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Aiming with Iron Sights: What You Need to Know

When it comes to rifles or firearms and aiming or sighting options, your usual suspects include red dot sights or scopes, magnification optics and iron sight. That being said, a common recommendation from seasoned shooters to those starting out is that initial rifle handling and practice should be undertaken using iron sights. Though iron sights have evolved over time they are still a standard go to for professional and recreational shooters the world over.  

Why Iron Sights?

Picture showing iron sight

Though some may feel otherwise, the generally accepted truth is that aiming using iron sights can be more demanding than with red dots or magnification optics. The reason for this is plane of focus. Regular magnification scopes require setting the target within the crosshairs. In other words, focus is laid on a single point.

With red dots, the dot need only be placed over the desired point of impact or target before getting a shot off. With iron sights, however, there are three focal points. These include the front sight (poster blade) as well as the two sights at the back.

Sight Alignment

Sight alignment is extremely important when using iron sights. What this means is making sure the two rear points on the sight align perfectly with the poster blade. This is both vertically as well as horizontally.

When using a pistol with iron sights, this can be fixed with minor adjustments, but also relies greatly on your grip. When using a rifle, however, it is important to find a gun that fits your body and grip well.

Picture showing handguard

View Finding

When aiming with iron sights, the first thing you need to do is steady yourself as well as your grip on your gun or rifle. Grip your fire arm well and aim in the direction of the target you wish to hit.

It is important to remember that you will never be able to focus your vision on both the poster blade and the rear sights simultaneously.

Set the poster blade on the target point you wish to hit. Following this, adjust your position until your rear sights, poster blade, and target point are all aligned. Remember, you will not be able to get all three in focus simultaneously. 


When you have aligned your sights with your target vertically and horizontally, you need to get one last clear look at what you’re about to hit. If you are shooting a target at a long distance, aim a little higher than the point you wish to hit.

Also, remember not to fire with the target in focus. The target may be a blur in the distance, but as long as your rear sights and poster blade are aligned and covering the point of target, you should hit your mark!

Winding Down

Recoil can be a bit of a headache when rifle shooting and aiming, which is why if you’re someone who is really looking to step up their aim game, it might help to purchase a muzzle brake. This helps reduce recoil and streamline your shooting.

If you’re looking for quality iron sight online, you’ve got a lot to choose from. Good luck aiming folks!

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