Scope or iron sight for hunting

img_220712004072017Before there were scopes and red dots, there were already iron sights. They are not literally iron these days, they are more likely plastics or aluminum for lighter weight.  Almost all pistols have iron sight. Many rifles also do have iron sights as well as shotguns which are designed for shooting slugs. Although the question of scope or iron sight for hunting will clearly be answered as you read on. Get a cup of coffee, sit back and keep the pace.

Iron sights are relatively inexpensive, and even if you scope a rifle, having an iron sight is a great backup in case something happens to your scope in the middle of hunting.  Shooting accurately with iron sight is a great skill to have. Believe it or not, in most rifle competitions, shots are still fired using iron sights. The iron sights you may often see on hunting rifles are called open sights. There is a post or a blade at the front of the rifle. Sometimes, it is protected by sun shade. The real sight is an open notch – often adjustable for elevation. Elevation expresses how high the bullet impacts on the target.

Open sights are easy to understand and use, but their precision is limited by the short sight radius. As the distance between the front and rail sights. The greater the sight radius, the greater the accuracy of the sights. Target rifles and many military rifles solved that problem by using a peep or aperture real sight located at the rare of the rifle’s action. This significantly increases the sight radius. You pair through the little hole and the iron sight in the hole. Then you put the front sight on or just below the target. However, if the shooter can keep the rifle steady, he or she will get a hit. The same is applied to pistol sights. They operate mostly like the open sights. The both sights are close to the eye, and the sight radius is even shorter. Aperture sights have been made for pistols, but open sights are much more common. This was not aided by target shooting and for real sights. They can be precisely adjusted for windage and elevation, which is the amount the pistol shoots to the right or left.

img_221112004082017The greatest challenges using iron sights are sight align and focus. Before you worry about training the gun on the target, you have to get the front, and the rail sight aligns with each other. With the rifle, this is a large amount of the gun field. The sights will never line up naturally if the gun is too long for you, or the butt-stock is too high or low. If the gun fits right, the sights will naturally be aligned. When you are shooting a pistol, your sight alignment is controlled by your grip on the weapon. A firm and consistent grasp will let the front sight blade to settle comfortably into the rear sight notch. The eye focus is one distance at a time. It cannot focus on one of them if you pull the trigger, and that should be the one at the front. You only want to see half of the real sight to be sure that the iron sights correctly lined on it.

Your view of the target does not have to be sharp or crisp, but your view on the front sight should be sharp and crisp. Hold steady, and you will get a hit.

So now that we have taken some time explaining how iron sights work and how they can be very reliable and can help consistent and precision short range shooting and hunting. It is time to dive into how a riflescope can also be used and the type of shooting that can be done with a riflescope.

The most common question that a new shooter usually ask is how to sight in a scope. Questions like this and many others are going to be explained in seconds here as you read on.

Physically, there are a lot of people having problems maximizing with the riflescope when they get out to the field. I want to start by saying that riflescopes basically have the same functions and I will be telling you things that will make you understand your scope better and make the best out of it.

The first thing someone needs to know about the riflescopes is that there are numbers on the scopes which help users to understand the magnification power, tube size, and diameter. Let’s say you have a scope that is 12X24; this shows that it is a variable power riflescope which indicates that the scope is either 2.5 power on the low and extends to 12 powers at the maximum. What this shows is that this type of scope is for long range shootings. Most scopes are 3X-9X powers; 2.5X – 10X powers. They go down to lower in powers. So those two numbers, at the beginning indicate the powers of the riflescope. There is also a 4X power scope, and that will definitely be a fixed power scope. The last digit of the riflescope 12X24 – “24” is the size of the objective lens. The reason why this is important is that the larger the number, the likely the light gathering capability of the scope. So this will help a lot of hunters to be able to acquire more light in the low light conditions and typically, that is when the animals root the most. To get the most out of your scope, and to get more light in it, you also want to crank your power down which will open up your field of view during hunting in low light conditions. Scopes with 12 diameter lens will be tough in low light conditions. This does not mean that it is impossible to be used, they are at the average level. So if you need more power capability, you will need to turn your power to the lowest and get a scope with a larger lens. Scope with a larger diameter will gather more light in low light conditions.

Now tell me, are you still going to go around asking veteran hunters to help you choose between a scope or iron sight for hunting? Let me guess that your answer will be very confident that you are now going to be the master of your hunt no matter the one you choose to use – iron sight or a scope.



I'm a writer and outdoors man who loves nothing more than getting out in the woods and putting food on the table. I write about hunting, gear, tips and tricks, and anything else that helps fellow hunters succeed.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Rifle Scope Reviews: The Definitive Guide