peep sight

Why Peep Sights?

Why choose a peep sight for Rifles?

When using a peep sight there are several advantages over other sighting systems.  The "Aperture" functions like a camera lens iris and increases the depth of field.  The smaller the aperture, the sharper both the front sight and the target will be.  There is no need to "center" the front sight in the "hole".  Your Eye will automatically do this subconsciously.  This removes one plane from the aiming process.  All you need to do is look "through" the hole, focus all attention on the front sight, its alignment on the target, breath control, trigger squeeze and follow through. 

In fact, anything that draws attention to the "hole" (fiber optics, cross hairs, brass rings) actually detracts from accuracy since it draws part of your focus to the "hole".  Think about it:  All major iron sight competitive shooters use crisp, round holes.  If there was an advantage to rings or fibers, they would of course be using them.

All military battle rifles and many "Dangerous Game Guns" have been fitted with peep sights for at least the last 70 years.  There is a good reason for this.  They are the fastest and most accurate iron sight you can put on your rifle.  

peep sights

(This 375 H+H has been used on Cape Buffalo, Lions, Elephants and other dangerous game in Zimbabwe for over 50 years.  Note the aperture rear sight.  It never fogs, breaks, loosens, or goes out of adjustment.)

Here is some information on sighting errors as put forth by no less than, Col.Townsend Whelen, in his book on reloading, "Why Not Load Your Own," published in 1949 when the use of telescopic sights was a rarity. With normal eyesight, either naturally or corrected by glasses, he found that the following list applied at a distance of 100 yards:

Open Rear Sight: Accuracy is unpredictable due to lighting conditions (shoots away from side lighting, and high for overhead mid-day conditions).

Aperture Rear, Gold or Ivory bead front: 1.5 -2"

Aperture Rear, Black Post front: 1"

Aperture Rear, Aperture front: 1/2 to 3/4"

2-1/2x Scope: 1/4-1/2"

6x Scope: 1/8" to 1/4"

10x Scope: 1/16" to 1/8"

20x Scope: Practically None.

As you can see from the information above, the ability to sight using an aperture sight exceeds the accuracy of most rifles.

Most of the "My old eyes", "Buckhorns are better" "Gotta have a scope" conclusions are formed by not understanding how the Aperture (peep) sight works and how to use it.  As Ross Seyfried once wrote, "Peep Sights are the MAGIC sight for old eyes".

peep sights

I always say, "Try it, practice, enjoy, and experience the freedom a peep sight can bring to your shooting experience!


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