Any benefit in upgrading to express sights?

hammz

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Is there any benefit in upgrading to express sights? My Model 70 Safari Express comes with pretty good irons as it is. I haven't fired my current one, but owned one previously in 416 Rem as well and I could ring an 8" steel plate all day at 100 yards with just the irons. They're really good. I saw NECG makes a 3 leaf sight set specifically for the Model 70 Safari Express series: https://www.newenglandcustomgun.com/proddetail.php?prod=202

Is there any benefit in upgrading to those express sights or would I be better served just sticking with the factory irons (which are already pretty solid)? Those sights aren't cheap so I want to make sure they're worth it to move to.
 

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Bert the Turtle

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I certainly wouldn't put 3 leaf sights on unless it is for aesthetic purposes or shooting iron sights at 300 yards is a hobby. The days of needing suck sights to shoot at 300 yards are long passed. Those long-range leafs will only serve to ruin a close-in shot should they be accidentally engaged.
 

Proneshooter

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Hammz,
I had a 404 built for a 2019 Buffalo hunt. After I got home I sent it back to the gunsmith to have the 3 leaf rear sight replaced with a single standing. If I'm going to shoot that rifle past 100 yards it will have a scope on it. Just my .02c.
 

WAB

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Put an Island mounted ghost ring on it. I have one on my M70 .375. It’s outstanding.
 

Alistair

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I shot a fair few moving target comps with a .375 W70 Safari Express using the stock express sights and they really are quite good. Chunky, no fuss, easy to acquire and align, good size front bead, relatively simple to zero, not prone to catching on things and they stay put, all good.

Besides, who needs 3 leaves? The broad v is a last ditch 50 yards or less option in these days of optics and I doubt there's many who can use one to the requisite standard (call it 6" groups) beyond 200, so just zero your single leaf at 50 or 100 and forget about the faff.

My only complaint was that the standard Win 70 Express doesn't have quite enough drop at heel to align the irons properly for me. Perfect for a low power scope, but I found myself mashing my cheek pretty firmly down on the comb to get on the irons and then consequently getting a fair whack of recoil through the cheekbone in return.

Depending on your facial structure and your experiences using it, you might have a better time of it if you can find something that's mounted a little higher? The ghost ring option above, perhaps?

Al.
 

BeeMaa

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My only complaint was that the standard Win 70 Express doesn't have quite enough drop at heel to align the irons properly for me. Perfect for a low power scope, but I found myself mashing my cheek pretty firmly down on the comb to get on the irons and then consequently getting a fair whack of recoil through the cheekbone in return.

Depending on your facial structure and your experiences using it, you might have a better time of it if you can find something that's mounted a little higher? The ghost ring option above, perhaps?

Al.
I harp on this probably more than I should.
Poorly fitting stocks make for a miserable shooting experience.

Having a rifle come up and the iron sights align naturally is critical for snap shooting.
This is much more typically encountered in the US when shotgunning.
However the principles apply the same to rifles.
Consistent rifle (or shotgun) mount with head and sight alignment will improve your shooting.
And as the power level or caliber goes up, this becomes more and more critical.

I mentioned shotgunning because it is considered instinctive shooting.
But in fact this is a skill that can be learned through repetition and practice.
Doing so will make instinctive shooting exactly that, instinctive and natural.
Exactly what you want when a ton of big nasty is coming your way.
If your head is in an awkward position, you won't be able to pick up your sights.

Will the NEGC sights work for you...hard to say for sure.
Mounting your rifle over and over to see where the sights align is a good start.
If you haven't fired your rifle with the stock irons, you should give them a try.
Then maybe try something else if you don't like them.
Ghost ring sights are very popular for DG caliber rifles.
Personally I prefer a wide deep "V" rear and brass bead front.
 

Wyatt Smith

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NECG makes a rear sight that will fit in the factory Winchester sight base. It will need to be filed to zero it. It was close to $20. Just measure your dovetail, to verify the fit. I think it’s 5/8 or 16mm.
 

IvW

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Put an Island mounted ghost ring on it. I have one on my M70 .375. It’s outstanding.

Good advice....only upgrade to express sights I can think of...apart from glass that is...
 

BeeMaa

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Put an Island mounted ghost ring on it. I have one on my M70 .375. It’s outstanding.
Could you snap a picture of that an post it please?
 

shootist~

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Put an Island mounted ghost ring on it. I have one on my M70 .375. It’s outstanding.

@WAB
I'm trying to understand exactly what you are referring to. Could you provide a little more information, please? And like the say, a picture is worth a thousand words. :)
Thanks!
 

Hammergun

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I have a Model 70 Safari Express and made a slight modification to make the sights work for me. I would lose the front sight and rear notch against dark backgrounds. I painted the front bead white and filed a groove straight down from the rear notch which I filled with white paint. Against a dark background I simply perch the bead on the white post. I'll probably never use the irons for Buffalo, but I like knowing that I could.
 

WAB

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Could you snap a picture of that an post it please?

Here you go. It’s the second rifle from the bottom. It is a very large ghost ring aperture. The metal work on this rifle was by Gary Junk of arctic gunworks in Fairbanks. He used this sight on a lot of his short heavy hitting bear rifles. I find it faster and more accurate than express sights.
IMG_1440.JPG
IMG_1441.JPG
 

WAB

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@meigsbucks, I can see a question you posted for me in my email notifications, but I can’t for the life of me find it on the forum. In answer to your question, The ring is a ghost ring not a peep. It is removable but there is no need to do so. The aperture is quite large. I wondered how it would work mounted forward on the barrel, but I find it just as quick as my receiver sights. The stock fits me very well which I’m sure helps a lot. I’ve been using it for over 15 years without issue. I have used the rifle with the scope removed on both buffalo and elephant. It points like a fine shotgun!
 

SAFARIKIDD

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Not needed 99% of the time but damn they look awesome!!
I even put them on my 1886 50/110
20181117_202400.jpeg
20190520_153611.jpeg
 

Longwalker

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I have several rifles with multiple leaf rear sights, and alas, my eyesight is not good enough any more to take proper advantage of any of them. The leaves are overly complicated and too often the wrong one will flip up accidentally. They do look cool though! I much prefer a large aperture close to my eye for speed and accuracy.
But the wide V and concave bead on my Sako M85 Kodiak are very good, even with my eyes. In metallic or reflex sights with no magnification, I want quick easy target acquisition first and most importantly, accuracy of fist size or smaller groups at 100 M or so, durability, and nothing more.
 

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