Garand peep sight - how to use

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by ptschum, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. ptschum

    ptschum New Member

    Mar 6, 2011
    Ok guys. I've been shooting for many years but the Garand is my first weapon with a peep sight and I am just not getting it. Had 2 of them for about 18 months.

    I've tried centering the front blade in the center of the ghost dot in the rear sight. I've tried putting the post at the top and bottom of the ghost dot. I've tried ignoring the ghost dot and just put the post in what looks like the center of the peep sight.

    My groups are mainly strung vertically. At 50yds I get about an 1 to 1 1/2 inch group left to right but 4 to 5 inch top to bottom.

    I shot about 200 - 300 rounds through the 2 M1s that I have and things haven't improved.

    So, How does that peep sight work? Or do I need to just switch to a different sighting system?
  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    Assuming you are shooting at a conventional bullseye target, center the target in the rear peep and put the front sight at the bottom of the bullseye. (The "pumpkin on the fencepost" as one instructor used to say.)

    Vertical stringing can be caused by the stock bedding, an improperly installed gas cylinder, the shooter changing hold or altering the sight picture or by the sight failing to hold the elevation setting. (The latter can be due to a worn elevation screw, worn notches in the receiver itself, or a sight that has not been properly tightened.) Another cause if firing from a rest is the way the rifle is rested; if that changes, or if the butt contacts the bench, you can get vertical stringing.


  3. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    ptschum - Welcome to the forum!

    Everything posted by JimK - good info.
    One other thing - most basic part of military rifle marksmanship, one of the first things they taught even before going to the range - proper positioning. You need to move your eye as close to the peep sight as possible - then "weld" your cheek bone to your thumb. If your hold is correct - you won't even notice the ring of the peeper - you need only to concentrate on the front blade - your eye naturally centers in the peep.
    When you have developed the proper technique to shoot these rifles, you should see your groupings improve. Before you can work on the technicals you need to develop the basics - Good luck and good shooting. One other point - with the Garand you may see vertical changes in POI as the barrel heats and the action sets itself into the stock.
  4. To soon to panic, at only 300 shots you aren't even used to the gun yet. Like Jim K said consistency is you first concern. Make up your mind if you are going to do a bull hold or a 6 0'clok hold and then stick to it. Don't overthink the rear sight/front sight problem. When you get your eye in position and your face glued to the stock your natural instinct will be to center the top of the post in the circle whether you consciously see it or not.

    Stripping the rifle down, inspecting the stock and doing a thorough cleaning will eliminate the mechanical problems if that's what it is but in my experience a dirty gas tube will string higher than what you mentioned.

    If you haven't learned to sling up yet learn how and then use it. You want that stock welded to your shoulder and you want it welded in one place. Don't squeeze it to death but you want it firm enough it won't move between shots. Some new shooters not used to the M1 or any other semi-auto seem to let the gun shift between shots and its always a vertical string when they do.

    The beauty of the aperture sight is it is instinctual and forgiving, especially for us old dinosaurs with some miles behind us. Hang in there and don't get frustrated, you haven't shot enough rounds to do that yet.

    Just a thought, what kind of ammo are you using? I had some Korean stuff from the early 60's that gave me fits but I was shooting 10" vertical strings at 100 yards from a bench rest.
  5. ptschum

    ptschum New Member

    Mar 6, 2011
    Thanks all!

    Jim K, The sight is holding steady. I've been using a Point of aim hold and have the site bottomed out at the moment. But that was from trying to put the blade at the top of the ghost circle. Going back to the center of the peep I expect I'll need to add 2 clicks higher elevation.

    Jim Hauff, I haven't had my eye that close. I'll give it a try. I was a bit apprehensive of the rifle at first but it is becoming more comfortable. I would have thought being farther away from the site would be better but I'm not the guy with experience at the moment so I'll give it a try.

    Old Grump, I need to order a good sling. I have a cotton one but it can stretch. The rifle is relatively clean. I'll pull the plug and clean the gas cylinder and see what I find. When I first got the rifle the stock was impeding on the forward part of the barrel but that is now relieved so as to be free from the barrel. I've been shooting LC. I have some Greek but haven't used that yet.

    Now I've got to get back to the range.
  6. LC and Greek have always been good for me, don't forget to get a shooting glove before you sling up. That front swivel can be really rough on the old support hand. Once locked in you will be about as solid as any bench rest.
  7. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    If your cotton sling is GI, it will do just fine. A sling helps, but basic marksmanship rules are more important.

    (Before someone jumps on me, I am not talking about lugging home hardware from Camp Perry; to do that you need all the help you can get, plus being an athlete in peak condition with superb training and top notch equipment.)

  8. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2009
    Simla, Colorado
    That "cotton" (web?) sling should be of little importance. We used those on M-14s and M-16s in competition and they worked great. Assuming that your rifle is in good condition, that stringing sounds more like inconsistant position and/or stock weld (your cheek to the stock) is changing shot-to-shot.

    As far as ammo goes, I've never shot factory Korean (KE) ammo, but a friend of mine blew up a Garand using it. I reload my ammo to GI specs with that KE brass, and it's great brass. If I had to use 'store bought' ammo, I'd try to find US Lake City (LC) M2 ammo. You can still find new M2 bullets and IMR-4895 powder all over.

    In personal experiance, I'd try to keep field stripping to a minimum as possible. Of course you'll have to strip it down for thurough cleaning, I'd just advise to keep that to as infrequent as possible. You want to keep the wood/steel contact as firm as possible.
  9. whirley

    whirley Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Aperature (peep) sight. Eye naturally centers target in the center of the sight. Prove this by drawing a circle with a coin, then mark the center with your pencil. Check with a drawing compass to prove it. Works every time, Then as the man says let the pumpkin ride on the front sight and go! Excellent sight, good on running deer close and other animals out to at least 500 yards. I learned that with 10-15 mph wind at 3 or 9 o'clock to hold off about an arms length on a 500 yard target. M1 more comfortable to shoot than Springfield. GI web sling plenty adequate, easy to adjust.. Enjoy a good rifle!
  10. Tom

    Tom Member

    Nov 18, 2004
    I grew up as a small bore rifle shooter. I used aperture sights, both front and rear. I have always found the post front on a Garand or M-14 to be more difficult to shoot than I prefer, so with my personal Garand I replaced the front sight with a Lyman aperture front. On round bull targets I can just line up the concentric circles. It even works well on IPSC type targets.
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