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Old October 25, 2010, 06:33 PM   #1
WW2
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Bi Focals and focusing on front sight...

For all you experienced shooters, I am 54 and wear bi-focal glasses. My sight without glasses is 20/400 so I must wear glasses when shooting handguns. With scoped rifles, I can remove the glasses and focus the scope for my eyes, so no problems.

So, when I look at the target through the glasses it will be in sharp focus, but the front sight will be blurry. The only way to bring the front sight in to sharp focus is to tilt my head back to bring the "reading" part of the lens in to play. Thus I can now see the sights clearly, but the target is all but blurred beyond usefulness. With iron sights on rifles, the sights are blurry and the target is in sharp focus. Tilting my head back while holding the cheek weld on the rifle is impossible.

My optometrist has recommend special computer glasses for distances from 18 inches to 10 feet as this range is a bit soft in focus and working on computers all day is difficult to impossible without the use of large monitors and fonts. These glasses probably will not work for shooting.

My question is: "How do those of you with older eyes deal with this problem?"
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Old October 25, 2010, 06:38 PM   #2
scbair
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My new bifocals have a higher "reading" zone, and I manage to cope.

An M.D. friend of mine made a suggestion for handgun shooting, but I don't know if it'll work for you.

Measure the distance from your eye to the front sight of your handgun (or get a ruler and measure how far the front sight is in front of your shooting hand, whatever . . .). Then, go to a large pharmacy or department store, and check out their reading glasses. Try on different strengths, and focus on something the appropriate distance from your eye (as mall print piece of newsprint, etc.). In many instances, this will help focus on the fronty sight.
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Old October 25, 2010, 07:03 PM   #3
wally626
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You can help seeing the front sight by getting bifocals with the dividing line higher and set for longer distances, but in the end you cannot focus on two different distances with old eyes. The answer is to use a small aperture. They sell them on-line and you can make them, essentially it is a patch with a small hole you place on your lens. It is the same as using a large f-stop on a camera, it greatly increases the depth of field of the camera. I have not used this for shooting but have done it in my optometrist office. In a dark room my right eye vision becomes horrible due to the large aperture of a dilated pupil. Some bright lights or a restrictive aperture makes the eye chart much sharper. The method is very much suited to rifle target shooting, maybe not so much for action pistol shooting.
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Old October 25, 2010, 08:08 PM   #4
Frank Ettin
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I wear progressive lenses and manage pretty well.
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Old October 25, 2010, 08:59 PM   #5
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I'm 56, wear progressive lenses, and haven't seen a front sight (on a handgun) in sharp focus for a decade or longer. I shoot in a modern iso stance with my chin tucked in tight to my chest. I wear my normal glasses while I shoot and won't get special shooting glasses.

I am convinced that one does not need to focus one's vision on the front sight in order to get good cardiovascular zone hits at normal handgun ranges. One only needs to focus one's attention on the front sight. As long as your vision is good enough to know more or less where the front sight is, that's good enough IMO.

You might check out a set of crimson Trace lasergrips; the dot is very easy to pick out under anything but full sunlight.

I guess if one is a bullseye shooter, things would be different, and maybe shooting glasses would be in order.
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Old October 25, 2010, 09:41 PM   #6
cougar gt-e
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Quote:
My question is: "How do those of you with older eyes deal with this problem?"

I miss more often.


Seriously.


It sucks.



Seriously.


Sucks.


Like they say, getting old is bad, the alternative is worse.
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Old October 25, 2010, 09:45 PM   #7
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I also have not seen a front sight clearly for years. And in bullseye match shooting I have to use a red dot on my hand gun or put a diopter sight on my glasses, It act almost like a peep sight and clears the sight well enough for decent targets. For shooting my carry guns I don't really need to have a clear focus on the front sight. center of mass is large enough at normal pistol ranges with a fuzzy sight picture.
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Old October 25, 2010, 10:07 PM   #8
Nnobby45
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I wear progressive glasses, so I don't have to tilt my head as far as if I wore bi focals, since focus for sight distance is higher up on the glasses. I can easily get a sharp focus on my front sight when necessary.

However, when it comes to SD type shooting, I just shoot the fuzzy sights like most other people. Always tilting the head wouldn't be practical.

Concentrating on the front sight, even though it's fuzzy, still works for pistol shooting in general. In fact, I believe there may even be some benefit to having less sharp of a sight picture because there may less of a tendency to jerk the trigger.

For serious target competitiion, I might go with glasses that bring the front sight into sharp focus.
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Old October 25, 2010, 10:09 PM   #9
teumessian_fox
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I wear progressive lenses and the "sweet" spot for focusing on my front sight requires me to hold my head at an awkward angle.

I'm going to take a handgun into my optometrist's office (clearing it with her first, of course) and have her prescribe a lens for my master eye that's corrected for the mid range distance. The other lens will be for distance.
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Old October 25, 2010, 11:05 PM   #10
2cooltoolz
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57, and I feel your pain.

If you're pistol hunting, get a scope. If you're talking Self Defense, can you hit the S.O.B., Center of Mass, at 10-15 yards?

You're good.
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Old October 26, 2010, 04:23 PM   #11
Tom-C
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Depends if you are shooting bullseye/plinking or self defense.

for bullseye, one way to go is to get what are called "near vision only" glasses. You only need that perscription in one eye, so get your Eye Doctor to use and old pair of glasses and just bulre the other lense. Most older bullseye shooters (I am 62) use a red dot sight and the main part of the glasses to focuse on the target/red dot.

Near vision only glasses are also great around the shop. I switch to mine when I walk in the door and only change back to watch TV or leave the house. A good eye doctor can set the near vision prescription for exactly where the front sight is or for the shop as close a 6 to 8 inches.

For self defense, oldtexan hit it right on. You need to concentrate on sight alignment/sight picture even though it it fuzzy.
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Old October 26, 2010, 09:03 PM   #12
Nnobby45
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Quote:
For self defense, oldtexan hit it right on. You need to concentrate on sight alignment/sight picture even though it it fuzzy.
How many of us practice at the range with no glasses at all----just in case Bubba the Home Invader doesn't play fair and give us time to put them on? Here, night sights may be real fuzzy, but still provide a good reverence. And the laser may be King.

Just my thoughts on the matter.
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Old October 26, 2010, 09:17 PM   #13
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nnobby45
How many of us practice at the range with no glasses at all----just in case Bubba the Home Invader doesn't play fair and give us time to put them on?...
That might be a good reason to practice on occasion wearing shooting glasses with non-corrective lenses. But over the years I've been hit in the face with enough debris of varying types while shooting at various ranges that I'm pretty disinclined to practice without eye protection.
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Old October 27, 2010, 09:39 AM   #14
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At 61, ,y vision needs help in the form of tri-focals. I had a set of special inserts made for my ESS shooting glasses which have only the mid and far distance lenses. Who is going to be reading much at the range? The mid-distance lens takes up the entire bottom half of the now bi-focal with the top half being the distance lens. Shooting pistol (open sights), I push my glasses up as far as possible so that I can oly look through the mid-distance lens and the front sight is in focus. Shooting trap, I let the glasses ride lower on my nose so I only see the distance lens. This works very well for me. Others I know have two pairs of inserts, one with distance only and one with front sight correction only, for their "master eye".
For real fine pistol work, I use a Merit adjustable eye-piece which is simply an adjustable objective pinhole. Works very well but is a little slow for action shooting.
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Old October 27, 2010, 02:59 PM   #15
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I'm going to take a handgun into my optometrist's office (clearing it with her first, of course) and have her prescribe a lens for my master eye that's corrected for the mid range distance. The other lens will be for distance.
Referred to as 'mono-vision.'

One eye has the distance prescription, the other the near prescription.

Works with glasses, contacts, or even lasik corrected eyes.

It was either mono-vision or wear glasses to cancel out the contacts as presbyopia set in.
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Old October 27, 2010, 03:23 PM   #16
Nnobby45
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That might be a good reason to practice on occasion wearing shooting glasses with non-corrective lenses. But over the years I've been hit in the face with enough debris of varying types while shooting at various ranges that I'm pretty disinclined to practice without eye protection.
I agree--should have clarified "without prescription glasses."
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Old October 27, 2010, 03:55 PM   #17
e4for2
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all you need

is this item if you can't find a FARRSIGHT

http://www.meritcorporation.com/index-2.html
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Old October 28, 2010, 03:15 PM   #18
WW2
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Thanks!

Thanks for all the input. It has given me more information than I expected.

For SD I have a Bersa Thunder 380 with Crimson Trace Grips. This should work with or without glasses. As for my 870, I just need to mount it, put the bead COM and let the 00 buckshot do its work. For my Hi-Point C9 I guess I can get a LaserLyte. Sometime in the future I want to get a Springfield Loaded 1911 in 9mm and I am sure Crimson Trace will have the grips for it.

I am wanting to get in to IDPA so a different solution will be needed there. It will be my corrective lens insert in my shooting glasses.

I am even considering multi-focal contacts.

Well, now to try the various suggestions, save some money, and report back!
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Old October 28, 2010, 08:10 PM   #19
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I agree with what everyone else said on SD shooting.

A friend told me about an eye doctor in St. Louis that makes special bifocals for shooter. In the dominant eye he has them made with the close vision correction on the top of the lens. That way you don't have to raise your head off the comb when shooting rifles with open sights.

I am sure this guy isn't the only one in the country who has worked out this solution.

For me personally when it comes to rifles I have just gone to optics on all the weapons.

Like someone else said, it sucks to get old or as one of my uncles used to say, 'getting old ain't for sissies'........
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Old October 30, 2010, 07:04 AM   #20
tlm225
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Quote:
Posted by Nnooby45
How many of us practice at the range with no glasses at all----just in case Bubba the Home Invader doesn't play fair and give us time to put them on? Here, night sights may be real fuzzy, but still provide a good reverence. And the laser may be King.

Just my thoughts on the matter.
I use progressive lenses. Unless I am specifically shooting for groups I tend to practice mostly without the glasses or just use my typical shooting stance. I don't wear my glasses constantly and realize that if "that" moment comes I probably won't tilt my head back and/or won't have my glasses on. Out to 15 yards I can still achieve good COM hits using the fuzzy sights. My standing would be very low in a bullseye match but the hits are more than adequate for the street.
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Old October 30, 2010, 07:13 AM   #21
ammo.crafter
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bang

Lucky that my uncle was an optometrist. He merely measured the distance from my shooting eye to the end of my shooting hand and made lenses for that particular focal length. The glasses were only good for the pistol range, though.
Now that I wear progressive bi's, I've been using high visability colored iron sights that your eyes can pick up without having to focus so distinctly. I find they are fine for PPC.
Good luck.
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Old October 30, 2010, 07:26 AM   #22
alloy
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How many of us practice at the range with no glasses at all----just in case Bubba the Home Invader doesn't play fair and give us time to put them on?
One here, same for rifles since I don't hunt with reading script glasses on....I'd never see any game.
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Old October 30, 2010, 08:19 AM   #23
ejfalvo
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I wear progressive lenses which make it near impossible to have front and rear in focus unless I tilt my head back - which doesn't help my stability. I was going to get custom shooting glasses to help out. While walking thru Walmart I tried on a pair of those $10 magnifier glasses and thought they would work for the range. Next trip tried them out and they worked well. Not perfect - but cheap.
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Old October 30, 2010, 10:15 PM   #24
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My ex wears contacts. One eye is for up close & the other is for distance. She does just fine, but I think it would drive me nuts! Might work tho for shooting.
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Old November 2, 2010, 03:27 PM   #25
markj
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bi focals are 2 perscriptions, I went and got 2 pairs of glasses, one to match each script. Didnt work. I use the weaker of the 2 scripts for shooting, but my close in is bad not the far out.
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