HUNTINGsmart! USA Knowledge Base



Open Sight

Most rifles and handguns will have a simple open rear sight and a front sight. To aim, the shooter uses their dominant eye to look through both the rear sight (closest to their eye) and the front sight and line them both up with the target. Open sights like these are manual and require a little time to get everything correctly lined up.

Bead Sight

A bead sight is a small metal bead that’s set near the muzzle on shotguns. The bead sight is meant for shooters to reference or focus on when following through on a shot. There is sometimes a second bead located further back on the barrel that shotgun shooters can use to help line up their aim.

Aperture (or Peep) Sight

This type of sight consists of a front sight (a bead or post) and a small hole located further back, close to the shooter’s eye that they look through to aim. The shooter must look through this ‘peep hole’ and align the circle target with their front sight and with their target. This type of sight is adjustable and aligns more quickly than open sight styles.

Telescopic Sight or ‘Scope’

Scopes are where hunter technology gets really advanced and if it’s your thing, really exciting. A scope is a mini-telescope with adjustable magnification strengths. Scopes are mounted on top of rifles. They gather light to help the shooter see more clearly in reduced visibility and are often used for longer range shooting. The adjustable cross-hairs inside the scope hold onto and magnify the target for you.

Dot Sight

Another high-tech option, the dot sight (or ‘red dot’, or ‘speed bead’) is an electronic device that projects a glowing mark or ‘dot’ on a lens located in front of the shooter’s eye. This is a small device that can be mounted on your firearm. Red dot sights are great because they allow you to keep both eyes open. They’ll be the best choice for hunters with switch or wrong eye dominance.

No matter the type of sight you decide to use, remember that your sight should look clear and your target should look blurry. They can’t both be clear and it should not be the other way around. Remember, if you want to hit your target, make sure your sight is right.

Wise Words: Avoiding Steam

If you’re hunting in cooler temperatures, be careful that your breath doesn’t fog up your scope while you prepare to take a shot. Take a deep breath and wait to exhale until after you’ve taken the shot.

Campfire Collective truck icon.



Go boldly, tell your story. Campfire is building a collective of ambassadors who share a passion for the wild. If you’re an influencer, publisher or sport expert drop us a line. Let’s hook up and inspire others.

Campfire Collective high five icon.



Stay in the loop. Sign up for our newsletter
to get the latest stories from around the fire.