Need some help learning to shoot my irons

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Thread: Need some help learning to shoot my irons

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Need some help learning to shoot my irons

    I recently decided that I wanted to move to a more light weight optic for my AR15. I sold my previous red dot and while I research a new optic I decided that I am going to learn to shoot my irons. Well, I took my rifle out today and discovered that my marksmanship skills are lacking even more then I thought :( Here is my primary issue - When I focus my vision on the target the front sight post becomes blurry and I have a VERY hard time being precise. However if I focus my vision on the front sight post the target becomes blurry and I have a hard time being precise.

    I am guessing that I can't be the first person to have this issue. Help!
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  3. #2
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    The front sight post should be what is in focus.

    EDIT: Here is a digital copy of the "data book" for the M-16A2 USMC - MCRP 3-01A Rifle Marksmanship

    If you go to chapter 4, it talks about using iron sights.

    EDIT #2, from page 40:
    The human eye can focus clearly on only one object at a time. For accurate shooting, it is important to focus on the tip of the front sight post. When the shot is fired, focus must be on the tip of the front sight post; peripheral vision will include the rear sight and the target. The rear sight and the target will appear blurry. Staring or fixing the vision on the front sight post for longer than a few seconds can distort the image, making it difficult to detect minute errors in sight alignment
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Do you shoot with one eye open or both eyes open? I find that if I shoot two eyes open I can transition between sights and targets quicker than with a single eye.

    This is another reason I prefer open sights over optics. I only keep optics on my long range rifles 30.06 and .270. Anything that I can shoot at around 150 yds or less I prefer open sights, well except for one .22 rifle, the rest are open.

    If you practice you should be able to revert back to open sights and become accurate in short order. Getting the .22 back out and plinking with it might be a cost effective way to do it as well.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Member Array quietguy's Avatar
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    Do you have a ghost ring / peep sight on your AR?

    As was mentioned earlier, sighting a rifle is no different than a handgun. Focus should be on the front sight.

    While I think it is very important to learn marksmanship with irons, I won't discount the effectiveness of optical assistance. I am looking to outfit my AR with either a Leupold Deltapoint or Trijicon Reflex. The Deltapoint is tiny and lightweight, the Trijicon doesn't rely on batteries. I have a pretty good red-dot on there now for competition, but wouldn't want to rely on it in a SHTF scenario.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeyeLCPL View Post
    The front sight post should be what is in focus.

    EDIT: Here is a digital copy of the "data book" for the M-16A2 USMC - MCRP 3-01A Rifle Marksmanship

    If you go to chapter 4, it talks about using iron sights.

    The human eye can focus clearly on only one object at a time. For accurate shooting, it is important to focus on the tip of the front sight post. When the shot is fired, focus must be on the tip of the front sight post; peripheral vision will include the rear sight and the target. The rear sight and the target will appear blurry. Staring or fixing the vision on the front sight post for longer than a few seconds can distort the image, making it difficult to detect minute errors in sight alignment
    EDIT #2, from page 40:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
    I took my rifle out today and discovered that my marksmanship skills are lacking even more then I thought
    You, Sir, are a prime candidate for an Appleseed Event. Get back to basics... learn (or re-learn) to shoot! Are you satisfied being a Cook, or do you want to be a Rifleman?

    Seriously... I heartily encourage you to attend a 2-day Appleseed event and get plugged back into what it takes to become a marksman and not just a shooter. I've done 2 Events; the first one was humbling but refreshing, and the second one (see me smiling in the pic below, with my Rifleman badge [shot high score for that Event]) allowed me to put it all together.

    The thrust of the Appleseed Project is to get us back to being a Nation of Riflemen; the goal is to have us all become competent with military-style rifles, but to get you going, a decent .22 autoloader like the Ruger 10/22 is ideal. People have made 'Rfileman' shooting .30-30 lever guns... it's just a more arduous path. Autoloaders allow you to better manage your trigger (e.g., shooting from reset) and you lose less time cranking on a bolt. I made Rifleman with a scoped 10/22, but my next goal is to get there with one of my ARs. Hopefully, this year.

    This link tells you what the Appleseed Project is all about: Project Appleseed Home

    And here's a link to Appleseed events in your state this year:

    Appleseed - Search States
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    Distinguished Member Array MinistrMalic's Avatar
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    With iron sights it's all about managing that transition. Focus on the front sight and allow the target to be slightly blurry. This is normal. Take your time acquiring a good sight picture and good sight alignment, and make good shots as you transition back into iron sight marksmanship. Then as you get more confident in your ability to acquire a good sight picture you can speed it up to make good shots.
    "...whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
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    Yep, always focus on the front sight. One reason good riflemen have a difficult time being equally good at shotgun sports. Shotgunners need to be focusing on the target while allowing the bead to be out of focus.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    As others have stated, the front sight should be the focus. Also, let me recommend a great book, it was probably the last one Jeff Cooper wrote, entitled, THE ART OF THE RIFLE. I highly recommend for people of all skill levels.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Senior Member Array rhinokrk's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link, gasmitty!
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