Choosing peep aperture size?


October 11, 2005, 12:36 PM
Title says it - by what rationale do I pick the size of the disk and aperture? How close do I want it to my eye?

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October 11, 2005, 12:44 PM
You want something that will sharpen the front sight without making the sight picture too dim (in whatever conditions you plan to shoot in). A target aperature, something you'll use exclusively in full daylight, is going to be a lot smaller than something you'd use for hunting.


The Real Hawkeye
October 11, 2005, 12:48 PM
If it's for a hunting rifle, you want the biggest made because your eye will automatically put the front sight dead center of the rear sight aperture. Usually that means throwing away any screw in unit that comes with it and just using the full sized hole. You want it as close to your eye as you can get it without risk of losing an eye due to recoil.

October 11, 2005, 12:48 PM

You'd want that as close to your eye as comfortably possible. As for the size, I like to unscrew the aperture insert in the Williams FP sights and just use the "ghost ring" or whatever you call it that remains. Other than that, the standard williams aperture they sell with those sights is pretty good.

Edit: Posted at same time as Real Hawkeye. +1.

Brian Williams
October 11, 2005, 12:49 PM
Try a merit Peep disc with an adjustable aperature.

Bwana John
October 11, 2005, 12:55 PM
Depends on what you are doing. Big one for hunting, and short distances. A little one for matchs at long range. As the aperture get smaller your lenght of field becomes greater, but the amount of light goes down.

October 11, 2005, 01:14 PM
Is there any reason to want a larger or smaller disk? I notice that Williams sells from 3/8" to 1" disks....

The Real Hawkeye
October 11, 2005, 01:43 PM
The only reason for a small disk would be for ever slightly more precision from a bench rest, but the smaller disks are worthless in the field as they block out most of your surroundings. If you are strictly shooting at targets from the bench or from prone, I guess the small disks would be better. For practical shooting, though, you pretty much don't want to see much of the rear aperture at all. It should ideally appear as a ghost image, i.e., be as thin as possible, with a rather large hole.

Brian Williams
October 11, 2005, 02:20 PM
This relates to light waves and some of the concepts of aperature size in photography. A smaller aperature will give you a greater depth of field, it helps focus over a longer range. A larger aperature will reduce the depth of field giving you a smaller area of focus. I like to keep a disc in my tang sight because it helps with the depth of focus. A lot of folks like to take the peep out to increase the amount of light that come thru, this helps with a person being able to quickly get the sight alignment and then get it on target faster.

The reason for a large diameter disc, not the hole in the center, is it tends to remove distractions while target shooting. The reason for a small diameter disc, not the hole in the center, is that it allows you to see around the sight and help you to see what is downrange while hunting making it safer. A smaller disc will not get bumped while in the field either.

I wonder if Oleg has a photo with a long depth of field and one with a short depth of field
long depth of field SMALL APERATURE
short depth of field BIG APERATURE

October 11, 2005, 02:38 PM
The Merit disc with its adjustable aperture idea has merit (-2 for punning). You'd likely save some money in the longer run over buying several aperture inserts in assorted sizes to try. You'd also be able to change size to match conditions without having to carry around a little box. Furthermore, you'd be able to get exactly the size you need or want instead of having to settle for the closest compromise.

I like receiver mounts better than tangs. Most LAs come drilled and tapped for them, they're less-easily damaged, and almost always a lot less expensive.

Personally, I also prefer the smaller disc size with any sized aperture. Unless you're competing in a bullseye match, a big disc just limits your field of view and tends to get in the way during carrying and routine handling in the field.

October 11, 2005, 09:05 PM
Smaller apertures are more accurate.

Larger apertures let in more light and make sight acquisition and alignment faster.

They should be as close to your eye as you can get them without worrying about recoil.

You're way better off with an aperture that is too large than with one that is too small. Too large loses you a bit of accuracy, but too small means you can't see through it or take too much time getting things aligned.

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