Optimizing your Muzzleloader Sights
As a youngster anxious to get involved in hunting and shooting, my mentors encouraged me to use open sights. Their rationale was simple; learn the basics of lining up a target and it will become a natural and easy way to acquire a target, no matter what you use as a sight or scope. They also warned that someday I may only have open sights as an option, whether regulated in a specific hunting season, or borrowing a firearm. That early advice has never steered me wrong and I believe I shoot well today, using any type of sights, because of my early training.
When it comes to optics for your firearm, you get what you pay for. Having lived through some lean years – going to school and trying to take advantage of hunting seasons – on a limited budget, I soon found out that open sights are an economical option – and the best option, when budgets are tight. And, there are hunting seasons allowing open sights only, meaning you can extend your opportunities and chances to take a trophy. If you can’t afford great optics you’re better off with great open sights.
There are jurisdictions where muzzleloader hunters must use open sights. The TRUGLO® MUZZLE•BRITE™ XTREME UNIVERSAL SERIES sights are a great example of open sights, providing all the advantages needed to harvest game successfully and with repeatable results. The first thing I noticed about the sight was how they shine in low-light conditions. There is no problem acquiring a target and knowing exactly where your bullet’s point of impact will be.
A number of considerations are often overlooked for open sights, which include reduced weight, and the fact that they never fog up. They are ultra-durable and allow you to acquire targets at close and long range without any adjustments. With no batteries required, they are the most compact option when looking at sights. Most of all, they are reliable.
If economics are a factor, the MUZZLE•BRITE™ XTREME UNIVERSAL SERIES sights have a universal mounting system to work with all muzzleloaders, and are priced at $51 to $64, depending on model. The sights are CNC-machined and fully adjustable for elevation and windage, allowing you to zero at 100 yards. The front sight has a diameter of .040 inches, and the rear sight diameter is .029 inches.
The basics of open sights require us to see three spaced objects clearly. They work by aligning the front sight in the notch of the rear sight and then placing this combination on a distant target. If you were hunting a deer and are sighted at 100 yards, you can hold directly from zero to about 125 yards. A little practice at the range will soon teach you to naturally hold a bit high to compensate for bullet drop. Shooters have the choice of placing the rear and front sight combo higher or by simply moving the front sight upward as natural adjustments for the bullet drop. Changing the position of the front sight in the rear notch is often all that is required to make slight elevation adjustments, which is where the term “holding finer” comes from.
Historically, open sights were painted and often difficult to see clearly, but TRUGLO’s modern technology and fiber-optics in bright red and green, offer the easiest open sight for a clear view. They outshine traditional options like peep sights, enabling any shooter to quickly align the front and rear sights. Placing the bright red dot from the front sight between the two green dots on each side of the rear sight notch comes quick and natural, and they make a significant difference when sighting on a moving target, allowing the shooter to clearly see that the sights are aligned as you follow your game or try to maintain a lead. I’ve experienced issues in the past using a scope and losing the black crosshair against a moose or black bear in low light. Fiber-optic sights ensure you see everything clearly.
If you’ve never tried open sights it’s time to give them a try. Going back to the basics, combined with modern technologies and brightness, could prove to make you a better shooter.