Posts Tagged ‘Sights’

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At the Range: Bushnell First Strike Reflex Red Dot Sight

Bushnell’s First Strike Reflex Red Dot is a low-profile dot sight that’s waterproof, fogproof, and extremely lightweight. Because of its small size, I recently installed and fired the sight on a Rock River Operator to see how the First Strike worked on close-in targets, possibly to run in tandem with a scope for 3-Gun rifle events.

turkey over shoulder

Is Your Shotgun Ready for Turkeys?

Turkey hunting has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years. Hunters find the sport challenging, rewarding and enjoyable. We field a lot questions about the gear needed for novice turkey hunters. The most common involves the shotguns used for hunting turkeys. Can I use my dove hunting shotgun for turkey? What type of sights do I need? Should my turkey gun be camouflaged? To be honest, you can kill a turkey with just about anything. However, lets take a look at some standards that will make your chances just a bit better.

Tasco ProPoint

Four Must Have Optics for 2013

Given the rush at the gun counter, it is no surprise that optics is a hot category as well. Going through my notes, I have selected four more optics from the 2013 SHOT Show that you really need to consider before making your next purchase.

Using the key tool, you can quickly and easily swap out LitePipes for a different color.

SHOT 2013: HiViz Shooting Systems Releases New Fiber Optic Sight

HiViz listened to consumer concerns and created a new option for shooters. HiViz, known for making fiber optic sights of all kinds for nearly every type of gun, has had two main problems: either the sight allows in a good amount of light and is vulnerable to damage, or the sight is reinforced but more difficult to see. This year at the SHOT show, HiViz released a happy medium. The new sight has a skeletal steel frame that allows in a maximum amount of light while still protecting the fiber optic LitePipe™ from external damage.

Wild Turkey Hunting

What Makes a Turkey Shotgun?

The turkey shotgun is one of the integral parts of turkey hunting. What makes a shotgun a turkey shotgun? Some gun manufacturers would have you believe that you can’t kill a turkey unless you spend top dollar on specialized shotguns with high-end components. While these little details certainly will not hurt, just about any shotgun can kill a turkey, and slight modifications to the firearm will increase your chances drastically.

Folding front sight

Belt and Suspenders

How do we aim rifles? The most obvious way is by pointing. No sights at all are needed at a very close range. Iron sights come next. They are rugged and do not require batteries. They do require front sight focus, which is no problem on a square range with high-contrast bullseye targets.

Overcoming Cross-eye Dominance

Aiming a pistol is easy even with cross-dominant eye

Aiming a pistol is easy even with a cross-dominant eye

Using the dominant eye with open sights

Using the dominant eye with open sights

About 10% of all people are left-handed. About 30% of the population has a dominant left eye. In quite a few shooters, the left dominant hand is paired up with the right dominant eye, or the right hand and left eye. When shooting pistol, that mismatch is easily overcome by a slight shift of the head position. With rifles and shotguns, cross-eye dominance can be a problem. Closing the dominant eye to use rifle sights is uncomfortable and feels unnatural. Worse, a shotgunner pointing with both eyes open won’t get a good reference for the barrel position: instead of seeing the bead at the end of a rib, he might see the side of the barrel as the wrong eye asserts dominance.

One way to work around this issue is to move the head so far over the stock as to make use of the dominant eye. Most people find it awkward, but it does work. The other solution is to fire from the weak shoulder using the strong eye. Some prefer that approach, others find it trying. It is theoretically possible to re-train your eyes to switch dominance, but that isn’t a quick process.

A third way exists that works for rifle and even better for shotguns: using red dot sights. Red dot and the older occluded eye gunsights work by having one eye acquire the target and the other acquire the red dot. The shooter’s brain superimposes the two enabling precise aim. With cross-eye dominant shooters, the stronger eye looks at the target and the weaker eye picks up the red dot, leading to a sight picture as good as or superior to that of regular shooters.

 

Holographic sight used by a cross-eye dominant shooter.

Holographic sight used by a cross-eye dominant shooter.

Aimpoint Micro H1 attached to an AK47 with an Ultimak rail

Aimpoint Micro H1 attached to an AK47 with an Ultimak rail

Equipping a long gun with a red dot sight is a quick hardware solution to a software problem. Since many people do not want to re-train their eyes, it works out as the long-term solution for many. And for those of you who have family or friends with this issue, now you know what to put under the Christmas tree for them.

“Homeboy sights” for rifles

Ten years ago, Homeboy Night Sights were the talk of the Internet. A parody of rap videos, the fake ad got quite a few laughs and the term “homie sights” stuck. Imagine my surprise when I saw a respected Sheriff using a similar contraption on his duty weapon, a Sig 556 carbine. Magpul sights folded flat when not in use but were readily available when required.

Folded Magpul sights

Folded Magpul sights

Raised Magpul sights

Raised Magpul sights

"Homie sights" in use

"Homie sights" in use

I asked about the rationale for such a configuration. He explained that the typical co-witnessed backup iron sights wouldn’t work with the 3-power scope. Placing the BUIS at 45 degree angle would work standing but not so well prone. Turning the rifle on the side permitted much lower field position, such as hiding behind curbs or firing under cars and privacy fences. With a .223 rifle, recoil isn’t a problem, so he could shoot it easily even with the buttplate against his upper arm if necessary.