View Full Version : Keeping both eyes open

August 6, 2005, 04:35 PM
In the new August edition there is an article 'Keep Both Eyes Open' by Jacob Gottfredson explaining the benefits of keeping both eyes open when you shoot and after reading it, I believe I should start training myself to do so.
It will be difficult for me at first because I have a hard time focusing in the rear sights to the front sights using both eyes at the same time. I first get a double picture or get cross-eyed when focusing close up on a small image.
I also get an immediate clearer picture when using one eye looking through a scope.
This will take lots of practice as the author of the article says.

How many of you already shoot with both eyes open?

August 6, 2005, 05:02 PM
I shoot pistols with both eyes open, I just put all my focus on the front blade and everything stays in focus, and the holes appear where they should :D

But I shoot rifles and shotguns with my left eye closed.

Not sure if this is wierd or not but thats how I shoot.

August 6, 2005, 05:05 PM
I've always shot with both eyes open, especially with a scope. It makes my target acquisition very fast because both eyes always look to the same spot. It will take a little time to develope and get use to, but once you get use to it you won't even realize you're doing it. Your dominant eye is already use to your sight picture, now you just have to get use to letting your other eye see the target too, while not actually focusing with it.

August 6, 2005, 10:43 PM
if you have somebody who know what they are doing put a dot on your nondominant eye it will make the double barell dissappear.

August 7, 2005, 09:05 AM

If you're talking about using some type of eye cover that competition shooters use then that may work, but that is just an aid. I am talking about learning and training myself physically to keep both eyes open and focused without covering one eye.

August 7, 2005, 11:20 AM
I've been shootin now for ten years (since I was 7 or so) and I made the switch to "both eyes open" after watching Davie Crockett. It's not as hard as you think. I find it helps to concentrate on the target, not the reticle.

August 7, 2005, 02:17 PM
I started out with one eye closed but read years ago (before the internet was affordable) about keeping both eyes open.

My accuratcy has much improved.


August 8, 2005, 12:02 AM
get some scotch tape and put it over the lens of your non dominate eye..it lets the light pass and will eliminate the double image...after a while you will find yourself doing good without the tape as your dominate eye perhaps will become stronger.

it gives you better depth of field and plus your periheral vison on that side so you can catch the bad guy flanking ya. :D

August 8, 2005, 10:36 PM
Oh i understood what you were saying im just saying that I cant shoot rifles or shotguns with both eyes open without it. But my accuracy is much improved now that i do.

August 9, 2005, 10:18 PM

September 19, 2005, 02:34 PM
ever since i read that article, i have been trying to keep both eyes open when shooting my scoped rifle. it's not easy, that is for sure. i find that sometimes, i naturally start to switch between which eye i am using. I lose sight through my scope and sometimesi have to close my left eye (not lookin through the scope eye) so that i can gte back on track of where i should be with my right eye (eye looking through the scope).

I'm still in the first or 2nd year of my shooting career, so i'm trying to learn the good habbits before the bad ones start.

Rich Lucibella
September 19, 2005, 06:26 PM
Personally, I think this is a skill much worth the effort. Keep at it.

September 20, 2005, 05:24 PM
When I was a kid, although my Dad tried his best to teach me to shoot with both eyes open. Regardless, I always shot my bb gun with my right eye only.

Lately, I've been working on correcting my horrendous left eye dominance.

One thing that I found and haven't seen mentioned (maybe for good reason?) is when shooting a pistol, I turn my head just slightly toward my dominant eye, leaving the gun further into my nondominant eye's field of vision. The double image will disappear. As I work with this, I find myself turning my head less and less all the time.

Has this worked for other people or just for me?

Rich Lucibella
September 20, 2005, 05:30 PM
Eye dominance is generally not a factor with pistols. You'll use the dominant eye no matter what. Thus, no doubling.

Keeping both eyes open on a rifle, when you are weak-side dominant would be a real challenge, I'd think.

September 22, 2005, 09:12 PM
I've been shooting (all firearms) both eyes open for about 10 years now.

On my last qualification on the CATM range, the range officer was surprised that I was doing so. He came over to "help me" with my shooting and said that I could do better with one eye closed (I was starting to miss, I'll explain below). But I tell you what, if I hadn't had both eyes open, I wouldn't have qualified.

Okay, the story:

It was our shops turn for a rotation to SA (Prince Saltan AB). The guy that was supposed to go (and he knew months in advance) "suddenly" had a family problem, a freakin week before ship out date.

I was the next in line, so guess what... I was tagged to go.

I had to run butt all over base getting my stuff together (paperwork), getting the home front taking care of, including care for my cat, the paperwork for the city (town) to give me the deployment rates on power (the base min. is waived), water, and to make arrangements for the apartment that I was renting. You know, the reason that the military tells you MONTHS in advance that you are going... I still highly dislike that SOB (and I'll quit my description of him now).

So, the first opening that they had was on Friday to get me to the range to qualify. I was shipping out on Saturday (the next day, not the next week). And guess what, they only gave the Yellow Fever shots.... on Fridays only.

So instead of getting the other shots and then the YF shot on friday, I was slated to get all my shots... on Friday. Remember, that was the day that I was to qualify.

So I sit in class for the first part of the day. Learning how to take apart the M-16, how to load it ( :rolleyes: , like I didn't already know), how to take it apart, blah, blah, blah.

At 11am, when everyone gets to go to the range and eat lunch and then get ready for the qualification, guess where your's truly goes... yep, the shot clinic.

So I get Hep A, Hep B, and GG because I was going the next day and the Hep A (IIRC) wouldn't kick in for a couple of weeks. Then I get the Yellow Fever and one other shot, I'm not sure if it was the antrax one or not.

So here I am, with a heavy butt (GG shot), aching arms, and no lunch (so far it's just gravy :rolleyes: ).

Get to the CATM range and go into the classroom, get a briefing on the gun rules and range rules, takes about another 45 minutes. Butt hurts, arms hurt, I'm not doing well.

Take my M-16 and then go to the range. We have 40 rounds to "sight in". Doing great, everyone is impressed by my groups. Rifle is spot on (which is abnormal, just got lucky).

Set up for the qualifying course. First 10 rounds, not a problem.

The sky's open up (this is Moody AFB, GA) and the rain pours. Still have to fire, no matter what. No problem. Second course, 10 rounds. Then the rain stops, butt and arms hurting, the sun comes out, steam.

I wear glasses, steam and glasses = steamed up glasses, under a time line here, they hit the stop watch, you fire in the pattern that they expect, and you don't have time to wipe off your glasses.

Fourth round of ten shots, last set of rounds. Have time to wipe off glasses, reload, butt and arms now feel as if they are lead, get into position, set to fire, and then again under a time line, glasses fogging up again, fire.

I am not ashamed to say that I barely qualified. You had to hit 20 out of 40 rounds, I hit 20 out of 40 rounds. Being only about 50% okay myself, I don't feel bad that I only hit 50% of the time.

And yet, I truly believe that if I hadn't learned and used both eyes open, I wouldn't have qualified that day. I had everything going against me, yet I pulled it off.

I got to qualify with the M9 on my forth day at Prince Saltan, I owned many butts that day :D (of course, my body didn't ache, no rain for steam, and I was feeling pretty good). I outshot all the MP's and the only other that outshot me was this big grinned LT (and he was a butter bar :( ). I hit 37 out of 40, he hit 39 out of 40. Can't hold it against him though, he was from the backwoods state, either Wyoming or Montana IIRC :D.


Sorry for the long post, just thought that it fit in here.

September 22, 2005, 10:43 PM
I tried it at the range yesterday and found it a bit hard. My vision gets super blurry when I do it. Keep in mind I have 20/10 vision. I think ill stick to closing one of my eyes for now.

It was intresting to try though.

November 9, 2005, 10:46 PM
i went to the range today with a friend an he tried to shoot with both eyes open,he said he felt crossed-eyed.

myself,i can't help shooting with one eye(old bb gun accident :( )
oh well i've learn to live with it(since age 4)

November 10, 2005, 04:36 AM
Well. Now that you post ill post an update. Comparing my 2 eyes to 1 eyes accuracy ive decided next range session will be 1 eyed. I geel cross eyed with 2 and my eyes tired much easier.

November 10, 2005, 10:37 AM
Yes, what is the solution to 'double vision' with both eyes open(without tape on lenses)? I'm right eye dominant and right handed, but shooting pistols, with both eyes open, I see two barrels. Scopes with one eye aren't a problem.

Maybe it has something to do with astymagtism in my right eye, even though its corrected.

November 20, 2005, 09:01 AM
Andrew, if you get tired in your eyes by shooting with both eyes open, you are doing something wrong. Are you trying to focus on everything at the same time, or what? Remember, focus on front sight.

siotwo, yes, you will see two barrels, but if you are truely dominant on the eye you're using to aim with, you will be able to ignore "the extra".

I just realised what the problem might be. When I, and those who knows this stuff way better then me, say to focus on front sight, that doesn't mean that you should LOOK at your front sight with both eyes, and still be able to actually aim. If you try to do that, you will get really messed up.
Instead, what you do is (sort of) this, look with both eyes on your target, bring gun up so sights line up with your right eye, then change focus from target to front sight.
Hard to describe something that comes so natural to me, and I guess it's possible that some is simply unable to do it.

December 12, 2005, 10:25 PM
Have shot with both eyes open for years.

I actually learned to do this by having a video camera, and learning to focus on the picture without shutting the other eye.


December 13, 2005, 12:50 AM
myself,i can't help shooting with one eye(old bb gun accident )

Legacy, are you the kid my mother was talking about when she said, "Your going to put someones eye out with that thing"?

December 14, 2005, 12:31 AM
tweenty five years ago i tought my Son the art of shooting with both open.. i started him out with a BB gun an can of 5000 BB's when he got the hang of it i put a scope on ... its a way of keeping your on game [or whatever] so you don't have to take your off the stock it makes for very quick shooting ... he shoots bow an shootgun the same way