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Old June 5, 2021, 04:38 PM   #1
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Wonder why the folks on "Life Below Zero" don't use scopes

I've enjoyed this show for years, although a bit less so since they expanded it to cover a bunch of new folk. I know that those that are on the show like Sue and Chip and Andy are well paid for their roles, so why do most of them still seem to rely on open iron sights on their hunting weapons? Surely they could afford to add quality scopes to improve their chances of success on the hunt.
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Old June 5, 2021, 05:20 PM   #2
Oliver Sudden
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Iron sights are accurate and they don’t fog up from your breath.

Last edited by Oliver Sudden; June 6, 2021 at 05:09 PM.
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Old June 5, 2021, 06:16 PM   #3
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We compete in a monthly 100yd iron-sight match.

Been working out OK for us and the other couple of dozen competitors. The sights are certainly not the weak link..
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Old June 6, 2021, 10:56 AM   #4
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Surely they could afford to add quality scopes to improve their chances of success on the hunt.
Scopes do NOT improve your chances of success on the hunt.

They MAY increase your ability to make a certain shot.

They are "simpler" to use, but they have their drawbacks, as well. I don't watch that show, so I have no idea, but there are usually only two reasons the guns used in tv shows are what they are. The director wants it, or its the personal choice of the character (or the actor playing the character).
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old June 6, 2021, 11:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Oliver Sudden View Post
Iron sights are accurate and they don’t fog up from you breath.
This. Iron sights don't fog up at 20 below
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Old June 7, 2021, 08:21 PM   #6
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Iron sights are accurate and they don’t fog up from your breath.
A scope will fog up at any temperature if you breath on them. Doesn't stop people from using them at 90* above zero. If you breath on the scope it's operator error.

But under those conditions lots of bad things can happen. I suppose keeping everything simple and bulletproof is really important. Even in my limited experience hunting in cold and snow lots of bad things can happen to rifles. I've seen parts that are supposed move no longer move because moisture got in the wrong place and froze.

I've not paid a lot of attention to the show, but believe they rely heavily on older milsurp rifles designed for rugged use. Probably not a lot of options for scope mounts on those rifles either.

Plus those are actually rugged reliable iron sights. Most of the iron sights included on hunting rifles today from the factory are more for decoration than actual use.

Iron sights don't fog up at 20 below
But ice crystals can build up blocking iron sights too.
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Old June 7, 2021, 09:32 PM   #7
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I've not been to AK so I can only speak from hunting in ND. But I have been out in 15 below zero temps with my scoped deer rifle. No issues fogging up as long as a guy leaves it in the cold until you are done hunting. We'll leave them in an unheated building, they fog when you bring them into the warmth. But I don't see an issue with modern scope taking -20 below temps. Many of those so called reality shows are scripted to make them more exciting to watch. Wasn't there a fellow that used to post here from AK? I'd like to hear from someone who's really been out in the cold up there to see it there's problems using as low in those temps.
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Old June 8, 2021, 01:50 AM   #8
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I work and hunt in Northern Canada including the arctic.

I run CRF bolt action BRNOs with good iron sights zeroed at 25 yards,. I de-grease them so the firing pin does not freeze up in the bolt. I leave it outside my heated tent to avoid condensation issues.

If I have a scope them it will be in Warne QD rings.

Before I leave for the site, I go to the range and cycle all of the ammo I am taking north through the action from the magazine.
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Old June 8, 2021, 03:40 AM   #9
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I'm going to agree that decent scopes should not fog up in cold weather. The inside elements are protected due to being sealed and if a good scope, sealed with nitrogen. As for the outside rear element, that should only fog up if you place your eyeball and socket on the scope passing that nice warm human skin temp to the element causing moisture to be attracted to the element.
Similar to trying to use a set of very cold binoculars with a very low eye relief that will fog up; whereas, a good scope will usually have a higher eye relief. I would guess without going outside and checking (no cold weather right now) that 1.5 inches would be fine. NOT SURE; NOT GOING TO MEASURE.

But iron sights have been used for centuries with great results and still are.
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Old June 8, 2021, 06:46 AM   #10
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I lived 3 years in Alaska, my older brother, almost 30 years. I have met many long time Alaskans and shared many hunts and stories. If you are subsistence living, you keep things as simple as possible. Most shots are relatively short, except for sheep, because you can only see about 25 to 50 yards in Alaskan brush. When you are out hiking or snow machining from place to place every day, working while carrying your rifle, you fall down, you bump into things, stuff happens, and a scope is usually the first thing to bite it. You try to minimize things that can go wrong. Myself, and many hunters I met, used an '03 Springfield, still in military configuration, for all their hunting, or a similar open sighted 700 or Model 70. Post popular cartridges are 30-06, 300 Win. Mag. or 7mm Rem Mag. if you were "modern". People don't baby stuff out there, things get thrown around, and they have found what works and what doesn't, and scopes are generally a hinderence. My brother has a Ruger M77 laying in pieces at the bottom of a mountain somewhere. He was in pieces too, got life flighted out.
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Old June 8, 2021, 08:20 AM   #11
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Never heard of that show. But tell you what if it's about living off the land, if my eye's were still good I'd use iron sight's. I lived a bit off the grid in Alaska for a couple years and if a scope broke, you would have to just replace it. Iron sight's are a lot tuffer than scopes. Also if you relied on hunting for food, I can pretty much guarantee it won't be long before you learn to get closer to the animal. Nothing like hunger pains to make you a better hunter!
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Old June 8, 2021, 02:45 PM   #12
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It's the increased battery life of iron sights.
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Old June 8, 2021, 08:43 PM   #13
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I'm certainly no expert on Alaska hunting, but there is dangerous game in Alaska, right? So my guess would be iron sights are used in Alaska for the same reason iron sights are used in African game hunting. If the scope gets knocked off enough to miss, it could mean more than a missed shot, it could mean your life.
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