Iron sight or scope on rifle? opinions- PHs & those who have hunted Africa?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Xpraetor, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

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    I did a search, but no threads popped up in this forum that ask this question. If I am wrong & this has already been discussed here please provide a link or ref. the thread & thank you in advance.

    On the chance that it has not been discussed here at AH what say you- PHs & experienced Africa hunters? --

    Aside from the obvious merits of using a scope- accuracy/better shot placement at longer distances.

    How do you feel about using iron sights vs. using a scope on rifle for shots up to 100m?

    I am looking for opinions from PH's- are you willing or not willing to allow clients to use iron sights?

    Hunter's do you use iron sights? yes or no. Why?

    I should point out that I have not been to Africa to hunt, so I am unable to offer an opinion in that theater. My hunting experience is restricted to the US. (S, SE, SW, Mid-W, NW)

    My reason for asking is that there is a discussion/disagreement amongst friends regarding the need for using a scoped rifle to hunt game in Africa .

    The impetus for posting this thread:

    I predominately use iron sights when hunting, although the majority of the shots I take are well within 100m. My #1 rifle is a Win. 1895 Gr. 1 in .30-06 (no scope mounted, for obvious reasons). If the target I am aiming at is large enough and the conditions are right (i.e. level w/ target, clear view, wind, etc...) I will take a shot at that limit, beyond that I don't take the shot. I carry it with me almost all the time, when checking fence & stock, when scouting & leisure rides [horseback].

    When there is the chance I will have a longer shot I will use my #2 rifle- Win. M70 (post '64) .30-06 w/ Weaver See-through mounts & Weaver 3-9x 32mm scope. However, I use hard sights up to 200m.

    My preference is the challenge of stalking or calling in for closer shots. To me this makes the hunt more challenging.

    The rift is-
    I made the statement that if I were to hunt for large African game (Kudu, Eland, Buffalo), I would prefer using a rifle with open sights (in .375 H&H or .416 Rigby).
    The counter was that the majority of shots made hunting Africa are long shots and you need to have a scope. I conceded that a rifle w/ scope is advisable, but you don't have to use a rifle w/ scope to take every shot. Then the kicker was thrown in that it is unethical and the vast majority of PHs would require a scope.

    So, again "what say you?"

    P.S. Please remember I have no real experience with hunting Africa. My only knowledge is what I have read in numerous books, magazine articles, TV shows, hunting forums (like this one) & conversations with people who have been. Please don't flame me if my view is wrong. Keep in mind, as I have stated numerous times in this post, I am ignorant to the experience Africa has to offer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  2. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    A scope helps you to SEE better,it does not help you to SHOOT better.Especially if your eyes are getting on in years.My advice to you would be to get yourself a decent 1.5x6 or 2x7 or 3x9 and use Warne or Talley QR rings.This would offer you the best of both worlds.See-through rings are not conducive to good shooting because they lift your head too high off the stock when using the scope.

    We always spend time on the range with visiting hunters and can quickly judge a hunters shooting abilities and skills.Consider my above advice,it is usually what guides and PH's would prefer.
     
  3. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

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    DOCMAN, thank you for the reply.

    What you stated-
    Is what I meant to imply when I typed-
    A better way to put it would be--
    Aside from the obvious merits of using a scope-target acquisition/better shot placement at longer distances.

    As for "seeing" I have good eye sight (20/20).


    I already have a 3x9 scope and coincidentally it was the scope I originally had mounted on the M70. I mention this because I swapped to the 3-9x 38mm prior to last year’s hunting season. I made the swap because I needed that size scope when hunting in NW Arkansas. Originally my need for a 3-9x 38mm scope was the occasional trip to higher elevations, now it is more frequent.

    {NOTE: I have a typo error in my OP regarding my scope it is a 3-9x 38mm not 3-9x 32mm}

    For me the height of the Weaver "see-thru" mounts isn’t a problem. I’ve not experienced any issues with stability or the need to raise my head off the buttstock when sighting through the scope.

    My reason for mentioning what I use was to give an account as to why the question was posed.

    As for the QR mounts, that was an option we considered. Thank you for the suggestion.

    My query isn't whether or not a scope should be used, but how accepted is it to use hard/open sights at distances inside 100m? (When hunting African game.)

    You were not specific in your view regarding the use of the two options. It is clear that you feel a scope should be part of the arsenal, but are you against the use of hard sights?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  4. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    You will miss out on opportunity's with just open sights BUT its very enjoyable hunting.
    [​IMG]
     

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  5. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    No,I am not against the use of,within limits, iron sights at all.That's why I use QR scope mounts myself.Most guides also have no problem guiding a hunter who can use iron sights competently,but I prefer that there are good optics on QR rings for shots that I feel require a scope.
     
  6. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I have no problem with anyone using iron sight! There are quite a few guys on here that shoot iron sights religiously and that to me is a good thing. It means they pick their shots and want to get up and close to the game they hunt...a more personal hunting experience.
     
  7. fhm3006

    fhm3006 AH Enthusiast

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    I agree.
    Couple of years ago i was a open sights fanatic - then the eye-sight deteriorated somewhat as the moons went full and dark, so the past few years i am a 'scopey' - or as we call it down here - 'member of the half-moon brigade'.

    This name comes from inexperience with a scoped rifle and after a shot or two you find yourself with a crimson-filled halfmoon-cut on your brow...I did...2nd shot and a couple after that :shiner:- i should be a general in this 'brigade' now...
     
  8. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Have not become a member yet (lol). A lot of that has to do with having a scope mounted properly and having a scope with good eye relief. And you have to have a good hold of the rifle...during the recoil process. It's a lot easier to become a member when you take a uphill, mountain shot....almost became a member in Montana, a few years back. But this kinda a thing happen during the heat of the moment, when you are excited.

    I'm still hoping never to become a member (lol)!
     
  9. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

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    DOCMAN, point taken and sound advise. Thank you.

    fhm3006, very funny. I've seen that a few times at the range.

    Well, I did taking that type of shot. Being a flatlander from Louisiana uphill shots are...well let's say not typical. That day in Colorado I came up the learning curve.
     
  10. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    [​IMG] Xpraetor

    I have a couple of things...

    Some if not many shots are through thick brush and with a scope you are able to make out the trunks, limbs and branches...and with bullet deflection from these great all shots should be precise. Remember all shot have to be followed up weather a hit or a miss until it is determined it is a miss...and any wounded animals are paid for at trophy price whether they are recovered or not.

    While wildebeest & Zebra hunting in burnt bush area the stripes of the zebra and wildebeest will blend into the land scape...i would have never thought a zebra standing still could disappear however they do...now try picking your shooting lane with out a scope through burnt tree trunks, limbs and branches the some of these are the same size as the zebra and wildebeest stripes.

    These shooting lanes will some times be only 2 to 3 feet square...i would like a scope for the shot placement...maybe your eye sight is excellent and you are able to spot all these obstacles and make the shot...i am not.

    So for plains game i would suggest a scope rifle...All my shots were from 125 to 350 yards...maybe you will be able to do better...However if you ask on AH the distances that shots are made you will find many will be greater than 100 yards. (I am excluding bow hunters now)

    Dangerous game is another ball park all together...Most PH will try to get you to with in 50 yards and much closer...you will watch video clips of clients who are stead with there rifle and will miss at 20 to 40 yards with a open sighted rifle...maybe you are better that they are i do not know...

    However the last think a PH wants is a wounded, Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Hippo or Cape Buffalo on the loose having to track for many miles and sometimes days to clean up ythe hunter mess...Many times the hunter will be asked to stay behind while they go in to finish the animal off...is that what you want...i do not think so...

    You can use any justification you want for open sights...

    What a PH likes in a client is a client who is able to makes precision shots where little follow up is necessary...
     
  11. fhm3006

    fhm3006 AH Enthusiast

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    ...you just can't beat the wisdom...
    Good post James!
     
  12. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Yes, I can second James comments, +1. My eyesight is poor and I use a scope. I absolutely love scopes! A lot of things can go wrong in Africa. And having a wounded or lost animals is bloody nightmare. It's something to consider and think about.:think:
     
  13. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

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    In my OP I typed-
    "If the target I am aiming at is large enough and the conditions are right (i.e. level w/ target, clear view, wind, etc...) I will take a shot at that limit," [100m] key word is "clear view"

    I would like to expound on another thing I typed in a previous post "As for "seeing" I have good eye sight (20/20)." I mentioned it, because DOCMAN pointed out that a scope is advantageous for those who have eyesight problems. I completely agree.
    I have nothing against using a scope, I also use one, in my OP I typed that I use a scope for shots greater than 100m. My preference is to position myself where I can use hard/open sights.

    Additionally, that statement was not meant to insinuate that I have superior shooting skills, nor do I presume to be better than others with regards to hunting/shooting.

    Again the reason for starting this thread was to find out if using hard/open sights is acceptable (when hunting in Africa). A few members have acknowledge this, although all feel a scope gives an advantage and should be part of the arsenal.

    It is possible that hunting without a scope in Africa is a fools errand, to that I can not speak. Hence the reason for this thread.

    Everything else aside the most important thing a hunter should practice is Ethics. There are no excuses for shooting at any animal no matter what size if the ability to hit vital organs is not there. I know you agree, that is evident in your post. I am stating it because I want you to know that we agree on that point.

    I am not "making excuses" for using open sights. As you know prior to the invention of the scope hard/iron/open sights is all there was. Something all hunters should do is know their weapon, be proficient with it and above all know their own limitations.

    I stated previously using a scope gives an "advantage", if it is possible I prefer to fore-go that and try to set up a shot that fits with in the "ethical" parameters I've set for myself & within my limitations.

    classicsafari stated it perfectly- "You will miss out on opportunity's with just open sights BUT its very enjoyable hunting."

    Thank you for your insight and the advise.

    P.S. I am not planning a trip to Africa at this time, I was only looking for opinions to offer when in camp this season.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  14. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Check.
     

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