Open Sights vs Optics

Fastrig

Gold supporter
AH fanatic
Joined
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
832
Reaction score
1,122
Location
Hill Country, TX
Media
28
Member of
NRA Life Member
Hunted
CA, TX, MT, CO, NV, AK, NE, SD, FL
I use to believe that as well, but even in the military we have discovered that single plane sighting (red-dot in the Army's case) is significantly faster than traditional ghost rings in close combat. They are also more accurate at extended ranges. And of course they are significantly quicker yet than traditional three point alignment systems. And as you might imagine, Fort Benning accumulated years of testing and combat data before reaching that conclusion.

Could see where the red dot sites would be faster, kind of best of both worlds really....don't own one but with so many saying how good they are, and like you said the military uses them a lot, I'm going to lean towards your all's assessments. I like open sites for short range shooting and my eye sight is good enough that I can still do so....longer stuff though, scope is always going to be better. Might have to pick up one of the red dots and see how it works for me....sounds like it might a better option...sometimes I'm too old school and comfortable with what I've always used, which is weird since I'm a techy :)
 

Von Gruff

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
May 5, 2009
Messages
3,764
Reaction score
5,353
Location
south Otago, New Zealand
Website
www.vongruffknives.com
Media
1,595
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Australia/NZ
3
Hunted
New Zealand, Austaralia
the right powered scope, properly mounted, should be faster than irons, because everything is in the same plane and does not have to be lined up.
With a properly fitting rifle for iron sights there is no lining up to be done as it all happens automatically as the rifle is mounted.
 

steve white

AH enthusiast
Joined
Feb 9, 2018
Messages
324
Reaction score
410
Location
dallas tx
Articles
1
Member of
dallas safari club, mannlicher collectors assoc., era
Hunted
Cape buffalo, plains game
Iron sights work best for older hunters if they are set up with the rear sight moved down the barrel closer to the front sight--then it is still possible to make them come into focus; sort of a "battue" arrangement. Ghost ring rear sights really simplify things. BUT IF YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE OPEN SIGHTS ON A RIFLE, AT LEAST FILE THEM TO ACTUALLY WORK, INSTEAD OF LETTING THEM BE ORNAMENTATION. It could save your hunt.
 

Ray B

AH legend
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
2,393
Reaction score
2,660
Location
WA St, USA
Media
76
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
With a properly fitting rifle for iron sights there is no lining up to be done as it all happens automatically as the rifle is mounted.

Even if the rifle isn't fitted, with practice enough muscle memory is obtained that it's a simple matter of hitting the spot-weld and putting the tip of the front sight blade on the target.
 

Shootist43

Gold supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2015
Messages
5,731
Reaction score
5,625
Location
Grosse Ile, Michigan
Media
25
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA
Hunted
Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Limpopo Province South Africa
I agree with Von Gruff. When using iron sights, it is better if the rifle "fits." My lever guns have receiver sights and they work well. I have muzzleloaders with Partridge style rear sights and they work well. Buckhorn sights don't float my boat. I have a red dot on a Ruger Deerslayer (a 44 Mag. Carbine) because I can hardly see the factory irons. Most of my Black Rifles have receiver sights but one has a low power scope. The majority of my bolt action rifles wear appropriate scopes mostly low power by today's standards, although a few of them have iron sights. All of them can be used to take game cleanly. It kind of depends on what and where I'm hunting which rifle gets the nod. All of them are fun to shoot and isn't that what this sport is all about?
 

BigSteve57

AH enthusiast
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
377
Reaction score
382
Location
MD USA, sadly.
Media
35
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI, NRA, Local gun clubs & shooting range.
Hunted
USA(GA,MD,MT,PA,TN), Namibia
I personally would use (or perhaps I should say would have used) open sights only to about 25-50-100-200 yards for hunting so at closer distances like that the speed of irons vs optics wouldn't be much of an issue IMHO. If we're talkin' squirrels at 10 yards I actually think irons are faster. However, iron sights for hunting are now only for backup.

I shot open sights in competition but always preferred hunted with optics. I dunno, speed aside I was more confident with a scope I guess and hunting a living animal triggers all kinds of extra checks and balances. I do have rifles with both: my Blaser R8 barrels have open sights and I've practiced with them. They're quite good actually but I have a REALLY difficult time with them due to my "old eyes" problem.

I'm fine with open sights if I have my special prescription shooting glasses that are set up to focus my right eye. That is not how I would hunt unless I HAD to. I'm gradually transitioning from open sights on all my rifles & handguns to either a scope or a red dot. :(:(:(
 

Witold Krzyżanowski

AH ambassador
Joined
Oct 27, 2013
Messages
5,118
Reaction score
2,761
Location
Trzebiatów - Poland
Media
15
Hunting reports
Europe
1
Member of
1977; Polish Hunting Assotiation
Hunted
Namibia, Zimbabwe
Lot of long winded posts here ...so thought it would be rude not to join in... :D....basically if as I believe most in usa learnt to shoot with scopes then stay with them....if you need to follow up on DG then crank it down to 1 or 2 ...and the talk on here about charges being fairly normal is exaggerated..... If you grew up using iron sights on your air rifle... 22 and onwards then yeah give the irons a go....but as has been said many times you will hamper yourself in some situations where a scope would allow you to make the shot but no chance with iron sights... I used iron sights from bout 8 years or so when I was given an air rifle and still like using iron sights... so have irons and QD detachable scope mounts so you can use either if capable of using irons.... And get closer and enjoy the irons :D Beers:
I agree with Mike.
 

Trail Rated

AH senior member
Joined
Jun 26, 2018
Messages
72
Reaction score
118
Location
Texas
Media
14
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
I’ve started using aperture sighted rifles for all my spot-and-stalk hunts and still hunting. I even put an old Lyman peep sight on my .410 shotgun for rabbit hunts.

Scoped rifles are used only if I’m sitting in a blind all day or need to shoot past 150 yards or so.
 

Curious

AH member
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
35
Reaction score
35
It seems true to my experience that red dots are faster than iron sights. I'll confess to being so-called "elderly," 67, but not yet in need of glasses. I had extensive experience with iron-sighted military rifles/MGs, and then decades of upland bird and skeet shooting. I came to love "fast and intuitive" shooting. A friend recommended using a holosight in snowfall or rain. I use scopes with QR rings on Weaver bases normally. I found the EOTech type highly recoil-resistant. The same is surely true of Aimpoints. My devotion to EOTech only increased when they replaced (for free) my three early reportedly-humidity-sensitive ones with much-refined EXPS-03's (SU-253PEQ). During wet snowfall or heavy rain they are terrific, and very fast on target with no need to take eyes off the quarry. I carry them as backups for the scopes. They hold zero well to about 1+ MOA when reinstalled. It takes ca. 30 seconds to ditch the scope and lock the EO in place. The holosights are my preferred sight when walk-up hunting in thick brush/forest or near large bears. I realize Weaver bases and red-dots aren't (yet) the rage in African hunting, but expect they'll be increasingly popular for close-range or dangerous circumstances. The quality/reliability has improved dramatically over 20 years across all brands.
 

Newboomer

Gold supporter
AH elite
Joined
Sep 10, 2016
Messages
1,749
Reaction score
2,995
Location
Nevada
Media
13
Member of
NRA, SCI, American Legion, Freemasons
Hunted
RSA, Maine, Montana, Colorado, Texas, Alaska, California.
I use a Leupold 3-9 x 40 illuminated on most of my rifles. I like the versatility of low power for dg and higher for pg and illuminated for low light. More often than not, I Iight it up for most everything. Good for shadows and shade. I have a Leupold 1.25-4 x 20 for my 404 Jeffery (when it gets here). I figure the 1.25 x is about the same as a red dot and 4 x will work for anything within range of the rifle. My 79 year old eyes don't do irons anymore unless I shoot it like a shotgun, kinda blurry all the way and a peep is passable. I do pretty well with pistols and fiber optics. Long enough eye relief, I guess and they show up well. Green is much better than red I've found.
 

Ray B

AH legend
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
2,393
Reaction score
2,660
Location
WA St, USA
Media
76
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
I figure the 1.25 x is about the same as a red dot .


I've read that a 1x is better for shooting with both eyes open since they both see the same size animal and surroundings, however I have a 1.5x scope that I see very little difference between it an 1x as far as having both eyes open; so your 1.25x should be fine.
 

Newboomer

Gold supporter
AH elite
Joined
Sep 10, 2016
Messages
1,749
Reaction score
2,995
Location
Nevada
Media
13
Member of
NRA, SCI, American Legion, Freemasons
Hunted
RSA, Maine, Montana, Colorado, Texas, Alaska, California.
Never could shoot two eyes open. I'm left eye dominant and shoot right eye. Everything gets all twisted up with two eyes open unless I'm point and shoot defensive shooting with a pistol. That works fine.
 

Daggaboy375

AH member
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Messages
44
Reaction score
39
At 68 I see two front posts and four rear V ears. If I concentrate I can pick the correct 3 out of 6 to use most of the time. Scopes being as rugged as they are today can be depended on to stay together unless stomped on.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
35,545
Messages
663,414
Members
60,171
Latest member
CorinneFav
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Tally-Ho Hunting Safaris wrote on jfowler812's profile.
hi Mr fowler

im happy to do these deals for 2021

i will knock off 10% off each deal if you take 2 so $18000 per package

look forward to your response

regards
Mule deer and Colorado elk seasons almost done! Hunters driving farm roads, looking for racks, their PH driving them along, I ask that you not pull into my drive. The buck behind me, on the boundary line of the GMU somehow knows. The hunter laughs, I would invite you in to see my Searcy rifles but social distancing prevails, darkness arrives and the buck slides away into secret tree grove...
Boyd Brooks wrote on Skinnersblade's profile.
Ellwood Epps has 1 box of 25-20 in stock. Look them up on the web. They are located in Orilla Ontario.
Lkhntr wrote on Warpig602's profile.
On the vx6 2-12 what does the zl2 stand for?

Thanks, Oliver
bowjijohn wrote on AfricaHunting.com's profile.
Many thanks for re formatting my article for the forum

I served my time in both the bush and during the bush war

I hope it did it justice

Education is where it is at - without it the wild places are history

You - sir - are well placed to make a difference

J
 
Top