Jeff Cooper & Ghost Ring Sights


January 22, 2003, 01:26 PM
When & who came out with the first Ghost ring sights?

The first mention of them that I can remember is from a Jeff Cooper article in a 1983 SPECIAL WEAPONS annual. He recommended them for shotguns instead of the bead sight. This was years before the first commercial off the shelf shotguns had them . I don't believe he invented them but he either started a trend or was smart/experienced enough to know what works.

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January 22, 2003, 03:37 PM
This is actually a pretty old concept. I believe it appeared on some wheellocks in C. the 15th century. Elmer Keith wrote of the Lyman Principle or Effect, which was the (re?)discovery that an aperture near the eyeball caused the front sight to automatically center and allowed shooter to just align front sight on tgt and be assured of a hit. This is seen demonstrated on the old buffler guns and whatnot with the tang sights. Many newer peep sights do not place the aperture close enough to eye to gain full benefit of eyes natural centering ability. "Ghost Ring" - maybe Jeff Cooper coined a new term for a fairly well established idea.

Tom A
January 22, 2003, 10:58 PM
You can see the "ghost ring" effect when an aperture is "wide and thin" relative to a narrow aperture of the type typically used for target shooting. With your eye focused on the front sight, the rear aperture appears as an indistinct fuzzy ring framing the front.

For the quick aiming required in a combat situation the large aperture is easier to swing onto the target and minimally obscures your view of other important things that might be happening in the target area.

On a combat long gun, the logical place for the sight is a solid mount on the receiver, maybe with some protecting "wings". There's no practical way to get it closer to the eye, ala tang sight, that isn't also fragile.

The "battle sight" on the Enfield No. 4 rifle is one example. I think the Brits may have used it on the earlier Pattern 14 rifle also (and the US M1917?).

January 23, 2003, 12:47 AM
I believe some of the african hunters of the late 1800s were using a large aperture sights.


January 23, 2003, 09:52 AM
They used to unscrew the aperture and just look thru the threaded hole according to Elmer Keith. Gotta watch out for that tang sight going back into your eye, though. :uhoh:

January 23, 2003, 11:14 AM
BigG is correct the eye automatically centers the peep whether it isghost or other type. That means the peep must be close to the eye , and that is why it doesn't work when you place the peep forward such as on the barrel or try it on a handgun.

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