View Full Version : Switching to two eyed shooting.....

Dave McC
August 22, 2001, 02:09 PM
I bet someone out there needs to see this....

When I learned to shoot is so far back it's lost in the mists of Time. For the last 40 years, I've been closing my left eye and shooting one eyed. Don't ask me why, there may have been cross dominance probs at the start. I remember the nuns tying my left hand to the desk when I was in the first grade, so maybe I started out left eyed and handed and switched because of that.

BTW, I'm now an ex Catholic with bad handwriting and a problem with authority.

More to the point,I recognized the advantages of two eye shooting and managed to retrain myself to use both with handguns.

So, this enforced idleness from the recuperation following the cataract surgery gave me a chance to think over how I was shooting. I kept practicing my mount while I was off, and forced my left eye to stay open. It was tough, 40 years of a habit are hard to break.

BTW, they fixed my myopia when they replaced the lens, and I've now 20/20 in that eye, for probably the first time in my life. It was so bad they could only correct it to 20/50.They'll do the same for the other eye, and I should only need glasses for reading.

The time was up today,so I grabbed my tackle and headed for the Geezer League at AGC. The crowd was down to about 10 regulars, and helped set up.

I was, for this,on the first line, and I stepped up to the line with some trepidation. After all, I had been shooting well, and I hesitate to change stuff if it works....

I had to remind myself to keep that left eye open each and every shot. But, it worked, and I ran the first 25 quite nicely.

Since my right eye is still 20/50 uncorrected, I wore my regular glasses with the left lens removed, topped with fitover sunglasses. It was complicated, and I had to keep adjusting the glasses, but it worked, in a jackleg fashion.

The guys, who knew about my surgery, were quite happy with all this. Trapshooters are fine people.

The next 3 lines didn't go quite as well, but I shot 25,24,23,22 for the day. 94/100 isn't bad by my standards, and I'm shooting again Friday at PGC, my other league and range.

I did catch my left eye trying to squint down, but fought it. Having both eyes open gives me depth perception, and is in general a better way to shoot.Besides, for shotgunning in "Serious" situations, I might need to know what's going on over there on the left.

Next week I see the surgeon for a followup, and they'll schedule me for doing the other eye at that time. Unfortunately, the recuperation period will run into early dove season, but that can't be helped. After that, I'll post how it goes.

Questions, comments, donations?

August 22, 2001, 02:23 PM
Comment: Holy Crap!

Question: How do you do that? I tried it just a second ago with one of my rifles, and I saw about 4 sights floating around there! I shoot two-eyed with my pistol, but I'll admit that I'm only aiming in between the two guns in front of me...

Donation: Congradulations, sounds like you've come very far. Not only have you overcome diversity, but you blew it out the water with extreme prejudice!

August 22, 2001, 04:59 PM
So funny that you should post this now. I was just trying the two-eyed thing last night. I am a pistol shooter and a one-eyer. I am a pretty good shot with my Glocks but I thought that a shotgun would be a good weapon to learn with two eyes.
Man, I'm not sure if I can do this.
Maybe I should just stick to the closed eye method to build my confidence (I'm assuming I'll hit OK with one eye!) and then just suffer through the pain of re-learning two-eyed.
At least during the two eye ordeal, I will have some fond memories of when I used to be able to hit stuff! ;)
Always the optimist!


August 22, 2001, 06:44 PM
I was born with a handicap, if you want to call it that. I can not close one eye and keep the other one open. As a child this really bothered me because I couldn't wink. Winking at the girls is very important when your a kid.:D I used to practice until I had a headache with no results. I just couldn't close that one eye. When I learned to shoot it never even occured to me to try and close it, because it wasn't going to anyway. I even had a friend telling me I was "shootin' wrong" when I was out shooting gophers in my teenage years. Having both of the eyes open doesn't bother me at all. Rifle or hand gun it's pretty much the same. I do notice that when I shoot left handed that I focus on the sites with my left eye, and when I shoot right handed I focus with my right. A friend of mine who works for the sheriffs dept. here says when he trains left handed he still uses his dominant right eye. Whatever the method I guess as long as you hit stuff it doesn't matter.
I still occasionally try to get that wink to work, but no luck yet!
Dave congratulations on your eye surgery. I hope the other one turns out as well.

August 22, 2001, 07:21 PM
A little tip I read in a shooting book, I believe by Tubb. Put on a pair of glasses then put a piece of scotch tape over your non dominant eye. This gets you used to keeping both eyes open while eliminating the problem of seeing more than one set of sights. After awhile you can eliminate the tape.

August 22, 2001, 07:51 PM
Nice shooting. I'm glad things are going well.

I shoot everything with both eyes open, unless maybe I'm using a scope and the sun's in my off-side eye.

I simply don't understand, and never have, shooting with one eye closed. I have enough trouble seeing with both of them open.

I guess it's just a case of whatever works or whatever you're used to.


August 22, 2001, 08:21 PM
During a shooting it is a mammelian response to keep both eyes open for binocular vision to focus on your threat. Pistol is not problem for me and I find it easy with my Moss 590 with ghost rings. Train as close as you can to mirror the natural response.

Dave McC
August 22, 2001, 09:46 PM
Thanks, guys. A coupla things, and please forgive me if I skip around.

First,by any standard this side of a Recon Marine, I'm overtrained. Various govt agencies paid me to shoot their ammo and taught me to shoot it better. While I'm a little behind the crest of the curve now,I've seen and participated in more violence, both armed and unarmed, than 9/10 men of my generation. Maybe 99/100. The last 54 years have rarely been boring.

These days,I prefer boring, enough's enough(G)...

When I shoot handguns left handed, I use my left eye. RH, right eye. Better ambi-dexterity than most folks makes it possible,IMO. We need an Opthamologist that shoots here to be sure.

Travis, I had a student years ago with that problem.IIRC, she ended up shooting long arms RH, Service revolver LH, sighting with the appropriate eye each time. Her scores were nothing to brag on, but she did qualify and was effective.

444,thanks. That tip is well known in trap circles, and I've seen it in Brister. The thing here is, I do not seem to be cross dominant at this point, just used to shutting my left eye when I shoot. My best guess is I've at least 10,000 shotgun rounds behind me,so this prob is grooved in very, very well.It could be I'm SO grooved in that my left eye is no longer dominant.

One final thing, this is not a panacea. It's a possible improvement. not a quick fix. And I guess I'd better include a quickneasy dominance test.

Stand up and look up in the corner where the ceiling and two walls meet. Point at it with either hand.Now close one eye, then open it and shut the other. Whichever eye is closed when the finger seem to move off the corner is your dominant eye.

Hope this helps...

August 22, 2001, 10:07 PM
Another test for eye dominance....

I just had a full physical for a racing license recently and it included a real honest to goodness eye exam. I had not had one in a very long time.
Having only recently come into this cool hobby of shooting, I asked about eye dominance.
Here is the test.
Hold your hands in front of you, palm out, thumbs touching. Now rotate your hands towards each other until your fingers touch. Keep going unitl you've made a a smallish triangle through which you can see. As you look through that small open, align it with a spot on the wall or door knob or whatever. Close one eye, then the other. The object that you have framed in your triangle will vanish when the dominant eye closes.
Boy, that's easier to do than say!
Anyhoo, it works great.

August 23, 2001, 01:57 PM
I learned the eye test the same way as 9mmMike. It is in the Jim Carmichael book "Art of the Rifle". I'm right handed, left eye dominant, and shoot with my right eye on long guns, and both eyes kind of squinty but open with pistols.

Dave, 94/100 is pretty good shooting. No matter how many eyes you were using. ;)

Dave McC
August 23, 2001, 06:06 PM
Thanks, Mike and Mike.

I'm quite happy with the way things are progressing trapwise.The fact that a 3 week layoff didn't drop my average further than it did is quite satisfying.I was expecting worse.

Since May 25th,when I ran that first 25 straight, I've had maybe 5 or 6 more. Went 60 some birds the week before the layoff w/o a miss. 97/100 that week. Not saying this to brag, but to edify. If I can do it, so can others.

One of the personal goals I had when starting this was to run 25. Another was to shoot better. Did both, but the path keeps winding on. If I can hit 94 or 97/100, running them all cannot be all that much more impossible. And earning that century patch is another personal goal. It'll take time.

A few things will have to be worked on, like new hold points and break points, but that will work out over time.