View Full Version : Shooting Irons with No Line Bifocal Lenses ????

TX Hunter
July 8, 2012, 04:14 PM
Well I guess my Midlife Crisis is here, I had my anual eye exam, and the Optomitrist prescribed me with No line Bifocals. I am concerned about it since I enjoy shooting Iron Sighted Surplus Rifles.
Do any of you use Bi Focal Lenses, and how does it affect you as far as shooting Surplus Rifles with iron sights ?

TX Hunter
July 8, 2012, 05:22 PM
48 People have looked at this, and no one has comented, Hmm, Guess no one else has this problem. Good for them.:)

July 8, 2012, 05:34 PM
I don't need bifocals yet and hopefully never will but I will say that shooting with glasses on by themselves took me a couple years to master. one thing you could try is getting a unifocal presription that match your shooting needs and just use those glasses while shooting, but that's just me, and it's probably not all that cheap of an idea either.

TX Hunter
July 8, 2012, 05:43 PM
I still have my Single Prescription Glasses, and I shoot reasonably well with them, I may hang on to them for shooting. It will be a while till my glasses are ready, they are safety lenses. But Im concerned about it.
I just hope the Distance setting has not changed much since my last prescription. I love my Iron Sighted C&R Rifles. The only Bright Side I can see is that I may have an Excuse to give my Wife when I start my Sniper Rifle Collection. :D

July 8, 2012, 06:28 PM
If you need glasses to see things up close, bifocals or no line bifocals don't work well with iron sighted rifles.

They work with pistols, since you simply tilt your head back until the front sight is sharp and clearly in focus.

The problem with rifles is that the upper area of the lenses are for distance vision. You look at the sights through the upper inner corner of the lens and can't focus on the front sight, which will be fuzzy.

The best option for this is to have special single vision shooting glasses made.
An optometrist can prescribe a lens that will focus at the exact distance of the front sight. You'll need to tell him how far from your eye the front sight is.
When I still had prescription shooting glasses, my optometrist had me hold a ruler about the thickness of the front sight at the correct distance and he adjusted things until the edge was sharp and clear.

TX Hunter
July 8, 2012, 07:14 PM
Thanks Dfaris Wheel, I will get a pair made for shooting. I really dont want to give up being able to shoot my favorite Rifles.

July 8, 2012, 07:26 PM
I have no line bifocals, and Defariswheel is right, they work pretty well for pistols, but are a real pain in the rear for rifle shooting. As he pointed out, you're looking through the wrong part of the lens, and they also distort the sight picture making it look like your front sight is bent.
If you just got your prescription, your optometrist will probably give you a 'script for single vision shooting glasses like Defaris described at no extra cost.
You can get some good, cheap mail order glasses here. Probably less than $10.
It's where I get my glasses.

July 8, 2012, 11:37 PM
I wear no line trifocals. However I am fortunate enough to be able to focus on front bead with clarity. Rear sight is a bit fuzzy and so is the target, but that is the way it is supposed to be. Only difference is now the target and rear sight are fuzzier than they used to be. Plain old safety glasses work for me.

Scopes on the other hand are a breeze. I can set the focus on the rear optic for clarity. Obviously, anyone else shooting my scoped rifles are going to find it difficult.

Isnt age marvelous?????????

July 9, 2012, 07:57 AM
Wear the bifocals upside down:D

Best solution is a second pair with correction suited for shooting. Cheap solution is a set of cheap reading glasses from the local drug store.

I can shoot long barrels without glasses, anything shorter than 20" is fuzzy. Anything with barrel mounted rear sight is a downright challenge. When the notch and post are both fuzzy it's a crap shoot, both figuratively and literally.

July 9, 2012, 07:59 AM
Well, I can speak about this. I have needed bifocals (or "progressives", as they are commonly called today) for years. But, I kept putting this off. I guess I didn't want to face up to the old age thing. Stupid of me, because in the mean time, my vision got bad enough that I absolutely could NOT use iron sights on a rifle.....and could barely shoot a hand gun. I switched to a scope on my rifle (and I hate scopes).....and tried to muddle through with the hand guns. Reality finally forced me to do something about this. So, I finally made an appointment.

The long and short of it is - that was the BEST decision I've made in a long time. I now have no-line "progressives", which actually are not BI-focals.....but TRI-focals (they have three distinct focus ranges built in). After a short time to get used to them (and it DOES take a couple of weeks for most people) - I wish that I'd done this YEARS ago !

Now, I can clearly see the sights on my hand guns - and my shooting has improved immensely. As for the rifle, I have switched BACK to iron sights - and I am enjoying them more than I can say.

In technical terms, I assume that you are worried about having to move your head about, to find the right range on the lenses...and this being a problem with shooting. It has caused me NO problems. THAT is what the period of getting used to the new lenses is all about. You will, in essence, train yourself to move your head as needed. This will become "2nd nature". So, I would not worry about it, if I were you. Just go ahead and get the new lenses.....and DON'T look back. I promise - you'll be glad you did.

You can certainly have a special pair made for shooting, if you wish. Everyone is different....and that may work best for you. However, I've had NO problems with the "standard" progressives and shooting. I did discuss (that I am a shooter) with the doctor....and that I needed to be able to see at "arms length". But, I don't remember her taking any special measurements for this. You might try the normal progressives, before spending the $$ on special shooting glasses. You just might find, like me, that they will do the job.

TX Hunter
July 9, 2012, 09:21 AM
I apreciate all the input. I called the Eye Clinic where I got my prescription and talked to them. They told me I should be fine shooting Iron sighted Rifles and Shotguns with my new prescription, but that If I find that I would like a single prescription for shooting they would write me another prescription free of charge. I feel alot better now and really like the care I recieved from the Optomitrist and Staff. They are first rate. Again Thanks.

Mike Irwin
July 9, 2012, 10:48 AM
Because of how I have my desk set up, bifocals won't work for me, so I went the reading glasses route.

If I remember, I take those shooting.

If I don't, well, I do the best that I can.

Heavy Metal 1
July 10, 2012, 08:54 AM
I shoot iron sights w/ my progressives & have been for ~ 20 years now w/o undue difficulty; handguns on the other hand have been very difficult, I can't see the sights for ?&*%. Apeture (peep) sights on a rifle will help considerably. If you get glasses made for a fixed focal distance, i.e. your front sight you will most likely find your target to be quite blurry.

July 10, 2012, 01:01 PM
I shoot with my progressive bifocals. I just don't use the bottom part. I focus on the target. The front sight is just a bit out of focus and the rear sight is way out, as it always has been.

I tried working out some kind of system with getting the sights aligned with the glasses, but I couldn't every find any way to do it that was comfortable. I did put peep sights on a couple of lever rifles and my Garand came with one. Those help immensely. The front sight is still slightly fuzzy, but it's very easy to put on the target.

To be honest, I can't stand my bifocals and, next time I get over to the optometrist, I'm going to ditch them and go back to single lenses. I'll just use reading glasses for close up work, like I did before.

TX Hunter
July 10, 2012, 01:53 PM
I see the sights fine now with the single lenses I have, I just have trouble reading small print.

July 20, 2012, 08:50 PM
I had / still have the same problem as you...my bifocal line giving me two 'illusions' in the scope. Last year I had my contacts...single vision...and all was GREAT, until I had to fill out the license tag. Trying to wing my way thru it....I thought about my glasses in my bag. I used the bifocal part to finish the tag. Really weird looking thru 2 prescriptions though. :eek:

Contacts kept me with constant eye irration, so they're out. This year, my opt. prescribed bifocals that are placed lower in the lense. Havent been to shoot yet, but if it's the same, I'll have a single vision pair made @ Wallyworld, then put a cheap set of reading glasses in the bag for the tags, etc.

Maybe this will give you some ideas.

Billy G

July 21, 2012, 10:54 AM
Couple of thoughts. It has helped me to take a small file and open up the rear sight notch a bit. Then, for shooting groups, use a target that has a white or yellow bull surrounded by a black ring. For fifty yards the white needs to be about 6 in. in diameter, and 12 in. for 100 yards. With this setup you can more easily center the front sight, be it bead, blade, or inverted V in the rear notch and also in the target circle.

Another thought is to mount an aperture sight at the rear. This increases your sight radius and generally solves the problem of getting a sharp front sight picture. Not wanting to drill and tap, I have used JB Weld to bond Williams aperture sights to the receivers of Mausers and a Krag carbine. This is fairly easy to do. I realize some may not want to do this to a valuable collector piece, but mine are strictly shooters. They say you can remove a JB welded piece by heating, but I am leaving mine on because I want to shoot 'em and the peep sight is not obtrusive. If you use a target of the type described above, you will have an aperture in front of your eye and an aperture at the target plane, and your eye will do a great job of centering the front sight in both, for precision shooting.

NC Cruffler
July 22, 2012, 08:15 AM
I use a Lyman Hawkeye diopter with my glasses for iron sights on rifles.
Looking through the the diopter aperture brings me a much clearer sight picture.

cougar gt-e
July 23, 2012, 12:01 PM
I tried the no-line and hated HATED HATED it. Couldn't see close, mid or far. When one eye was sort of in focus, the other was a total blur. The kind sales clerks tried to get them "fit right" and none of the 3 could do it.

Went line lenses and they are far superior. I can place the line at the top of the front post so the post is clear and the target is also pretty clear. For me, the line option is working out better. It's also a bonus that they cost a lot less.

TX Hunter
July 23, 2012, 07:02 PM
I got my new Glasses, and dont think I will have a problem, I can see the sights and target just fine, only problem is they make me a little Dizzy. But thanks for all the good suggestions and support. Top part of the lense is about the same prescription as my Single Vision lenses I had, just a slight change in the bottom of the lense, and a HUGE DIFFERENCE in the price. :(

July 26, 2012, 09:22 AM
The dizzy feeling will go away. Your brain has to adjust to the vision change.

July 26, 2012, 09:57 AM
Diopter is Magic!