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  #1  
Old 07-17-2013, 6:42 PM
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Default Are you A Dying Breed Soon To Be Extinct?

Took my son yesterday to our range to shoot at 100 yards to zero one of my Garands.

There was about 20 shooters on the line with targets from 50 yards up to 100 yards. During the cease fire while my son was retrieving our target, I strolled though the benches to see what everyone was shooting. I saw all sorts of rifles. On my way back to our bench it donned on me that everyone but us were shooting with some kind of scopes. What ever happened to iron sights? What is wrong with iron sighs that they are vanishing on the face of the earth faster than our 2nd Amendment?

Even at our last month's vintage military silhouette match, the iron sight shooters were outnumbered by the scoped shooters 12 (iron) to 21 (scoped). Despite of this overwhelming numbers, the match winner with iron sights outshot 20 of the scoped shooters. This tells me that to the expert rifleman, a good iron sight is still a viable sighting system.

It saddens me to see new/young shooters with scoped rifles as their first rifle. IMO, all new shooters should master their skills and learn the basic of iron sight. Hone your fundamentals and marksmanship skills with iron sight. You simply cannot put a scope on your rifle to make up for your lack of fundamentals marksmanship skills.

The same thing with driving a car. How many drivers you know that don't know how to drive a manual transmission? I bet you know at least one. Everyone should learn to drive on a manual transmission.

I will continue to shoot iron sight till the time comes where I could no longer see. At that time I will give up shooting all together and lean Braille. Just my $0.20.
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Old 07-17-2013, 6:47 PM
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All my C&R's are iron sights. Scopes are too much time and money for me.

I have only one scoped rifle and that was a gift from my dad, an early Remington 700 in 25-06.
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Old 07-17-2013, 6:50 PM
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I HATE scopes, they're just cumbersome, expensive, finicky, and screw with my spacial awareness.
Wh do people use them for sub 250 yard work? I've never understood that.
A good set of irons will do it just as well as a scope, and better than a scope sometimes!
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Old 07-17-2013, 6:51 PM
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Aside from a 270 all my rifles have Iron sights. But I'm thinking about a scope on a 10/22
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Old 07-17-2013, 6:55 PM
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Everyone should learn to shoot with iron sights first. You sir are teaching your children well.
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Old 07-17-2013, 6:56 PM
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all irons... for me
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Old 07-17-2013, 6:58 PM
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Totally, totally agree. Just too many people get a new rifle, or worst, get their first rifle and are slapping a scope on it before they have even shot it. Sometimes they are even buying their scope while they are waiting their 10 days.

While I understand the need for scopes, I too think that irons will be a lost art in 10 or so years.
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Old 07-17-2013, 6:58 PM
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Originally Posted by pro-nra View Post
The same thing with driving a car. How many drivers you know that don't know how to drive a manual transmission? I bet you know at least one. Everyone should learn to drive on a manual transmission.
That's an "old guy" complaint if I've ever heard one. The vast majority of cars are automatic transmission now, people really don't need to know how to drive stick anymore than they need to know how much sawdust to use in their icebox.

That said, the popularity of scopes is more about laziness than anything else. Lots of casual shooters have no idea that they need to zero the scope before it actually does anything for them.

I had a red dot that I used for 50-100 yards, but it's always been co-witnessed by irons (actually magpul flip-ups but, same difference). I sold the red dot in favor of buying a different one, so for now it's all irons for me.

Anyone who wants to shoot an AR needs to learn how to do it with iron sights - all other sighting systems can catastrophically fail - irons can't.
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Old 07-17-2013, 6:59 PM
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Iron sights would be nice option, don't some shoot Sharps to 400 plus with peep irons?
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Old 07-17-2013, 7:01 PM
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I like iron ans glass
depends on the task
kinda hard to hit squirrels at 75-100 yds with iron,
then again on a lever 44 mag iron is plenty for deer to 150 yds
I agree starting with iron

Z
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Old 07-17-2013, 7:00 PM
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it's because they all are going to become snipers
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Old 07-17-2013, 7:05 PM
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I don't have any rifles with glass, I just never cared for them.

I've been the only one in the deer camp without glass for some time, but for the last two years friends have missed shots on a deer because their 4-16x55mm scopes were cranked up to the max and had sighted in their rifles in at some completely unreasonable distance. A day of hunting in the rain or rooting around in some thick scrub and you'll appreciate irons.
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Old 07-17-2013, 7:08 PM
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I'm an old guy and my eyes cannot focus well enough to hold a fine bead at any distance so I use scopes.

I do have two rifles with irons though, a Savage 99 and a Baikal double rifle
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  #14  
Old 07-17-2013, 7:24 PM
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I use both, it all depends on circumstances. All my varmint rifles have glass, need it to see all those Taliban and A.Q. ground squirrels up in Cedarville. Most of my other hunting stuff does as well like my Model 70s. My passion, as you know, is vintage military rifles. The majority are irons but, a couple, have glass. The Swiss ZFK55 sniper rifle is one although it does come with its own iron sights as well. You should always learn on iron, but scopes and the magnification they provide are needed as well.
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Old 07-17-2013, 7:29 PM
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Depends on what I'm doing, but I do like iron sights. I like scopes too so I guess I'm not too biased...
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Old 07-17-2013, 7:28 PM
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I, like Emdawg, have only milsurps with iron sights. The only optic I have is an ACOG TA31-RCOA4 for my M16A4gery rifle.
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Old 07-17-2013, 7:33 PM
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Iron on 2 of my rifles. 1 scope on a bolt sporter.
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Old 07-17-2013, 7:33 PM
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My only scoped rifle is a Marlin 795 (.22lr) and that is mainly so I can see the tiny holes at 50 and 100 yards.

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Originally Posted by db42 View Post
That's an "old guy" complaint if I've ever heard one. The vast majority of cars are automatic transmission now, people really don't need to know how to drive stick anymore than they need to know how much sawdust to use in their icebox.
For over 25 years my primary car has had a manual transmission. I recently bought a new car with an automatic. I can't break the habit of keeping my hand on the gear shift. I still like manuals better - most autos don't downshift and hit the correct RPM when you are rounding a corner.
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Old 07-17-2013, 7:43 PM
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Most of us older shooters didn't have scopes back then. Learn iron then try scopes. Both are fun. And yes, I can drive a stick..
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Old 07-17-2013, 8:03 PM
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Hello,

I have both. If the tool requires a 'scope, it gets one.

The heavy barrel .22LR gets one because it means clean kills on the edge of the effective range of the .22.

I have one for my Mosin. I used it once on all loads I've found to be accurate in the Mosin. That way, I know if a particular group is me, or the rifle.

Most times, the Mosin simply wears my own sights. This means a slightly opened-up rear blade or a peep sight in combination with a Classic Target front sight. I use either to 200 yards on coyote.

It's funny; at Appleseed a few years back, the 'scopes and other optics were coming off the AR-15 rifles can carbines pretty fast. About half the people there ditched 'em in favor of their BUIS.

The most use I have for a 'scope is target identification. For example, is it wearing a collar? Or, how many points does that buck have?

That said, where I live in Indiana, the hills roll enough that a 'scope is only a nicety, not a necessity, for accurate bullet or shotgun slug placement.

Regards,

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Old 07-17-2013, 8:05 PM
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I learned on irons decades ago, back when my vision was still decent. Now, glasses are thick, and irons are a challenge.

Got an AR. Friend says get a red dot. What, why? Bah humbug.... Well, was I wrong! I can shoot with both eyes open, and am very accurate at 100yds+. What a revelation!

Changing targets out 100yds with the red dot? A breeze! Acquisition is lightening fast.

But don't dismiss the new tech. It may have a different use than what you'd expect, but don't get all curmudgeony on optics. Also, as we age, these tools can help us to shoot like we used to.

I'd rant more on the bench shooters and the bipods, than the optics! When was the last time you saw someone shooting prone, kneeling or sitting on the ground? Pretty sure if the SHTF, I won't have time to set my shot with a bipod!

Regardless, my kids are learning on irons. They're young, but that's how they're starting. Got a 10/22 for them. Going to put a peep on it soon. Stock sights are accurate out of the box, but I learned on peeps and that's where they need to start too.

They'll also learn to drive stick too. New cars suck.
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Old 07-17-2013, 8:16 PM
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Originally Posted by db42 View Post
That's an "old guy" complaint if I've ever heard one. The vast majority of cars are automatic transmission now, people really don't need to know how to drive stick anymore than they need to know how much sawdust to use in their icebox.
I guess I'm "old guy" as I'm 46 and retired 5 years ago so yes old. I have to agree that most cars in America are automatic to please the public. If you go outside our borders, the percentage of manual transmission increase drastically.

It took me a few months to find my Ram Megacab Turbo Diesel with a 6 speed manual. Today only Dodge offers manual on their heavy duty trucks.

Now back to the iron sights. Is it just me or have you guys noticed at your range that 80%+ of the shooters are using scopes?
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Old 07-17-2013, 8:21 PM
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I too prefer iron sights.
I still have not mastered scopes and only have 3 on modern rifles.
All of my C&Rs are iron sights and I do much better with them than with the scopes.
I just changed out the sight on my Enfield (no4 MK1) with one of these from Liberty Tree Collectors.
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Old 07-17-2013, 8:24 PM
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As you can see all of my milsurps are iron sites and only two of modern have scopes:


I do notice though is that the older I get, the harder it is to see the iron sites - I hate getting older!
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Old 07-17-2013, 8:26 PM
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All of my C&Rs have original irons only. I have a varmint rifle with a scope, my AR has a scope (which I may ditch in favor of irons). Different strokes but yes, it bugs me to see C&Rs wearing scopes unless they original like a sniper scope.
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Old 07-17-2013, 8:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fjold View Post
I'm an old guy and my eyes cannot focus well enough to hold a fine bead at any distance so I use scopes.

I do have two rifles with irons though, a Savage 99 and a Baikal double rifle
This ^^^

I'm not insanely old but do have trouble with distances. Used to try iron sights with glasses and it messed with my depth perception.
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Old 07-17-2013, 8:43 PM
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I prefer irons to scopes but seeing the bullseye of the target at 200 yards is getting much harder. I usually stay at 50 to 100 yards so I can see better.

I have one scope I bought for my M4gery. It's good for seeing distance but I find it put more strain on my eye after a while than using the irons does. Maybe I just don't know how to use a scope properly.
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Old 07-17-2013, 8:50 PM
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Considering myself younger than some/most here. All but two that I own are iron sights. One of the scoped is a 91/30 PU. The other is one of the five 22lr rifles that I own. Getting my eyes lasered next week, so should be good for 5 to 10 years?

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Old 07-17-2013, 8:53 PM
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Originally Posted by pro-nra View Post
I guess I'm "old guy" as I'm 46 and retired 5 years ago so yes old. I have to agree that most cars in America are automatic to please the public. If you go outside our borders, the percentage of manual transmission increase drastically.

It took me a few months to find my Ram Megacab Turbo Diesel with a 6 speed manual. Today only Dodge offers manual on their heavy duty trucks.

Now back to the iron sights. Is it just me or have you guys noticed at your range that 80%+ of the shooters are using scopes?
I would love to have my Blazer with a stick shift. I know they made them; just can't find any of 'em around!

Something I don't understand, though: In every owner's manual I've read, the towing capacity of a manual transmission seems to be limited to 2000lbs gross even if the rest of the truck can take it. This seems to run the gamut of anything from cars to Chevy trucks.

Never could find the answer as to why. Dad was a GM engineer and never knew why, either; it wasn't his area of design.

I've owned three S-Series (Blazer, Bravada, new-style Blazer) and they were my first automatic transmissions. Everything else I've owned, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep CJ5, etc, have all been manuals.

I hate changing out the clutches when they burn up, but these vehicles just last!

Here in Indiana, I would say that only about 50% use 'scopes. Of those, maybe half are running true varmint rifles.

I do not understand 'scopes on leverguns. Just makes no sense. Shotguns, maybe, if they're shooting slugs over 100 yards and trophy hunting. I just always loved the standard sights on single-shot slug guns, though. Never had use for repeaters when hunting, but I don't care if others prefer them.

Some say that 'scopes and red dots and such let them shoot with both eyes open. I've always shot open irons with both eyes open -- it's taught in defensive handgunning circles and was drilled into my head.

Anyone else find that you can't shoot open sights with both eyes open, but can when using optics?

Josh
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Old 07-17-2013, 9:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kygen View Post
it's because they all are going to become snipers
Exactly! Ha Ha... That was my first thought... For me,.. Iron sights except for my sniper rigs... !st car was an auto, the next 40 or so have been manual and will stay that way until death do we part...
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Old 07-17-2013, 9:09 PM
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I agree

Ha and at work even the 5 and 10 yard rigs are auto..use to be a big deal being new learning how to shift a split shifter
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Old 07-17-2013, 9:22 PM
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Did anyone have BUIS?
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Old 07-17-2013, 9:28 PM
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I do both. My vision's a little marginal on some of the smaller targets so I have some scoped guns. Otherwise I just shoot at bigger stuff. :-)

Example: That 400 yard scaled Appleseed target is right on the edge of what I can see. If I trust NPOA I get nice little groups but sometimes a little high or low depending on how well I guessed where the target was. Basically I'd either get a score in the 220s or 180s depending on how I guessed. I did it again later with a centerfire and didn't want to waste ammo guessing so I used a scope on low magnification (x4?) and it was perfect.
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Old 07-17-2013, 9:50 PM
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Pro nra...those aperture sights on the sweet sweet swede of yours that I shot I would consider scopes. ..non magnified. That is really an incredibly tight setup with the changing size for a particular target.

Only scope I have mounted on a rifle is an acog and it is bueatiful. I shoot irons 90% of of the time, I also practice shooting weak hand. Standing/kneeling/prone ect. I I want to be proficient in all styles.

Dam I need a swede
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:05 PM
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Slowly converting all my rifles to scopes. Even the Swede Mauser gets an S&K no tap mount with and LER scope. Enjoy your youth, the eyes are getting weaker. I cant focus the rear sight to the front sight anymore. Just started at 46 years old. When I see the 70 year old knocking a flea off a squirrels *** at 200 hundred yards, I often think about what a stud that guy must be.
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:07 PM
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I use scopes for testing rifles and ammo, then put the iron sights back on. However, if I'm shooting 200 yards and beyond, at a minimum I need a diopter or a scope. I'd be satisfied with diopters on the M39 and IDF Mauser like I have on the K31. I can't see squat with v-notch sights beyond 100 yards, the eyes just don't work that well. However, the M39 v-notch is easier on my eyes than the K31 and IDF Mauser although I'm not sure why.
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:53 PM
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Pro nra...those aperture sights on the sweet sweet swede of yours that I shot I would consider scopes. ..non magnified. That is really an incredibly tight setup with the changing size for a particular target.

Dam I need a swede
Thanks for the kind words. Those aperture inserts are custom made to my dimensions for each target. Took a few sets to finally got the dimensions just right. That was the final version I had made that you shot on one of my CG-80. I'll shoot that very same rifle at this Saturday's match.

If you have some ammo I'll let you shoot one of my Swede target rifles or my M96 Saturday.

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Originally Posted by Danodog View Post
I cant focus the rear sight to the front sight anymore. Just started at 46 years old. When I see the 70 year old knocking a flea off a squirrels *** at 200 hundred yards, I often think about what a stud that guy must be.
At our military silhouette matches, there are two iron sight shooters that dominate this match that consistently outshoot all other shooters with scoped rifles. They win matches after matches and they are in their 70s. They both use corrective lenses as thick as the bottom of a coke bottle. One thing they both have in common is they learned their fundamentals long ago with iron sights. BTW, we shoot out to 500 meters at this match so a lot further than 200 yards.

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Originally Posted by kouye View Post
I can't see squat with v-notch sights beyond 100 yards, the eyes just don't work that well.
I'll have to agree with you that the tangent sights are hard to master but once you have it down to a science, it is very accurate.
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:54 PM
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An iron sight or a scope is just a tool used to aim the rifle.

If your scope or your iron sight is a fashion accessory, you just don't get it.

Being just shy of 60 years old, scopes are a good option for me. Eyes aren't as sharp as they used to be. But if I'm being sloppy with basic shooting techniques I just get sloppy groups, it does not depend on rifle's sight.

When I go to the range I notice what others are shooting and how well they are doing with them. Some scope shooters are dead on. I figure they have learned to use it. Some are not, they need more practice.

But, judging people on what they use? Meh.

And to respond to the red herring in this thread, I drive a car with a clutch. I don't care what anybody else uses. Really does not matter to me and there are no larger issues riding on it.
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:23 AM
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I learned with iron sights on my M16a2 and continue to shoot with irons, just feels more natural to me. I have a few friends who went straight for optics instead of working on their fundamentals, they're still amazed about how I shoot.
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Old 07-18-2013, 4:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheapblaster View Post
An iron sight or a scope is just a tool used to aim the rifle.

If your scope or your iron sight is a fashion accessory, you just don't get it.

Being just shy of 60 years old, scopes are a good option for me. Eyes aren't as sharp as they used to be. But if I'm being sloppy with basic shooting techniques I just get sloppy groups, it does not depend on rifle's sight.

When I go to the range I notice what others are shooting and how well they are doing with them. Some scope shooters are dead on. I figure they have learned to use it. Some are not, they need more practice.

But, judging people on what they use? Meh.

And to respond to the red herring in this thread, I drive a car with a clutch. I don't care what anybody else uses. Really does not matter to me and there are no larger issues riding on it.
^^ Right on...

Does anyone really think that the men of yore wouldn't...in a hot minute...slap any one of our modern optics on their rifles if given the chance??? Give me a break! They'd just about kill to have the quality glass we can get nowadays.

Scopes make getting accurate hits at distance easier, period. No contest. And don't try to feed me that nonsense about, "Well I saw a guy with irons out-shoot everyone with a scope at 600 meters dagnabit!" The bottom line is that the guy who cleaned-up at the shoot with irons would've had better groupings if he was using a scope (quality scope properly zeroed of course!).

His fundamentals are good, so he shot well with irons. He would have shot better with a scope. The guys that were using scopes weren't out-shot because irons are better, it was because the shooter was better. You can learn the fundamentals of shooting just fine with a scope.
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