Why no iron sights on bolt action?


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slvrbulit12
January 3, 2010, 12:36 AM
I am looking to buy my first centerfire bolt action rifle and while looking I see that the majority of the bolt actions have no iron sights. Is it a weight reduction thing? Do they hinder the ability to use a scope? Seems to me they may be necessary if the scope does fail.

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vicdotcom
January 3, 2010, 12:40 AM
Personally, I feel that it is because of 2 things but are kind of related. One is that most people are going towards scopes anyways and two it is a cost saving measure.

I love iron sights.

R.W.Dale
January 3, 2010, 12:43 AM
It's just something folks don't feel neccacary these days


Myself included to an extent in that I prefer to not have irons on a rifle I intend to scope anyway

Arkel23
January 3, 2010, 12:43 AM
I was going to get iron sights installed on my new gun, but when I got the price I decided a scope would be better!

RobMoore
January 3, 2010, 12:47 AM
I doubt many bolt-gun customers actually NEED back-up iron sights. If you're shooting with a scoped bolt-action, shouldn't you be far enough away from what you're shooting to not need instant access to iron sights?

The number of scope rings that allow the use of irons are also very few.

Many bolt-guns come smooth because that is what most customers want, and need.

ArmedBear
January 3, 2010, 12:57 AM
Several reasons...

1. Reliable scopes. If you destroy a quality modern scope, you've probably done more damage than that to the rifle. Scopes used to be a lot more fragile, prone to fogging up, etc.

2. Variable scopes. Once upon a time, swing-away mounts were readily available, so you could use irons when magnification was not desirable. I'm reading an old Elmer Keith book that shows them. Now, you can just buy a 2-7x scope, and you don't need to use irons for closer shots.

3. Good QD mounts. If you REALLY think you need a backup for your scope, you can get another scope, sight it in, and stash it in your backpack -- but again, see #1.

4. Stock design. Good modern rifles are designed with straighter, higher combs so that you get a good cheek weld with a scope. You don't want a rifle that doesn't fit right with a scope, if that's what you primarily use -- and a high-comb stock generally doesn't work with irons that are low enough for optimal scope mounting.

5. Cost. Given all of the above, people don't want to pay for irons they won't use, instead of, say, a better trigger. If you look at old rifles with scopes, it seems that a good half of them had their rear sights removed and replaced with a blank dovetail filler.

skiking
January 3, 2010, 12:59 AM
While I wouldn't hesitate buying a bolt gun with irons if I liked it, I wouldn't pay extra if it increased the price of a gun. I don't really see the need for backup irons because if my scope fails, it is probably due to a hard fall in which I will want to confirm that my gun is still zeroed with irons, which at that point, it would probably be easier to kype a scope off a gun that I have in my Jeep and shoot 3-4 shots to zero it.

ArmedBear
January 3, 2010, 01:02 AM
BTW here's an example of an old Model 70 with an iron-sight stock. Note that the rear sight has been replaced with a blank. See how low the stock comb is on the old version? There's no way you can get a good cheek weld with that scope.

http://www.gricegunshop.com/auction/Auction%20Pics%2009-22-07/WinModel70Pre64try.jpg

Here's the newest rendition of the Model 70. Note how much higher the comb is? It fits with a scope much better, but your face can't get low enough to use irons. So why have them?:)

http://www.armsandammunitions.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/winchester-model-70.jpg

slvrbulit12
January 3, 2010, 01:08 AM
Thanks for the quick response and info guys. I was looking at the Savage rifles that have iron sights and are ready for scope rings. I just like the idea of being able to use the rifle until I can afford a quality scope for it but don't want to regret getting the irons if they will pose any problems.

ArmedBear
January 3, 2010, 01:12 AM
I just like the idea of being able to use the rifle until I can afford a quality scope for it but don't want to regret getting the irons if they will pose any problems.

It's all about the way the gun fits. The only real reason you might regret getting a gun that fits perfectly with irons is that it won't fit all that well with a scope. Some stocks are more of a compromise than the two I posted above -- but I'd give it some thought when you buy a gun. Shoulder it, and get a solid cheek weld. Where do your eyes naturally look down the barrel? Right on the irons, or an inch higher, where a scope would be?

Avenger29
January 3, 2010, 01:15 AM
Irons are mainly disappearing because the popularity of optics. It's a good thing that optics have become pretty durable.

Extremely durable and reliable optics such as the Aimpoint lineup fufill the role of irons, too, so if you want close in speed, then they are an answer that is often overlooked. However, with most hunters opting for scopes, then those are what get mounted up...

slvrbulit12
January 3, 2010, 01:20 AM
Damm, three more posts, thanks for the info, this site is great and the responses were very informative. Looks like it would be better without the irons and just wait till I can afford both the rifle and the scope. May be awhile as raising teenagers takes all of my extra coin. Thanks again!

NG VI
January 3, 2010, 01:40 AM
I'd love a CZ with iron sights.


But I understand all these posts and that it wouldn't be the most practical if I only had one centerfire bolt action.

rangerruck
January 3, 2010, 02:31 AM
if you look at an old remmy; such as a 600 or 660 or 788, you will clearly see why- cost. some of these older sights have multiple rear parts, and even the front can be costly. Say a old remmy 788 front site- usually a giant sharkfin sight, fully ramped, ramp is fully cross cut to stop sunglare, usually has 2 screwholes through it, which also has to then be done to the bbl, and perfectly straight at that, and perfectly at the right depth. then the front site itself needs to be made perfectly square, and then what if the front site has a skinny post, with a bead aiming point? and the bead aiming point is either a piece of brass, or a mother of pearl dot?
You see, and we have just barely talked about the front site, forget a good rear site, that is clearly marked, numbered, with correct measurements for field useage; and 2 precision screw sets to carefully set your windage and elevation, and that they are easy to adjust, and then lock down like cement, when you are done and tightening them down.
scopes will not last forever, and sights will almost allways be faster to sight, on moving targets, except for reddots; It is good to know how to use sights, and I myself won't own a rifle that does
not have them; but that's just me...

C-grunt
January 3, 2010, 05:03 AM
CZ makes rifles with irons.

scythefwd
January 3, 2010, 05:29 AM
Here is my $.02 - many people today are about instant gratification. They want to be able to shoot, semi well even, the second they pick up a rifle. A scope is as close to point and click shooting as it gets under short distances. Why bother learning to get a good sight picture (it IS harder to shoot well with irons) when you can just pull the trigger when the crosshairs are over the target? I see it as related to the same mentality that is causing a raise in shooting from the bench and a decline in shooting from the prone unsupported position.

CZguy
January 3, 2010, 08:01 AM
It is good to know how to use sights, and I myself won't own a rifle that does
not have them; but that's just me...

Even though we are a minority, you're not alone.

ASCTLC
January 3, 2010, 09:35 AM
Add one more to that minority guys (Rem 700 ADL 30-06 ~ 1999).

Actually, two more (my hunting partner relies on his sighted in irons for back up too). We didn't copy each other, he bought his long before we met and I bought mine long before we met.

Further into the minority, I actually do very well with irons because I don't get all that magnified movement jacking with me to try harder to steady them and screw it up more.

Andy

earlthegoat2
January 3, 2010, 09:37 AM
I like full stock rifles and they all come with irons. I use the irons quite a bit with no scope in place. I do however scope an iron sighted rifle often as well.

Armed Bear is right, the cheek weld is not right for a scope if the rifle was designed to be used with irons as most full stock rifles are. I just live with it.

One fascination I see these days is the over use of "see through" rings. That has to be the worst idea ever devised. You cannot talk people out of them though. They think that getting to use both irons and a scope is the best of both worlds. Madness.

Snakum
January 3, 2010, 10:19 AM
One fascination I see these days is the over use of "see through" rings. That has to be the worst idea ever devised. You cannot talk people out of them though. They think that getting to use both irons and a scope is the best of both worlds. Madness.

Madness? Well, I guess that's one opinion. And you know how opinions are. ;)

Snakum
January 3, 2010, 10:30 AM
I wish more rifles came with iron sights. For those of us who hunt in heavy cover iron sights work far better than a low powered magnifying optic. A couple of weeks ago I even bought a 7600 specifically to use the irons sights, but was unable due to sloppy mfg. I needed to be able to get the gun up asap for shots of 20 - 40 yards. Guys who hunt dangerous game evidently prefer iron sights as well for quicker shots. But as mentioned, it's now cost prohibitive for many makers. Even Savage only includes them on some hunter models among their centerfire line.

A reflex or red dot optic would be just as quick and even easier, once used to it. But unless you're using a scope with an integral pic rail you won;t have anything for longer range shots where a scope is best.

So many "mad" folks will put a scope on top of see-thru rings to get both. Seems to work just fine for thousands of people. I guess a lot of us are "mad". I'd have one, too, if the iron sights on my new 7600 weren't canted an eight of a inch to the left. :D

rangerruck
January 3, 2010, 11:00 AM
yes, cz's do come with iron sites, some of the time. they used to 4 years ago, and older, on all their rifles- so they are subject to the laws of cost as well.
Even on the 2 rifles I have from them, both 527's, they are just as crude as possible; the rear site is mearly a v notch in a dovetail, that you adjust by smacking over to the left or right. Simple but not the most accurate; no diff from a marlin mod 60.

CZguy
January 3, 2010, 11:08 AM
So many "mad" folks will put a scope on top of see-thru rings to get both. Seems to work just fine for thousands of people. I guess a lot of us are "mad". I'd have one, too, if the iron sights on my new 7600 weren't canted an eight of a inch to the left.

Just to be fair...............if thousands pf people do it, that doesn't necessarily make it right. ;)

Snakum
January 3, 2010, 11:20 AM
Sure ... thousands of people are still doing it even though it has never worked. :rolleyes:

R.W.Dale
January 3, 2010, 11:24 AM
I have a strong distaste of dual sighting setups.


On a scoped rifle I want a quality optic and not the cheap equipment found on OE package guns


And I feel the same way about those cheap mid barreled open rear sights found on guns with OE sights.

If I'm opting for sights I want a high quality rear apeture sight that's occupying the same real estate as a rear scope mount so I'm not about to compromise a to a less than optimal scope mount to get to use less than optimal sights

Snakum
January 3, 2010, 11:50 AM
I tried to figure out if there was some way to make a peep/ghost ring work with see-thrus on the 7600 that came with the fouled up rear sight. But would have had to remove the existing rear, then would have to figure out a base/ring set-up that would clear. Too much trouble. Effing Remington. :mad: All I wanted was a working iron sight. I know that I'm not the only one with the canted sights, though. Misery loves company. :D

I finally just put a Nikon Pro Staff 2-7x on it. If I was rich I would have put a Leupold low power scope with a pic rail on it, and mounted a mini red dot from Doctor or Burris. :)

ArmedBear
January 3, 2010, 11:55 AM
Madness?

Maybe not madness, but it's an indication that most modern rifle shooters don't know anything about gun fit. It probably comes from only shooting while sitting on their butts at a range bench.

I'd have one, too, if the iron sights on my new 7600 weren't canted an eight of a inch to the left.

...at which point you'd probably get rid of them promptly, once you've experienced them firsthand in the field.:)

I don't get all that magnified movement jacking with me

That's a symptom of over-scoping (like a 4-12x on a general-purpose hunting rifle), not necessarily scopes in general. Hunting is not military sniping, and at 2X magnification, that syndrome is not a real issue. I even use a 2X scope for pistol matches, with no trouble. 4X would be unnerving, and anything higher would be maddening.

I see it as related to the same mentality that is causing a raise in shooting from the bench and a decline in shooting from the prone unsupported position.

Prone shooting? Yes, bench shooting is not shooting. It's useful for load testing and sighting in. But unsupported prone? That's a position that has absolutely no useful application in the real world I live in. I'm a hunter, and let me tell you, the ground is only flat in videogames. Even your average parking lot has too many obstructions to make prone shooting useful. I practice shooting on BLM land, and one thing I learned quickly is that targets often disappear behind minor variations in the landscape, even when you shoot from a seated position.

(Even if you fancy yourself a militiaman, prone shooting has to be done from high ground. In a military scenario, that's called suicide unless you train as a sniper -- which is NOT just rifle training by any stretch of the imagination.)

BTW yesterday I was sighting in a scoped hunting rifle (2-7x on a .30-06) at 200 yards. To take breaks from that somewhat tedious task, I played around with shooting a semi-buckhorn .357 lever carbine from a seated semi-jacknife position at 200 yards (a real jacknife doesn't work too well with a little carbine). I really enjoy iron sight shooting, generally more than using a scope, and I only put scopes on firearms that require them for their intended purpose (e.g. of the 8 .22 rimfires I currently have, two have scopes -- one for match shooting and one for ground squirrel hunting). Not all guns are just toys. Some are tools.

Modern bolt-action hunting rifles (which is what we're discussing here, I think) shoot cartridges that are effective at 400 yards and beyond. It would hardly be ethical to hunt pronghorns at 400 yards with irons. Sure, there are aperture sights that will allow acceptable accuracy at 400 yards, with a high-contrast target and good light. I shot a buffalo with the crude and hard-to-see irons on a Sharps, and dropped it with one shot -- but a buffalo is BIG and it stands out clearly against the prairie. A small deer, the same color as its background, at first light at 250 yards, or a pronghorn in the sage even farther away? You couldn't see it at all through a tiny peep sight, and it wouldn't be ethical to shoot it with crude open sights that wouldn't narrow your aim down past "somewhere on the animal".

One final note... My first 3 guns were loaded with loose black powder. I built them from kits, cast my own bullets, and of course shot them with iron sights. I use brass cases now, too, but I handload almost every centerfire I ever shoot. So, if you buy your guns from the store, your ammo from the store, and you don't load from the muzzle, you're a wimp, right?:rolleyes:

That makes about as much sense as thinking that regular prone unsupported shooting is what makes you a real shooter, or that a scope on a hunting rifle is about "instant gratification".:)

earlthegoat2
January 3, 2010, 11:57 AM
They work OK. Not good, not bad, but OK. It really gives you the worst of both worlds. A bad cheek weld with a scope mounted to high off the bore as well as what I would consider low quality rings that are made inherently weaker by their tall stature and combine that with a relatively poor sight picture through the irons on what will most likely be moving game at close range.

Different strokes I suppose. A little age sets em straight though.

Art Eatman
January 3, 2010, 12:10 PM
Sorta drifting off from the OP...

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