Why no peep-sight on handguns?


October 23, 2007, 01:39 AM
Ok, I KNOW I am missing something dumb.

I have shot a fair number of different handguns but have NEVER once seen a peep sight on a handgun.

One of my favorite sight setups is on a buddies 10/22 where he had DUAL peep rings, meaning no post just the two rings. I dont see why this, or a more traditional post and peep setup would not work on a handgun. Is it a problem with the shorter sight radius?

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October 23, 2007, 01:43 AM
I don't know the answer but just wanted to chime in and say that I was wondering the exact same thing. Is it because the sight radius is too short for peep sights to be effective? Or are they harder to align without an instinctive cheekweld?

October 23, 2007, 02:38 AM
Some after-market suppliers do make things for handguns called "Ghost Ring" sights.

I think Trijicon makes them.

Good Luck

October 23, 2007, 02:44 AM
Peep sights for handguns?

How much time you got?

October 23, 2007, 04:11 AM
Check out this tread for a discussion on Peep Sights.

THR > Tools and Technologies > Handguns: Revolvers: peep sights

My Posting:
In order for a peep sight or ghost ring to work properly it has to be positioned close to the eye. On a handgun the sight will be quite far from the eye and less effective. A GHOST RING is called that because when properly installed on the back of the receiver on a rifle or shotgun it is seen as a faint ring. Your eye focusses on the front sight and automatically picks out the center of that ring, creating a sight picture. It is fast when practice and proper gun fit put that ring in front of your eye and you only have to pick out and aim the front sight on target - not rear sight-front-sight-target. When installed on a pistol - or further up the receiver/barrel on a long gun - it can not be a ghost ring and has to be alligned in the same way as open sights.

If you have a combination that works for you, that's great. Individual's eyes vary and "different strokes for different folks"... but I suggest that is not a solution for most shooters.

The picture posted by RecoilRob illustrates my point... the sight is in sharp focus as it could be when sighting the pistol - a distance from the eye... a proper Ghost Ring is by definition a Ghostly Ring right in front of your eye.

Again - if you have something that works for you that's fine.

October 23, 2007, 06:40 AM

I have peeps on two Rugers, they work great!

October 23, 2007, 06:54 AM
Peep sights work because your eye automatically centers on the peep sight. You could actually use peep sights with a hand gun but peep sights on the back would protrude unless you flip it up. From a handgun they are slower to acquire the target IMHO. Handgunning is often a pointing and shooting art. With the peep sight theory accuracy is lost because the lineup between the front and the rear sight is just too short and doesn't pay off. IMHO.

October 23, 2007, 06:59 AM
The picture I posted is NOT the way they look when firing the pistol. That was an anomoly of my poor photography and inability to control the cameras focus. What I was trying to show was the sight installation and the amount of material removed from the rear of the slide to clear the aperature.

In the field, the ghost ring IS what the name implies and, focusing on the front sight or target allows quick and accurate shooting.

The Patridge type sights are ultimately capable of greater precision, but the ghost ring is faster (especially when the blade/notch is really small) and allows you to hit pretty well. I like them!

October 23, 2007, 07:14 AM
I've got a ghost ring sight on my Hi-Point, C-9. They're included in the box, so I gave it a try, and I really like it. It works just fine for me.

Fred Fuller
October 23, 2007, 07:22 AM
Ancient history, but perhaps illuminating and useful. IIRC Louis was having trouble with his eyes due to a reoccurence of some tropical disease or other, and tumbled onto this as a way to manage his defensive pistol during that time. He wrote it up but I can't recall where and can't find it right now.



Jeff Cooper's Commentaries

Previously Gunsite Gossip
Vol. 2, No. 10 11 August 1994
Family member and Shooting Master Louis Awerbuck recently showed us a most interesting device, which amounts to a ghost-ring for a pistol. It is not as obtrusive as one might expect, and it is a great deal less so than any form of glass sight. The large diameter aperture sits low over the rear of the slide, and it does not interfere with a holster which permits the use of a "target sight." I think it deserves study, and I will do what I can to promote this.
We have messed around somewhat with the pistol ghost-ring pioneered by Louis Awerbuck, and now available from Steve Wickert in Prescott. It is, indeed, an aid to failing eyesight, but it poses its own problems. It seems okay for deflection, but not as good as conventional sights for elevation. We will bring an example to Whittington, where the faithful can try it for themselves.

October 23, 2007, 07:23 AM
Imagine getting your eye close enough to a really accurate peep sight for it to be useful. Then imagine the slide on a semi-auto and how it works. I'm thinking getting "slide-bit" in the face would be an experience most wouldn't be willing to repeat. :eek:

Ghost rings would be another issue, but the OP was asking about peep sights. Revolvers are another issue entirely, but I'm imagining peep sight would be most useful for hunting. Unless it were a .22, a revolver powerful enough to take medium sized game would result in some interesting impact craters on one's forehead.

October 23, 2007, 12:14 PM
Hey thanks guys, didnt even think about the eye space thing. This makes a lot more sense now.

Steve C
October 23, 2007, 01:05 PM
Aperture or peep sights are more accurate on rifles as the distance increases. The smaller the aperture the greater that accuracy, this is the reason on a AR15/M16 the 0 to 200 yd aperture is larger than the 200-500 yd. With a handgun you can't get your eye close enough to the sight, without getting the hammer or slide up your nose, for it to work and peep sights are not as quick to acquire as open sights.

October 23, 2007, 05:36 PM
You'll see them on some specialty pistols, ie contenders, XP's. I tried a set on my contender because I like them so well on a rifle. Didn't take me long to replace them with a blade. Definately faster, so they may work pretty well on a defense style pistol, but they didn't offer the accuracy I was looking for when they were so far from my peepers.

October 23, 2007, 07:45 PM
I loved the ladder rear sight on a Springfield 1903 -- worked out to five hundred yards. But I figure a handgun is for stuff closer in than that. Like five to seven yards if I'm lucky.
Cordially, Jack

October 24, 2007, 12:48 AM
when i purchased my first handgun (walther ppk/s) it was for CCW purposes... i trained with it until i could do what most special forces operators can do... i could draw and line up my sights automatically... i wanted to make sure that in any situation, my muscle reaction would make sure that my gun was lined up on my target without me having to actually look down the sights... sure it cost me 5,000 rounds of .380 ammo... but frankly my thought was that i didnt need to carry the weapon unless i was absolutely sure that i could hit my target every time in every situation... to me, ring sights would work just as well as normal sights for this purpose so long as you practiced enough... just remember, in a panic/defense/low light situations you might not have time to look down the sights, and might have to rely on your knowledge that your muscles can line up your gun with your target

Mal H
October 24, 2007, 12:52 AM
"Why no peep-sight on handguns?"

Because you'll put your eye out with that thing!

October 24, 2007, 01:17 AM
Bought one of these for my Dad and he loved,came with two sizes Dad put put the big one on and his groups improved greatly


The Lone Haranguer
October 25, 2007, 01:23 AM
Peep sights work well on rifles because they are held steady and at a consistent known distance from your eye. On a pistol, which can be held in any position or distance from your eye, they would not be effective unless the rear sight has a very large aperture, i.e., a "ghost ring" sight.

October 25, 2007, 09:36 AM
My gunsmith had me test drive and sight in a customer's Colt 1911 he installed a ghost ring sight on. It was sure different.

October 25, 2007, 09:45 AM
If the point of the handgun was slow, accurate fire, I see no reason why not. I like speed drills, and blade sights make that easier for me.

October 25, 2007, 01:00 PM
Can't do any "kentucky windage" with a ghost ring / peep sight.

Try shooting at something more than 50 yards away, compensating for drop, with non-adjustable peep sights. Now do it with an open-topped standard sight, where the front post can be elevated yet centered with the back notch.

50 yards may not be a typical defensive use of a handgun, but it is used that way for target or hunting purposes. And for defensive use, a peep will be slower than a standard sight.

Peeps are the wrong tool for the wrong platform is all. I love 'em on my M14 though.

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