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    Really Senior Member amadeus76's Avatar
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    Iron Sights Accuracy...

    So it goes without saying that we all shoot better scoped vs not. That said, Iím curious what the consensus is for accuracy with iron sights?

    I took one of my Lee Enfield No.4ís out yesterday with a Fulton of Bisley Ďno drillí mount and got 1 MOA average over four 5 shot groups at 100 yards. I then took the mount off and shot it again with irons and got 3.5 MOA average at 100 yards. It isnít unexpected that my groups would open up with irons (especially with my eyes aging), but with most of my rifles not being set up for scopes Iím curious what people consider good accuracy with iron sights?

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    Contributing Member Ovidio's Avatar
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    It pretty much depends on the kind of sights for me.
    With normal open sights Iím pretty good, shooting often around 2-3Ē groups, sometimes close to 1Ē.
    With aperture sights Iím relearning, but am not yet there.
    With optics I have little experience, but with my No.4 I shot the exact same groups of 3-4Ē. Probably the mount and the reload.
    This under here is a 5 shot group with my Mosin 91/30. Two shots lower and three almost in one hole. 8 inch target.
    I can do that with most of my rifles, just canít keep the results for long...
    One, two groups close to 1Ē, then I open up.
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    34a cp., btg. Susa, 3į rgt. Alpini

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    Contributing Member Eaglelord17's Avatar
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    I have done under 1" with irons, though it is hard and a lot of factors need to be in your favour (I would struggle to do that today, haven't practiced much recently). Personally I shoot better with irons than a scope for whatever reason (but I basically only shoot irons and I despise shooting scopes so that could just be why).

    I remember a few years ago they had this little rifle competition in town when a new gun store opened up with a deck of cards as the target (about 100 people ended up shooting, and you could go for multiple rounds if you paid the fee again). Top three hands got prizes. For most of the day with my iron sighted K31icon I was in 3rd place, even though most (maybe all) my competition was using scoped rifles. Apparently I was beat out in the last couple hours (I had long left by that point), but it shows its more about the user than it is the equipment.



    In terms of how what is good accuracy, I guess it depends on a lot of factors. Type and quality of ammo, the type of rifle (i.e. is it a Lee Enfield, Mosin Nagant, K31, Mauser, etc.), condition of the rifle, etc. Generally I find most military surplus rifles in average condition tend to be able to do 2-4" groups, which was roughly the standard of the era.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    I grouped under one target patch at 100M with an FN when I was young and had exceptional eyes. Now I'm lucky to stay on a steel gong with a trapper Winchester with the coarsest sights on earth... The 700 PSS with scope on the other hand will do the three inch gong at 200M regularly. Best I can do now. Eyes are everything in that game.
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    World War 1 Australianicon Private Billy Sing had over 150 kills at Gallipoli using iron sights on a Lee Enfield

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    Really Senior Member Ridolpho's Avatar
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    Personally, I've found that with LE's, P14's, Mosins, etc, I can achieve the same best groups with iron sights and original type (low mag) scope but generally more frequently with the scope. I suspect this may be suggesting that the actual inherent precision of the rifle/ammo has been reached. Check out historical info regarding, as manufactured, precision of these rifles shot from a machine rest.

    Ridolpho

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    Really Senior Member Frederick303's Avatar
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    Was a competitive shooter in my Youth, made high Master rating distinguished, Presidents 100 etc. Got medals in US, Canadaicon, Switzerlandicon and Australiaicon, all won with Iron sights (except the Canadian medals). Here are my observations:

    Highly optimized iron sights provide near perfect sighting opportunities, though as you age the optimization of said sights changes. Specifically the very best competitive shooters, under conditions of idea light with large targets and optimized iron sights, show expected CPE on the order of 0.55 to 0.6 MOA. This is a remarkable considering with 20-20 you can only discern a 1 MOA distinction, if you have 20 -15 (many competitive shooters can be corrected to this standard) of .75 MOA. For example of near perfection, the US service rifle champion (grant Singly) was a 2385/2400 across the 200 to 600 yard course back when iron sights were the only possibility, with a sight radius of only 20 inches (M16A2).

    In contract with the modern 4.5 X scope used in competition since 2015, the best score I can find is a 2386/2400 over the same course, not much different and certainly not limited by the sighting.

    Of course that is a young man who shoots for a living and the optical scopes used are optimized for the course of fire, but that gives you an idea of the best that cane be achieved.

    Once you get away from target rifles sights, the iron sights on military rifles, from long association with them can be rated as follows with young eyes such as pre 40 year old, who still have good power of accommodation and free from a significant astigmatism:

    Aperture sights such as a lee Enfield or other sight with a .050 front and .10 fear aperture is on the order of 1.2~1.4 MOA, ten shot strings with very accurate loads/rifle sets ups

    Open sights such Mosin Nagant/Swedishicon mauser with a notch rear and post front are on the order of 1.8 to 2 MOA, best case.

    Mauser type sights with a V notch and inverted V front are on the order of 2.2 to 2.5 MOA for ten shot groups.

    Note the above is not a single groups what the very best you could expect to achieve is you have every thing dialed in and sit down to shot a 10 shot group.

    Once you get older the results degrade fast, due to lack of accommodation, the inability shift focus to close and far effortlessly. These degradations can be accommodated by the use of a smaller aperture (great depth of field), adding either 0.25 to 0.50 dipper correction to you shooting lens (shift you point of focus to 6.66 m to 4 or 2 meters), which with a small aperture will help. Also the use of a ring front aperture is much easier on old eyes than the use of a front sight, though if you use a front post using a large front post and center mass hold will generally give the older shooter the least error on the long run.

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    Really Senior Member Sunray's Avatar
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    "...we all shoot better scoped vs not..." Nope. A scope does not and will not make any rifle shoot better than one that does not shoot well in the first place. A scope does nothing but allow you to see the target better. A scope merely allows you to place the shot better because you can see the target better.
    "...at Gallipoli..." And the irons on a No. 1 rifle aren't great. A very great deal depends on the shooter's skill as well as the iron sights.
    Spelling and Grammar count!

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    Really Senior Member amadeus76's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunray View Post
    Nope. A scope does not and will not make any rifle shoot better than one that does not shoot well in the first place. A scope does nothing but allow you to see the target better. A scope merely allows you to place the shot better because you can see the target better.
    Are you intentionally obtuse? In your last sentence you essentially just stated why people shoot better... Because they can see the target better, and therefor place the shot more consistently.

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