is it a bad idea to start a new shooter out on a scoped rifle as opposed to irons?


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PowerJoker6.0
November 30, 2010, 08:45 PM
my girlfriend has been getting into shooting with me, plinking and such with my ancient 10/22 with iron sights. she enjoyed it so much the first few times that i kinda used her as an excuse one day and picked up a newer used 10/22 with a scope. well since she got ahold of that she's been driving tacks at 75 yards, but she likes the scope alot more than the irons. i have heard that its good practice to get new shooters proficient with iron sights before moving on to a scope, should i pressure her to get good with the irons? or is it not big enough of a deal to worry about?

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Sunray
November 30, 2010, 08:57 PM
"...not big enough of a deal to..." Yep. If she's happy, leave it alone.

Vern Humphrey
November 30, 2010, 08:57 PM
Unless she's into formal target shooting, she'll never have to shoot with irons. So why worry about it.

230therapy
November 30, 2010, 08:58 PM
Yes. She needs to know how sights work. This is fundamental.

Rail Driver
November 30, 2010, 08:58 PM
I plan to teach my son to shoot with irons then move him up to a scoped rifle. I think it's better to learn the fundamentals with as simple a setup as possible, and it doesn't get any simpler than iron sights.

wally
November 30, 2010, 08:58 PM
Its certainly easier to learn with a scope, and its a lot more fun to hit than to miss. Be happy she goes shooting with you.

taliv
November 30, 2010, 09:00 PM
definitely encourage her to do what she enjoys.

J.Boyette
November 30, 2010, 10:18 PM
Sir,

If the student wants to learn marksmanship then iron sights are a faster way to learn the fundamentals. But it is also harder.

I would let her do as she wants for now. One thing alot of men do is rush the shooting experience, to this or that, bigger calibers and so on.

I would keep her right at a 22lr until she wants to try a center fire. Then I would go to a .223, to a .243 or a .308 and stop at that point. I have been shooting for a long time and I do not like the mag rounds unless is a well built rifle.

Just a thought.

PowerJoker6.0
November 30, 2010, 10:22 PM
yeah you guys pretty much affirmed what i was thinking as i was typing the question, i shouldnt worry about it, just be glad she comes out and shoots. i just didnt know if it would bring about any bad shooting habits that will hurt her ability later if she ever does want to shoot irons. so for now, ill just let it be. i will however encourage her to challenge herself with the irons, b/c she's wasting alot of 22LR going from shot to shot to shot b/c she is so quick with the aide of a scope!

Jim Watson
November 30, 2010, 10:28 PM
Kind of like learning to drive - automatic or stick shift first?

Rail Driver
November 30, 2010, 10:28 PM
i will however encourage her to challenge herself with the irons, b/c she's wasting alot of 22LR going from shot to shot to shot b/c she is so quick with the aide of a scope!

While it's a good thing to encourage her to challenge herself, I wouldn't consider going shot to shot quickly a waste of ammo if she's consistently increasing her accuracy.

The more trigger time, the better anyone shoots.

Skribs
November 30, 2010, 10:50 PM
I started off with a BB gun that came with a 4x scope. I hated the irons and loved the scope, because it was so much simpler for me to use and easier for me to adjust. I don't shoot competition; so I see no reason to use ironsights when I could just as easily use a reflex sight or a scope.

bigalexe
November 30, 2010, 10:56 PM
Is it better to start with Irons or Scoped?

WHATEVER YOU WANT!

Now there are some cases where you may want to build certain habits based on future intent but in the end just shoot what you have. I have a friend that was insistent that he needed raised scope rings so he could still use irons, until it was pointed out to him that was intended for combat where optics may fail and for hunting it wasn't much of a concern.

CraigC
December 1, 2010, 12:09 AM
IMHO, every serious shooter with good enough eyesight should become proficient with iron sights. Contrary to some of what has been posted, competition is not the only place for them. Lots of folks still use them and for different purposes. While I have many rifles with scopes, the majority of them have some sort of peep sight and that is my usual preference. It's really a skill all its own and one I certainly would not want to be without. Any iron sight shooter can quickly adapt to a scope but the reverse is not true. However, with that said, you don't wanna push too hard and/or take it too seriously if it's gonna take the fun out of it for her. I'd suggest you both attend an Appleseed event. It's fun, you're guaranteed to learn something and it's something you can do together.

-eaux-
December 1, 2010, 12:56 AM
IMHO, every serious shooter with good enough eyesight should become proficient with iron sights. Contrary to some of what has been posted, competition is not the only place for them. Lots of folks still use them and for different purposes. While I have many rifles with scopes, the majority of them have some sort of peep sight and that is my usual preference.

IMHO, I'm completely with CraigC

russ69
December 1, 2010, 07:13 AM
...b/c she's wasting alot of 22LR going from shot to shot to shot b/c she is so quick with the aide of a scope!

Have her shoot the A17 target. That's a good challenge, it should slow her down and have her looking to use match ammo.

Thanx, Russ

ZCORR Jay
December 1, 2010, 07:21 AM
I'd say starting with irons is good practice and a good way to build on the principles of aiming. Try to have her go back and forth from scoped to iron to keep the skill fresh.

kinshipknight
December 1, 2010, 11:59 AM
Yeah, I'd let her shoot and have fun with the scope, but definitely get her learned on irons before too long.

A and O
December 1, 2010, 12:08 PM
I use both and to be honest I prefer the iron sights for 200yds. and under. And that is where most of if not almost all my shots take place.

I would encourage her to develop her skills in whichever route she wants to take. A little like what gun to use.

therewolf
December 1, 2010, 12:54 PM
IMO,I have to agree with allowing her to do what she really enjoys.

Accuracy is important, and if she's having a good time, and she's pitting the ace

with the scope, I personally would not want to push the issue. Now's the

important time to boost her faith in her own accuracy.

She may want to challenge herself with the iron sights later, and it would be easier if she came around to this all by herself. If she's got a good scope zeroed in on a rifle she really likes, I would think hard and long before changing it.

While I have to agree the basics of iron sights is somewhat important, having your GF for a shooting buddy truly is the main thing.;);)

CZ223
December 1, 2010, 12:55 PM
and I also love driving a stick shift. Most people will never need to drive a stick, because most cars come with automatic transmissions. Most rifles don't even come with iron sights any more so no, not everyone needs to know how to use iron sights.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
December 1, 2010, 01:01 PM
To me, irons are for hunting, competition, or just personal satisfaction. If none of those are a concern, then let her just shoot and have fun. As others have said, be glad she is there with you at the range. If she does choose to go hunting with you, Iron sights are an invaluable tool in the thick woods where a 4 power scope may be just too much. But that is pretty much all up to the conditions you hunt in as well. It is good to have the ability and skill with irons, but it is certainly not a deal breaker by any means.

benEzra
December 1, 2010, 01:07 PM
No, not at all. I started on a scoped .22 and learned irons later.

IMO, it's her prerogative to shoot what she enjoys. If that's shooting with a scope, then she should shoot with a scope.

mbogo
December 1, 2010, 01:08 PM
I prefer scopes, and that is how I start new shooters out on rifles.

Whatever you decide, find out which of her eyes is dominant.

mbogo

rondog
December 1, 2010, 01:12 PM
I learned to shoot on a single-shot .22 rifle with peep sights, and I started my grandson on iron sights too. We both prefer various optics, much more fun that way, but knowing how to use irons is a good skill to have. That boy can shoot my M1 Garand very well, and it ain't gots no scope. I agree with the comments about "just be glad she likes to go shooting with you!"

Oh yeah, the dominant eye comment is important! My grandson is right-handed, but left-eye dominant. Shooting was difficult for him until I got him to shooting left-handed, he does much better that way. He was having to lean waaaay over the rifles to see the sights, much too awkward.

hardworker
December 1, 2010, 01:27 PM
My brother was the same way. He had to lean over a right handed gun to see the sights. That changed when he did it with a 20 gauge single shot and busted his mouth wide open on the hammer. Now he shoots left handed.

As for the OP, if she's happy shooting the scope I'd let it be. If she cares enough to try open sights she'll let you know.

youngda9
December 1, 2010, 01:37 PM
No, I turned out ok :)

mljdeckard
December 1, 2010, 01:45 PM
Be glad she likes it for now. There is no magical order to learn it in.

Having said that, yes, my boys are starting out with irons.

ForumSurfer
December 1, 2010, 01:54 PM
definitely encourage her to do what she enjoys

Exactly that.

My ex got interested in shooting by using my AR with an eotech. She eventually learned to use irons and scopes. But only when she wanted too...not by my direct influence.

If it isn't enjoyable for her, she'll just stop. So would I. :)

slow55
December 1, 2010, 02:00 PM
I drove a stick before an automatic. Learned to shoot open sight with a single shot 22. I still drive a standard when many cannot.

oldbanjo
December 1, 2010, 02:11 PM
In an emergency she may need to use open sights. Teaching with a leaser would be just as bad, the battery may be dead. My Girlfriend had never shot a pistol, I drew a picture a explained what the sights should look like, I explained about breathing and squeezing the trigger. She took her box of 50- 38 rounds a got her CWP with no trouble.

Justin
December 1, 2010, 02:26 PM
It's easier to teach someone to shoot well with a scope. They work fairly intuitively, and have a much more obvious feedback cycle of "put crosshair/dot on target, pull trigger, strike target' vs. iron sights, which have a much higher learning curve.

I hate to say it, but it may very well be that the best way to train newbies, especially on pistols, would be through the use of guns with dot sights on them.

mustang_steve
December 1, 2010, 02:47 PM
It's up to you and her. Personally, I reccomend learning with sights as well as scopes. Some forms of shooting are much easier with even dovetail sights.

I'm only a scope person now since my eyesight is awful enough that I cannot see the front sight without going fiber optic, and even then have issues knowing if I am lined up properly. In my case, scopes are far safer. Lasik is in my future though and that may get me back behind the irons (all my old sights are in a tin so I can re-mount them if lasik really is that good).

rondog
December 1, 2010, 02:53 PM
Of course, some of us learned about communication from crank-type telephones too. There's a lot to be said about learning things the old-school way, but there's a lot to be said about these newfangled contraptions too.

JohnBiltz
December 1, 2010, 03:04 PM
Is she ever going to hunt or go to war? If not its not that important. I'd start someone out on irons as a preference but its not that big a deal. I also don't think irons are as important on rifles as they used to be. Optics are the future; red dots or scopes are going to end up on most everything.

buck460XVR
December 1, 2010, 06:26 PM
"...not big enough of a deal to..." Yep. If she's happy, leave it alone.



No, not at all. I started on a scoped .22 and learned irons later.

IMO, it's her prerogative to shoot what she enjoys. If that's shooting with a scope, then she should shoot with a scope.


yep.....what they said. From the OP, it sounds as she already knows how to use iron sights, just enjoys shooting a scope more. Success is a great motivator for beginners, if she's successful with the scope, having fun and wants to do it again, you're doin' it right.

hey_poolboy
December 1, 2010, 07:14 PM
I learned on iron sights, and then moved up to a scope MUCH later. I can't say I would do it differently. Whatever works. You can learn on a scope and get the fundamentals of body position, trigger pull, and alignment.

There is merit to making sure that one knows how to use iron sights properly.

Dookie
December 1, 2010, 07:54 PM
Who cares. Have fun.

Tilos
December 1, 2010, 08:56 PM
Rail Driver said: "it doesn't get any simpler than iron sights".

Really?, trying to align 3 things, switch focus from one to the another and back...this should be fuzzy, this should be clear, equal light here and here, etc.
What's simple about all that?

How about "the bullet goes where the X is" for simple.
Or...put the Red Dot where you want the bullet to go.
Plus, try to keep from moving when you squeeze the trigger AND you will SEE it move if it does.

And no one goes to war with iron sights on a rifle today.

brandon_mcg
December 1, 2010, 11:35 PM
i see no harm in starting out with a scope. I was walking through the local gun store the other day and was amazed at how many rifles are moving away from coming with iron sights.

S. Hill
December 2, 2010, 10:03 AM
Its certainly easier to learn with a scope, and its a lot more fun to hit than to miss. Be happy she goes shooting with you.
+1 to what wally said.

Here is a little known fact - hitting is more fun than missing. ;)

I always start new shooters off with a scoped .22 rifle, at fairly short distances (less than 25 yds.), with a big target (2"x4") that falls over when they hit it. They don't have to hit it right in the middle, and we aren't measuring groups. The MAIN thing is that they learn to handle the rifle safely, and have fun.

If she enjoys shooting, there will come a time when she wants something different. That is the time to get out the .357 lever rifle with the iron sights.... explain the basics, and watch her get that big ol' smile on her face again.

CraigC
December 2, 2010, 11:27 AM
And no one goes to war with iron sights on a rifle today.
Who cares??? No one goes to the woods with an M4 either.

IMHO, a beginner is one thing but an experienced shooter who is not proficient with iron sights is missing a tool from his toolbox. Iron sights are not as archaic as some folks suggest.

therewolf
December 2, 2010, 04:17 PM
I'm a mechanic, many jobs are completed every day with tools missing from the toolbox, this I know.

Not many jobs get done when the mechanic loses interest or quits...

Tilos
December 2, 2010, 05:10 PM
CraigC:

JohnBlitz said, "Is she ever going to hunt or go to war? If not its not that important"
I responded with, "And no one goes to war with iron sights on a rifle today"
That's all that was, sorry if it enraged you.
FYI: many people do actually hunt game with black rifles.

Tim the student
December 2, 2010, 05:43 PM
I didn't learn to shoot a basketball by starting at the three point line - but that doesn't mean I don't know how to shoot from there now.

Walkalong
December 2, 2010, 07:10 PM
No, not a bad idea. Shooting is shooting.

J-Bar
December 2, 2010, 07:50 PM
It is impossible to "waste" ammunition when you are shooting with someone you love.

Seriously.

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