A Brief Introduction to Sights

In the ancient days, guns used to come without any assistance to the shooter. The shooter had to be very accurate and precise when he shot at his target. Scopes are devices used to assist shooters by visually aligning instruments and ranged weapons. Sights can be projected in two ways. They can either be simple set or be a system of markers. These have to be aligned together with the aim. Optical devices allow the users to view the target in a magnified, or an optically enhanced way to get a better view of what they are aiming at.

Laser sights and infrared sights are used to project an aiming point on the target. These are commonly found useful in night vision devices.

The type of sights available in the market are as follows –

  • Simple Sights – These sights are the most basic version of how a sight should be. They consist of two parts – the rear aiming piece and the front aiming piece. These components need to be aligned and lined up perfectly without any mean error. Surveying systems, measuring instruments, navigational tools, and some weapons consist of these sights. On weapons, metal rugged parts are used to form the two components of the sights. Hence, they are also termed as – ‘iron sights’. They are different from the optical or computing sights. These sights generally come built in with the weapons when you buy it at the dealers’. They can either be adjustable, fixed, or marked for either elevation, target speed, windage, or a combination of two or more. The simple sights are also classified as aperture or closed sight, and a notch or open sight. The user has to be really experienced when he uses this sight. The user should first have a proper eye position before taking the shot. Then he should be able to adjust the grip while looking from the rear end sight through the front end sight. He should also keep a constant eye on the target. He will have to concentrate on all three planes of focus.
  • Optical Sights – As the name suggests, these sights, with the help of optics, produce an image of the aligned aiming point. This makes it much easier for the user to aim and shoot. Optical sights come in two primary forms –
  1. Telescopic Sights – In the optic system, a graphic image pattern reticle is mounted in an appropriate position to give the user an accurate aiming point. This kind of sight is basically an optical telescope. Telescopic sights are used in a lot of surveillance systems, guns, and even on large telescopes such as the finderscope. Green dot sight is very common in this category.
  2. Laser Sights – In firearms, the laser sight is used to enhance the accuracy of targeting of weapon systems. A laser sight is basically a small, visible light laser that runs parallel to the shooting path of the gun. This generally helps while shooting at night. These lasers can be made visible only to those who wear night-vision goggles at night. Micro red dot sights can fall under this category of scopes.

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