AN INTERESTING OPEN SIGHT
Rifle|November - December 2021
LIGHT GUNSMITHING
Gil Sengel

Today, it seems that firearms we use for hunt-ing have to carry either a scope or a red dot sight. Included are not only rifles, but handguns and even shotguns used for turkeys. This is all rather strange to someone who grew up long before red dots, where the only scopes seen were either on centerfire .22 varmint rifles or rimfire target guns.

Stranger still is that hunting scopes are getting larger and feature oddly-shaped reticles that are illuminated! This means reliance on a battery, just like a red dot sight. These devices aren’t even called by their names anymore, but rather “op-ticks.” A recent sporting journal stated, “The new optic must be mated with a proper optic platform, which in turn interfaces with the optic plate or integral system provided on the firearm…” Okay. Then there are different size dots, variable intensity settings, recoil tolerance and on and on. Good heavens! Can this be made more complicated?

Anyone having normal eyesight and much experience hunting with powerful handguns will admit that optics are not needed to kill hogs, white-tailed deer, or even elk, at the 50- to 100-yard ranges at which such guns are effective. The same is true for rifles used on deer and black bear in timbered areas, where shots over 140 yards are seldom possible. Ditto for a shotgun used to kill turkeys at 40 yards. All it takes is open sights that can be seen against a dark, cluttered background.

Having lived in the Southwest for the past 50 years, one gets used to the sunny days. For those who wish to use them, ordinary open sights work fine. Even rear sights having small apertures are quick to use in the bright sunlight. Therefore, there is no demand for more effective open sights in my part of the country. Then, during the fall hunting season of the year before the COVID-19 virus was turned loose upon us,a friend was invited by a relative to hunt deer in the Northeast part of the country. What better reason to visit family than to go hunting! He was told to be sure to bring rain gear.

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