How Far Are Iron Sights Good For Shooting?

Iron sights serve as great companions for your rifle when you go out for a hunt. While they come in cheap and expensive variants, each type serves a different purpose during your hunting trip. The expensive irons sights are great primary scopes for quick aiming, and the cheaper ones offer excellent performance when it comes to serving as your backup sights

Despite this, their role has mostly been delegated to the latter with the onset of better and more robust reflex sights and optics. However, backup iron sights remain reliable and are a common partner for any good rifle. Therefore, they are still used to a great extent to this day. As a result, a common question springs to mind among gun owners and hunters, and that is, how far are iron sights good for shooting? Let’s get right into it.


How far are iron sights good for shooting when out on a hunt?

Optical sights are great and all, but when the going gets tough you must rely on your backup iron sights to get the job done. And if you have iron sights as the primary sight on your gun, there is no way around other than mastering it. In any case, it’s important to understand how far you can shoot accurately using your iron sights.

The short and quick answer is 300 yards. Anything under 200 yards and you will be hitting the target’s bullseye or shooting your hunt down properly, given that the conditions are favorable. Around the 300 yards mark, you start to lose a bit of accuracy but your shots are still going to land close to the point of interest. However, beyond that, unless your skills are extraordinary, it quickly becomes difficult to aim and hit the target head-on. Although there are sharpshooters out there with amazing skills, which allow them to shoot accurately with iron sights even beyond 500 yards, for the normal hunter, this is a tough ask.

Given that range, it is quite reasonable for a hunter to get used to long-range shooting with just iron sights, and landing shots on the target. However, it may take a bit of practice to get used to and improve on accuracy. With time, it gets easier, and your shots become more accurate.

If your hunt isn’t too far off from where you intend to shoot, 300 yards is just the right distance to land accurate shots using your iron sights. At this range, most hunters will eventually adapt and become comfortable using their iron sights instead of relying on their usual optics.

Things to Remember when shooting down iron sights at long-range

If you follow through with everything, we’re about to reveal to you, shooting down beyond 300 yards should be an easy task with just your iron sights.

Zero the Sight Properly

All hunters know the importance of zeroing their sight. This is even more so the case when you shoot down iron sights.

In the case of a standard AR15, you need a target about 25 yards away to zero in the iron sights properly for 300 yards. This does differ from weapon to weapon, each featuring its barrel, caliber, and iron sights. Regardless, it’s important to take some time to zero your iron sights before firing when out on the hunt if you hope to shoot anything down at all.

There are some great guides that you can follow to zero in your iron sights properly. These help you decide how you need to go about making windage and elevation adjustments for both your front and rear sights. The common steps for any standard AR15 and iron sights are:

  • Ensure the iron sight is properly mounted on the barrel of the rifle.
  • Adjust the base of the sight post to ensure it is aligned properly with the sight housing. This ensures that the sight is mechanically zeroed in.
  • Shoot at a target 25 yards out.
  • Keep your rifle steady and motion at a minimum as you fire each round.
  • Make your MOA adjustments for elevation and windage.
  • Shoot a second group after making the adjustments to ensure you are zeroed in.

The advantage of better iron sights

Standard iron sights get the job done at around 200-300 yards. However, to improve your accuracy beyond that range, you might want to purchase better iron sights. These irons sights are more accurate at long range, although slightly more expensive. Therefore, for more experienced users, or hunters who are reliant on shooting long range with their iron sights, investing in a better iron sight will pay off in the long run.

These advanced iron sights often help you extend your firing range up to 1000 yards. However, to achieve that level of mastery you will need a lot of patience and practice with your rifle. Moreover, the sights for those ranges are quite expensive. Therefore, train hard to ensure you have the skills to match before investing in iron sights which can enable you to fire on targets up to 1000 yards away.

Some irons sights can serve you better than optics

Optic sights have advanced in design and accuracy over the past few decades and have become the most popular choices for hunters. However, iron sights aren’t lagging too far behind. A good iron sight can provide higher accuracy than a poor red dot sight. Moreover, an iron sight will come with increased robustness and reliability when it comes to aiming down sights. Therefore, in addition to improved accuracy, you gain some quality of life benefits as well when you invest in a good iron sight.

Read more: Do You Need The Best Laser Bore Sighter? Get Accurate Shots for Hunting Now


Red dot sights, reflexive sights, and other optics offer plenty of enhancements and advantages for the average hunter. However, iron sights have gone through continuous improvements and are reliable when out on a hunt to this day. Therefore, as a hunter, you need to understand the range up to which your shots are accurate. And so, if you feel your hunt is around 300 yards away from you, fire away and you should be able to return from a satisfying hunting trip.

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