Iron sight at 100 yards?


August 5, 2007, 08:44 PM
So I was at the range and decided to try my SKS out at 100 yards open sights. I kept all but one shot within the biggest circle (Maybe 18"). They were spread pretty far but I managed to keep them pretty well contained. This was the first time I had ever tried shooting my SKS that far with open sights. I am not that great of a shot with open sights (bad eye's) and i started to wonder, What is good shooting for iron sights at 100 yards (Yes I know all in the bulls eye would be ideal but realistically)? I am sure many of you guys are shooting WAY better than I ever could but whats the average/good for a mid-sized caliber like 7.62x39?

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August 5, 2007, 08:49 PM
With an average SKS and average ammo 4-8in would be about the best I could hope to do. You need more practice, but getting them on the paper is an excellent start.

My little bro (grunt) taught me how to use irons well on long distances, it is something that I never would have mastered without a good instructor.

August 5, 2007, 08:58 PM
You would be surprised at how well you can shoot with iron sights, and especially a peep/aperture type sight. Even the standard military/hunting leaf type sight isnt all that bad if your used to them.

The AK's/SKS's have a bad rap for being inaccurate. I'm guessing its mostly due to how they are being shot, and not a fault of the gun. With a good lot of ammo, 3" at 100 yards is a very reasonable expectation, and my lowly SAR has shot 3-4" groups at 200 yards from a rest. My Russian SKS actually shoots a little tighter than my AK's at 100 yards.

As with anything, practice makes (almost) perfect. Load up on ammo and have at it, the more you shoot, the better you get. Start off close and move the target back as you improve.

August 5, 2007, 09:04 PM
The original SKS sights aren't the best. I upgraded a few of mine to Tech-Sights ( rear aperture and it made a huge improvement. On the best shooter (oddly, a 16" Norinco Para), I also tried their narrower front sight post and I can get it down to 2-3" with Russian Barnual. Most of my SKS do about 4-6" though.

Aside from better sights, here's a few tricks that might help:

Try a smaller target. I use an SR-1 target reduced to 100 yards, which gives me a 6" black. You can find a printable 100 yard SR-1 here:

Use a 6 o'clock hold. Put the tip of the sight blade right under the black of the target (sometimes called pumpkin on a fencepost for the way your sight picture appears). That allows you a better point of reference than the tip of a black sight post on the center of the black target.

August 5, 2007, 09:09 PM
One big thing that will help when using iron sights is a consistent sight picture. Iron sights don't give you crosshairs to index on, so you have to pick something in your sight picture to align them consistently. Consistent sight alignment, breath control, and trigger control are the keys. Your point of aim can be off slightly and if your sight alignment is correct, you'll get good results. If your sight alignment is off from one shot to the next, your groups will get worse quickly as distance increases.

Peter M. Eick
August 5, 2007, 09:12 PM

Here is 50 shots off the bench with the notoriously inaccurate 94 with irons.

Here is 100 rounds off the bench at 100 yards with another rifle that is not known for its accuracy.

Shooting with irons is an acquired skill that must be honed and practiced.

Even a decent M1A will do pretty good at 100 yrds (50 shots off the bench).

My advice. Get back out there and try again and really practice. Call your shots. Reset the gun to the exact same spot on the bench after each shot. Take your time. Think about your shooting. Work on your technique and then let us know how your are doing.

August 5, 2007, 09:18 PM
Blah. Anybody can shoot off a bench. Take ya a foam pad to lay on and shoot from the prone position. After you master the position it's darn near as stable as a bench and you'll have the nice feeling of doing something that very few others do.

August 5, 2007, 09:21 PM

Federal Pow-R-Crappola SP

August 5, 2007, 10:43 PM
Well, with my Mosin Nagant and new production 180 grn ammo, I could easily hold a two inch group with iron sights from a prone position, resting on a bag.

And that is with a rifle that is not particuarly pleasant to shoot. I prefer to do most of my shooting with .22s- nice and quiet, and far less recoil...

August 5, 2007, 11:04 PM
Many years ago I did 2 inch groups consistently with my HB SAR-48, rested of course. Lack of eyes now says it's time to scope. I'm eager to see what it's really capable of.

August 5, 2007, 11:06 PM
What is good shooting for iron sights at 100 yards (Yes I know all in the bulls eye would be ideal but realistically)?

It depends a lot on the platform and even more on the irons in question. SKS and AK-47 sights tend to be pretty crude affairs, and accuracy isn't a strong point. But with the Schmidt-Rubin K1911 I was shooting today, the right irons can easily deliver MOA groups. Even with a big aperture I was getting 2" groups at 100 off a wood block rest.

Anybody can shoot off a bench. Take ya a foam pad to lay on and shoot from the prone position. After you master the position it's darn near as stable as a bench and you'll have the nice feeling of doing something that very few others do.

I agree prone is a good position to learn, but it's not really any more difficult than a bench. Esp. if you use a FOAM PAD. Real men go right down on the sharp rocks!

August 6, 2007, 12:19 AM
Posted by SnakeEater: Blah. Anybody can shoot off a bench. Take ya a foam pad to lay on and shoot from the prone position. After you master the position it's darn near as stable as a bench and you'll have the nice feeling of doing something that very few others do.

Pfft. Foam pad. Must be Air Farce... :neener:

General Geoff
August 6, 2007, 12:22 AM
Expected groups at 100 yards depends more on shooting position/support than rifle or caliber. Ideal would probably be a bipod in prone position; sitting, kneeling or prone with a sling is the next best thing. Standing with or without sling is probably the worst in terms of getting tight groups.

August 6, 2007, 03:54 AM
I would say, that if you are a decent shot, doin an 7 or 8 inch group at 100 yards is fine. But if your rifle is capable, you should try to cut that down to 4 or 5 inch groups, which is hunting accurate, and also acceptable for accuracy, in most standing militaries around the world.

August 6, 2007, 04:00 AM
4-5 inches is good for off hand. A good rifle should be able to shoot better than that from the bench with iron sights.

August 6, 2007, 05:28 AM
One thing that is overlooked, especially in the milsurp rifles, is to give that bore a good cleaning.

I got a Nork AK folder from a friend at a steal of a price. It held about minute of sheet-of-paper at 50 yards, if I was lucky.

I then mounted a dot sight. Accuracy was better, but still nothing to really crow about. Then, it hit me--what would happen with a really good cleaning?

I spent about two hours cleaning the rifle--most of that was running Sweet's through the bore. You wouldn't BELIEVE the gunk and garbage that came from that bore!!! I was pulling out blue tinted patches for a long time. And, not just a few streaks--I mean the whole patch was dyed a dark, evil blue from the copper fouling.

After getting the bore clean, I went through it with a patch of JB Bore Cleaner, and JB Bore Bright. The bore by that time was pristine.

20 rounds off the bench with that AK went into about 3 inches at 100 yards--which is excellent considering the loooooooong trigger pull and the fact that the dot subtended 4 inches @ 100 yards.

So, clean that bore! You might be pleasantly surprised.

August 6, 2007, 12:20 PM
A totally worn out Romanian GP (regular army) 1964 vintage at 100 yrds kneeling useing sling as support with over the counter Wolf military classic, the target isn't a B27 its a B24 50 foot pistol target. groups are each 20 rnds as fast as I could squeeze the trigger it was part of a demonstration for the Pima county AZ Sheriffs dept. as they had several officers who just wouldn't use proper cover at extended ranges as they felt they were safe from a civilian suspect armed with a handgun or an AK etc... yea no kidding many felt if the suspect had a bolt gun or an AR then more care should be taken than if he was armed with a lowly AK!!! ALL of em changed their point of view by the end of the day, the 100 yard hits with an XD .40 tactical exploding 1 gallon water jugs really got their attention.... most where under the misconception that a handguns max range was 50 yards!!! The concensous at the end of the day was its more important WHO is behind the gun and not what kinda gun it is..........

August 6, 2007, 12:32 PM
Supposedly, Finnish Sniper Simo Hayha used iron sights exclusively. Heres an excerpt from his wikipedia entry:
The unofficial Finnish frontline figure from the battlefield of Kollaa places the number of Häyhä's sniper kills at 542. A daily account of the kills at Kollaa was conducted for the Finnish snipers. Häyhä used a Finnish variant, M28, of the Soviet Mosin-Nagant rifle (known as "Pystykorva" rifle), because it suited his small frame (5 ft/1.52 m). He preferred to use iron sights rather than telescopic sights to present a smaller target (the sniper must raise their head higher when using telescopic sights) and aid concealment (sun reflecting off telescopic sight lenses can reveal a sniper's position).

August 6, 2007, 12:46 PM
With iron sights I would suggest in practicing the effective use of a sling to maximize accuracy. Once you are comfortable with forming the stable triangle snugly, rifle - forearm - bicep, then practice breathing.

Deep beath in (sight picture goes up), deep exhale, (sight picture goes down), deep breath in, exhale, hold, aim, squeeze. Don't hold your breath or you will start to bounce up and down as you blood pulses. You should have between 5-10 secionds to frame, sight and fire. Just don't rush....8-)

You will be suprised how effective mastering these two will be not just for iron sights but optics, bench etc.

August 6, 2007, 01:07 PM
Here's a tip. NPOA--Natural Point of Aim. Master that and you're getting somewhere.

August 6, 2007, 04:37 PM
I've managed about 1.5MOA with my Garand, and with the M1 Carbine, I can get entire magazines into a space about 1" wide and 2" tall--kinda hard to tell MOA on that one.....

Meanwhile, my SKS is about 2MOA@100, and about 8" at 300.

August 6, 2007, 04:46 PM
With your typical SKS 4-8 inches at a 100 yards tend to be okayish. You can narrow this down substantially by bedding the rifle though. Theres quite a bit of movement in there that destroys accuracy. You can also have the trigger group fixed up and use better ammo and you can knock the SKS down to 2 inches. Some people have gone as far to get a sub moa so under an inch at a 100 yards.

Some of course are rather shot out and will never be accurate.

Peter M. Eick
August 6, 2007, 06:09 PM
Off the bench to the dirt and go prone?????

You have got to be kidding!

Lets see, you can lay in the fire ants, try to stay afloat in the recent floods or deal with all of the grass that has not been mowed.

Nope, I am too old for prone in Houston. Maybe back in West Texas, but Houston it is off the bench!

August 6, 2007, 07:00 PM
I feel the same way about the sharp rocks at my range. You really never know how good a prone rest is going to be in the wild. Plus I never seem to have enough time to get down and settled when hunting. Sometimes I'm in a little dip so if I were to go all the way down I'd be staring at weeds or the side of an earthen rise.

I'm trying to get better at the kneeling position. Before my next ride out to the range I'm hoping to make an old fashioned gun stick to support the weight. I'll bet with some practice a person could get pretty good at that. IIRC that was the favorite stance for popping off buffalo.

August 6, 2007, 07:52 PM
I'm a firm believer in field positions over shooting off a bench for 99% of shooting. If your in any kind of reasonable shape, its not an issue, and the results are not really any different.

I actually shoot better from prone than I do from a bench,as I find it more comfortable. Cross legged sitting is the next most stable, and also very quick to acquire. Offhand is probably the least practiced and most needed.

It amazes me at how many people cant shoot unless they do have a bench, and still consider themselves good shots. Maybe this is why so many outfitters get frustrated. :)

Peter M. Eick
August 6, 2007, 09:27 PM
Field positions are only useful if you go to the field.

Some of us don't hunt very often and basically are range bound shooters. Why practice something we would not do?

I do agree though. When I am not benching it, I tend to sit and kneel more then anything else. Mostly it depends on how high the grass is!

August 6, 2007, 09:58 PM
I've been able to keep more than half of my shots in the 4MOA of the 4/8MOA targets with my Mosin (using el cheapo surplus) I am using a Mojo sight, though.

I'm looking forward to trying out some Wolf gold next time at the range and see what it can do with better ammo.

August 6, 2007, 10:27 PM
Accuracy depends way more on the ammo/rifle/shooter interface than whether or not you have irons or a scope, IMO. Of course, this is all based purely on whether or not you can see your target. (Read: I'm not about to say you should be able to hit a 1-MOA target with irons if you can't see said target.)

With an SKS and issued-sights and cheapo ammo, I'd be pretty happy around 3" or so at 100 yards, prone or bench-rested. Offhand, I'd hope to keep them confined to more like a 10" circle or so, or something about the size of a pie-plate.

Actually, if you can hit a pie-plate at 100-yards consistently with an iron-sighted rifle, from any position, then I'd say you're doing better than 3/4 of the rifle-shooters I know.

August 7, 2007, 09:51 PM

This is what I did today at 50 yards with the SKS

I hope to be able to do this at 100 yards soon

The Deer Hunter
August 7, 2007, 10:02 PM
With a rudimentary rest and my poor iron sight skills, my M44 was getting like 18" groups at 100 yards.

18" group=minute of man, which is ideal for a mosin or an sks.

August 7, 2007, 11:59 PM
I can get 3 inch groups at 100yds with my 7.62x39 cz carbine and russian ammo and I have old eyes. At 50 yds 1 inch. That's plenty good enough for me so since I love the rifle's compactness I'm holding off scoping it.

August 8, 2007, 12:07 AM
I've done 1.5" with my Schmidt Rubin.

August 8, 2007, 01:42 AM
A 6" group, with irons, at 100 yards should be the absolute minimum with an SKS, iron sights. 4" is really the goal, but 6" is very obtainable. Shooting the SKS out to 300 yards, with a pattern of 12-14" is well within the capability of the rifle, if in good shape.

For folks that are looking for a way/place to learn the skills required to be able to use iron sighted rifles, in field positions, consider an Appleseed shoot

Here is some of the stuff that you will learn, for just $70 for two full days of quality instruction:

6 Steps to firing a good shot
Natural Point of Aim
Proper field positions
Proper use of shooting slings
How to evaluate and correct your mistakes
Bullet trajectory
Sight Adjustments
Plus a bunch more that I can not recall off the top of my head.

You will find that you will see a VAST improvement in YOUR skills, this is not a test of equipment, but a clinic on improving YOUR skills.

Feel free to PM me if you would like more info.

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