View Full Version : Best Technique Ever for 2 Eyes Open Shooting

April 30, 2008, 05:27 PM
Please excuse the hyperbole. Hopefully I will not make too much of an ass of myself with this post.

There seems to have been much discussion of 2 eyes open shooting lately with many good posts discussing its virtues and difficulties.

Those of us who are accomplished 2 eyes shooters know all about how 2 eyes gives you better situational awareness because we aren't shutting off half of our visual sensors. More important than this is that our binocular vision gives us the ability to gauge not only up/down and right/left but also near/far. Being able to accurately fix the target's location in space relative to our own is the most vital part of the equation and since few of us are equipped with built in laser range finders we are forced to rely on our old fashioned "Sensors, Optical, Binocular, Organic, Mark I" (aka eyeballs). If you doubt how important accurate range finding is even at short handgun distances, try shooting hoops or pool while wearing an eye patch.

Unfortunately it is impossible for human eyes to focus on more than 1 focal plane (focal plane≈spot in space) at a time. This causes no end of consternation to shooters trying to figure out 2 eyes shooting for the first time. I've heard many a time, "If I look at the target my sights are fuzzy and If I look at my sights my target is fuzzy and there's 2 of 'em."

So how do you beat the problem? Train, Train, Train! But train the right way.

STEP #1 Put away your gun and sit on the couch.

STEP #2 Find a target somewhere across the room. (I like using the TV)

STEP #3 Extend your dominant hand out to arm's length with your index finger extended and turned so that you can see your fingernail.

STEP #4 Look at your target and point your finger at it. (If you can point a gun you can point a finger;)) You should see one target and two fingers.

Step #5 Look at your fingernail. You should see 1 fingernail (mine are a bit dirty right now) and 2 targets. If you are right eye dominant you should see a new target jump out to the left of where you know your real target should be.

Step #6 Look at your target. 1 target, two fingers.

Step #7 Look at your fingernail. 1 fingernail, 2 targets. 1 under your finger (real) & 1 to the side (ghost).

Step #8 Lather, Rinse, Repeat about a thousand times.

It takes thousands of repetitions to build a new muscle memory, which is exactly what you need to be a successful 2 eyes shooter. You need to train your eyes and your brain to go from distant/target focus to near/front sight focus instantly and back again as needed. The repetitions will train your eye muscles to make the movement and your brain will learn to ignore the ghost target when you are focused on your front sight.

Once you master rapidly changing focal planes and not losing track of which target is real using the magic finger gun, you can practice using your redgun/bluegun/airsoft or, if you are real careful about clearing it and you are certain that you won't kill your TV accidentally, your real steel.

As for needing the proper stance or hold or position to make this work, it doesn't matter. Isosceles, Weaver, two hands, one hand, laying half sideways trying to shoot under a car (I don't understand C.A.R. well enough to say with certainty), it just doesn't matter. Your eyes don't care what the rest of your body is doing. It doesn’t even matter what type of gun you use. It works with handguns, shotties, carbines and rifles. I shoot 2 eyes open with a red dot on my EBR and even with scope mounted respectable rifles out to about 100 yards and it has yet to fail me. 2 eyes works.

If you want to give it a try, good luck with it. Just don’t get frustrated if it feels wrong at first. Good repetition is the key. Just always remember to keep both your eyes open.

David Armstrong
May 2, 2008, 10:00 AM
If you doubt how important accurate range finding is even at short handgun distances, try shooting hoops or pool while wearing an eye patch.

The basic problem there is that while hoops and pool need a fair amount of depth perception, short range handgun shooting does not. If your target is 2 feet closer or 5 feet further away than you think it won't matter much. I'll agree that shooting with both eyes open is preferable for certain tactical reasons, but it really won't make much difference in your ability to hit the target.

May 4, 2008, 07:20 PM
I define "short" as that distance where sighted fire becomes neccesary. That distance is different for every shooter. For me anything between kissing distance and about 7 yards is "short". Sighting within this range varies from muzzle contact indexing (say in a grappling fight) to point shooting without the gun being in my visual field (center body index during building clearing) to using the slide as an aiming device (once I get the gun into my visual field).

As for whether 2 eyes shooting is more accurate or not, all I can say is that I shoot tighter/faster groups with 2 eyes open. I've also seen marked improvement in many a shooter after they learn how to use both their peepers at the same time. Of course those are just my observations and I don't have hard data to back them up. Your experiences may vary.

By the way Dave, thanks for responding.