Detachable Mounts and open sights

NewForester

AH member
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
32
I see a few rifles for sale with quick detachable mounts to allow open sight use.

How often do you guys actually take your scope off and use open sights?

And, are quick detachable mounts worth having, or should you just stick with a variable scope which has low magnification option?
 

Boyd Brooks

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
689
Reaction score
3,841
Location
Whitby, Ontario
Media
6
Member of
OFAH, North American Hunt Club
Hunted
Canada, RSA
I have Leupold quick release scope bases on my rifles with open sites. I never remove the scope. It is more for removal if I have damaged a scope on a hunt and still need to have a working rifle.
 

One Day...

Gold supporter
AH elite
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
1,327
Reaction score
3,678
Website
www.huntershillsafaris.co.za
Media
381
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
PHASA
Hunted
Europe, America, Canada, Africa
The times, they are achangin...

Originally, quick detachable scope mounts made a whole lot of sense because early scopes had fixed magnification (typically 4x or 6x), a narrow tube, and a very narrow field of view. With such scopes, taking a quick shot up close on wounded dangerous game was all but impossible. The scope needed to be removed so that much faster iron sights could be used. Besides, scopes were notoriously unreliable and frequently broke during the course of a 3 or 4 week safari.

Today, virtually all scopes have variable magnification, most DG rifle scopes go down to 1x magnification at the low end, most DG rifle straight tube scopes have a 30 mm tube and a very generous eye box, most scopes have a very wide field of view, and most quality scopes are very reliable. In addition, most shooters have not used iron sights in decades, and may or may not be proficient with them. It is most likely that most shooters will shoot faster with both eyes open with a 1x quality glass than they would using iron sights. Therefore, it is a rare case indeed when a scope is removed to follow wounded game. Fixed mounts are just fine for this purpose.


However...

Now that quick detachable mounts are just as reliable as fixed mounts (e.g. Warnes or Talley QD are just fixed mounts with a lever instead of a torx screw), there are two cases when detachable mounts make sense, for different reasons than quick shooting:

1- With a relatively universal caliber such as the .375 or 9.3, or even .416, it is not uncommon to see clients coming to Africa with one rifle and two scopes. One is typically a compact 1-4 x 24 straight tube for DG hunting, and one is typically a 2-10 or 3-12 etc. x 42 or 50 with great low light transmission for PG hunting. This really makes sense, and it facilitates turning a .375 H&H into a really universal caliber, having for example a 1-4 x 24 scope sighted for 300 gr TSX or AFrame, and a 2-10 x 42 scope sighted for 250 gr TTSX or GMX or 260 gr ETip.

Note: I am personally not deterred by the argument about taking different loads on safari. To me, it is just like having softs and solids for a double. Besides, in this case it is even simpler: just take that day the ammo that goes with the scope one is using... just like one takes different ammo when one takes one's DG or PG rifle...

2 - The other reason, is the ability to remove in the field a damaged scope after a mishap, to either continue with iron sights, or mount a replacement scope. Some clients show up with two identical scopes already sighted for redundancy.

When everything is said and done, it likely does not make a whole lot of practical sense anymore (sentimental reasons are different) to commit to expensive quick detachable mounts like the Suhl claw mount, but I see no downside to use a QD lever on a Warnes, Talley, Alaska Arms, etc.

Whether one brings one or two scopes for one's DG rifle depends on: the DG rifle caliber; what is being hunted; how lucky one feels betting a 10 days $xx,xxx safari on one scope (and/or one rifle); what one can afford; etc. etc.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

WAB

AH legend
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
3,050
Reaction score
6,761
Location
Alabama
Media
94
Hunting reports
Africa
5
USA/Canada
1
Member of
DSC, NRA, SCI
Hunted
Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Scotland, England, Canada, Alaska, Ireland
I have them and have used them. As mentioned above, nice to know you have a backup for the scope.
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,915
Reaction score
8,322
Location
Colorado
Media
231
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
4
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
I have them on my 375, but I take 2 scopes (per One Day...s #1). One 1-6x for DG and a second 2-12x for PG. Some believe this is too complicated, but it has worked for me.
I also have iron sights as a backup, but my eyes no longer do well with the open sights.
I believe it’s really just down to a personal preference. Scopes are just so reliable today.

Best of luck determining what works for you!
 

HiredGun

New member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
13
Reaction score
9
I dont own a single Rifle without quality open sights. When one hunt's in remote Wilderness Areas accessible only by Bush plane, you need equipment what works and can take abuse.

Having chased Grizzly Bears and other north American Game in BC, Yukon & NWT for over 40 years and searched more wounded Bears I care to remember, I definitely don't want a Scope on my Rifle when I am by myself in the thickest cover on my hands and Knees when the a 600 Lbs. Grizzly comes for me wanting to end what my Client had started.

On my working Iron a thoroughly beat up FN Browning Safari Grade 338 Win. Mag. my equally ugly 2-7 Leopold Scope is attached to detachable Leopold Scope mounts. There is always enough time to put the Scope on if needed.

Best detachable Scope Mounts I am familliar with are German made & Installed EAW manufactured SEM or Pivot mounts. Pricey but unbeatable quality.

Cheers
 

Red Leg

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
6,725
Reaction score
19,737
Location
Texas Hill Country
Media
285
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
5
Mex/S.Amer
1
Europe
3
Member of
SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
Hunted
Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
I have told this tale here before, but I had the privilege to hunt a leopard on my first safari in Namibia. I was using a trusty, accurate .338 Win Mag with a quality scope and on the third evening at around 9:00 pm launched a 250 gr Partition at a cat that had killed a calf the previous evening.

As I came out of recoil. and the cat was gone. My PH whispered into his radio and we then very quietly side-stepped out of the blind to meet the land cruiser as it pulled up. We quickly determined that the cat had been hit and had taken off up a dry watercourse that was about two-four feet deep, about five-feet wide, and completely overhung by acacia just above head high. It was now around 10 pm.

My PH asked me if I was ready, and we then began to inch along the dry waterway. He and I were shoulder to shoulder. His primary tracker was directly behind us with his arm protruding in front of us with a very powerful spotlight. My PH (Nick Nolte) carried his trusty .470 K-gun. My otherwise spectacularly accurate .338 boasted a 2.5x10 scope in fixed mounts. Under those conditions, I would have been better armed for a charge had I held the rifle by the barrel an used it as a club. We took a long thirty-minutes to shuffle forward perhaps forty yards to where the ditch made a sharp right turn. I can not describe the relief as we inched around the corner to find the cat dead, having collapsed in full stride.

That happened in 2008 and I have not retuned to the African continent without a dismountable scope and usable open sights since.
 

One Day...

Gold supporter
AH elite
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
1,327
Reaction score
3,678
Website
www.huntershillsafaris.co.za
Media
381
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
PHASA
Hunted
Europe, America, Canada, Africa
Agreed, Red Leg :)

2.5x magnification at the low end is too much for both-eyes-open shooting, and 2.5-10x42 is too bulky for bayonet range in dense bush.

1x is best. 1 1/4x is usable. A central red dot helps tremendously at dusk and is mandatory in really low light. 1-4 (or 1-6 or 1-8) x24 is a lot lighter/compact and handier.

When the glass can be used as a holographic sight (e.g. Eotech), a reflex sight (e.g. Trijicon RMR), or a "Red Dot" sight (e.g. Aimpoint), some people - generally younger who grew up with optical sights - will be faster with them, and some people - generally older who grew up with iron sights - will still be faster with iron, IF their eyes are still sharp (?), especially if they shoot a rifle that fits them well...

When the glass can NOT be used like that, it is a liability and must indeed be removed. This is why I emphasized in my earlier post: 1x magnification at the low end, straight 30 mm tube, very generous eye box, very wide field of view.

Personally, I used to shoot faster with iron but now that my eyes have aged, I am faster with 1x glass with illuminated red dot (Leica 1-4x24 i).

I stated in my first post "I see no downside to use a QD lever on a Warnes, Talley, Alaska Arms, etc." - one might as well add Blaser - and I discussed their other advantages (in addition to fast shooting with open sights), but I should have been more affirmative in the conclusion: there is no downside and many upsides, use them!

Whether one shoots faster with iron or with a 1x compact glass, only one can tell ... after extensive practice with both...
 
Last edited:

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
3,055
Reaction score
5,358
Location
Eastern US
Media
104
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
I have 4 scopes and all are in QD mounts.
There is little difference in price between fixed and QD.
Better to have them and not need them, than the other way around.
Stick with quality brands like Alaska Arms, Leuopld, Talley and Warne.
These are in no particular order (other than alphabetical).

I personally had Warne on a CZ550 375H&H with perfect return to zero.
Currently I am using Contessa mounts on Blaser rifles, also perfect.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,693
Messages
720,858
Members
67,446
Latest member
RaulCornwa
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

flatwater bill wrote on john stroud's profile.
Leopard Legend....................Hi John.............I see that you have not visited AH in awhile. Hope all is well. I am looking for a hunt in Namibia..............would like to ask a few questions about your hunt.............all the best..............................Bill
Cervus elaphus wrote on Bob Nelson 35Whelen's profile.
Hi Bob, how's things going in Wyong?. Down your way a couple of years back but haven't been in NSW since Ebor for the fishing. just getting over some nasty storms up here in Qld, seeing the sun for the first time in a few days. I'm going to NZ in the spring and hope to clean up a few buns while there and perhaps shake the spiders out of my old .303LE (currently owned by my BIL). Cheers Brian
A couple pictures of the sable i chased for miles in Mozambique, Coutada 9!! We finally caught up to him and I had the trophy of a lifetime. Mokore Safaris, Doug Duckworth PH
sable Coutada 9.JPG
sable 2 - Coutada 9.JPG
Safari Dave wrote on egrmpty507's profile.
Did you purchase your hunt at a US SCI fundraiser?
uplander01 wrote on colorado's profile.
Heard you may have load data for the 500 Jeffery,.....any info would be appreciated. Was thinking 535gr, but already had a response that the 570gr would be a better way to go, not sure why.
 
Top