The closer the aperture is to your eye the better & easier a peep sight works. Why would anyone want to eliminate that advantage & defeat it's purpose? There is NO advantage to mounting an aperture out on the barrel, IMHO. All one would have to do is try it both ways & it will be obvious. Not only will the front sight be harder to find, but your target will be covered by the aperture.
I believe it depends upon the aperture and the bead and how far the sight is moved forward. I am saying never say never. I agree that in general the peep works great closest to the eye. I have, however, run into a couple of situations where a barrel mounted peep works great. I have an old 22lr Winchester I inherited. It is not drilled and tapped. The rear sight was terrible. Not having a replacement sight I mounted a Skinner barrel mounted peep to see what it would do. Oddly enough, the front sight was a pretty good bead. This thing is a tack driver and great for fast acquisition. I also have a Marlin 336 in 35 Rem. with a barrel mounted peep as a backup to the scope. In this case the peep is located just forward of the receiver. I sighted it in before I mounted the scope and it works well. I have tried them on other rifles when they were difficult to use, a Rossi M92 being one for which the barrel mount was useless. I say it all depends. Try it. If it works, fine. IF not, do something else.
About 30yrs ago I had the pleasure of meeting with Mr Dave Talley whilst I was in Wyoming. I was impressed with his workmanship and he made me a set of sights for my 458 Win Mag. One set of leaf sights and one peep sight. Because of my eyesight at the time I had the base set someway up the barrel ..don't have that rifle now but if I remember it was about 6 inches in front of the action.
OK I was not about to shoot squirrels with this rifle, but on the range it printed OK and a number of big soft furry things fell over when I pointed it at them. Someone came along and offered me money and I no longer have that rifle, mores the pity because that sight set up did work very well...for me and that is the question really because we all have different eyes.
The OP's original question was what are the advantages or disadvantages of a forward mounted "peep" sight, not whether it would work or not. Like I said earlier, I can't think of any "advantages", but can come up with several "disadvantages". What ever works best for the operator, I guess, is all that really matters.
It looks tactical and cool....who cares if it actually works.
I have a similar sight mounted on a 1911 7.5 Schmidt Ruben rifle , it replaces the military rear open sight. It works a lot better when the peep is closer to your eye , in that instance you are looking through the peep and your brain centers it, you don't have to think about it so it's a fast sight pick up and better accuracy can be attained than with regular open sights .
Out on the barrel , you are looking at and through the hole and putting the front sight in the center of the hole...you have to think about the process , sighting is a little slower, you lose the speed .
Accuracy is about the same as open irons...not as good as a true receiver peep sight close to your eye.
I put a Williams aperture sight, that replaces the original rear sight, on my SKS many years ago. It is quite a bit easier to shoot consistently and with somewhat improved accuracy for me. As others have said, you don't get all of the advantages typically afforded by the more typical application of a "peep" sight, but it beats the heck out of the standard sights for me.
Not only is the "automatic centering" of the front sight an advantage, a small aperture near your eye increases your visual acuity significantly. A real advantage to aging eyes, when one does not want to opt for a scope. Think about when your eye doctor is giving you an eye test and he has you look again through an aperture, the smaller lines become much more in focus. To prove that too, when you are caught without your reading glasses and need to read small print, take your fore finger and tuck it behind your thumb and hold the aperture (that is formed) near your eye (lay your thumb against your nose and cheek) and look at a printed line. I think you'll find you can now read it without glasses.
I guess the Forward mounted Peep would use a larger diameter "peep hole" and work something like a "Ghost Ring" rear sight.
It seems it would work better on rifles with more recoil as it would allow more sight to eye distance, avoiding ?sight hits to the face.
I have used "peep" sights on a M1903A3, an M1 Rifle, an M1 Carbine, and a Marlin Model 56 and all were effective and suitable for the Recoil involved.
I think a lot of it depends upon how well a person sees these things. With a proper front sight I shoot pistols and most rifles with no glasses. I use glasses only for reading and really close work. Maybe that is the reason. All I can say is to try one and see. My barrel mounted peep that is so effective on the 22lr is a fairly large ghost ring aperture.
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