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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just barely got my XCR, but she's looking kind flat up top... :eek: I don't have much experience when it comes to shooting, especially developing the right technique and everything.

Anyway, my question is, would it be better to get iron sights first, and become well acquainted and proficient with them prior to getting any sort of optic, red dot or other wise? I'm venturing to guess that that is the right course. Now, if so, I would like some recommendations for some iron sights that would suitable more or less as my primary sights, not just backups, for quite some time. I'm not looking to spend more than about $200, though I can stretch if needs be.

Thanks in advance for any direction you can give me.
 

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you can use some red dots or reflex sights with your iron sights up. then u have the best of both worlds. if your are shooting 100yrds or closer, red dot is good. you can find good deals on red dots too. i got a cheap ncstar and it works just fine. :)
 

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Optics improve everything..... that said, if thats all you can aford, get irons that can be used in case of Mr. Murphy later on :2cents:.
 

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I like the look of the HK diopter sights on the XCR.
If you are only going to use the gun at the range, then start with an optic. I think you will enjoy it more.
 

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You said this was your first rifle, me I would get irons. I think everyone should learn to shoot with Iron sights before moving to optics. If you got a red dot you would get comfortable with it and may never want to learn to shoot irons. I am not saying iron sights are difficult but it is something everyone should be able to do.
 

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Interesting choice for a first rifle,If I understood you correctly.Personally I would buy or borrow a 22. rimfire before even shooting the XCR.The lowly little 22.Lr has alot going for it.It can be very accurate,it has the advantage of being very inexpensive to shoot in quantity and to buy a rifle chambering it.This way you can practice without breaking the bank before you crack open that first box of 5.56.
Aziator I agree,any new shooter should start with irons,and become comfortable,if not proficient with them before moving to optics.If your optics ever fail,and they can and will,you won't be left defenseless.As far as shooting techniches,If you have any experienced shooter's that you know,that might be a good place to start asking advice from.Ask them to take you to the range with them.It's better to learn the right way the first time,than to develop bad habits that have to be corrected.
As far as quality irons,If you want to possibly use an optic in the future,you are better off using fold down sights.They might be called backup iron sights,but if they are a quality product they can serve well as primary's as well.I like the Midwest sights for a good set of irons without breaking the bank.



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Remember, its all about speed, which optics give over irons.

Optics helps you get your shots where they need to be faster with greater accuracy. Dot on target and boom.
 

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You wont hear me argue with that, on my 9" AR I don't even run a BUIS and don't plan on running a set on my 9mm AR build I am doing. I still think it is important for a new shooter to learn the fundamentals, one of them being shooting open/iron sights.
 

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VB - I believe you're correct, and I'm faster with optics than I am irons.

However, just to throw this out there.....

My instructor for the basic swat course ran irons only. He has a "low opinion" of optics on a 5.56 weapon for virtually all applications. His statement is that if one learns irons WELL (obviously better than I'd learned irons, and I shot expert with them routinely until my eyes started going) in the realm of fast-fast, that's all one needs.

The guy IS fast. He's faster using irons than I am using optics. Fast enough that he won a 3-gun shoot hands down - although his strong-side arm was broken when that went down (shooting weak-side only, strong-side arm in a cast).

So I'm not disagreeing that ME PERSONALLY am faster with a dot, but I certainly wouldn't make that claim across the board pertaining to all.
 

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Bravo,I agree that doesn't apply to everyone,but it does take more practice and training to get to the same level of speed with irons than it does using a dot or other holographic sight.The level of dedication and end use should dictate what is your primary sighting system,that is after all the whole point of these types of optics,they enable the casual end user to get faster without the same level of training and most importantly time.Another good feature of those quick acquisition optics are that you can and should learn to use them with both eyes open,for me personally,it's almost impossible to do that with irons.



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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The lowly little 22.Lr has alot going for it.It can be very accurate,it has the advantage of being very inexpensive to shoot in quantity and to buy a rifle chambering it.This way you can practice without breaking the bank before you crack open that first box of 5.56.
I liked the sound of that. I'm going to be talking to my brother-in-law about using his .22 to get acquainted with open sights, but I also found a pretty good deal on an Eotech so I went ahead and put in an order for it. Definitely, though, I'll get some time in with the .22. I'm not completely unexperienced, I did after all get the rifle merit badge in Boy Scouts a decade ago... ;)

Thanks ya'll for the input.
 

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Irons first, then optics. With training, irons in a properly held rifle are just as fast and definately more reliable, at least out to 100 yards. Also as you get more experienced you will get a better idea of what optic you want.
 

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but I also found a pretty good deal on an Eotech so I went ahead and put in an order for it.
Can't go wrong with an Eotech, I have one and love it.
 

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Irons proficiency is a must, but if you are serious about training, optics offers nothing but advantages in a slew of adverse conditions

Try sweeping your weapon across different landscapes, and colors, you'll lose and have to reaquire the front post every time against dark backdrops

In low light, with your night vision being affected by muzzle flash, red dots are easier to pick up

Go prone and throw some dust and dirt particles, and add smoke, where you need to squint and your eyes are tearing. Lining up irons is near impossible compared to an Eotech's point and click

If you don’t have great vision and wear glasses, optics offsets physical weaknesses.

Scare some jack rabbits and try and tag them on the move with irons. On the move targets are tougher to hit with irons

Irons in a modern age are regulated BUIS only, not mainstays. Hell, some armies don’t issue irons at all anymore. Not a good idea obviously, but it shows the strengths of optics for sure
 

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I used to be an irons only kind of guy, but I like optics now for many of the reasons VB mentioned. Mainly, I find them much easier to use if the shooting conditions differ from nice mid-day sunlight shooting at a nice contrasting target.

That said, I would also recommend that any new shooter learn to use some irons, since I believe you have to spend more time working on shooting fundamentals to shoot accurately while using them. Most BUIS aren't the most capable sets of irons from an accuracy perspective. If money is no object I'd get a set of LMT irons to learn to shoot irons on the XCR. (the LMT's match the capability of the standard AR15 iron sights, which were standard military issue for all those decades). Then if you go to an optic later, replace the LMTs with some folding Troy sights if you still want to have the option of irons on the same rifle.
 

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If you learn to use Iron sights and then transition to Optics you will reap huge benefits. If you concentrate on optic sights, then in the event of an optics failure or damage, you're screwed. Irons first then optics.

There are lots of things you can do with iron sights such as marking the blades with white or coloured paint to help align with transitions, but ultimately if you are shouldering the weapon correctly then alignment isn't an issue.

Back with Aimpoints were the only red dot available we used to use them for anything inside 100-200 yards. Beyond that we went back to irons as they allowed better grouping and actually gave us a better hit rate. Paralax isn't an issue with irons and they don't need batteries or have electronics or glass that can fail.

Today a good set up would be Irons with an EOTech or Aimpoint letting you choose whichever makes more sense for the situation, but I still reccomend starting with irons, it will teach better gunmanship. The British Army still issues iron sights for sniper rifles and often indside 400 yards that is what we use as it can be faster then the scope.


as an example, on my four general purpose rifles I have the following:

FS2000: Horus Tactical scope with back up irons
XCR: Irons co-witnessing an EOTech
AR15: Millet DMS with Backup Iron Sights
FAL: Valdada 2-12x32 on a see-through mount for Iron sights and a canted fast fire red dot (Yes, three sets of sights.)
 

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Back when I was about 5 and started shooting my dad took the scope off the little Marlin youth Single Shot and the 10/22 that I was learning on and made me "earn" the scopes. I had to shoot for a good year before I got to use the scopes. He still made sure that I shot irons to stay proficient. I am glad I started out the way i did and will do the same for my kids.
 

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YUP!
Not all that long ago, SWAT magazine put a pic of my boy and I in there. He's in the fore-ground of the pic, in a proper prone / slung position.

One of the comments I got frequently was "it's cool you've got him on iron sights!".

That's the way I started, and I'm certainly glad I did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the direction. I kinda figured that as with pretty much anything, basics are best learned at the beginning.
 

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My dad wouldn't let me touch a scope for quite a while either - I was pretty irritated. I'm not sure my grandpa ever stooped to using a scoop. Than agin, he also special ordered his vehicles with manual windows under the theory that if his car was submerged he'd be able to roll them down and escape.
 
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