Georgia Hunting Land For Sale South Carolina Hunting Land For Sale North Carolina Hunting Land For Sale Hunting Land and Recreational Property For Sale

Iron Sights vs Optics


In today’s world, those who opt for magnification far outnumber those who prefer open iron sights. Regardless of where you are the fact is that far more whitetail deer have been killed using iron sights than with optics. That being said, there is a place for both in the modern arena. Let’s look at what the best uses for each and see how and when to use the appropriate sights for accurate shooting.

There is little question that using magnification is very beneficial when shooting long distance. Those who hunt big food plots, bean fields, or even clear-cut properties can benefit from using magnification on their sighting devices. However, the case can be made that since in the Carolina’s over 80% of deer are killed inside forty yards the use of optics can be over stated. The real point is that few of today’s modern guns come with iron sights. They readily come drilled and tapped for optics, but many are missing iron sights completely.

Thankfully there are several manufacturing companies that still make rifles with iron sights for those who prefer them and when it comes to iron sights, there are many configurations to consider. Fiber optic, peep sights, blade and ramp rear sight are all configurations that can and are very effective. Most hunters using these will opt for a combination of two or more of these.

Perhaps the best combination for iron sights is the peep sight with a fiber optic front sight. A peep sight is a small circular sight close to the eye of the shooter. It helps the shooter align the front sight on plane and also eliminates all peripheral distractions. The peep for many is difficult to adjust to due to its sight picture being smaller than what many are accustomed to seeing. But perhaps the biggest mistake many iron sight users fall victim to is using too large of a front sight. Whether it’s a blade or fiber optic smaller is better. Similar to archers who use fiber optic sights, they have learned that the smallest optic that you can see is by far the best to use. Using too large of a fiber optic will cover up the target and or cause a ‘star burst’ making focusing difficult.  By downsizing the size of the optic the ability to focus will increase exponentially.

Iron sights help hunters with moving game, running and in more dense vegetation. Iron sights are fast to the eye and do not hinder the shooter from finding their quarry in their sight picture. For many applications, this is by far the best option.

Optics have helped many hunters kill deer at longer ranges that are all but impossible for iron sight enthusiast. Optics help hunters aim small. This means that they can pin point the location on their      quarry where they want the bullet to strike precisely. This ability alone makes using magnification all but necessary. Anything beyond one hundred yards gets pretty difficult for sights with zero magnification. This is where scopes excel and are all but a must for most hunters. Being able to identify bucks from does at long range, mature bucks from younger ones and perhaps the most important factor of optics is light gathering capabilities.

Hunters have known for a long time that many big bucks move right at first or last light, long after our eyes cannot see beyond twenty or thirty yards our scopes can detect with clarity out to one hundred or further. Here is where many a big buck has met their demise. As one friend of mine says; “my scope gives me the best ten minutes of the day.” That ten minutes is when he has filled a wall with trophies.

So whether you prefer iron sights or magnification and scopes each have their place, each are very effective and each one has and will continue to kill deer across the Carolina’s and beyond. Regardless of which you use, keep one thing in mind, get the best you can afford. Because the old saying is still true; “buy the best scope (Sights) you can afford, then put a gun under it.” Because having a three thousand dollar rifle with cheap sights will not kill anything. But an inexpensive rifle with great sights will fill a freezer. You cannot kill what you cannot see.