Stalking with Open Sights

2130martin

Well-Known Member
I am considering buying a lightweight "battue style" rifle with open sights un-moderated for Woodland stalking. Proobably .308 flavour.

Anyone got one,done it?

What ranges realistically can you expect to shoot deer at with open sights?

Not had open sights since my air rifle days!!

Thanks

Martin
 

Dalua

Well-Known Member
What ranges realistically can you expect to shoot deer at with open sights?
I've never shot a deer with iron sights but I've shot a good many targets using them, although usually aperture, rather than open.

Assuming your rifle will shoot properly to 300yds, as most stalking-rifles will nowadays, I think the realistic range will depend on
1. The style of the sight
2. Tje size of the deer
2. The light
3. Your eyes

The wisdom of text-books from the olden days when open sights (often wide shallow-V 'express sights') were usual seems to be that rifles in what we'd consider standard stalking calibres should be sighed for 200yds.
 

sharkey

Well-Known Member
I use open sights a fair bit on deer. I like to hunt in heavy cover when its cold & wet & if that is the weather outlook I always use a rifle fitted with QR mounts & open sights. I use a peep sighted 30 30 a lot on pigs & prefer it to a scoped rifle as it is faster & I seem to do better on the running shots, the swing is cleaner & I dont overthink it. I am playing with a commercial 1950's FN Mauser in 375 H&H ATM, it's very light & points well for me, i'm having a large front bead & a peep sight fitted & no scope. I will most likely take this to walk up a sambar in heavy timber or regrowth.
 

Cootmeurer

Well-Known Member
I'm in agreement with Sharkey on the 30-30. If I was insistent on open sights and a quick handling rifle I would use my lever action Win Model 94 with a ghost ring aperature sight. Not a precision rifle, and I rarely would even consider a shot past 100 yds with it - but crawling around in the thick and nasty and that gun is all sorts of handy.
 

sharkey

Well-Known Member
I'm in agreement with Sharkey on the 30-30. If I was insistent on open sights and a quick handling rifle I would use my lever action Win Model 94 with a ghost ring aperature sight. Not a precision rifle, and I rarely would even consider a shot past 100 yds with it - but crawling around in the thick and nasty and that gun is all sorts of handy.
Thats the one I have. Its a 70's top eject model & I have the biggest hole in the aperature I can. Most folk would look at it & think its a piece of crap, but it does its job beautifully. It is most often on the quad bike or the truck when I am working around the farm so it's well worn in. I can shoot foxes out to 70 yards with some confidence & even take the heads of bunnies from a bit closer if I fancy a few for the pot. I have a steady population of pigs on my own place & because its with me a lot, it shoots a "few". Scopes wouldnt last a year or two on this & similar work guns. Also these days I tend to like the hunting more than I like the shooting, & even with aging eyes I enjoy & even get more enjoyment using open sights within their limits. Open sights are an advantage & not a disadvantage for a lot of the type of hunting which I enjoy.
 
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The fourth Horseman

Well-Known Member
Used a 30/30 for a couple of years culling Sika in thick woodland,using open sights. Most shots less than 50 yards,very effective. Open sights are perfectly ok for 150 yard shots,but you need to practice a lot prior to using them in earnest. For many years I stalked Roe and Fallow with a 6.5 x 54 Mannlicher using open sights, but as with most of us my eyesight deteriorated with age, so I fitted a scope.
 

sir-lamp-alot

Well-Known Member
hows about using a very low mag scope, if you can get on and use open sights then hats off to you but to be honest i think a low powered scope (sub x6) will give you the close up action your after but with the benifits of a scope
 

bogtrotter

Well-Known Member
Used a 30/30 for a couple of years culling Sika in thick woodland,using open sights. Most shots less than 50 yards,very effective. Open sights are perfectly ok for 150 yard shots,but you need to practice a lot prior to using them in earnest. For many years I stalked Roe and Fallow with a 6.5 x 54 Mannlicher using open sights, but as with most of us my eyesight deteriorated with age, so I fitted a scope.
Ah 6.5 x54 Mannlicher my fathers old rifle he never had a scoped rifle in his life , good for 150 yards on the open hill, I'm not really sure that we shoot any better with a scope than they did with open sights, but a scope probably gives us more confidence which may or may not be a good thing
 

Long drag

Well-Known Member
Thinking of doing same i have a Styer Scout .243 don't see any reason why i cant hit a Sika out to 100 yds, that's where the buzz comes in the stalk getting close, just zero and practice, we will see in September:eek:
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
+1 to Bogtrotter's post. ALL my rifles have iron sights as well.as 'scopes if 'scopes are fitted and I've a .270 Czech Mauser that has iron sights only.

Also the old books give wise words, and nonsense, in equal measure. A square sided rear notch and a square topped "Partridge style" blade, or square sided round bottomed "U" rear notch and BLACK bead, for 100 yard plus beats any shallov "V" and white metal bead.

If you use a bead paint it, or chemically colour it, black. White metal beads cause shot errors in sun.
 
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kimh

Well-Known Member
yep I use a Ruger stutzen in 243 and 30-06, practice like any shooting, my eyes aren't as go as they used to be but i'm sure open sight shooting helps in concentration?
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
I was shooting my combination gun the other day. After testing a new load of non toxic ammo, and having some factory ammo it doesn't like but wanted the emptys I took the scope off (in claw mounts) and had some fun. A couple of rotten stumps about The fore quarter of a boar sort of were shot at quickly with open sights from a gun down position at a range of 40 yards. Not trying to be precise, but fast and shooting as sights came to bear. All hits into a foot square. I can hold 3 to 4" at 100 if I take my time with a rest.

There is absolutely no reason why open sights are not perfectly adequate for deer stalking. Take your time getting close and take your time over the shot. No, you won't me able to shoot at first and last light, and on longer ranges you may well have to pass up a shot that you could take with a scope. And in cover it will be more difficult to thread a bullet between the trees and avoiding all the twigs etc (but question if you should be taking such shots in any case). Thinking over last several deer I have taken, all bare one, were well with 100 yards and quite frankly could have been taken with open sights.
 

2130martin

Well-Known Member
I was shooting my combination gun the other day. After testing a new load of non toxic ammo, and having some factory ammo it doesn't like but wanted the emptys I took the scope off (in claw mounts) and had some fun. A couple of rotten stumps about The fore quarter of a boar sort of were shot at quickly with open sights from a gun down position at a range of 40 yards. Not trying to be precise, but fast and shooting as sights came to bear. All hits into a foot square. I can hold 3 to 4" at 100 if I take my time with a rest.

There is absolutely no reason why open sights are not perfectly adequate for deer stalking. Take your time getting close and take your time over the shot. No, you won't me able to shoot at first and last light, and on longer ranges you may well have to pass up a shot that you could take with a scope. And in cover it will be more difficult to thread a bullet between the trees and avoiding all the twigs etc (but question if you should be taking such shots in any case). Thinking over last several deer I have taken, all bare one, were well with 100 yards and quite frankly could have been taken with open sights.

So,engine room on a Roe free hand at 100m is realistic(with practice,before they start!!),thats what I was hoping/thinking......
 

oneeyeopen

Well-Known Member
I took a fallow buck once with a Marlin SBL in 45-70. It was fitted with the XS ghost ring sights. I remember looking at the deer 100 yards away and it looked tiny, it still looked tiny at 60 yards. I eventually took the shot at 40 yards, it ran about 50 yards and rolled over. It is still one of my favorite memories because of the added challenge with irons. The Ghost ring felt almost as fast as a red dot to get on target and with practice i would be confident in going out to 100 yards on a deer.
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
So,engine room on a Roe free hand at 100m is realistic(with practice,before they start!!),thats what I was hoping/thinking......
I wouldn't cos my shooting's not good enough, but a coupe times in the winter when using the combination gun without the scope looking for phaesant I had does within 30yds. Checking the gun was empty I drew a bead on one and and took aim. No problem at all, but as I wanted to keep them I didn't fire a shot.

I am off to Germany shooting boar in a couple of weeks. It will mostly be highseat so scope will be on, but if it's close a 6x scope will be an embuggerance and i will happily use the open sights.
 

Pedro

Well-Known Member
As with all disciplines, shooting or otherwise, practice is the key to doing it well. I haven't, I must admit shot anything live with open sights, although have used them at the range. I would think that the optimum place to use them is in a fairly confined environment, such as woodland stalking where the opportunity for longer shots is negligible (and you can refrain from taking them if there's any doubt). I would also think that the advantage of iron sites, apart from not having a big lump on top of the rifle, are that you can acquire the sight picture quicker than with a scope. How marginal that is though, I don't know. Interesting thread.
 

LeftHandGuy

Well-Known Member
I am planning to use an unscoped rifle this winter. Not exactly a light-weight (milsurp Finnish M39), and if I can't satisfy myself that I can hold sub 4" at 100 yds, then I'll go out with a scoped one instead. But the plan is to use the Finn with its original sights, and I don't expect to see deer more than 100 yds away anyway.

So, to answer your question, for me at least, up to about 100 yds.
 

AdrianC

Well-Known Member
I have just picked up a Mauser M12 and specifically ordered it with open sights and quick release mounts.
It will be coming to Africa with me this year and I fully intend to hunt with open sights when I'm there.
 

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