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Old April 16, 2011, 07:39 PM   #1
lawnboy
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one eye or two

I shoot right handed. I do practice with the left, but my strong shooting hand is my right. But I'm very left eye dominant. So I use Isoceles stance.

When I first started shooting handguns I closed an eye (right). A friend of mine basically threatened me with bodily harm if I didn't start learning to shoot with both eyes open. I have to say he was right. It does not hurt my aim, and it drastically improved my speed.

So, question, Who shoots with both eyes and who closes an eye? Do you change it up based on what kind of handgun shooting you're doing?
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Old April 16, 2011, 07:57 PM   #2
drail
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If you cannot learn to shoot with both eyes open you will severely limit your potential and miss half of the experience of shooting. The key is to relax and don't force it- just let it happen. The best text on the subject is Brian Enos' book Practical Shooting - Beyond the Fundamentals.
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Old April 16, 2011, 08:39 PM   #3
ligonierbill
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Both eyes. Even shooting a scoped rifle, I do better. For some reason, I am much less sensitive to recoil when I keep both eyes open. Maybe it's the primary focus on the target.
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Old April 16, 2011, 10:49 PM   #4
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Try as I might, I could never learn to shoot a handgun with both eyes open. For some reason, my focus shifts from one eye to the other, and it’s very annoying. I can focus on the front sight, in line with the rear, then it suddenly switches and the front sight looks as if it moves two inches to the side. One day at the range, I noticed a guy with a piece of semi clear scotch tape on the lens of his glasses covering his non dominate eye. I asked him about it. Sure enough, he was like me, but found that the tape “fogged” the view on that eye, allowing him to keep both eyes open, but remain focused on the sights. I tried it, and sure enough, it works. I do the same with target shooting a rifle with iron sights. With a scoped rifle I close one eye. I know, I’m weird.
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Old April 17, 2011, 12:00 PM   #5
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It’s really not that hard to learn to shoot with both open.
Take a pair of sunglasses and put tape over the weak eye and shoot for a day. Your mind will get used to shooting with both eyes open but focusing on the one eye that can see the sights. Then take the glasses off. When you have trouble again with keeping both open then put them back on.
There is nothing I can add to drail comment, it hits center mass “The key is to relax and don't force it- just let it happen.”
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Old April 17, 2011, 12:09 PM   #6
hogcowboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike38
Try as I might, I could never learn to shoot a handgun with both eyes open.
I'm the same Mike. I simply can't NOT try to focus with both and see two images. I might try taping one lens of a pair of shooting glasses and see if that helps. I shoot a shotgun just fine. But not a handgun. I can't make up my mind which target to shoot with both eyes.
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Old April 17, 2011, 12:23 PM   #7
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I shoot both eyes open. It helps with speed and even focus.(for me) when I wemt the the advanced pistol programs we had snap caps and had to do 100 draw and dry fires with out closeing an eye or the instructor made us start all over. Its amazing how much faster you will get from this.
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Old April 17, 2011, 12:35 PM   #8
brabham78
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I started shooting rifles more than 40 year ago, and I developed the habit of one eye shooting, which is think is fairly common with those that stated out on rifles.

Then about 10 years later (30+ year ago) I became a handgun enthusiast too, and the one eye shooting habit carried over. It wasn't until about 20 years ago that I finally broke that one-eye habit and started keeping both eyes open, and I can tell you that after spending so many years shooting with one eye closed, it was a hard habit to break.

It seems natural now, but after doing it for 20+ years, I guess it should.

BTW- I'm a right handed shooter, and also left eye dominant like you. But, I'm a weaver stance shooter, so it makes that right-hand/left-eye thing a bit more awkward than the isosceles method, but it's what works for me so I stick with it.

Last edited by brabham78; April 17, 2011 at 01:16 PM.
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Old April 17, 2011, 02:17 PM   #9
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Always; Both Eyes

No matter what I'm shooting, I always have both eyes open. Been doing it so long that it's really just second nature and perhaps to the point that I'm incapable of shooting any other way. .....



Be Safe !!!
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Old April 17, 2011, 02:30 PM   #10
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I can sympathize with shooting Weaver while using the opposite eye. I came from a non-shooting family and when I joined the Marines in late 80's I had fired perhaps 2 dozen rounds through a .22 rifle (lever action, open sights) and nothing else. I went to the rifle range and sucked. Couldn't keep it on the paper. Drill Instructor made me do the "triangle test" for eye dominance and immediately had me switch to shooting left handed. I was way better from the first shot. Since I was a non-shooter I had no bad habits to break and I qualified Expert. I had to work out how to manipulate an M16A2 left handed, but on the USMC Qualification range speed wasn't really tested so it wasn't that hard. By the time I had to do any actual tactical training I had it down.

So when I first picked up a pistol I had similar issues. I simply don't do anything well with my left hand (except catch a baseball) so that wasn't an option. The slight head turn involved when shooting modified Weaver (straight strong elbow) with the wrong eye open gave me target acquisition issues when shooting fast. So I switched to Isoceles and was better and then my former special ops friend taught me to use 2 eyes and now I'd consider myself fixed. As a shooter. More or less.

I think every young person who picked up a handgun in the late 80's (like me) tried something close to a modified Weaver because of Sonny Crockett.
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Old April 17, 2011, 02:42 PM   #11
brabham78
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Quote:
I think every young person who picked up a handgun in the late 80's (like me) tried something close to a modified Weaver because of Sonny Crockett.
Good ole' Sonny
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Old April 17, 2011, 03:08 PM   #12
Huskerguy
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I am with Mike and Larry on this. I am right handed and left eye dominant. I can actually shoot with either eye. To say everyone should shoot with both eyes open doesn't take into account that some of us have different focal lengths. I also wear glasses and look over the top of my glasses with my right eye, use my glasses with my left eye. At 25 fee my right works best, at 50 feet my left eye works slightly better. So I say, whatever works for you. It just isn't as easy as saying everyone should have both eyes open.
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Old April 17, 2011, 05:00 PM   #13
MidwestRookie
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I use one eye open with normal sights, tho I have great vision, the shifting focus throws me off with both eyes open.

I did just get a burris fastfire installed on one of my pistols so i plan on using it to help get used to shooting with both eyes open as I can see it just fine like that...

the only thing I ever thought about using one eye hurting my shooting is that with my left eye closed, if I blink when I shoot then my eyes are shut for that split second, which kinda throws me off when I think about it...i just cant line up 3 dots with both eyes open and focus where I need to...its obviously a skill, and one that I haven't begun to master..
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Old April 17, 2011, 07:23 PM   #14
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An important consideration if you shoot with one eye closed is that you lose your peripheral vision on that side of your body. In a tactical situation that's bad juju. There may be another threat there, or a way out, or help on the way. Shooting with both eyes open will allow you to be more accurate and allow you to see more of your world.
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Old April 17, 2011, 07:37 PM   #15
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When shooting Bullseye, I have started using two eyes open but cover the lens of my non-dominant eye with tape so I don't see that image at all. A lot of Bullseye shooters do this.
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Old April 21, 2011, 09:07 AM   #16
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I was taught to shoot with one eye closed as a kid. When I started shooting trap I learned to shoot with both eye open. This works now for rifle and hand gun, except when I shoot week hand/one hand, then I close my right eye.
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Old April 21, 2011, 01:48 PM   #17
BigJimP
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Always with both eyes open ....to maximize your peripheral vision .../ because most of the practice I do is from a "practical pistol" or "defensive tactical" perspective...

If I was going to shoot "Bullseye" matches ....I might try a one eye approach ...
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Old April 21, 2011, 04:54 PM   #18
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I started shooting with one eye and later saw the light on shooting with both eyes open. I am still training my eyes to work this way. I recently got into shooting on a regular basis. But I still find it easier for me to shoot with one eye on iron sights downrange. I still need to work on that.
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Old April 21, 2011, 06:40 PM   #19
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I use both eyes, but some days it's harder than others. Sometimes it's hard not to see a double image of the front sight.

But on most days, I seem to shoot better with both eyes open.
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Old April 21, 2011, 06:50 PM   #20
SIGSHR
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One eye. I have finally after 40+ years learn to close the non shooting eye gently and not with a "Popeye squint."
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Old April 21, 2011, 06:56 PM   #21
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Two is always better than one
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Old April 21, 2011, 09:20 PM   #22
plinky
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I always try to shoot with both eyes open. Even though you're concentrating right in front of you, you still can pick up on peripheral objects and I think that's important, scoped or open sights.
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Old April 21, 2011, 09:24 PM   #23
kenno
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Who teaches One EYE?
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Old April 24, 2011, 12:05 PM   #24
BRE346
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Left or right,one or two

Interesting. Since I began shooting a snubby with either hand I've discovered that the dominant eye follows the hand that is holding the gun.

Either way, there are two images to sort out. I wink, that does it.

Weird? It works.
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Old April 24, 2011, 01:37 PM   #25
Terry A
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Both eyes open

I'm right handed & shoot handguns primarily right handed. I'm legally blind (20/200) in my right eye, so I shoot longarms left handed. I shoot everything w/ both eyes open because I have zero depth perception & also, don't even think I'm looking thru my bad eye even when it's open, if that makes any sense.

The only time I close one eye is when I try to shoot a long arm right handed thru by bad eye. Because my left eye is so dominant, I do have to shut my good eye.

I'm a little bit proud of my shooting ability, however, when I'm shooting just using my bad eye, it's best to stand behind me!
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