View Full Version : Shooting crickets

December 19, 2010, 09:30 PM
My 6 and 9 year old shoot crickets. The 9 year old uses the standard sights pretty well, but the 6 year old seems to have trouble with the concept of front and rear sights. I was thinking about putting a red dot scope on it. Do you think that's a good idea?

ohen cepel
December 19, 2010, 09:46 PM
I wouldn't give up on the sights yet. If you scope it now the 6yr old may never come back to learn the basic and in the long run it may hurt their shooting.

Give it more time before putting a dot on it in my opinion.

Buzzard Bait
December 19, 2010, 09:49 PM
Yes but you may need to raise the comb up so he / she can get a cheek weld my daughter has graduated from her chip monk to a marlin 60 and she has a red dot sight and one of those leather raised cheek pieces that Cabelas sells.

December 19, 2010, 10:28 PM
With you present, allow the 9 year an opportunity to explain it to the 6 year old. Both may have a nice learning experience, and you will have a memorable moment.

December 20, 2010, 05:05 AM
Keep shooting with the peep and post. Sometimes it take a second to fully understand the concept of line of sight. Talk about how the sight works. Talk about sight picture with them , draw some sketches. Have them draw a sketch of their own perfect sight picture. Give them some trigger time and keep it fun.

roy reali
December 20, 2010, 08:06 AM
My 6 and 9 year old shoot crickets.

What is the limit on crickets there? We don't have too many of them around here, but you should see the flies in the summer. :eek:

December 20, 2010, 08:44 AM
If you are worried about the 6 year old losing interest all together, than go with the red dot.
I would use see-through rings so that you can cross-train each sighting system and maybe that will facilitate the use of the iron sights for the youngster...

Remember, the fun is in hitting your target, not in frustration. Don't let these old timers discourage you. Many guns don't even come with sights anymore...

They should still learn them, but it all about the fun, right now....

Carne Frio
December 20, 2010, 12:49 PM
Nothing wrong with the red dot. Have you had the youngster's eyes examined ? He might need glasses.

December 20, 2010, 12:56 PM
LOL! When I first read the title line, I thought you were shooting bugs. Dam*, that's sad. I can't believe I admitted that... Threadjack ovah!

December 20, 2010, 12:57 PM
Sight alignment and sight picture. Key things that need to be taught.

Don't give him a red dot until he can proficiently shoot with Irons.

December 20, 2010, 02:09 PM
Funny you should mention this now. Just yesterday, my son and I were shooting pine cones with a BB gun. He could not understand lining up sights -- so I put on the red dot. We had a blast.

What had been purely frustrating to him (compounded by his desire to be successful) became immediate fun.

Regarding the nay-sayers -- you REALLY think this will make it impossible to learn "real" sights later? Honestly, I think we sometimes underestimate kids (and human brains).

Go holographic and make it fun. If it's fun, he'll develop a passion for it. Make it miserable and he'll find something else to be passionate about.

December 20, 2010, 02:13 PM
I'm a believer in allowing the kids to evolve in learning or working with sights. For that reason, I'd shy away from a RedDot or any scope. Believe me when I say that the 6-year old will naturally catch on to what is required and reinforced by successful hits. Failure can be a great treaching aid. My eight year old Grandson is at a point, where he can shoot open sights, better than I. He has naturally learned good rifle skills. At some point, I will step him up to a scope and he will never forget how to use, open sights.

Be Safe !!!

December 20, 2010, 10:45 PM
It looks like I happened to hit a rare gun topic in which people have differing opinions. Just my luck to find the one in a million, controversial subject.

December 21, 2010, 01:27 AM
Do you have a red dot already? If so, put it on and see if that makes things more enjoyable.

I know that with my 8 and 6 year old, if it is not enjoyable for them, it is not enjoyable for me, and it wont continue for long. I wont force them to do it if they dont want to.

If they really get into it, then bring back the irons. Six years old isn't that old, and it is not inconceivable that the red dot would help them learn to line things up.

December 21, 2010, 11:56 AM
I'll probably get a red dot. I can always find a new home for it later, when he grows a little.

December 21, 2010, 01:06 PM
It's a long story, but used a BB rifle.

December 21, 2010, 02:15 PM
I shot carpenter bees with a BB gun. I liked the little guys, but they kept boring holes in my picnic table.;)

I looked again and the rifles are actually called Cricketts (with 2 t's, not one like the bug).

December 21, 2010, 02:22 PM
I used to shoot grasshoppers...

I did too with a BB gun until I caught a BB between the eyes.
It hit a peace of a brick behind the grasshopper and it ricocheted back to me. I broke out in a cold sweat knowing how close I came to loosing an eye.


December 21, 2010, 02:24 PM
Check the comb height of the stock. Learning on iron sights is the way to go. She just needs practice.

December 21, 2010, 02:59 PM
I did not get any scopes for my two boys until...well I never did since they never learned the handicap ;-) I believe they must learn iron sights first and then they will never forget thier use. My kids didn't seem to need a big explanatory session on sighting, and they picked it right up...you do have to make it easy for them so they don't get frustrated. I always took a few 2 pound coffe cans and throw out on the ground close so they can hit them easy and with each hit they walk further away making subsequent shots more difficult, add to this a brother with his own gun and they will compete, and get better. Go figure.

That said I had a red dot given to me and it is a blast.

December 21, 2010, 08:28 PM
I believe they must learn iron sights first and then they will never forget thier use.

Many say this, but I haven't even heard anecdotal stories to support this theory. Mind you, one or two stories isn't proof -- but at least it might show that this is more than just a philosophical holy war. It seems to me that the proponents of the iron sight position should be able to provide some good supporting evidence, such as:

I once met ____, who had the poor misfortune to learn to shoot using a scope. He lamented the fact that for decades he wished he could use iron sights, but simply couldn't figure them out.

Or, perhaps something like this:

My children learned on a scope first. I taught them how to use iron sights when they were older, and had improved their spatial visualization skills. Unfortunately, due to the order of instruction, by the time they were 19 years old this secret knowledge had eroded completely away. Resulting from their iron sight amnesia, they are DOOMED to red dots for the rest of their natural lives.

Is it *really* such a problem?

December 21, 2010, 10:06 PM
My children learned on a scope first. I taught them how to use iron sights when they were older, and had improved their spatial visualization skills. Unfortunately, due to the order of instruction, by the time they were 19 years old this secret knowledge had eroded completely away. Resulting from their iron sight amnesia, they are DOOMED to red dots for the rest of their natural lives.

That is hilarious... :D

December 21, 2010, 10:24 PM
When I was a kid, we hunted grass hoppers, you know, the big brown ones w/ a BBgun. No limit, no license, and we had a time.

December 22, 2010, 07:16 AM
I used to hunt grasshoppers with a bb gun too, but I upgraded to a benjiman in 22 cal. I just love overkill!

December 22, 2010, 02:47 PM
I'm glad to hear there were other grasshopper hunters in the closet, whew.

We used to array the numbers and size (there were definitely trophy sized hoppers donchya know?) The really big ones were a blast, took good stalking skills too.

At a certain point we graduated to bigger and tougher game, lizards.

All the time we did a lot of rabbit, dove, and pheasant hunting. It's just that grasshoppers didn't take as much walking and work as rabbits on a hot summer day did.

Sorry for derailing the cricket topic but I couldn't help it with that "shooting crickets" title. :D

December 22, 2010, 06:44 PM
I would suggest an aperture sight on the rear. Once he looks through it and finds the front sight, he can ignore it. Also, aperture sights are the standard for NRA High Power Rifle shoots.

December 22, 2010, 11:52 PM
Just keep in mind that red dots need batteries. Scopes as well as red dots may also break much easier than good ol' iron sights. Still, both red dots and scopes may be a good way to get your child enthusiastic about shooting (as a previous post stated).

If you have any other firearms with night sights or fiber optic sights, you may show your child that all you need to do is line them up in order to have a propper zero on the target. Then they can apply the new knowledge over to a rifle's sights

Also, the aperature rear sights with an adjustable diameter Peep hole may be worth looking in to as a teaching tool. Start him off with the largest opening, make sure he can find the front post and then gradually click down the diameter as long as they still have the correct sight picture.

I am an education and an art major at Webster (not a lib AT ALL though) and children in the 5-10 year range tend to learn best with visual aids, thats why fiber optics would be ideal to give them that solid visualization of what needs to be done.

I wish you three the best of luck, and merry Christmas to all of you.