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Rifles: Open Sights Question - History?

Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior MemberPosts: 1,375 Senior Member
Now that I am getting older, the eyesight is not what it once was. From what I have been reading, the various "Peep" sights are easier to sight accurately than sights like the Buckorn/V ("Open")sights seen on most rifles post 1900's.

While the speed advantage of the Open (notch/post) sights is easy to see, I don't understand why Peep sights all but disappeared. It is not like a deer/elk/squirrel will shoot back. If target .22's have Peep style sights, why didn't common 22 rifles have similar sights?

Replies

  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 6,481 Senior Member
    Scopes. Profit margin is probably the other reason for them going away. A good peep or apature sight are a finely machined product, and that costs money.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,403 Senior Member
    Now that I am getting older, the eyesight is not what it once was. From what I have been reading, the various "Peep" sights are easier to sight accurately than sights like the Buckorn/V ("Open")sights seen on most rifles post 1900's.

    While the speed advantage of the Open (notch/post) sights is easy to see, I don't understand why Peep sights all but disappeared. It is not like a deer/elk/squirrel will shoot back. If target .22's have Peep style sights, why didn't common 22 rifles have similar sights?

    Well, if I had to make a guess, and I will, it's the fact that the V-notch or buckhorn sights are MUCH cheaper to manufacture than a good quality aperture sight. I guess it's one of those 'you get what you pay for' things. As I've gotten older, I much prefer aperture rear sights due to their greater precision. For me, the V-notch and buckhorn sights are all but useless.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
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  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,484 Senior Member
    M&P 15-22 comes with peep sights, MP5 clones do. A lot of people put them on their econo .22s to improve accuracy but they cost $60-70 a set.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 1,375 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    Well, if I had to make a guess, and I will, it's the fact that the V-notch or buckhorn sights are MUCH cheaper to manufacture than a good quality aperture sight. I guess it's one of those 'you get what you pay for' things. As I've gotten older, I much prefer aperture rear sights due to their greater precision. For me, the V-notch and buckhorn sights are all but useless.

    Thanks. I hadn't considered that a quality aperture sight would cost "that much" more than open sights. For a cheap 22 rifle, it makes a lot of since.

    For rifles, I am now all scope, all the time. Just can't see the open sights anymore.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,928 Senior Member
    I'm getting back into iron sights with some of my rifles...I have aperture sights on one of my Sharps, the High Wall and the 1895 Marlin - the High Wall, the Marlin and the the other Sharps have Buckhorn barrel sights which I've found to be pretty adequate out to 100 yards or so - after I worked with my optometrist to get my trifocals to work with open sights....

    ThumbnailHandler_zps0sljklo9.jpg

    This is the one I installed on the Sharps....Smith Enterprises...$170.00
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 1,759 Senior Member
    Getting my glasses to work with open sites is what my problem is. I can't see three things clearly at the same time. With peeps I concentrate on the target and front site. The fuzzy rear peep is still round and centers well. Works for me but I prefer a scope.
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    My opinion based on years of military range work and competition shooting:

    If you will practice just a little with a peep or receiver sight, you'll never want anything else just like if you will practice just a little with double-set triggers you will never have anything else. There is a darn good reason that the military uses receiver sights, and this goes all the way back to the Springfield '03. Even as your eyesight goes downhill with age, a peep sight will form a type of ghost ring that, even though its a little blurred, you will learn to automatically center the front sight in the center of the ring. It will come natural with a little practice. (I know....I'm 76 now!)

    The other option is to keep re-dovetailing the barrel and moving the rear sight up toward the muzzle until everything again comes into focus. I've seen old muzzleloaders with 3 dovetails where the owner/shooter would, as he aged, move the rear sight forward. Got one like that myself that I use to bust squirrels with :tooth:!
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,928 Senior Member
    Freezer wrote: »
    I can't see three things clearly at the same time.
    That's normal...nobody can see three things clearly at the same time....with or without glasses...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 7,833 Senior Member
    I had the same problem with open sights. I wear contac lens, so I got some of the multi focal lens and now I can see everything in focus. Still don't like some of the open sights, but they probably suck with good eyes!!
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,744 Senior Member
    Luckily, I've got good vision for a man of my age. But the best I can do with open sights is four or five inches at 100 yards, and that with a Mosin Nagant and with (slightly better) a Swiss. I haven't tried aperture sights at that range. I only need glasses to read with. And tie flies.

    The M 1 was the first rifle in the US arsenal with peep sights and possibly the first military aperture sights in the world. I can't think of any other military rifles that predated the M 1 with peeps. The 03 had open sights, the 03A3 had peeps. The later No 4 Enfields had peep sights, I think in about 1942 or so.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • shushshush Senior Member Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    ....... I can't think of any other military rifles that predated the M 1 with peeps......


    P13/P14/M17 Enfield.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,744 Senior Member
    Yep, those were the first, no doubt. I wonder where the concept cam from.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • Ross280Ross280 New Member Posts: 43 Member
    What about the Canadian Army's 1910 Ross M10, looks like it has a flip up rear sight with I hole in it, would this hole be called a peep sight?
  • shushshush Senior Member Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    ....... I wonder where the concept cam from.


    For the British, it was the Second Boer War that upset our apple cart.

    ''Following the Esher Enquiry into the Boer War, and particularly the level of British marksmanship, the General Staff began in 1908/09 to look at a new infantry rifle in either .256" or .276". In September 1910 they issued a draft specification which included the requirement that the rifle should have an aperture rear sight graduated to 1,600 yards.''


    Thus;
    The Patterns 11, 12, 13 and 14.

    Though they had been used on target rifles since the 1850s and target shooting did play a significant role in British rifle design.


    The National Rifle Association was founded in 1859.
  • Ross280Ross280 New Member Posts: 43 Member
    Shush, good morning, I'm fine but confused, the more I read the more confused I get. In your above Post #16, your picture #1, I see 1 open sight laying down and 1 open sight standing up. Now to the rear of the upright sight there is a small hole (aperture), would this hole be called a peep sight? Your picture #2 shows 2 open "Battle Sights" and 1 ordinary or closed aperture. My question is, does your above pictured military rifle sights contain a peep sight? Or is a peep sight in a completely different category, and not considered open sights or aperture type sights. :uhm:
    Thank you for your knowledge.
    Ross280
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,403 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    I'm getting back into iron sights with some of my rifles...I have aperture sights on one of my Sharps, the High Wall and the 1895 Marlin - the High Wall, the Marlin and the the other Sharps have Buckhorn barrel sights which I've found to be pretty adequate out to 100 yards or so - after I worked with my optometrist to get my trifocals to work with open sights....

    ThumbnailHandler_zps0sljklo9.jpg

    This is the one I installed on the Sharps....Smith Enterprises...$170.00

    I have four sights like that from the 1800's. No idea what they fit on originally.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • wildgenewildgene Senior Member Posts: 1,036 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    Yep, those were the first, no doubt. I wonder where the concept cam from.

    w42-08-winchester-model-1885-deluxe-schuetzen-rifle.jpg

    ...your choice of sights is probably better predicated by your use, peep sights are especially good for the "aim small, shoot small", but they occlude anything not in the center of the peep. Standard irons let you see to either side, an advantage for hunting in thick country. Either way, the usual method was, "find your target, focus on your front sight, align the slightly fuzzy rear sight & target on your front sight & "squeeze"...

    http://navyadvancement.tpub.com/12018/css/12018_387.htm
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,401 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    The M 1 was the first rifle in the US arsenal with peep sights and possibly the first military aperture sights in the world. I can't think of any other military rifles that predated the M 1 with peeps.
    03 has a peep on the ladder, as does the Krag.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
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