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Old May 12, 2012, 12:41 PM   #26
9mm
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I better learn how to shoot with both eyes open... I been using an eye patch because it's hard to keep one eye shut.
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Old May 14, 2012, 01:22 PM   #27
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What about the sight picture??? Unless I fire off a few shots and then check the target and repeat several times I really won't have any idea of where I should be aiming. I'm attempting to tap into the knowledge of my peers here to avoid simple
mistakes.
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Old May 14, 2012, 01:39 PM   #28
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Use the force ,RedDog … sorry, I couldn’t resist, no offense intended… but imo, it is a "let it happen"sort of thing. Practice at home just aiming is also very helpful,imo.

Front sight focus :Sight picture is "as normal". Some see a double image of the target. For some of those people, the second image goes away or they learn to ignore it.

Target focus : double image is of the sight alignment, otherwise the same as above.
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Old May 14, 2012, 01:51 PM   #29
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You might try ...
Support your pistol arm somehow … so you can keep it steady while moving your head( moving the head while changing the way you look at something has a tendency to happen without realizing it). Pick something to aim at, do so, then open your second eye. If the pistol is properly supported, you can play with your eyes .. focus, note image characteristics, etc … while knowing where the gun is aimed. A pistol with both iron sights and a laser might be helpful, if you have one.
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Old May 14, 2012, 05:12 PM   #30
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Sometimes some good instruction is needed.

My group put on its monthly Basic Handgun class last Saturday. We had nine students, none of whom had ever fired a gun before. Three of them were cross dominant.

At the live fire part of the class, everyone was shooting 1.5 to 2 inch groups with a .22lr at seven yards. Several shot sub-2.5 inch groups with the .44 Magnum. One student shot a 1.5 inch group with the .44 Magnum double action. No one shot groups larger than about 3 inches with a variety of guns from 9mm up to the .44 Magnum. Everyone shot with both eyes open. And again not a single student had ever fired a gun before.

These results are fairly typical for our classes, except the sometimes we do have a student who isn't able to manage to shoot with both eyes open, but that's pretty rare.

We teach standard front sight focus/surprise break. But we have a lot of instructors for relatively few students -- usually a 1:2 or 1:3 instructor to student ratio. We provide a lot of "hands-on" individualized instruction.
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Old May 14, 2012, 10:13 PM   #31
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I want to know how that's done. I seen things referring to 'Front Sight' among others. How do you aim? What if you have a dominant eye?
Normally when I shoot with both eyes open, which is how I normally shoot, I see a ghost image of what I'm looking at. I disregard one of the images and focus on the other that is picked up by my dominant eye.

To figure out which eye is dominant aim at something with both eyes open. Don't do anything fancy, just do whatever feels natural. Close one eye, if the sights are still lined up then you are looking through your dominant eye. That's how I figured it out anyway.

I've noticed that it takes quite a bit of work to aim using my non dominant eye and it doesn't feel natural at all.
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Old May 14, 2012, 10:40 PM   #32
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I cannot think of a single reason why anyone would ever want to be shooting at anything, targets, hunting, or SD while only using 1/2 of their vision.
I have one: Using high magnification scopes, it's a real mind bender trying to make sense out of two images of apparent different sizes.

Try setting a your rifle scope on 10 or 12 power and keep both eyes open.... makes for a headache.

I shoot pistol, iron sighted rifles, and scout scoped rifles both eyes open. Conventional scoped rifles with large magnifications, dominant eye only.
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Old May 15, 2012, 10:15 AM   #33
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Great topic. Another benefit of both eyes open, besides the increased field of view mentioned, is that there's twice the light getting to the brain. Especially critical in low light.

I've been a one-eyed shooter ever since I learned to shoot 30 years ago and I've done fairly well, but now it's time to see if this old dog can learn a new trick.

I shoot pistols and plan to go to the range and try two things with both eyes open: 'focus on the front sight', or 'focus on the target'. I'll shoot three rounds each way at different aim points (i.e. - 'focus on the front sight' for aim point 1, then 'focus on the target' for aim point 2), then check my target and assess accuracy. Then I'll repeat, again and again.

The truth lies in where the bullet strikes the target, so I'll do this range exercise before deciding how to do any extensive dry fire practice at home.

Note: as I read this thread and try pointing a pencil at an aim point, 'focus on the target' initially seems more natural and easy than does 'focus on the front sight'. But for 30 years I've been a front sight (with one eye) guy. This should be an interesting exercise.

I'll post a follow up after I hit the range.
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Old May 15, 2012, 11:20 AM   #34
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IMHO :Most people seem to get quicker accuracy results with front sight focus, and a lot of conventional wisdom supports it as the superior method. I personally believe it to be more inherently accurate, less dependent on the gun being matched to you, and less work/practice to master.

I never have recommended target focus for anyone that hasn’t exhaustively tried to master front sight focus except once… and that was a case of a woman that had never shot a pistol before, couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn after 2 boxes of .38s, and I had less than an hour to get her where she wouldn’t automatically lose a confrontation with her ex. It worked good enough to group 5" @ 20’ almost immediately. Slow fire, rapid fire, didn’t really matter. A couple of days later, she could barely hit the paper that way. We returned to training front sight focus, and she could do it !!! I think most of her troubles were from stress, and the "target focus" was just a temporary stopgap measure to compensate. The ex had been picked up and locked up by the second lesson, btw.

Anyway, I hope you consider trying to learn front sight focus with both eyes open before trying target focus… If you’re seriously training, that is. Mixing it up might be fun, but I dunno how useful it’d be.
Or, you might consider trying several targets one way, then several the other. Dunno about you, but for me … switching between methods quickly is for testing rather than learning.

Just opinion and anecdote, TIFWIW ...
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Old May 15, 2012, 11:57 AM   #35
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Yes, understood and thanks animal for sharing that experience. I'm a well-established and accurate front sight guy (in shooting, not in posting on this forum), and I'm not mixing it up for fun but to test the techiques, and also test/train the eyes and brain.

While target focus may initially seem easier, as a retired USMC vet I do realize that the initially easiest method isn't always best for long-term, sustained success; and I have a decent foundation of shooting basics. Also, having gone to Front Sight in Pahrump NV, I know the value of the front sight and I've done fairly well in their defensive handgun course there.

I need to test this out at the range. Again, the proof lies in the bullet strike. Also, I can definitely use more regular practice.
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Old May 15, 2012, 08:25 PM   #36
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I have always shot guns with both eyes open, unless I am shooting at distance and need a more precise aim. I always focus on my target and bring the gun to my eyes. I get a flash sight picture and fire. I spend about 70 -75% of my time shooting in this manner especially with my handguns.

I can get better hits using this method than a lot of people at the range who try hard to use the sights but they have a bad flinch and ruin any sight alignment they may have had prior to the trigger being pulled. I find that even when I focus on the sights I keep both eyes open when shooting my handguns. If you are shooting from 3-10 yards you should be able to get very good hits if you practice this way on a regular basis.
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Old May 15, 2012, 09:54 PM   #37
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Quote:
I have one: Using high magnification scopes, it's a real mind bender trying to make sense out of two images of apparent different sizes.

Try setting a your rifle scope on 10 or 12 power and keep both eyes open.... makes for a headache.

I shoot pistol, iron sighted rifles, and scout scoped rifles both eyes open. Conventional scoped rifles with large magnifications, dominant eye only.
This post ^^ also makes an important point. When using high magnification, having both eyes open is not necessarily the best means for target acquisition. Perhaps for initially spotting the animal (if you don't have a lower magnification setting on your scope), but not for acquiring the final sight picture.

As for shooting with both eyes open for pistol shooting, I fully agree. It is more beneficial to have both eyes acquiring targets.
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Old May 15, 2012, 11:52 PM   #38
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This post ^^ also makes an important point. When using high magnification, having both eyes open is not necessarily the best means for target acquisition. Perhaps for initially spotting the animal (if you don't have a lower magnification setting on your scope), but not for acquiring the final sight picture.
It depends on how you are trained, what you are used to, and how well you can separate the vision of each eye. As a strongly right eye dominant person, I don't find it to be a problem with shooting a scoped rifle with both eyes open and using my right eye in the scope. I suspect that the more one eye dominant you are, the lessd of a probelm that is.

If I shoot left handed, however, I sometimes have to close my right eye to switch dominance to the left.

Once again, the benefit is that it gives you a field of vision not seen in the scope. Generally speaking, I don't see much out of the left eye when shooting right handed unless something draws my attention, such as movement. I can switch between my R scope eye and L nonscope eye fairly easily when I am sighted. So I can do a quick L eye visual scan while keeping the rifle on target, without moving my head around.

With that said, I am completely dysfunctional with the Bindon aiming concept. I cannot meld two fields of view such that I can see the red dot from my R eye FOV superimposed on my l eye FOV.
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Old May 16, 2012, 08:56 PM   #39
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Like others have said before me, it does take practice. Especially if you've grown up ( Like I did ) in a environment where I was not taught properly how to shoot. I did not learn how to effectively hold/shoot a firearm until I was in my mid-twenties.

Heck, I still catch myself closing my left eye from time to time. Old habits are hard to kick.
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Old May 18, 2012, 06:28 PM   #40
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I went to the range today on my lunch hour to test shooting with both eyes open. First time doing that – with interesting results. I shot 100 rounds. I haven't shot in a while; it has been over a year. I was way overdue.

Here are my results, with more info below: both eyes open and target (tgt) focus is worth exploring further, it works pretty well for me. My first-ever groups weren't too bad, and with practice I'm confident they'll get better and my speed will improve.

If you're inclined to argue against this, read the rest before you do, especially the note about why I cannot acquire the front sight (FS) with both eyes open. These results are mine and mine alone. I'm not about to start a shooting school and teach everyone to do it this way. In fact, I'm not going to tell anyone else to do it this way. These are preliminary results and I'll continue practicing.

I wear eyeglasses so I tested both with and without my glasses on, and also tgt focus and FS-focus, all four combinations (or permutations, if you will).

Targets: I set up two paper tgts identically, one each for 10' and 20'. On the back of each tgt paper I pasted 16 1" tgt spots to form a 4X4 grid, with each tgt spot about 8" from each other.

Shooting: No time constraints. The goal was to accurately acquire the tgt and establish good sight picture / sight alignment. My planned sequence of fire was to fire three rounds at each tgt spot, left-to-right and top-down in this manner: glasses on and tgt-focused @ 1st tgt spot; then glasses on and FS-focused @ 2nd tgt spot; repeat for 3rd and 4th tgt spots; then on the next row glasses off and do the same thing as in row 1. Repeat for rows 3 and 4. Then do the exact same thing but at 20' on the second tgt paper.

Note: Try as I might, I could not acquire the FS with both eyes open. It was too confusing for my brain to sort out the images. I'm pretty sure this is because I am usually right eye dominant (and I'm right handed), but at near distances my left eye is dominant. My left eye is nearsighted, and my right eye is astigmatic and is better for distant objects. At far distances, my right eye is clearly dominant, but I read with my left eye. For shooting, what I did instead of FS-focus with both eyes open, is FS-focus with left eye closed as I would normally shoot.

I tried with and without my eyeglasses because I need to make sure of how accurate I am in case I'm suddenly startled awake while sleeping at night and don't have time to get my eyeglasses. I hadn't done that before and talking with the guy at the range he suggested that. I'm glad he did, because I learned a lot from doing that.

Not able to FS-focus at all with both eyes open, I resorted to closing my left eye and shoot normally, focusing on the FS as I normally do.

Result best groupings:

#1) ¾" @10' and ¾" @20': glasses on, closed left eye
#2) 1" @10' and 2" @20': glasses off, closed left eye
#3) 1" @10' and 3" @20': glasses on, both eyes open, tgt-focus
#4) 2" @10' and 4" @20': glasses off, both eyes open, tgt-focus

Like I said, it has been a while since I've shot. I can do better than ¾" at 10'. Of course, closed left eye with FS-focus is naturally how I shoot, so no surprises with #1 and #2. But #3 is promising, and shooting with eyeglasses off (but safety glasses on) is also worth practicing for those night time surprises, if they ever happened.

It's time for more range time. I'll keep practicing with both eyes open. This is merely an initial assessment.
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Old May 18, 2012, 08:39 PM   #41
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Not able to FS-focus at all with both eyes open, I resorted to closing my left eye and shoot normally
Do you have to close one eye to read?

I haven't been able to aim with both eyes open, but as DNS mentioned above it's most likely because I have been closing my left eye for the better part of 40 years.
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Old May 19, 2012, 01:01 AM   #42
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No, but it's not the same thing because the words on the page are at the same distance from the eye, so there's no parallax.

But with FS focus, my left eye is dominant because the FS is a nearby object. Parallax causes extra tgt images, which are in the range of my right eye that is dominant for far objects, and of the RS which is in the range of my near-sighted left eye that is dominant for near objects.

With tgt focus, my right eye is in control at all times. The extra images of the FS and RS, also caused by parallax, are readily ignored by my brain because they're seen better by my left eye. It's more natural to me because of the unique nature of my eyesight.
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Old May 19, 2012, 10:31 AM   #43
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close one eye ;)

Consider closing 1 eye.

I don't mean to be the bad guy here, I'm just adding fuel for discussion.

Don't get mad at him for the heresy but Rob Pincus has a youtube video of his reasons why "both eyes open" may not be the gold standard in all situations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUy46J9IAOM&feature=plcp

They're pretty convincing reasons.

Personally I still haven't abandoned training myself to use both eyes although it does speed things up to squint or close 1 eye.

I don't think the analogy of "do you read with 1 eye closed?" is applicable- the "target" in reading is only on the surface of the paper. No alignment beyond that surface is needed. We can read words on a page directly facing us or if we're off to the side, above, below, push the book away from us a bit, etc. If I hold my pistol in place and take a step to the left I can still see the surface of my front sight with both eyes but neither of my eyes are in alignment with the sights and target. It would be a bit reckless for me to shoot if I cannot verify that the sights themselves are aligned with the target. Your eyes converge on the subject of focus - they do not point in a parallel line. It's as if two laser beams were intersecting. Proper alignment is important.
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Old May 19, 2012, 10:49 AM   #44
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I only asked if he had to close one eye to read because he said he couldn't focus on the front sight with both eyes. It's about the same distance, so I wondered if he could focus on a page of text with both eyes.

When you focus on the front sight you HAVE to see two targets unless one eye isn't working. You also see two rear sights but they're much closer together, unless it's a peep sight not in the field of view of one eye.

I could understand how someone who has the target in focus with one eye and the sights in focus with the other would have troubles. I too, would recommend closing the eye that's not behind the sights. It's what I do as well. But it's the only method I've known.
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Old May 19, 2012, 11:39 AM   #45
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Sport45, i was actually responding to an earlier post than yours, yours is a valid question!

it was

Quote:
i was trying to think of a way to explain this to my wife, she's a squinter, i told her think about it honey ,you dont read a book with one eye open or drive your car squinting
and since that poster's method seemed to produce results it seems alright in the end. I was noting a subtlety.
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Old May 19, 2012, 11:58 AM   #46
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When you focus on the front sight you HAVE to see two targets
Not necessarily, imo … your eyes are each sending a "picture" to the brain, which overlays the images using the focal points of each as it’s reference. The brain decides which parts of the conflicting images in the background is "true"… problem is, the "decision" is a combination of conscious and unconscious selection… further complicated by gaps in the field of view where the brain "fills in" the image we see.

Learning to control the editing process of the image we see, is one of the goals of sight training, imo.
Further, teaching the brain to ignore the part of the image from non-dominant eye which conflicts with the image of the dominant eye can be done through training. This would result in the double image of the target or sight (depending on your focal point) effectively disappearing, or fading into the background. … like an image from peripheral vision : technically, it might still be there but it might as well not be.
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Old May 20, 2012, 01:35 AM   #47
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Learning to control the editing process of the image we see, is one of the goals of sight training, imo.
Agree 100%, that's why I'll practice the 2-eye technique.

Quote:
Further, teaching the brain to ignore the part of the image from non-dominant eye which conflicts with the image of the dominant eye can be done through training. This would result in the double image of the target or sight (depending on your focal point) effectively disappearing, or fading into the background. … like an image from peripheral vision : technically, it might still be there but it might as well not be.
That's what I struggle with, for FS-focus with both eyes open, because of the eye dominance I described earlier.

In the end, after a lot more practice, I may decide to stay with closing the left eye. I am accurate that way, so it's a situation where "it ain't broke so why fix it?"
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Old May 20, 2012, 01:40 AM   #48
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Hey, Red Dog, what has been your experience as you try shooting with both eyes open? I wonder what you're trying, and what has / hasn't worked for you?
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Old May 20, 2012, 06:58 AM   #49
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I'm also from the school of both eyes open.

Best way to be! Unless you have one eye..
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Old May 20, 2012, 01:17 PM   #50
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The Pincus video - he makes a lot of good points, but to nit pick a little:

his first "X" diagram can lead to confusion, imo…
The problem is exposed by the lines he doesn’t draw: The sight and target are in a line perpendicular to a line drawn between the eyes (ok so far) BUT this "sight line" intersects the "eye line" between the eyes, rather than meeting the "eye line" at the dominant eye…. This skews the results of the lines of vision that he does draw and places the target in the never-never land between the lines of vision for each eye. He then doubles and moves the target image where it is inline with each sight line. I think it would be less confusing if he were to draw the target, both sights, and dominant eye in a straight line … then draw the line of sight from the non-dominant eye, through the front sight, to the false image.

He also says that a long gun is completely different because it is "attached to your face". I disagree... mainly because the pistol should be employed as if it were also attached to your face…. Imagine the pistol as a rifle with the sights mounted to the last 6" or so of the barrel. This makes for more training … oriented towards what some would call "muscle memory" to make sure the pistol stays inline with the dominant eye.

I think the video is leading towards a valid method of engaging a target. However, I don’t think his way of discounting an alternate method is valid.
IMHO, We are faced with a set of obstacles in training. Different methods of training are typically a matter of choosing ; which obstacles are ones to overcome, and which ones we must work with or compensate for.
I really don’t think one method of training fits for all people, because different people can have different insurmountable obstacles.

IMO," both eyes open" also makes the pistol selection critical … the ergonomics of the pistol must fit the user nearly perfectly so that it’s a "natural pointer" for the individual. There’s no such thing as a universal natural pointer. Slight variations in the hands, arms, and other bits of biology can radically change what "fits". Even slight changes in a pistol’s grip, balance, etc., can change it’s "pointing nature" with respect to an individual’s biology.
Personally speaking, there are several pistols that I really like, but would never consider carrying for protection, because they don't naturally "point" in my hand.
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