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I was watching a video yesterday and the guy was saying there is no need for iron sights with the advanced optics we have now days. I don't think I can agree with that all the way. Yes new technology has made optics amazing, but I still think an Iron sight is still needed.
 

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That guy is wrong has been misinformed.

You should always have iron sights as a backup on any firearm with a serious purpose.

Anything built by man can fail. Even the toughest scopes and red dots aren't indestructible.

Get the best scope or dot that you can, then get a good set of BUIS, or co-witness your dot with the irons.

Good Luck
 

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I like hunting iron sights , I gave my nephew my Remington 700 bolt action in 308 and figured I would just pick up a new bolt action but there are only a few that have iron sites ?
Ive never shot a dear over 50 yards away and most of the time it was under 75’
I’ve been hunting with a ruger supper Black Hawk in 44 mag or 45 colt .
I may just get a lever action ?
 

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Yeah I have to agree with you guys, anything I have optics on still gets irons and I have some with irons only and tend to shoot those the most. My Sub2K is irons only due to the folding and not wanting to buy a rotating mount for a RDS.

Batteries die, lenses crack….that’s why they call them BUIS(Back Up Iron Sights) who doesn’t love backup?


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Not another one of these threads........smh.
 

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IMHO, there are three camps when it comes to this question...

1. Folks that grew up with modern electronic sights and little to no training in the use of BUIS. Lack of any professional training emphasis made it easy to dispense with purchase of those iron sights. They regard irons as vestigial... like an appendix. Sometimes they use a micro red dot as a backup to a larger optic and call it good. They go with what they know... and dispense with an item (BUIS) they don't.

2. Folks who run a lot of accessory optics on limited rail space. Especially if they mount separate magnifiers in combination with red dots... or if they mount LPVOs or NVDs that get in the way of rear irons. Faith in utter reliability of electronic/glass sights is used as an excuse for forgoing placement of inconvenient (especially) rear irons... and often front sight posts get discarded as well. It's an excuse for bailing out on a railed real estate problem.

3. People who've been around duty/combat optics long enough to see even the best versions fail. Occasionally at the worst possible time. Especially long term trainers. I started routine use of Aimpoint red dots, ACOGs, Trijicon reflex units, etc. back in the mid-90s. So did everyone around me at my place of work. The optics were issued with our SOPMOD kits. We dragged them through tough conditions, weather, and high round count abuse. They mostly always functioned. But...

I've also seen them fail. Regardless of make, model, or brand. They are ultimately a little mechanical collection of lenses, mirrors, reticles, prisms, LEDs, Tritium vials, fiber optic tubes, batteries, circuit boards, electric connectors, battery caps, battery contacts, elevation/windage mechanisms, touch pads, ballistic cams, sealed tubes, gaskets, screws, mounts, etc. Not to mention many relying upon functional battery lots (for the optics that require them).

Batteries fail (especially in cold soaked winter conditions). Batteries corrode or leak. Glued lens components & reticles come loose. Red dots go unexpectedly dead. Lenses get cracked or spider-webbed. Knobs/screws get sheared. Nitrogen leaks occur in sniper scopes. Optics get fogged up or simply obscured by rain, snow, mud, or blowing static charged dust. Laser diodes malfunction. Occasional drastic losses of zero occur. Battery compartments develop contact problems. Salt water corrosion. Leaking seals. Guns get dribbled across tarmac...or dropped from a lot higher than industry testing chest level.

Anything that can go wrong with a small precision optical device eventually will. Just as with automobiles. They mostly run reliably and without worry; right up until they don't. Especially under hard impacts. No different than an automobile. Or a smart phone. Stuff happens. Murphy lurks.

A friend of mine charged a near ambush, on foot, over in Afghanistan. His EOTECH died (for no discernable reason) right off the bat. Somewhere in the middle of his first magazine. He wound up using his BUIS to single handedly break up the Muj ambush line. Awarded a Silver Star for that action. He was amazed/angry that his optic died... but it did. In arguably the most critical moment of his existence. BUIS for the win.

Top of the line hard use optics like Aimpoint, ELCAN, & Trijicon rarely fail in the field or in combat. But that is not the same thing as never. Kinda like main parachutes. Once in awhile, they malfunction. Which is why you normally wear a reserve canopy. BTDT.

I employed those kinds of optics (including sniper scopes & night vision scopes) across nearly 35 years of military work. From 1977 through 2011. I got to see what high round count/duty reliability looked like in real life across a large fleet of varied optics & weapon systems. Including the occasional mechanical failure, optic damaged by enemy fire, or unfortunate impact accident. Rare... but not lottery win rare. More like slip & fall accident rare.

Saying that you don't need backup irons (because optics are so reliable) is akin to saying that there is no modern need for spare tires, reserve parachutes, GFCI receptacles, or CCW reloads. A shaky bet masquerading as informed opinion.

My personal long guns (self defense type) feature co-witnessed backup irons. Regardless of any primary optic mounted.
 

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Yeah, he's wrong. Maybe not for the occasional range shooter, but if you're building a rifle to actually trust your life to, it's a no brainer. The number of times I saw an M16/M4 tip over and clatter to the ground - always ACOG first - told me enough about the need for backup irons. Also previously mentioned, if the firearm has very limited rail space I could see going without irons or on a dedicated long range precision rifle, but that's about it.
 

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Clint Smith said that two weeks after the balloon goes up everyone will be back to iron sights. I like iron sights and like hunting with them. And its nice to buy a rifle, take it out of the box and just go shoot it without having to pay an additional $200 or more dollars just to aim the gun.

I practice with my iron sighted air rifles just to keep me sharp. And I can do that right in town in my own backyard.

A scope does have its place. I can make a 200 yard shot that I don't think I would attempt with an iron sighted gun. Not a game anyway. Rocks on the side of the hill? As far away as I can see them but game deserves better than a luck shot with an open sighted gun.
 

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For a combat style rifle like an AR or AK, hell no, wouldn't own one without either built in iron sights or BUIS. Many of my AR's are either A1 or A2 uppers with similar FSB & even several of my flat top uppers have A2 front sight gas blocks with a rear flip up BUIS. The other AR's have BUIS front & rear. For a bolt action hunting rifle, not having iron sights is fine IMO.
 

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Grew up on iron sights and while I do own a couple of hunting rifles without them, every other gun I own will have them. I swap up between irons and a variable scope often depending on distance and target. Don't even own optics for my handguns.

I've always believed if you require a scope to hit a target inside 100 yards then you probably need to learn how to use a gun.

But like others have said, for a SHTF rifle, it's only a matter of time before glass gets scratched, scope gets banged around, seals go bad allowing moisture... and if it's something that relies on batteries you're going to look real cute 1 year after the lights go out trying to find batteries when they haven't been manufactured in a year.
 

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Why would this be? I have fired Mosin Nagant Rifle with scope almost 100 years old.
A scope that’s a hundred years old and still serviceable is impressive. Or do you mean a 100 year old rifle with a scope? And the question would be best if asked to Clint himself. I am only quoting what he said.
 

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I wish all my scoped rifles that don’t have iron sights did have iron sights. I bought a scoped Savage 110 package, no irons. Remington 783 package, no irons. I think most of the new “budget” rifles don’t have iron sights. Cuts the price I guess. Cuts my comfort level, too.
 

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I think everyone should learn from iron sights And not get hung up on needing optics just to hit a can at 50-yards.

I like RDS sights and optics. There is a place for them. But a Rifle that I would depend my life on needs to have a decent set of Irons/BUIS That is sighted in.

see so many folks at the range with a new in box rifle with irons. Instead of sighting in the irons first, they slap on a scope and call it a day.

I would challenge folks to hit a BC size steel target with just their irons at 200-yards. They laugh at me but after A few attempts and they hear that ding, they become amazed at what irons can do.

if you want to keep a rifle light, avoid optics and just use irons.
 
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