a hold of my friends laser bore sighter to mount my Mossberg front sight kit. Now I feel like a pansy for needing all that technology =P

  • B

    Y-Man is cool. He needs to create one of these (http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/31988-1.html) for his shotgun out of handy materials. Having a flashlight might come in handy for night-time scares.

  • Nanban Jim

    (Not so much a comment, but this article needs the yman tag.)

  • Nanban Jim

    Has anyone heard from Y-Man since the elections? This whole project was largely based around concern over them (talk about hotly contested)!