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Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore #14162544 09/29/19
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nksmfamjp Offline OP
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I see a ton of big bore rifles online with scopes on them. When shooting a 458 or larger stopping rifle, aren’t you really shooting quick a 50 yds or less with the potential to be shooting at 5 yds? Seems like a terrible place to interject an optic.

So, should a big bore be scoped of not? Why?

300 BP

Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: nksmfamjp] #14162994 09/29/19
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jwp475 Offline
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I'll take a quality scope any day and every day over irons on my big bores.



I got banned on another web site for a debate that happened on this site. That's a first
Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: jwp475] #14163141 09/29/19
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Originally Posted by jwp475

I'll take a quality scope any day and every day over irons on my big bores.


Why? Am I misunderstanding how you use your big bore? I.e. close range

Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: nksmfamjp] #14163163 09/29/19
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Originally Posted by nksmfamjp
Originally Posted by jwp475

I'll take a quality scope any day and every day over irons on my big bores.


Why? Am I misunderstanding how you use your big bore? I.e. close range


For me a quality low powered scope is excellent for close in and extremely fast

iIn fact the scope trumps irons in every scenario for me.


Last edited by jwp475; 09/29/19.


I got banned on another web site for a debate that happened on this site. That's a first
Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: nksmfamjp] #14163428 09/29/19
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memtb Offline
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While I don’t have a big-bore, my rifle is only .375, a scope over irons any day, all day! I have irons on my rifle, but they are a “last ditch” option! I use quick detach base/rings, have a second scope already zero and “ on standby”.....then the irons! memtb


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Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: nksmfamjp] #14163431 09/29/19
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Originally Posted by nksmfamjp
Originally Posted by jwp475

I'll take a quality scope any day and every day over irons on my big bores.


Why? Am I misunderstanding how you use your big bore? I.e. close range



If a low power scope (1 or 2 power) is too much for close work.......it’s “point and click” time! memtb


You should not use a rifle that will kill an animal when everything goes right; you should use one that will do the job when everything goes wrong." -Bob Hagel

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Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: nksmfamjp] #14163446 09/29/19
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There have been a few controlled-condition tests made with a variety of shooters, comparing the speed of an accurate shot at close range. In every one I've seen, the scopes won.

This may be due to most shooters not being all that practiced with irons these days, but is also due to the fact that a low-powered scope provides a single aiming point, while irons have two points that must be aligned. The rare exception is when a rifle is specifically fitted to an indivudal shooter so the front sight can be used for reasonably accurate aiming. I set up my .416 Rigby this way, but it's still no faster than a low-power scope-.


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Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: Mule Deer] #14163688 09/29/19
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Optics dominate speed shooting events



I got banned on another web site for a debate that happened on this site. That's a first
Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: nksmfamjp] #14170632 10/02/19
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My 375's and 416's have variable scopes with the low end being from 1x to 1.5x.

The scopes have a minimum field of view of 60 something feet to excess of 100 something depending on the scope, when set on the lowest power. I do not find them lacking when hunting the dense cover environment.

They are faster for me use, and a considerable amount better in low light over iron sights, even when I had very good eyesight.

Last edited by ldmay375; 10/02/19.
Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: nksmfamjp] #14171042 10/02/19
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"Which is Faster, Scope or Irons", American Rifleman, July 1987, page 40. This article was not reprinted in the 1990 collection of NRA articles, Finn Aagaard on Hunting Rifles & Cartridges. I'm not sure it has been reprinted anywhere.The article was not reprinted in Wolfe Publishing "Selected Works" either. Aagaard had his son time him.shooting ghost ring, open and low powered scope. If I recall scope was quickest. If someone has that article it would answer the question.
When I set up my 416 Ruger for Cape Buffalo I had an NECG receiver sight and higher front sight as back up to my 1.75 x 6 Leupold. Not only was the scope faster but it was advantages to find clear shooting lanes in the thick brush of Tiger Bay while stalking buffalo. Perhaps with younger eyes a ghost ring sight would be quicker.

Bravo

Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: nksmfamjp] #14171067 10/02/19
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bobmn Offline
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Aagaard "Guns and Hunting"
African stopping rifles are usually fitted with the traditional Express-type
shallow “V” open rear sights. They are a third-rate choice, with low-power
scopes and “ghost-ring” aperture sights being preferable on all counts. But
11
Rifles for Dangerous Game
stopping rifles are normally used at such close range that it does not matter. Jack
O’Connor described how on one of his African safaris he and his companion
(probably Herb Klein) tested their professional hunter’s heavy double rifle
and found that it was shooting half a foot off at 100 yards. He remarked that
because the professional never used it at ranges over 25 yards, that was good
enough. Actually, most of the time he probably did not use the sights at all, but
just pointed the piece like a shotgun.
A more precise sighting arrangement is definitely to be preferred, as
even professional guides may have occasion to try to stop a wounded beast
at quite long range. Many years ago Soren Lindstrom (who did not yet have a
professional’s license) and I took his father out for buffalo. Finally we got him
a shot at a very good bull that was standing broadside at well over 100 yards. It
was farther than we liked, but we were running out of time—the buffalo were
alerted and about to go, and besides, Erik Lindstrom was a capable shot. He hit
it a touch far back in the lungs with my .375, and it ran into an isolated motte of
thornbrush. Now we had trouble.
Then I noticed that the buffalo was peering out at us through a gap in the
thorn. Only its head was visible. The range looked to be 200 yards or a little
more, but we had nothing to lose. I sat down with the .375, held the cross hair
in the Weaver K2.5 scope on top of the boss of the bull’s horns, and gently
pressed the trigger. The buffalo disappeared, and when Soren and I worked our
way into the thicket we found it dead with my bullet through its brain. There
was a good portion of luck in that shot; nevertheless, I could never have pulled
it off with the iron-sighted .458.
On the other hand, I have used the same .375 to follow up and finish off a
couple of wounded buffalo in thick cover when my .458 was out of action, and
found the scope no hindrance. On another occasion, when we had a wounded
bull standing in dense shade in heavy brush, I could not make it out through the
iron sights of the .458, so I took the scope-sighted .375 from the tracker and solved
that problem. Clients have used the rifle with its 2½X scope to flatten a buffalo at
10 feet, to stop a charging elephant at 14 paces, and to kill a lot of the big stuff quite
neatly both near and far. I am absolutely convinced that a low-power scope sight
of from 1½X to 3X, or a variable-power scope with a 4X maximum, is by far the
best sight for a guided hunter’s dangerous-game rifle.
12
Guns and Hunting
The only exceptions I can think of might be leopard hunting, when a little
more magnification could be an advantage, or when one has to hunt in extremely
wet and thick cover. From what little I have seen of Alaska, scopes would seem
to be entirely appropriate for much of the bear hunting there also. All the clients
we had in one Alaska camp used scopes successfully and with no problems. Phil
Shoemaker, the registered guide, had a little Leupold 2½X scope on his .458
stopping rifle and liked it very well. It had survived some pretty rough treatment
and was still moisture-proof. Good lens covers were an essential, though. Wide
bands cut from automobile inner tubes are as good as anything—if you can find
an inner tube! I do think it is good insurance to have standby iron sights on the
rifle and to use a mounting system that allows the scope to be readily removed in
the field if necessary

Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: nksmfamjp] #14171350 10/02/19
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JFE Offline
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Originally Posted by nksmfamjp
Originally Posted by jwp475

I'll take a quality scope any day and every day over irons on my big bores.


Why? Am I misunderstanding how you use your big bore? I.e. close range



Everyone will have a different opinion and you need to go with whatever you feel comfortable with and whatever works for you.

Sure, in the purest sense a big bore is for short range and larger animals. For really short range work I’m happy with either but if you wound an animal and it takes off you’re likely better off with a scope. Also when it comes to identifying game that’s obscured by bush or you are hunting in poor light, nothing beats a scope.

A good set of irons you’re comfortable using and a low power fixed or variable scope in Q/D mounts covers all bases IMO.

Last edited by JFE; 10/02/19.
Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: bobmn] #14171901 10/02/19
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Perhaps if Phil Shoemaker sees this he will add to the discussion. I know Phil and he son did a similar test to Finn's.
Phil has had a low powered scope on his 458 Winchester for a couple or more decades.

Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: nksmfamjp] #14172232 10/02/19
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Something I forgot to mention. A scope with good quality glass, can be used in far darker conditions, than can done with irons....including “ghost ring” aperture! memtb

Last edited by memtb; 10/02/19.

You should not use a rifle that will kill an animal when everything goes right; you should use one that will do the job when everything goes wrong." -Bob Hagel

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Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: nksmfamjp] #14172813 10/02/19
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Originally Posted by nksmfamjp
I see a ton of big bore rifles online with scopes on them. When shooting a 458 or larger stopping rifle, aren’t you really shooting quick a 50 yds or less with the potential to be shooting at 5 yds? Seems like a terrible place to interject an optic.

So, should a big bore be scoped of not? Why?



Considering I can see the end of the barrel with the scope on 1x , and thusly place a crosshair on a critter just ahead of that ... a scope works just fine up close . Even better than irons for some as far as speed of optical focus goes . Not that I can’t use the sights .
I’ve gone to low power variables on all my large caliber “swatting”guns , and learned to shoot with both eyes open for more speed and peripheral vision .


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Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: nksmfamjp] #14173123 10/02/19
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gunner500 Offline
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458 WM is where my scope mounting stops.

50-90 Sharps, sights.
50-110 WCF, sights.
505 Gibbs, sights.
500 Nitro, sights.
577 Nitro, sights.
8 Bore, sights.


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Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: Mule Deer] #14173791 10/03/19
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Originally Posted by Mule Deer
There have been a few controlled-condition tests made with a variety of shooters, comparing the speed of an accurate shot at close range. In every one I've seen, the scopes won.

This may be due to most shooters not being all that practiced with irons these days, but is also due to the fact that a low-powered scope provides a single aiming point, while irons have two points that must be aligned. The rare exception is when a rifle is specifically fitted to an indivudal shooter so the front sight can be used for reasonably accurate aiming. I set up my .416 Rigby this way, but it's still no faster than a low-power scope-.

Concur. I our 458Win (Phil Shoemaker) I believe had an article years ago on this very subject and his conclusions were the same. Hopefully, he will chime in.. That said, you are a blasphemous Philistine if you pollute a double rifle with scopes or any other optical contraption!

Last edited by jorgeI; 10/03/19.

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Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: nksmfamjp] #14173819 10/03/19
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Quote from JorgeI: That said, you are a blasphemous Philistine if you pollute a double rifle with scopes or any other optical contraption!

I definitely agree! If I were ever “blessed” with a double rifle.....I’d just have to hunt “handicapped”! memtb


You should not use a rifle that will kill an animal when everything goes right; you should use one that will do the job when everything goes wrong." -Bob Hagel

~Molɔ̀ːn Labé Skýla~
Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: nksmfamjp] #14176019 10/03/19
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We have had this conversation many times over there. My PH who has about 400 buff under his belt he says a quality 3x9 is the perfect scope because making that perfect first shot is the most important and making it count is a lot more important than worrying about 1 power in the off chance you might need it.
That said we used my NULA 375 to kill 4 buff this past July it’s setup no sights and 2x7. Had a buff charge out of thorns at 7 yds at that distance you point and shoot scope or sights doesn’t matter.
Now a big double rifle it’s sights or red dot if need be.


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Re: Sights vs Scopes - Big Bore [Re: Mule Deer] #14176527 10/04/19
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bobmn Offline
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Mule Deer: I agree about 2 points for irons but a ghost ring receiver sight only requires concentrating on the front sight. The eye automatically centers the front sight in the hole. Aagaard's test had the scope very slightly faster than the peep sight. Scope does allow for avoiding brush.

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