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Old December 1, 2013, 12:20 PM   #1
rebs
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older eyes and pistol shooting

I wear glasses with line less trifocals. When I shoot my pistols I can see the sights perfect with the bifocal part but the target is blurry. I can see the target clearly but not the sights when looking through the distance part of the lens. Has anyone found a workable solution to this problem other than mounting a red dot or a scope on my pistols ?
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Old December 1, 2013, 02:34 PM   #2
Mike38
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You want the front sight to be focused and crystal clear. Since the human eye can not focus on two planes at the same time, every thing else will be fuzzy. When focusing on the front sight, the rear sight may be a tiny bit fuzzy, and the target even more fuzzy. If the target is way too fuzzy to even recognize, you have the same problem as I do. Comes with age. I learned to shoot with both eyes open., and use an optical aperture such as those made by Merit, and a piece of matte (semi clear) scotch tape over the non shooting eye. Keep both eyes open. The Merit aperture will give you clear focus on the front sight, yet still be able to tell there’s a target out there.

You can also talk to your eye doctor about it, have special glasses made. I know people that have done this. The lens for your shooting eye may not be bi or tri focal. He may make it a single focus lens. If your eye doctor is willing to stay after hours so to not freak out his patients, ask him if you can bring in a pistol to aid with the eye exam. I’ve heard of that happening, and those shooters say they can shoot like they were when they were young.
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Old December 2, 2013, 12:07 PM   #3
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As Mike38 said, it's not possible for the human eye to focus on the front sight (which is what you should focus on), rear sight, and target all at the same time. A couple of other relatively inexpensive options, for those of us who can't focus on the front sight without some help . . .

Take a short ruler (dowel or something equivalent would work too) and hold it in your shooting hand so the end of the ruler is where your front sight would be. Then take it to the drugstore and find the correct strength of reading glasses to just bring the end of the ruler into focus, which will typically be less strong than whatever you're using for reading. Use the new "reading" glasses as shooting glasses.

Or, pick up a set of the plastic stick-on diaphragms sold by EyePal. I've been using them for a few years now when shooting open-sighted handguns and they really work, plus the small aperture increases your depth-of-field and brings the rear sight and target into much better focus, admittedly at the expense of dimming the available light somewhat.
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Old December 2, 2013, 08:09 PM   #4
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When my eyes passed the age of 60, I put laser sights on several of my handguns. I can shoot rapidly and accurately without eye strain by using only the laser. I do still shoot old revolvers with iron sights, but getting my variable focus eyeglasses in the right position for best focus on the front sight is a hassle and often leaves me with a stiff neck.
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Old December 3, 2013, 09:29 AM   #5
g.willikers
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I've found an inexpensive and effective solution to this very problem.
Pick two inexpensive eyeglasses from the local drug store, of the exact same frame size.
One will have the lenses to clearly see long distance, (target), and the other for short distance, (sights).
For a right handed, right eye dominant person,
Replace the left lens in the short distance eyeglasses with the one from the long distance glasses.
Somehow the brain merges the two views to provide clear vision for both the target and the sights.
It really does work.
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Old December 3, 2013, 11:14 AM   #6
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I had a special pair of glasses fabricated just for this purpose. (At considerable expense, I might add.)

It's technically a "golfer's segment." Except instead of at the bottom of the lens, which is where the golfer would use it, it's on the top inner part of the lens of my master eye. The "segment" (circle) is right where I focus when I shoot.

The rest of the lenses are progressive, and are the same prescription as I would normally wear.
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Old December 3, 2013, 11:25 AM   #7
g.willikers
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Almost forgot.
Make danged sure your eyeglasses are suitable for shooting.
If they aren't, proper safety glasses are needed over them.
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Old December 3, 2013, 11:32 AM   #8
Cousin Pat
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old eyes shooting glasses

Decot Hi-Wyd Sport Glasses (check website) is familiar with this -- they made me special shooting glasses - shooting eye set for distance to front sight, other eye set for long distance, two small areas set low set for my reading-glass prescription. The lens snap in/out of frame, so you can get another one for your shooting eye set for long distance -- I use this for shotgunning.
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Old December 3, 2013, 11:41 AM   #9
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Got the same problem and found that by not wearing my glasses when I shoot I was a better shot.
Everything is blurry without my glasses but I can better see the sights on the gun and concentrate on the front sight the most and use the outline of the target and center up my shot.
It sucks getting old – LOL!!!!
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Old December 3, 2013, 12:43 PM   #10
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I've found my 53 year old eyes seem to do better with some kind of high visibility sight now, I used to like just plain black. Also, try a gun with a shorter sight raidius, this might help.
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Old December 3, 2013, 03:13 PM   #11
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What about defensive shooting?

While I love target shooting, my main purpose for owning firearms is for self defense. My vision is 20/400 uncorrected. I have 1.25 strength bifocals for reading. Shooting with bifocals is a problem since I have had neck injuries and cannot tilt my head back sufficiently to bring the front sight in to focus. Shooting with specially made glasses will help with target shooting but does not help for defensive shooting.

So, I changed my sights to an aperture rear sight with the blade front sight. The firearm is an Hi Point C9 and the sights came with the gun along with standard blade and notch sights.

I shoot at an indoor range with dim lighting. The black sights on the black gun are difficult to pick up and align with my vision. So, are there any high visibility options I can put on this gun to help?

Sometimes I practice without any glasses just in case I have to use my gun in a defensive situation where I am without my glasses.

So, what say you, any suggestions with these limitations?
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Old December 3, 2013, 03:52 PM   #12
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Like Cousin Pat said...... I buy my shooting glasses from DeCot HyWyd as well....right lens is set for front sight distance /left lens is further out to target distance....and it works real well.

I have a bifocal lens put in the bottom of the lens so I can see close up as well...

I prefer light gold - for indoor ranges / or outside on cloudy days...

http://www.decot.com/
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Old December 3, 2013, 07:20 PM   #13
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I too can shoot more accurate with out my glasses. I also practice without my glasses because more than likely in a home defense situation I will not have them on.
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Old December 3, 2013, 07:34 PM   #14
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Eyes

Y'know....with all this two lens, right for this, left for that business.....your concentration should be on the front sight and aligning it with the rear. Seeing the target clearly is unneeded and certainly a temptation to shift your attention when breaking the shot.
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Old December 3, 2013, 08:33 PM   #15
bob kk
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Bad eyes

Few months ago at the range shooting a scoped 22 Rifle I started seeing two cross hairs. Got new glasses and it didn't help. Started using plain safety glasses. helped on the cross hairs and what surprised me was I could see the open sights on my 1911. I've ben wearing progressive glasses for 30 some years. Not telling my age but I remember when Pearl harbor was attacked.
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Old December 3, 2013, 08:55 PM   #16
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I look thru the top portion and shoot at the blurred target. Works well for me. YMMV. tom.
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Old December 4, 2013, 05:33 AM   #17
darkgael
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Aperture

Quote:
So, I changed my sights to an aperture rear sight with the blade front sight. The firearm is an Hi Point C9 and the sights came with the gun along with standard blade and notch sights.
Yeah...the problem with aperture sights on a handgun is exactly as you describe because apertures work best when they are close to the eye. That is why the Merit optical disc works so nicely.
There is also an adjustable iris device from Gehmann that clips on your eyeglass frame (from Champions Choice).
And there are the full on adjustable shooting frames (not protective glasses) that some very serious target shooters use...from Champions Choice and Knobloch.
A lower cost device is Lyman's Shooters Optic Aid..http://www.champchoice.com/detail.aspx?ID=2887.
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Old December 4, 2013, 01:39 PM   #18
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Yea, the vision center where I have my glasses custom made is owned by a friend. He takes my prescription and then I sit in his office with an unloaded handgun aiming at the wall while he makes adjustments to the script so I get the best of both worlds (compromised). Everything is a trade off, but so far it works. I can still shoot and read.
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Old December 4, 2013, 02:51 PM   #19
5thShock
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I don't want to shoot at a target I'm not seeing clearly, as in "be sure of your target and what lies beyond...". So I focus on the target and let the front sight blur. You'll probably do it that way anyway if you ever have to use a handgun as a weapon and not a range toy.
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Old December 4, 2013, 04:59 PM   #20
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older eyes and pistol shooting

As another member posted I mainly practice for self defense so I shoot with what I wear normally.

I have replaced the sights on most pistols with night sights that also have an orange front blade and a more open rear slot. Helps a lot.

Although the front sight is not sharp like it used to be I still try to focus as best I can on it rather than the target. When the blurriness first came about my accuracy went to pot. I was all over the target. But with continued practice I am getting a better sense for how the blurriness should align and I am back to being close enough for defense (6" steel gong at 20 yds).

I have also switched from practicing on paper targets at 25 yds to shooting reactive targets like clay pigeons and steel plates at 7-20 yds. The audible feedback helps me get in tune to which sight picture is correct.

For rifles I am adding optics to mist of them but find the longer barreled ones I can still see front sight sharply such as on the Garand and recently discovered the 28" barrel of a Mosin Nagant has a wonderfully sharp front sight for me. Love it.
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Old December 4, 2013, 06:53 PM   #21
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As Mike38 noted, the Merit device will solve your problem. It's a mite cumbersome to affix to your glasses but it will bring the front sight into focus, and does so, even with these seventy year old eyes. Personally, I have no use for scopes or any other unwieldy optical device on a handgun. Imo, handguns should be, well, handy.
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Old December 5, 2013, 04:19 AM   #22
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If you shoot outside, try fiber optics. I tried growing my arms longer but that didn't work out.
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Old December 6, 2013, 01:50 AM   #23
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focus

If one insists on seeing the target clearly (and what's beyond), instead of your front sight, at all but contact/point shoot distance you will see your miss clearly too.
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Old December 6, 2013, 02:37 AM   #24
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I tried without glasses.That ,at this point in my life, means a very sharp front sight, blurred rear and blurred target. I shoot a M29 44mag patridge sights. Not just for target I've gotten deer with it !!
It's all the front sight ! That's why IPSC shooters are always mumbling , 'front sight, front sight !'. You can work out mathematically that the front sight is the most important is the front. Now there is a problem sometimes in hunting when the deer is in the brush. For that the way to do it is to first focus on the deer for rough line up then bring back the focus to the front sight !
Remember some of the basics - you lose ground if you hold more than 10 seconds [deer may move in shorter time than that] . Practice ! Metallic silhouette is great for that .Iron sight hangun is good for about 60 yds .If you do well on target at 100 you're ready. Most of my deer were one shot kills !
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Old December 6, 2013, 06:17 PM   #25
darkgael
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Sight

Quote:
If one insists on seeing the target clearly (and what's beyond), instead of your front sight, at all but contact/point shoot distance you will see your miss clearly too.
Yep. It is an inescapable truth.
I was interested enough in the "put a lens for distance in one side of an eyeglass frame and a lens that gives a clear focus on the front sight in the other" idea.
Found two identical frames with appropriate lenses and tried it out.
Nope.
The shooting eye lens worked fine. But there was no merging of the target and the sight. Why? Because I am looking out of one eye at the front sight and the target, out of focus, is in the same field of vision beyond the sight. If I wanted the target in focus, I had to concentrate on the target with my left eye.....and that meant that I was not concentrating on the front sight.
Perhaps this works for some shooters.....but I don't see how it could.
Dilation of the iris is sympathetic, that is one reason why it is impossible the two eyes to focus independently on two different objects at different distances at the same time.....regardless of correction.
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