Sights come in many different forms such as open/iron, diopter, electronic red dot and telescopic sights.

Traditional open sights involve a bead or post known as a foresight at the end of the barrel. A notch is located closer to the shooter called a rear sight.

The advantage of open sights is that it’s easy to use and allows a wide field of view down range. But unlike a telescopic sight it doesn’t magnify the target. 

Take aim

When aiming the rifle it is vital that the foresight aligns up with the rear sight, by placing the post level in the rear sight notch. If the post sits above the notch, the shot will strike high and vice versa.

The post should also sit with even light either side when it’s aligned with the rear sight notch.


Most sights can be adjusted so that the shot corresponds to where the sights are placed. This is known as zeroing.

Elevation adjustment will bring the shot up or down and the windage adjustment will bring the shot left or right.

Zeroing involves calibrating the sights with the projectiles trajectory and distance of the ground the shooter wishes to shoot over.

Velocity loss

All projectiles will lose velocity over distance and this is where the shooters experience and skill is required in understanding where the point of impact will be over a set distance. If an air rifle is zeroed at 25 yards, at 40 yards the pellet may have dropped several inches this is where a shooter employs ‘hold over’.

The shooter will aim above by however much it dropped in order for the pellet to strike on target.

Target shooting requires discipline and patience and unlike many other sports, participants are equally matched physically. Have a go and see how you score!