How to sight in a gun with a peep sight

Written by raymond manley
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How to sight in a gun with a peep sight
Peep sights are accurate, rugged and inexpensive. (rifle lady two image by Paul Moore from

Shooters who are accustomed to using peep sights -- and have their rifles properly sighted-in -- can accurately hit their targets at distances of up to 100 yards. Experts can often be accurate at twice that distance. Understanding the optics -- and how the human eye works with a peep sight -- is a vital first step to mastering a rifle. A shooter familiar and comfortable with a peep sight can often hold his own with shooters using telescopic sights.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Small jeweller's screwdriver

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    Bring your eye to the peep sight, allowing the edges of the aperture to blur. The target will also be somewhat out of focus. Concentrate on the front bead of the peep-sight system, bringing it into focus and centring it on your target. The human eye will automatically centre itself in the middle of the peep sight. Fire several shots on the target range to get comfortable and relaxed. The goal is to establish a repeatable shooting position.

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    Adjust the elevation screw -- or knob -- on the peep sight to establish the proper relationship between the front bead and your target. Shooters often adjust the elevation setting so that shots hit at the top of the peep-sight's front bead. When peep-sight elevation is adjusted to place shots on the centre of the bead, the bead itself often covers too much of the target. Raise the elevation of the rear peep-sight if your shots are going too low. Lower the rear peep-sight if your shots are going too high.

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    Adjust the windage screw -- or knob -- on the peep sight to correct for right or left misalignment. Use the adjustment to move the aperture in the same direction you want your shots to move. If you are missing to the left, use the windage adjustment to move your peep sight to the right. If you are missing to the right, adjust the peep sight to the left.

Tips and warnings

  • Clean and blacken your sights. Black sights stand out more clearly and make sighting and aiming your rifle easier.
  • Target discs are sometimes used to decrease the diameter of the peep sight's aperture. They increase depth of field and decrease the amount of light that reaches your eye.
  • Keep both eyes open when sighting in your gun with a peep sight.
  • Always follow the rules of fundamental gun safety when shooting and adjusting sights.

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