Aircraft Machine Gun Sight | Farmingdale, New York

© Sophie W. Smith

Melville, United States

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Artist's Description

A sight is a device used to assist aligning or aim weapons, surveying instruments, or other items by eye. Sights can be a simple set or system of markers that have to be aligned together as well as aligned with the target (referred to as an iron sights on firearms). They can also be optical devices that allow the user to see the image of an aligned aiming point in the same focus as the target. These include telescopic sights and reflector (or “reflex”) sights. There are also sights that project an aiming point onto the target itself, such as laser sights.

At its simplest, a sight is typically composed of two components, front and rear aiming pieces that have to be lined up. Sights such as this can be found on many types of devices including weapons, surveying and measuring instruments, and navigational tools.
On weapons, these sights are usually formed by rugged metal parts, giving these sights the name “iron sights”, a term relative to other weapon sights in that they are not optical or computing sights. On many types of weapons they are built-in and may be fixed, adjustable, or marked for elevation, windage, target speed, etc. They also are classified in forms of notch (open sight) or aperture (closed sight). These types of sights can take considerable experience and skill in the user who has to hold a proper eye position and simultaneously focus on the rear sight, the front sight, a target at different distances, and align all three planes of focus. Read more

Artwork Comments

  • John Schneider
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