How To Use Peep Sights With Your Rifle (Guide)

Want to learn how to use peep sights? If you’re looking to improve your accuracy with iron sights and become a better shot then peep sights are likely your solution. These sights are affordable to equip on every rifle unlike some of the high priced red dot or holographic sights out there.

We’re going to share our tips for using peep sights and you’re going to become a better shot!

how to use peep sights

items needed for this tutorial

Rifle Peep Sight – All you’re going to need for this tutorial is a peep sight for your rifle. In general, all peep sights perform the same function but you can find them with small variations. There are ghost ring sights or Talley sights to name 2 and others to have different levels of adjustment available.

No matter which type of peep sight you choose for your rifle the goal is the same. They require you to aim through a small circle to acquire and shoot at your target. Peep sights use our eye’s natural ability to peer through the small circle and improve our vision.

These sights have been put on the back burner because of red dot sights, holographic sights, and other scopes. However, if you own multiple rifles it can be extremely expensive to equip each one with one of those. Instead, you can save money by installing your rifles with peep sights.

These sights are the “old reliable” option that will never fail you. As you get older and your vision becomes worse peep sights become an even better option since they literally improve your vision for the shot. You can pick up peep sights under $50 dollars for each rifle and that’s a huge difference compared to $300 scopes.

Anyway, that’s enough praise for the peep sight and how handy they are. Let’s jump into how to use peep sights.

Choosing The Right Size Peep Sight

The first thing you’re going to have to decide on is the size of your aperture. It’s the size of the hole you’re going to be aiming through. Each size aperture has its place and every shooter is different but for this tutorial, we’re going to assume we’re using the smallest size.

Sizes range from: fine .040″, medium .070″, standard .096″, large .125″, and x-large .155″.

When you go with a smaller aperture you’re reducing your odds for error. Just compare aperture sizes while aiming. When you line up a small aperture to the halfway pin there’s less margin for error and your shots will be more accurate. A large peep sight gives greater wiggle room so it’s more difficult to center the halfway pin thus giving you a larger margin of error.

Another benefit to using a small aperture is the effect it has on your field of view. You will have a better focal point that makes concentrating on a single target easier. Even though I’ve given much praise to the use of smaller apertures the larger sizes have their place.

How To Install Your Peep Sight

Once you’ve found the appropriate peep sight for your rifle it should come with installation instructions. Follow those instructions but there are also some other things to look out for or just to be knowledgeable about during your installation.

When you first install your peep sight it isn’t going to line up with your rifles trajectory right off. You’ll have to manipulate the sight so your center and the sight line up with the path of your shot. This can take some time if you’ve never done it before but just try and align everything the best you can right off the bat.

Having a peep sight with more adjustable settings can be very helpful here. It’ll make adjusting easier once you have everything installed. Also, while installing make sure to keep the peep sight parallel to the axis of the gun barrel.

The next stage will be aligning your sight. We recommend using a shooting rest that can lock the gun into place. Begin alignment by setting the zoom knob to as low as possible. You can then fire and adjust your sights as needed. You’ll be able to identify the shots through the peep sight for these adjustments.

There are 2 knobs labeled U (For Up) and L (for Left). Use these to make adjustments to your locked down rifle. Once you’ve aligned your sights your locked down rifle will have near-perfect accuracy. Now you can take your rifle off the mount and fire it on your own.

How to Use Peep Sights

Learning to use a peep sight is something every shooter should do. These sights are extremely fun to shoot with and you can acquire and shoot your targets very quickly. These sights work well even up to 200 yards.

Now that your sight is installed here’s how to use the sight. The first thing you want to do is get your face as close to the rear sight peephole as possible. A common mistake from new shooters is holding your face too far back away from the rear sight. Staying too far away lowers your field of view and lowers your accuracy.

Instead, get as close to the peephole as you can. This gives you better precision shots and it’s the key to being successful with peep sights. Your accuracy will improve and your grouping will shrink dramatically.

While aiming through the peep sight you want the outer ring to be large visually with the end sight focused on the target. The end sight should center in the circle of the peep sight and from there everything should center naturally.

Here’s a visual representation of what it should look like:

If your shots are off and you’re aiming as its showed in the video above you’ll need to make adjustments to your peep sight. Remember that these adjustments are fine-tuned so try only moving one or two notches at a time in the direction of adjustment and then test again.

Once you’re aligned all you have to do is place the end sight centered with the peep sight and pull the trigger.

Commonly Asked Questions

What size peep sight should I use? – If you’re just starting out and have no experience with peep sights always go with the smallest aperture. It’s the most reliable and accurate way to go. Even those experienced with these sights often choose the smallest aperture as well.

Once you’re comfortable with that you can experiment with larger peep sights but most people tend to stick with or go back to the smallest aperture.

Where should you install your peep sight? – The peep sight is going to replace any rear sight on your rifle. It’s the first sight your eye will focus through. Replace your iron sight with your new peep sight. You can remove the other open sight leaves etc. from your barrel if you had one as well.

What size peep sight is best for hunting? – If your target is further than 200 yards out you may want to consider using a scope. If it’s within iron sight distance you’ll be just fine using the smallest aperture peep sight. Going with a small peep sight will give you a more accurate shot and you’ll acquire your shot quickly.

Are there peep sights for Picatinny rails? – Yes, there are different peep sights for Picatinny rails. You can have the sight connected to the rail base or pop up peep sight attached to the rail. Here are a few options.


I hope this article helped you learn how to use peep sights. They’re a sight everyone should learn how to use and if you’ve got multiple rifles they’re affordable to equip to each one. These are highly accurate sights that more people are beginning to come back to. Red dot sights may be flashy and fun but it’s hard to beat someone experienced with peep sights.

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