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View Full Version : Is irons sights good enough with practice?


foob
May 21, 2007, 09:32 PM
Was just wondering, with pistols, I see the IDPA shooters are extremely quick with just irons sights.

Can rifle iron sights (aperture or post) be as fast as eotech/aimpoint/ACOG etc? With enough practice?

Or is it just not worth the time to get the proficiency in fast rifle iron sight usage.

joshua
May 21, 2007, 09:57 PM
Iron sights are faster at closer range where the actual gun fights with pistols occur. If you are using a rifle or carbine for CQB and there is enough lighting the iron sights are hard to beat. At 50 - 100 yards I like using the red dot sights for it seems to be faster and more accurate for my old eyes. 100 - 400 yards I prefer an low power optic sight in 4x with standard duplex or post reticle. Anything over 400 I would like to use somewhere in the 6x to 10x. Any range that the 10x can't see, I will not dare shoot at unless I'm sending harassing fire. Just my opinion and it is not scientifically proven.

josh

5whiskey
May 21, 2007, 09:58 PM
In a word, yes.

For fast target acquisition and smooth tracking on moving targets, it is very hard to compete with irons. They are not the be all end all, but definatly way underrated. For close in situations just putting the front sight post on the target is effective and fast. Military is going with the optics to reduce the need for training sight alignment and a couple of other reasons. Clearing a dark house with irons isn't too easy, can't see the FSP well. Having the lit dot on an optic is helpful.

All in all, yes you can do well and be very fast with irons. Aperature is better than blade and post by far. Joshua beat me to it but what he says is pretty close on.

foob
May 21, 2007, 10:01 PM
Thanks guys for the info. Helps a lot.

OBIWAN
May 22, 2007, 07:42 AM
It IS worth the effort to learn to use iron sites

But.................

An optic will make for faster target acquisition in most all cases and especially in low light situations where the aperture sights tend to be difficult to see...let alone align

Putting the red dot on the target is certainly no slower than putting the front post there and an optic allows for better situational awareness

The military does NOT use them because their soldiers cannot learn to use the irons but because they are more efficent

As Pat Rogers says..." optics are a force multiplier"

5whiskey
May 22, 2007, 10:09 AM
OBIWAN,

Trust me, and the word of 4 different Marine Corps Battalion Gunners. The main influence in the decision to go with acogs is simplicity of sighting/training.

Military is going with the optics to reduce the need for training sight alignment and a COUPLE OF OTHER REASONS

Although it is the main influence, it is not the only influence. And yes optics is a force multiplier, but there is still use for iron sights as well.

There is a limitation to optics also. There are specialty optics that are made to be the best for a particular application. For example, a reflex sight is best for target acquisition from 0-100 meters. A low power optic (4x) such as acog is best at shooting fast acquisition from 50-300 meters. The new schmidt & bender the Marine Corps uses is, well, designated for long range shooting. Now I know you can shoot at 50 meters with a 12x scope, but you won't do it fast and forget a moving target. No optic, not even the holy acog, is the best solution in every application. The Acog is a good solution for very many applications, it was designed just for that and it does it well (more diverse, I dare say, than Iron sights). I think it's a toss-up between the acog and iron sights for all around diversity and good use in many differant situations, although I think irons has the acog on moving target... but acog has the advantage at distance.

Moral of what I'm trying to say, as someone preached to me not long ago, there is no absolute. You have to look at what kind of shooting you are doing and determine what you will need. I know I am faster with irons than even a reflex close up if I can see the FSP, I just look over the aperature and put the FSP on the target. No need to align perfectly up to 25 meters as long as you understand to lollipop if you're looking over the aperature. I also know that in a dark house I can't even see the FSP, and the vast majority of my work in Iraq was in a dark house. To each there own but don't think that irons are obsolete

foob
May 22, 2007, 10:40 AM
No need to align perfectly up to 25 meters as long as you understand to lollipop if you're looking over the aperature.

In case I misunderstand, what's lollipop?

ks_shooter
May 22, 2007, 10:50 AM
Military is going with the optics to reduce the need for training sight alignment

The need for precise sight alignment with aperture sights (excluding ghost rings) is a myth. I discuss this in another thread:

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2364268#post2364268

There have been some military shooting teams that have discovered this, but it seems that it has never made it into the standard training.

Scorch
May 22, 2007, 11:43 AM
Lollipop= put the target right on top of the front sight post.

OBIWAN
May 22, 2007, 12:01 PM
Then I would say those gunners are also miffed at seeing their cheese moved:D

Durn newfangled claptrap

I will see your four gunners and raise you Pat Rogers;)


Nobody said irons were obsolete...merely that optics are an advantage...yes...hard as it is to believe...time marches on...things improve and even the military can recognize it on occaison

Although they generally need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the latest century

Notice I said everyone should be able to shoot with irons...but to say they are superior is silly

You can get solid hits on man sized targets out to 300 yards with an Aimpoint

The ACOG is less friendly at extremely close range(<50yds) but works very well and allows more precision at longer ranges...like out to 400 yds and beyond

The S&B is something of a jack-of-all-trades but at an increased cost

Fast accurate first round hits are still the name of the game and an optic drastically increases the odds of that happening

Of course there are plusses and minuses to the different units...otherwise there would be only one...but it woul not likely be the irons:D

The CORPS picked the ACOG over the Aimpoint and I personally think that is a bad idea....most of their engagements are not at extended range, are likely to be on moving targets and do not require the added precision of a magnified optic

A non-magnified optic like the aimpoint is superior to all of the above (including the beloved iron sites) for speed and especially on moving targets....there is no eye relief to worry about and they allow a heads up both eyes open situational awareness that no iron-site or magnified optic will give you

5whiskey
May 22, 2007, 12:14 PM
Notice I said everyone should be able to shoot with irons...but to say they are superior is silly


Hell I guess we agree to disagree. I never said they were superior, I was just implying they weren't inferior and still served a purpose.

Pat Rogers vs. Gunner Major, Gunner Harris, Gunner Keate, and Gunner Knoles...

It's hard to imply that one man knows more than 4 other specialists with over 15 years a piece in their field. Pat Rogers or not...

5whiskey
May 22, 2007, 01:13 PM
The CORPS picked the ACOG over the Aimpoint and I personally think that is a bad idea....most of their engagements are not at extended range, are likely to be on moving targets and do not require the added precision of a magnified optic

I'm not at all being maliciously argumentative with you on this OBIWAN. I kind of like to see most of your posts and personaly agree with you on a lot of things. As for this one, well I can see it going both ways.

I know there are a lot of close up engagements on the streets, believe me I've seen some personally. I will state from my experience that the envioroment changes with each AO. The Corps wanted to get the best multi-purpose optic, and I believe the acog goes from 0-500 universally better than anything else, so it's not sucked into having nothing but aimpoints for closer ranges. You say you can get hits on a man sized targets at range with an aimpoint... I believe you. I can too. But it's not as easy or effective as the Acog, much like the aimpoint is better close up. The Marine Corps wants one optic to do it all, so it has to comprimise. There alot of other uses besides just shooting at BGs for the acog as well. It's pretty effective at measuring distance accuratly with a trained operater, as well as giving you that 4x to scan ahead. The BDC is accurate within reason, or it was when the Corps finally filtered the information down to the battalion level that there was a different reticle for the A4 and M4, and where to read and find out what reticle without looking through them and measuring. You can even mil out adjustments for a fire mission with it, but the M22s still work better.

Back to every AO being a different envioroment. Take Saqlawiyah, for instance. Not a huge booming metropilis, but there is definatly a lot of urban envioroment and close engagements. However, the oppurtunity for 300 and 400 meter shots is all around as well, even in the urban envioroment. We were faced with more long shots than close ones, I would say. Basically same situation in Al Kharma (Wish no American would ever have to see that place). That being said, I really believe the Acog was the best optic for our application (yes better than my beloved irons). You can even train and get decent with acogs in CQB, but iron sights and aimpoints will beat them hands down. I used to think the Corps made a mistake with the Acog, but now I like them. I think it's the best choice for what the Marine Corps wants to do. Whether or not the Marine Corps should change it's mission standards and not try to do EVERYTHING with one tool is another matter entirely.

Regards
Joey