Sighting System 3: Open Iron Sights
Here’s one for the purists among us big-bore revolver fanatics. Virtually every hunting or target revolver comes with a set of adjustable iron sights up top (okay, there are a couple that come with fixed sights, like the Ruger Vaquero), and they work well, as long as you have adequate light.
They are quick to acquire, but, maybe most importantly, since the user isn’t peering through a tube, they then have a full view of their surroundings. Why is this important? Just ask those who hunt bear or wild hogs with dogs why it’s crucial to see all that is going on around them in the ensuing chaos of a hunt with hounds. The handgun hunter must be able to respond quickly, assess the situation, pick their shot, and make absolutely certain that no dogs are in the way. Open sights, in this type of situation, have no equal.
One of the other greatest advantages open sights enjoy is their resistance to recoil—plus, they have no glass to break or batteries to die. Ultra reliability is another bonus. The only real limitation to using open iron sights is the shooter’s vision and ability to line up the front and rear sights on the target. You may find that the older you get, the better you were.
In my humble opinion, the best adjustable rear sight available on the aftermarket is manufactured by Hamilton Bowen of Bowen Classic Arms. Those unfamiliar with Bowen’s work skipped over the fourth chapter of this book! His are, by far, the best adjustable rear sight available for a revolver. They are precise, easy to adjust, and well-made.
Whatever you choose, you need to practice enough to completely familiarize yourself with the sighting system. Some sights take some getting used to but, once you get there, their use should become second nature.
This article is an excerpt from…
- A comprehensive look at handgun hunting cartridges
- Detailed descriptions BIG revolvers
- More than 250 full-color photos
About the Author: Max Prasac is the author of Big-Bore Revolvers. He is a member of Handgun Hunters International, life member of the North American Hunt Club, and a life member of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Max writes a column for Boar Hunter and Bear Hunting magazines, and is an occasional contributor to NRA publications.
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