Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!
kcafferk

Shooting with both eyes open

Recommended Posts

I tried the tape thing. It works when you use it. I put the tape up high on the lens so it obscures your view when you dip your head down to see the sights, but not when you're walking around taping targets.

Exactly what I do, with Scotch tape to resolve the 'two sights/two targets' issue.

There is also an added complication in that I am naturally cross-dominant (LH-RE) but due to an awkwardness in positioning where I had to cant my left wrist over when shooting to get the sights under my right eye, decided about a year ago to change my eye dominance from right to left.

So the tape was transferred from the left lens to the right, with significant improvements particularly in the draw. Recently I have also begun wearing 1x chemist-obtained reading glasses while shooting as my eye are going a bit (the age thing :rolleyes: ). I now see the front sight sharp and clear, the target (depending on distance) is blurry and my accuracy has improved markedly. Couldn't work out over the last year why my draws were stretching out to 3+ secs until I realised that it was taking a while to see the front sight in focus after presenting the gun to the target. And a completely fuzzy magwell causing me to fumble reloads? Yup lol. Now also resolved that.

Edited by zhuk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the difference between squinting or shutting one eye and obscuring the vision of that eye with tape?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the difference between squinting or shutting one eye and obscuring the vision of that eye with tape?

You don't get the fatigue or headaches from squinting or keeping one eye closed. I always have both eyes open with a pistol and when I shoot Garand matches I get a killer headache from keeping one eye closed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As someone with monocular vision, I envy people with two eyes to shoot with. One eye is so farsighted and out of alignment with my dominant eye that my brain discards the vision info from the bad eye. Result is two views of the world which don't line up just right. So I essentially shoot with one eye open. Sucks on hard leans on my bad side, but w/e. Against targets not changing their distance in an angular fashion I'm awesome, but when it comes to clay shooting for example I'm absolutely hopeless.

I live with it, and have done so all my life. IMO if you have adequate eyesight you can do good at action pistol. It's not how well you see, but more that you see all the little things you have to see very quickly. Sights, targets, magwell, fault lines, markers, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the difference between squinting or shutting one eye and obscuring the vision of that eye with tape?

You don't get the fatigue or headaches from squinting or keeping one eye closed. I always have both eyes open with a pistol and when I shoot Garand matches I get a killer headache from keeping one eye closed.

Never got a headache from shooting with one eye closed. Even on 1000 round days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the difference between squinting or shutting one eye and obscuring the vision of that eye with tape?

You don't get the fatigue or headaches from squinting or keeping one eye closed. I always have both eyes open with a pistol and when I shoot Garand matches I get a killer headache from keeping one eye closed.

Never got a headache from shooting with one eye closed. Even on 1000 round days.

I didn't until the last couple of years. No clue why but I take Excedrin every time I shoot a rifle match.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try this, look at something far away. It will be in focus, and there will be one of them. Now stick your thumb up in the air at arms reach just below the center of your field of view. You will see two partially transparent thumbs, and they will be slightly fuzzy. Slowly pull your focus back to your thumbs, while keeping the two partially transparent thumbs the same distance away from each other. It can take some people a little while to figure this out, but once you do it's easy from that point forward. What you will perceive is a single object back in the distance, but it will be fuzzy. You will also perceive two partially transparent thumbs, but they are in crisp focus.

This is what you want your eyes to do when shooting. You want your point of optical convergence to *always* be on the target - and there should always be one of them.

Before reading this I never got the point of this line of discussion. I was very surprised how easily I could make my eyes do this while running my thumb across an array of dry-fire targets about 8 yards across my living room. It was "almost" as easy with iron sights, exception being the more I made myself aware of sight alignment, the more likely the single target would mush out into 1.5 or 2 target widths. Then I put on my cheapo custom glasses (zennioptical.com) with +0.75D in the right eye and -0.25D in the left eye. MUCH easier to hold the sight alignment and the target focus, because the 2nd 'gun' off to the right is so much fuzzier and the main 'gun' on the left is completely clear due to the correction in the lenses. If presbyopia is your new enemy then this might be your new friend. Thanks J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have resigned trying to shoot with both eyes open. I started with scotch tape, then just put a 'big dot' on the inside of the left lens using chapstick. The rest of the lens is uncovered, and it helps with reloads. I use monovision glasses: left for distance, right for the front sight focus.

For me, squinting was causing unnecessary muscle strain - and headaches. The effects of squinting are more noticeable as one ages.

Several world-class shooters are shooting with one eye closed (at least on distant targets), so I figure this is not my biggest problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When i got my custom glasses i spent more shooting time with a target focus and tried to "notice" the sights, gave up too soon.

Wish someone told me the paragraph i quoted above a long looooong time ago. As they say, the 2nd best day to plant a tree is today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shot both my Production CZ's at an indoor range. Came back next day & shot my Open and Limited STI's. Since learning how to split off eye convergence from focal distance (accommodation) I'm shooting better with iron sights than ever before. No more Scotch tape, window tinting tape, squinting for far shots - none of that. I'm able to find a dry-fire par time, then quickly rack the gun and come close to matching that live fire - maybe one shot overtime by 2-3 tenths. AND, am able to see and diagnose where those too-fast live shots went and then bring not only the time but the accuracy very close to the dry-fire. Some of that is getting a perfect solid grip and mashing the trigger with less upset, some of that is the corrective glasses, most of that is the new way of seeing thanks to a clear explanation by Jshuberg, with more detail from this article: http://pistol-training.com/articles/vision

Saw that article a couple months ago and for whatever reason didn't "get" it or didn't believe it. Wild guess, many of the past & present iron sights champions see this way. I think Jerry Barnhart was talking about it on his tapes with the camera over his shoulder, also a very old thread on here has Travis Tomasie describing a string with colored beads set at different distances. None of that got through to me. What clicked was holding one target image, 2 thumb images, holding the thumb images apart, and seeing a clear thumb nail. It's still a chore to make that vision "pop" the first time I try it each day, it's sketchy at first but then gets better to where I transition target-target very well and see a very good sight alignment too.

Crazy part is even though I love the new sight on my Open gun and have practiced Brian's Transition Drill parts 1 & 2 with the new dot quite a bit, right now i shoot better with iron sights. Slightly slower times with better accuracy and cleaner transitions.

Edited by eric nielsen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tension.

Wherever it's located in the large "dumb" muscles or the "smart" flick muscles, is detrimental to good shooting.

Why? It is nearly impossible to repeat (or maintain) the exact amount of tension shot to shot. This is especially true with the flick muscles.

My point is do what you need to do, as long as you do not introduce tension.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can squint one eye instead of closing it. Not as fatiguing and you retain me peripheral vision

This is where I have landed too.

I also often do this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am right-handed and right eye dominant. I shoot with both eyes open except when shooting around the left side of a barrier. In that case, it is better to close my left eye so I don't get sucked in to using my non-dominant left eye without realizing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a question that seems to fit this discussion,....I shoot with both eyes open, don't know why, I have always done it since I started in USPSA. I do it with either iron and red dot sighted pistols.

I shoot an Open pistol now due to my age and eyesight ,...my question is this; when engaging targets with a red dot sight, are you watching the dot and you bring the dot onto the target,..or,... are you watching the target and you notice the dot when it gets on the target?

The best I can figure is that since I shoot with both eyes open, I am looking at the target then I notice that the dot comes into the my vision plane and I press the trigger.

I have asked fellow shooters and get different answers. One of my shooting friends says that he always closes one eye and concentrates on the dot. He does very well so this technique is working for him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I catch myself squinting my left eye on longer shots, more out of habit than anything. That doesn't help much because my slightly nearsighted aiming eye is great for getting the front sight in sharp focus, but not great at seeing more distant targets. Anyhow, no one that I know of can focus on a near thing sharply and a far thing sharply at the same time with the same eye. Little kids have the best overall vision by far, but I don't know if even they can do that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an older shooter I have 20/25 vision in my left eye and, 20/40 vision in my right eye, and thats the best if will ever be with my right eye. I was right eye dominate but now I am more left eye dominate. So I have had to adjust to both eyes open. I try to focus more on the seeing the front sight and being alittle blury on the target.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try this, look at something far away. It will be in focus, and there will be one of them. Now stick your thumb up in the air at arms reach just below the center of your field of view. You will see two partially transparent thumbs, and they will be slightly fuzzy. Slowly pull your focus back to your thumbs, while keeping the two partially transparent thumbs the same distance away from each other. It can take some people a little while to figure this out, but once you do it's easy from that point forward. What you will perceive is a single object back in the distance, but it will be fuzzy. You will also perceive two partially transparent thumbs, but they are in crisp focus.

This is what you want your eyes to do when shooting. You want your point of optical convergence to *always* be on the target - and there should always be one of them.

Before reading this I never got the point of this line of discussion. I was very surprised how easily I could make my eyes do this while running my thumb across an array of dry-fire targets about 8 yards across my living room. It was "almost" as easy with iron sights, exception being the more I made myself aware of sight alignment, the more likely the single target would mush out into 1.5 or 2 target widths. Then I put on my cheapo custom glasses (zennioptical.com) with +0.75D in the right eye and -0.25D in the left eye. MUCH easier to hold the sight alignment and the target focus, because the 2nd 'gun' off to the right is so much fuzzier and the main 'gun' on the left is completely clear due to the correction in the lenses. If presbyopia is your new enemy then this might be your new friend. Thanks J.

Try this, look at something far away. It will be in focus, and there will be one of them. Now stick your thumb up in the air at arms reach just below the center of your field of view. You will see two partially transparent thumbs, and they will be slightly fuzzy. Slowly pull your focus back to your thumbs, while keeping the two partially transparent thumbs the same distance away from each other. It can take some people a little while to figure this out, but once you do it's easy from that point forward. What you will perceive is a single object back in the distance, but it will be fuzzy. You will also perceive two partially transparent thumbs, but they are in crisp focus.

This is what you want your eyes to do when shooting. You want your point of optical convergence to *always* be on the target - and there should always be one of them.

Before reading this I never got the point of this line of discussion. I was very surprised how easily I could make my eyes do this while running my thumb across an array of dry-fire targets about 8 yards across my living room. It was "almost" as easy with iron sights, exception being the more I made myself aware of sight alignment, the more likely the single target would mush out into 1.5 or 2 target widths. Then I put on my cheapo custom glasses (zennioptical.com) with +0.75D in the right eye and -0.25D in the left eye. MUCH easier to hold the sight alignment and the target focus, because the 2nd 'gun' off to the right is so much fuzzier and the main 'gun' on the left is completely clear due to the correction in the lenses. If presbyopia is your new enemy then this might be your new friend. Thanks J.

So if I understand correctly, let's say the shooter rx is -4.0 both eyes. You say that the glasses would result in experiencing a net rx of -3.25 right and -4.25 left, yes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not an optometrist, but heres a good article that goes into this a bit:

http://chrissajnog.com/vision-and-shooting-and-aging-part-1/

I'm sure it's different from person to person and prescription to prescription, but he indicated that "in most cases" increasing the prescription for the dominant eye of +0.75 will result in a clear focussed front sight with the dominant eye, while your non-dominant eye is focussed at 20 feet (optical infinity). This is a "shooters" variation of a monovision prescription, where both eyes are corrected to accommodate (focus) at different distances. This can be really weird at first, but eventually your mind will work it out, to the point that you can throw on your "shooting glasses" and within a couple seconds you mind adjusts, and you can see just fine without distortions.

What's cool about this (once your mind gets used to it) is that both the target and front site can be in focus, or very close to focus, resulting in an improved sight picture over what a person with 20/20 vision can see. The one thing I've found with this though is that when shooting out past 15-20 yards or so, where you want to see both your site and the target in reasonable focus, your front sight can't be touching your point of aim. It forces you to "aim small" and to also favor a slight 6:00 hold, where POI is slightly higher than the front slight blade. I think the reason is that it's just too difficult for the mind to stitch 2 images together, that are out of focus relative to each other, into a single "everything in focus" perceived image when the objects being stitched (front sight and target, each with a different eye, and at different focal distances) visually overlap one another. There needs to be at least a small amount of separation between your point of aim on the target and top of the front sight for the "illusion" of both target and front sight being in focus to happen.

I started putting together a video awhile back, of ideally what a shooter should perceive visually when shooting both eyes open. What a proper binocular sight picture is, with accommodation decoupled from convergence, monovision, shifting dominance, etc. The idea is that a lot of these concepts are difficult to describe or understand with words, and something visual could really help with this. I dropped it for awhile, but might pick the project back up again. One of the big problems is that when the images from our left and right eyes are stitched together in our mind, the perceived image doesn't have to follow any laws of physics or make much sense. We can approximate our minds perception of two images by overlapping them on top of each other, but it's never going to look quite right.

Here's a quick example. This video snip attempts to convey what the shooter perceives when shifting his focus back and forth between the front sight and the target. Note that the gun appears to move out of the center of vision. Well, it doesn't actually move just by adjusting our eyes, it actually in the same place in the center of our vision. The same is true of the target. It doesn't move out of our center of vision either, which is difficult because when flattened to a 2D movie, what we end up with is not what we perceive. We can try approximate it though, which is what this little test clip is doing.

It's not going to look quite right, but after watching it a few times most people will pick up on what it's trying to convey. If I ever get motivated again, I might get around to finishing this project.

Edited by Jshuberg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm able to shoot with both eyes open when everything is clear (good lighting and contrast, targets are close). Sometimes when the brown cardboard blends in with the berm at longer distances, which is pretty often because our Phoenix dirt is a similar color to the brown cardboard, I find myself squinting my left eye. And then I realize I'm in worse shape because my right eye is worse for distance. So I open my left eye wide again and my brain has to figure out how to get a brown 40-yard target against a brown background in focus while the sight picture is good enough to break the shot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a question that seems to fit this discussion,....I shoot with both eyes open, don't know why, I have always done it since I started in USPSA. I do it with either iron and red dot sighted pistols.

I shoot an Open pistol now due to my age and eyesight ,...my question is this; when engaging targets with a red dot sight, are you watching the dot and you bring the dot onto the target,..or,... are you watching the target and you notice the dot when it gets on the target?

The best I can figure is that since I shoot with both eyes open, I am looking at the target then I notice that the dot comes into the my vision plane and I press the trigger.

I have asked fellow shooters and get different answers. One of my shooting friends says that he always closes one eye and concentrates on the dot. He does very well so this technique is working for him.

When shooting a pistol with an optic you want to be target focused as that is the fastest method of acquiring targets. Obviously not everyone does this but the top open shooters in the world all shoot with a target focus ... One of many reasons the open game is faster than the other divisions ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So if I understand correctly, let's say the shooter rx is -4.0 both eyes. You say that the glasses would result in experiencing a net rx of -3.25 right and -4.25 left, yes?

You would experience that if the lenses are MADE -3.25 right and -4.25 left. Result for shooting would be great if like me, you get the sharpest reading vision using a +1.0 set of reading glasses (which you can try at the drug store). The more Add power you need at reading distance, the more change from your shooting-eye distance vision number you'll need.

I'd briefly mention that if you get an optometrist that will work with you and not just push buttons, click wheels, and say "better, or worse?", you can get some amazing results with whatever vision need you seek to gain from a particular pair of glasses (long version would go 5 paragraphs).

Edited by eric nielsen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't read this entire thread but just wanted to make a quick point..

There are some amazing GM level shooters that shoot with tape over one of their eyes and do just fine.

Brian Enos and Matt Hopkins are just 2 shooters that do it. Shooting with two eyes open is preferred but for some of us our eyes are just different.. I personally am Left eye dominant and when I present the gun I see 2 fiber optic front sights

I have scotch tape over my left eye (my dominate eye) and shoot with my right eye.. Its only a small piece of tape and I blocks maybe 5% of my vision

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...