Ghost Ring Sights on Handgun?


January 17, 2004, 01:58 PM
This might sound silly, but I am wondering if anyone has put ghost ring sights on their handgun?

As my eyes age, I have a tough time getting a clear image of the front sight. Ghost ring sights help on long guns, why not on handguns?

I'd like to hear from anyone who has tried this. Are there sights made that won't snag coming out of a holster? Does this concept really work for handguns? Who makes 'em that would fit a 1911?

FYI, I am mostly interested in self defense shooting and home defense scenarios, not target or precision shooting. So, I'd be interested in fast target acquisition, CCW use and the like.

Thanks for any replies!

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January 17, 2004, 02:37 PM
Not sure about 1911's but there's the One Ragged Hole sight for Rugers.
I've not tried them but I'd like to.

January 17, 2004, 03:03 PM
I had George Stringer put a Ghost Ring on my SBH, I dislike scopes on handguns, but needed something for my aging eyes. It has worked well.
I'd think a similar ring(slice of 7MM barrel) could be adapted to a 1911.

January 17, 2004, 03:24 PM
45R has a set on his Sig. They're slick. It feels faster but hard to tell if it's more rapid as I haven't done it under a clock.

People say they're no good for long shots, but long shots on traditional sights suck as well.

Pappy John
January 17, 2004, 07:54 PM
I just put a set of the "One Ragged Hole" sights on my Redhawk early last week. Its been too darn cold out to really give them a good workout yet. I used them at 25 yards on the indoor range Friday night to sight them in, and they were just all right, not great, but I always have trouble with the lighting on that range so I'll probably feel better about them when I can use them outdoors. Maybe tommorrow....the temp is supposed to rocket all the way up to the mid 30's. That'll feel downright pleasant after the past week. I'll get back to you after I really give them a fair test.

January 17, 2004, 08:36 PM
I remember seeing them advertised for most autoloaders in one of the sportsmans guide shooting catalogs last year.

January 17, 2004, 08:45 PM
I've seen them on a number of pistols, but they don't seem to be very accurate at ranges past 20 yards; JP Rifles also make a "double ghost ring" that looks like it might be what you're looking for.

January 18, 2004, 09:19 AM
SDC - the double ring sights are quite interesting. It would really be great if we could find someone that has actually tried them to give us a field report.

Thanks for the link!

January 18, 2004, 01:08 PM
I have a set on my Sig that I let everyone try during the Thanksgiving THR get together in Sacramento last year. This is what everyone had to say. I like them alot. Skunk and I are pretty much able to put the bullets into one ragged hole. 9mmepihany who has more mature eyes like them quite a bit.

January 18, 2004, 01:10 PM
These are ghost rings for a Sig 226.

January 18, 2004, 01:38 PM
45R -
Thanks for the pictures and the links to two informative threads. I would welcome a follow-up report from you after you have shot with your ghost rings for a bit. I am also wondering about your opinions regarding drawing from concealment with them. Do they tend to snag anything?

I am currently using Wilson Combat night sights. It is the fastest sight I have used regarding acquisition. But, my problem is as I get older, I have a tough time getting a clear front sight picture. The target is supposed to be blurred. For me, the front sight is also blurred. Thus, I am looking for something to cure that.

Other folks have suggested the A/O large sights. I have never shot with them. Wonder if they would make a difference.

For target shooting, I have seen little circles that can be attached to your glasses to give a peep sight effect. I've heard they work well. But, as I probably would not be wearing them all day long and couldn't count on having them on at moment's notice, I am looking for another solution.

Thanks for your post, 45R. Please do follow up later with further thoughts.

January 18, 2004, 06:31 PM
I haven't had chance to shoot that 226 since Nov. I'll keep you up to date with its progress. I have been shooting a 220ST the last two months. Drawing from the holster isnt a problem with the ghost rings but I would practice practice practice since the ring sticks out So far I've just been shooting the gun to hit paper. 7-10 yards is pretty effective. I'll give you a run down as soon as I take the gun out to 15-25 yards. I can do it but I havent gotta much accuracy out of it since the sights are new to me.

For 40 bucks give them a try. They are pretty solid sights.

There is also a company that makes a Barrel bushing with a built in ring to that goes over the front sight..............



john l
January 18, 2004, 08:22 PM
Well if you are interested in close and dirty work, then you cannot beat the A/O sights ( now they are XS sights)
The thing is, ghost rings just clutter up the situation. The front sight is the only thing that needs to be focused on. and in a balls to the wall scenario, then you won't even be using your sights at all.
I would look into these sights. I have the tritium bar and dot setup on my CQB 1911- ( I have the 'standard' dot, XS makes the 'big' dot that is a little larger) yes, for long range these are not the best solution to a very accurate handgun.
But for eyes that need something big to focus on, then you might want to look at this option.
john l

January 19, 2004, 03:48 AM

As for the sights snagging, for something with a clean slide like the Sigs, it's nice to have something the sights will catch on for one-handed malfunction clearing. I have Novaks on my Beretta, but I use the safety to rack the slide during one-handed drills.

But the Ghosts wouldn't be my choice for a target/competition sight...and FWIW I hated the Wilson sights on my KZ45.

February 11, 2004, 01:55 AM
Heres another picture of the Sig I took today. You can see the Ghost Rings. :) (picture was taken by me using the viewfinder. Pistol was not loaded nor was it being pointed at anyone)

February 11, 2004, 06:42 PM
Novaks makes a ghost ring with the top of the ring removed for many makes of pistols. I have never seen nor used one but they are intriguing none the less.


February 11, 2004, 06:48 PM
Caspian adjustable ghost ring rear pistol sight (

February 11, 2004, 09:09 PM
Here's another vote for the Ashley (ne XS) Big Dot Express sights. I've got a set of them on my Kimber Ultra Carry (tritium font), and they're very fast to acquire definitely accurate enough for SD work. I'm pretty nearsighted and am now into progressive bifocals, and they're a real boon to my over 50 eyes.

You might also look into a fiber optic front sight. Though not as good as tritium in low/no light situations, they, too, are very nice for us more 'mature' shooters. HTH, YMMV.

February 12, 2004, 08:50 AM
I installed a set from on my G-23. I really like the sight picture they provide, but I can't tell a difference from the aspects of speed or acuraccy. Go figure.


February 12, 2004, 09:54 PM
FWIW, after surfing here last night I was reading Am. Handgunner and saw an ad for a 1911 barrel bushing that had a ring front sight, the company was GSI International, Maybe match it up with the Caspian rear ring sight? Just a thought. FWIW, HTH

February 13, 2004, 12:20 PM
I've seen several CZ-52s with Ghost Ring sights (they may even have been factory?)

February 13, 2004, 12:33 PM
On its face it sounds not the best idea. A ghost ring or NEW! IMPROVED! peep sight is supposed to be up close to the eye and disappears when looked thru. At arms length, the aperture may work ok, but don't think its the same as close to the eye.

February 14, 2004, 10:02 PM
I've installed and used several pistols with the Novak Ghost Ring rear sights.

My 4513TSW has a Novak Ghost Ring with a single tritium capsule located at the bottom, and it works well with the front tritium sight post in low light situations.

Until recently I had similar Novak Ghost Ring rear sights on my 3913 & CS9 ... sans tritium capsules ... but I finally decided to replace them with standard 2-dot Novak style rear sights.

While the Ghost Ring rear sights were very fast and easy to use for reasonable 'close range" shooting ... which for ME means 3-11 yards ... they slowed me down once I moved past the 11 yard line. Of course, even Novak will state that this sight isn't intended for anything other than close range application. It's just that these 2 pistols are so much more accurate than the Ghost Ring rear sights allow for, that I decided to change back to the regular 2-dot rear sights ... except with tritium capsules in one case.

I had the Ghost Ring sight on my 3913 for more than 3 years, and I've used it quite a lot. It's very fast and easy to use at 3-7 yards ... against large, full size silhouette targets. Period. It allows the eye to "center" the highly visible front post, and "funnels" the eye toward the front post as the post covers the intended target.

It DOES, however, fade out to near invisibility under diminished light conditions, such as trying to acquire a full aligned sight picture in the variable shadows of our outdoor range, even with the Mercury Vapor lights turned on and located above & behind me ...

Also, trying to use the Ghost ring for "precise" aimed fire, such as shooting the little wooden clothespins off the cardboard target boards, becomes difficult because of the wide, shallow "dish" shaped rear sight. I can use it for 50+ yard shooting at pepper poppers, but it's harder than when using standard sights.

I'll be switching out my Ghost Ring on my 3913 this weekend, replacing it with the standard factory (Trijicon) rear sight ... and I've already replaced the Ghost Ring on my CS9 with the stock 2-dot Novak style steel sight.

I also have an older Ashley A/O BIG DOT sight set on my CS45. Mine is from when the rear sight base wasn't offered with a tritium capsule in the CS45. The front sight is VERY easily seen, even as it's rising up into your peripheral vision. I like the easy-to-clean and SEE white plastic ring of the BIG DOT front sight post, compared to the lightly painted white outlines around the regular tritium sights.

The BIG DOT set up takes some accomodation and adjustment, though, on the part of the shooter ... as it aligns a bit differently than the now-standard 3-dot sight set ups. It's also not really "recommended" for other than "reasonably close range" defensive distances, as well ...

For "older eyes" ... I'm 50 ... the BIG DOT sights are RIGHT OUT THERE, right in front of you ... compared to the somewhat fuzzy and "less distinct" white dots & white outlines of other sights, both front & rear. I've had to re-apply the white paint to my regular painted "dot" sights, as well as around my tritium capsule-equipped sights, but this must be done carefully to avoid leaving any paint residue over the capsule cap/lense. Plain black sights and plain stainless steel sights are more difficult to see for my older eyes under some circumstances, it seems ...

If my 4513TSW rear Ghost Ring sight lacked the lower tritium capsule & dot I'd probably replace it with the Millet adjustable rear sight I had on it for a brief while. On the other hand, if the Millet rear sight hadn't been plain black, but I'd instead ordered it with tritium capsules ... then that's what would be on the pistol as I write this ... ;)

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