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What Is a Ghost Ring Sight & What Are They For?

L.p. Brezny | Updated February 26, 2024 | Why You Should Trust Us | How We Earn Money
Man wearing a hat aiming his firearm with a ghost ring sight

Time and time again, it’s been proven that the right gear contributes to a great shooting experience. Even if you’re an experienced shooter, using the wrong gear or not the most optimum tool will inevitably bring frustration.

But one tool that’ll help better your shooting experience is a ghost ring sight. Keep reading to find out more about it.

For similar reading see our write up on the best home defense shotguns.

What Is a Ghost Ring Sight?

A ghost ring sight is a type of iron sight mounted at the rear of a firearm to increase your accuracy. It’s simple to operate and doesn’t obscure the target like most non-optical sights.

It’s these features that have made ghost ring sights popular in battles and home defense. The name ghost comes from how it becomes blurry or almost invisible when in use.

Although these sights aren’t effective for shooting at long distances, they’re quite a handy tool when used at close ranges.

Now that we’ve answered the question of what is a ghost ring sight, let’s get into more detail about the application of this tool.

What Are Ghost Ring Sights on a Shotgun?

Someone must’ve realized that shotguns could benefit from ghost ring sights, as it’s led to the production of a new product. These days, most manufacturers sell shotguns that come with these sights.

So, how does it work in practice?

Well, ghost ring rifle sights are tiny devices attached to shotguns to improve aim and make it easier to acquire a target. When a ghost ring is attached to a shotgun, you get a powerful weapon for close-range applications. 

With it, users can acquire a target in less time and experience improved accuracy. Such a combination is great for people who want to protect their homes.

When talking about ghost ring sights, most people confuse them with peep sights. While both can be mounted on shotguns to serve the same purpose, they have a few differences. However, simply put, a peep sight features a small hole, while a ghost ring has a bigger hole.

When it comes down to ghost ring sights vs peep sights, a peep sight is better. The reason is that a small hole allows for more precise shooting. 

Peep sights are usually thicker, and they don’t fade away like ghost rings. That said, you may want to try both to find which one you prefer on your shotgun.

Ghost Ring Sights vs Peep Sights

Peep sights are also called aperture sights, and the terms are often used interchangeably. As a peep sight has a smaller circular opening, the eye is naturally drawn to this opening, making them easy to use. However, their smaller opening makes them not so great for very close range.

Fingers adjusting a peep sight

Ghost ring sights resemble peep sights but with a larger circular opening. While they’re easier to use than peep sights, they don’t offer as much precision.

But an advantage the ghost rings have over peep sights is that they’re quite effective in low-light conditions. When you factor in that most conflicts happen in low-light conditions, this advantage comes in handy.

While shopping for these sights, you’re also likely to come across a ghost ring peep sight. Now, this is a combination of a standard fiber optic sight and a peep sight. It allows more light than a peep sight, allowing for quicker target acquisition.

Ghost Ring Sights vs Iron Sights

Ghost ring sights are generally considered iron sights, although they aren’t exactly the same. Essentially, ghost rings are a newer invention but they work on the same principles as the traditional sight.

If you ever find yourself wondering what to choose from in a ghost ring vs iron sights debate, go with the former, as they offer better focus and more accuracy. Iron sights are more basic but still effective if you don’t have a ghost ring sight.

What Are Ghost Ring Sights Used for?

A person aiming a shotgun with a ghost ring sight

Ghost ring sights are used when you want to accurately acquire your target quickly when it’s at a close range. Through this sight, you’ll be able to see your target immediately, and when you move the rifle, you can acquire your new target just as fast.

Although a scope and other optic sights perform the same task, they aren’t as fast as ghost ring sights. 

Yes, scopes give you more accuracy, but it’s slower when it comes to target acquisition. A ghost ring works faster, but the major drawback is that it’s not designed for long-range shooting.

However, unlike how scopes are often used for hunting, ghost ring sights have other uses, such as being great for self-defense or when targets are close by.

Ghost Ring Rifle Sights

Ghost ring rifle sights have become popular as a backup option for a rifle’s sighting system. While scopes are the most preferred option for rifles, people have also realized that this particular sighting system can be useful, especially in close-range combat.

A ghost ring sights lever action rifle combo is particularly a great mix that allows for quick target acquisition without compromising accuracy. In fact, ghost ring sights for shotguns can also be used on a rifle, making them quite versatile. (Reference: What are ghost ring sights)

Are Ghost Ring Sights Accurate?

Yes, ghost ring sights are accurate. In fact, that’s their number one selling feature and what’s made them popular. Ghost ring rifle sights allow users to focus quickly on the target, allowing for better aim.

However, when it comes to ghost ring sights vs peep sights in terms of accuracy, the peep sights are comparatively more accurate and precise because of their smaller opening.

For more reading see: what shells should you use for home defense.

Frequently Asked Question

Why is it called a ghost ring sight?

It’s called a ghost ring sight because when you use it, the sight becomes blurry or fades away. Because your eye is focused on the opening, it won’t see the sight.

Where do you aim with ghost ring sights?

With ghost ring sights, you aim at the top of the front sight to be able to hit your target.

Are ghost ring sights good for Glock?

Ghost ring sights are good for Glocks, thanks to their durability and rugged design.

What is the diameter of the ghost ring sight? 

The average diameter of a ghost ring sight is a quarter of an inch. However, there are variations based on different firearms.


  1. Iron Sights, From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_sights

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