Scope or no scope to teach marksmanship?

Discussion in '.22 Rifle/Rimfire Discussion' started by maineshooter, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. maineshooter

    maineshooter New Member

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    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.
     
  2. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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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.
     

  3. kytowboater

    kytowboater Active Member

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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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  4. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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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.
     
  5. kytowboater

    kytowboater Active Member

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    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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  6. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  7. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  8. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

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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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  9. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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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.
     
  10. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    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.
     
  11. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    This ^

    Iron sights: not glamorous or exciting... but a necessary skill that shouldn't be glossed over.
    Of course I'm also one of those who believe that everyone should also be able to drive a manual transmission should the need arise.
     
  12. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    open sights help a person learn the fundamentals of shooting. most all of my rifles are scoped, but i still have a few that aren't. i can still shoot open sights if i put my glasses on. i also hae a couple of rifles that scopes just wouldn't look right on them.

    damn skippy on the manual transmission! when i learned to drive, we didn't even have a car with an automatic transmission.
     
  13. Kdub

    Kdub New Member

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    To be a proficient shooter I believe it is important to master all sight systems. I do not believe there is a right or wrong order in which someone learns however.
     
  14. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

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    Well, I can't do prone anymore either thanks to my Back continually getting Worse....I'm sure lots of folks have that issue...


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  15. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    in a way i can relate to that. growing up, most rifles had open sights and there were still some that weren't even drilled and tapped for scope bases. so it was just natural to learn the open sights first and then later on learn to use a scope.
     
  16. Kdub

    Kdub New Member

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    I learned the same way. As an adult however, I have found it much easier and successful with kids to get them set up with an rds and work on basics such as stance, how they hold the gun, trigger pull, breathing. With an rds I think it greatly increases their hit ratio which creates excitement. As they get bigger and have a better understanding of guns then move to irons. It just makes sense to me to have them learn the easiest first and for me that is an RDS. Put dot on target, press trigger. I think most of the older guys who say, "I learned with iron sights and that's the way it should be done" is because back then optics were not as common or couldn't be afforded. They learned to shoot with irons because that was all there was.
     
  17. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    good one! there was no such thing as an RDS when i learned how to shoot. an RDS could be a good option for learning shooting rifles. honestly, i only have one rifle with an RDS and i can't really say i have given it any thought as to whether it would be good for learning or not. but if it works, that is what counts.
     
  18. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Ah, a marlin model 60, a fine little rifle indeed! I still have the one I got in my youth. I learned on iron sights; I believe they are better for learning on, particularly when learning small game hunting like squirrels. Trying to keep a squirrel in view with a scope was very frustrating.

    There are also peep sights available that can be easily fitted to the MM60.
    http://www.tech-sights.com/marlin.htm
     
  19. willshoum

    willshoum New Member

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    If it ain't broke.................

    Iffin they can hit a target at say a thousand yards with open sights, its time to put them on a scope that'll shine at over a mile and a half...........;)
     
  20. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    Bingo...

    Between trigger control, breathing, and the basics of safe gun handling, any new shooter has enough on their plate without needing to worry about learning correct, consistent, sight pictures, alignments, and hold over.

    Personally, I consider iron sight rifle shooting to be "stage 2" of making a rifleman and I do it after everything else has been mastered.

    Does that mean a "scopes only" shooter can't be effective? Of course not... Given the proliferation of new optics and the low cost, many folks are shooting them far better then they would ever shoot irons. This is a big reason why more of the folks trying our sport stick with it... INSTANT GRATIFICATION... And in this case, that's a good thing.

    Tack