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A question about optics

This is a discussion on A question about optics within the .375 & Up forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; As in my previous post, I really like my new CZ550 in 375 H&H. The express sights are wonderful. As ...

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    Jay Kelley is offline AH Senior Member
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    Default A question about optics

    As in my previous post, I really like my new CZ550 in 375 H&H. The express sights are wonderful.
    As I am comfortable with open sights out to 150 or so yards and I understand that most dangerous game hunting is done at much closer distances, I am considering not adding optics on this rifle.
    It will be used eventually for a Buffalo hunt in Australia.
    Any advice will be welcome.

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    Have fun sneaking up on your quarry.
    I shoot moving game close up way better with open sites. Can't seem to do it close up with a scope.
    (All that shotgunning I guess)
    Get comfortable shooting and acquiring targets and get after it.
    Practice whispering before you leave for Africa!
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    At least for me, optics help immensely and are much faster than iron sights. Iron sights are 'traditional' but date from a time when optics weren't a great choice for fast target acquisition and for following a running target.

    Iron sights require you to focus on the front sight for the most accurate site picture, which can be difficult when facing down a charging buffalo. Some of the new optics have advanced the state of the art considerably for short-to-medium range optics.

    I use a Leupold 1.5-5 x 24 illuminated on my 375, and it gives me a very fast sight picture with a big red dot in the middle that I can pick up on fast, even under stress. Some of the newer 1-4 and 1-6 scopes have a 'true' 1X which makes it even faster to use with both eyes open, and if you will only be using it on dangerous game, you could even use a non-magnified optic like an Aimpoint or Trijicon reflex sight.

    Now, my 375 also has iron sights, and I have a quick disconnect on my optic so if the worst came to worst I could drop the scope and use the iron sights if I had to.. but given the choice, I prefer the optic.

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    Amazing!! Someone besides myself that doesn't think the CZ open sights suck! Thats one of the first things some guys do is toss the express sites. If your eyes are still good enough to shoot with open sites go for it, I envy you. Years ago I could do it but not anymore. Any rifle I plan to hunt with wears glass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sestoppelman View Post
    If your eyes are still good enough to shoot with open sites go for it, I envy you.
    At least for a while longer I'll use open sites when I can..

    What type of scope is "open enough"- wide enough view to allow for tracking game in close easily?
    (Planning for the eventual)
    Practice whispering before you leave for Africa!
    A Legend in my own mind!

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    Bert the Turtle is offline AH Veteran
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRICKBURN View Post
    At least for a while longer I'll use open sites when I can..

    What type of scope is "open enough"- wide enough view to allow for tracking game in close easily?
    (Planning for the eventual)
    A Swarovski Z6 1-6 is open enough. At 1x, you can keep both eyes open without visual confusion. I like open sights and in fact have killed two game animals with my M1, but it is a lot easier to take off a scope in the bush if you don't want to use it than it is to buy one and mount it if you discover 300 miles from the nearest flush toilet that it would have been a good idea to bring one.

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    Jay,
    I have two personal rifles I have only just recieved from the U.S which will become my new back-up rifles on our buffalo hunts.

    Both have been made to wear N.E.C.G open sights.

    My previous back-up rifle (a CZ 550 in 458 Lott) was also used with open sights but not the original CZ offering which, I agree with Ses's evaluation in that they are inadequate.

    The original CZ front pin is miniscule and even with my 20/20 vision it is difficult to pick up in all but the best light.
    I replaced the original with a bright custom made 2mm brass pin which worked like a charm in ANY light.

    The level of success you obtain from your intended use of open sights will be dictated by several factors.
    *the type of terrain you are hunting;
    *the time of season you are hunting;
    *your willingness to forgo/pass on the long shot.
    (not withstanding your profficiency level with opens).

    Now let me explain.
    I hunt and excessivley large and varied concession.
    Within that area the terrain and flora varies considerably, but to a large extent, because of our coastal proximity, most of our hunting areas are quite thick. In addition to the scrub numerous termite mounds and other obsticles make it quite reasonable, MOST OF THE TIME, to expect to be able to aproach buffalo to within 70yds or less.
    A great majority of our buffalo are taken at less than 50yds.
    Perfectly doable with open sights if you have good quality open sights and have become profficient with them.

    This does change as the season progresses in the Northern Tropics of Australia.
    From August onwards ground cover diminishes and the bush begins to rapidly dry out and thin down. Watering and feeding sources for the animals have diminished and therefore small family groups join up into slightly larger heards. More eyes, more ears.

    By September, which is an awesome time to target big bulls, herds numbering 40 or more are not uncommon. They are more stressed than earlier in the season as they are now constantly travelling to find their requirements and shots on animals at close range are MUCH more challenging to acheive (not impossible, just more difficult).

    SOMEtimes in SOME areas under SOME circumstances that once in a lifetime 110" bull may be spotted in an opening, at 150yds, being alerted to your presence after picking up your scent on a swirling current. Now a lot of Dg hunters will refuse to take such a distant shot at big game weather their rifle is scoped or not and I personally applaud and endorse that thinking. If you are of like mind then no issues.

    Personally I believe a mild shooting rifle chambered in .375 benefits greatly from a quality scope in providing the optical detail to be able to position shot placement precisely.

    In saying that, if you were specifically focused on limiting shots to say 80yds and under and are profficient with opens at this distance then I'd say go for it, but be prepared to live with the limitations that this set-up brings.

    Good hunting, I hope you enjoy your experience hunting buffalo in Australia and I hope you bag a great bull.

    Paul.
    Paul Truccolo
    Southern Safaris Australia
    ssahuntinfo@optusnet.com.au
    www.southernsafaris.com.au

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    I have just re-read all the posts.

    My apologies to Sestopleman for miss-reading his post.

    It is not HIS opinion that the original CZ front pins are inadequate.
    It is MY opinion that the front CZ pins are inadequate.

    And while i'm at it, whats with the rear ramp that doesn't provide for any elevation adjustment on the fixed rear blade. Sure they provide second and third leaves, which in my experience are good for one shot after which the recoil has them set back down from whence they came !

    Sorry for the rant, but it appears to me that some manufacturers almost place open sights on rifles with little to no regard to their actual performance or funtion !

    There, now I feel much better.
    Paul Truccolo
    Southern Safaris Australia
    ssahuntinfo@optusnet.com.au
    www.southernsafaris.com.au

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    Thank you for a lot of good information. From the sound of things, I'll probably be happy with open sights. I may go ahead and scope the rifle before going (our once-in-a-lifetime trip is still a couple years off) but, as with my other scoped rifle, I'll keep the iron sights, just in case.

    I've also checked your website and you rank pretty high on our list of companies with which to work when the time comes. Again, thanks for the information.

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    Just put a quick detatch mount on your rifle and have the best of both worlds. Best of luck on your hunt.
    The Light in Africa is different. It seems to make good shooters miss....

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    On my first three trips to Africa I used nothing but classic American rifles (Winchester Hi-Wall and 1886) with aperture sights. However when I went after my Buffalo I didn't want to risk not being able to make a shot because of limited visibility or brush interfering with my aim. So for this hunt I used a bolt gun with a fixed 4x scope. As it turned out my shot came in tall grass on a very overcast dreary day in the fog and rain. I'm damm glad I had a scope.

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    Quote Originally Posted by duckman90 View Post
    Just put a quick detatch mount on your rifle and have the best of both worlds. Best of luck on your hunt.
    Yeah, what he said.
    "That which does not kill us makes us stronger" Friedrich Nietzsche // That which does not kill me, better run like hell" Scott Smith

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Kelley View Post
    As in my previous post, I really like my new CZ550 in 375 H&H. The express sights are wonderful.
    As I am comfortable with open sights out to 150 or so yards and I understand that most dangerous game hunting is done at much closer distances, I am considering not adding optics on this rifle.
    It will be used eventually for a Buffalo hunt in Australia.
    Any advice will be welcome.
    I find the CZ550 overly heavy and cumbersome for a .375. IMO, that kind of weight and bulk makes more sense in a .416 or .458 Lott. The action is also a bit rough out of the box and it has a sling swivel, not a barrel band. Look at the new Winchester Model 70 Safari in .375. I shot one recently and was quite impressed. Ready to go right out of the box.

    Consider adding a receiver (peep) sight instead of express sights. Very fast and more precise. Also, Trijicon is now building a reflex sight for DG rifles. Saw it at SCI and am ordering one.

    Good hunting!

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