Iron sight practical distance

Discussion in 'General Firearm Forum' started by BocaDan, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. BocaDan

    BocaDan New Member

    My question is what is the practical/efficient/realistic distance that one should expect from using a rifle with bare sights? Or in other words around what distance should one resort to scopes instead of sights.

    For the sake of argument, let's say we're talking an AR style rifle chambered in 223/5.56 against 12"x12" stationary paper targets...


  2. SeventiesWreckers

    SeventiesWreckers Load Bearing Wall

  3. mcz0804a

    mcz0804a Don't Call Me Sir!!! I Work For A Living

    Not sure about your specific rifle but I know my Colt M4. W/ a 14" barrel and a 1:7 rifling shooting M855 you get the following:

    Area Target: 600m
    Point Target: 500m
    Max: 3600m
  4. SeventiesWreckers

    SeventiesWreckers Load Bearing Wall

    This is a vid showing the "Dog" target, 24", shooters firing from 300 yards. The 12" bull was a 200 yard target, not too hard to hit on slow fire.

  5. SeventiesWreckers

    SeventiesWreckers Load Bearing Wall

    A Marine Corps Recruiter Will Be With You Momentarily.
  6. mcz0804a

    mcz0804a Don't Call Me Sir!!! I Work For A Living

    To late the Air Force got to me 4 years ago. Lol
  7. Argyle64

    Argyle64 New Member

    Yeah, um....I can't even see a target at 500m and I have 20/20 vision.
  8. mcz0804a

    mcz0804a Don't Call Me Sir!!! I Work For A Living

    Well that's what the AF tells me. My unit is non-deployable so odds that I'll ever shoot anyone with my M4 is VERY slim. Much less at those ranges.
  9. Regardless of what product literature might say on this, it's really a matter of the shooter as an individual. If you can hit a target at 400 yards with iron sights, then go with it. If you can hit at 400 yards with a scope, then use it. Whatever works for you is right for you :)
  10. sgtcowboyusmc

    sgtcowboyusmc New Member


  11. SeventiesWreckers

    SeventiesWreckers Load Bearing Wall

    What the Air Force is telling you is basically true, and the information I have from the Marine Corps in my old guidebook is similar, as well it should be. The rifle we were using in 1973 was the M16-A1, 5.56 .223 Ball ammunition with a 55 grain FMJ bullet. However, our definition of a point target was either a small unit, or perhaps a lead vehicle in column, like a 6x6. An area target was considered to be a building, or structure, or larger. Our maximum effective range was determined to be appx 460 meters, beyond that the 55 grain bullets would start to destabilize, tumble, & keyhole.

    But the original question Bocadan proposed inquires as to what distance could you consistently hit a 12" X 12" target, appx the same area as a human chest. After training & snapping in for a couple of weeks, we could hit a 12" bull at 200 yards most of the time, you might expect to hit the same 12" bull about half of the time at 300 yards, if your were at the top of your game.

    And I probably could still hit a large truck, or Point Target, at 500 yards, but thats not what Bocadan was really asking.

    i'd really like to shoot one of the new M-4's, I bet they are a sweet weapon.

    Stay safe Air Force, glad you got us covered.
  12. runman

    runman New Member

    Brings back some memories. I too miss it now that I think about it. Semper Fi
  13. SeventiesWreckers

    SeventiesWreckers Load Bearing Wall

    I'm writing mostly from memory, did I leave anything out? Or have things changed much for rifle qual?

    Old & Fuzzy some Days.
  14. hoovco

    hoovco New Member

    Well ... For army there's no more foxhole. It's prone supported and unsupported, then kneeling. The way we train now is pretty different as well. When I was going through one course we actually used steel targets from 175.
  15. runman

    runman New Member

    From what I remember you are right on. Firing line ready on the right-Ready. Firing line ready on the left-Ready. Shooters you may commence...

    Good times!
  16. SeventiesWreckers

    SeventiesWreckers Load Bearing Wall

    Good enough, Thanks Marine, I kept my shooters log (green book) for quite a few years, but it seems to have gone missing. I just wanted to answer Bocadan's question, and I can't recall shooting any range farther than 300 yds.

    Semper Fi
  17. BocaDan

    BocaDan New Member

    Thanks all for the input.

    While at the range the other day for the second time with my SKS, the scope I put on the receiver cover became wobbly. It seemed like time for a "loctite" treatment, which I didn't have any with me, nor the patience to wait for it to cure right there. Instead I resorted to the sights for the first time ever at 100 yards and I was surprised to see I was easily maintaining a 6-8" groups from the bench. Now I realize 8" groups are nothing to be proud of, but for someone who is a lousy shot even with scopes, (been shooting rifles just for a few months now) that was very interesting to see. Even though SKSes are not the most accurate rifles that are out there, mine is still more accurate than myself :)

    This is when I decided to "get used to" regular sights a bit more, before starting to resort to scopes etc. I'm in the process building my first AR, and even though I already have a scope purchased for it, I won't be using the scope at all for the first few months - just to get more familiar with the sights.

    Hence my question...

    Thanks all once again...
  18. IRGrunt

    IRGrunt New Member

    The Marine Corps rifle qual these days is like this. You shoot a slow fire, 5 rounds each in sitting, kneeling, and standing positions. Then you shoot a 10 round rapid fire in the sitting. Then you move on to 300 yard slow fire, firing 5 rounds sitting and a 10 round rapid fire from the prone position. Then you move back to the 500 yard line and fire a 10 round slow fire from the prone position. Granted, now all shooters are authorized to shoot with an acog on either their M16A4, or M4. It is very possible to hit a target at 500 yards with optics consistently. Not to brag, but I scored 245 out of a possible 250 points, hitting all 10 rounds from the 500 in the black. I dropped 2 in the 300 yard rapid. :(
  19. TampaBaySean

    TampaBaySean New Member

    I regularly shoot at 100 yards on iron sights with my SKS .
  20. IRGrunt

    IRGrunt New Member

    Learning to shoot with iron sights is a lot harder than with optics. As you plan, stick to the irons for a while until you get the fundamentals down and then once you get an optic zeroed, hitting black will come a lot easier. The SKS is a good rifle and with time, you should be able to hit the 12" targets at about 200 yards consistently with irons. A 6-8" group is great for a "beginner".