Anyone use iron sights for deer hunting?

engineer40

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May 5, 2015
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Rockford, MI
Historically I've used scoped rifles for anything longer than 100 yards'ish. In just target shooting or hunting.

Although more recently I acquired a couple old WW2 era rifles (not sporterized) and I was surprised at what I could do with just irons at 250 yards.

I haven't had a chance to shoot longer yet with those rifles. But the scenario got me thinking and scheming. It might be kind of fun to hunt with a 75 year old rifle and iron sights.
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I'm sitting at my computer thinking this is great. But in reality if it's getting dusk and I can't see clearly what the deer is, I'm really going to be wishing I had that scope to give me the 15 more minutes of hunting.
 

HRstretch

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Granbury, Texas
The only deer I killed this year was a spike that was killed with open sights. I went a little farther and used the open sights on a 1874 Sharps 45-90 black powder cartridge rifle with hand cast lead bullets. I did miss the advantage of the light gathering of a scope, but I was committed to hunting with this rifle. I had some better bucks come through, but it was always just a little to dark to ethically make a shot (at least for me). It was a great trophy for me and will cherish the memory for a long time.

I have a vernier rear sight and have confirmed elevations to 800 yards. I can't wait to go hog hunting to see how much penetration I can get on a large pig.
 

J E Custom

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There are many different kinds of iron sites. Some are good for battle, some are good for targets and some are good for hunting. The aperture sites are the most accurate on round targets but in a hunting situation they tend to make you shoot center Mass of the animal. The blade type, are best for hunting because you concentrate on the kill spot/POI.

Most long range iron sites (500 to 2000 yards) are aperture front and back but the shooter has to be aware of the center mass phenomenon.

Most of these rifles are the old black powder cartridges like the 45/120 and the 50/140. that can effectively shoot 800 to 1000 + yards.

Smokeless rifles have a much father range ability and need a good scope.

If a person practices with Iron sites he will be amazed at there potential accuracy.

Just My Opinion

J E CUSTOM
 

FearNoWind

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North Central Valley California
Thanks for the memories. I spent a good many years shooting with only open "iron" sights. Those were the years when I believed that real hunters didn't use scopes because scopes were for people who couldn't shoot well. Obviously, I've changed my opinion since I can' see iron sights well enough to shoot accurately. :)
But it's still fun to reflect on those years when we could put 'em in .5 MOA groups with iron sights.
 

HARPERC

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Jan 28, 2011
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Spokane, WA
......The aperture sites are the most accurate on round targets but in a hunting situation they tend to make you shoot center Mass of the animal........ J E CUSTOM

Shooting archery style game picture targets helped me with this habit. Back when I could see that far.
 

RT2506

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Jan 10, 2008
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It all depends on what you are after. If you have to have meat or are trophy hunting then you need to take every advantage you can get by using the proper tools. If you want to have fun and are willing to deal with the limitations of iron sights like not being able to see your sights or game in low light have at it. I have hunted with iron sights lots of times. The first deer I ever killed was with iron sights and a Marlin 336 in 30-30 Win. I used to feed my family with deer meat when we were as poor as Job's turkey and if I did not shoot or grow it we did not eat it with an old Colt 1911A1 45 ACP pistol with cast 200 gr SWC and kept shots under 50 yards with open sights. I could killed a deer for less than 5 cents with my hand loads. I have used all kinds of military type rifles since I am a collector. Some of my favorite are the M1 Garand, 1903A3 Springfield with their peep sights but the accuracy of the M96 Swede and K31 Schmidt Rubin with practice allows some really long shots precisely. I have also used my 1874 Sharps copy in 45-70 with black powder and my cast bullets which is a blast. If you want to have fun go for it but like Dirty Harry says " A man has to know his limitations."
 
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