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Old February 20, 2019, 02:05 AM   #26
Lucas McCain
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The Year was 1960, the day after thanksgiving.I was 15 years old. I had grandpas Winchester model 1894 rifle, 30WCF with the fine Rocky Mountain sights and was shooting Winchester 150 grain grain silver tips. The deer, a 3x3 buck was running along a open field fence line across a 40 acre field. I missed him 3 times and broke his back on the 4th shot at 300 and some yards. At that time I was 15 years old, standing an shooting offhand. I admit there was a lot of luck involved in that shot. But it was a good accurate rifle. I had also killed acouple deer in previous seasons with it. That shot that day is my most favorite and is one of my very best memories of deer kills in my hunting career. It is also my longest kill with iron sights. Now my eyes aren’t the best and I have trouble seeing these fine sights. Back then I had good eye sight. Today I have bifocals that don’t work well on iron sights. My grandson will carry it next year for his first deer season. Like his brother, His Dad and the rest of the deer hunters in the family all have some great memories made with my grandpas rifle.
Little history note on the rifle.
I have a reciept from the Callaway hardware store that signed by The store owner showing that Grandpa paid $13.50 for that rifle back in 1913 . Today it is part of our family legacy and it’s priceless.
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Old February 20, 2019, 02:30 AM   #27
bamaranger
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kills

Few years back, I took a shot at a coyote at what turned out to be 75 paces, with my G20. The slug hit the 'yote at the base of the ear, I was holding center shoulder, shooting propped off my walking stick. Unlucky coyote.

Took a small buck on Double Top Mountain in the Rapidan WMA in VA with an iron sighted M94 30-30 at about 60 yds, shot him through the white throat patch as he looked my way. I also took a number of ground hogs in high clover at the same 60-75 yd distances with either a 6" M27 .357, or a Marlin .357 carbine. But I missed about as many with the M27 at that distance as I shot at, did much better with the carbine. I should have NEVER traded that M27.

I've hit gongs way out there with the M1 Garand, off a bench, with a spotter. But a 18-24" white gong in the wide open is far easier to see and hold on than a critter afield.
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Old February 20, 2019, 09:04 AM   #28
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I haven't hunted big game with iron sights for a lot of years, but I have taken a couple of deer under 150 yards with a Marlin 30-30 and stock iron sights. I don't think I'd want to go a whole lot further out with iron sights because at some point the animal starts appearing small enough that you're pointing at it more than aiming at a specific spot. I would echo the comment above that I don't really practice longer shots with iron sights, though, and maybe if I did I'd be comfortable shooting further. But then again the only centerfire rifle I have with iron sights is a 30-30 and it has pretty limited range regardless of the sights.
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Old February 20, 2019, 10:16 AM   #29
Schlitz 45
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All my big game kills with open sights have been under 100 yards. Taken deer with 30-30 Marlin, 99 Savage in 303, & elk with .54 Hawken (during regular rifle season) & 700 Remington in 308 that has a high rise scope mount that allowed use of iron sights and was a close snap shot in heavy timber where the scope was useless.
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Old February 20, 2019, 02:10 PM   #30
T. O'Heir
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1,600px × 1,200px is way too big.
The sights used have nothing whatever to do with ethics.
"...At 12 years old..." Missing due to felt recoil and inexperience isn't unusual. Even with a bead on a 20 gauge, it's possible to get surprisingly small groups with slugs at 100 yards. It's easier with rifle sights though.
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Old February 20, 2019, 02:17 PM   #31
reynolds357
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I personally don't shoot any rifle with iron sights. Only scopes for me. I shoot with some people who regularly shoot 10inch groups at 1000 yds with Iron sights. I guess 700ish yards would be ethical iron sight range for them. Me? About 100.
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Old February 20, 2019, 03:11 PM   #32
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I shot my first deer with a 20 gauge slug and bead sight. There was no rifle available at the time. I sat in a blind with my dad as it came 14 yards away. I pulled the trigger and shot a hole in the blind and ended up spine shooting the deer. It died instantly but I have hated the feeling ever since.

I shot another deer a year or two later also with a shotgun at the same distance and ended up shooting it in the shoulder blade and the kill wasn't as quick.

We needed the meat but I really dislike using shotgun slugs on deer. After that I got a rifle it never happened again. With the right sights long range is very possible. I like a thin front blade and a peep is possible.
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Old February 20, 2019, 04:49 PM   #33
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I shoot with some people who regularly shoot 10 inch groups at 1000 yards with iron sights. I guess 700ish yards with would be ethical iron sights range for them.
I would have to question their ability to identify a live target at that distance.
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Old February 20, 2019, 04:54 PM   #34
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...as it came 14 yards away.....ended up spine shooting the deer. It died instantly, but I have hated the feeling ever since.
That is pretty up close and personal. I'm not surprised it left you with a bad feeling.
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Old February 20, 2019, 06:34 PM   #35
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That is pretty up close and personal. I'm not surprised it left you with a bad feeling.
I bow hunt and don't take any shot that isn't ethical. At that point in my life I think I had shot 4 deer with my bow. In 25 years I've only had two bow deer that made me feel bad. One ran off about 100 yards and was making horrible noises. I went home ate dinner and came back within an hour and wolves destroyed the deer.

The other deer went about 50 yards and was bleeding good. I decided to give it some time and stumbled on another deer that I mistaken for it bedded so I went back and got the bow. In that time the deer wandered a bit farther to the road and when I had my bow and came back I tracked it to the road where I heard a truck stop, tailgate drop then slam and drive off. The drag trail was from family private property.
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Old February 20, 2019, 06:47 PM   #36
reynolds357
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I would have to question their ability to identify a live target at that distance.
____________
Ever heard of Binoculars?
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Old February 20, 2019, 06:59 PM   #37
GarandTd
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I wasn't implying that being an unethical shot. Just very close to punch a hole in a deer with a 20gauge slug. An assault on a young persons senses.
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Old February 20, 2019, 07:03 PM   #38
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Ever heard of binoculars?


Ok. Now that the target has been identified with binoculars, how is the transition to the iron sights of a rifle? What is the sight picture on iron sights to an animal at 700 yards?
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Old February 20, 2019, 07:24 PM   #39
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I wasn't implying that being an unethical shot. Just very close to punch a hole in a deer with a 20gauge slug. An assault on a young persons senses.
I didn't think you were implying that. One could only wonder if the shot would have went where I expected if I didn't shoot the blind. What was happening was we would get deer that would sneak around the back of the blind and stick their heads (neck and all) in the front window and stare you down. So we boarded up the bottom of the window.
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Old February 20, 2019, 07:28 PM   #40
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Was that a wood blind? When I think of blinds, my mind goes straight to the modern pop-up tent variety. I can understand how shooting through wood could upset the path of the slug.
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Old February 21, 2019, 02:15 AM   #41
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My greatest hail mary shot was offhand with a pellet pistol at about 100 feet into the head of a starling. It was poking it's head out of a woodpecker hole and making me mad.

Sometimes everything comes together and I make the incredible shots. I Never expected to actually nail it, all that was showing was the shoulders and head.
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Old February 21, 2019, 04:52 AM   #42
Blindstitch
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Was that a wood blind?
Half inch plywood. Sitting on the back bench holding the full length shotgun I couldn't even stick the barrel out the window. I want to say it was 6x6x8 feet with one 24x30 window.
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Old February 21, 2019, 09:21 AM   #43
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I just remembered a shot made by a friend, he is a crazy fanatic goose hunter and he breeds and raises, as well as trains golden retrievers. Only goldens. This guy will stay awake for days when the dogs go into labor.

He lives in territory just outside of suburban, where wildlife encroaches, and he can't allow anything near his $2,000 pups or dogs.

One day a few years ago he spotted a coyote eyeing the farm, got his ten gauge and loaded a round, I think it was number 2 buck. He fired at it and nailed it through an eye with a single pellet at about 150 yards. of course, a guy who can drop a teal at through a mile of fog, rain and hail without touching the flock of canvasbacks that he's piggybacking on shouldn't be missing a coyote.
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Old February 21, 2019, 12:38 PM   #44
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I see most of the responses showing a "longest iron sight shot" still about 200yds or less. This may be creating the false impression that iron sights aren't "good" for longer ranges.

But you need to consider that these days, people, generally, carry iron sighted (only) rifles where they expect the range to be short, cover is thick, and shots may be sudden.

Its not a matter of iron sights limiting the range, its a matter of the range limiting the shot, and iron sights being used because they are perfectly adequate for those ranges, and are used because iron sights offer some advantages a scope does not.
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Old February 21, 2019, 07:16 PM   #45
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You may not find many stories of long shots on game in the Eastern deer woods, or even in the more open Midwest, because many of those states are shotgun only. But go to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado or New Mexico and you will hear a bunch. Even guys 40 - 50 years old have probably always had scoped rifles, but they will remember grand dad telling about long shots across the valleys between two hills. Read the books of Elmer Keith and he has plenty of long shot tales including his 600 yard deer kill with a S&W Model 29. You will get more long shots at game in the western states just because of the topography.
Early 70's, in the Army, we had this little head and shoulders silhouette target, like a guy peeking out of a foxhole. They were gray/ green color, in the green brush of Ft. Knox, KY. but my 18 year old eyes could see them at 400 yards. And hit them. Someone asked about the sight picture at long ranges and in my own experience and reading other gun writers, you often acquire the target with a six o'clock hold, then raise the front sight, obscuring the target, and shoot.
Read historical accounts from WW 1 or WW 2 Europe and GI's were making great long shots on deer sized targets (humans) with '03 Springfields, Enfields and Garands. Usually men from western states or Kentucky or Tennessee. Often not in the best conditions, snow, rain, artillery falling on you.
Read about the battle at Adobe Walls. A trapper knocked an Indian off his horse, standing on the horizon, with a 50-70 or 45-70, memory fails, at over a measured 1000 yards. I'm sure he shot a lot of buffalo with that rifle at 500 yards. Know your gun and load.
My longest iron sight kills are a Sitka deer in SE Alaska, with an '03 Springfield 30-06, across a valley, hillside to hillside, can't know exact but over 300 yards conservatively, probably closer to 400. Had him perched on top of the front sight, then raised the front sight, obscuring the target, just before I fired. Hit him mid body (top to bottom) and behind the shoulder. He was dead before he finished rolling down the hill.
When I was about 12 we were hunting rabbits on a friend's farm. Just before sundown a jack presented himself on the horizon, back lit by the setting sun. He was standing up, probably listening to us. I was using a borrowed .22, don't remember what kind. I aimed at the top of his ears, fired and he fell over dead. Took 240 long paces to reach him. Hit him through the ear canals, brain shot.
Several of you have said you were lucky, but it isn't luck to know your gun and load, and direct fire accurately enough for a positive result.
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Old February 21, 2019, 08:36 PM   #46
GarandTd
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I don't doubt that some people are capable shooters at long ranges with iron sights. I do think there is a difference between battle shots on human targets, long shots on inanimate targets, and humane kill shots on game animals. I also didn't live when settlers were involved in skirmishes with Indians or when hunter tradesmen rode the open plains hunting buffalo. I did live in Montana and New Mexico when I was younger so I do understand the significance of the landscape, the different animals, and the different lifestyle.
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Old February 21, 2019, 08:54 PM   #47
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Ok. Now that the target has been identified with binoculars, how is the transition to the iron sights of a rifle? What is the sight picture on iron sights to an animal at 700 yards?
1000 yard sights line up nicely on deer sized targets at 1000. I hate iron sights. Don't have to worry about me shooting anything at 1k with irons.
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Old March 19, 2019, 03:24 PM   #48
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Squirrel at 50 yards with a .22 rifle. Pheasants at some similar range with 12ga shotgun.

=============

Was checking zero on scoped hunting rifles the other day at 100 yards. paper plate targets with orange sticker dot in the middle. Used the orange dot as aiming point for the scopes.

Then I broke out my 96/38 Swede Mauser in 6.5x55. I had replaced the rear leaf sight with a Snap Sight aperture and the front with an extra long blade that I filed down to be hit 4" high at 100 yards with 140gr soft points.

I then took a 6 o'clock hold on the paper plate and proceeded to shoot my best group for the day, with the rounds impacting in the orange dot. Love that rifle, love that 2-stage trigger.

I would not hesitate to shoot medium game at 100 yards with those irons, taking an aim point where foreleg intersects body.

That would be AFTER I identified the animal I was to shoot with binos or a spotting scope.
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Old March 21, 2019, 10:49 PM   #49
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If I can hit a 16” gong with a 5” 44 mag at 180 yards you should be able to kill game at a yardage you can see clearly. Shoot your gun ALOT, until you KNOW where it hits.

There is an old saying. “Fear the man with but one rifle”. Why? Because he KNOWS that weapon very well, he has put in the time to know it well.
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Old March 22, 2019, 01:53 AM   #50
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A trapper knocked an Indian off his horse, standing on the horizon, with a 50-70 or 45-70, memory fails, at over a measured 1000 yards. I'm sure he shot a lot of buffalo with that rifle at 500 yards. Know your gun and load.
Billy Dixon at Adobe Walls with a borrowed 50-90 Sharps at 1,538 yards but even he said it was a lucky shot.
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