Arguments for and against using a scope

Ryan

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@Desert Dog your first point is something I hadn't thought of, and while binoculars would help determining if there was anything behind the target they may not help identifying obstructions in the bullets path.

And yes I have heard that optics have advanced considerably and while possibly not at resistant to bumps as irons they are by now quite dependable. But the cost! I'm not sure I could justify almost doubling the cost of my rifle to add a quality scope and rings.
I actually started bowhunting and went to rifles. One rule of thumb a frend and very good shot told me was spend as much on your glass as your rifle. I con't say I always have, but I don't scrimp either, and it's paid off with both rifle scopes and binoculars.

So, take that as a plus or a minus. If you stick with iron sights and plan on putting together one good long range rifle remember that rule it will pay off.
 

Dr Ray

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Everyone is making valid points here. But... just for giggles, has anyone thought about why they put 100, 200 & 300 yard/meter express sights on high-end rifles and have been doing so for over a hundred years? Or why military rifles have iron sights calibrated out to six hundred yards. Or why they have service rifle competition at similar ranges with receiver sights? Not to mention the Palma Match which is shot at 800, 900 and 1,000 yards all with iron sights. BTW it generally takes a score of 440 or better out of a possible 450 -45 X to win the Palma Match.

Maybe it's because the manufacturers etc wanted the competitors to have the same base. Maybe they figured that scopes of various qualities gave an advantage to those who could afford the best whereas those who couldn't afford the top quality would be disadvantaged.
In all honesty can you see clearly at 1,000 using iron sights?
 
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BenH2016

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We shot at 500 and at 800 mtrs in competition at school. I seem to remember the sights as a ring front and back. We also fired this same sight design on rimfires on the school range I've 25mtrs. Both ranges were lots of fun.
 

Shootist43

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Dr Ray, I've never shot long range high power matches but I have a friend that does. Bill is in his mid 60s and still wins and or places in more than his fair share of them. Yes maybe you or I cannot see through Irons good enough to make 1,000 yard shots but those competitors do. Like I said in my last post, it usually takes a score in the 440s out of a possible 450 to win the Palma.
 

curtism1234

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Everyone is making valid points here. But... just for giggles, has anyone thought about why they put 100, 200 & 300 yard/meter express sights on high-end rifles and have been doing so for over a hundred years? Or why military rifles have iron sights calibrated out to six hundred yards. Or why they have service rifle competition at similar ranges with receiver sights? Not to mention the Palma Match which is shot at 800, 900 and 1,000 yards all with iron sights. BTW it generally takes a score of 440 or better out of a possible 450 -45 X to win the Palma Match.

In the military you didn't and don't care if a solider was killed or wounded. Actually you'd prefer to wound.

This is where I will draw some fire. In the past, if you killed an animal - great. If you wounded one - doesn't really matter. No one was going to waste time following up when there were plenty more animals to take pot shots at. The ethics of hunting today are different and long range sights reflect the way the rifles are made historically.

My opinion anyway
 

cagkt3

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I've only ever shot animals with a scoped rifle - may just be that where I hunt, there isn't much spot and stalk mostly shooting out of blinds. I've shot open sights when target shooting w/ my AR or Ruger 10/22, and recently with a new 416 Rem. I guess for me I like being able to get a little magnification to help give me confidence in making a good clean shot.
 

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Everyone is making valid points here. But... just for giggles, has anyone thought about why they put 100, 200 & 300 yard/meter express sights on high-end rifles and have been doing so for over a hundred years? Or why military rifles have iron sights calibrated out to six hundred yards. Or why they have service rifle competition at similar ranges with receiver sights? Not to mention the Palma Match which is shot at 800, 900 and 1,000 yards all with iron sights. BTW it generally takes a score of 440 or better out of a possible 450 -45 X to win the Palma Match.

With a military rifle, I am entirely happy to wound at long range - not so much while hunting. Probably 90% - perhaps as high as 95% of long range infantry fire (200 m +) is done to gain fire superiority and achieve suppression in order to fix the enemy so he can be killed by indirect fire or air support, or to allow an element of the unit to close with the enemy and kill him. In other words, it is enough to get an overwhelming number of rounds into the general area of the enemy formation so he will go to ground and stay there. That is not an entirely common application while hunting. The literature is full of stories of nimrods trying long range open sight shots at game in this country and Africa. A lot of game was taken, but they are also a cautionary read about how much game was wounded. "African Game Trails" offers several examples. Other than ethically, this was not such a big deal in 1920 - but in the era of trophy fees?

The really long range graduations on military sights are an anachronistic holdover from pre-WWI requirements when battalion or regimental volley fire might need to be attempted out to 800 - 1000 meters at massed enemy formations. Think a Zulu Impi or the British at Omdurman in Sudan in 1898 against the Mahdi's forces.

And from viewing them once - not participating - the Palma matches seem to have about as much in common with field shooting as the moon launch does firing bottle rockets on the Fourth.

All that said, graduated sights probably still have some utility today. A scenario where a wounded animal is being followed and he offers a fleeting opportunity at 200 meters rather than the twenty envisioned. Though if I had hit him with a scope-equipped rifle, maybe I wouldn't have been following up in the first place .........
 

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