Talking to a variety of gun owners always provides interesting insights into popular trends and traditional types of modifications for any type of weapon. Today, more than ever, shooting enthusiasts and gun owners of all skill levels and experience tend to favor the use of optics over the traditional option of iron sights.
While optics do make shooting easier, particularly when it comes to developing pinpoint accuracy, is there a risk in a shooter becoming too dependent on that red dot or those crosshairs in the scope?
If you are talking to a more traditional shooter, the answer is probably “yes”. However, even for those less traditional gun enthusiasts taking the time to learn to shoot using iron sights actually makes a lot of sense.
It is important to realize that not all weapons are going to be good candidates for using optics, particularly the advanced optics of today. For those who enjoy firing a wide range of different weapons, learning on iron has its advantages.
It will be much easier to pick up a classic weapon or an antique long gun and use it proficiently with a history and background in firing using the old styles of sights. With shooting experience only with optics, the learning curve of sighting through the old styles will certainly create frustration until the skill is mastered.
A Backup System
While the advanced types of optics available today are much less likely to fail in the field that the scopes and systems of even a decade ago, having the ability to use iron in a pinch is always a plus.
Additionally, in some cases with limited range on a target, using the iron makes more sense. Once a person has used the traditional sights and can flip them up and shoot, he or she has the confidence to know they will have the skills to finish a day on the target range or when out hunting.
Control and Calibration
There is the need to carefully control breathing, firing and even calibration with the classic types of sights. New designs and technology have reduced these factors as well with the sights, but they are still there.
By learning to use iron sights, many shooting instructors believe that people of all ages learn more about the skill behind the shot and in actually learning more of the dynamics of sighting in a target. This is, after all, very different than the point and shoot option offered with the advanced optics of today.