by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

Ghost ring
However
Daisy combination sight
The lollipop sight
Buffalo hunters
Zimmerstutzen and Schuetzen peeps
Cheep peeps
Summary

Today we are going to look at the oddities among peep sights. We will start with the ghost ring.

Ghost ring

A ghost ring is a peep sight with a very large hole and very thin sides. Compared to the peeps we have been exploring, the ghost ring is barely there. Let’s see.

Mossberg ghost ring
The Mossberg ghost ring sight pairs with a red ramp front sight — ON A SHOTGUN!

Ghost ring sights are in favor right now because they provide rapid target acquisition, with a slight loss of precision. They are found on tactical shotguns and some handguns where the speed of target acquisition is favored over the last bit of precision.

However

I don’t think ghost rings are that new. I think the name is new and people have glommed onto the sight because of the name, but the peep sight on a Lee Enfield Mark IV from World War II looks no different to me. The hole is very large for the same reason — rapid target acquisition. For precision the Mark IV rifle offers a smaller peep on the flip-up sight standard.

Enfield Mark IV sight
Please tell me how this battle sight on a Mark IV Enfield differs from the ghost ring sight shown above?

Daisy combination sight

Starting some time in the 1950s (I think), Daisy offered a rear sight that was the shooter’s choice of either a peep or a rare notch.  I say I think this sight started in the 1950s because my pre-1957 Daisy 25 pump-gun has such a sight and I’ve never seen one on anything earlier.

Daisy combo sight
Daisy had a rear sight that could be either a plain notch or a peep, depending on the shooter’s desires.

This sight was put on other BB guns throughout the ’60s, ’70s and beyond including at least some of their Targeteer 177 BB pistols! Was that appropriate? Not at all. But it is an example of a peep sight on a pistol.

Daisy Targeteer sight
This rare toy blue and white Daisy Targeteer has the same selectable peep and notch rear sight. The peep is useless on a pistol, but it looked cool.

The lollipop sight

Some vintage blackpowder rifles came with a small peep sight that augmented a normal sporting sight. It looked like a lollipop, so that’s what it was called. It was mounted on the comb of the rifle and was crude in comparison to the precision peeps of the day. You find it on hunting rifles and combination guns like my Nelson Lewis double-barrel from the 1860s. To move the sight higher the entire unit was unscrewed at the base and a lockscrew was tightened when the elevation was good. For windage a single screw was loosened and the peephole was slid from side to side.

lollipop sight
A lollipop peep sight is crude but still got the job done.

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Buffalo hunters

It is well-known that between 1870 until a little after 1880 the American Bison was slaughtered in massive numbers. The official story was the American fur trade was responsible, but the truth is, it was probably a political operation to hamstring the Indian population, which it did.

Buffalo hunters have been depicted as shooting Sharps and Remington rifles of large caliber over great distances using tang-mounted peep sights. In truth, the more successful hunters scorned the peep for telescopic sights. But the tang-mounted peep sight has become an icon of that bygone era.

midrange tang sight
This midrange tang sight might be used for targets out to as far as 300-400 yards. Beyond that distance a telescopic sight is preferred, though peeps have been selectively effective at ranges of up to one mile (1,760 yards).

Zimmerstutzen and Schuetzen peeps

These are the Stradivari of peep sights. They have no clicks, preferring to adjust smoothly with a clock-style key until the bullet strikes exactly where it is wanted.

Zimmer peep profile
This Zimmerstutzen peep sight adjusts with a clock-type key. There are no clicks — only a smooth adjustment.

Zimmer peep rear
Zimmerstutzen peep sight offers dial-a-peephole (cutout on the left side) to adjust to different lighting situations.

Cheap peeps

I showed you a couple inexpensive airgun peep sights in Part 1 of this series. Now let’s see another one that was made for rimfires.

Mossberg S-100 up
The Mossberg S-100 sight is made of stampings, with few machined parts, yet it conveys an aura of precision. 

Mossberg S-100 aside
The sight swings aside for no purpose on my Mossberg 46M(a) bolt-action rifle on which it’s mounted. On other models the swing-away sight allows the bolt to be removed for cleaning the rifle.

The Mossberg S-100 is one of many peep sights that were made cheaply enough that they could be mounted on inexpensive rimfire rifles with little or no increase in cost over conventional open notches.

I mention and show the cheap peeps to show the airgun manufacturers how clever design can keep the cost within reason. A lot of airgunners want peep sights — preferring them over bundled scopes that have few redeeming factors.

Summary

We have looked at peep sights today that are not what we typically think of when discussing the subject. 

We’re not done, yet! There are still front sights to discuss, and how they relate to and interact with the peeps you have seen.