Who here likes Iron sited rifle's??


April 24, 2007, 12:32 PM
Got a question for all of you.....until recently I've always had scopes on my rifles, and regarded them as the only real way to get good accuracy, and also the only real choice for hunting. Then one a whim I bought a SKINNER receiver sight ,and a Williams fiber optic front sight for my Marlin Lever. I liked it alot.....I find I can pickup on targets much faster, and since it has a a smaller aperature than ghost rings...I still get acceptable accuracy. I liked it so much infact that I bought a set of Williams FireSights for my 22 rifle, and ditched the scope. Strangely, I'm having more fun now:D .......

My question is, am I just deluding myself...or are there real practical applications for Iron sites. How many of you like them more then scopes, and why.

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April 24, 2007, 12:47 PM
il long prefered iron sites over any kind of glass. basicly to me, magnification is only needed for hunting or target past 150 yards.

but im young and have good eyes. i imagine as i age my opinion will change

April 24, 2007, 12:49 PM
Lot of firearms, I very much prefer iron sights. For instance, I can't imagine putting a scope on my Martini .22.

For hunting or some other uses, a red dot or some other type of optical sight can be a very good thing.

April 24, 2007, 12:56 PM
I like scopes on .22s and Irons for everything else.

April 24, 2007, 01:02 PM
Whenever possible, I prefer a good set of peep or ghost ring sights.

Essex County
April 24, 2007, 01:07 PM
Most of my centerfires are scoped, except for mil-surps. I grew up on reciever sights and I still hold them in high regard. I'm thinking of a used Savage 110, with a Williams Foolproof as a foul weather gun. I don't need it, but I'm seriously considerating one for no logical reason. Essex

April 24, 2007, 01:14 PM
red dots for hunting are quite amazing really, especially where I go where light is blocked out by trees and with the exception of hand-cut firing lanes the longest shot you can hope for is maybe 30 yards of semi-dense brush but overall acceptable visibility.

red dot makes squirrel hunting a breeze, but ironsights work too if you can see em.

April 24, 2007, 01:27 PM
I like the iron sights for simplicity, and because they require more human skill. My son and I do not hunt, but we shoot targets often. Using an iron sight gives us reasons for bragging and complaining to one another during the shooting :)

Scopes would be great if we were shooting to put meat on the table. Alas, that is not the case here. At this point I would rather have another firearm to shoot than to spend it on a scope for one I already own. As times goes things may change:)

April 24, 2007, 01:31 PM
One of the main reasons I went with the 3rd generation scope mount on my M1A was to use the Iron sights

April 24, 2007, 01:35 PM
I've got six rifles and a scope on only one of them - a .22

Then again, I only punch paper with my rifles. The one carbine I use for HD/SHTF, I can reliably hit COM beyond 200 yards, so that's good enough for me. I might stick a red-dot sight on it later on. If I decide to get another heavy barrel bolt gun, then I'll invest in some quality glass.

April 24, 2007, 02:23 PM
I am inept when it comes to scopes. I can never get them sighted in, and I consider them fragile.

Every one of my rifles and shotguns has iron sights. I pretty much will not buy a weapon unless it has iron sights of some type. I prefer a peep sights, but sometimes, with weapons like a Mosin, that is not possible. In which case I prefer the tangent or ladder style sights.

My 10/22 is the only rifle with aftermarket irons, and it has a set of Techsights on it, which I love.

April 24, 2007, 03:08 PM
I have one rifle with a scope and that is a K31. I have one semi-auto that still needs a scope. Other than that, all my rifles have iron sights. I grew up using iron sights for the most part. I am not a big hunter. I find that with lever guns and .22 rifles, scopes just get in the way and make it less handy for carrying around the woods. We usually shoot cans or sticks in the creek though. Never did much target shooting with .22 rifles.

My Dad is retired now and he is finding scopes more useful. He has a .17 HMR with a big scope that he enjoys shooting. I'll probably be there one of these days.

April 24, 2007, 04:39 PM
I prefer peep sights on my rifles and sometimes ghost rings over anything else. I have funky eyes so sometimes I have problems with the odd notched open sights. I rarely do any shooting with a scope, though I did put one on a Marlin 60 for a rodent exterminator to keep them out of my garden.

I shot peep sights from anywhere from 50 yards to 600 yards without much problems.

April 24, 2007, 04:51 PM
I would never scope a lever action. IMHO, 98% of the time I dont need a scope for the distances that I would use one for. My short AR would never be scoped either. Maybe an EOTECH or something, but not a scope. I like having a scope on my bolt action and on my Grendel. They are typically used at longet ranges, and thus should wear a scope.

April 24, 2007, 06:16 PM
My M-1 Garand gets Iron, everything else Including the .357 Rem. Maximum canon Breach single shot pistol gets glass. Oh ! I forgot about the Ruger MK IIGov. It's got LASER ! (YA it's not a rifle)

April 24, 2007, 06:26 PM
I've hated scopes ever since I missed a deer because of one. It was a huge buck (aren't they always?), about fifteen yards away in heavy cover, right at dusk. I just could not find him through the scope, lifted my head for a better view, and spooked him.

That one got away, and I've hunted with iron sights ever since.

Mike U.
April 24, 2007, 07:10 PM
I liked iron sights till I hit 40. Then middle age sight kicked in and the ol' iron sight became a blurry bump on the barrel. Thank God for scopes and red dots!

April 24, 2007, 07:14 PM
i like iron sights. however i prefer the peep sights over the v notch

April 24, 2007, 07:39 PM
^5 for the "iron sighters".... scopes are great for paper punching and LONG distance..... but.... Getting a view of the surroundings can be very adventageous when hunting.

April 24, 2007, 07:46 PM
I have six longarms with a scope on one. Marlin925 .22lr

Learned with irons, prefer the irons. Like getting it done, with the irons. ;)

April 24, 2007, 07:52 PM
I like all firearms...

But a shooter with an optic is at a distinct advantage vs. someone without one, as a general rule.

April 24, 2007, 08:07 PM
Love my Irons on my Marlin , I have 3 Marlin 45-70s two have WWG ghost rings, with a firesite on the front, and one with a tang sight .
I did shoot two deer last season at 120 yards , with my 1895 guide gun and open sights, one in the ear and one in the neck .
Scoped rifles are great for those really long shots , but I do like open sites for some what close or dangerous critters.
They are fast to acquire and take a lot more abuse than optics, IMHO.

April 24, 2007, 08:08 PM
But a shooter with an optic is at a distinct advantage vs. someone without one, as a general rule.

Yep! Until the optic breaks when you need it the most. I like scopes, but I practice alot with irons to stay sharp.

sigma 40ve
April 24, 2007, 08:54 PM
I prefer irons, however, the ole eyes aren't what they used to be--bifocals--, optics or dots for me now.

April 24, 2007, 09:04 PM
+1 for practicing with iron sights!

But then there is nothing wrong with optics.

The best idea is a firearm that will handle both at the same time.

That being said, I really prefer shooting irons.

April 24, 2007, 09:05 PM
I like iron sights. I think it's mostly because I am a cheap bast###. $200+ for a scope is OK for the rifle I use for deer at dusk, but seems like overkill for all the other hunting, target practice and shooting competitions I do.

Brian Williams
April 24, 2007, 09:10 PM
I have scopes on my Bolt actions and peeps on my lever guns.

April 24, 2007, 09:33 PM
I've only got two rifles, both mil surp bolt guns, and no scopes. I enjoy the challenge of improving my accuracy shooting them with iron sights.

However, when I do buy my first scoped rifle, I'll enjoy the challenge of hitting targets farther away...

April 24, 2007, 09:45 PM
I'm not a big fan of iron sights. A ghost ring can be fun for variety's sake but for serious shooting there's really no contest.

The usual cons given for optical sights - big, heavy, fragile, slow to acquire target - mostly come about from using the wrong scope. A 4-12x50, usually set on 12 because it makes the deer bigger is all of those things. A proper general purpose scope is something like 1.5-5x20 set to 2.5 power at the highest. Which is, not coincidentally, the same basic idea as the Trijicons they're using in the sandbox. It's what works best.

April 24, 2007, 10:41 PM
I have been spoiled by the irons on my NM M1 and DCM AR. I find it easier and more practical to adjust peeps quickly for wind and distance. If your eyes are good either rifle can easily put 5 rounds into a 8" circle at 400 yards. I have the XS ghost rings on my 336 lever gun, I think this set up is second only to a red dot for getting on target quick under 150yds, but keeps the gun light and compact. I do have leupold glass on my 10FP 308, but I target shoot off of a bipod or rest up to 800yds and just can't see that far. I think the biggest problem most people have with scopes is that they do take skill to use well. I have seen a lot of people get frusturated with irons, and bolt on a scope, only to have to use a whole box of ammo to sight it in anytime distance changes. Either system requires you to estimate distance and both have unique challenges and rewards. Iron sights take an artistic eye for balance that some people just dont have, but normally military style sights have a built in range adjustment that helps imensely. To use a scope well you have to be able to calculate trajectory and wind drift adjustments. I am fairly decent with mil dots, and have a chart that I came up with for my target load to adjust based on a 200yd zero I keep on the side of the stock.

April 24, 2007, 10:52 PM
I am reluctant to purchase any rifle, and especially a hunting rifle, without iron sights. Imagine that you have driven over 2,000 miles to hunt ram. As you unpack the gear, the friend who you have invited opens the gate of the mini van and spills your expensive, scoped Weatherby Mark V onto the concrete...it lands scope first (albeit in the soft case). Are you screwed? Well, the proof is in the pudding. Fortunately, the dual dovetail Leupold rings and bases held the 3.5-10X40 Vari-X III in place...didn't even shift the zero (shocker). Too, I brought a spare Weatherby rifle. But, that is not always possible. A good set of iron sights is like hunting insurance policy. Probably never have to use them, but you could. If they aren't there? In today’s high-tech era, I would seeks a set of Tritium sights.

April 25, 2007, 04:35 AM
I purchased a Burris scope for my AR. Put it on, sighted it in, and decided I didn't like optics on my AR. Sold the scope and went back to irons for my AR. What can I say, I was trained on the AR in the service with irons and that is what feels most familiar to me.

April 25, 2007, 05:59 AM
I'm a big fan of peeps for hunting and plinking.....nothing better than a 52 Sporter with open sights.


April 25, 2007, 06:13 AM
My K-31, Nylon 66 and Winchester 94 all have irons...and I shoot them better standing off hand...terrible with them on a bench sandbagged. :)

Opposite with most of my bolt rifles except my 308 Mauser. I shoot good with it bench or off hand.

Needless to say...next few years will see me working some brush up in the Piney Woods with the 94 and carrying my 30-30 TC as a backup. :)


April 25, 2007, 08:52 AM
Both of my Marlins are equipped with XS Ghost Ring sights. My Enfield No4Mk1 has the original sights. The only rifle I own that has a scope mounted is my CZ550FS in .30-06. It wears a nice Leupold 1-4X with a small reticle. Overall I prefer aperture sights but must admit a good scope helps with sighting at ranges of 100+ yards and especially in low light conditions.

However, I wish I could find a way to mount a ghost ring on my CZ. The factory irons are okay for a backup to the scope, but I much prefer an aperture sight over the standard open sights.

Zach S
April 25, 2007, 09:39 AM
I like 'em. I put off buying any optic for my AR for quite a while, and if I didnt see the EOTech tagged for what I had in an old Springer that sat collecting dust (HD pistol), and got a straight up trade, I'd probably still just have the A1 carry handle an the AR, and the springer beside the bed.

Oddly enough, the EOTech rarely comes on. I normally practice with irons, the rear sight is simply a fixed A1 BUIS. Dont wanna get spoiled. Besides, I still havent got a mount for my EOTech, therefore the irons kinda block it anyway.

Now that I have my grandfather's 10-22, I may put some glass on mine. Or on his, havent decided. But I'm not in a big hurry anyway.

FWIW, I dont hunt anything.

April 25, 2007, 10:17 AM
I've got scoped bolt guns, you'd be hard pressed to hit a prairie dog at any distance without one. My EBR's are iron sighted... I can reliably hit minute of bad guy out to any range I could imagine needing with them. I thoroughly enjoy shooting both. I have no pistols that have any kind of fancy optics... always seemed kinda silly looking to me.

April 25, 2007, 01:10 PM
Like Doc2005, I prefer iron sites and scopes on most of my hunting rifles. On three of them I've gone to QD rings. A Rem700 300RUM, Pre 64 .270 and Rem 700 .416. For whatever reason, I can get rid of the scope and rings fairly easy in the field.

April 25, 2007, 01:45 PM
Only on militaria! All other rifles are scope. No reason not to. the advantge is just too great!

(OK, also not on levers or other "period' guns)

PAC 762
April 25, 2007, 08:35 PM
For fun shooting, I like iron sights on rifles with a long sight radius. I get frustrated trying to squeeze accuracy out of rifles with short sight radiuses and sloppy sights.

For serious applications, I'll take glass with iron's for backup.

April 25, 2007, 09:01 PM
Though I'm 15, my eyesight hasn't been that good.:scrutiny: I can't shoot well without optics, but I'll see if that changes when I get a hold of the peep sights on the new M1A and M1 Garand. My guess is the peeps will help a bit, but I have a hard time with open sights.

And some more range time would help.

April 25, 2007, 11:39 PM
my buddy has converedt meto an iron lover...not that I'll thorw all my glass away especially on my 223 but anyway I like them alot now

April 26, 2007, 03:55 AM
Rem, now you did it, showed off not 1 but 2 52's. Some people.

It depends on the rifle and it's uses. I have 3 service rifles used for match shooting in 1 form or another. They have IRONS and I shoot out to 600 yards every chance I get.

If I'm hunting, well I use glass. I buy good glass too. If it don't start with a "L", I don't want it. My 22 target pistols have dots on them.

April 26, 2007, 05:52 AM
Shooting a 4-5 inch diameter target at 100 yds with iron sights is a real challenge compared to using glass.

I also can't stand those "see-through" scope mounts that allow you to use the irons as a "back-up". All they do is spoil your cheek weld on the stock, and if you try to use the irons you'll poke your eye out on the recoil. IMNSHO the guys who use those mounts on their deer rifles never actually practice with the iron sights anyway, totally negating the "feature".

April 26, 2007, 06:18 AM
In this order 1 being the most preferred:

1. Forward mounted optics.
2. Iron Sights.
3. Traditional scope mounting above reciever.

Dr. Dickie
April 26, 2007, 06:32 AM
I have 13 rifles, and none have scopes. Iron sights all the way:D
I don't hunt, what can I say (cardboard doesn't move around as much:neener: )

April 26, 2007, 09:54 AM
I've never owned a scope until recently. Of course I have only recently gotten back into shooting and hunting and found my eyes have changed along with my years and waistline.:)

Traditionally I have preferred iron sights. Open or peeps were really fine, and still at moderate distances of under 100 yds or in wooded areas I like open iron sights for the quickness. Even when using a scope I tend to keep the magnification turned way down for all except long hunting shots or when shooting paper.

April 26, 2007, 11:12 AM
[are there real practical applications for Iron sites.]

Well, literally hundreds of formal target shooters, including Olympians, can't be wrong! :)

Not to mention that they won't be fogging-up, anytime soon, from snow/rain/bodyheat.

Their dedicated use also reduces the rifle's carrying weight by anywhere from 1/2lb (7oz) to over 1 1/2lbs, depending on scope size, etc., that they replaced.

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