Open Sights vs Optics

Fastrig

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.
 

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