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Old March 4, 2013, 12:53 AM   #1
Pops1085
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To scope or not to scope... For the beginner?

I would like to teach my little brother how to shoot and try to get him interested in firearms. However I was a self taught shooter who relied on the Internet and an army marksmanship journal. I also made the mistake of trying to plink with a weatherby vanguard 30-06 anyways I bought a marlin glenfield model 60 (22lr) for him but I'm concerned now that the sights might be a little basic. The rear notch is very small and can be very easily knocked out of alignment. I also think it would be important for him to learn to shoot with both eyes from the start. Anyways do you think starting with a scope promotes bad fundamentals?

Also on a side not do you think I should finally invest in some sort of reactive target for him to shoot? I kind of enjoyed punching paper from a bench and tried to see how tight of a group I could get but I'm not so sure about him, the age difference is significant (I'm 22, he's 14. My poor parents lol)
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Old March 4, 2013, 01:18 AM   #2
alex0535
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Reactive targets are just more fun.

Try the iron sights. As long as your vision is alright its good to know how to use iron sights. A scope can always be put on later.
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Old March 4, 2013, 02:35 AM   #3
okiewita40
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I will second what alex said. I got started shooting shooting my grandpa's glenfield 60. All he ever did was throw cans, bottle's or sticks into the river and told me to hit them.

Nowadys knowing better than that. I would say use some foods like oranges, apples or potaotes. Or you could get some clays and rig those up.

Start him out with the open sights and then move up to a scope.
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Old March 4, 2013, 02:46 AM   #4
allaroundhunter
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Re: To scope or not to scope... For the beginner?

So long as the iron sights are functional, I would use them to start. Reactive targets are fun, but I would get him started with paper (not too much, maybe 30 rounds or so depending on how he does) so that he can see where he is hitting and you can address whether he has the basic fundamentals down. Remember, reactive targets are only fun if he is hitting them

For targets clays are fun, various fruits and veggies are fun, but my little brother (14 as well) has really enjoyed shooting suckers. Due to their small size they might be something to get him shooting at on a 2nd or 3rd range trip, but are pretty cool when a bullet shatters them, IMO. Another easy one is if you have water bottles that have already been finished to fill them up with tap water and some food coloring. You can make the simplest things into fun targets, and I enjoy it when I think of something new and clever.
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Old March 4, 2013, 12:51 PM   #5
Daekar
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If I had to learn again, I would have had somebody put peep sights on my Marlin 60 instead of a scope. A rifle without a scope is so much lighter and handier than one with a scope, and for most tasks is perfectly sufficient. If a peep sight isn't available, I would see if you could get a holographic-style reddot, since that's about the next best thing (or one better, according to some) than a peep sight.
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Old March 4, 2013, 12:56 PM   #6
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Have him learn with the iron sights, peep sight would be nice also. You can shoot a nice group with irons.
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Old March 4, 2013, 01:27 PM   #7
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As far as targets go, I just took my kids out this weekend with a Crickett rifle. We shot potatoes at about 5 yards. They had a blast watching them explode, and you can't beat the cost. Have fun!
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Old March 4, 2013, 01:36 PM   #8
Pops1085
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Thanks, I might go ahead and sight in the rifle before hand for him and do like somebody said and punch paper for the first 30 or so and then move on to Fruits and bottles. Clays sound like a great idea now that somebody mentioned it!

Anybody used any of those do all orang rubber reactive targets?? I think they would be fun even for me but I'm not so sure about them. Especially in the snow
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Old March 4, 2013, 04:10 PM   #9
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A red dot is probably the easiest way to learn to shoot. It has no magnification, no eye relief issues, and no focus. There is nothing really to align. Assuming it is sighted in for the distance being shot, you just put the dot on target and pull the trigger.

The benefit of the red dot is that the newbie shooter gets to work more on things like hold, breathing, and trigger control without also having to worry about sight alignment. That isn't to say you should not teach with iron sights, but to suggest that the quickest way to get a newbie up and shooting that I have found is with a red dot. It really lowers the frustration level for those who don't "get" iron sights.

So not irons and not a scope per se with magnification, but a red dot optic.
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Old March 4, 2013, 08:25 PM   #10
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I have a model 60 that I found very accurate with the iron sights. I recently put a scope on because of my eyesight.
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Old March 4, 2013, 09:06 PM   #11
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Learning to use iron sights seems like the proper beginning, to me. Regardless, it does help when a person first starts in with handguns.

After tapping the rear sight to a proper sight-in location, carefully use the point of a knife to scribe an index mark on both sight and barrel. If it gets knocked out of alignment, it's then quite simple to get back near the proper sight-in before shooting.
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Old March 4, 2013, 09:36 PM   #12
trg42wraglefragle
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My first rifle was a scoped .22, I think a scope is needed if you intend to hunt small game.

But just for targets irons would be good to start, I find shooting with iron sights much more satisfying also.
When I use Irons I mainly shoot reactive targets, either cans filled with water or small steel targets I made.
I also prefer to try snap shooting or quick shooting, and usually offhand shooting.

I find unless I am shooting for groups, prone or off a bench is boring.
And practicing offhand made a huge difference for when I was hunting.
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Old March 4, 2013, 09:54 PM   #13
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I agree, iron sights are definitely better for teaching the basics. That way if his glass ever malfunctions in the field, he has the experience to just take it off and still shoot.
FYI: I started off shooting a .44 black powder revolver, my uncle decided it would be funny to watch.
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Old March 4, 2013, 10:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
That way if his glass ever malfunctions in the field, he has the experience to just take it off and still shoot.
If we are worried about the sights being problematic, then shouldn't we teach people to point shoot first, just in case they are in the field and the sights, regardless of type, get messed up?

I know the argument that iron sights are more durable, but durable as they may be, I have seen lots of people show up to the public range and my range with guns where the iron sights needed to be adjusted and resighted-in because something happened to them. I have been in matches where one of the sights (usually the front) has fallen off the slide of a pistol or where the sights have started walking during a COF.
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Old March 4, 2013, 10:58 PM   #15
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I'm not one that thinks that irons are any better for learnin, I don't think it makes a tinker's damn what they learn on. So why invest in a scope if it doesn't make a difference. Use what ya got.

Quote:
I know the argument that iron sights are more durable, but durable as they may be, I have seen lots of people show up to the public range and my range with guns where the iron sights needed to be adjusted and resighted-in because something happened to them.
I can tell you this, scopes, even most of the cheap ones, are more durable than the irons they put on most rimfires. Broken my share of front and rear sights in the field to know. Never busted a scope though. Durability of irons is over rated, durability of scopes in underrated.
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Old March 5, 2013, 02:30 AM   #16
Metal god
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I think everybody that shoots should know how to use iron sights . When I started teaching my son I not only used iron sights first but made sure the gun was NOT sighted in . That first day we did it all . iron sights and he learned how to sight them in . Then we went to scoped shooting and we zeroed that gun first and worked on the fundamentals while doing both irons and scoped . By the end of the 2nd day he was shooting 3.75" groups at 300yds with a 308 . There was one huge problem with doing so much so fast . He only remembered about half of what was taught that weekend . The basics he retained but some of the specifics of each firearm he did not remember . We shot a lot of different guns so that was OK

If I were to do it again I would do a whole lot less the first couple times we went . I like the Idea of reactive targets but would start him on paper and iron sights . Bring one of your low recoil scoped rifles to shoot and let him have a go . My son loves shooting with a scope but all things being equal I think he shoots better with iron sights
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Old March 5, 2013, 08:31 AM   #17
kahrguy
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I have 46 years of shooting hunting. Still have the stock sights on a few old 22.s . Even a full reciever sight and globe front on a rem 511 with a 25" barrel . Kill a small hill of small game and still today is used buy a grand kid to learn and still hunts with my children all with a 56 year old rifle. If some one can kill standard sights on a rifle they can do the same to a scope. It all goes along with learning about and respecting firearms. Brake it, you don't get to shot it.

Marlins have been around for many decades and open sights all work fine for all but a few that can break anything. But for a easier lto shoot longer sight radius that might pass for a more heavy duty sight put a set of Tech-Sights on the marlin and turn him loss on range targets.
http://www.tech-sights.com/marlin.htm.

For get the explosive targets as in some areas they will bring the cops. Get some reactive targets . Steel targets that swing. Self healing targets of many types can be enjoyable to shoot, even cheap grocery brand soda shack'n well work nicely. Maybe down the road scope the marlin and with a good ammo they are more than accurate and he can then learn to shot small tight groups. Save the scoped 06 till hes ready for some thumping.
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Old March 5, 2013, 10:48 AM   #18
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Quote:
I have 46 years of shooting hunting. Still have the stock sights on a few old 22.s . Even a full reciever sight and globe front on a rem 511 with a 25" barrel . Kill a small hill of small game and still today is used buy a grand kid to learn and still hunts with my children all with a 56 year old rifle. If some one can kill standard sights on a rifle they can do the same to a scope. It all goes along with learning about and respecting firearms. Brake it, you don't get to shot it.
All fine and dandy if you're takin slow strolls thru the woods in search of bugs bunny. Go chase hounds for a couple 1000 hours and then come tell me how easy it is to keep em perfectly intact.
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Old March 5, 2013, 11:02 AM   #19
jimbob86
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Start simple.

Irons first.

Complicate things with conveniences later.
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Old March 5, 2013, 02:04 PM   #20
kahrguy
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How about chaseing and try'n to head hounds that were on deer in south florida's swamps for a number of years when young. Oh yea, useing open sights. Then doing the same same with scopes. Still have my first rifles today. Still have that same 35 years old 2.5-10 scope that old 35 year old 308 too. Same open sights on that old remmington 511P .22lr .

Some people maybe a bit more clumsy I guess .

As jim bo covered . Start simple , learn the basic. Open sights work fine.
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Old March 5, 2013, 02:26 PM   #21
Keg
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JMO....Open sights first..then a scope later.....Thats how I learned..but not sayin that it can't be done a different way.....

Heck..my first handgun was a 44 mag....It probably woulda been better to start with a 22.....So I guess it U can do things different ways.....
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Old March 5, 2013, 02:56 PM   #22
oneoldsap
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Every beginning shooter , should learn to shoot with iron sights first ! Every driver should also learn on a stick shift too !Then they'll be able to handle anything that comes along , on both fronts .
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Old March 5, 2013, 03:27 PM   #23
Pops1085
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I actually can't argue with that. I had that mindset when I bought my first car, drive stick so I can drive somebody else's car. The only problem with owning a stick is that it's even harder finding somebody to drive me home from the bar
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Old March 7, 2013, 09:47 AM   #24
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Quote:
The only problem with owning a stick is that it's even harder finding somebody to drive me home from the bar
Ain't that the truth....
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Old March 7, 2013, 11:09 AM   #25
Picher
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I've taught several kids to shoot and find that it's easier for them to learn the fundamentals with a red-dot or low-powered scope.

The red dot doesn't add much weight or wiggle to the equation, so kids are more likely to be willing and able to shoot offhand with it. Kids who start shooting very young like to shoot from a rest when using a scope, because of visible wiggle and weight. They can shoot from a rest very well at a very young age, however.

I don't like open sights on any rifle, preferring receiver rear sight and front post for field shooting. It's faster and more accurate in most light than open sights and looking through the aperture, there's only one thing (front sight) to line up with the target. In stressful situations, like shooting deer for the first few times, people tend to look right over an open rear sight, resulting in shooting right over deer.

My grandkids just LOVE to shoot small metallic sihouette targets at various distances at the range. It's instant reward, both visually and audibly. By keeping them painted and showing them hits, I can encourage kill zone shots.

It's funny that some prefer shooting the 10-22, while others like the bolt actions or lever actions. There are enough rifles to go around. After learning how to shoot with scopes, red-dots, and receiver sights, I'm amazed at how well they do with handguns.
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