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THE purpose of sights is to assist in aiming the piece. The national organizations allow only " open " sights in pistol and revolver shooting. " Peep " or " aperture " sights are barred. The rear sight usually consists of a notch shaped like a V or a U, the notch being as wide on top as at any part. The front sight is a piece of thin metal set on edge. Sometimes the latter has a special shape or section resembling a pinhead when looking at it from the breech, as in aiming.

Military sights usually consist of a plain groove in the top of the frame for the rear sight and a tapering front sight fixed to the barrel near the muzzle.

Target sights are made in endless variety to suit individual ideas. The sights most generally used for target shooting are the " Paine" sights, named after Chevalier Ira A. Paine, who invented and was the first to use them. The rear sight is a flat bar with a semi-circular notch, and the front sight is a "bead" sight; that is, a sight that resembles a pinhead when aiming.

Another sight that many of the best shots are using is the "Patridge " sight, developed by Mr. E. E. Patridge of Boston, Mass. The rear sight has a wide rectangular notch; the front sight is plain, with a square top. The distinctive features of these sights are the ivory bead of the front sight and the horizontal ivory line in the rear sight. These sights are well adapted for hunting and shooting at objects with a dark background.

These sights have been referred to in the order in which they are most used. It is generally necessary for individuals to try various sights before they are able to select intelligently. In target arms different-shaped sights may be used in the same base or fitting, so that it is a compartively easy matter to try any or all of these sights on the same arm. The notch of the rear sight should have a bevelled edge concave toward the front. This will secure sharpness of outline in any light. The front sight should also be distinct and is found to be more satisfactory when the side toward the eye is a surface at right angles to the line of sight.

Himmelwright, A.L.A.. Pistol and Revolver Shooting. New York: MacMillan, 1922.

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