Scope or no scope to teach marksmanship?
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Scope or no scope to teach marksmanship?


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Old 04-09-2014, 01:53 AM   #1
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Default Scope or no scope to teach marksmanship?

I just bought my son a new Marlin Model 60 and right out of the box in a standing unsupported position I could shoot a half inch group at 50 feet one hitting the bullseye square without any sight adjustments. Needless to say I am impressed already considering this is a pretty cheap plinker rifle. That being said, I ordered a small scope for this rifle because my son shot pretty good groups on my old JC Higgins .22 rifle with a scope. But knowing that real marksmanship is hitting targets with iron sights, I wonder if it actually hurts his shooting skill development by relying on a scope.

I guess I shot a combination of iron sights and scopes as a kid and qualified as Expert Marksman for M-16 qualification in Basic Training for the US Army. I think it was my experience with shooting with iron sights that helped that.

I don't know where this shooting hobby will take him, but I just wonder if we should work without the scope for a while and I wonder what others think or have experienced for themselves. Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:58 AM   #2
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just from personal experiance from many, many years ago, my father taught my brother and i to shoot with open sights and made us learn how to usethem before we graduated to using a scope to shoot with. personally i think a shooter new to rifles should learn the fundamentals of shooting with open sights before moving to learning to shoot with a scope. simply my opinion.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:02 AM   #3
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I prefer iron sights. I own one scope. It sits on a .270. I like irons and shoot better. I think it's better to learn on that optics.


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Old 04-09-2014, 02:07 AM   #4
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I've been teaching my wife to shoot with rifles started with aimpoint on her ar15 moved her to a nightforce scope on her savage 10. She took her first buck christmas before last and hasn't used irons yet. She is still learning trigger and breath control. When she gets that down I'll move her to lining up front and rear irons.

I will let her learn irons on my rra match A2. I'm coming at it from simple to complex.

Right now she is 75% sub moa at 300yards with her savage 10...

Prolly going to teach her irons this summer.

I think optics are a great way to start as it simplifies the problem and let's the shooter concentrate on trigger and breathing before adding in complexity of sight alignment.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JonM View Post
I've been teaching my wife to shoot with rifles started with aimpoint on her ar15 moved her to a nightforce scope on her savage 10. She took her first buck christmas before last and hasn't used irons yet. She is still learning trigger and breath control. When she gets that down I'll move her to lining up front and rear irons.



I will let her learn irons on my rra match A2. I'm coming at it from simple to complex.



Right now she is 75% sub moa at 300yards with her savage 10...



Prolly going to teach her irons this summer.



I think optics are a great way to start as it simplifies the problem and let's the shooter concentrate on trigger and breathing before adding in complexity of sight alignment.

That's another way to look at it. I was taught irons first. Only killed one deer with a scopes rifle.


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Old 04-09-2014, 03:04 AM   #6
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If you hunt I would certainly start with iron sights. There are times when one will need to shoot running game.

Even if you never plan to hunt you still need to be able to hit fast moving targets. Life is always in motion.

When I taught my wife to shoot she was hitting shotgun hulls at 10 yards with a Marlin 60 equipped with iron sights on day one. She was born with astigmatism. She struggles with depth perception.

When I taught my daughter to shoot I started with a Marlin 60 with iron sights. When she started shooting pistols I didn't have to do very much teaching. She already had good target acquisition abilities.

Optics break, batteries die, iron sights will always work no matter what happens to you and your gun.

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Old 04-09-2014, 03:14 AM   #7
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I was blessed with great long distance vision. I have owned a 30/06 for over 30 years that I have never mounted a scope on the rifle. I bought the rifle for hunting deer driven by dogs. The deer is going to be running quite often. Hunters that are dependent on a scope often let the deer get away before they can find the deer in the scope. Areas that we can't drive with dogs we drive on foot. You will still encounter running deer.

Even if you never plan to hunt you still need to be able to hit fast moving targets. Life is always in motion.
i thought you told us that ya'll only hunted using shotguns on those driven hunts because of the thickness of the hunting area and the closeness of the hunters to one another, and out of fear of hitting the dogs?

a little clarification would be appreciated if you please sir.

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Old 04-09-2014, 03:37 AM   #8
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I learned with open sights on 2 Bolt action 22(rifle, and Semi-Auto pistol). Doesn't mean that a scope isn't a good way to train. I began to use optics in my Mid-Teens. My first scope was a little Fixed 4x20....


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Old 04-09-2014, 05:44 PM   #9
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I learned with open sights on 2 Bolt action 22(rifle, and Semi-Auto pistol). Doesn't mean that a scope isn't a good way to train. I began to use optics in my Mid-Teens. My first scope was a little Fixed 4x20....
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I learned with iron sights and I still haven't accepted optics of any kind. I was in my 30's before I even considered a scope. The early scopes were trouble prone. It seems like every hunt started with everyone checking their scope. I prefer to start my hunt with coffee and biscuits.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:33 PM   #10
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I learned with iron sights and I still haven't accepted optics of any kind. I was in my 30's before I even considered a scope. The early scopes were trouble prone. It seems like every hunt started with everyone checking their scope. I prefer to start my hunt with coffee and biscuits.
nothing wrong with learning and using open sights. please explain trouble prone? as in what was trouble prone about the scopes? my father has a couple of rifles with scopes well over 40 years in age that still work to this day. so maybe a bit of clarification on your part please.

and checking your scope for zero before hunting is actually the ethical and responsible thing to do. what if the scope was bumped or something during the trip. missing or wounding an animal because the scope was off, is hardly what i would call an ethical hunter.
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