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Iron Sight vs. Scope

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by dispatch55126, Nov 5, 2006.

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  1. dispatch55126

    dispatch55126 Member

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    I've seen this argument on several threads so I'll add my 2 cents. Scopes are great and make things easier and improve accuracy. However, I filled my Doe tag last night with a head shot at 110 yds using iron sights on my MN 91/30. The bullet entered under the eye near the jaw and came out the back at the base of the skull severing the spinal cord. I chased the deer a total of 6" and had the cleanest field dress will NO loss of meat.
     
  2. B yond

    B yond Member

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    Depends on the application

    On a large target that is within 100-200 yards (depending on the rifle I'm using) I prefer irons. With smaller targets, at 100+ yards I generally prefer a scope. For me it's all about being able to see the target clearly.

    I do a lot of target shooting, and as long as I'm close enough to see the bullseye I go iron. When I'm farther away and can only see the paper, I want a scope. That way I'm not guessing where the bullseye is.

    Congrats on your kill, sounds like a good shot.
     
  3. dispatch55126

    dispatch55126 Member

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    To be truthful, I need to thank the pheasants. I had a pair of roosters walking through the field when the doe came into view. My first shot missed at about 130 yds and when it ran it stopped on a high point when the pheasants flew in front of it. I'm sure it was adrenaline, but that bolt has never cycled as smoothly as it did for that follow up shot.
     
  4. Skofnung

    Skofnung Member

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    Scopes make hitting a target easier. There is a shorter, easier learning curve.

    For someone that doesn't care one whit about shooting, but wants to kill deer (e.g. the Fudds of the world) a scope makes things much easier. They can see the target better and they don't need to worry about lining the sights up. Adjustments are also easier for them to understand.

    For those of us that look at shooting as a way of life, knowing how to use iron sights is crucial, and for some like myself, preferable. Most of my rifles are iron sighted.

    I started shooting rifles when I was very young. My father started me out on a .22 with standard irons. I shot that rifle for years before ever picking up one with a scope on it. When I did, it just made the shooting all the easier.

    Scopes have their place, but too many people use them as a substitute for aquired skill.
     
  5. telomerase

    telomerase Member

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    Not disagreeing, but remember you won't be young forever.
     
  6. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Member

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    Head shot at night? 110 yards? Iron sights on a Mosin?
    hmmmmmmmmmm luck or bs, I am not sure which.
     
  7. dispatch55126

    dispatch55126 Member

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    By last night I mean 3 P.M.
     
  8. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    . Use a rifle with iron sights!

    Use a muzzleloader!

    . Use a bow and arrow!

    . Use a Bowie knife!

    . Use a croquet mallet!

    . Arm wrestle them - best 3 out of 5!

    ... and like Telomerase says... no one is young forever. ;)

    Congrats on making a fine shot, Dispatch!!!:)
     
  9. The Deer Hunter

    The Deer Hunter Member

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    Scopes vs irons is a completely variable comparison. It really matters what your doing. For example, a scope would be good for long range shots while irons would be good for closer moving shots.
     
  10. Skofnung

    Skofnung Member

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    I'm still fairly young, but I already have crappy eyes. Most of my shooting is done at <200 yards, and 90% of that is under 100.

    I'm not opposed to better technology, I wouldn't argue that irons are better than an ACOG, but learning to shoot well with irons generally makes one a better shot down the road. At worst, it gives one more options.

    But seriously, do you want to arm wrestle? :neener:

    I certainly have nothing against scopes per se, but I've heard way too many Fudds on the firing line at the National Forest Range say something to the effect of "man, I need a bigger scope" after missing a target 100 yards away. They simply neglected to learn shooting fundamentals.
     
  11. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    There's nothing wrong with scopes, but too many American rifle shooters have come to believe that a rifle without one is basically useless. Never mind how many animals and men have been blown away by iron sighted rifles. Never mind the competition shooting scores people rack up with iron sights. They are convinced that unless you can see the target clearly and in detail you cannot hit it reliably.

    Now there's no doubt scopes help identify targets, but if you know how to use irons you really don't need one in order to *HIT* targets. You focus on the front sight, and use the reference points around it--both on the rifle and the target itself--to line yourself up.

    Plus, those old iron tangents so many people regard as useless are able to give you minute control over elevation:

    M-39.jpg
     
  12. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Hi Skof...

    Not disagreeing with you but I'll point out that if they have, as you say "neglected to learn shooting fundamentals."... they aren't going to do any better or learn any more with irons than with scopes. Example - the sights do not teach one to perform the trigger pull correctly, or to breathe correctly, or to judge elevation/windage etc. Any silhouette shooter will verify that. :)

    Hi Cosmo... if we're talking the "factory issue" iron sights that come on most production rifles - they are worse than worthless, and have been since WWII. But if we're talking serious irons, we're on the same page.
    I used to have a Marlin 336 lever 30/30 with a set of Williams "peep" sights (with the disc removed) and a white bead front sight. Intentionally asked umpteen people to try it so I could watch them be stunned that they could do so good without a scope (out to about 150 - 175yds.). Most of the exposed-hammer lever guns are natural-born "peep" guns (to keep their "cool carry-ability" and to accomodate their stocking). Had a Marlin 1894 set up the same way - same result.
    But at dawn or dusk, or in the gloom of woods, the properly mounted scope still rules. :)
     
  13. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    I'll take a scope, please. Thank you.
     
  14. dispatch55126

    dispatch55126 Member

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    My logic with iron sights is that you can aquire faster with iron sights and even if the front post covers the whole object at 200 yds, you're still guaranteed to hit within the area...all things being equal.
     
  15. B yond

    B yond Member

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    Strange, Cosmoline is the only person I've ever heard that from.
     
  16. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    There's actually a Leopold commercial that says exactly that. And I've run into the attitude, from you and others, that iron sights are basically an affectation and not practical. You just got through claiming that shooters have to put scopes on old military rifles in order to make them useful.
     
  17. SoCalShooter

    SoCalShooter Member

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    That's for me to know and not you!
    Nice shot, match is of course iron sight my hunting rifle has a scope but I am usually at distances of 200+ yards...tends to help a little.
     
  18. dispatch55126

    dispatch55126 Member

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    When dealing with hunting rifles at most dealerships, they'll sell you a rifle and turn you onto the scopes at the same time making it so it is marketed that a rifle w/o a scope is about as accurate as a Brown Bess.
     
  19. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Hi Dispatch...

    Maybe I'm not understanding you right. :confused:
    But, based on the above at face value, I would say I disagree that even if a deer's vitals are completely covered by the front post you are going to hit the vitals. That simply isn't correct. Fact is, there is a good chance you'll miss the deer... especially if it is one of those inconsiderate deer that moves even slightly while the shooter is staring at his/her front sight post.
    That's true about the venders wanting to sell a scope for every rifle.
     
  20. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    These discussions are always wearying, because they always seem to devolve into some form of 'real men use iron sights, and scopes are for folks who can't REALLY shoot a rifle'. <sigh> I learned to shoot with irons, courtesy of Uncle Sam. I subsequently learned to shoot with scoped rifles, to extend my range in which I can accurately place shots. My ability or knowledge of how to shoot a rifle has no direct relationship with the nature of the sighting system that I use. If it makes your manhood swell with pride that you use iron sights, well enjoy all that. :rolleyes: I have the option of using either, and for most circumstances I choose optics over irons.

    If you can't perform fast both-eyes-open target acquisition and tracking with an appropriate scope, you can't do it with irons, either. If you can do it with irons, then you can also do it with optics (only the optics won't be as sensitive to head location on the stock as will iron sights and therefore will be more forgiving in field use). Complaining about how a scope confines the field of view or somehow provides for less situational awareness only identifies that the optic in use was inappropriate for the range-to-target. Suggesting that HITTING a target is sufficient accuracy belies the need to actually PLACE the shot. Hunting medium or large game, for example, is not soldiering, and merely placing a round somewhere within a standard silhouette is not adequate for many purposes.

    The folks that study this sort of thing for a living will tell you that appropriate optics enhance first-shot and follow-up accuracy and speed. My experiences do not run counter to that.
     
  21. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Dispatch--you've hit pay dirt there. It's all about $$. They want you to have to buy a rifle stripped of iron sights then spend another $300 or more on fancy optics. Not that there's anything wrong with making a buck, but shoppers should be careful not to buy the nonsense about how scoped rifles are the only game in town.
     
  22. telomerase

    telomerase Member

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    I haven't used scopes enough (no budget). Isn't there an advantage to irons in the rain? (Just asking, jump in here and correct if this is stupid).

    Of course most of the time in civvie life the scopes do keep people shooting deer and not deer-colored sweaters...
     
  23. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    Not a bad question at all. I don't think that a scope is a DISadvantage in the rain; the rain drops may make the view a bit less precise but it's not like driving a car without windshield wipers. A bigger issue with scopes is condensation; they can take out the view faster than you can blink..

    If I spent any time still-hunting in cold/damp areas with a relatively close average shot (or hunting fairly large game), I would probably favor irons moreso than scopes purely based upon the issues associated with fog/condensation.
     
  24. pascalp

    pascalp Member

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    I like iron sight, but agging eyes don't agreed.
    I have some success with diopter or mojosight.
    At least scopes permit me enjoying shooting.
     
  25. pedaldude

    pedaldude Member

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    Simo Haya used irons just fine, he didn't like the way period glass fogged up and it's alot harder to break iron sights. Also iron sights beat some scopes in low light conditions and while facing the sun you won't show your position. In addition some people are just better shots than others regardless of eqiupment.

    Plus iron sights are cheaper and that gives you more money for ammo and to improve your shooting :)
     
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