Mastering the Art of Shooting: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Aim With Iron Sights

Mastering the Art of Shooting: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Aim With Iron Sights


Iron sights are a simple and effective means of aiming a firearm. Unlike optical or red dot sights, these sights use two metal posts or blades that are aligned to the target, allowing the shooter to aim accurately.

In this blog, we will delve into the workings of iron sights and examine the reasons why many shooters prefer them. We will also provide tips and techniques on how to properly aim with them so that you can get the most out of your shooting experience.


What Are Iron Sights?


iron sights

Credit: Handguns


Iron sights consist of two key components - the front sight and the rear sight. These components create a simple yet effective method of firearm sighting that has been used for many years. When used properly, these sights allow the shooter to align their line of sight with the target for accurate shooting.

Iron sights can be of two types: open and aperture (or "peep") sights.

Open sights are the most basic type of iron sight and consist of a front sight post and a rear sight notch. To aim effectively, the shooter must align the vertical front sight post, which rises from the barrel of the firearm, with the V-shaped rear notch sight located on the slide or receiver.

In contrast to open sights, aperture or "peep" sights feature a small hole, or aperture, in the rear peep sight and a front aperture sight post. To aim effectively, the shooter looks through the aperture and aligns the front aperture sight post with the target. Because they offer a smaller, more precise sight picture compared to open sights, aperture sights are often preferred by target shooters and hunters.


Why Should You Choose Iron Sights?


Iron sights are popular for several reasons including.


1) Simplicity


both hands holding handguns

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Iron sights are a favored option among new shooters due to their uncomplicated design and ease of use. Unlike other intricate sighting systems that may require electronic components or complicated adjustment mechanisms, these sights rely solely on the shooter's ability to align the front and rear sights with the target.


2) Durability


man with earmuffs holding a handgun

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Iron sights are typically made from metal, making them tough and durable. Compared to other sighting systems, they can endure strong recoil and are less likely to shatter or get damaged. This makes them a good option for shooters who plan to use their firearm in challenging environments, or for those who plan to shoot regularly.


3) Cost-Effective


woman with protective eyewear holding a handgun

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Compared to other sighting systems such as red dots or scopes, iron sights are typically less expensive. Their lower cost makes them an attractive option for budget-conscious shooters or those who simply want to save money without sacrificing accuracy and reliability.


4) Versatility


woman holding a shotgun pointing upward

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Self-defense, hunting, and competitive shooting, and are just a few of the shooting situations in which iron sights can be used. Additionally, they are also compatible with a wide range of firearms, making them a versatile option for shooters.


How to Aim With Iron Sights


Now that you know the basics of iron sights, it's time to delve into the crucial aspect of using them - aiming. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you aim accurately and effectively with iron sights.


1) Align the Sights


holding a gun looking at iron sight

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Proper sight alignment is a critical component of shooting accurately with iron sights. For open iron sights, proper alignment is achieved when the front sight is level with the rear sight and there is an equal amount of light between the two.

If your iron sights include dots, aim for the three dots to be perfectly aligned. If the front sight is circular and the rear sight is V-shaped, ensure that the front sight is centered in the V and does not extend higher than the top of the rear sight.


2) Sight Picture


front and rear sights are aligned with the target

Credit: Envato Elements/ wirestock


Once the front and rear sights are aligned with the target, you will see a sight picture. The ideal sight picture is achieved when the front sight post is precisely centered within the rear sight aperture, with the target visible in the background.

Once you have got your ideal sight picture, make sure that it is consistent and repeatable. By consistently reproducing a well-aligned sight picture, you will see an improvement in your aim and accuracy.


3) Maintain Breath Control


man pointing a gun at a target

Credit: Envato Elements/ Vailery


Breath control plays a significant role in enhancing a shooter's accuracy when using iron sights. To achieve the best results, it's crucial to take a deep breath and hold it briefly before slowly exhaling until you reach the end of your natural respiratory pause. This technique helps to stabilize the aim, minimize any movement while shooting, and promote better sight focus, resulting in improved accuracy


4) Maintain Trigger Control


blurry woman pointing a gun

Credit: Envato Elements/ rawf8


One of the most crucial elements of shooting efficiently with iron sights is trigger control. This is because the trigger is the final mechanism that releases the shot, and even the slightest movement or flinch can throw the shot off target. 

To execute trigger control correctly, slowly squeeze the trigger without any sudden movements, such as jerking or pulling it, until the shot is fired. 

An effective way to develop good trigger control habits is to engage in dry firing, which involves pulling the trigger without any ammunition. This will help you get a feel for the trigger and familiarize yourself with any resistance, allowing you to refine your skills.




Iron sights offer a reliable, budget-friendly, and low-maintenance solution for firearm sighting. Whether you're using your firearm for target shooting, hunting, or self-defense, these sights are a versatile and dependable option.

If you want to take your aim to the next level, look no further than EasyShot shooting targets. These targets provide the perfect opportunity to practice and refine your iron sight skills, making them a valuable addition to your shooting arsenal. Enhance your shooting experience today with the combination of iron sights and EasyShot.

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