Using a gun for your shooting or hunting sessions may sound great in practice, but not until you learn how to use a peep sight correctly. Though the idea of it may be unimportant to some of you at first, you may soon realize down the line that peep-sighting does make the experience much better.
With peep sights, you get a clear and focused vision of your desired target before you could even take a shot. And in this beginner-friendly guide, we’ll show you how crucial it is whenever you take a rifle with you and use it.
Packed with step-by-step instructions plus some extra tips on what they are and how to use them as efficiently as possible, you may eventually find huge improvements in how you take down your targets. If you want to be one step ahead with your rifle on hand, keep reading!
Overview: Peep Sights
Before we get to the bottom of how to use peep sights for your rifle, let’s take a short look at what they are and what they’re designed for first.
A peep sight, or aperture sight, consists of a combination of a bead or post front sight and a rear round hole (aperture). It’s set on the rifle’s receiver close to where the shooter is usually fixated. With an appearance that looks similar to a peephole usually found on doors, it is designed to let you aim more accurately compared to other kinds of sights such as open sights and even scopes.
With a history that traces back over 150 years, peep sights give shooters an advantage when it comes to zeroing in on their targets. Apart from giving them a sharper view, they perform just as well even in low light – the aperture allows more light to enter the sight. Additionally, unlike modern riflescopes, carrying peep sights requires less effort as they’re lightweight and small, and they’re generally inexpensive too!
Common Peep Sight Variations
Brockman’s Ghost Ring Sight
This type of peep sight has a pop-up hole that can be set up anytime a scope is detached from the rifle. It can also be used as a backup on the scoped rifle for a much-enhanced target precision. Windage and elevation are wholly flexible.
Talley Peep Sight
Originally developed to go with gun optics brand Talley’s wide range of scope bases, this variation can be easily slotted onto there. It’s built with two recoil shoulders, each on either side – once it’s installed, there’s a great chance that it won’t go anywhere, no matter how strong the recoil can be. The sight’s aperture offers the shooter a vivid image of the target, allowing them to shoot with fast precision.
Using a Peep Sight with Your Rifle
Now comes the important part: learning to use a peep sight with your rifle. Let’s take a deep dive into the important steps that show you how to do it in the right and more precise way!
Step 1: Choose the Aperture Size that Fits You Best
Among the most noteworthy factors in professional shooting is choosing the right aperture size that best aligns with your eyes’ conditions.
Not all sizes are created equal – you must note that everyone has different sights and that some size iterations may not suit them very well. That’s why it’s crucial to find one that’s appropriate to how you’re capable of seeing things. In the end, whatever size you choose will impact how you shoot down your desired target.
Available Peep Sight Sizes
There are five available aperture sizes for peep sights, and these include:
- Fine – .040”
- Medium – .070”
- Standard – .090”
- Large – .125”
- X-Large – .155”
Factors That May Be Affected by Aperture Size
There are plenty of factors that may significantly influence the way you peep sight with a rifle based on the aperture size, but the two most notable characteristics are edge for error and depth of field.
The edge for error, on one hand, refers to the distance from your rear sight to the point of aim – this depends on the aperture size. The smaller the hole, for instance, the lesser the chances you could get of getting an error, as the shots that are zeroed in on the target reach farther.
The depth of field, on the other, indicates how much you will be able to see from the lens. The larger the peep, the wider your scope of vision will be; otherwise, the depth will be more enriched, and your sight will be almost entirely aligned at the focal point.
Step 2: Install the Peep Sight onto Your Rifle
Once you find the right peep size, the next thing you will need to do is install the peep sight onto your rifle.
Firstly, attach the peep sight to the top base of the gun close to your vision. This step requires you to steer the sight until it coincides with the rifle’s center. Take note, though, that it will not fully line up with the weapon’s trajectory right away as soon as you install it – it will take some time and patience to adjust until you reach the goal.
Next, as the sight is parallel to the gun’s center, it must also be parallel to its bore axis. Just screw the tripods of the peep sight as tightly as possible to the body using your screwdriver to make sure it doesn’t come loose when the rifle recoils. Once the sight is secured, adjusting it becomes much easier, especially if it has a couple of manageable settings.
Lastly, once everything is good to go, you can use the rifle to test your sights with the peep sight device. Zero in on your desired target, and then adjust the knob to the minimum zoom size when necessary. As you finish taking the shot, you will then determine if the target was able to be hit with bullet holes close to it – that’s when you can adjust your sights if it needs any improvement. Once you’re all set, you can fire accordingly.
Found in most peep sights, you will find at least two adjustment knobs:
- The U knob is used to adjust the sight upwards and downwards.
- The L knob, otherwise known as the fixing knob, allows shooters to scroll left to right.
Step 3: Enter the Peep… and Have Fun Shooting
This is where the fun begins. Now that you’ve got the hang of aiming at your targets and shooting with the peep sight with the previous steps taken into consideration, you can go ahead and take the shots whenever and wherever you please. If you keep that in mind as time goes by, you may be surprised at how well you could go as you take your rifle outside!
Notch-and-post open sights give shooters a general idea of where you aim your target. Peep sights elevate them much further in a way that they reinforce and improve your eyes’ ability to see the front sight that aligns with where your goal is.
As you look through the rear part of the peep sight, your view is automatically lined up with the front sight – that’s because light plays a vital role in the peep sights’ functions.
Estimating and Improving Peep Sight Accuracy
Now that we’ve got the gist of how to use peep sights correctly on a rifle, we thought that it’d be a good idea to share with you a couple of handy tips on how to accurately aim your target with the device.
First, to determine the exact alignment of your peep sight from the rear lens where you see the vision, make sure that the front post or aperture that’s placed a distance away must be at the center of your vision – not left, not right. This is to ensure that you get a correct sight picture, therefore resulting in more direct shots.
Most aperture sights are receiver-mounted, meaning they’re installed at the back part of the gun or rifle. Compared to original open sights, they sit higher, making it a bit difficult to find your aim. To fix this, you may need to adjust how you mount your rifle. You may also modify the sight in the direction you want the bullet to go – below is a helpful chart to guide you.
Lastly, you have to keep both eyes open whenever you sight your target with a peep sight! You may get away with squinting your non-sighting eye with open sights, but peep sights are a different story. If you keep one eye closed, you may find yourself having a hard time as the peep tends to close up. It may be a hard habit to break for some, but learning how to keep both eyes open with peep sights in front of you will make things better on your end.
To Cap It Off
We hope you learned something valuable from the steps, tips, and tricks we’ve given you about rifle peep sights and how they work.
Keeping a close eye on your targets with this type of gun optics may seem intimidating and hard to maneuver at first. But, once you get the hang of it, you may soon gain a better understanding of the processes that go with it.
You may also find yourself appreciating it – even more, considering peep sights were used for many years before the first bore sights designed for rifles were developed! If gunsmiths, hunters, and soldiers know how to peep sight very well, so should you.
We hope this article has left you feeling inspired enough to do better!