What is the best sight to put on a rifle? Obviously, it would depend on what you want to do with the rifle. If you’re going to be shooting small steel targets at 500 yards, the best sight will be very different than what might be optimum for shooting a charging buffalo at 50 feet. In addition to what you want to do with your rifle, you, your eyes and your experience matter, too. The answer is more complicated than the question.
Rifle sights range from traditional iron sights to high-magnification riflescopes with fancy reticles. In between these extremes we have aperture sights, red-dot sights, scout scopes and traditional riflescopes. Not only are there a wide variety of sight types to choose from, but there is a varied selection of each type.
Picking a rifle sight might be more complicated than picking a partner for life! OK, maybe that’s a stretch, but there definitely are plenty of factors to consider before dishing out your hard-earned dollars. Let’s look at the options.
GOING OPEN: A blade rear sight with a notch and a front sight with a bead have been around just about as long as we’ve been shooting rifles. They’re the least expensive sights, and they’re most commonly found on hunting rifles. They add very little weight, are generally rugged and work well in bad weather. They’re hard to see in dim light and, depending on your eyes, may be hard to see at all.
APERTURE SIGHTS: Also an old design, aperture sights work well for shooters with presbyopia, an eye ailment that arrives at middle age and makes it hard to focus on close objects. With an aperture sight, it’s OK if the rear sight looks a bit fuzzy because your eye naturally centers the front post in the ghost-like rear ring. They are lightweight,…