Shooting with Iron sights is a bit like driving with a manual transmission. It’s always great to learn how to drive a manual but automatics the United States have become overwhelmingly common and few people ever learn to drive both.
For the same reasons you teach a new driver to drive an automatic,you should teach a new shooter to shoot with some sort of optic. It’s always weird how shooters demand new comers to learn with iron sights even though they are more complicated and can cause problems inthe range.
Here, we’re going to dispel a few myths about the purpose of the scope and what they actually do for shooters and give a few reasons as to why new shooter should always be taught with some sort of magnified optic or red Dot sight before they are taught with iron sights.
Purpose of a Scope
Scopes can do a lot for a shooter. They can be used to predict the ballistic performance of around and bring range estimation capabilities to the very forefront of your consciousness why your shooting but the two main things they do is simplify the aiming process and add magnification.
Simplifying the aiming process is one of the main reasons you should start a new shooter with an optic. Instead of having to align three things, the front sight, rear sight, and target, you only need to up two things, a reference point, andthe target. This allows you to deliver your fundamentals of marksmanship much easier, which is great for new shooters.
Telescopic sights also have the distinction of adding magnification. This is important because it optically brings the target closer to your eye and allows for finer adjustments of the site picture. In layman’s terms, it makes the target appear bigger, so you have an easier time lining up the crosshairs of the scope. In older people or just nervous people, magnified optics can help them see much better and allow for more fun time at the range.
Magnification does not help you shoot better, it helps you see better. Many people lose sight of this and they purchase scopes that are way too big thinking is going to make them better shooters. If you don’t have the fundamentals of marksmanship before you bought the scope, if you jerk your trigger or don’t fall through you’re going to have the same problems once you spend all the money getting your scope mounted up and dialed in. Make sure you know how to shoot before you start buying things to make you a better shooter. Start with simple optics and work your way up.
Why You Should Learn with a Scope First?
- It’s Easier
The primary reason to learn with a scope on the rifle first is thatit’s easier. Yes, this is the exact reason many people site is the reason why you should learn with iron sights first but in the grand scheme of things you are more likely to be using an optic that iron sights and with the beginning shooter it is much easier to get them moving and enjoying shooting with a scope that is with iron sights.
- It Reduces Anxiety
Because scopes and optics are much easier to use than iron sights they reduce anxiety with new shooters that are afraid. Many people have a deer in the headlights look the first time they go shooting. With safety being the paramount lesson to be learned early on, and proper handling of a firearm being next marksmanship and proficiency with iron sights are far down the line. Throwing all of these concepts at a new shooter at once is a recipe for disaster. Every effort should be made to reduce anxiety and simplify new shooters experience at the range. This means using tools like low magnification optics and red dot gun sights.
- It’s More Fun
Anyone who’s ever shot with a red dot optic at close range or on the move, or used a highly magnified scope to shoot targets at long-range will never forget it. Using optics is just plain fun. Telescopic scopes and optical gun sights at another depth to shooting that makes using firearms more enjoyable and making shooting more enjoyable for new shooters is the single best way to make sure they continue shooting.
- It Adds Weight to Reduce Recoil
If you are shooting a medium to large war centerfire rifle for the first time, a heavy, high-powered optic can go a long way to attaining recoil and smoothing out the impulse. New shooters especially have a hard time managing recoil and a lightweight .308 hunting rifle the scope can be as much is a third of the overall poundage. Removing this wage can add significantly to the perceived recoil and is a bad idea for training a new shooter with a large rifle than they would normally be used too.
How & When to Transition to Iron Sights
Simply put, usually transitioned iron sights when you want to. Modern electronic a magnified optics are reliable enough that even on a home defense gun you can reasonably expect them to do their job and not rely on backup iron sights. That being said, every shooter at some point should become familiar with iron sights and be able to use them within at least 50 yards.
Batteries do die, and things do break but iron sights have been the standard for well over 200 years and there’s no telling how long in the future we will rely on them for aiming reference out to several hundred yards.
Men in the old West could shoot well out past 1000 yards with big bore buffalo guns and nothing but sliding iron sights. Nowadays were lucky if we get to shoot past 100 yards and many people never get the opportunity to range out with iron sights.
Do your best as a shooter to progress at your own pace and really learn how to safely handle a weapon. Iron sights are part of marksmanship, but scopes and other gun sights have become the norm and should form the bedrock of your marksmanship in the future they provide an enormously important tool for teaching new shooters.
McKinley Downing is an avid shooter & firearms instructor. He shoots, hunts and is a patriot in the sense that he enjoys pissing off gun grabbers and an anti-hunters. He has worked with and around firearms for several years, and enjoys talking to anyone interested in learning more about firearms and their 2nd Amendment rights. He currently writes for several online outlets on the use of guns and ammunition, you can find more articles from him on Outdoor Pursuit.