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Old July 8, 2014, 11:20 AM   #1
Kimio
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Questions regarding Shooting with both eyes open.

In training I've read and have been told by some that I would want to train myself to be able to shoot with both eyes open, whether or not I'm using irons or optics on my firearms.

I've found that I typically have a great deal of trouble shooting this way as I can't seem to get my left eye to "shutoff" and my right eye to "focus". Apparently this technique is good for competition shooting among other things which is something I want to get into.

That said, does anyone have some advice to help me become more accustomed to shooting with the open eyes technique?
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Old July 8, 2014, 11:24 AM   #2
Marty8613
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You just have to practice it. Try being ambidextrous and having to train both eyes.

I would stay away from paper at 1st and try it with steels, where dominance is less apparent to you. Worked great for my wife to train that way.
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Old July 8, 2014, 12:03 PM   #3
dakota.potts
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I started off by only opening my left (dominant) eye while shooting. I found that I could open my right eye while looking through my scope and shoot with both eyes open that way. The first couple of times I experienced fatigue where the images in each eye would try to overlay the other.

It just took a couple of times trying like that before I was able to do it with the iron sights on my handgun. It's still hard with leaf style sights on rifles and nearly impossible to do if I'm actually aiming with my right eye. Has to be my left.

It's almost a feel thing in as much as your brain will eventually make the connections to do it, even automatically, but it's very easy to over think it until then.
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Old July 8, 2014, 03:54 PM   #4
Bezoar
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you dont have to have both eyes completely open. with some types of sights you can merely have the non dominant eye open just slightly.
the purpose is to keep the muscles around your dominant eye from shifting due to stress. and thus shifting your vision off. Do some dry practice against a big wall. its not common for you to take a target sight up wit one eye closed, and then open the other and find yourself 6-10 inches off the bulls eye.
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Old July 8, 2014, 04:49 PM   #5
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Try shooting at the berm/backstop without any target.
Try to keep the hits in within 8" or so.
Don't over focus on the sights.
Just use them as a reference.
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Old July 8, 2014, 10:15 PM   #6
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I used to think like you do. You will be surprised how natural it is after some practice.
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Old July 9, 2014, 07:35 AM   #7
kraigwy
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It is well known that one should ALWAYS use eye protection while shooting.

One needs to shoot with both eyes open to prevent fatigue and balance. Closing one eye affects your equilibrium.

Knowing those two givens, we have the tools to learn to shoot with both eyes open.

Take some tape or paper and blot out or cover the lens of your shooting glasses of the non-shooting eye.

That way you can keep both eyes open and not be distracted by your non-shooting eye.

This also works for those who are cross eye dominant, or lets say you shoot right handed but left eye dominant. Cover the lens of your dominant eye and use your non-dominant eye.

With a bit of practice you'll be shooting with both eyes open with no distraction.
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Old July 9, 2014, 09:36 AM   #8
Jim243
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I just maybe too old to learn new tricks (I'm an old dog) LOL. But there is always room for improvement. In pondering your question, my brain was running overtime (maybe over thinking it) and it hit me that I too do the wrong thing when shooting (keeping one eye closed).

We are bipeds for the most part with two feet, two legs, two arms, two ears and yes two eyes. This gives us the ability to range find (stereoscopic vision.)

I am left brain dominant, meaning right handed and right eye dominant as well. Since I shoot rifle 99.99 % of the time with high powered scopes, I end up with each eye looking at two different focal planes at the target, one near and one far. It seems my brain can not process this information so I keep one eye closed after I have ranged the target with both eyes open. This is ok for shooting paper, but not that good for snap shooting a moving target, like when shooting rabbits with a shotgun (you really need to keep both eyes open then since range will change on a constant basis.)

I am not a fan of covering one lens of my glasses while shooting, I would rather have the peripheral vision of both eyes if needed in a hurry. (don't want to shoot something or someone I shouldn't.) Besides, I can take a quick look to re-range my target to make sure something has not changed.

I do shoot pistol with both eyes open, so that maybe one solution to practice pistol shooting more, or get your self a slingshot and practice shooting that with both eyes open, or just take your SLR camera out and start taking pictures with both eyes open and see what kind of results you get.

As Kraig said, practice, practice, practice.

Jim
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Old July 10, 2014, 05:49 AM   #9
iraiam
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Quote:
In training I've read and have been told by some that I would want to train myself to be able to shoot with both eyes open, whether or not I'm using irons or optics on my firearms.

I've found that I typically have a great deal of trouble shooting this way as I can't seem to get my left eye to "shutoff" and my right eye to "focus". Apparently this technique is good for competition shooting among other things which is something I want to get into.

That said, does anyone have some advice to help me become more accustomed to shooting with the open eyes technique?
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Do you wear glasses? when was your last eye exam.

The reason I ask, is I have had the same trouble for 20 years . I am extremely left eye dominant. My optometrist says this is most likely due to my right eye having an astigmatism, he also said I should be wearing my glasses all the time, which I just recently started doing.

I recently started wearing prescription safety glasses while shooting, and found I was able to shoot with both eyes open much easier than in the past.
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Old July 10, 2014, 09:51 AM   #10
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I wear glasses, and my vision is bloody abysmal. I can't even read the texts on my iPhone when it's more than a foot away or read the Burger King menu while standing at the counter without my glasses. Last I remember back in MEPS I believe I tested in the 400 range. I certainly can't drive without corrective lenses and I can't make out the front irons without my glasses.

I've been wearing glasses since I was roughly 7-8 years of age.

So yeah, my vision stinks.
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Old July 10, 2014, 03:54 PM   #11
Derbel McDillet
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Quote:
I've found that I typically have a great deal of trouble shooting this way as I can't seem to get my left eye to "shutoff" and my right eye to "focus".
I bet you don't encounter this problem when you point at something with your index finger. But then again you're not focusing on your fingertip, instead your focus is on the object you point at and you intuitively point your finger, accurately.

I suggest you try this technique the next time you shoot. Instead of focusing on your front sight you focus on your aim point and "point" the front sight at it. This technique is called "target focus".
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Old July 10, 2014, 04:28 PM   #12
Kimio
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I thought you're supposed to keep your irons in focus and the target is supposed to be blurred, or is it the other way around?

Up until now, if memory serves, I was taught to maintain focus on your front sight post and center it on your target or whatever. If you can see your target, I was told you'll have a hard time hitting it.
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Old July 10, 2014, 04:54 PM   #13
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimio
I thought you're supposed to keep your irons in focus and the target is supposed to be blurred,...
That is standard doctrine and what most of us teach. I certainly shoot that way and have for years. With iron sights I focus on the front sight, and with a scope I focus on the reticle.

In coaching students we notice that when their accuracy begins to deteriorate it seems to be because they are losing their focus on the front sight. That our inference, at least, because when we get them to again start focusing hard on the front sight their accuracy improves.

Certainly Gunsite teaches front sight focus. Other instructors, like Massad Ayoob and the late Louis Awerbuck do as well. I know this for a fact because I've taken their classes.

There are some well regarded instructors who teach target focus, Rob Pincus is one, I believe. And there are also a number of types of point shooting.
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Old July 11, 2014, 09:03 AM   #14
skoro
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Questions regarding Shooting with both eyes open.

Quote:
That said, does anyone have some advice to help me become more accustomed to shooting with the open eyes technique?
It takes some practice and feels awkward at first.

I'd suggest getting some snap caps and doing a lot of dry firing at home, using an aiming point on the wall across the room.
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Old July 14, 2014, 09:31 AM   #15
jason_iowa
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You should keep both eyes completely open so that you are not reducing your field of vision. You will react the way you train. Closing an eye could very well get you killed in a combat situation.
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Old July 14, 2014, 12:16 PM   #16
Kimio
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So I've been trying this lately at the range with my .22 M1911 and have been slowly getting better. Still having a good deal of issues. I find there are times where I'm seeing two set a of irons and I have to try to block out the second set of them that sit off to the right of my focus (I'm right eye dominant) while trying to keep my head upright and not turn my head to the left. Pidgeoning my head seems to be a bad habit I've developed that I need to break, but with more practice, I think I'll eventually get the hang of it.
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Old July 14, 2014, 01:57 PM   #17
Bill DeShivs
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It sounds like you aren't aiming with your dominant eye.
Try this- point tour finger at an object (doorknob, spot, etc.) with both eyes open. Just do it naturally.
Then close the left eye. Did the object you are aiming at move? If it did, then you are left eye dominant.
Aiming with the non-dominant eye is very difficult.
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Old July 14, 2014, 02:49 PM   #18
Kimio
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@Bill Deshivs I just tried that and with my left I closed looking at the same point, the item does not shift at all with my right eye. Closing my right and looking through my left, the object shifts of say close to 6in to the left.

I'm pretty sure I'm right eye dominant, I'm right side dominant with most things I do.
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Old July 14, 2014, 03:12 PM   #19
Derbel McDillet
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Quote:
In training I've read and have been told by some that I would want to train myself to be able to shoot with both eyes open...
What kind of shooting are you training for? Bulls-eye target shooting? Combative shooting?
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Old July 16, 2014, 12:42 PM   #20
Alpena
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I've always been able to shoot with both eyes open with being right eye dominant. I have a mild astigmatism in my left eye so I've started to wear glasses full time but since then I can't focus on the sights AT ALL. I'm going to start CC'ing once I get my CHL so I'll have to switch to contacts again. Apart from this shooting with both eyes open has always come natural to me.
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Old July 16, 2014, 01:22 PM   #21
Marty8613
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I practiced this yesterday. I found I was better not using sights at all. Attaching a 10yard target.
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Old July 16, 2014, 07:01 PM   #22
Kimio
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I'm practicing for many different things, but chiefly self defense either at home or out on the street, as well as for (eventually) competition shooting.

I'm slowly learning to break my bad habit of squeezing my fingers when I lock my wrists and try to get up on the gun as much as possible with my support hand.

Following this guys advice and trying to not let the gun jump as much as possible. I've noticed my groups closing up more whenever I do what he says, not nearly as fast, nor as accurate as he is, but I've seen a marked improvement, and noticed my groupings opening up when I fail to do what he advises.

That said, I'm still struggling with the open eye bit, but shooting a bit more, seems to be helping a little.
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