Long range hunting with open sights

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by 308 nate, Oct 28, 2004.

Help Support Long Range Hunting by donating:

  1. 308 nate

    308 nate Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2004
    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.
  2. smart bomb

    smart bomb Member

    Oct 28, 2004

    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.
  3. justgoto

    justgoto Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2009

    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.
  4. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2008
    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...

    Welcome to Montana Vintage Arms - Sharps Style Vernier Sights

    Ever watch Quigley Down Under? :D
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004

    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.

  6. sambo3006

    sambo3006 Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    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!
  7. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver Official LRH Sponsor

    Jun 12, 2004
    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.
  8. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2004
    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
    Last edited: May 27, 2009
  9. Russ M

    Russ M Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2008
    308 nate
    i would go with the lyman peeps, i learnd to shoot with a set a top an old bolt winchest .22lr and we were able to shoot shot shells at 75yd with that it was a lot of fun
  10. royinidaho

    royinidaho Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2004

    Not an authority whatever on this subject.......but,

    My Dad was a dedicated 22 50' competitor and spent his money on a 12X Unertl for the range master which left little money for sights for the 721 '06.

    He stuck a redfield "peep" sight on it with the factory front sight.

    The peep came off for deer hunting in PA's thick woods.

    However, about half way through chuck season, after he had figured the range/clicks and hold for the different mounds in Tinker's hay field, I recall spending a lot of time making long range treks to retrieve the dead and wounded.

    I goole earth'd the field measuring from the barn bridge to what I 'remember' as the closed and farthest mounds. Closest was 250 farthest about 350.

    I was about 12 at the time but the field still looks the same.

    Go for it.
  11. lemonademaker

    lemonademaker New Member

    Apr 13, 2012
    I have yet to put on a scope mount to my k-31, have you since 2009? What kind of ammo do you run in it for elk?
  12. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2011
    My cousin in Illinois, who is a very accomplished deer hunter don't own a scoped rifle and never has.

    Me, I need a scope. My eyes suck.
  13. djtjr

    djtjr Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2008
    I would love to get my tubb gun out there to do that. Think anything out to 600 wouldn't be a problem