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Sights and Safeties

Rifle Sights

Sights on firearms allow the shooter to correctly align the barrel on the target so accurate shot placement can be consistently achieved. Sights come in a variety of styles.

Open sights Front sight centered

Open sights, often called “iron sights,” are very useful when shots are made at shorter ranges and in heavy cover. The front sight at the end of the barrel is aligned with rear sight, located to rear of the barrel or above the action.


Fiber optic sights


Peep sights

Fiber optic inserts on open sights can be very helpful to quickly align front and rear sights, especially in low light situations.

The Bullseye sight is an easy sight for beginners to master.  The bead on the front sight is centered in inner circle of the rear sight.


The telescopic sight is the most accurate of all sights and therefore the best choice for most hunting.

Telescopic sights, often called “scopes,” are small telescopes mounted on top of the firearm. These magnify the target so accurate shots can be taken at longer ranges.

Scopes come in fixed powers or in variable powers.

Some telescopic scopes have a variable power feature that allows the magnification to be changed. This allows greater flexibility when shooting at different distances, targets and light conditions. A solid rest is required when higher magnifications are selected since a slight vibration to the firearm can move the sight off target.


Reticles- the crosshairs in the scope come in a variety of different styles.

Inside the telescopic sight are reticles, also called “crosshairs” which are lines that intersect in the center of the sight picture.


Red Dot Scopehalogram scope

Some sight systems are non-magnifying but provide an alternative sight picture. Some use a red light-emitting diode to provide the point of aim, others use a glass optical window with a superimposed reticle image. Both require battery power.

Sight pictures on Game

Whichever style is used, the hunter must correctly align the sights on the vital areas of the game animal.

Open sight on deer

Open Sight

Telescopic sight

Telescopic sight

Watch a video on: Sights.


These are mechanical devices designed to block the action to prevent accidental discharge of the firearm.  They should never to be relied on as an alternative to safe firearm handing or storage.

Beside bolt  Top of bolt  Top of grip

Behind trigger  Front of trigger

Watch a video on: Safeties