Open site groups at 100 yards?


July 21, 2010, 03:57 PM

I was just curious what the typical group sizes are at 100 yards using open sites?

Took my Bushy to the range to rezero after over a year of not shooting it, and just for kicks I set the target to 100 yards to see what I could get.

The holes marked with + surrounding the cartridge were one of my better groups.

BTW the rifle was a 16 inch Bushmaster 5.56x45 shooting Guat 55 grain M193 type ammo.

What is the more experienced shooters around here getting?

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Tim the student
July 21, 2010, 05:15 PM
What is the more experienced shooters around here getting?

Some of the guys here can shoot open sights amazingly well. Sadly, that group doesn't include me.

On a good day, I can shoot about a 3.5" group with open sights. I'm trying to tighten that up with more practice, and handloads.

July 21, 2010, 05:38 PM
With my Universal M1 carbine and my Arsenal AK47, both shooting Wolf ammo, 6 inches or so at 100y.

July 21, 2010, 05:40 PM
With open sights (no peeps/apertures allowed) then 3"-5" groups depending on the rifle.

Some guys/gals who are good and using aperture sights, you'd swear they were using scopes.

July 21, 2010, 05:41 PM
It also depends from what position you were doing your shooting (benchrest, offhand, prone, etc).

July 21, 2010, 05:48 PM
Looks very good with that rifle, ammo, and open sights.

July 21, 2010, 05:53 PM
Gotta ask, do you mean open as in non magnified? This is 100 yards, but using an EOTech, seated unsupported. It seems to help.

This was shot same position, but pre EOTech.

You have a good group, sir, something to be happy with. Someday I hope to get really good groups farther out.

July 21, 2010, 05:55 PM
First off, as a group, they are IRON sights.

OPEN sights refer to the notch and blade typically found on, say, an off-the-rack .30-30 or 870 slug gun (or a handgun).

APERTURE sights are what you find on an AR-15, M-1 Garand, M-1 Carbine, 1903A3s and target rifles. Also available as add-ons from many companies for lever actions, single shots, bolt actions, etc.

As a rule, OPEN sights are less precise than APERTURE sights. I can shoot about 2-2.5" from a bench at 100 yards with my Marlin 336. This is perfectly suitable for me, and I suspect close to the limit of what the rifle will actually do. I will add a Williams receiver sight at some point, to make it easier to use, but they won't do much to improve the actual accuracy of the carbine.

With APERTURE sights, such as my AR-15 match gun, I can hit a little over 2-MOA from a sling-supported prone position on a good day. I've seen smallbore prone shooters throw 10-shots through a hole smaller than the tip of my pinky finger at 50-yards, using the aperture-aperture target sights. From a benchrest with previously mentioned AR-15, I have seen groups go under 1-MOA when chronographing loads.

July 21, 2010, 06:08 PM
I have to concur with most of the others. Like Doubletap said that is a good group what what you're shooting. In my service days my M16a1 was pretty reliable, but grouped only 4-6" at 100M with issue ammo depending on the Lot#.


July 21, 2010, 06:10 PM
20 shots at 100 yards with my "national match" service-rifle legal AR.
Handloads with Sierra Match King bullets.

Image should appear close to actual size on your monitor.

Open sights (not "sites")

July 21, 2010, 06:32 PM
I have several rifles that will shoot under 2" at 100y consistently. This is from a bench with a front rest only.
I've had a few that would hover around an inch or so, but my eyesight isn't that good anymore to do that on command.

Jim Watson
July 21, 2010, 06:43 PM
Open sights (not "sites")

Aperture or peep sights, not "open."

I don't know why this is harder to follow or less frequently explained than clip versus magazine.

July 21, 2010, 07:20 PM
A good rifleman should be able to shoot to similar levels of precision with both peep sights and moderate magnification scopes. The only appreciable difference (at the range) comes when using high magification target scopes. That said, I have done plenty of 1-2MOA shooting with peeps and one unbelievably accurate Winchester 1895 will do sub-MOA with its factory buckhorns.

July 21, 2010, 07:29 PM
W.E.G. Nice gun! A national match is on my list of builds or purchases. Prob buy that way its done right.:D

July 21, 2010, 07:51 PM
With my Browning 1885 in 45-70 I can generally keep 2.5-3" at 100, of course it has a tang mounted peep sight. My best rifle for shooting is an 1891 Mauser in 7.65x53, it has an added Williams peep and is consistantly under 1 moa at 100 yards with handloads. Of course it has a much longer sight radius than an AR, I can't shoot AR's with peeps nearly as well.

I know, lots of people are going to whine that 3 shot groups aren't really groups. Don't worry about it, I rarely would have the need to shoot one of my hunting rifles more than three times, so it works for me.

ol' scratch
July 21, 2010, 08:44 PM
Shooting my latest Garand, an H & R (Peep, I know), I shot a 274/300 on a standard NRA 100 yard target. This was shooting standard Greek 1962 HXP and a standard Garand. I was told I need to shoot a 280 at 200 yards to be competitive. That was a 30 shot string with 5 shots in the x ring. I had two flyers (landed in the 5 ring, no zero score). This was 10 rounds kneeling, 10 shots prone, 10 shots from a bench. I will keep practicing.

Jon Coppenbarger
July 21, 2010, 09:12 PM
my best match scores with my open site ar15 (on the small prone target not the standard target). at 100 yards it is 200-13x's out of 200 and at 200 yards it is 200-17x's. that is fired in compitition prone with sling support. lots of clean 200's and some of my best groups have been 199's with that one dang bad shot for a 9. Never have shot a 200 at 600 yards with my open sited ar15 service rifle but quite a few 198's and a few 199's. dang wind and light.

July 21, 2010, 09:28 PM
I like Milsurps, especially MosinNagats.
I can easily shoot 2 inch groups with my M-39's, and most all the rifles I have kept, as I am only interested in guns that are accurate, or just plain "Interesting" for some reason or another....
I try to sit and shoot as much as possible, but sometimes its frehanded, at a moving target......
The big variation, I find, is in ammo quality and consistancy.

Czeck light ball through my 41 SAKO is a killer combo that I use to make a living.

I make 60% of my shooting at under 100 yards, but head shots out to 150yards isnt hard if the animal is standing there. I will move to the chest/neck out to 300 yards, sometimes a little more, again, if the animals are standing still. Beyond that I just dont shoot, 'cept for fun at targets, not animals.
With iron sights on M-39, Ive gotten into a rythem and dropped bullets into an oil drum set 800 paces far out on the 3 foot groups , and quite a few misses~~LOL!!~~

July 21, 2010, 09:37 PM
wow; that really depends on so much. I would say though, that if you are a competent shooter, with a decently accurate rifle, a 3 to 4 inch group should be regular. I have a mosin m38 that is extremely accurate for some reason, and with the monster 205 grainers, it will do an moa group, or near abouts, at 100. I also have a couple of rimfires; a super old remmy 241 gs, that is a shorts only model, and a 17mach2 marlin 717, that is also a semi auto-- that both at 50 yards, can just about punch 1 hole. lemme show you an open site group at 50 yards, with the 717;
pretty darn good for a stock, untweeked semi, huh?

July 21, 2010, 09:56 PM
Try taking some of that Guatemala ammo and replacing the factory pill with a match bullet like the Sierra 52 BTHP. I did that with some Norinco 223 and had amazing results, well under 1 MOA.


Good Luck

July 21, 2010, 10:02 PM
It also depends from what position you were doing your shooting (benchrest, offhand, prone, etc).

Yep, this is a huge factor, there are so many variables, even in each and every one of those positions. Unless the poster of the group describes exactly what the position was, even what the weather was, rate of fire, etc etc etc these comparisons are all a bit moot, imo. Its not enough just to state rifle and ammo type.

July 21, 2010, 11:50 PM
Sorry for the mix up about the sight thing. I was just trying to explain without magnification.

But the shooting was done benchrest style, with the rifle laying on a concrete table, and me sitting on a 5 gallon bucket upside down. No clamping devices or anything, I just laid a towel down so it wouldnt scratch the magazine.

The only time I ever shoot prone or knealing is during qualification. Every other time is standing or benchrest.

And the reason for the 3 shot groups is that is typically how you zero in the Army, and that is really all I was doing.

I am prescribed glasses, but dont wear them during shooting sessions becuase it takes the focus off the sights and puts it on the target, which messes me up. At that range, the orange target is just a blur. I dont even see the black.

BTW the rifle is zerod for 25 meters, so I had to aim a little low at 100 yards.

July 21, 2010, 11:54 PM
With practice...a peep sight can be almost as good as a scope.

Jim Watson
July 21, 2010, 11:58 PM
If the target is clearly defined - like a bullseye - the peep and globe iron sight setup does not take a back seat to a scope. Lots of smallbore shooters do as well with irons as scope. Many BPCR shooters do better, but they are limited to 6X and 19th century adjustable mounts for the scope.

July 22, 2010, 12:03 AM
True...the target itself plays major role.

July 22, 2010, 12:08 AM
Scopes improve visibility, reduce the requirements for visual acuity, eliminate the need to deal with multiple planes of focus and eliminate sight-radius concerns.

With sufficient sight-radius, good target visibility, good sights and a shooter with good visual acuity, the scope won't provide a significant advantage. Maybe none at all.

July 22, 2010, 12:44 AM
True...the target itself plays major role.
Agreed and one that most shooters don't consider. The key is consistency and you need a target matched to your sights. One that you can consistently hold the same sight picture shot after shot. Which is why I use a 3" black square, rather than anything round, as my 25yd pistol target. It's perfectly bracketed against most front sights.

July 22, 2010, 01:13 AM
+2 on using a target matched to the front sight. I've found that a national match front post fits in a paper plate just perfect. I get my best results if I ignore how the front sight is centered in the aperture and just concentrate on what's going on with the target around the front sight post. At times this method has really paid off for me.

July 22, 2010, 08:48 PM
With my M39 Mosins I like a 5-3/4" black circle on cardboard. Settle the top of the front sight blade at 6 o'clock, focus on front sight, steady squeeze of trigger. At 100 yards that black circle is about the same width as my blade.
Sometimes when the load is right, the action screws happy, the operator is on, and the planets are aligned, great things happen.

I've managed a few sub 2 inch 10 shot groups in "as issued" competition, no scopes allowed.

Here's one of my better results.

Now if I could just produce results like this all of the time.... But that would be boring now wouldn't it? :rolleyes:

July 22, 2010, 09:02 PM
Anytime open sights are mentioned the discussion quickly turns to eyesight (or the lack thereof)

20/20 eyesight isn't as important as most people think. For one thing, when aiming through open sights if the target is in sharp are doing it wrong. The only thing that should be in sharp focus is the front sight.

There is a guy over on MarlinOwners forum (Eli Chaps) that has explained this better than I can...I don't have his way with words but he is a fan of open sights and has explained their use in great detail.

Eli's threads...a good read,60482.0.html,64673.0.html

I cannot speak for bifocals...that may be a deal breaker for open sights, I don't know...never had the pleasure of wearing them. (I do wear glasses though...nearsighted)

Every time I post this pic it stirs discussion...Jerry Sharrett even joined THR just to send me a PM about it a couple months ago (turns out he lives near me)

There is not, and never has been, a scope on this rifle...I don't believe in scopes on lever actions. It wears a Skinner receiver mounted peep...

July 23, 2010, 04:07 PM
With quality open sights, my favorite rifle, and a good sling, ~2 moa is a good group for me. My scoped groups are about the same.

For reference, Appleseed instructors will try to get you to shoot ~4 moa or better (with a sling).


July 23, 2010, 04:15 PM

I've had much better results with at least my hand between the rifle and a hard rest. Something about the rifle sitting directly on a a hard rest doesn't work for me.

I think the forces between the rifle and the rest are just too sharp w/o some sort of sandbag or flesh buffer.

July 23, 2010, 04:34 PM
I can get 1 to 1.5 inch groups at 100 slung prone with an AR-15 or Anschutz 1907

July 23, 2010, 05:35 PM
To me 3 shots isnt a accurate example of a group. Fire 5 or more and see what you get.
M1A,Iron Sights, With surplus ammo 100yds

Kimber 82 ,Iron Sights 100yds 1 5/8 group

July 25, 2010, 11:27 PM
Wow, you guys are better shots than me.

I'm having difficulty seeing well at 100 yards anymore, but here's one I shot with a M1 at 50 yards. (54 HRA, with a LMR barrel).

July 25, 2010, 11:33 PM
practice, practice,practice with what you shoot.. none of us that came out of basic training years ago shot any good til some good instruction and lots or rounds downrange...

July 26, 2010, 10:02 PM
This is about as good as I can do, on a cloudy bright day, from a bench, with an aperture on my glasses to sharpen up the sights. M38 Swede, S&B ammo.

July 27, 2010, 12:25 AM
Every once in awhile I can pull off a decent iron sight group ;)

Retro AR 100yds a1 sights benched

July 27, 2010, 01:12 AM

If you were shooting at the writing on that paper missed. :D

July 27, 2010, 01:35 AM
Here are two groups I managed to get at 200 yards with my M1A. One right after another. This was prone off of sandbags.

July 28, 2010, 02:49 PM
I used to be able to shoot 1" groups with good quality open sights like the CZ 550. But these days my eyes are just getting too old to shoot much beyond 75 yards with notch and post tangents. Can't see the notch anymore when I focus on the front sight! So I waver around too much trying to find it. I've switched over to the Mojos for my M39 and things have improved a lot. This Sunday I managed a nice 2" four shot group at 100, and with more practice I should be able to tighten it back up to wear it should be (about 1 1/2" with that rifle and load).

The REAL trick is doing it off hand!

July 28, 2010, 03:02 PM
I picked up a very clean Remington Mohawk 600 in .308 around five years ago and decided to see how well I could do on the 100 and 200 yard range with the factory equipped open sights.
These are some amazingly accurate little carbines and come with an 18.5 inch barrel and weigh six pounds.
Now because of my age I had to put on my non prescription reading glasses to get a good look at the front sight but I was able to put a three shot group in a five inch circle and kept the three shot group at 200 yards in a ten inch circle.
Of course this was on sand bags.
Back in the days of my 20's I killed several deer at ranges from 50-120 yards using open sights on my Mossberg 810 A in 30-06.
Although I will be the first to say that when game hunting I think it best to use a scope for better shot placement on a living animal that's capable of feeling pain.

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