It’s not completely unheard of to have iron sights on your assault rifle, albeit a bit uncommon these days. However, we can make a strong case in favor of iron sights as opposed to just relying on your optics or red dots. Today, we’ll breakdown the benefits of using your iron sights over your usual reflex or red dot sights and how you might get an edge when out on the hunt with an iron sight. Let’s get right into it.
How Have Iron Sights Improved Over the Years?
Back in the days, hunters were entirely dependent on iron sights. But as scopes have gotten better over the years and advanced, iron sights have fallen out of favor. That said, to keep up with scopes, iron sights have been making improvements too. And now, with a modern iron sight, you can expect to shoot quite far and accurately, be it through a muzzleloader or a standard assault rifle.
Before firing down your iron sights, ensure that your front sight, rear sight, and target all lineup. If they are misaligned, you’ll likely miss your shot, and your target will just get scared and run away. Therefore, when shooting down iron sights, keeping everything aligned is crucial in landing a perfect hit.
Benefits of Using Iron Sights on Your Assault Rifle
In terms of hunting, there are several situations where iron sights are a better option. For instance, while you’re on a hunt for deer from an open car, you can expect to get better shots out from your rifle’s iron sights than through a scoped rifle. Moreover, when hunting in rough terrain, your optics will get foggy, dirty, or get caught in bushes. In contrast, you do not need to worry about your iron sights getting dirty, snow-clogged, or blurry as the hunting trip continues. Moreover, with an iron sight, you do not have to worry about protecting the lens on your optics.
When you’re on the hunt, and you’re trailing a deer, being able to take it down quickly is crucial. This is where the iron sight comes out on top over scopes. With a scope, you will have to hold steady, align your shot, and line up your target with the crosshairs before taking a shot. On the other hand, with iron sights, just lift the barrel, focus, and shoot. When time is of the essence, nothing is faster than shooting from your iron sights.
Iron sights are perfect for rainy, foggy, or wet weather. Unless your optics are expensive, they’re unlikely to give you perfect vision in rain or fog. With limited visibility, landing a good shot becomes more of a challenge. Therefore, an iron sight proves itself to be the right choice when it comes to wet weather and even in heavy rain or snow.
Advantages of Iron Sights in Brief
Let’s have a quick look at the advantages:
- Iron sights are cheaper than optical sights.
- Iron sights are lighter than red dot sights or reflex sights.
- Iron sights are rugged, durable, and perfect for any weather condition. Therefore, even when your expensive optic sights fail you, your iron sights will always be there to back you up.
Types of Iron Sights
The three main types of iron sights are:
- Globe – Globe is a target sight with the post inside a tube. The tube is responsible for cutting down any light that makes it to the sight. Therefore, light is an issue if you plan to use it during the darker hours of the day and works best when the sun is high up.
- Blade – Blade is a straight post down the barrel. There are color options when it comes to the blade and these colors affect the visibility. Therefore, depending on whether your blade is white, black, or gold, the visibility and amount of light you get will differ. Blades are perfect for close-range shooting where you can get close to the target and need to get quick shots out.
- Bead – When it comes to iron sights, bead sights are the most popular. They are also the most versatile. Here, the sight is a round bead with a thin post. Beads often come in two main sizes, 1/16 of an inch and 3/32 inch. The difference between the two is significant and affects what you see down your sights. The smaller sight offers a more precise image while the larger sight allows you to see better in dim light.
Disadvantages of Optic Sights on Assault Rifles
Optics are often more expensive than your standard iron sights. Without a doubt, a good iron sight will cost you less than a standard optic sight.
While there are cheaper optic sights out there, you’ll likely end up with shoddy equipment which will either break down after a few hunting trips or will not perform as expected. Therefore, there’s no way around investing a considerable sum of money when it comes to getting the right sights.
Electronics are another drawback of optic sights. Although housed inside protective enclosures, there is still a chance a terrible drop can ruin your expensive sights. Moreover, if the internal electronics ever fail, your sights will stop being useful.
Batteries are another hassle when it comes to optic sights. While these batteries are meant to last for months up to a year, if your sight doesn’t warn you about how much juice is left, you’ll likely end up with a dead sight in a crucial moment.
Finally, the performance of your optic sights is completely dependent on the weather. If it rains or snows, you’re better off using your iron sights.
As a hunter, it’s important to be prepared for any condition. Therefore, we recommend keeping both options alive when you are out on a hunting trip and you can afford it. A sight works well in many cases and the iron sights can provide backup when the weather is off. Moreover, if you need to keep pace while on a hunting drive, iron sights can give you the speed you need until you rely on your optic sights again. A rifle with both an optical scope and iron sights will serve its hunter in all situations.