New to firearms or looking forward to improving your accuracy or shooting performance with your firearm?
Although firearms have changed since the day they were introduced, the basic group of firearm parts is still the same namely Barrel, Stock, and Action.
Read ahead to understand different types of rifle sights and how to choose a rifle peep sight that improves your accuracy! To give you a better insight, the sight is mounted on the barrel (the long metal tube) that guides the shooter’s eye while aiming at the target.
Let’s begin with the basic sights:
IRON SIGHTS (OPEN SIGHTS)
Secured in a dovetail slot or fixed onto the rifle barrel towards the breech end, open sights use two iron sights one is rear sight and another front sight.
The purpose of the front sight is to aim the gun whereas the rear sight aims the distance to the target. The metal blade at rear sight is transversely mounted into which there is a U, V, or square-shaped notch. Here, the notch queues up with the shooter’s eye.
Moreover, the front sight is the vertical blade fixed onto the muzzle end of the barrel. But due to the curved surface, the front sight tends to shoot away from light. Hence, the most accurate type of front sight is the non-reflective black, flat-topped front sight with an undercut face.
The purpose is to line up the front post in the rear notch, when correctly aligned the bullet hits right at the top of the front post.
To enhance visibility in dim light, colored beads (like gold, ivory, or red) are fixed to the face of the front sight. The most common types of rear sight are U notch rear sight which is usually adjusted for elevation. The other common rear sights are V, the buckhorn, and the semi-buckhorn.
Marlin 336 and standard Winchester Model 94 are supplied with semi-buckhorn rear sights. Ruger and Remington’s rifles require screw adjustment, whereas The Williams Company has fully adjustable rear sights.
- Lightest of all sights, open sights have minimum impact on balancing and handling of the rifle.
- Usually, no rain or snow can affect the open sights hence are more reliable during poor weather conditions.
- Simple to use, open sights are proffered along with the rifles.
- Open sights are difficult to adjust accurately and neither are they precise at shooting.
- Open sights offer a limited field of view.
- Optical sights are quite difficult to use as they require the human eye to aim at three points (the front sight, the rear sight, and the target) located at different distances.
- Difficult to use during low light conditions.
PEEP SIGHT (APERTURE SIGHTS)
Peep sights or ‘ghost ring’ sights are considered to be precise aiming devices. They look more like a peephole that is why they are called peep sight. Though the use is similar to that of an open sight but looks are far different.
The rear sight uses a circular lens through which the shooter peeps to see the target more clearly whereas the front sight is much like the iron sight.
Peep sights improve on notch-post open sights by enhancing the capability of the shooter’s eye to view the front sight in relation to the target. Further, it improves on magnifying optical sights allowing the shooter to see a wider field of view in a short time.
Depending on the kind of rifle, peep sights can be mounted on the cocking piece, tang, or receiver. Marlin 1894 sights and the 1895 peep sight rifle are a few examples of a good rifle peep sight.
- Peep sights provide a sharper image of the target and are accurate compared to that of iron sights as it extends the distance between the front sight and backsight.
- For quick target acquisition during low light, peep sights prove to be the best sighting system as it allows more light to enter the sight.
- Being smaller and lighter, peep sights are easy to carry and store.
- Peep sights do not offer accuracy when shooting from a moving vehicle.
- Shooters cannot expect precision when shooting rain or snow.
TELESCOPIC SIGHT SCOPE
Of all sights, telescopic sights are known for more accurate shots at farther distances. In this sight, the target and the aiming mark lie in the same optical plane. All you have to do is place the aiming mark to the same optical plane where you want to hit the target then push the trigger. With everything in the same optical plane, the view is quite bright and clear.
Larger the lens, the more light it allows to enter the scope. Thus, the telescopic scope can have 24 different types of targeting lenses. The telescopic sight scope is usually used for snipers, hunting, and skill shooting.
ADVANTAGES OF USING TELESCOPIC SIGHT:
- As telescopic sights are optically superior they offer accurate pictures of long-range targets and are convenient for the hunter to use compared to other sights.
- For quick aimed shots, scopes are faster than iron sights as it allows only one aiming point.
- Telescopic scopes work very well in dim light and shadows too.
- The most precise of all sighting systems.
- Compared to iron sights, telescopic scope sights are expensive.
- Using scope can affect the rifle’s balance and handling as they are quite big and bulky.
- Good quality scopes are durable but if low-quality scopes are used they get easily damaged by the flinch of heavy-duty rifles.
All three – open sights, peep sight, and telescopic sight has their own advantages and disadvantages. One needs to consider their specific needs before choosing anyone out of the three. Although if you’re looking for increased accuracy, peep sights work very well.
If you want a sight that works better in poor weather conditions then opting for open sight is worth it whereas if you are looking for a precise picture of a long-range target then telescopic sight proves to be a better alternative.
Hopefully, this article helps you make an informed decision. Happy shooting!