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Why don't some guns have sights?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Mastrogiacomo, Jan 20, 2004.

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  1. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

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    I'm obviously a novice with long guns. I've been checking out a bunch of center fire rifles and the one thing that always puzzles me is why some have sights: Remy model 700 & 7 and others don't: Ruger M77 Mark II compact & Winchester model 70.

    I notice it varies on the Savage guns too. What confuses me is that some of these guns with no sights are really expensive. So, why wouldn't they have them? Isn't it supposed to be an advantage to helping you shoot better or is it a moot point?
     
  2. fix

    fix Member

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    It is assumed that a scope will be mounted on these guns.
     
  3. nextjoe

    nextjoe Member

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    To expand on fix's post, stock design plays a part, too. Many rifle stocks, especially the Monte Carlo and American Classic styles, are designed only for scope use and often can't be used with regular iron sights because they don't allow you to get your eye low enough. There's no point in installing sights that can't be used :)

    Best,
    Joe
     
  4. Omaha-BeenGlockin

    Omaha-BeenGlockin Member

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    Try using the sights on a Remington 7400 and you'll see how useless they are with the stock provided.
     
  5. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

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    Which are the better rifles then? Sights or no sights?
     
  6. nextjoe

    nextjoe Member

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    You can't really judge better or worse by the presence or absence of sights. It all depends on what you want to use the gun for. There are $10,000 rifles with sights and $10,000 rifles without sights.

    If you plan to use a scope, having backup iron sights is nice, but only if the scope can be quickly removed AND the stock allows you to actually make use of the irons. Otherwise, I don't see much point in having iron sights on a scoped rifle.

    Since it seems the vast majority of bolt-action rifle buyers these days install scopes, most stocks are made for scope use, and many/most manufacturers don't bother to install iron sights anymore, since they won't be used anyways. Some companies like Ruger and Savage offer you the choice of sights or no sights.

    Best,
    Joe
     
  7. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Because many rifle makers stopped paying attention to what Elmer Keith and others told them re. the importance of iron sights. And many rifle shooters forgot how to use them.

    It's a lose-lose situation all around. It's gotten so bad that CZ makes "American" versions of its fine rifles with the excellent sights torn off. If that's really what American shooters are all about, we need help SOON!
     
  8. Beetle Bailey

    Beetle Bailey Member

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    You could re-word the question "Which are the better sights, iron or scope?" ;) And I guess the best answer would be, "Depends on what you want to do with the rifle." At the risk of getting flamed, I'm gonna generalize here. Scopes are enhanced sights that help you see in bad lighting and with increased magnification. Basically, they help you aim better, and you still have to do your part, but it's generally easier with a scope. Iron sights are a little more resistant to environmental hazards, like mud, snow, breakage, and stuff like that. As Cosmoline suggests above, iron sights are considered, hmmm. . .the better ones to use to really learn the skills of marksmanship.

    For example, I just got my first scoped rifle a few weeks ago and transitioning from iron sights to a scope has been pretty easy, or at least the shooting part of it is (learning how to properly zero it took longer than I thought, but it was probably just me :rolleyes: ). If you only shoot with a scope, it's generally harder to go to iron sights than vis versa. A good test of skill is to get a rifle that has iron sights and also can take a scope. Shoot it with the scope to find the limits of your rifle/ammo combo and then take the scope off and try to match that level of accuracy and precision with iron sights :D . It's a pretty good challenge (and one I haven't been able to meet, but I'll try ;) ) and degree of difficulty varies with set-up. HTH.
     
  9. SteveS

    SteveS Member

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    For hunting purposes, a scope is important. I don't get much of a chance to take an animal, so I don't want to risk missing with iron sights. It is easier to be more accurate with a scope, especially at longer ranges. That being said, I learned on iron sights and still have "non-scoped" rifles.
     
  10. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. Talk about food for thought....:what: I had never considered the guns would be designed for scopes. Being a novice, when I do decide to buy a rifle, I'll probably place to get one with the iron sights in the .223 and plan to buy another in a stronger caliber with a scope. If I get the Beretta CX Storm -- it'd probably fit nicely with this accessory.
     
  11. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    Why aren't there more rifles made with iron sights?

    Because the makers realized that the Baby Boomers can't see them anymore, don't need them, don't want them and don't want to pay for them?

    I still want open sights on a dangerous game rifle or a self-defense rifle, but otherwise...shrug...give me the clean lines of a nekkid barrel.

    John
     
  12. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    An aspect not mentioned is that of one's eyesight. After age 40 or so, eyes generally can't simultaneously handle the different focal lengths for the sights and the target. It gets worse as one gets older. For me, and many others, iron sights are only usable at close range.

    Precision shooting with iron sights takes a lot of practice. The majority of buyers do little more than a sighting-in and then a few shots during their hunting season. For them, a scope allows far greater precision in shot placement...

    Art
     
  13. kimbernut
    • Contributing Member

    kimbernut Member

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    Rifles with no sights

    Art's right, eyesight is the main factor as you age. I began noticing a difference at 43 . Now at 51 I'm not comfortable with iron sights past 50 yards. I know of no one who can shoot distance as well with iron sights as they can with a scope. On the hunting aspect, the ethical hunter will only take a shot that he knows will put the animal down for good. There is no room for poor accuracy to do the job right.The last thing you want is an injured animal.The scope is an advantage for precise shot placement to help insure that this does not occur.
     
  14. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Remember Freeman's Laws of Firearms? I can't remember which # it is but, "A rifle without iron sights has no sights.":)

    Mas, the reason is that the people who design and build rifles, do not always know how to use them. The old hardware vs. software problem.:(
     
  15. Jaywalker

    Jaywalker Member

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    Scopes are easier to use, not because they magnify, but because they put the sights ("crosshairs") into the same focal plane as the target - you can focus on both at the same time, a thing not possible with iron sights, no matter what the age of your eyes.

    OTOH, a person who has only a scope has not met Murphy - yet. Sure the Remington iron sights aren't great, but wouldn't it be nice to have them when you've just shattered your scope on a rock and you're five miles from camp? Speaking as a person who falls a lot, having both is a cheap insurance policy.

    Jaywalker
     
  16. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

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    I'm partial to the Remington model 7 and 700 -- is it possible to install a scope on a gun that already has metal sights -- or do you need a gun without sights to do this?
     
  17. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    The reason some guns don't have sights is because they are designed to be spray fired from the hip.

    :D


    Seriously, you can usually install a scope on a rifle with iron sights. I have seen some scopes where the "bell" on the object (not the one you look into) end touches the rear sight or won't fit at all without taking the rear sight off.
     
  18. Poodleshooter

    Poodleshooter Member

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    It is possible to do so, however it requires that the scope's front lens (bell) be able to clear the rear sights. Scopes that are very long or have very wide bells or objective lenses may require mounting rings that raise them above the level of the sights.
    It's really not too much of a problem. I'd highly recommend an iron sighted Remington Model 7 or 700 with a scope mounted as the primary sight. It's good to know how to use both.
     
  19. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Mastro, most rifles are drilled and tapped for scope mounts, whether or not they have iron sights. (Or, like the Ruger, et al, set up for proprietary mounts.)

    Jaywalker, your argument about Murphy does indeed have merit. However, taking luck over skill any day, for the last forty years I've been able to walk and chew gum at the same time. :D

    Art
     
  20. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

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    I appreciate the info. I'll probably go with the 7 and 700 Remy with the iron sights and plan on getting a good scope down the road. Suggestions where to look? I assume a smith will have to install this when I decide to go this route.
     
  21. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    Just someone who is knowledgeable and can use simple tools.

    Some gun store/depts will install a scope for a small fee, or even free with the purchase of either scope or rifle. I used to do it all the time. I even "boresighted" them, and one guy actually killed a deer without even test firing it.

    Personally, I don't like iron sights on a scoped bolt action rifle. They snag on things and the rear sight can be a moisture trap leading to rust.

    What caliber are you getting? If it was me, I would get a decent bolt action 22 first, and then buy a centerfire rifle later. You can shoot all day with a 22 for a few dollars, and the practice will carry over to a larger rifle. Some years, I don't even shoot my deer rifle between seasons - just practice with the 22.
     
  22. Jaywalker

    Jaywalker Member

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    Art:
    Ah, would that I could, too. My last tumble was this year, trying to cross a raging 20-foot wide river, AT LEAST 10-inches deep. There I was tip-toing from one mossy rock to another in the dark to keep my socks dry, and I ending up chasing fish, rifle in up hand to protect it. I lay there a few seconds with water streaming into my jacket, trying to figure how to get up. I finally had to roll over to get to my knees, incidentally getting my front and dry side wet. I squooshed back to my tent, changed clothes, and went out again - in another direction. I can't say if I banged the scope, but if I didn't, it wasn't for lack of trying. Fortunately, my spare rifle was only 50 feet away (I've done the rolling dive off rocks before).

    Jaywalker
     
  23. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Mas, without hesitation I would recommend Robar. The boys in the GWR have worked on a couple of rifles before.:D
     
  24. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

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    Tall pine

    I've been mulling over whether to get a .223 in the Remy 7 and the .243 in the 700 or to get two of the same caliber but one with sights and one without....

    The bolt action .22 holds appeal as well -- I've also looked at the Henry "Golden Boy" gun but I don't know too much about this long gun so right now, I'm just trying to get all the info I can.
     
  25. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    Mastrogiacomo:

    The "Golden Boy" is a quasi-replica of the original 1800s Henry rifle, and seems a little over-priced to me. But if you like it, who cares? :) For that price range in a lever action, I would get a Marlin 39, which is an actual 1890s design (as is the Win Model 94 30-30).

    Marlin makes some nice 22 bolt action rifles, too. You could probably get a Marlin 25N and a scope for about $200 - maybe a little more, I don't know how prices are back there. A scope for a 22 doesn't have to be very expensive since the shock from recoil is minimal.

    The 243 is a great cartridge and is what I use for deer. It's also good for varmits, especially coyotes. But the ammo is not especially cheap unless you get into reloading. The 223 and 308 are the bargain calibers.

    Heck, if you just want to get into a rifle cheap and shoot cheap, try an EAA Saiga 7.62*39 semi-auto for about $240. Not big on accuracy, but a lot of bang for the buck. Or maybe they are illegal in MA ...? :(
     
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