Training Quandry

I'm planning on buying a M&P15-22, setting it up with a bipod, and putting my 6 year old son behind it to start learning to shoot in earnest.  I am currently waffling on the subject of a sighting system.

When I learned to shoot rifle, I learned on an old .22 bolt action with open sights.  I think it can be a great way to make the subject of alignment of the shooter, barrel, and target a concrete concept.  On the other hand, putting a red dot on the rifle would make it easier for a new shooter to put holes where they want.  That could ease potential frustrations and make learning to shoot more fun.

What say you internets?


  1. You can always split the difference and use a peep rear sight and front post. Easier than an open rear sight, which, like you, I learned on, but still requiring a bit more attention than a scope or red dot. In my experience, most new shooters pick up the use of an aperture sight very quickly, the eye tends to want to naturally center the front post in the rear sight, then it's just a matter of placing the front post on the target. I'll bet he has plenty of fun regardless of the sighting system you choose.

  2. I got my niece a M&P 15-22 for Christmas and have been trying to make the same decision myself. I learned on two old semi-auto Winchesters, one open sighted and one with an old Weaver. I really think it depends on the person. The scope is simpler to get the hang of, so a red dot is what I'm leaning towards right now. I think making it safe and enjoyable is the most important thing. I went to summer camp one year and there was some target shooting. We received excellent safety training but terrible instruction on aiming and shooting, and several guys got really turned off to the whole thing. So, when the time comes, I'm starting it off as simple as possible. On the other hand, if your son is really motivated and doesn't get discouraged easily, the sights that come on the M&P 15-22 seem pretty good as is.

    My main problem is that she doesn't even turn one until June. Waiting several years may kill me, so I'm probably going to have to buy one of my own in the meantime.