The types of firearm sights

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GOHUNT Staff

Many shotguns, rifles and handguns feature sights, devices that help hunters aim with accuracy. Sights fall into three categories:

Telescopic sightA telescopic sight consists of a main tube with lenses to magnify distant objects. This sight type has line reticles for lining up the center of a target (i.e., where the horizontal and vertical reticles meet) and is mounted on top of the barrel or action of a firearm. Easy to use, it is a solid choice for novice hunters. Telescopic sights are available in either fixed powers or with an adjustable ring that a hunter can use to select different powers of magnification. Aperture or peep sightUsually mounted at the rear part of the rifle action, an aperture sight has a base and a raised ring, which is adjustable for vertical and horizontal movement. Use this sight to aim at a target by mounting the firearm and peering through the peephole of the rear sight, centering the front sight within the circle of the rear peep sight. The front sight can be a metal post with a ball on top or just a metal post. An aperture or peep sight is common on target rifles. Open sightOpen sights are common features on rifles and pistols; they feature a notch or cut at the rear and a single post at the front or muzzle end of the barrel. For many newer open sights the front and rear sight is made of fiber optic material in contrasting colors that gather light and are easier to see in low light.

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