Re: Long range hunting with open sights
Nate, I haven't hunted much with iron sights in years, but when I was younger, did hunt with a Garand and also a KAR 98 Mauser, both with battle sights. I estimate the longest shot was 125 yds. I found the combination of rear aperture and front post on the Garand to be better than the Mauser for me, but I had qualified on a Garand in the service, and had lots of faith in it. I shot NRA match rifle for years with a Redfield International rear and Al Freeland front. Both have apertures and worked very well on bullseye targets to 600 yds. I never shot them at 1000 yds, but many did. I had switched to Service Rifle and used an M1A for the last few years that I shot competitively and based on that, would marginally recommend the combination of aperture rear and post front for hunting game. Two apertures are easier to line up, but the visibility with a front post is better in poor conditions or low light. The old Navy "center mass" hold is better for hunting, but with practice, the "6 o'clock" hold is easier to acquire. You have to settle on one or the other and use it exclusively, because your POI will shift drastically if you get confused. Lastly, practice is much more important with iron than with a scope, and if you do it enough, 200 yds on game is a piece of cake, 300 yds will feel ok, but 400yds (for me) would get iffy.
As for a rifle, a match conditioned 30-06 Garand or .308 M1A would be an excellent choice. Both have great (and rugged) sights, are capable of sub MOA accuracy, and can easily outshoot most shooters in hunting conditions.
All that said, I have a custom .280 Rem with an old Lyman 48 long slide rear (moved to the left side), and a modern Lyman 93 front globe sight that uses Redfield Olympic front inserts. With 160gr Accubonds, it's better than I am at any range, and I have hunted with it, but not shot anything (but paper) yet. I love the look and feel of an iron sighted rifle. They seem cleaner to me than a scoped rifle, and they are stone reliable.
Sorry about getting so long-winded, but the subject struck an old nerve. Tom
Texas State Rifle Association Life Member
NRA Endowment Life Member
A big fast bullet will beat a little fast bullet every time
Last edited by specweldtom; 05-27-2009 at 11:23 PM.