What is a Ghost Ring Sight and Why Do You Need One?

In the recent period of time, we were able to see one question that has been popping all around the web. What is a ghost ring sight? Believe it or not, this is a complicated matter to explain. Yes, the sight itself looks simple and there are no complicated elements here, but how it works and why it is used for is different than let’s say a scope. In other words, this is a more specific sight that only some users need. Let’s explain it and understand it.

What is a ghost ring sights and how it looks

What is a ghost ring sight and why you need one?

Also Interesting: How to adjust Glock rear sights.

The ghost ring sight is precisely as the name tells you. It is a sight that is mounted on the rear of the weapon with simply a sight hole. The hole can be ¼ inches in diameter but there are a lot of variations, depending on the weapon. Your weapon can have this type of sight or you can install one as an upgrade. Now you know the answer to what is a ghost ring sight question.


The name ghost refers to the fact the sight will become blurry[1] Almost invisible to the human eye when you use it. This has a close link to the human eye, obviously, and how it works. Because it will become blurry and almost invisible, the term ghost is used to define sight. Some even call it to peep ghost sight because you will peep through it.

Keep in mind that you do need a front sight. In reality, a ghost ring sight is always mounted at the rear of a rifle. This is very similar to how you mount a Red Dot Sights for AR15 with Fixed Front Sight as well! As such, you do need the front sight to make your weapon accurate. When you look through the ring, you will see the front sight and the target.

These days, ghost ring sights come in countless sizes, variations, and for almost all weapons. Some of you will claim that ghost ring sights are available only for long guns. This used to be true. They were invented for this purpose. However, today you can have them for pistols and all other types of weapons. There is no need to tell you they are different.

What are these used for?

Ghost ring sight is used when you need or better said want to acquire the target as quickly as possible. You will see the target almost instantly and moving the rifle gives you the ability to acquire a new target almost immediately. Yes, a scope and allow other sights are used for the same purpose, but they are slower compared to the ghost ring sight. In other words, a scope is more accurate, but slower in acquiring the target. A ghost ring sight is faster, but not designed for long-distance applications.

Thanks to this purpose, using ghost ring sight is very common these days, but not for the purposes you may think about at the moment. For instance, scopes are used for hunting and they are extremely effective. They are good for long-distance shooting[2], but ineffective for home defense or when the target is a few yards in front of you. Ghost ring sight is completely opposite. It is designed for close combat and more specifically for home defense. You will see that this type of sight is highly effective when using a weapon for this purpose. And if you want to get it zeroed easily be sure to know how to use a laser bore sighter!

Probably the main purpose of ghost ring sight is when clearing a room. Obviously, you are unlikely to use it for this purpose, but the police and military will. In this case, we can see the full set of advantages and the full ‘’power’’ of the sight. You can acquire any target almost instantly and the accuracy at close range is impressive. It is much better than using a regular rear sight, which is slower and less accurate.

Most people use ghost ring sight on weapons that are used for defending their home. They are not used for hunting, although some hunters like having them for target practice. Always remember that these sights are designed for close range and they are ineffective at long distances.

What is a ghost ring shotgun sight?

As you may know by now, this is a variation of a ghost ring sight. It is designed specifically for shotguns and it is probably the best option you can find today. Let’s start with a few basics. Shotguns[3] are used for close combat and for close range shooting. They are appealing when clearing a room or defending your house. Ghost ring sight is designed for the same purpose and it has the same advantages. As such, this is probably the ultimate combination.

When a ghost ring is mounted on a shotgun, you get the most powerful weapon of them all. Obviously, we are referring to close range applications. Now you can acquire a target in less time, improve your accuracy, and have a powerful hit every single time. This is an extremely popular combination and used by people who want to protect their homes. We can see that the military from all around the globe and the police have been using this combo for a long period of time. After all, it comes with all the perks and not a single drawback.

A sight of this kind must be designed specifically for a shotgun. It can be bigger or smaller than a conventional model depending on the size of your weapon. And if you want to move them, be sure you know which way to move rear sights. As such, it isn’t possible to use any ghost rear sight you can find. On the other hand, you can install one by yourself and use it immediately.

Pros & Cons Of Using Ghost Ring Sights

Here are the advantages & disadvantages of using a ghost ring sight on your shotgun or rifle.


  1. Enhanced Target Acquisition: Ghost ring sights provide a larger aperture, which allows for faster target acquisition. The larger sight picture helps the shooter quickly align the front sight with the rear sight, making it easier to track moving targets.
  2. Improved Accuracy: The design of a ghost ring sight promotes precise aiming. The rear sight’s larger aperture helps align the front sight more precisely, resulting in increased accuracy when shooting at various distances.
  3. Performance in Low-Light Conditions: Ghost ring sights are often equipped with tritium or fiber optic inserts, enhancing visibility in low-light environments. This feature allows for better target acquisition and improved accuracy even in dimly lit conditions.


  1. Longer Sight Radius: Ghost ring sights typically require a longer sight radius compared to other sight types, such as traditional iron sights. This longer distance between the front and rear sight can make it slightly more challenging to acquire targets quickly in close-quarters situations.
  2. Not Great for Long-Range Shooting: While ghost ring sights excel in close to medium-range shooting, they may have limitations for long-range engagements. The larger aperture may not provide the same level of precision as specialized long-range sights or scopes.
  3. Learning Curve: It may take new shooters some time to become adjusted when transitioning from regular iron sights or a red dot.

FAQs – Ghost Ring Sights

What are ghost ring sights for?

Ghost ring sights are a type of iron sight that is commonly used on combat shotguns and sub-machine guns. The design of ghost ring sights greatly reduces the amount of obscuration caused by traditional iron sights, making them quicker and easier to use in combat situations.

Are Ghost Ring sights good?

Ghost ring sights are a popular choice for shotguns, as they are faster and more accurate for close-quarters combat. This sight allows for easy and quick target acquisition while minimizing the amount of target obstruction. Ghost sights are extremely versatile and ideal for home defense or close-quarters combat situations.

Are ghost ring sights good on a Glock?

Yes, ghost ring sights are definitely good on a Glock. They are very well made, rugged, and durable, making them perfect for use with a Glock.

How to use ghost ring sights?

To use ghost ring sights, you'll need to look through the sighting device's circle-shaped opening. To do this, simply align the circle in the center of your target. The focusing feature on these types of sights will help you see your target more clearly. Some ghost ring sights also have an illuminated reticle, which can be helpful in low-light conditions.

The Final Word

Still, want to know the answer to what is a ghost ring sight question and why you need one? We have covered all the basics and even less-known facts about ghost sights. You need to remember that ghost ring sight is designed for short distances and it allows you to acquire the target in less time than when using a regular types of sights. You need front sight as well and you can install ghost ring sight on any weapon.

About the author

Patrick Howard

I have been working as a gunsmith for 20 years. Rain, fog, moisture, high temperature, or even snow are all the things a product must withstand in order to be recommended by me.

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