How did the old-time shooters hit their target without the use of advanced optics? For shooters in the past, armed with muzzle loading rifles or single shot breech loaders, marksmanship was key. With no rapid follow up shot, a missed shot could have spelt hunger or even death for the shooter. Optical lenses were very much in their infancy during the 19th century, and were in any case prohibitively expensive for the majority of people. peep style aperture sights were the most common tool for precise shooting during the period, and offer shooters with a very easy to use and reliable sighting system.

A Soule Long Range Sight fitted to a High Wall Rifle

Our range of Pedersoli rear sights are designed to fit any Pedersoli breech loading rifle, and will fit many other brands, and offer an authentic but precise sighting system for your Pedersoli rifle. Here's some things to consider to help you pick the right Pedersoli sights for your rifle.

Advantages of a Tang Sight

Most guns, modern or reproduction, have iron sights with their rear sight at the 12 o'clock position, and about a third to halfway down the barrel, and use a basic barleycorn or notch style front sight. The shooters eye must transition between three points of focus; rear and front sights and the target.

Standard buckhorn/adjustable sights, as are the standard on most reproduction Western rifles, are more than adequate for short to mid ranges in good lighting conditions but if we are contemplating longer shots, we really need to look at upgrading those sights to a tang sight. Transitioning to a tang sight has some distinct benefits to the shooter and with practice they can be as effective as any modern scope.

A Soule Mid Range Rear Sight fitted to a Pedersoli Sharps Rifle

What makes a tang sight better than a standard rear sight?

Unlike with standard notch and post sights, when using a tang sight, the shooter is effectively looking through the rear sight and focusing on just the front sight and the relevant target. This gives very consistent results, because the human eye is very good at centering one circle inside of another.

Also, by increasing the overall sight radius on the rifle the ability to place more accurate shots is increased. A good proportion of tang sights allow you to replace the eye piece with a multi aperture unit allowing the shooter even more flexibility in setting up the gun for their needs. If we reduce the size of the rear aperture, it will allow the shooter to focus better on the front sight, whilst also providing a much smaller margin, therefore reducing misses.

Tunnel front sights


Pedersoli Tunnel Front Sight with Spirit Bubble Level and Elements

If we also replace the front sight with a tunnel sight with interchangeable elements, we can change both the sight picture and the amount of light that we see around the target, changing the front element also allows us to alter the sight picture in differing weather and light conditions.

Using tunnel front sights with interchangeable elements gives the shooter the ability to adjust the front sight picture depending on the target. When shooting at standard paper targets with a black centre, the shooter will choose a front sight aperture slightly larger than the black of the target. As previously mentioned, the human eye will naturally centre a circle within a circle, so a sighting picture like this effectively means the shooter is looking through two circles with the circle of the target in the centre. This is a possibly the most effective form of non-magnified precision sight. There are also other elements available besides ring inserts, depending on the style of shooting and the shooter's preference.

For a full range of our Pedersoli front sights, click here

How do you zero a gun with tang sights?

Pedersoli Universal Under Lever Rear Sight fitted to a Uberti 1873 Special Sporting Rifle

Our range of Pedersoli tang sights use a vernier scale, and are are easy to read, understand and use with a little practice and allow the shooter to dial in the rifle for his needs. Elevation and windage (depending on model) are adjustable on the rear sight, allowing for the shooter to observe his fall of shot and adjust accordingly, just like any modern scope.

To zero a gun with tang sights:

  • Make sure the sights are fitted correctly to the gun.
  • Shoot from a solid, rested position. Even minute changes to the shooting position will affect the fall of shot.
  • Use the standard rear sight on the barrel as a starting point of reference, set the tang sight to cowitness with the rear sight.
  • Fire three shots to get a baseline from which to adjust
  • Adjust elevation and windage as necessary, firing three shot groups until zeroed.

Other things to consider

When looking at purchasing a tang or tunnel sight, consider the following:

  • The mounting of the sight and the mounting screws on the stock, ensure that that the sight chosen can be accommodated. See the reference chart below for mounting hole distances
  • Some sights, such as the Goodwin, are offset from the line of the breech, allowing cleaning between shots without moving the sight
  • How far will you be shooting, this gives you some indication of the staff length (vertical part of the sight in upright position) required. A good rule of thumb would be 2.5 inches will get you to 400yds. 3 inches out to 1100 yds and 4 inches out to 1600yds.
  • Do you want the rear sight to be adjustable for windage as well as elevation? This issue is more important with longer range shooting.
  • Are you going to replace the front sight with a tunnel sight and if so, do you also want this to be adjustable for windage?
  • Consider a front sight incorporating a spirit level, to ensure the rifle is not canted during shooting.

Pedersoli Tang Sights at a glance

Here's the basics of each Pedersoli tang sight compared:

All of our Pedersoli tang sights will fit any Pedersoli single shot rifle, and many other brands besides.

For a full range of our rifle sights, click here.

We also stock a full range of Pedersoli rifles, click here.

All our sights can be sent direct to your door. To order, please either order online or telephone 0113 256 9163.

Henry Krank Standard Delivery