by B.B. Pelletier
This is part 2 of CJr’s guest blog about how he outfitted 3 of his IZH-61 rifles with different sight options.
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Experimenting with peep sights
Previously, I told you about scoping the IZH-61. Today, I’ll tell you my experiences with replacement open sights. A surprising discovery was that all of the peep sights tended to shoot very high.
I installed the Beeman Sport aperture sight on one of the rifles and tried to sight it in. I couldn’t get any closer than 1.5″ ABOVE the bullseye with the sight adjusted down to the max. I then mounted it on another IZH-61 and was able to get it down to 1/4″ BELOW the bull at max down! Since it worked acceptably on this IZH-61, I left it there and did not test it on the other two. I did double-check the mounting on both rifles to make sure the clamps were in the rail properly. Also, this sight seems to mount canted to the left, and I had to adjust windage a few clicks to get on target. This sight has ZERO scope creep–I think because it has two, although small, set screws along the length of the base. They don’t show in the following photo because they’re on the right side of the sight.
Beeman Sport Aperture site mounted. Note that it’s mounted as far forward as possible in order to bring the point of impact down farther.
On another rifle, I installed the Avanti Precision diopter sight, and it worked good but I had to adjust it all the way down, as well. I tried it on only the one rifle; and since it worked, I left it there. I had to adjust windage on it, also, but only one or two clicks. This sight has only one screw on the base, and it may have creeped 1/32″ since I mounted it. I gave the screw another crank with pliers, so maybe that’ll take care it. You put your eye right up to the eye cup on this one, and it shuts out any unwanted glare; however, it tends to make the target look very small.
Daisy Avanti Precision diopter sight mounted. Note that even though the eyepiece is farther back than the scope configuration, there’s no eye relief problem since lenses are not involved.
I liked the Mendoza sight. It’s very similar to the Beeman; and it’s comparatively inexpensive, very well built and adjusts nice with positive clicks. I really liked the price since I wanted to buy three of them. However, I put the Mendoza sight on my IZH-61 but couldn’t get it to go low enough to shoot at 10 meters. My shots were about 2-3 inches too high. With the Mendoza sight adjusted all the way down, the top of the front sight needs to be almost touching the inside of the front sight hood in your sight picture to compensate. Even if I made a front sight that way, it may still be hard to see the target without cutting off the sight hood. I don’t know on which rifle I mounted it, and I didn’t try it on another one to see if it made a difference. I don’t think it had any scope creep. It has two hefty set screws that should hold it pretty tight.
With all the sights, I did not have to remove the gun’s stock rear sight. Merely crank it all the way down, and it’s out of the way. All the peep sights had good solid construction and were very easy to install and adjust.
I like the construction of all of them; but with my eyesight, the Avanti works best. The Beeman and the Mendoza have larger apertures, so I don’t get that much of the “pinhole” effect that sometimes improves focus. I get a fuzzy sight picture with or without glasses. I’m near-sighted. Either the front sight is in focus or the target is, but not both. The Avanti has a smaller aperture, so I can see the sights and target much clearer. But it appears that I’m looking down a tube, and the target looks so much smaller than through the Beeman. With such a small picture of the target, I can’t get any precision. Don’t look for me on the 2009 competition trail.