View Full Version : irons or glass?
10-24-2007, 02:48 AM
With all the threads I have read on various forums lately, my mind has started to wander. I see that more and more people (more so the younger folks like me 27ish) seem to think that all hunting rifles need scopes. period. It doesn't seem to matter if it is a milsurp or a brand new fresh off the like rig. It kinda makes me wonder if the days of the iron sight shooter are dwindling. So here is my question for the crew...what do you all hunt with irons or glass? I know that there are some hunts where glass is almost mandatory (pdogs @350ish and the such) but is glass really THAT necessary for general hunting? (deer/rabbit/squirl/etc). I guess I look at my grandfathers old go to hunting rigs (with no glass) and wonder what things were like back then.
10-24-2007, 02:57 AM
This year will be an iron sight handgun of one cal or another. Alot easier to tote than a rifle. Limits my range though.
10-24-2007, 03:00 AM
Use both, but may eyes are going south. May even end up with an optical sight on my handguns someday.
10-24-2007, 04:41 AM
Quickshot, I do a fair amount of shooting, including varmint type. I have more than a safe full of rifles and pistols. And not a scope on any of them. I use aperture sights, and find them to be as good as a scope for my purposes, which includes shooting 1000 yard matches. The rifles carry easier, are faster to get into action for hunting, and are very sufficient for target work.
10-24-2007, 06:22 AM
I only have one scoped rifle left in my safe. When I was young and could see I had scopes on everything. Now that I'm old and the eyesight is getting bad, I love iron sights, mostly tang or receiver sights, go figure. I don't shoot 1000yd stuff but 600yd BPCRS. The last 4 or 5 deer I have taken have been with irons. You just have to know your limitations.
10-24-2007, 06:33 AM
well i prefer iron sights but have to admit that with age i do need a scope on one or 2 of my rifles. none on the handguns rear sight is far enough away from the eye i can still focus on it
10-24-2007, 07:19 AM
See the Handle. ;) There's a reason for it.
10-24-2007, 07:34 AM
All I hunt with and shoot including High Power is with iron sights. I think that the large amount of sixgun shooting I do has helped my 53 year old eyes have some focus. There are some days that are better than others as far as sight picture and of course light has a lot of influence. My rifle sights are ghost rings on the back and sourdough's in the front. The NECG sourdough's just light up the creek bottom when you need it. I can't imagine a better tougher front sight to use anywhere on earth.
Hunt hard, it's lots more fun
10-24-2007, 08:49 AM
I think some of it has to do with marketing, the internet, and gun writers. However, some of it might have to do with the gun manufacturers...a lot of them put out firearms with really crappy open sights. People may try them out for a range session or two, and don't see the results they were expecting, and head straight for the closest gunshop to slap a scope on it. I really believe that if people had a set of open sights that were really well built/precise, or had an aperature sight that more people would stick with open sights. That being said, I do have a mixture of scopes/red dot/open/ and aperature, just depends on the day and what I want to use them for on which I want to use.
10-24-2007, 09:12 AM
i definitely have bought into the scope thing. I'm 23 and have never hunted without one. My father always just said to put a scope on whatever your using so i listened. I'd like to go without some day, but I would prefer peep sights when I do so.
10-24-2007, 09:41 AM
I hunt with irons, moslty on handguns and mostly in inclement weather. I use scopes on rifles. But it all depends on the hunting conditions. Here we are mostly wooded. Opens have the edge for speed and durability. Dad always like to say that when lead has to fill the air, you don't want a scope.
Clearly, scopes have the edge for performance and safety. Around here we have mostly wooded terrain. A 2 1/2 power scope gives you increased shooting time at dusk and dawn as well as better ability to acquire when in timber with bright or shaded light conditions during the day. And if shooting through brush is an issue for you, then a scope allows you to see what is in front of your shot to place it at the most opportune time. The BIGGIE here is that it also allows you to see passed your target. And here, that advantage is invaluable for safety reasons.
10-24-2007, 10:32 AM
For me, it depends on two things: the range, and my eyesight. No sight is faster to use than a peep/ghost ring for hunting. Red dots come close, but the body of the sight sometimes restricts your view. I have peeps on everything from my 10/22 squirrel splatter to my .30 cal deer rifles. For anything out beyond 150 yards, I can't see it anymore without a scope, so I am gradually scoping some of my longer range rifles. The only one of those I hunt with is a .22-250. Read the article on the Gunloads Home Page.
10-24-2007, 10:37 AM
I have one scoped rifle. It is a Savage 110 HB .308. It has a 10X Simmons that was given to me on it and sports a Harris bipod. I have never downed any game with it. It will shoot though. I have a slew of iron sighted guns as well. 5 Milsurps that all have irons a 30-30 Marlin and a 45-70 Handi. I was getting the M91 Mosin ready last night for a field trip. I am confident with the irons on it. I have to run the sight all the way back off the graduation scale though, it rests on the barrel. I need a higher front sight. Try hunting with irons. It is fun. Just as a side note I know a fella and every rifle he owns is scoped even his BP. I asked him if he does any long range shooting, he told me that every deer or hog he has ever killed was within 100 yds! That is definitely iron sight range. I believe it says alot of the shooter if he can put 'em in a nice group with irons.
10-24-2007, 11:12 AM
A proper scope will give you faster hits than any irons. Almost any scope lets you shoot with more accuracy than irons. Even for short range woods hunting I prefer a scope - because all too often you don't have more than a tiny spot exposed to your shot. I've shot more than one deer in the head at woods ranges because the head was the only shot I had. A deer's brain at 50 yards is a pretty small target and given the choice between a 3/32 gold bead or a razor-sharp duplex reticule I'll take the scope every time.
The only rifle hunting situation where I prefer irons is nasty weather - driving rain, sleet, or blizzard snow. Not because I'm worried that the scope will fog (good ones don't) but because it's too dang hard to keep the lenses clear enough to see through.
I recently ordered a Williams FP receiver sight for my 94-BB .375 just for that reason - it's destined to be my "slop" rifle and if I have to use irons I much prefer an aperture sight.
10-24-2007, 11:06 PM
Armed with a rangefinder it's hard to beat a good tang sight. I can hit my 1/2 scale steel buffalo easier with my Sharps than I can with my scoped 338win trying to guess hold over at 600yrds.
I have a ladder/blade sight from Csharps on my Browning 1886 that I really like to hunt with.
My 22Hornet, 7mag, and 338Win all serve there purpose for me better with a good scope.
11-04-2007, 03:55 AM
I prefer irons , my eyes prefer scopes .. :???:
The Lott has a low power scope and NECG irons .. Scope is off more than on ..
The 480 has a scope and irons , swap back and forth with them ..
When I was comin' along , I'm only 50 , the transition from iron to scopes was pretty well under way ..
Two problems for iron shooters are crappy from the factory sights , and stock designs aren' t open sight friendly .. :Fire:
11-08-2007, 09:26 AM
A lot depends on the gun, a scope it just a tool like the gun is a tool for harvesting animals. I have a scope on a Savage 110 in .308 mainly cause it didn't come with irons and I dont want to spend the money to have bbl dovetailed. I put peeps on all my lever guns except the latest one I got, cause I can shoot peeps better than open sights. My exception is the Puma I got in .45 colt, I painted the front sight with that glo paint, what a differance that made no problem at 50 yards, I seem to be able to keep the shots where I want them.
I also have an AR15 that I shoot at Garand matches and thay only allow open sights, so that is what I shoot at 100 yards, btw I shoot the Garand matches for fun and I don't worry about scores like some do, but I do ok.
11-08-2007, 06:48 PM
It depends on what I am hunting, what type of gun I'm using and the mood I'm in.
While I agree that scopes make it easier to hit with; sometimes it just feels right to use irons, either open or peep.
I like to have back-up iron sights and a somewhat removeable scope, if possible.
The only time that I have ever had a scope go bad on a hunt was about 25 years ago on a coon hunt. My best friend and I were out with his dog and my old single shot .22 rifle with a Weaver V22 scope. Red had three coons up two trees and w couldn't hit them; one broken Buck knife later we had about $75.00 on the ground.
I too have one scoped rifle, for hunting out west. Even after Lasik, the returning stigmatism in my right eye makes anything truly long distance with iron sights impossible. While hunting in Missouri (and a few times out west), it's open sights black powder. I'll not drill and tap any of my Milsurp rifles so I don't think I'll be having anymore then one scoped one.
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