Rimfire Central Firearm Forum banner

Open Sights Questions

291 4
I'm experienced with scoped centerfires, but new to open sights & rimfires. I took my new LH LUX to the range yesterday with Federal Gold Medal & CCI standard velocity (both good according to more exprienced rimfire shooters I've talked with). I shot 10 rounds at a 5.5" diameter black circle "visi-target" (shows green where the round enters). I hit the circle every time - a couple near the edge, a few near/in the bullseye, the rest scattered. I know I can shoot better with practice and want to set a reasonable/achievable goal. Truth be told - I HAVE to get better. My 10-year old son had wider grouping, but more shots closer to the bullseye!

At what range do most open sighters shoot?

What should my expectations be for 25 & 50-yd groups?

What target(s) is (are) best for shooting open sights?

Given the fact that there's more error in me than in my rifle/ammo, should I try some cheap, bulk ammo? I've read about the Federal 510 (?) ammo - should I try it? I love the fact that I shot 125 rounds for about $7, so I'm not overly concerned with ammo cost, but I also don't want to waste money.

I'm liking this rifle for the woods, but am worried about being frustrated with paper. So, I'm thinking about taking some cast iron pans (reactive targets) to the range next time for some long distance shooting. Anyone out there do something like this?

I wonder if a rear peep sight would give me better results? Thoughts?

Any advice is welcomed!!! Thanks.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Ed,
there are a lot of variables in your question (vision, rest, shooter, etc) but using cci blazers, off of a rolled up towel with a lh lux, I got a pattern at 50 yds that was about 1.5" total, in 3 groups: 3 touching, 2 touching, and 1 flier. I had a very hard time doing well until Sophia warned me about holding techniques (had no prior trouble with my marlin 60; maybe due to the different stock?). What I was doing was a lot like parallax with a scope, only with iron. She got that right off. Talk to her and see what she advises. She did wonders for me.

P.s. that same rifle with same ammo, towel and a tasco varmint scope will put 3 of 5 in a 3/4" bulls eye at 100 yds. Good luck with it.
 

· Gypsy Hermit
Joined
·
24,695 Posts
Thanks for the kind words, Waterbug :) And hi Ed! Tell us more about your recent shooting -- off the bench? prone? standing? etc.

At what range do most open sighters shoot?
I think 50 yards is the norm, with some matches at 25 and some at 100 yards. Then, too, you *can* use iron sights for silhouette shooting (targets out to 110 yards) but most people use scopes.

What should my expectations be for 25 & 50-yd groups?
We always try to excel, but in this contest groups of 3/4" at 25 yards while shooting from a bench is the goal:

http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=220456

What target(s) is (are) best for shooting open sights?
I think the consensus on this would be the standard 50 yard NRA smallbore rifle target (A-23) which has a bull's eye where the diameter of the black portion is about 4". But for sighting in at 25 yards I also like using a diamond shaped target that is about 3" from point to point. What you want is a target with a distinct boundary.

Especially if you are sighting in for target shooting (rather than hunting) you may want to sight in for the "6 o'clock hold" method, where the front sight just barely brushes the bottom of the black bull, or has just a sliver of white between the bull and the sight. This allows you to get a more consistent sight picture shot to shot. If you are sighted in on the center of the bull, it is hard to make sure you are in the exact same point of aim with each shot.

Given the fact that there's more error in me than in my rifle/ammo, should I try some cheap, bulk ammo? I've read about the Federal 510 (?) ammo - should I try it? I love the fact that I shot 125 rounds for about $7, so I'm not overly concerned with ammo cost, but I also don't want to waste money.
If shooting from the bench rather than standing, I vote for getting "good for the money" ammo rather than really cheap bulk pack stuff. You want to know the misses are you and not the ammo, and you want the location of the misses to tell you what you are doing wrong. If it's lousy ammo with lots of fliers it is hard to get it to teach you where you need improvement.

So, I'm thinking about taking some cast iron pans (reactive targets) to the range next time for some long distance shooting. Anyone out there do something like this?
The range where I shoot has big slabs of iron hanging at 100, 150, and 200 yards that I enjoy plinking at when the guys beside me can't hit them with their ARs :)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow! I've got a pretty lofty goal ahead of me I guess!

Sophia - I recently read your advice to someone else about the 6 o'clock hold & used it. I was shooting from a bench with sand bags. I did not fine tune the sights at all (they're in meters & my range targets are in yards). It was my first time with the rifle at the range and my younger son was with me. I wanted to keep it fun for him and not spend all of our time tinkering. Besides - now I have an excuse to get back to the range sooner rather than later!

Can you explain the holds & parallax issue that Waterbug mentioned? I'm an experienced archer (compound bow with sights), so I'm wondering if there's some "crossover" technique here?

As I said - I'm new to this and am "all ears". As much advice you're willing to offer - I will take copious notes and report back on my progress.
 

· Gypsy Hermit
Joined
·
24,695 Posts
Can you explain the holds & parallax issue that Waterbug mentioned? I'm an experienced archer (compound bow with sights), so I'm wondering if there's some "crossover" technique here?
I'm sure the concepts will crossover, and the skills can't be far off.

With a scope, a parallax error is caused by having the image of the target focused at one plane (distance) and the image of the crosshairs at a different plane. You can tell if this problem exists by putting your crosshairs on a spot on the target then, without moving the rifle, move your head around. If the crosshairs stay anchored on the aiming point it means they are both on the same focal plane. If the crosshairs drift around as you move your head it means they are on a different plane than the target.

With a scope, the fix is pretty easy as you can get scopes focused at "normal" range, or you can get scopes that can be adjusted to any range. That leaves you with just two points you have to get lined up -- the crosshairs and your target. The alternative is lining up three points: the target, the crosshairs, and your eye by always putting it in exactly the same spot.

With iron sights you have three things to line up -- the target and two sights. If you can get your eye right down behind the rear sight in exactly the same spot each and every time you get back to only two things to line up.... you look through the rear sight and line up the front sight and target. Your brain and eye will (usually) get the front sight centered in the rear sight with no effort on your part.

The trick most shooters use to get there is cheek weld -- putting your cheekbone in the same spot on the stock each time. I've even seen some guys put a carpet tack in the stock and use it as a point of reference for their lips, with cheek on the stock and lips just touching the head of the tack. You get the idea... consistency.

A problem can arise with the drop in the comb on the Euro style stock. Because the comb is not so high, and not so straight, you might catch yourself tilting your head past the centerline of the rear sight. Your cheek will be in the same spot, but the rolling or tilting of your head one way or the other will get you off center. And it won't necessarily be easy to spot because the rear sight is just a silhouette to you... you may not see that you are looking through it at a slight angle rather than straight on. The notch will look the same shape, but it will appear narrower than it is, and the apparent opening will be offcenter. Your brain and eye will center the front sight in this offcenter opening and you'll end up shooting off to one side or the other instead of where you think you are aiming.

If you find you have to adjust your rear sight all the way over to one side or the other, you are probably having problems with getting your eye centered and favor tilting one way over the other. If you find your shots stringing horizontally (and you can't blame the wind) it may be that you vary the tilt with each shot. (but poor trigger work can also lead to horizontal stringing, such as pushing with the shoulder as the shot breaks, for example, so watch yourself to see what's really happening)
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top