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If you can’t do it with irons, you need to get better

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    If you can’t do it with irons, you need to get better

    I lean to agreement with the author.
    While I learned on irons, my eyes are not as good as they were.
    I've been spoiled by scoped and do appreciate a nice bright sight on a hg. An article I faith I’ve accepted since I was a little kid was that when you’re teaching someone to shoot, it’s irons first, then optics. The old school logic behind that was that if you can master shooting with iron sights, moving up to a scope is going to be easy mode for you. While I appreciate the John Wayne sentiment that drives such a thought process, we’re also in a golden age of affordable optics. Is it time for that thought process to change?

    I know that suggesting teaching people with dots first then irons is tantamount to blasphemy, but bear with me here. Let’s assume for the moment that shooting, especially for newbies, is supposed to be fun. I know, I know, that’s crazy talk! Shooting is serious business, we’re training to win matches or gunfights here, there’s no room for fun! True, true, but let’s pretend this is fun. Anyway, if it’s supposed to be fun, it follows that we shouldn’t do things that frustrate new shooters. For that first range trip, you want them to walk off the range feeling like they accomplished something. So instead of teaching them all this “line up this post in between these two posts, then make sure the front one is sharp in focus and the target is blurry” – why not just say “put the dot where you want the bullet to go, then press the trigger without disturbing it.”
    With the prevalence of video games, it’s also a fair bet that almost anyone you’re taking to the range for the first time is intimately familiar with concept of how a red dot works, because they’ve probably smoked countless digital fools with an aimpoint equipped AR in Call of BattleStrike or whatever.
    I don’t really take newbies shooting that often, so I’m not exactly an SME on what they like and don’t like. But I’d be interested to get feedback from people who do that sort of thing, and whether or not you’ve taken this approach.
    An article I faith I've accepted since I was a little kid was that when you're teaching someone to shoot, it's irons first, then optics. The old school logic behind that was that if you can master shooting with iron sights, moving up to a scope is going to be easy mode for you.

    #2
    This is typical of the fast food approach to shooting. Let's do what makes us feel good and try to buy results. This is why small bore high power and bullseye are dying. They require a skill set. It's more fun to run around at a USPSA match and blast huge targets at 3 yards than try to build an actual skill set.

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      #3
      I do the opposite. I teach irons - and irons are PRIMARY. If you have time, and if they're working, electronic sights are Secondary. But I usually don't teach someone to 'plink' or solely to 'have fun' when shooting.
      Last edited by Dan 0351; 04-29-2016, 01:46 PM.
      "The Open Carry guy is my decoy."

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        #4
        Originally posted by Dan 0351 View Post
        I do the opposite. I teach irons - and irons are PRIMARY. If you have time, and if their working, electronic sights are Secondary. But I usually don't teach someone to 'plink' or solely to 'have fun' when shooting.

        I blame the shooting industry as well. They try to add mystique to certain feats that are nearly impossible- take plinking a piece of steel at 1,000 yards. I have no idea why people are fixated on that distance, but they are. It really isn't that hard if you have a gun that shoots 2 MOA, a half way decent scope and ammo that will make the distance. But the business likes to sell a dream...

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          #5
          My problem is that I'm right handed, left eye dominant, my right eye is a weak, lazy eye, and I have progressive lenses in my glasses.

          What's the best solution?
          If Sonny had EZ-Pass, he'd have survived that hit...

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            #6
            Shoot pistol righty and rifle lefty like Larry vickers

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              #7
              Originally posted by Jarheadsergeant View Post
              This is typical of the fast food approach to shooting. Let's do what makes us feel good and try to buy results. This is why small bore high power and bullseye are dying. They require a skill set. It's more fun to run around at a USPSA match and blast huge targets at 3 yards than try to build an actual skill set.
              lol put down the hater-aid.

              I enjoy shooting handgun sports, I also enjoy shooting my long guns irons and optics. I love, LOVE my Garand. Shoots about 3-4 MOA with irons and about 2 MOA with the scout scope. Obviously that's all on me. I need to work on the stock fitting a bit because the op rod is totally rubbing on the stock which is probably effecting the groupings.

              Some days I love seeing what it can do with irons out to 200 on the bullseye. Other days I don't feel like waiting 30 min for a cease fire to go down and see my groupings at 200 so I hit a 10" plate for instant feedback.

              My Mossberg MVP is MOA or a wee little above with the right ammo. It's a "budget" scoped gun but for the money I spent it's accuracy far surpassed my expectation.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Tonto View Post
                My problem is that I'm right handed, left eye dominant, my right eye is a weak, lazy eye, and I have progressive lenses in my glasses.

                What's the best solution?
                I'm a lefty in writing, eating and rifle shooting, right-handed for all sports and handguns. Try shooting lefty. I've switched numerous people - including recently a 4th year Naval Academy cadet. VERY awkward at first, but after a little while you may get used to it and appreciate the groupings.
                "The Open Carry guy is my decoy."

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by mossy930spx View Post

                  lol put down the hater-aid.

                  I enjoy shooting handgun sports, I also enjoy shooting my long guns irons and optics. I love, LOVE my Garand. Shoots about 3-4 MOA with irons and about 2 MOA with the scout scope. Obviously that's all on me. I need to work on the stock fitting a bit because the op rod is totally rubbing on the stock which is probably effecting the groupings.

                  Some days I love seeing what it can do with irons out to 200 on the bullseye. Other days I don't feel like waiting 30 min for a cease fire to go down and see my groupings at 200 so I hit a 10" plate for instant feedback.

                  My Mossberg MVP is MOA or a wee little above with the right ammo. It's a "budget" scoped gun but for the money I spent it's accuracy far surpassed my expectation.
                  No hater aide here. I've probably shot over w hundred idpa, USPSA and multi gun matches over the years- and I place and do quite well. I just see them for what they are.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Tonto View Post
                    My problem is that I'm right handed, left eye dominant, my right eye is a weak, lazy eye, and I have progressive lenses in my glasses.

                    What's the best solution?
                    I feel your pain.
                    Same situation - right handed - left eye dominant - progressives.
                    I've tried lefty once or twice and it delivered no joy.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Tonto View Post
                      My problem is that I'm right handed, left eye dominant, my right eye is a weak, lazy eye, and I have progressive lenses in my glasses.

                      What's the best solution?
                      also the same , i shoot trap / skeet lefty some times , all others right handed . pistol shooting i use at times either eye . putting peep sights on rifles will help , or scopes .
                      most of my hunting stuff has scopes on it, but they are for light gathering in morning or evening , and target id.
                      glasses or contacts with safety glasses might give you problems also

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                        #12
                        Are we starting new to guns shooters, or just taking someone who has maybe hunted a little and trying to give them formal training?

                        My preference with the "new to guns" is to just make it fun, no matter what. Spend the appropriate time on safety, then spend time hitting something is all a noob should be exposed to the first couple times out. I have no problem with a scope for the first couple of times. If they want to take up the shooting sports they can immerse themselves later on in iron and peep sights, as well as optics. By that time you've "got them". But to insist on getting perfect sight alignment with a wary 12 year old, to make it more frustrating with crappy post and notch sights, shooting paper at 50 yards? Not a recipe for fun.

                        I started all my kids on shotguns, with bead sights shooting hand throw clays, then air rifles with target peep sights. then 22s with dots and scopes with the emphasis on action and fun. They shoot fine: both have 4 year varsity lettered on their school's rifle team.
                        Ballistic: "Grif... You are my legal eagle spirit animal...."

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                          #13
                          Good idea to start on irons. I actually started on a red dot and, in my opinion, it didn't really help. Then I moved to iron sights about a 6 months to a year later when I actually began learning some stuff. Still got PLENTY I don't know and things I need to work on to sure up my marksmanship.
                          “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are." - Benjamin Franklin

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                            #14
                            Interesting post, especially as CMP/NRA service rifle competition just made the move to allow scopes.......they're going to need to change the targets again.

                            A friend of mine was a coach on the USAMU service rifle team (former shooting member), and rotated over to Afghanistan a few times to teach marksmanship.

                            Studies have shown that shooters who are taught on irons keep and maintain better skills than those trained only on optics and dots.

                            At the end of the day, needing repetitive proper sight alignment teaches you proper position and cheek weld......it's these fundamentals that make a person a good shooter no matter what they pick up.

                            Remember, sight alignment is more important than sight placement.

                            -Vick
                            High quality building supplies since 1948! Friendly FFL transfers of long guns, receivers, and ammunition. Feel free to call us at 516 741 4466

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                              #15
                              I agree.

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