Any tips for using iron sights with failing eyesight?

BigSteve57

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I have experienced some of the starburst/corona effect on red dots.
Mostly on the less expensive models (ie Burris & Vortex).
This is the first I've heard of it on a Trijicon.
I've heard mixed results using either Rx or polarized lenses to try to correct it.

What I do know is that if you move to a Holographic sight, it goes away.
Currently the EO Tech makes a really nice one, the EXPS3.
Downside is that it is ugly as hell, moves your head off the stock and eats batteries.
For every plus...a minus.

I still feel the same, the best option is a well fitted stock for reflex/snap shooting.
Sights that naturally align with your eye, with your cheek on the stock.
It should be so natural that you are not even seeing the sights.
It's like looking down the barrel and point shooting.

BTW - I turned 50 this year as well, may we stay forever young at heart.
Best of luck on your upcoming hunt.
The star burst effect for me is caused entirely by my astigmatism. It would happen on any red dot or optic no matter what the quality. As I mentioned, the starburst effect and other aberrations completely disappear when I wear corrective lenses. Poor quality red dots often show a poor or multi dot even when I do wear corrective lenses.

BTW, I had LASIK in 2001 and my prescription started out 20/20 for both eyes is now 20/25 left and 20/30 right. My astigmatism and presbyopia have gotten worse over the years. The eye doc says I could get both eyes back to 20/20 and have the astigmatism eliminated with another round of LASIK which wouldn't cost me anything as I had a lifetime guarantee when I had the first procedure. I haven't done it because at this point I'm frankly too chicken to mess with my eyes.
 

IvW

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Should eyes be a able to focus on both the rear and front sight simultaneously? I find I can only do one or the other, not both at the same time.
That is why a proper ghost ring(not a peep site) works so good, your eye only focuses on the front sight and automatically centers it in the ghost ring, faster than express sights as well.....
 

WAB

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That is why a proper ghost ring(not a peep site) works so good, your eye only focuses on the front sight and automatically centers it in the ghost ring, faster than express sights as well.....

Totally agree, a ghost ring is far superior to an express rear IMO. It is also much easier for those of us who no longer have 20/15 vision.
 

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So the answer to my question is I should be able to (if I had good eyes) focus on both sights?
 

WAB

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So the answer to my question is I should be able to (if I had good eyes) focus on both sights?

No, no one can really do that. Younger eyes give you the illusion that you can as they shift focus back and forth so quickly. As we age, the time required to shift focus increases, and what was always present becomes more obvious. A ghost ring sorta this by resucing the focus shift from 3 points (target, front sight, rear sight) to 2 points (target and front sight). Seriously look at the Talley system. With the largest aperture it is a very quick sighting system. Some of the pop up ghost rings discussed on this forum look even better although really hard to come by.
 

C.W. Richter

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If you can't see the sights with clarity, then the first thing I would do is pay a visit to an optometrist. You may only need some reading glasses.

I personally don't care for fiber optic.

One thing that happened with me, a .416 Rigby CZ550, and I need to get back to this problem, is the front sight is fixed but removable. So if you have an elevation problem, mine was shooting way low, you will want to think about just replacing the front sight. I don't remember the formula for this but email CZ and they will help you in determining the correct sight. If it's a windage problem then you should be able to adjust it by tapping the rear sight left or right accordingly.

I think NECG.com will have sights that will work with the CZ550.
He is so right I now wear reading glasses when sighting-in or sitting stationary in the stand
 

C.W. Richter

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+1

Step #1: a large (3/32") white bead front sight. NECG are smart enough to offer 4 different front sight heights for the CZ 550, which tells you right there and then that these are intended for actual shooting rather than decorative function...

Do not be deterred by the need to "fit" the front sight. Just sanding off some of the base thickness on a piece of sand paper stretched on a flat surface until the base fits into the dovetail will do the trick. Be sure to touch up the freshly sanded surface with instant blue to prevent corrosion. Took me all of 5 minutes to "fit" mine...

They even have 5/32" white bead inserts available is you email their customer service.

View attachment 365305

Step #2: rear aperture...

View attachment 365304

I have personally gone already through two diameter changes on my front sights. Theoretically a larger front sight reduces the precision of your shooting because the front sight covers a larger space on the target. That is true on paper... and vastly irrelevant on DG.

Based on my own experience, I shoot a heck of a lot better with a larger front sight that I actually see, rather than a finer bead that hovers in a fog...

I have not felt the need to use the rear aperture yet. I have tried the 5/32" inserts but do not need them yet, and the NECG 3/32" white bead front sight works great for me right now, although I am wearing 1.5x reading glasses to type this post.

Besides, as BeeMaa points out, we are discussing close quarter snap shooting here, where with a properly fitting stock the rifle front sight ought to be only barely more useful than the front bead on a shotgun.
It took us at least three minutes because we were enjoying drinks at a hunting camp
 

MS 9x56

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I recently went through this with my MS model 1905. I did not want to drill and tap it for a scope and I couldn’t find the correct peep sight so I had the rear sight filed out into a shallow V express style and had a gold centerline added below the V. I can now use the open sight again on big game animals. The rifle really comes into its own when snap shooting running game. My remington model 14 came with peep sights so that works fine. Same for my 303 Jungle Carbine. All my other rifles wear scopes with the exception of my squirrel rifles a 32 caliber percussion Kentucky long rifle and my Marlin 39. Good luck in your search for what works for you and good hunting.
 
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Tanks

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I'm after some advice please guys if you wouldn't mind sharing your experiences?

When I started shooting I was a pretty handy shot with iron sights. I moved over to using a scope for a few years and when I recently (last couple of years) tried to shoot with the irons on my new .416, I couldn't hit a barn if I was stood in it! I just can't seem to get a clear focus on the sight. The rifle is a CZ550 Aramid. I've got a scope on it now but would really like to get the irons to a point where I could use them in an emergency or in thick brush.

Would a fibre optic front sight help? Maybe a bigger white bead? Or change the whole set to something different? I still want to be able to fit the scope too.

I'd be very grateful to hear of your experiences. There must be plenty of us on here who are in the same boat.

I am a competitive handgun shooter. I could not focus on the front sight (blur), ditto on the rifles as well. Normally, I use 1.75 in reading glasses (still 20/20 for distance).

Solution, on my dominant eye is 0.75. Enough to see the front sight clearly and still not have the target be blurred due to full magnification. My non-dominant eye lens is clear.

I use these guys. I have the "Archer" for pistol and "Aviator" for rifle and shotgun. A bonus is automatic adjustment for light so one does not need multiple lens sets.

 

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Randy F

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I have the same issue with aging eyesight so the ideas given here are very nice to hear.

Pardon me if I've missed the explanation, but what is the difference between a peep sight and a ghost ring?
One post gives a great example of a ghost ring advertisement but even it's own description says it's an "all steel peep sight".
 

IvW

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I have the same issue with aging eyesight so the ideas given here are very nice to hear.

Pardon me if I've missed the explanation, but what is the difference between a peep sight and a ghost ring?
One post gives a great example of a ghost ring advertisement but even it's own description says it's an "all steel peep sight".

Peep sight has a small hole and is for more precise shooting at longer range, ghost ring has a large hole and is always ring shaped, the hole size should be 6-8mm or bigger. You do not see the ring of the ghost ring when looking through it only the front sight, the ring is a blur on the outside for the lack of better explanation...
 

njc110381

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Wow, I didn't really expect this much of a response! Thanks all.

I'll try the bigger foresight and see how I get on. I suspect it may take a little more than that, the ghost ring sounds good but it will need to somehow be fitted on a quick release mount like the scope so it wouldn't be a matter of pulling the scope off and being ready. That said, I can manage buffalo brain at 20m with irons still so if it came to that I'd be ok
 

Randy F

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Peep sight has a small hole and is for more precise shooting at longer range, ghost ring has a large hole and is always ring shaped, the hole size should be 6-8mm or bigger. You do not see the ring of the ghost ring when looking through it only the front sight, the ring is a blur on the outside for the lack of better explanation...
Thank you, that makes sense. I need to give that a try.
 

IvW

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yip and make sure to go for the biggest aperture available, NECG make a good one but the hole needs to be big for it to be effective
 

MS 9x56

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You asked a bunch of older hunters with failing eyesight. We all go through it sooner or later. Lots of experience here by very resourceful hunters and shooters. Good luck and let us know what you settle on.
 

Shootist43

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NJC, I still do some shooting with Iron sights. I use a Marlin 336 in 35 Remington for Deer and Hogs from a tree stand. A ghost ring rear sight with a GREEN fiber optic front sight. Why green? Because red is the first color you loose as the light fades.
 

Hunter4752001

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The ghost ring paired with a fibre optic front sight may work for you and is worth a try. Be prepared for an alternative if it doesn't. I bought one of the Brno ZKK with original pop-up rear peep (ghost ring style) specificaly for that reason. The front sight was still just a blurry grey blob. It now wears a low power scope.
 

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Im still shooting iron sights quite a bit along with low power scopes for most of my hunting..I ve learned a few tricks to allow that at my age of 86 in a month or two...first of all use a target modified for iron sights to do your sight in and load work up..A white sheet of 10x12 at a 100 yards, peep or barrels irons..this gives you a much better sight picture, sight in 2 or 3 inches above the center, one this is done small target such as rocks or animals will get you results....with barrel mounted iorns I use the old Texas Ranger trick and thats a post and a shallow V , I like a little deeper V than most and the sight picture show the V sides level with the top of the sight, much like one takes with a S&W pistol, post flues with the top of the sight, its quick and its as accurate as a receiver or ghost peep, just a different way to skin a cat...all this rambling is designed to help old or weak eyes and it works..I don't care for to thick a post front sight as it covers too much animal, but you own a file and file it to suit your needs and range requirements...I cut my V with a 3 corner file..HOpe this helps..its pretty simple but took me 80 or those 86 years to figure it all out..

IN my opinnion those big front sights are the reason so many can't seem to use irons, those sights cover too much target, and especially game so range is drastically limited..I use my irons somewhat the opposite in that the irons have been my primary sight and a low power scope (2.5 and 3X) as secondary in the QD Leupold or Talley bases that I will slip on and use if the game animal is beyound 250 or 300 yards offering a standing shot that gives me time for a rest..Just my two bits but its worked well..
 
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" Peep sight has a small hole and is for more precise shooting at longer range, ghost ring has a large hole and is always ring shaped, "
All of my Marbles, Williams, and Lyman "peep" sights have screw in rear sight holes and even come with small holes for target work and large holes (ghost ring) for hunting.
For instance, this Marbles Peep Tang sight has replaceable "peep holes" for different applications.


Williams Receiver sight also has replaceable "peep" holes:
 

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