Today's shooters and hunters are blessed with a wide assortment of
sighting equipment from which to choose to enable them to place their
shots with speed and precision.
Many times, in various situations a good quality scope is the best choice to
accurately send the bullet to the exact spot on the target, whether it be paper
Other situations require a set of sights that put the emphasis on
speed of target acquisition above all else, such as when hunting in thick brush or timber.
In these conditions, any shots will most likely come fast
and close, and the time taken to get on target makes the difference between
success and failure. A scope of any magnification over about two power will be just too slow to get on target.
Open sights as are commonly provided are plenty fast, but require the shooter to align three objects at
once; the rear sight, front sight, and the target, which may or may not be
moving at the time.
Another style of sight that is useful is the rear aperture
sight; not the fine micrometer with a pinhole aperture as used by precision target shooters,
but a more robust style which has come to be known as a "ghost ring".
A ghost ring system has a much larger aperture and a heavier bead or post
out front than does those intended for the target shooter. With a ghost ring,
all the shooter does is look through the rear aperture and align the front sight
with the target. This system is much faster for close work than the small apertures
used on the target style sights. For years, many hunters just removed the tiny rear
apertures from their sights, leaving the threaded hole to serve as a makeshift ghost ring.
Now there is a better way, as more manufacturers are offering true ghost
ring sight systems to fit the needs of hunters and shooters.
One of the best ghost ring systems available is made by
XS Sight Systems. They have been making their sights for almost five years, and have what many consider the strongest,
most durable sights of this type.
The sights reviewed here, XS Sight Systems' Ghost
Ring Hunting Sights, consist of a large aperture ghost ring rear and
a sturdy front post with a vertical white line. I mounted the sights to a Winchester
model 94 Trapper lever action carbine. The rear sight is mounted using the
two holes provided at the rear of the receiver on the angle-eject carbine.
The front sight mounts into the dovetail on the front sight base after drifting out
the original sight. Installation was easy and took about five minutes.
It is not necessary to remove the step-adjustable rear factory sight, as
the XS sights are taller and provide a line of sight above the originals, but
there is no need to leave it in place, so removal would probably be the best
XS Sight Systems provides the shooter with a choice of rear apertures; both
a .191" and a .230" are furnished in the package. XS can also provide various heights of front posts if
necessary, but the one supplied was fine for the bullets used.
Another great feature of the XS sights are that the rear sight
is fully adjustable for both windage and elevation. The adjustments are unobtrusive and in no
way detract from the sleek lines of the system.
In use, this sight is the simplest and most rugged that I have
ever seen, especially considering the fact that it is so easy to adjust. The
sight is built much heavier than it has to be, and should stand up to all but
the worst of abuse. The profile of the sights in no way adds to the bulk of the
little Winchester carbine, as a scope would. It also doesn't clutter the sleek
lines or detract from the handling qualities of the gun.
XS Sight Systems makes these sights to fit most lever actions and many other types
of rifles on the market. For a set of sights to use in the woods or heavy brush, I can think
of no faster sight to get on target. The set for the Trapper retails for ninety
dollars and comes with a five year warranty.
XS Sight Systems can be reached at 1-888-744-4880 or online
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