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Education / Training Using peep sights: Part 1

Using peep sights: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Announcement
  • Bad eyes — can’t use ‘em
  • Have to sight-in!
  • History of peep sights
  • The message?
  • Not just for military use
  • The image
  • Don’t over-think it!
  • Using peep sights
  • The BIG deal!
  • The rest


The Vortek Center-Latching Air Piston that I have been testing in the Beeman R9 has leaked down all the way. This is what I was concerned about at the end of Part 4. The leakdown took two weeks. I’m sending it back to Vortek and they will be sending me another unit to continue the test, and I will test that one for its ability to hold over time.

Today’s report is for those readers who have asked about peep sights.

Bad eyes — can’t use ‘em

Many shooters think their eyes aren’t good enough to use peep sights, but they have it backwards. Peep sights improve your sighting precision, which is why many armies have used them for the past 140 years!

My own eyes are 20/20 after cataract surgery, but I can’t see closeup anymore. I use reading glasses with a 1.25 diopter to see the front sight clearly, and I find that peep sights still work well. The recent Sheridan Supergrade targets were shot with a peep.

When you look through the peephole, your eye concentrates on the front sight and the target. You can forget about the rear sight. Your brain automatically centers the target and the correct portion of the front sight without you thinking too much. Let’s see.

Peep graphic
This is the traditional peep-and-post sight. Your eye will center the top of the post because it is at the brightest spot in the peephole. You have to align the top of the front sight with the bottom of the bull — or if you are hunting, with where you want the bullet to go.

Have to sight-in!

Let’s get this out of the way. I will show a peep being used with a bullseye in this report. If you are hunting, you won’t sight in the gun that way (with a 6-o’clock hold). You will sight in so the pellet goes to the top of the front sight, or if you have a post and bead, just sight so the pellet goes to the bead. You do the same thing when you sight in any open sight.

History of peep sights

The peep sight is surely over 150 years old. The American Army used it in 1884 on their Springfield single shot rifle we call the Trapdoor.

The Buffington sight was installed on Trapdoor Springfields after 1884.

All American battle rifles adopted since the Trapdoor have used peep sights. Even the M16 that has evolved into the M4 initially came with peep sights.

The Springfield 1903A3 was the last and best iteration of that fine rifle. Though the original 1903 Springfield had a Buffington peep, it was too hard to use in battle because it was too far forward, so the O3A3 moved it back and did away with open sights, altogether.

The M1 Garand only came with a peep sight.

The M1 Carbine only ever had had a peep sight.

Even the M16 has a peep sight. The first iteration of the rifle had an odd front sight that adjusts for elevation, but then some real rifleman redesigned the rear sight to take care of that function.

M16A2 sight
The rear sight on the M16A2 adjusts for both windage and elevation.

The message?

The message is — peep sights work. In fact, they work best of all the non-optical sights. They are the easiest non-optical sights to learn and, once learned, the shooter doesn’t forget how to use them.

I’m only showing the American battle sights. Other countries around the world have used peep sights as well. Even tactical close-quarters guns like the H&K MP5 submachine gun use peeps, so forget the argument that they are slow to use.

H&K MP5 sight
This H&K rear peep sight is found on many of their firearms like the MP5 and the German G3 battle rifle.

Not just for military use

The peep sight isn’t just the sight of choice — it’s the only kind of rear sight to be found on a precision target air rifle used in formal matches. Optical sight are prohibited in matches, and nothing can rival the aiming precision of the peep.

Crosman 160
This peep is on a Crosman 160 target rifle. sold to the U.S. Air Force in the 1960s. It is the famous Williams S331.

Edge sight
AirForce produces this precision target peep sight for their Edge youth target rifle. It’s the only precision peep that’s made in America.

The image

Aiming with a target sight is easier than aiming with a military sight. The target sight has evolved into a series of concentric circles that the eye and brain work to center. It is very hard to not aim well with these sights.

target sight picture
This image shows a modern 10-meter target rifle sight picture. The front sight is a hooded sight whose hood is one of the circles seen here. The front sight disk is clear plexiglass that has a small circle in which the bullseye is centered. This is so easy to aim!

Don’t over-think it!

I have heard complaints about how difficult these sights are to use and the problem always boils down to the shooter over-thinking it! Like riding a bicycle, using peep sights is natural and easy, as long as you don’t try to think about your next move. Yes, some learning is required, but why do so many militaries around the world use them? Because they are faster to learn and less problem to use than conventional open sights.

I could go on and point out that peep sights were used by the majority of buffalo hunters in the 19th century who shot millions of animals from many hundreds of yards distance, but I won’t. Instead I will get right to the business of learning how to use them.

Using peep sights

Look through the peephole. That’s 75 percent of it, right there. You can make a peep sight by poking a hole in a business card with a ballpoint pen. Now — look through the hole you just made. That’s most of how to use a peep sight!

“How large a hole should I make?” That’s over-thinking it! The size of the hole is not that important. Yes, for target shooters and hunters shooting 500 yards, the hole needs to be small, but look at the hole the Brits put on their SMLE No. IV in WWII.

No. 4
The battlesight peep hole on this SMLE No. 4 is half the size of the bolt! The size of the hole doesn’t matter, and a large hole like this makes target acquisition very fast.

The BIG deal!

Here is where I loose a lot of people. You have to keep BOTH eyes open! You have to do that with open sights, too, but they will let you get away with squinting the non-sighting eye. Peeps won’t. Take that business card you just poked a hole in and hold it up to your sighting eye. With both eyes open the hole looks bright and round. Now, close your non-sighting eye. The peep closes up! That’s the biggest problem with using peeps. Learn to keep your eyes open and things will work for you.

The rest

The rest of using a peep is to sight it in so the pellet goes where you want — no different than any other type of sight. I’ve shown you the typical sight pictures and there are many variations, so set them up the way it seems best to you.

Please tell me if this helped you. I may be preaching to the choir — which means reinforcing what those who use peep sights already know, but not convincing or teaching anyone who wants to learn. I will read your comments and go from there.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

249 thoughts on “Using peep sights: Part 1”

  1. BB

    Great report as always. I find the peep sight to be so much easier to use than open sights. I even have a Diana 34 with a Beeman peep sight on it. I would suggest them to anyone having trouble with open sights.


  2. BB

    I had peep sights explained to me this way a long time ago. Pretend your peeping through a hole in a fence. You don’t make any conscious effort to line your eyeball up with the center of the hole. You don’t even see the hole, just what’s on the other side of it. Just peek through it. Now pretend that what you’re looking at is a lone fence post. Now move that fence post until what you want to hit is sitting on it. It brought it all home for me.

    All the illustrations I’ve ever seen include the peep hole in them,so you can see all the parts that your working with. The problem with that for me was I was trying to still see all the parts when I was using the sight. I kept my head back far enough so I could see the rear hole and the post and the target and tried to line it all up like in the illustration, the way you would with open sights. Once I understood that I should just see the post and and then move it until the target was sitting on top of it I had it licked.

    The thing about keeping both eyes open is new to me though. I will be checking that little trick out first thing.


      • BB glad you stated peep sites IMPROVE your ability to see the target. old guys on all gun forums always crying they need 30X scopes on a 22 for 50 yds cause their eyes are no good as if a scope is a cure for real bad eyes. at 65 I have a marlin 95 semi auto with tech peep and front site and at the range I outshoot them at 50 yds or at least tie them with their hubbel space scopes. they are just full of it and want every advantage possible so they can post a small group on their gun forum

        • Mildot52
          But I still have to think a nice red dot sight would be the simplest to sight a target with.

          Heck you only have that one dot to place on the target.

    • Half,
      I have a friend who is ex-Army, and he told me that peep sights were really bad, that he could never shoot well with them, and that open sights were much easier to use. So I asked him, “How are you using them?”
      His answer was identical to what you said here: “I kept my head back far enough so I could see the rear hole and the post and the target and tried to line it all up like in the illustration, the way you would with open sights”
      The only difference is that you got it all sorted out, and my friend refused to even try.
      (Hey, Dan, if you ever read this article and replies, I hope you’ll give peeps another go! =>)
      I like your fence post illustration; had you been around to say that to Dan perhaps he would have gotten it.
      Thank you,
      take care,

    • Halfstep,
      You have convinced me to give peeps a shot again, literally lol.
      I had one on my Benjamin 392 but took it off. That was a very a good description man! Whoever explained it to you has some pedagogic skill. Thanks!

      • Ton,

        I’m glad it helped and I’m equally glad I shared. I got to learn a new word.

        The one on my 392 is giving me some problems, though. I have to adjust it and the original open sight so low for the distance I’m shooting that I can’t seem to get my head low enough on the stock to put my eye in line with the orifice. I think my barrel may even be bored with an upward slant inside the blank. An anti-drooper, so to speak. I’d like to hear how yours works out for you.


    • I wish I knew this in 1984 when I failed to make the High School rifle team because my dad insisted I use the Mossberg .22 with the peep sight to try out…He never told me HOW to use like you did here.

      • Techmaven,

        They’re easy to use but not until you’re told how. Maybe if you have never fired a rifle they are intuitive, but if you already think you know how to use iron sights, they set you up for a big surprise.


  3. B.B.,

    Excellent. I love them on my 499. I use one of the ring front sights (which I made even smaller for my application at 24′) and like you said,…. it is hard not to miss. (The keeping both eyes open was a tip that do not recall), even with opens. As it turns out, I do that anyway with scope shooting. GF1 recommended that way back to me. For one, it stresses the face muscles less so less fatigue. For two, it allows the other eye to unconsciously keep a view of the surrounding area. Great for hunting. It did take some mental practice at first, but it is now automatic.

    Given options of rear aperture size and front sight (style) selection, peeps are great. That does seem pretty key to me. My distance vision is great, but wear glasses to read, but never wear corrective glasses to shoot. Peeps or scopes.

    Since getting back into air guns, I have yet to own anything with open sights. My Red Ryder has them, but who knows where that thing will hit! 😉 You obviously do quite well with opens, so I have not written them off just yet.

    You have mentioned in the past that air gun peeps have their practical limits on distance. 25 yards maybe? But with all of your references to fire arms,.. that must not be the complete story. If we are talking keeping pellets into a 1/2″ group at 50 yards, then I would agree. It is hard to see the target/bull with any real precision. You can get close, but not 1/2″ I think. On the other hand, with a fire arm aimed at a person sized target, then I suppose it is all relative to target size and distance. And practice.

    Good article. I predict that add on peep sights may have a sudden sales surge due to your article. Maybe?

    Good Day to you and to all,…. Chris (if you have more to share, I say share it)

    • Chris,

      Most air rifles with peep sights are 10 meter rifles. After 25 yards the pellet drops like the figurative rock. If you put a peep sight on a more powerful air rifle, you would only be limited by your own eyesight as to how well it worked. I could see putting a peep on an HW35 or HW 95, most especially since Weihrauch typically mounts a hooded sight on the front.

        • Mildot52,

          I used to shoot my FWB 601 at 50 yards also. Yes the sights have plenty of adjustment but the trajectory of the projectile is that of a rainbow.

          • lol at 45 yds with no wind I got 3/4 inch groups. once I put a scope on an FWB 300 at 45 yds if the light was right you could see the pellet mortaring to the target

            • Mildot52,

              I put a scope on my FWB 300 for pesting and it is one deadly combination out to 25 yards.

              I keep the aperture sights on the FWB 603 for 10 meter shooting most of the time though occasionally I will mount a red-dot sight for some snipping. Thinking making a sport stock for the 603 and maybe mounting a scope.


      • RR
        Hmm you made me think of something else.

        How do you use hold over or under with a peep sight? Do you raise or lower the front post or do you aim above or below your target?

          • RR
            I myself would use different aim points with a peep sight the same as I do with my red dot sights.

            Like say I’m shooting at a bird. Depending on distance I would aim center mass at sight in distance. Then if the bird was out farther I would aim for the head. If I was in closer I would aim towards the bottom of the bird..

            That’s just me though. I don’t like making clicks on the adjustments. I rather leave my sight in alone.

  4. BB,

    They are indeed so much easier to use than other open sights. As you pointed out, it is only when you are shooting competition or long range do you need to go to a small hole. Many battle weapon sights have quite large holes in them. Some are called ghost ring sights because the rear peep “disappears”, but the brain still centers the eye in it.

    My using peep sights have actually helped me with using other open sights by teaching me to focus on the front sight and the target.

  5. B.B.,

    The most precise sight to put on a hard recoiling springer. No lenses to break, no erector tubes to go out of alignment, and only the screws needed to be tightened to prevent slipping along the dovetail rail. Have one mounted on a Hatsan 60s and plan to mount one in a Diana 48 once I’ve replaced the seal (haven’t gotten around to make a compressor yet).


    • BB:

      Totally agree with Siraniko’s comments. I have a RWS M-36 springer that would walk scopes down the 11mm rail no matter what I did. I gave up and installed a Williams Peep with knobs.

      The M-36 will outshoot virtually any airgun going within its range. I have added one to my retro Benjamin 393 for the same reason.

      Can’t beat a peep for a simple, accurate sighting device as I see it – pun in tended!

  6. BB
    If your fast action rapid fire shooting. Like at tin cans.

    What sight would you prefer of these three?

    Open sights, dot sights or peep sights.

    And do you keep both eyes open on all the types of sights I just mentioned?

    • GF1,

      For most people a dot would be quicker, but once you learn a peep you would likely soon not bother with a dot. They are fine for rifles with no sights that are meant for scopes, but most dots also require a battery and must be turned on to use. There are some nice dot sights coming out that use glowy thingy fibers to provide illumination, but many of them are right pricey for now.

          • I do not know how to post a link lol but any peep can be made into a ghost ring simply by drilling it out. as far as air guns a ghost site to me would only be good for like a rolling moving target. as far as rapid shooting to me with a shotgun or rifle nothing faster then a ghost ring. a major gun sight tested ghost ring and a red dot on combat shotguns where the ghost ring edged out the dot in firing fast at multipile targets. a red dot for quick shooting blocks field of view with the frame. there is not much you can do with a ghost ring on air guns maybe a semi auto fast shooting at ten cans

            • Mildot52
              Sounds to me like a ghost ring would be what I’m after.

              It’s making me think I can dail in a peep sight by opening up the hole on a peep to get my focus and light and sight picture right for the type of shooting I’m doing.

              Heck we tune and modify our guns all day long. Maybe the peep sight is to sight modding like like shot count and poi is to pcp’s.

              Now look what you all done to me. Now I’m going to be a peep sight modder. 🙂

              • GF1

                I have unscrewed the sight disk for shooting in poor light. It works unless you need super accuracy.
                Also, if you start to get cataracts, a target peep will look like it has a bit of lint in it . Cleaning out the hole does no good . Very perplexing until you find out the whole story.


              • A peep that can be dialed up or down for changing light conditions already exists. I have a Merit disc on my HW 30s. It screws into the Williams sight in place of the original peep. Works a little like a camera diaphragm, you twist it to open and close the peep hole.

                I open it a bit inside my garage, where it is dark, and close it a bit outdoors on sunny days.

                Merit company says it’s made in the US.

                • Flintrocker, you beat me to it. I bought an adjustible peep sight by Gehmann years ago. In dim light, I found it impossible to even see the target on a white sheet of paper but opening the iris on the Gehmann made all the difference in the world over a very small, fixed peep sight opening. They offer an opening of from .5mm to 3mm and cost under $60. Great for old, tired eyes which also have lost a lot of their night vision.

                  Fred formerly of the DPRoNJ now in GA

                  • Not big enough for a ghost sight. Merit web page say it adjusts .022 to .156. Might work.

                    For a ghost sight, I’d probably just unscrew the Merit peep and put it in my pocked, and use what’s left as the ghost sight.

                    • Flintrocker
                      I really like the idea of the adjustable peep like the camera you talked about.

                      That’s what I want to get. I’m going to teyit on my HW30s that I have managed to keep unscoped. I think it will be a great combination for it.

                      Can you post a link of the peep your talking about or the name of it so I know what to look for.

                  • No, I don’t think this is the proper sight for a ghost sight plus you need a base as this screws into the mount that’s already on the rifle. You can look up Champions Choice website and search for the Gehmann sight to see what I’m talking about.

                    Fred DPRoNJ

                    • Fred
                      Ok and Mike posted a link below about the Champions Choice website.

                      I’m for going to check more into the peeps that can focus.

                • Flintrocker
                  Yep thanks. Others have replied to in different spots of the comments.

                  I will be getting th Williams sight PA has and right now it’s a toss up on which brand adjustable peep I’m going to get. So far I’m leaning towards the German brand.

              • remember to counter bore the side of the site facing the end of the barrel with a slightly bigger bit then you are drilling the site with.. I do it before I drill it . Most peeps have a slight bevel where the light comes in opposite side your eye goes. then with a q tip darken the raw metal with flat black paint or sight black

      • RR
        You made me think of something else.

        With the dot sight I have it has 11 brightness settings. So I can set it for a given light situation. Like low light dusk or dawn shooting or in the middle of the afternoon on a bright sun shiny day.

        And I’m talking pesting and fast action shooting. How does a peep stand up to those types of shooting and light conditions in your opinion?

          • BB
            Explain what you mean.

            Dail it up all the way. Why?

            And true cans will wait but not multiple ones hanging from some yarn.

            Saying that. How does the peep sight do if it was used. You can’t adjust it for light of the day.

              • BB
                Yep got all that about dot sights.

                But how does a peep sight so in different lighting conditions.

                With a dot sight you have the option to dail up the brightness to see the sighting dot.

                With a peep sight you can’t do that. So in some lighting conditions with a peep sight you might not be able to see the sights good.

                • GF1,

                  This has been one of those days. I did not read your first question completely.

                  Does a peel work in low light? Yes — as well as any non-optical sight. The lower the light the larger the peep — hence the SMLE battlesight peep.

                  Will a dot sight work better? Yes, as long as the batteries hold out.


                  • BB
                    Ok got it with the peeps now.

                    So the size of the hole in a peep sight is what controls light. It has nothing to do with how much feild of veiw you have.

                    Can I say the size of the hole allows a person to focus the target better because more and)or less light is let through the peep opening.

                    Kind of like if you squint. Things sharpen up. Well that’s what the opening of the peep does is what I gather about this.

                    • GF1,

                      You got it. If the peep hole is large, a lot of light comes through and you have no problem. If it is small, little light comes through and the iris in your eye opens to help you see. That shortens your eye’s focus range and the front sight comes into sharp focus. Target shooters car about that — hunters don’t — except for buffalo hunters who shoot 500 yards.


                  • BB the bad part of the No 4 enfield ghost ring is there is no windage. mine was off a lot so I moved the front site in its dovetail but there are the protective ears with the site moved to the left and your eye wants to center the wings and I have to force myself to remember where the front site is

    • GF1,

      That is a type of shooting I never do, but I think a dot sight would work well. Open sights would also work well. Peep sights are too precise for that sort of shooting, I would think.

      I try to always keep both eyes open. Learned that when I competed in air pistol.


      • BB
        Ok when you say too precise for that type of shooting what do you mean.

        Are you talking about eye placement or getting the sights lined up? And I’m talking about the peep sight.

          • BB
            Ok I buy that. But what if you need to get on a mouse fast in a barn then move to the next mouse.

            When I get my Maximus barrel in my WildFire I just might have a fast action pesting gun.

            That’s what I’m after anyway. No more Daisy wadcutters Halfstep if I get the Maximus barrel done in the WildFire. Then it will get some JSB 10.34’s. 🙂

              • BB
                Right again. Got that with the red dot sight.

                But how does a peep sight do in those light conditions.

                Can you still see with a peep sight in not so ideal light situations?

                • GF1,

                  You will be limited by your ability to see the front sight.

                  I do not know if it is still available, but not too long ago there was a company that offered a glowy thingy dot that inserted into a front globe sight. I can see where that could be useful in situations like you have described.

                    • GF1
                      That insert is made by Tapco. They have three versions. Two are inserts for peep sight globes. They come in 18 and 22mm. Also a unit that fits into the front sight grooves on some air rifles. The 18&22,mm versions do not fit HW front sight globes. I ordered the dovetail version for my HW50. I’ll let you know how it works.

                • GF 1,
                  I’m not certain you are getting the IGNORE THE REAR SIGHT entirely! You keep talking about lining up the sights… DON’T do that! You simply put the FRONT sight on the target just like you would the dot in a Red Dot. As far seeing at night or in low light when using a peep sight or Ghost Ring I’ll tell you the options.
                  My combat Mossberg pump scatergun has a ghost ring rear sight and a TRITIUM tube front sight; that makes it a Night Fighter. I have lots of folks ask me why the ghost ring doesn’t need a TRITIUM ring…its because you ignore it totally other than looking through it! If you mess up it blocks your view of the TRITIUM tube and the target out beyond it. So it is basically a Green or ORANGE Dot sight with no battery.

                  The peep sight simply took away the need to LINE UP THE SIGHTS!
                  Just like your electro-optical dot sights.

                  Now go have fun with a peep sight that is optimized for your eyes.


                  • Shootski
                    Yep I do understand that about a ghost sight.

                    And what I mean about lining the sight up is the placement of the front sight on the object.

                    What I’m looking for is what others have mentioned. A adjustable peep. That way I can use it in different lighting conditions.

            • GF1,

              Speaking of Daisy pellets. It was raining yesterday so I was reshooting all my .177 pellets through my Coyote with the hammer spring backed out to just two turns. That brought the velocity for 7.4 gr pellets down from 1075ish to 900ish. Trying to see if accuracy improves and at 12 yds, at least, it did for about 30 of the pellets. Anyway, here is a photo of my Daisy Pointed target at 12 yds. Not good at all.

              I have been wondering where the Wildfire project reports went. Still waiting on a barrel, huh?


              • Halfstep
                So velocity comes into play again. That’s why I like pumpers for testing different pellets with different velocity’s.

                I tryed my Maximus barrel on my 1322 with the 1398 stock and a scope. It was very accurate out to 50 yards with JSB pellets. Now what I need to do is get that .177 Maximus barrel and try it on the 1322 and test out some of my .177 pellets in it at different velocity’s. I have much more assortment of .177 caliber pellets than my other caliber pellets. But I should definitely do that first before I start working on the barrel for the WildFire. Or better yet maybe I should get two .176 Maximus barrels.

                Oh and that reminds me. I have had thoughts about getting a .22 caliber Maximus barrel and turning my WildFire into a .22 caliber plinker. The only thing I would need to do I believe is open yo a few of my clips with a drill to accept the .22 caliber pellets.

                Maybe that’s what I’ll do instead. Get a .177 Maximus barrel for my 1322 and a .22 caliber barrel for my WildFire. How about that for a combination on the WildFire. That would definitely put a wollop on the cans with a flat nose .22 caliber pellet. 🙂

    • GF1,

      Here are some of the front globe sights I have been thinking of.




      These would work well with a rear peep. The first one would mount on many of the Weirauchs and some of the Dianas.

      Trijicon, Mepro and I am sure a few others make some very nice sunlight and Tritium powered dot sights and scopes, but because their primary customers are governments the price tag is pretty steep.

      • RR
        Yep I would like those front sights with a adjustable opening on the peep. And by that I’m talking like the peeps mentioned above. I want the kind where it adjusts like a camera lens. To me that would be a excellent combination.

        • GF1,

          I had originally considered them with my Edge, but the front sight is neither 18mm or 22mm so they will not fit it however I know some have made adapters to use the 18mm adjustable iris. I have also considered the adjustable rear aperture which will fit.

  7. B.B.

    Good report! Are Williams sights no longer US made?
    If a dedicated 10M target shooter were to get Lasik Eye surgery, how should they get their eyes set?



    • Yogi,

      I don’t know about Williams sights. Why do you ask?

      I think I can’t answer the 10 meter question without doing some research. And it would make a difference if they were a rifle or pistol shooting, I think.

      I can still see well enough to compete as it is.


      • B.B.

        You made the comment about the Air Force sight being the only American made one.

        Pistol or rifle, I’ve got to choose? Darn….
        I think it might make a great blog, “Best eyesight for peep sight shooting”. On almost every forum, you hear a constant refrain, “my eyes are not good enough to use open sights anymore”…
        Scopes have the reticle focus ring to compensate for eye sight differences.

        I guess my question is, when correcting vision(either surgically or optically) what is the optimum eyesight for shooting with peeps. Yes, pistol and rifle. 20/15? 20/30?



        • Yogi,

          I said they made the only PRECISION peep sight. Suitable for 10 meter shooting. Williams makes sporting peeps that are not suitable for formal target shooting.

          Yes, I head that bit about bad eyes all the time. The fact is, I have had bad eyes in the past several years and I know what they really are. Most people who use that are simple not trained in the use of non-optical sights and they think optics will make them better shooters.

          There are a few people with eyes too bad to use open sights, but I would estimate they are about 5 percent of the once making the claim.


    • Yogi,

      When I had RK surgery in the 80s my surgeon warned me that my close vision would be really bad afterwards so he recommended against having both eyes corrected. So I just had my right eye corrected and it did my distance viewing and the left eye continued to do my reading and close work. They call it monovision and it worked fine for over 22 years. Except for shooting. I am right-eyed and I lost the flexibility in my right lens so it was essentially frozen into position for distance viewing and nothing else. You don’t realize it until you get old or have this type surgery, but when you look through iron sights, your lens is flexing back and forth to send clear images of the rear notch( one distance away ), the front sight ( a different distance), and the target ( a third and possibly changing distance, in the case of a moving target). Your brain puts it all together and it is all seen well enough to shoot. You will lose that ability with Lasik. Eventually I became even more near sighted in my left eye and had trouble judging stopping distances when I drove at night, I was essentially driving with one eye closed, after all, and my headlights reflecting off road and street signs made them a huge unreadable blur in my left eye that my “good” right eye couldn’t see through, so I had to get Lasiks on my left eye and have been using reading gasses ever since.

      If it is possible for you to opt for monovision, go with having the non-dominant eye done if your surgeon gives you a choice. You will retain the flexibility in your sighting eye’s lens to see the gun sights and eyeglasses will help you see the target. As you age you will lose flexibility eventually and will find a peep ( only 2 distances to focus on, post and target) or scope are required.

      Of course don’t do anything without talking it over with a doctor. I only play one on the internet. 😉


      • 1/2,

        Thanks for the reply. Currently, I wear glasses for anything over 20 feet. from 2 feet to 20 I’m still very good without glasses. Under 2 feet, I need +2 and over 20 feet I need -2.
        When shooting peeps, I was alway taught(partially by BB) focus on the front sight, see the target and let the rear fall where it may….
        To all the younger people out there, getting older is no fun. You start to fall apart little by little..


  8. B.B.,

    If you address this topic further, I would enjoy your analysis of the various front sight inserts. Are they each specific to a target, how does history play into these inserts, which shooting style benefits from a specific insert? Just a few questions that come to mind. I did enjoy the article and will be getting my D24/Williams out to learn the “open both eyes” technique. Thanks.


  9. Though I started out with open sights on my Slavia I really learned to shoot with peep sights on my Crosman 101.

    Because they are so effective once you get used to looking through them I replaced the standard open sights on my FWB 124 and Remington 30-06 with Williams peep sights.

    If I may suggest a couple of things for people new to peep sights to learn to help shooting with them (this applies to scopes as well)…

    – For quick target acquisition you need to learn to “aim yourself” at the target – like addressing the ball in golf or getting into stance in archery – to be in alignment before you raise the rifle. Try looking at an object, taking your shooting stance, close your eyes and then point at the object – if you are pointing at the object when you open your eyes, all is good. If not reposition yourself and try again, after a while standing correctly in relation to your target will be done unconsciously.

    – You also need to practice shouldering the rifle and aiming because the peep sight forces you to shoulder the rifle properly/consistently to be able to see through it. A distant street light is usually a good, clear reference. Frequent (but short) practice sessions helps to train your muscle memory and a properly fitted stock is always helpful.

    – As said above, keep both eyes open. I always shot with both eyes open and wondered why many of my friends didn’t. After all, you keep both eyes open when throwing a ball, shooting a slingshot or a bow – why close one eye, lose depth perception and half your situational awareness when shooting a rifle?

    Hope this helps.

    B.B., the picture of the 10 meter sight confuses me a bit. Should it be showing a post? The Plexiglas front sight on my FWB 603 just has the ring.


    • Will it screw into a William rear sight?



      You got a super fancy front ring on your 300. Most of us non-fancy guys front sights needs some kind of support for the tin tin metal.

      Good shooting tips, BTW.


  10. I have been a fan of peep sights since basic training in 1964. The two problems I find today for air guns are that most rifle stocks are set up for scopes. They do not have enough drop for using iron sights. The other problem is the mounting system. With the exception of the William’s, I have not found a peep that will mount to the rounded receivers of spring guns.

    • TJK
      After you said that I immediately thought of the Crosman 1399 stock. They definitely have the drop. I usually put some A/C pipe insulation on mine to get line of sight right. Maybe the Crosman engineers thought of that since they have that rear sight on the 13xx and 22xx series guns that can be flipped around from rear notch to rear peep. And I have used that rear peep before on mine and liked it.

      • GF1,

        That stock has been around a long time. I don’t think the scope mounting accessories or the dovetailed receiver were around when the stock first came out. It was meant to be used with the peep sight that comes on those style guns when converted to a carbine. ( they have a traditional open notch for handgun use). The stock is properly designed to allow your eye to get down to center in the rear peep. The AR7 and Henry Survival Rifle have a low cheek position for the same reason.

        I think the problem I’m having with my 392 is because the stock doesn’t drop enough, which is odd, since it doesn’t allow for easy scope mounting. I bought a Williams Peep but am still having issues.


        • Halfstep
          Here check out the rear sight that comes on 2240’s and 1322/77’s. The rear sight can be flipped around from a notch to a peep.

          Crosman has been using that for a long time on these guns.

          Here’s the notch.

            • GF1,

              My very early 1377 American Classic didn’t come with that sight. It was just a notched plate with a slot to allow it to move up and down for elevation. The sight you show used to be supplied with the shoulder stock kit because the the open iron sight was useless on the carbine. I still have the original open slot sight on mine because I fabricated a scope mount to hold a 4 X 10 Tasco scope right away because the peep sight was “too hard” to use. LOL


              • Halfstep hmm I wonder when they started using the peep/notch style sight?

                Sounds like a interesting mount you made. I would like to see that if you get a chance.

                • GF1,

                  In the Crosman EVP for the 1377 that covers Phase I and Phase II guns to 1998 the rear sight is like mine and has part #1399-058. In the 1998 and forward EVP the sight looks longer and has part # 1377-A058. Maybe the “A” was for “Aperature”. The seperate cocking knob and breech cover plate disappeared at the same time in the parts EVP.

                  Here are some pics of my scope mount. I made it at a very early stage of my tinkering lifestyle so it ain’t real pretty but it is rock solid.

                • GF1

                  I was wrong about the scope that I used. Here it is along with the rear sight on my gun.

                  Does anyone know where the serial # is on a 1377 and a 2200 Magnum? I was trying to date them and I can’t find their #s.

                  Also, does anyone have a clue what”Image Moving” could mean?


                  • Halfstep,

                    “Image Moving”,… that is interesting. I would have to guess that something got lost in the translation phase of things. Really,… it is not like that we have not all seen that from China manuals. That is my best guess.

                    Wide field of view?,…. hence you can see/follow a moving target better?

  11. The 2400kt is used for plinking like most of my guns. However, It has one vital use. It is an extended flyswatter.
    When I can’t reach an annoying fly with a regular swatter. I use the 2400 without a pellet and kill’em with a blast of C02.

    • TJK
      And that’s how to use a 1322/77, 2240, Maximus, Discovery and so on.

      Noth’n like multiple use guns. 🙂

      I got a 1322 I use with salt for those annoying bugs. And it’s already bug season here where I live.

  12. BB

    This is a long over due report. We readers have had some discussion before about ghost rings and target aquisition vs open sights. Also two eyes vs one shut. I shoot everything with both eyes open but did not know that is standard procedure. I do as well at 25 yards with a nice peep and globe as with a scope providing the light and target contrast is okay. My vision at that distance is 20/25 so not as good as yours. My red dot or green dots are okay too except for astigmatism which sometimes require a glasses peep sticker to overcome dot flare.

    How close is your eye to the peep hole?


      • BB,

        In informal shooting or hunting , would you agree that closer is better, as long as it comes from a natural positioning, rather than straining to get in position? After all, your eye will only self-center if you get it into the ballpark first. Closer also gives me a wider field of view.


    • Decksniper
      I have had astigmatism since I was in my early 20’s. I really had problems with it when I got into RC airplanes back then. Yep multiple airplanes fly depending on where the sun and the air plane was positioned.

      I had a real good eye doctor later on that had some kind of machine that you looked through to focus on small objects in different places on the screen. Then you had a short time to try to bring them in focus.

      It’s hard to explain but by opening and closing my eyes a certain amount I could sharpen my vision. He told me that was because I reduced the light glaring into my eyes.

      All I know is now days I’m pretty good at sharpening up my sight picture by adjusting my eyes. Then once I reach that point my eyes are open without squinting and I’m focused. I’m actually pretty good open sight shooting again.

      Maybe eye training is what it’s about when shooting with different types of sights.

      • Gunfun1

        You have got me thinking I need to try your eye opening/closing different amounts and not only for aiming. I have seen optical illusion demonstrations that will make anyone wonder if they really see what they think they are seeing. Just as an example golfers lining up a 3 foot putt are often amazed to find out they are 3 or more inches off target when a straight edge ruler is placed. Eye training can overcome this but has to be done continuously. Another golfing example is that most golfers, even pros, think there is less curve on a breaking putt than there actually is. They unconciously compensate by turning the putter face left or right thus compounding variation.

        Thanks so much for this.


  13. B.B.,
    Since seeing how well peep sights worked (and still do!) on my Sheridan, I have used them on a Crosman 1377 with a shoulder stock, a Marlin model 39, a Daisy Avanti model 499, a Winchester model 94 (a fantastic hog rifle for shooting in the palmetto groves of Florida…especially for shooting running hogs…much faster than a scoped rifle), and the latest one I bought if working great on my HW30S; hence, in my case at least, you are “preaching to the choir,” but there’s nothing wrong with that because you’re doing a great job of it; you have articulated very well that which those who are unfamiliar with them may wish to know about peep sights.
    Keep up the good work! =D

    • Dave
      Ok that’s what I want to hear about.

      Your running hog shooting with peeps.

      I’m thinking it’s like what I see when I’m using my dot sights. It’s like I don’t even see the round circle of the dot sight lens. I see my target, I see the dot and I place it.

      It makes me think the eyes and the brain do naturally pick up on what needs to be seen. And overrides the less important things. Then start training yourself and see what happens.

      • Gunfun, you nailed it! My Winchester was tapped for a peep sight, so I used a Williams sight; but my front sight was an Ashley Outdoor Express (now changed to XS Sight Systems: http://www.xssights.com/ ).
        It had a very bright white line down the center of a jet black blade and it worked perfectly.
        At first, I made the mistake of using a brass-outlined aperture for the rear sight; it was supposed to “make things brighter,” but what it did was pick up so much glare from the sun as to be useless most times. Hence, I took it out and went with a ghost-ring peep. And as you stated, I didn’t really see the round circle, not at all the way they show it in their ads (see pic below); I just saw the target and put the top of my post right on it. The last hog I shot with it was at 30 yards, half an hour past dusk (i.e. the end of hunting time), yet I could see perfectly well enough with that peep sight to put the post right behind his shoulder. I shot, and the hog took off. My buddy said, “You missed him clean! You hit the tree behind him.” I walked over and stood by the tree that was right behind the hog, which did have a bullet hole in it…but I also saw blood; I marked the spot while my buddy followed the trail.
        He apologized after he found the hog 20 yards away just past the next stand of palmetto;
        my bullet did hit the tree, after first making a nice heart shot. *shrugs*
        As B.B. has outlined for us here, peep sights can be remarkably effective! =D

        • Dave
          Thanks for the pictures too. And my dad had me paint my front post white on my open sights when I was a kid. That definitely helped when I was out shooting. Couldn’t see the white when it got to be darker out or if I was in the shade. But definitely helped in the light. Matte of fact I did that to my front post on my Colt Python and that old Benjamin pump pistol I refound I had done the front post white on it.

          I’m going to have to get me one of those adjustable rear peeps that have infinant opening adjustment like a camera that’s talked about above. I think that would be a good combination to try on my HW30s. Although I can shoot it pretty darn good with the factory open sights with the globe front. But it will be interesting to see what difference the peep makes.

            • at a gun show I got an adjustable iris for an old Mossberg HB 22 target rifle that screwed into the peep site on the gun. it was a big disk that you just screwed in or out to adjust . much smaller and simpler then the adjustable iris German sites

              • Mildot52
                You got me thinking again about what you just said.

                So moving the peep sight forward or backwards from the eye will change the focus also?

                If so. That could mean a certain distance from the eye is needed. And tif you have a adjustable peep you should set the open in the middle of it’s adjustment.

                I guess what I’m saying is a starting point to get the most adjustment from your peep. Basically to make the peep be more effective in what it does. If all that makes any sense.

                • depending what your vision is you might see a little difference moving back and forth.this is the main reason people think peep sites are hard to use because they focus to much attention on the rear site. forget the peep site put it out of your mind. just look thru and concentrate solely on the FRONT site. your eye will automatically center the front site. I have found cheek weld is not that critical but is still better to keep your face in the same place

                  • Mildot52
                    I understand that.

                    But I thought maybe there was a optimum way to set up a disappear sight.

                    Location then adjust up or down for the transmitting light.

                    In other words more range of focus and light conditions.

  14. My first formal shooting instruction was with the peep sites of an M-16. First gen. with the adjustable front post. That kind of tells my age. People who have not done it cannot believe that you can hit the bull at 200 and 300 yards with those sites. It’s a shame I have nothing with peeps at this time.
    About the red dot site, I have a low cost one on the first gen. Benjamin trail pistol. At 10 yards the dot is nearly as big as the head of the chipmunk I am aiming at. It is good that they will sit still hoping you don’t notice them.

  15. The Hatsan Bully has the strangest peep sights I have ever seen. It is virtually a ghost ring, but with two fiber optic dots! If that doesn’t put people off of peep sights I don’t know what will.

    • Rambler,

      I have seen some Mattelomatic sights that have two or four Tritium dots on the rear peep and a Tritium dot on the front sight. I could see where that would be useful in low light conditions.

      As for the glowy thingy dots on these, that seems to be more of a marketing ploy than anything else.

      • Ridgerunner,
        That’s funny! GLOWY DOT THINGY! I told GF1 in an above posting that lots of folks ask me why I don’t get a TRITIUM RING on my Ghost Ring sight on my MOSSBERG COMBAT scatergun since I have a TRITIUM tube front post! As B.B. and others have posted the rear sight is consciously ignored…always makes me laugh at how little most of us shooters know. I thank the good Lord for a great Gunny taking me under his wing when I was a youngster.


        • Shootski
          You should read back through the comments.

          I think I’m going to get one of the adjustable rear peeps that you can control the opening to any size you want like was talked about above. Then one of the front posts like RidgeRunner posted some links to above with the glowy thingy dot.

          I think that would be a very good combination. That qAy you can control light for different circumstances.

  16. Hi BB, great article! I recall you helped me with my first peep sight on an IZH 60 in 2015. Yes, back then I was REALLY over thinking it, but you set me straight with many of the points you reiterated in this current article. Now, it’s my preferred rear sight! Thanks!

  17. BB

    Great blog. I am often struck by how many shooters these days just go not understand aperture sights and believe weird, wrong, negative, things about them. They think that apertures are slower than open sights, when they are actually faster and more accurate.

    On a point of detail, the Rifle, Lee-Enfield, No4 is a No4 (not Mark 4 or Mark IV) and technically is not an SMLE (that was the 1902 onwards Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield, No1, Mks I-VI).

    From memory (I had a period instructing on the .303″ No4 and its .22LR variant in the 1980s in the British equivalent of what I think you guys call JROTC), the No4 battle sight was officially for use at up to 75 yards, and at night. At night you were also supposed to have the bayonet fixed, according to the WW2 British Army, whose basic manuals we were still using 40 years later.

  18. The focal length on my eyes has got real short with age. I have always been near sighted. Without glasses i can see the front and rear sight but am lucky to see the target much less the bullseye. I have some old glasses that move my focus past the front sight out to maybe 20 feet, that compromise seems to work best. I can see the front sight ok and the bull good enough.

    I do much better with a peep sight, I think that is because I do not need to line up the post with the top of the notch rear sight. The rear sight is very fuzzy. I have also found that a high contrast target bullseye realy helps. I use a bright white paper with a bright stick on bull. That helps to get the bulls bottom edge sitting right on the top of the post.

    Better yet is a target aperture front sight. It is so much easyer to center a fuzzy bullseye in a circle than to guess where the edge is on top of a post.

    I should check into some aftermarket target aperaure front sights, I like them much better than a post.


    • the rear site is supposed to be fuzzy and do not concentrate on the rear site your eye will automatically center the front site. if you get a globe front site with different aperatures you will be in heaven .I have found on my FWB 300 and 602 that at 40 yds on white paper a 3 1/2 inch orange stick on bull fits perfectly with one of the apareture sites where I have a sliver of white ring around the bull. it is so easy to shoot tiny groups just throw the ring around the bull and fire. people that have never shot a rifle shoot tiny groups rested with my rifles and they cant believe it.

  19. As I said above in a reply to Halftrack, I purchased an adjustible iris peep sight years ago by Gehmann. Goes from .5mm to 3.0 mm and is a Godsend for tired, old eyes that have lost a lot of night vision. The bigger the opening, the more light that’s let in. There are others but this one retails for under $60 and will screw into an existing peep sight orifice.

    Fred formerly of the DPRoNJ now in GA

    • Fred DPRoNJ,

      I think I saw that peep on the Creedmore website earlier today while looking for something else. I thought it was for their sight system. Are you saying that will screw into a Williams peep?


      • That I don’t know. Mine ended up attached to my FWB 124. I did call the store (Champion’s Choice – apologies to PA but I believe you do not carry this sight still) and they confirmed the fit.

        Fred DPRoNJ now in GA

    • Fred
      Yep I’m convinced that’s what I’m going to be trying on my HW30s. I want a rear peep that can be adjusted to whatever size opening I happen to need for the outside lighting and what I’m shooting at.

  20. A big advantage of peep sights is that they have a much longer sight radius than ordinary open sights, which allows for finer aiming. Consider where the rear sight is on break-barrel springers – on top of the breech block. Next think how much longer the sight radius would be with a peep at the end of the receiver. It’ll often be 75% longer or more.

    The greater depth of field of peep sights over standard open sights means that the target appears less blurry when focusing on the front sight.

    Another advantage of peep sights is that having to peer through such a small hole forces you to adopt a very consistent head position/cheek weld thereby minimising parallax error.

    Keeping both eyes open, as one does with a peep sight, maintains peripheral vision and situational awareness.

    The only disadvantage of peep sights that I can think of is that they tend to make colours at the target appear monochrome.

    Overall I am amazed that sporting peep sights are not hugely popular with the general shooting public. They are almost impossible to find in Europe for example. Sadly it seems to be the case that it’s chiefly just the Military and ISSF competitors who appreciate peep sights.

      • Mildot52
        You know what this is all ringing a bell. I remember my dad talking about all this. He was big into photography and shooting.

        I see the relationship now. My dad liked peeps too. As well as scopes.

        • Apart from the coloured filters, another parallel with photography is the way a large aperture lens (e.g. f/1.8) creates a “bokeh” effect whereby the photo subject is in focus but the background is blurred, whereas a small aperture lens (e.g. f/16) will have a much greater depth of field allowing the subject and background to be in focus at the same time.

  21. Wow,… let a guy be gone for 14 hours and what does he come home to?,….. 88 post!!! I would suppose that this topic gets the vote for a Part 2! I was going to mow, bail? the grass,… but what the heck. A cold one, err two,.. ish,… and catching up seems to me to be the wiser choice. 😉 After all,… a man has to have his priorities straight!

      • GF1,

        I did,… before I went out to mow,.. and again now. 🙁 I decided to bite the bullet and get ‘er done. Hopefully I will have at least one day to shoot this weekend. Weather will be iffy. Tomorrow is shot with running around.

        A lot of good comments today. I too would like the adjustable rear peep,…. but,…. I would also want interchangeable front inserts. For the 499, the smallest (ring on a post) sight worked best.

        Like anything air gun,…. I want (all) of the options! 😉

        • Chris
          Yep I went to 3rd shift now at work. They don’t have no Technical support so I said I would. They even gave me more money so that’s good. But yep I got to work this Saturday. Me and another guy is alternating weekends. So at least I’m getting 2 weekends a month off.

          But you remember when I was trying to get you to try a dot sight on one of your guns. Well I think the adjustable peep with the glowy front dot insert would very much resemble a red or green dot sight.

          You need to come up with a gun that you can try it all out on. I’m going to try it on my HW30s that I have forced myself to keep it open sighted and not scoped. Heck it already comes with the globe and inserts. Here scroll through the pictures and you will see what I mean.

      • GF1,

        As a side thought,… PCP’s with (front) and rear dovetails to mount peep combos would be great. But first, the air gun industry would have to (seriously) rethink front sight mounting. Post? ok. Glowey thingies? ok. Globe front? ok. Insert options? ok. BUT,… all would have to have a dovetail to mount an interchangeable front system.

        Peep rears and interchangeable front systems could really take off, but it ain’t squat without being able to change the front around.

    • Chris
      Mike just posted 2 links right above. Check them out. Pretty cool stuff. I need to check them out more. The German brand has some pretty Technical sights. Like I said I need to check them out more.

      You know what I’ll be doing at break time tonight at work.

  22. All of this talk about aperture sights! When I was in the Army Reserve, I shot with members of the 4th Army Rifle Team, and they could make those M14s give incredible groups in slow fire prone at 600 yards!
    For some reason, the idea of having a large telescopic sight on an airgun seems to me to be over-complicating the the simplicity of the airgun. Besides, I seem to be able to connect better with a peep sight than I do with a scope.
    I would like to try an aperture sight on my HW95, but do not have a clue as to what would fit and be the right height for the existing front sight. Any suggestions out there?

  23. Chris & Halfstep
    Off topic follow up….Nova Freedom

    Well I really like it. Its stable and comfortable to shoot. I’ll try to fill you in on things Stephen did not cover.

    It’s about the same length and weight as a Marauder and the stock is a tad bit thinner than it. It is about the same height as an FX Independence in the forearm area. Sending a pic, It looks ‘chunkier’ than it really is.

    The plastic stock is hollow but firm, saves weight, and the sling swivel being loose rattles around and is amplified through the stock. Its held in place with washers and a cotter pin. It could be removed easily or shimmed more to tighten it and the cavity can easily be filled with foam or whatever to deaden it. Also the stock looks to be in two parts divided at a slanted line just forward of the trigger housing. The rifle looks very well made in fit and finish considering all the material used, with lots of rail space on top. The butt pad is nice and thick rubber and removable.

    The pump handle has a rock hard solid plastic grip that matches the finish of the stock perfectly. Lots of grip space and not all that hard to use.’ Feels ‘ easier than the FX pump. There is a long rubber bumper on it to prevent slamming.
    The sliding pump lock stays either on or off and is not really required to retain the pump handle when it’s over centered and closed. It’s a safety item.

    The pressure gage is very small and that’s good and bad, a little hard to read at 70yrs of age.
    The cocking lever is firm and easy to use with its size but it looks like the rubber arm extension is removable if you want a slimmer side lever.

    It has a somewhat loud ping and it’s amplified if you remove the (plastic) end cap. There are no baffles inside the shroud and there is about 4” of space before you come to the inside barrel. Measured with the cap threaded on. Still it’s not all that loud when fired. The shroud is 1″ OD and the Marauder has a 7/8″ shroud. I’m sure something can be done to lessen the ping, lots of room for improvement in there.

    I do have one problem. After a few shots and pumping sessions a screw fell out of it when I finished pumping it on my lap and turned it right side up. Thank God it happened to be on my lap. Turned out to be the trigger travel adjuster ( See Stephen’s op manual pic in Hard Air Mag) Now this trigger has a bit more side play than most, and a lot when its missing. I reinstalled it but had to bottom it out to keep it in place. That should have remover all the so called first stage travel and it did perhaps to the point of too much.
    I say so called first stage because as Stephen stated it feels like free play being removed and second stage is right there. It’s just too loose when backed off. I may need to shim it with washers a little to back it off some or use lock tight.
    I will be contacting American Tactical about it.
    There you have it. Stephen Archer covered all the shooting and tuning aspects already and BB may eventually review it too?
    By the way the Nova Vista logo above the trigger was replaced with the American Tactical logo.
    Bob M

    • Bob,

      Thank you for that great review/first impression. I do have the syn. M-rod, so that gives me a good impression of size. Interesting that the stock appears to be 2 pcs. I would not have expected that. Unless it is just a mold line?

      I replaced the moderator cones in the M-rod with bronze bushings for added muzzle weight. There is a big difference in sound/report. Perhaps M-rod cones can be used? Add some tape for OD increase. The spring in there allows for a lot of options. Not sure if you have ever taken your M-rod muzzle cap off or not, but just unscrew it and all the cones just come out with the spring. 0% chance of screwing anything up.

      I can not say that my M-rod or Maximus ever really “pinged”. Some I have heard have quite a ringing ping. Not bad. It is what it is. There may be some tune options to decrease.

      The trigger screw is interesting. Loctite like you said. Some benefit from a longer screw in that area. It sounds like a bit of a thread fit issue. Maybe someone grabbed an under-sized screw? It is odd that it would affect side play. Maybe down the road, some side shims can be put in.

      All in all, it sounds very nice. Looking forward to your impressions of shooting and pumping it. Thanks for the pics. That is always a good thing.

      Thanks again for the update and keep us posted as things progress,… Chris

    • Bob
      Looking at the picture the Indapendance and the Nova look like they are big guns.

      I’m going off of the Marauder. I had several Marauder’s and they ain’t small.

      So how does the Nova and Indapendance handle. I mean balance wise. More muzzle heavy or butt stock heavy?

      And in a Marauder the ping happens from the main air resivoir tube not the shroud. The Gen 2 Marauder’s have some anti-ping insulation in the air resivoir tube. Not the shroud.

      The striker is what transfers the ping sound. Not the pellet firing.

      • Gunfun1 & Chris
        Both the FX and the Nova are actually lighter than the wood stock Marauder. Amazing considering they have hand pumps.
        FX Independence 7.9 lbs.
        Nova Freedom 8 lbs.
        Marauder 8.2 lbs.
        I have a long cosmetic paintball flash hider on the Independence.

        No doubt they are big and bulky but I consider them both well balanced and steady when shouldered. The weight is spread out and not prone to being out of balance with a slight grip change. However they are long and heavy and a lot of weight is on your left palm making it ‘feel’ muzzle heavy after a few seconds of holding them up.
        The FX Independence is balanced at the rear side of the pressure gage and the Nova Freedom is balanced at the forward section of the hand pump grip and it actually works like an angled forward grip area. Very comfortable hold area and both balancing points are right where I hold them when firing. They are both very steady when resting your elbow on your rib cage and work fine that way because of the extra height they have.

        I have no doubt the stock materials used help reduce weight. The FX is almost like a dense foam with a hard shell and the Nova is a well reinforced hard plastic material.

        I know all about ping, I have a Hatsan AT 44. The ping is muted some, not as sharp and ringing as the Hatsan but it’s a very noticeable striker impact. I would say it echoes through the shroud some. It’s just about all you hear when fired and I could live with it if I have to but hopefully some solution may pop up in the future. Remember this rifle can send .22 pellets out over 1,000 fps.

        Chris, without actually taking it apart ( front screw may be pivot point for the pump arm? ) and after looking at it much closer, I have to conclude it’s a two piece overlapping stock. Check out the pics in Hard Air Mag.
        Bob M

      • GF1,

        In case you thought that I was inferring that the ping came from the shroud,… I was not. I mentioned the shroud and cones because Bob mentioned that the shroud end (to) muzzle space was hollow and I was just offering some quieting options/thoughts.

    • Yaaay,

      I’ve been looking forward to your impressions. Would you call it backyard friendly and how do you like the open sights? Is the pumping effort, when topping off, primarily, consistent throughout or does it increase with each pump stroke? Have you tried pumping from empty, and if so, was is tough? I’ll stop there because I could think of a dozen more things that I want to know.

      I think I want one, but after getting burned on my stormrider by trying to buy the first one out the factory door, I’m going to shop smarter by getting as much owner feedback as I can. Anytime you want to share something here, I think we’re all ears.

      Thanks for the report.


      • Half
        I totally understand you and it looks like your not alone. I did all the above but really did not pay attention. I appreciate specific the questions. I think I’ll continue this discussion on the current blog of the day every day so everyone else who wants info on it can just log in and read it since we can’t reply to all concerned at the same time.
        I’m checking it for a possible leak down right now so no use tonight. I’ll comment on the sights on todays blog shortly
        Bob M


      • Siraniko
        Thanks. I was actually checking out the PA site for rear peeps and saw the sight you have. I have it bookmarked. Going to get that on my next order. And I’m also going to get one of the Gehmann adjustable peeps to screw into it.

        Definitely ready to try it on my HW30s.

      • Bob Ryan,

        Considering I’m mainly a plinker and using our local pellets which have to be resized to for the leade. I would say adequate at 10 meters to get ten shots into a ½” circle.

            • My 60s is a 19-20 fpe model. I struggle to get sub 1.5 inch ctc, 5 shot groups with it at 25 yards. Rear sight elevation on mine has to be wound down fully to get shots on target at that range. I have scoped it occasionally, but never tried a peep on it. I don’t have the rifle in front of me; is the recoil arrestor not too far forward to allow a clear view through the peep with iris installed?

          • You know, I just realized that we have had this gun for several years and we have probably fired several thousand rounds through it. Only recently have we acquired a weighing scale and chronograph to get measurements. I recall my father saying that it is easier to cock now than before and it is smoother shooting than when he first got it. We haven’t been inside it ever and no tuning has been done except for the recent application of Tune in a Tube equivalent grease. I think a coil has broken of at the end and has bound itself to the rest of the spring. This could answer why it is so smooth shooting and weaker compared to yours. Would I change the spring to increase power back to original spec? No. Would I open it up and check? No. We like just the way it is.


            • I hear you. I think I would enjoy my 60s more if it were lower powered. As it stands it is only accurate enough for plinking tin cans out to 30 or 40 yards and you don’t need 20 fpe to knock a can over. The most fun I have had with it is shooting a gong I made from an old 9″ frying pan at 65 yards. The recoil is not bad despite the power level, but I have only put about a thousand pellets down the barrel in the 3 years I have had the gun. The heavy cocking effort is a deterrent to long plinking sessions. I usually reach for my HW30s or Baikal MP61 instead. Think I may end up selling the 60s and putting the proceeds towards buying a HW35e, a model which becomes increasingly attractive to me as my tastes mature.

  24. BB
    So much talk about the peep sights I forgot to comment. I would remember but get caught up in the peep sight conversation again.

    The leak down of the Vortek air ram. I was wondering if it held in there. I sure hope that they get that under control. I really like the product idea. Hoping it works.

    • Halfstep
      I don’t know if this is the fully correct answer.

      Search your model number and that should give you a time frame it was made.

      That’s the b at I can come up with because there sure is nothing else on them guns.

      • GF1,

        Put out 6 cayenne pepper plants (+ 2 that I over Wintered) and 3 cherry tomato plants today.

        Plus,…. a Ghost Pepper plant!!! 🙁 If it does good, I may have to send you a bottle of “Chris’ Death Sauce” 😉

        (for anyone interested,.. The Ghost is the 3rd. hottest. The Carolina Reaper is the 2nd.,… 1st is the Grim Reaper.) …. at least for now. What will they name the next one?

        • Chris
          Cool stuff… Um well actually hot stuff. 😉

          You talked about your winter plants making it. That will be interesting to see how they compare to your other plants. And you know I like that hot stuff. Me and the oldest daughter demolished the bottles of sauce you sent. Good stuff. 🙂

          And don’t know if you seen. But I ended up ordering this from PA today. But having trouble finding the Merit peep sight. You can’t order from their website. And every place that I found that sells them is out of stock. Some websites said discontinued. So that’s kind of confusing.

          Then looked up the Gehmann German sights which I think I would rather get anyway. But I can’t find one with the correct threads for the Williams sight I got from PA. They call the Williams sight the FP series or (Fool Proof series). It says it’s a 10-32 thread. The Gehmann Iris is metric. So been trying to find a metric to standard thread adapter but no luck yet.

          And we thought scoping a gun was hard to find the right stuff. I got a headache now after all my searching today.

          But here’s what I ordered from PA today for my HW30s.

          • GF1,

            Yes, I did see. I say slow down a bit and get want you want and what you know (will) work. I like the whole idea and the topic. I do know that I love the peeps on the 499. I can’t imagine what an adjustable rear would be like. Interesting that you are considering a glow front. That is interesting indeed. I have not had a glowy anything, so I can not weigh in.

            • Chris
              The glowy sight are usually pretty bright. But most of the time their bigger diameter than I like. Thats what I was worried about with getting the front glo sight for my Weirauch. I read the some of the question and answers on the PA page and Tyler said it’s .050″. So I think it will be small enough.

              And what I’m trying for is I want that red dot look when I’m sighting. So that’s why I want the glowy front sight with my rear peep.

              And yep on slowing down. I do want the adjustable rear peep. I’ll shoot the Williams sight with the Iris that comes with it till I get the adjustable one. That way I can compare the none adjustable one to the adjustable one.

              And I hope that someone here on the blog can chime in on thread sizes and such that will fit the Williams sight.

              We’ll see. Are you thinking about getting one to try?

              • GF1,

                Well,.. for the M-rod and Maximus,… no. I like to shoot those at distance. I did 16 mag. on the M-rod @ 100 and got really good results. I have the LGU,… but the front is not conducive to front sight mounting. I like the ring front sights (like the 499). But,… they are best used and selected for a specific target size and range to target,… IMO. (I stress,… I would want changeable front options)

                That is the best I can say for now. If I had something different and shot closer,… they would be of VERY high interest for sure!

                In the market for a LGU? That thing was/is more accurate than the TX,.. though it did shoot less fps. As they say when it comes to springers,… less is often more.

                • Chris
                  Yep I was thinking about what guns you had that has front sights. The LGU would be a nice one to set up with peep sight. You could super glue a front post on it to use with a rear peep.

                  And I have thought about the LGU. Problem is no extra money. And yep it was a good shooter when I had it. That was one of the reasons I wanted you to get it. I knew it would be a good way to get aquainted to springers. I would ask if you wanted to trade for another air gun but I don’t have any I want to part with right now.

                  • GF1,

                    Ok on any sales/swaps. I will never “glue” anything to the LGU. I do not think that it is made anymore, so the price ought to be going up? Out’a here for now. Back in the AM for a quick AM/coffee catch up.

                    • Chris
                      LGU not being made any more? I know that places have them for sale still.

                      And if you put a drop of super glue on the front post that’s enough to hold it firm. It will come off easy if you give the post a quick nap with a small peice of brass or such. The super glue that still may remain on the LGU will flake right off with your finger nail. You won’t see a mark left behind if you use your finger nail to remove the super glue. Or hot glue is even easier to remove.

                      Anyway tomorrow.

                    • Chris
                      And I was going to mention this the other day when BB did the report.

                      Here read BB’s reply.
                      “I could go on and point out that peep sights were used by the majority of buffalo hunters in the 19th century who shot millions of animals from many hundreds of yards distance, but I won’t. Instead I will get right to the business of learning how to use them.”

                      Peeps ain’t just for up close work. Wouldn’t it be cool to kill tin cans at a 10 yards with your modded up Mrod. If you took your Mrod to the shooting range and popped off some 1-2″ groups with peeps you would sure to get some attention.

                      Just say’n. 🙂

      • GF1,

        Since 1976 or so, Crosman has included the date of assembly in the first 2 or 4 numbers of the SERIAL number of the gun. That’s the problem though, I can’t find the serial number of those two guns. On the 2200 Magnum I found images where the number was etched into the right side of the receiver behind the bolt, but that was on rifles with a plastic receiver. Mine is chrome and I guess they didn’t wan’t to mark it up with a serial number since it was an “appearance” part. BB has or had one like it at one time and I hoped that he might know where the # was located.


  25. BB

    Thinking you are planning a part 2 on peeps based on your comment on Liberator report. I hope so. I wonder why peep sights are absent on most rifles sold by established quality manufacturers. As long as a dovetail, as a reader noted, is on both the muzzle and receiver or rear most any optic can be used. If peeps allow most shooters to get better accuracy than with open sights, why put open sights on? Surely cost is not the reason. The ever popular Crosman pistols/carbines have reversible open/peep rear sights.


    • Deck,

      I think the main reson peeps are not on many guns is the gun companies are mostly not employing gun people in positions of responsibility. Or they are not listening to them, if they do.

      Fiberoptics appeal to people who are either not shooters or people who have a “tin can” view of shooting. In other words, if it will hit a tin can, how much better do you need?

      Buyers of inexpensive airguns are younger people with less cash, and the fiberoptics appeal to them.

      In my opinion, that’s what is happening.


  26. B.B.,

    As an addition to Decksniper’s comment, using peeps at long range would be of interest. Let’s say a 100 yards.

    It seems puzzling to me that the same accuracy? could be obtained with peeps compared to a 16+ power scope.

    Even with an adjustable iris rear and options on the front end (all ideal), seeing even a 3″ bullseye with any clarity and precision seems impossible to me. I (can) see my 3″ fluorescent sticker bulls at 100 yards,… but not like I can with the scope set at 16 power.

    I know that you said that the buffalo hunter’s did it at incredible ranges, but we are not aiming at buffalo sized targets in air gunning. The comparison would seem proportionate, but at some point it would seem that things fall apart with regards to air guns.

    To focus the comment a bit more,…. let’s just say the you have an air gun that will (always) do 1 1/2″ at 100 yards scoped and at 20 power. Would some peep set up/combo be capable of doing better?


      • B.B.,

        Sounds good. I am honored. 🙂

        I do not know if this idea even exist,.. I have not researched some/any of the high end peeps,…. but is there such a thing as (magnification) ever being used in a peep set up? I would assume that it would have to be at the iris end, maybe a lens or something,.. heck,… I don’t know. I do remember seeing lens color disc. I am not even sure now what end those would be used at. Some front peeps have those clear disc, but my guess is that colored disc would be used at the iris end as a light filter of sorts.


        • Chris
          There are front sights that have magnification too. From what I have read lately is some people like that better than the rear peep being magnified.

          That’s interesting too to me.

          • GF1,

            Well, there is some new info.. Keep us posted as you find out more. Did you ever see what some of that German stuff/brand cost? It started with a G if I recall correct. I never did look up the price. Just a guess, but they might be as much as a quality scope.

            • Chris
              The Gehmann 510s from Champion is $59 and some change. So not to bad. That’s the one I want to get. But it looks like it’s metric threads and the Williams sights are standard threads.

              I emailed Champion yesterday and asked if they have a standard thread version or thread adapter. I imagine I should hear from them this week.

              • GF1,

                I am pretty sure that the one I linked to BB earlier was not 59$. It looked more like 300. All in all, I would want front insert options and all the options I could get on the rear end of things.

                If I have learned anything being here,… it is that I would rather spend 300$ one time as opposed to spending 30$ twenty times.

                • Chris
                  Yep don’t know how much the one was you showed.

                  And it seems even if you do research and get something. It always seems there is something else that comes along that wasn’t thought about.

    • Chris USA,

      I want to believe the accuracy of peep sights is limited only by how well you can maintain your aiming reference to the target. I watched a YouTube clip of somebody using open sights (not a peep) to hit a 3″ inch target consistently at a 100 yards. Initially I thought there was some trick involved. After setting up a 3″ target at that distance, I could say that it only takes a lot of practice to achieve this stunt. With a fine front sight and no wind and enough practice I think even I could do it.



      • Siraniko,

        You said a lot in that first sentence! Sure, maybe the gun can,… but can I? To me, it comes down to like trying a read a news paper from across the room (or) doing it at normal reading distance. So that is puzzling to me.

        Yes, 3″ consistently at 100 yards with (opens) is pretty darn impressive. Air gun or firearm.

        • Chris
          It seems that people like a smaller opening on the rear peep for longer distance shooting also. Even more so why I would want the adjustable opening peep.

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