Scoped or open sights as a first and back up...

Jono Joseph

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So over the weekend we spend some time shooting charging targets.
We shot Blaser s2 2 double open sight
Saure 375 h&h scoped and open
Winchester 375 H&H scoped

It was very interesting to see how fast you can aquire your target and get in 1-3 shots in 25 meters.
We puled the targets fast and slow just to see and there was an interesting out come.

We made the following conclusion if you shoot scoped rifles all the time it makes sense to stick to what you know. Open sights however do have there place and there is no doubt about this.

What do you all out there think and what have you experienced.
If you have been charged by and animal and used a scoped rifle please share the experience?

As a first shot for a client a scoped 375H&H makes sense as it is easy to handle and very accurate.
Standing or on a rest it is easy to shoot and the recoil is mild at the most .

please share your experiences



Shot Shot
 

James.Grage

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Both are different kinds of shooting.

My Buffalo hunting was done in thick cover, and we were able to get close. Under 30 yards and one animal under 10, prior to shooting. Both shots were taken with open sights.

I have seen clients on DVD miss standing cape buffalo with a scoped rifle shooting off stick where the buffalo is closer than 30 yards.

As i was informed most times when making a precision shot, a scope will allow you to make a precision shot from further away.

You are talking about 1 second for a cape buffalo to cover the distance, Let me assure you at 25 meters you will only get 1 shot at a charging buffalo, and it better be good. If shooting a double rifle, you may have a chance at a second shot.
 

Jono Joseph

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James your 100% correct.
The scoped rifle is more accurate and allows you to place a very accurate shot.
If an animal is charging in closed bush this is when the open sights come into its own.

shot shot
 

Red Leg

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In most cases, I think the PH and the client have two different jobs to do when confronting dangerous game. As the client, my job is to get the first shot in as lethally as I can possibly make it under as broad a set of circumstances as I am likely to face. Therefore, my DG rifles, to include my S2, are scoped. All have detachable mounts (anything I take to Africa does), but for that first shot, I am most accurate over the broadest set of circumstances using a scope. The PH on the other hand has to be ready to deal with the worst case scenario at all times - to stop a charge. For that, I think open sights are best and quickest.
 

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Spot on Red Leg.
 

Royal27

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Completely agree with Red Leg!

I also like this from the OP:

We made the following conclusion if you shoot scoped rifles all the time it makes sense to stick to what you know.

In my experience, this has been 100% true. I shoot much more with a scope or red dot than open sights these days and can acquire a target much more quickly with the scope/dot. I also shoot with both eyes open (I only close an eye at distance and with the scope cranked way up), so I don't think I would even gain much from practicing with open sights vs. the 2x scope on my .375 H&H.
 

Jono Joseph

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Red leg is correct all the way and one great client, we dont always get that type of person in the field and i am agree the clients first shot should be with a scoped rifle and as accurate as possible in any condition( open tree country or closed jesse thickets)

Back to the scope story in an charge situation Royal27 is correct it will come down to what you practice with the most and how comfortable you are with your equipment.

I have seen this happen the client was shooting a 30-06 spring with a swarovski 4X40 scope the animal had taken a vital shot from 50m and had gone down about 50m further we approached and at about 5m i signaled the clients to place another shot through the shoulders from the back and he could not acquire the target at all. This in tern lead to another 2hrs following up ( we found it at 40m and the client finished the business with a perfect heart shot).
this is just an example and i know the scope was 4X magnification ( which is not a lot) if he had retractable mounts his would have been in his favour or if the animal came at us it would have put him at a disadvantage.
maybe then the answer from here on is retractable mounts?
However this is case specific each and every time you hunt an animal the scenario changes and you have to adapt.

So it will go back to practice how you play.

Shot Shot
 

Velo Dog

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Red leg is correct all the way and one great client, we dont always get that type of person in the field and i am agree the clients first shot should be with a scoped rifle and as accurate as possible in any condition( open tree country or closed jesse thickets)

Back to the scope story in an charge situation Royal27 is correct it will come down to what you practice with the most and how comfortable you are with your equipment.

I have seen this happen the client was shooting a 30-06 spring with a swarovski 4X40 scope the animal had taken a vital shot from 50m and had gone down about 50m further we approached and at about 5m i signaled the clients to place another shot through the shoulders from the back and he could not acquire the target at all. This in tern lead to another 2hrs following up ( we found it at 40m and the client finished the business with a perfect heart shot).
this is just an example and i know the scope was 4X magnification ( which is not a lot) if he had retractable mounts his would have been in his favour or if the animal came at us it would have put him at a disadvantage.
maybe then the answer from here on is retractable mounts?
However this is case specific each and every time you hunt an animal the scenario changes and you have to adapt.

So it will go back to practice how you play.

Shot Shot


Hello PHSC_Jono,

Yourself and Red Leg are both spot on (as usual) and I totally agree, especially your last line about practice.

I would however like to submit my experiences with extremely close range shooting and maybe it will be of some use.

If it's not useful to anyone here, that's ok too, it still works very well for me.

When I was a Police Officer, all non-administrative members of the swat unit cross-trained to become familiar with each other's weapons and tactics.

The snipers showed us with their bolt actioned .308s and Leupold 4.5 to 14x mil-dot scopes, (too much magnification to focus at "bayonet range") that when you look down the off side of your barrel, you can learn to hit small moving targets quickly and reliably, as long as the distance is not too many yards out there (that's where you just look through your scope anyway).

When shooting right handed, you look down the left side of your barrel (and the opposite for left handed shooting).

I was pretty proud of myself in this regard because I had stumbled onto this method, back in my late teens, while hunting vermin in California and Nevada, with a 6mm and 6 to 18x Redfield scope, back in 1972 or 73 and then about 10 years later, I swiftly took to it again in training, like a duck to water.

We were supposed to shoot with both eyes open for this tactic (and other tactics/equipment as well) but I was never comfortable with that and I definitely shoot best with my off-side eye closed.

In other words, I never "point and slap", I always take precise aim at whatever I want to hit, ("Sgt York style") even when shooting grouse with a shotgun, I just do so very, very fast.

That huge old Redfield was the first rifle scope I ever owned and I learned very much from it (such as;
To this day I do not like large/variable power scopes on my rifles.)

Today, I much prefer a non-variable 4x or even less, for anything above rodents and small predators (foxes, coyotes, feral cats, etc.), but as you described, even a lowly 4x will not focus at extremely close range.

For that, looking down the left side of the barrel with the right eye works well for me.

"Practice, practice, practice and then practice some more."

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 
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colorado

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I've been "jump shooting" elk in the black timber for about 40 years. Most shots are inside of 25 yards with the elk running full tilt. I've always used a scope elk hunting. I now have Leupold 1.5-5x scopes on my 270 Weatherby and 500 Jeffery. I find I never use more than 4x hunting and it's so quick at 1.5x to pick up game at close quarters. That being said, I have Tally QR rings on my 500 Jeffery and try and practice at least once a month with open sights.
 

Velo Dog

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I've been "jump shooting" elk in the black timber for about 40 years. Most shots are inside of 25 yards with the elk running full tilt. I've always used a scope elk hunting. I now have Leupold 1.5-5x scopes on my 270 Weatherby and 500 Jeffery. I find I never use more than 4x hunting and it's so quick at 1.5x to pick up game at close quarters. That being said, I have Tally QR rings on my 500 Jeffery and try and practice at least once a month with open sights.

Colorado,

You describe a subject that interests me .. scope magnification for big game.

Here in the States, it appears there is a trend for hunters to buy over-powered scopes for big game.

As variable power scopes go, the one you describe seems to me is about the best for big game hunting.

Set low, it's fast at close range and if game is spotted on the other side of a canyon or across an open meadow, it can be cranked up tp 5x.

If a hunter cannot put a bullet into the vitals of a deer/antelope at 350 yds, from a steady rest with a 5x scope and typical bottle neck cartridge of today (7mm, .30-06, even the .375) he or she has not practiced enough with it.

I definitely believe there is a place for low power variable scopes, specifically hunting in close cover / thick brush / deep forest.

If I could bring myself to remember to always have a variable set where it belongs for whatever conditions I encounter, as I encounter them, I would probably use the same scope you described.

Variable power scopes are very tough these days and I have total confidence in their reliability but, it is me that is erratic with my attention span issues, forgetfulness and wackinesss.

I'm better off with: "The fewer moving parts the better."

My favorite PH swears by the Zeiss 3 to 9x by 42 mm rifle scope as the very best PG sight ever devised but he can remember to set it according to conditions.

He is an incredibly successful hunter and uncanny good rifle shot.

So, just like it is for yourself, the variable power scope is a perfect piece of equipment for him and many others around the world apparently.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 

Red Leg

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+1 Velo and Colorado. In most cases, hunting big game, I think the real value of a scope is target definition. I tend to use variables, but I like those that start at 1.5x. For deer and PG, I usually keep the things set at 4x, and I would have to think a long time before I came up with a personal experience where I cranked it up while preparing to shoot.
 

Jono Joseph

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We shot a big bore competition again this weekend with BASA ( big bore association of SA) and must just let you in on something i found interesting.

When shooting at targets that have small (palm size) "bulls eyes" and they are not clear a scope gives you a bit of an edge if you can use it properly where as the open sight your aiming in the general ( close as possible ) area.

Just some food for though

shot shot
 

Jimbob

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Great thread. I agree with all the advice. Especially the "practice, practice, practice" ethos.
I personally like open sights or low mag scopes for precision. I shoot bunnies up to and sometimes over 100 yards with my 4x32 with my .22. My mate just got a .22 and his is a 6-24x50!!
Each to there own, as has been said, I do think new shooters do buy too big.
 

Jono Joseph

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That is true Jimbob and the same must be said if your shooting light calibers aswell.
I suppose the big magnification works but in close tight situations with Dangerous game you want more along the line of open sight or low magnifiaction scopes.

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Jimbob

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If you're controlling pests at range or hunting goats in the hills the big scope thing is a practical addition.
But deer or plains game up to 150 yards, 6x is all I feel I need. Atleast, would feel it's all I need when I finally get t Africa.
I reckon open sights are fine to 100 or so to be honest.
 

Jono Joseph

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The 100 yard / meter shot with open sights i would not suggest to my clients i always try to get them in real close.
this makes the hunt way way way more exiting and the shot placement a bit better as you can aim at a smaller target as opposed to just aiming at the general area.

from the bow hunting world i must say one saying has shoot.
Aim small miss small .... thy this out it works for me.

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Jimbob

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I agree there mate. Getting close is the fun bit.
With the right rifle and sights I do under 3 inch groups from field positions at 100 yards. So I'm good with that.
But closer is always better :)
 

Jono Joseph

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Jimbob that is really good you must priactice alot
not everybody can do that nice work.

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Jono Joseph

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I agree there mate. Getting close is the fun bit.
With the right rifle and sights I do under 3 inch groups from field positions at 100 yards. So I'm good with that.
But closer is always better :)
Quick one what caliber do you use here?
 

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