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View Full Version : What range do you shoot your ar15 with iron sights?


bootcamp
05-19-2009, 9:40 AM
Just curious for you AR15 owners with iron sights. What range do you shoot them the most? 25yd? 50yd? 100yd? 100+yd?

I recently took my recent stag build to the range for function testing and initial sighting and it was super accurate at 25yd. After i got it dialed, it was grouping 1.5" - 1.75" 8-10 shot groups.

What should I expect at 50yds? or more?

Vtec44
05-19-2009, 9:43 AM
I'm limited at 100 yards. Beyond that, I can't see my target without a scope.

grahlaika
05-19-2009, 9:44 AM
300+ yards. Iron sights were designed to be used at those ranges. I've used them up to 600 yards. You should be able to hit a full-size silhouette target in an AR-15 with open sights at 300 yards with regularity. At 600 yards it becomes a scatter-shot effect, but you can still make decent hits. After all, it's the same rifle that can make those shots with a scope easily enough, so it comes down to technique.

Defense Shooter
05-19-2009, 9:58 AM
i shoot metal plates (12in round and 24in square) all day long at 200 yards. I am just a plinker so i have no idea about group size. But the AR with iron sights shoots better than me.

eighteenninetytwo
05-19-2009, 10:02 AM
The sight on mausers and Lee Enfields and so on were all graduated out to 1000 yards plus in the early part of the 20th century with iron sights. Really eyesight and a consistent sight picture is the big issue when getting out to longer ranges. I wear contact lenses and further than 200 yards gets to be a strain.

aermotor
05-19-2009, 10:13 AM
I shoot all the way to the 600 steel an Angeles. 300 is a no brainer to me.

ocabj
05-19-2009, 10:18 AM
200 (standing, sitting), 300 (prone), and 600 (prone). Standard course of fire for High Power Rifle competition (aka "Across the Course" or 'Traditional' High Power).

Sample video of a junior shooter during 200 yard rapid fire sitting stage (2 sighters, plus 10 round string) at Camp Pendleton at the April 2009 Regional (with view of targets in camera frame):

iVrp_aum4lU

MrBurns
05-19-2009, 10:21 AM
My AR isn't finished yet, but when I go with my buddy to shoot his at Angeles, we only shoot the steel plates and they don't start until the 200 yard mark. My eyes are good, but I have a hard time with the AR past 300yds. I can shoot my Mosin much easier at 500 - 600yds than I can with the AR.

aermotor
05-19-2009, 10:23 AM
Wow really MrBurns? That's crazy.... the sights on my 91/30 aren't that great and the gun isn't that accurate. Maybe we can meet up sometime at Angeles and compare guns.

brando
05-19-2009, 10:24 AM
200 (standing, sitting), 300 (prone), and 600 (prone). Standard course of fire for High Power Rifle competition (aka "Across the Course" or 'Traditional' High Power).

Exactly - it seems crazy these days but it can be done and has been for decades. At the All Army Rifle Championships back in the 90s I shot a 93-6V in the 400 yard slow fire with an M16A2 (on an A1 lower). That's prone, unsupported, with iron sights.

Yeah, old school ;)

Stormfeather
05-19-2009, 11:05 AM
Old School like some of the other guys here.

500 yards, prone, unsupported, center mass man sized targets all day long.
As Brando said, its been dont that way for decades, no reason not to keep doing it. Each and every one of these m4's you guys build can do it, you just got to start practicing your ranging and reading the wind. After that, its all about breathing and trigger squeeze.

armygunsmith
05-19-2009, 11:11 AM
Agreed, 300 meters should be standard for AR shooters with iron sights. A man sized target at 300 meters is bout the same width of a standard A2 front sight post, so beyond that it can get a little tough but possible. Don't get me wrong, I love optics but shooting with irons is always very satisfying.

Vtec44
05-19-2009, 11:13 AM
I need to get a bigger steel target so I can see out to 300 yards. I can barely see my 10x17 target at 300 with a scope lol

fliparch
05-19-2009, 11:36 AM
I chose UP TO 100 yards, since this is most comfortable with my eye sight and I have a scope for farther distances. I do plan to get a 1x red dot for CQB.

bluestaterebel
05-19-2009, 12:05 PM
The question was...

What range do you shoot them the most?

CAL.BAR
05-19-2009, 12:33 PM
200 (standing, sitting), 300 (prone), and 600 (prone). Standard course of fire for High Power Rifle competition (aka "Across the Course" or 'Traditional' High Power).

Sample video of a junior shooter during 200 yard rapid fire sitting stage (2 sighters, plus 10 round string) at Camp Pendleton at the April 2009 Regional (with view of targets in camera frame):

iVrp_aum4lU

That looks so boring to me! Like Disneyland (1 hr wait for 30 sec of ride) here it was 5 minutes of wait for 20 sec of shooting. (one round at a time)

aermotor
05-19-2009, 12:48 PM
After that, its all about breathing and trigger squeeze.

No doubt, I'd say these are by far the biggest factor whether you can hit targets or not. I think even above breathing is trigger control, so vital I couldn't believe it. I've shot less than 200 rounds with an AR in my life and I can pretty easily hit 500 yards no problem with correct trigger control.

You just need to know your gun and how much the trigger pulls. Mine has some give so I take up that "slack" to the point where I know it won't fire but is right on the brink, beathe out, hold it, capture the trigger and hold it down, don't pluck at it and release it, capture it all the way back and hold it. Solid.

Poll should have more options.

Aftermath686
05-19-2009, 12:56 PM
That looks so boring to me! Like Disneyland (1 hr wait for 30 sec of ride) here it was 5 minutes of wait for 20 sec of shooting. (one round at a time)

Its because the asshats in the pits have no speed and intensity!!!


In the Corps. you have to qual at 200 300 and 500 all irons... Its more than doable.

ocabj
05-19-2009, 1:33 PM
That looks so boring to me! Like Disneyland (1 hr wait for 30 sec of ride) here it was 5 minutes of wait for 20 sec of shooting. (one round at a time)

Understandable. High Power isn't a spectator sport. You need to try it and see if you feel the drive to keep competing and excel in it.

In a standard 80 round National Match Course of Fire, it takes about 6 hours to shoot an entire match for all relays.

AlliedArmory
05-19-2009, 1:45 PM
100-300 yrds with irons should be no problem

dchang0
05-19-2009, 1:56 PM
That looks so boring to me! Like Disneyland (1 hr wait for 30 sec of ride) here it was 5 minutes of wait for 20 sec of shooting. (one round at a time)

It's much more fun to do it than watch it--like sex! Um, except watching sex is pretty fun too.

dirtykoala
05-19-2009, 2:37 PM
I havnt taken mine to a range past 100, I'm grouping about 4 inches there. In the marines we shot at 500 with irons and I didn't drop one shot. I wish I had a close enough range to shoot that far now.

ripcurlksm
05-19-2009, 3:16 PM
g/f shot 200-300yds no problem with irons at angeles on sunday..... DING! .... DING!.... etc

Army GI
05-19-2009, 3:28 PM
200 (standing, sitting), 300 (prone), and 600 (prone). Standard course of fire for High Power Rifle competition (aka "Across the Course" or 'Traditional' High Power).

Sample video of a junior shooter during 200 yard rapid fire sitting stage (2 sighters, plus 10 round string) at Camp Pendleton at the April 2009 Regional (with view of targets in camera frame):

iVrp_aum4lU

Wow, look at that. Control, technique, concentration. That's what I love about high power shooting. I enjoy this shooting way more than high volume barrel burning and 12" steel plate plinking.

GoingPro
05-19-2009, 3:32 PM
i need ALOT more practice!

DDRH
05-19-2009, 3:38 PM
i suck @ 25 and 50 yrds...lol...but imma try again next time and see what i can do, and keep practicing. the range i go to is @ 100yrds max.

GoingPro
05-19-2009, 3:45 PM
i suck @ 25 and 50 yrds...lol...but imma try again next time and see what i can do, and keep practicing. the range i go to is @ 100yrds max.

same here.... i sighted in my iron sights @ 50 yards 2 weeks ago i was burro canyon. . . . ive shot at 100yards and im horrible. . . . just more practice for me and you.

Tillers_Rule
05-19-2009, 3:58 PM
I voted 50 yards though I don't have an AR. But, the place I go regularly only goes out to about 65 or so yards. So, I just put some targets down at the end and plink away with my other iron sighted rifles.:thumbsup:

DDRH
05-19-2009, 3:58 PM
same here.... i sighted in my iron sights @ 50 yards 2 weeks ago i was burro canyon. . . . ive shot at 100yards and im horrible. . . . just more practice for me and you.

I've got my front site post lined up about 75% of the rear....maybe i should site it somewhere more towards the middle, so i can see better...was able to hit the bullseye a few times @ 50 yrds, but my groupings suck.

this is off bench and some sandbags.

Ahhnother8
05-19-2009, 4:07 PM
Just curious for you AR15 owners with iron sights. What range do you shoot them the most? 25yd? 50yd? 100yd? 100+yd?


200, 300, 600, 1000 yards. For anything less, just break out the air rifle. :eek:

Lane

bluestaterebel
05-19-2009, 4:14 PM
200, 300, 600, 1000 yards. For anything less, just break out the air rifle. :eek:

Lane

Ha! Youre too cool for school

dd03
05-19-2009, 4:27 PM
The video of high power shooting, is he using bullet button or what? What's the yellow thing he's using to release his mag (at least that's what it looks like to me)?

ocabj
05-19-2009, 6:59 PM
Yes. Bullet button. Technically it would have to be a BB on an OLL since the shooter is a minor (under 18 can't use a Registered AW). The 'yellow thing' is an Empty Chamber Indicator.

NRAhighpowershooter
05-19-2009, 7:27 PM
600yds here...............

cortayack
05-19-2009, 7:50 PM
I sighted my AK at 25yds and shot it at 100yds.....
Shot my 357 lever at 100 yds thats as far I have shot....
No AR at the time......:shrug:

Nessal
05-19-2009, 7:59 PM
One reason why I didn't run out and buy optics when I built my first AR was that I want to know how to use it well without optics. I feel that starting off with optics is a crutch. As a matter of fact, none of my AR's have optics and I have built over 5. Just plain old irons. When I go to the range, I notice my groupings get better and better everytime. It's all in the practice.

fabguy
05-19-2009, 8:10 PM
This last weekend my 18 yr. old daughter (first timer) was hitting 18" x 18" steel plates 7 to 8 times out of 10 with iron sights on my mini-14 at 300 yds. I was hitting it also, but my AR has a scope on a Sabre defence 24" barrel (i have bad eyes) I want to try it to 500 or 600 yds. She said she found her new love= shooting. Hehehe great way dads to get rid of that annoying boyfriend of thiers.

Darklyte27
05-19-2009, 8:30 PM
whatever the bullet allows to hit... haha
I didnt get the expert badge for nothin! I earned it!

high_revs
05-19-2009, 8:35 PM
iron sights? what iron sights? LOL

25 yds only... i've tried 50 and 100... but my eyes get pretty tired (contact lense wearer here)

Vtec44
05-19-2009, 8:38 PM
She said she found her new love= shooting. Hehehe great way dads to get rid of that annoying boyfriend of thiers.

That's also my plan, but my daughter is only 3.5 :o

5968
05-19-2009, 8:50 PM
I usually shoot mine at ranges from 25-500 yards. I am finding that as I get older, I like to shoot slower at farther distances.

cassius
05-19-2009, 10:52 PM
lol at the shortrange poll choices.
~400yds at A Place To Shoot.

BroncoBob
05-20-2009, 6:15 AM
I'm limited at 100 yards. Beyond that, I can't see my target without a scope.


I have the exact same problem. My eye sight sucks.

Tarmac02
05-20-2009, 6:38 AM
Marine Corps rifle qual was out to 500 yrds with iron sights when I was in.

One of my buddies just had to qual with an m4 at 500 with an acog. Said it's doable but the bullet drop on the shorter barrel from that far out makes it a pita.

B Strong
05-20-2009, 7:24 AM
100 yds at Los Altos Hills.

big al
05-20-2009, 7:50 AM
50 to 100 @ chabot or los altos, and 25 @ jackson.

high_revs
05-25-2009, 9:51 AM
for those who shoot different distances on their iron sights, do you usually write down how many turns you adjust to easily go back and forth (like matrix it and just remember what distance you shot it at last)?

ocabj
05-25-2009, 10:26 AM
for those who shoot different distances on their iron sights, do you usually write down how many turns you adjust to easily go back and forth (like matrix it and just remember what distance you shot it at last)?

Yes. I have a data book, but I also have mine memorized. For my primary rifle used in matches:

200 yard standing: 4 clicks from bottom, center hold
200 yard sitting: 5 clicks from bottom, center hold
300 yard prone: 13 clicks from bottom, center hold
600 yard prone: 58 clicks from bottom, 6 o'clock hold

Sometimes these will change depending on what shooting facility I'm at and lighting conditions.

DJBSR
05-25-2009, 11:21 AM
We have a man hole cover hanging in a frame (AKA the Gong) and love to shoot it at 375 yards with my Rock River Arms CAR A4. Ring the Gong baby!

Grumpyoldretiredcop
05-25-2009, 11:56 AM
I'm not much good over 100 yards with irons. Even with reading lenses in my shooting glasses, focusing on the front sight is a struggle these days. :(

1859sharps
05-25-2009, 12:13 PM
Unfortunately most public ranges limit us to 100 yards max. So, like most I spend most of my time at 100 yards. From time to time I get out to a 200 yard range.

I wish most ranges were 200 not 100. truth be told, beyond sighting in our rifles, expending ammunition on anything less then 100 yards is a wast of good ammo.

To really be a proficient "rifleman" you need to be able to shoot with consistency out to about 300 yards. It's too bad the options for getting this kind of practice for most of us is near non existent.

Spearo
05-25-2009, 1:23 PM
I shoot the 100yd plates at Angeles (the ones to the far right) with my 5in .357mag revolver. Getting like 5-6/8 shots on the plate in single action.

So I would not be surprised if some of you are shooting 300-600+ yards iron sights only with a AR-15.

popeye4
05-25-2009, 2:04 PM
Unfortunately most public ranges limit us to 100 yards max. So, like most I spend most of my time at 100 yards. From time to time I get out to a 200 yard range.

I wish most ranges were 200 not 100. truth be told, beyond sighting in our rifles, expending ammunition on anything less then 100 yards is a wast of good ammo.

To really be a proficient "rifleman" you need to be able to shoot with consistency out to about 300 yards. It's too bad the options for getting this kind of practice for most of us is near non existent.

You could shoot the highpower matches. There are 600+ yard ranges at Pendleton (Santa Margarita), Coalinga, and Sacramento. There is a 300 meter Swiss club in Gonzales (Carmel Gun Club). It is a bit of a drive (depending on where you are), but then the highpower game isn't for the casual shooter.....

dwtt
05-25-2009, 2:41 PM
I thought the ranges to select from would be much larger given the OP's handle is bootcamp.
The longest range I shoot at is 200 yards because Chabot's rifle range doesn't go any longer. I've shot longer ranges, and qualified at 200, 300, & 500 meters. Mare Island had a 200 & 300 yard range back in the 1990's but I don't know if it has been bulldozed over to build condos and townhouses.

xxdabroxx
05-26-2009, 10:07 AM
We have a man hole cover hanging in a frame (AKA the Gong) and love to shoot it at 375 yards with my Rock River Arms CAR A4. Ring the Gong baby!

Rang the gong once yesterday at the 395 mark with the SKS. Just not as easy with it as it is the AR.

hkusp9c
05-26-2009, 1:38 PM
300, 400, 500, 600 yards? How do you guys see that far? I need a new pair of eyeballs. :D

popeye4
05-26-2009, 2:33 PM
300, 400, 500, 600 yards? How do you guys see that far? I need a new pair of eyeballs. :D

When shooting highpower, the black target center is always 6 moa across, so it always appears to be the same relative size, whether at 200 yds, 300 yds, or 600 yds. It does get challenging at the longer ranges with haze, mirage, fog, etc. (that's what makes it interesting!).

It also depends on the sight installed. You probably aren't going to be shooting at 600 yds with a ghost ring. Palma is shot with iron sights (usually apertures) at 1000 yds. Those guys are amazing.....

OofieXD
05-26-2009, 2:56 PM
I'm new to shooting and the range where I go to is only 25yds.

Question for those who shoot 200+ yards. When you shoot at these distances, do you still try to shoot the center of the target and make small groups or just as long as the target is hit? I have really bad eyesight so I'm not really sure I can still see what I'm shooting at after 200+ yards.

swerv512
05-26-2009, 6:45 PM
shot my buds new 16" SOG this weekend. a PITA at 50 yds with that big bubble flip up rear sight. that being said, i used to shoot the center out of the large black circle target swith my M1A all day long when i had him....

popeye4
05-26-2009, 7:18 PM
I'm new to shooting and the range where I go to is only 25yds.

Question for those who shoot 200+ yards. When you shoot at these distances, do you still try to shoot the center of the target and make small groups or just as long as the target is hit? I have really bad eyesight so I'm not really sure I can still see what I'm shooting at after 200+ yards.

With either of my service rifles (AR15 or M14) I shoot for the 10 ring, which I believe is 7 inches across (at both 200 yd and 300 yd). My rifles can do it, but sometimes I'm challenged......

KAVEMAN762
05-26-2009, 7:56 PM
I usually start at 15 yards, then 25 then 50 then 100+. I want to see where the bullet impacts at super close ranges, then I go for 100 and up and see what adjustments need to be made, if any is needed. Then I keep track of it for later. Even though I know where the bullet will impact at a certain range, I still do it at various ranges just in case my sights magically moved. Especially when friends start dic*king with my rifles

Paratus et Vigilans
05-26-2009, 10:12 PM
200-300-600 XTC and 3 x 600 Midrange.

Still working up a load for the 75 gr. Berger VLDs to take it out to 1000.

My eyes aren't the best, but past 300 yards its not so much the eyes as the wind that's the challenge. That's assuming you've gotten decent at building a consistent position and have trigger control and breathing figured out too.

As someone else posted, definitely not an activity for the casual shooter. You have to enjoy the challenge and the structure of the sport or it's just not worth it.

RRangel
05-26-2009, 10:51 PM
Old School like some of the other guys here.

500 yards, prone, unsupported, center mass man sized targets all day long.
As Brando said, its been dont that way for decades, no reason not to keep doing it. Each and every one of these m4's you guys build can do it, you just got to start practicing your ranging and reading the wind. After that, its all about breathing and trigger squeeze.

BRASS FIRE!