A Case For Iron Sights

By Schuyler Barnum

Everyone in the gun world these days it seems are all about optical sights: red dots, scopes, and now rangefinding scpes. Who knows what will come next? It seems that most people have given up the good 'ol iron sights for dead.

However, I like them. I have a few reasons which I will list out below as to why, in order of importance to me.

  1. You know when you're a good shot with iron sights. Scopes take part of the skill out of aiming. They bring you close to the target and make it real easy to let all those bullets land perfectly in the bull's eye. But, if you can do that with iron sights, you feel special. You know you're a real good shot. There's a sense of pride that comes with iron sights that just seems to disappear with optical sights. I never feel as proud of a less-than-a-dime group with a scoped rifle as I do with one with iron sights.

  2. Scopes are expensive. Let's compare prices, shall we? Many, if not most, scopes cost upwards of $200, and if you want quality, ask for over $300, and variable power, wow! You're up to over $400! I don't know about you, but mounting a sight that's more expensive than the rifle it's on seems rather, well, stupid. (You can't hit what you can't see! -Ed.) The iron sights that come on the gun are included in the gun's price. If you want something better, you can buy a real nice set of sights for $60 that, if you're a good shot, will usually be more than adequate.

  3. Scopes look odd on many guns. I'm a fanatic for antiques, and I think that a scope looks funny on many of the old rifles. They also seem out-of-place and an eyesore when it comes to pistols. If I mounted a scope on a real old rifle, it'd have to be one that is historically accurate, which would be more of a pain in the butt than a help. Old fashioned scopes have a very restricted field of view, are dark, and break real easily). Imagine what a Leupold VX-L would look like on an 1873 Trapdoor Springfield!

There's other reasons why I don't like them as much as the old fashioned iron sights, but in the end, it's mostly the first one. If you learn on iron sights and shoot well with iron sights you'll shoot well with virtually anything. Scopes, well, anyone can use them, but there's a higher level of skill that's needed for the iron.

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