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Old May 7, 2013, 12:32 PM   #1
Konk
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New To Handguns

Being a newbie to handguns I have a question on sighting/aiming. I have watched some video and read some on proper sight window, my question is this; When aiming is it best to keep both eyes open or close one eye? That's the one thing that hasn't been discussed in the videos and articles. They tell how to align the front and rear sights. When I shoot archery I keep both eyes open, when shooting my rifle I close one eye. Is there a right way, better way, proper way.....
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Old May 7, 2013, 12:43 PM   #2
allaroundhunter
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Re: New To Handguns

Both eyes open and focus on the front sight.
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Old May 7, 2013, 01:34 PM   #3
g.willikers
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Unless there's a vision problem, that would require closing or squinting one eye.
Conditions like double vision for close focus, cross eye, 'etc.
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:45 PM   #4
Erno86
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Shooting with both eyes open...helps prevent a flinch.
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Old May 7, 2013, 04:53 PM   #5
357 Python
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It is best to shoot with both eyes open when possible. It doubles your feild of view and in a defensive situation ypu need as wide a field of view as possible. Most in a defensive shooting situation develop tunnel vision. This tunnel vision could be compounded if you shoot with one eye. If you are doing strictly competition shooting you may wish to use one eye for a sharper image. If you train to protect yourself and your loved ones shooting with both eyes open is preferred.
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Old May 7, 2013, 07:30 PM   #6
sir_n0thing
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I've heard more often than not to keep both eyes open.
However... I recently attended a class and the instructor made a strong case for using only one eye. (He sounded pretty qualified to me... 21 years in LE, including SWAT, Homicide detective and undercover narcotics. Taught firearms classes for LE/SWAT, competes in USPSA, etc etc etc)
His demonstration showed that past a certain distance, keeping both eyes open and focusing on the front sight, your target doubles in your vision.
To be fair, the distance where this could be a problem seemed to be outside the "normal" ranges for defensive encounters... but still, was an interesting exercise.
Helps if you understand the concept of and know your dominant eye, then it's not as big of a deal.

357 Python has good points about FOV though.
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Old May 7, 2013, 07:45 PM   #7
allaroundhunter
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Re: New To Handguns

I wouldn't listen to an instructor who says to train for defensive shooting with one eye closed. I have shot with numerous SWAT officers and Recon marines and been trained by former SFOD-D operators and not a single one of them would ever say to shoot with one eye open. From people who have actually had to use firearms in combat, their opinion and training is plenty.

And also, it doesn't take anything special to shoot USPSA. If that guy actually shoots USPSA with one eye closed then I would bet a good sum of money that he doesn't finish in the top 10 of any match.
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:08 AM   #8
ClydeFrog
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Tactics....

There are a few training & tactics books/DVDs out there that teach different methods. Point shooting or CQB style shooting is an advanced skill you can learn but it requires intense focus & in-depth training. COL Rex Applegate taught point shooting to OSS(Office of Stratigic Services) agents in the WWII era & the UK's SAS & SOE units used it often.
Actor Tom Hardy uses point shooting in the action/comedy: This Means War. www.IMFdb.org

As other forum members posted, Id learn basic marksmanship & safe gun handling first. The late Jim Cirillo, who ran the NYPD's elite Stake Out Squad & later became a full time instructor for US Customs at the FLETC, www.fletc.gov said he would always watch the sidearm's front sight.
He had many documented MOS(member of service) shootings while doing the armed robbery details & his officers/detectives never had any ADs or problems.
See his books & DVDs here: www.paladin-press.com .

For training or tactics see; www.nra.org www.magpul.com www.paladin-press www.deltapress.com .

White-lights & laser-aimers like the Crimson Trace line or Lasermax can help but they DO NOT replace basic skill training.

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www.lasermax.com www.crimsontrace.com

Last edited by ClydeFrog; May 8, 2013 at 01:15 AM.
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:14 AM   #9
dakota.potts
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Well here's an interesting spin on this:

My mom and I are both right handed left-eye dominant. She can't hit anything with her right eye only or both eyes open. With her right eye closed, she stays on target much better.
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:24 AM   #10
allaroundhunter
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Re: New To Handguns

Quote:
Originally Posted by dakota.potts View Post
Well here's an interesting spin on this:

My mom and I are both right handed left-eye dominant. She can't hit anything with her right eye only or both eyes open. With her right eye closed, she stays on target much better.
I would say that is more of a training issue. Now, some people are close to being equally dominant and as a result get double images when trying to focus on something as close as a front sight so that may be happening. However, if she is profoundly more dominant with one than the other (like most people are), then I think some training would solve that problem. I am guessing she is trying to focus on more than just the front sight at one time and it is causing problems.
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:26 AM   #11
Frank Ettin
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Shooting with both eyes open is the best idea if you can do it. Not everyone can because of the physiology of vision. I'm lucky and shoot everything with both eyes open, including scoped rifles (expect when using higher magnification scopes).

Determining eye dominance is always an important first step. See here or here.

If one is cross dominant, i. e., the dominant eye is on the side different from the dominant hand, one can often learn to shoot a handgun with both eyes open. The trick is developing the habit of turning the head slightly to line up the dominant eye with the sights. Managing long guns is another matter and closing one eye will usually be necessary.

Some people are have a weakly dominant eye. Sometimes when fatigued the non-dominant eye will try to take over. These sorts of factors can complicate or even prevent learning to shoot with both eyes open.
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Last edited by Frank Ettin; May 8, 2013 at 01:40 AM. Reason: correct typo
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:37 AM   #12
dakota.potts
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Funny you mention that, Frank. When shooting our 700 scoped, if I keep both eyes open and strain too much, I can actually watch my right eye image take over my left eye which is actually in the scope. I have to focus on not focusing too much
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Old May 9, 2013, 09:56 AM   #13
Konk
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Thanks for the replies , as always, good solid info.
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