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Noob iron sights/scope question

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Readyrod, Jul 14, 2009.

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  1. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    I'm wondering what range iron sights are effective vs scopes. Lets say you take a good marksman with a good rifle (say .308 or 30-06) with iron sights. What is the longest range he/she could expect to reliably hit a deer? How about with an average priced scope? How about a good scope?
     
  2. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

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    I have known guys that could hit a deer at 300yards. Not me. Your eyes real good??Army shooters hit targets at 600 to qualify with open sites. Average scope and good scope ?? The main different is how well you can see at low light, with the sun in your eye,in the rain . You don't have to spend a fortune for a good scope ,there are some deals to be had 200 bucks retail can do the job well. Shop sales on some web pages like at nachez and midway,those type places. Two things you did forget, GOOD binos ,10x40 range to see if the animal is worth shooting and at least a 1000 yard range finder if shooting at longer distances like out to 400 yards so you don't miss. Have to be that good to reflect on a deer or bush at 400 yards. You do want to besure you can kill not hit a deer so for most ,i bet 150 yards in the woods would be a long range to shoot open sites with good eye site.
     
  3. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Irons obscure the target, also. That's a practical limitation for hunting.

    Sure, you can see an elk well enough to aim with irons at 300 yards in daylight. But the sights usually cover a lot of the elk. It's hard to see where you're shooting, exactly.

    Some iron sights are made for this kind of shooting, but they block more light.

    In general, a scope makes sense on a .308 or .30-06 in 2009. Otherwise, you have a rifle that shoots a lot farther and better than you can aim it.:)
     
  4. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    The main importance of a scope is that at first and last legal shooting light, you can readily tell the difference between Bambi and another hunter. Less likely to shoot a cactus deer or a stump deer. :)

    Iron sights take more practice to achieve a high level of skill, compared to scopes. With skill, and adequate light, they'll work quite well at the more common shooting distances of deer hunting.
     
  5. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    I'm not questioning scopes here. Specially since I'll prob be needing to use one soon because my eyes are getting old. I do have good binoculars btw. As you guys pointed out scopes are good for low light and identifying what you shoot at. That's a definite plus. Safer too I bet. Also they are necessary to get the full potential out of your rifle.
    I was wondering tho if you have guns (like a mosin nagant, or pistol caliber carbine/lever action, both of which I currently want) that might not have such a long effective range the iron sights might be all you need.
    I'm still curious about the usual effective range of iron sights for hunting. My impression was that it was about 100 to 200 yards. Is that right?
     
  6. Nevertoomanyguns

    Nevertoomanyguns Member

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    It depends on the shooter. Don't they, or they use to, do 1000 yard competitions with iron sighted Springfield 1903's and M1 Garands?

    I would say that a competent shooter with practice, I would prefer peeps over reg. buck horn sights, could shoot deer out to at least 300 yards.

    I know that I can kill a buck out to 150 yards with my M94 30-30 that's equipped with a Williams peep sight. I have scoped rifles but I find for hunting in the Maine woods, where 100 yard shot is hard to find, that little lightweight 30-30 is the perfect setup for here. I shoot it a lot and I am confident on a kill out to 150 yards.

    I also think it defeats the purpose of a lever gun when scopes are added to them. They are suppose to be kept lightweight fast and maneuverable for close in work. If you need a scope then get a nice bolt gun. That's just my opinion and probably doesn't mean much.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2009
  7. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    My uncle's attitude about an '03 was (back when his eyes were good) that anything inside of 300 yards belonged to him.

    We had a kid in Basic, on the range with the Garand, who was fussing back and forth with a sergeant about military positions and the sling. "That's not the way I learned to shoot!" Finally, a coyote jumped up some 300 yards out. The kid leaped to his feet, shot the coyote and turned to the sergeant, "See? THAT'S what I mean!"

    So if you know what you're doing, I figure that hunting to 300 yards is quite within reason for iron sights.
     
  8. dullh

    dullh Member

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    I personally wouldn't shoot any farther than about 100yds with iron sights. I just don't think I'm that good! Your distance may vary, but under no circumstances would I shoot any farther away than I can positively, beyond doubt identify what I'm shooting at. Again, for me, that's about 100 yards sans scope.

    The primary difference between a good scope and a great scope is clarity of image at any magnification and the amount of light it lets in. Pricier scopes use better glass - less distortion, more light, which is especially important at dawn and dusk, or any other periods of low light. Objective size matters not; quality lenses are key. An expensive (Zeiss, etc.) 40mm scope will see better than a 50mm Tasco. For top quality at a reasonable price my two scope choices are the 3-9x40mm Nikon Buckmasters and the 2.5-10x50mm Nikon Monarch. I don't personally need any more magnification that these scopes provide. With these scopes, shots to 400yds and maybe beyond become a real possibility for me!
     
  9. UniversalFrost

    UniversalFrost Member

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    i learned on iron sights then went to peep then to scope.

    i prefer to have iron sights on my rifles. they are perfect for up close shots. I usually have see thru rings or quik detach rings on my rifles that are scoped and have iron sights.

    in wooded areas you never know when you will see a deer.

    I shot my deer last year at 20 feet behind me and had to put the gun on my right shoulder and look thorugh the scope with my left eye enough to see fur and pull triger with left thmb (and I am a right handed shooter).

    if i had iron sights on that gun i would have just lined up the sights and pulled the trigger, no need for the scope.

    see the video if you don't believe me.



    [​IMG]
     
  10. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I find low power scopes are faster for quick shots on running or close game. Simple fact, 1.5 or 2x is the low power I speak of, 3x max. That's why I like the 2x10x40 Weaver I have on my .308. No lining up two points in the plain, just put the crosshairs on target and bang.

    I'm still pretty decent with irons, though, despite aging eyes. I'm good enough to shoot 36 of 40 at IHMSA with a 10" 7mmTCU contender and iron sights. Funny thing, I could clear the rams pretty easy at 200 yards, but those 150 yard turkeys gave me fits. With a rifle, I can still get down to about a 1.5 to 2 MOA at 100 yards off the bench if the gun will do it. I'm still minute of deer shoulder well past 200 yards, but if I'm going to be shooting that far, OF COURSE I'm takin' a scope sighted gun. To 100-150 yards, about all I can see where I hunt, anyway, I don't mind the irons. However, I have taken deer there at the crack of dawn when I couldn't have seen iron sights. Scopes are quite handy for the hunter. I am going to carry my Hawken Hunter Carbine a lot this season, though. It has open sights as a black powder rifle should. Scopes are an abomination on a rifled musket. :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2009
  11. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    This is great info. Thanks a million guys. If I get a mosin and a 44mag I'll keep them unscoped, and then I'll just have to get a scoped 308/30-06 for the longer ranges.
    nevertoomanyguns it's your opinion that I asked for and it's worth buckets. Thanks.
    universalfrost nice buck, btw are see through or quick detach rings more fragile?
     
  12. UniversalFrost

    UniversalFrost Member

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    the warne quick detachable rings are rock solid and no shift in zero. see thru rings have not had a problem with yet, but get a good set of weaver branded ones or talleys, don't waste your cash on the cheaper ones.

    thanks for the props onthe buck. it is a coues which is one of the smallest subspecies of whitetail with most mature bucks field dressing under 90lbs. normal shots onthese guys are across canyons and ravines at 2-400 yards so i was glassing the other side of the canyon when this guy comes wandering up and all i heard was astomp and a snort and there he was. they call them grey ghosts and for a darn good reason. the tinks deer dander is why he didn't smell me and the doe bleet can is what held him in place while i moved to get a shot. he had his tail up initially but a few bleats from the can and he dropped it and was just trying to figure out what kinda doe I was !lol!!!

    i am gunning for his daddy this archery season ( I am guessing that buck will gross 120+ fromthe rack i saw last year) and B/C only requires 110 for coues bucks.

    anyway, iron sights are a must in brushy areas. if you hunt a combination of the 2 get the seethru or quick detach rings.

    the gun I used last year (S&W i-bolt in 30/06) now has iron sights on it (actually fiber tipped) courtesy of my local gunsmith and has the warne quick detach rings and a nikon buckmaster 3-9x40 scope (the realtree camo dipped version). i keep my scopes at lowest setting when wandering in the woods or in the stand/blind.
     
  13. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    Hey universalfrost how much did it cost to put iron sights on the 30-06? Did you have to change the stock? Are the sights on there real strong?
     
  14. UniversalFrost

    UniversalFrost Member

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    cost was 20 bucks to drill and tap the barrel. sights are williams firesights on remington 700 bases that i had laying around from an old 700 barrel that had the same contour as the i-bolt's. I have the factory fugly synthetic stock, but just ordered a laminate sporter stock with barrel channel inlet only (no action inlet) from richards. The long action i-bolt is close to a remmy 700 action inlet, but has a hint of a mauser bottom inlet so it wouldn't fit the spare remmy 700 or mauser 98 stocks i had laying around. a little work with a dramel and a chisel and should have a nice laminate stock and can ditch the synthetic.
     
  15. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    Thanks everyone for the advice.
     
  16. caribou

    caribou Member

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    Gonna get a Mosin ?
    I use a Finned Mosin, an M-39 out to 300 yards. 300 yards is not hard, but its usually only when Caribou have me figured and its now or never , as they are gonna leave.

    I have good eyes, lotsa practise and the M-39 is probly the most accurat version of the Mosin there is.


    Maybe Mosins are more accurate than they should be allowed:evil:
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009
  17. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    Hi caribou. I was originally thinking of getting a nice Remchester for me but I realized that I may need to get two more for the kids eventually.(as well as .22's and maybe shotguns) The scary part was ammo costs. So now I'm thinking Mosin. I think it's even worthwhile to put some money into the rifle cause it's the ammo that will really cost in the long run. Besides Mosins look so cool, at the worst I can hang it on the wall with my dad's dress sword.
    I've read your and other posts so I know that the Mosins are good for hunting.
    What do you think of the .303 for up north?
     
  18. tactikel

    tactikel Member

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    Can you find ammo that is not FMJ that is affordable? Surplus ammo is great for plinking, and varmints, but shooting anything larger with FMJ is just wrong (and illegal in most states). I have shot hundreds of surplus rounds thru a "Mosy" but would only use it for big game with soft points.
     
  19. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    The plan is to use the surplus for practice and such and buy other ammo for hunting. Tho Caribou says that the surplus ammo he uses is good for hunting cause it tumbles once it hits. I don't know, I don't want to break any law or get on the wrong side of the fish and game people (let alone making the animal suffer too much) so I'll play it safe.
     
  20. UniversalFrost

    UniversalFrost Member

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    Readyrod, i highly recommend that you don't shoot FMJ on an animal. it is illegal in all the states and just plain unethical for a clean quick kill.

    even wolf makes some soft points for the 7.62x54r that is somewhat cheap. Mosins (unliess a finn) are minute of barn at best. If you have your heart set on a milsurp rifle get an enfield no 4 mk1 or II and then buy some dies for it. Remington and a few others still load for it and it is an excellent choice for elk on down and really a smooth slick action.

    otherwsie an yugo mauser or a czech mauser is hard to beat and the 8mm mauser cartridge is equal to an 30/06 (factory loads are weak and not up to the full potential) but they are still effective on just about all north american animals. if you handload then you can load it past the 30/06 levels.

    also foregot to mention the K31. Most will say this is the most accurate mass produced and issued rifle out there. Mine all shoot sub moa with the surplus swiss GP11 or my handloads (you can use 284 winchester brass and .30 bullets). I get privi factory loaded ammo and shoot it for plinking then reload the brass with some 150 gr SP Hornady interlocks (standard .30 cal bullets) behind a nice load of varget or IMR4895. supremely accurate and the k31 straight pull action is super smooth, super fast and won't fail you.

    I have a spare k31 i might be willing to part with (a really nice one that is an older import and has a super nice stock, not one of the ones nowadays that the stock is beat up, the new ones still shoot great, but look bad on the buttstock). Price would be in the $275 range though due to it being nicer than the current ones selling for 250ish

    otherwise save $250 bucks and get a mossberg ATR from wally world. slick little guns for a cheap price, but decent quality and function well. I would recommend you get it in 30/06. or save a few more bucks and get a stevens 200.

    JOE
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
  21. uvausmc

    uvausmc Member

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    negative. the army shoots out to 300 yards for their qual. The Marines shoot out to 500.
     
  22. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    Additionally, the target (at least in the Army) is a man sized silhouette, where a hit is a hit, doesn't matter if you hit bellybutton area, shoulder, or the center of the forehead.
     
  23. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    I'm not planning to use fmj for hunting just practice.
    Universalfrost, thanks for the advice, I'll definitely keep it in mind. The reason I was thinking mosin was because I find that when I get into something and want to do it a lot its the cost of doing it that is more important than the cost of setting myself up. The mosin ammo is so cheap that I can spend more for a nice rifle and still come out ahead. Thanks for the offer for the k31 but I can't buy a gun until I get back to Canada. I'm in Japan now. I'm asking all these questions now so I'll know exactly what to get when I get home. I really can't wait.
     
  24. UniversalFrost

    UniversalFrost Member

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    ok, if you are in canada then an enfield is a no brainer. lots of ammo around for it and lots of experienced smiths around in case you have a problem with it.

    I have taken 2 elk with an old no4 mkI using factory loaded remington SP's . This was back in the early 90's in south dakota when an getting drawn for an elk tag was a once in a lifetime thing and i got drawn twice in a row. the old enfield was all i had that was large enough for elk and it did the job. My no 4 had the rear peap sight that you could flip for 100 or 300 meters. worked great for a 113 yard shot (paced it off) the first year and a 168 yard shot the next year. Both 1 shot kills with the remington core-lokt bullets. Brass is easy to get commercially as are bullets, surplus ammo is kinda limited, but still in supply down here at most online ammo stores and in canada I have personaly seen it on the shelves in lots of shops. The .303 brit round in Canada is close to the 30/06 round down here in the states.
    If you get an enfield get a no4 mkI or mkII. The no1 is very dated. The no5 is just a stripped down no4 (to make it lighter and shorter) and will really punish your shoulder.

    My old enfield I ended up selling (to a board member on TFL who is also here on THR), but i regreted it. luckily he just recently had it for sale and i have dibs on it once he finds the extra mag for it. anyway, lots you can do with an enfield.
     
  25. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    218 yards with iron sights on this young Black Wildebeest bull. Oh yeah and those double rifle aren't good past 25 yards either. I know because I read about it on the internet.;)

    Iron sights are as good as you want to get with them. But in low light there is nothing that beats a scope.

    [​IMG]
     
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