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Long range hunting with open sights

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Old 10-28-2004, 12:00 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 876
Long range hunting with open sights

Is anyone out there hunting long range (meaning 3-400 yds.) with open sights?
I am thinking of putting together a long range rifle in say 300wsm and using a receiver sight.what receiver sight would you recommend Lyman or Williams or other. And am I out of my mind? I had a chance to shoot a friends .30-.06 with a receiver sight and was impressed. we were consistently hitting 2 litter jugs at 300yds. And got to thinking we would be better off to put a 100.00 into open sights versus 100.00 into a scope.Except you would get a little more low light hunting time with the scope.So if your doing it this way please tell me about it.I do have good scoped rifles I just like to do things different sometimes.
thanks in advance.
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Old 10-28-2004, 02:18 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: north idaho
Posts: 5
Re: Long range hunting with open sights


Irons are cool to shoot with! Last year I put down a very non-typical bull elk @ 355 yards with an iron sighted schmidt rubin swiss rifle. This year, (only two weeks ago) the same rifle was used by my dad to bag a nice 6x6 bull @ a touch over 360 yds.

My dad and I practice often with this rifle and could very possibly use it up to 700 yards, provided a good shot opportunity.

What you really need to do is to find an original old war rifle in good condition and shoot it. Better yet use it along with a rangefinder and you'll be amazed just how far and effective you can shoot with the military irons.

I've come to the conclusion that our surplus military bolt rifles are far more capable than many of the men who have carried them in times past.

Irons will never compete with a scoped rifle at truly long ranges, but when the weather is foul and if you can get to within 400 yds. or under, never doubt the effectiveness of irons.
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:39 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Carrollton, Ohio
Posts: 619
Re: Long range hunting with open sights

Originally Posted by smart bomb View Post

What you really need to do is to find an original old war rifle in good condition and shoot it. Better yet use it along with a rangefinder and you'll be amazed just how far and effective you can shoot with the military irons.

I have to agree, my Eddystone Model of 1917 can shoot really well! I would be comfortable with shooting at 200 yards with it because I have missed the 300 yard target a lot more than I have with my Winchester model 94 30-30.

I personally would not try over 300 yards without a scope, I would hate to wound the deer and have it run off.
"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-- Samuel Adams
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:42 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
Posts: 5,953
Re: Long range hunting with open sights

Nate, I had a really accurate SKS with the adjustable (ramp) rear sight that I came real close on a few 300 yd prairie dogs in the sitting postion and was able to hit a 16" disk 6 for 6 at 300 yds, offhand at the range.

As far as your comfort range for taking game with it, that is up to you and how well you know the limitations of you and your rifle.

If you zeroed a real flat shootin 300 WSM @ 300 yds, with a fast lighter wieght bullet like a 130gr TTSX or even a 150 gr E-Tip, you would be getting minimal drop at 400 yds.

Out of a 26" tube I'm guessing you could get the 130 gr TTSX moving about 3600 or better with RL17 and a 150 E-Tip, probably 3400 give or take. With that kind of trajectory if you put the sights on the backbone you would be hitting a deer about mid body or higher.

There are already LR open sights out there...

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Old 05-27-2009, 08:39 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,616
Re: Long range hunting with open sights


Having shot a lot of iron/open sights I know they can be very accurate and fun.

The best iron sights that I know of is the redfield big bore international or the
redfield Olympic. these have a aperture front site with inserts.

These sights are a little expensive but are worth the money. downside is the
size (Large).

The Lyman or the Williams would be good for hunting (More compact) and the
Lyman 17a front would be a good front site because it has different apertures
for different distances and light.

The good thing about iron sites is dependability.

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Old 05-27-2009, 11:51 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: SW MO
Posts: 1,174
Re: Long range hunting with open sights

I haven't shot any game at long range with open sights but I competed in indoor small bore rifle competition in college. We shot Anschutz 54's with receiver sights and disc aperture front sights and I can tell you they were scary accurate. I killed a deer at a lasered (after the fact) 98 yds with my Encore muzzleloader with fiber optic open sights. Shot him from prone position and couldn't have placed the bullet better if I had been point blank. It was really cool.

You are correct about losing some shooting time at first and last light but as long as you know your limitations going in, no big deal. I personally would not go out on a trophy hunt with that limitation but it is just the ticket for filling an antlerless tag. Loads of fun!
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:21 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
Posts: 6,831
Re: Long range hunting with open sights

I have never shot long range big game with open sights. I also have not shot long range with rifles with open sights. That said, I used to be a handgun hunter and shooter nearly exclusively. That was before I get into building rifles and started promoting my own wears.

We used to on a regular basis head out with the big handguns and shoot steel at long range. We started playing at 300 yards shooting at my 16 and 20" gong. After a very short time, this got pretty boring. Once you get the sights adjusted properly, hitting a 20" gong with a quality revolver in anything larger then 357 Magnum was pretty easy, that is shooting off a sandbag.

We then started pushing things out farther and topped out at around 800 yards. There are not many traditional revolver chamberings that will remain stable and accurate at at that range but that would certainly not be a concern with your project.

As far as which sights to use, We always used the open sights which were on the revolvers which were usually Ruger or S&W and both worked very well.

It always was a fun time stretching things out with the big bores.
Kirby Allen(50)

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