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View Poll Results: AIMING: ONE-EYE or TWO
ONE-EYE 68 39.08%
TWO-EYE 72 41.38%
EITHER WAY 34 19.54%
Voters: 174. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 27, 2007, 07:17 AM   #1
gvf
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Aiming: One Eye or Two?

A new shooter, I naturally aim with both eyes, which I'm happy about since I CCW and shoot at the range with that in mind. I'm pretty accuarate for a beginning shooter. When I attempt one-eye, I don't hit the target at all.

How about others: ONE or TWO EYED Aim?
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Old May 27, 2007, 07:49 AM   #2
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I am a left-eye dominant, right handed shooter. I shoot trap and pistol right-eyed.
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Old May 27, 2007, 11:33 AM   #3
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If you are able to do it consistently, use both eyes. That's really best, if you are practicing for self-defense, because it allows you to retain some peripheral vision while you shoot. Given that "tunnel vision" is one of the oft-repeated hazards that happen in stressful situation, anything you can do to break out of the tunnel is a good thing.

If you cannot use both eyes, for whatever reason, use one eye. It's better to hit your target than to miss it. Practice toward learning to use both eyes, and do as much as you reasonably can to reduce tunnel vision in the meanwhile (never put the gun back into its holster without turning your head to look around, for instance).

Tunnel vision is a risk, and can be a serious problem. But failing to hit your intended target is a bigger risk. So get your hits and do what you can to reduce the risk of tunnel vision while you're at it.

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Old May 27, 2007, 11:59 AM   #4
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It takes more concentration on my part to shoot with both eyes. I find myself frequently closing my non-shooting eye momentarily to make sure the I've got the correct image lined up on the front sight.

However, I think it is worth the effort for reasons in addition to those already stated here. The target seems brighter to me with both eyes open. I think I'm actually getting twice the light input, even though I've got a double-image of the target while focusing on the front sight. Since I usually shoot indoors, I am always acutely aware of the amount of light available to see the target.

What it really comes down to is that I seem to shoot better with both eyes.
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Old May 27, 2007, 12:00 PM   #5
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Open iron sights, one eye. Serious pistol target, one eye. Pistol point shooting or self defense, both eyes. Scope, aperature or red dot sights, both eyes. Shotgun, both eyes (lets me see what I missed. )

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Old May 27, 2007, 12:12 PM   #6
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I have a friend who I had to break of the habit of one-eyed shooting at the range.
He carries inconsistantly, I carry daily. We were at the range and I saw him shooting his ccw one-eyed, and he said it was because he is a better shot that way. Took him a while to break that habit.
The only way to shoot defensively is two-eyes. The only way to practice at the range is two-eyes because if you practice one-eyed to look like you are a better shot at the range, in a SD encounter you will habitually shut one eye, and you will be seriously inhibiting your ability to properly defend yourself and remain safe.
If you aren't a good shot with two eyes, practice until you are!
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Old May 27, 2007, 12:22 PM   #7
pax
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Quote:
The only way to shoot defensively is two-eyes.
kcshooter,

I'm sorry, but that's just not true.

If you are strongly dominant in one eye or the other, shooting with both eyes open is no big deal. Your dominant eye will simply take over the task of aligning your sights, and while you may see a vague shadow image from the non-dominant eye, it won't interfere with what you are doing.

However, if you do not have a strong dominant eye, shooting with both eyes open becomes more problematic and perhaps impossible for you. This is because your eyes begin to fight for dominance, and produce multiple, equally-intense images of the sights and of the target when you keep both eyes open. Taking the time to choose between these multiple, conflicting images is seriously bad juju, and could cost you your life when seconds count.

Again, it is good to shoot with both eyes open, if you can do it. It is good to practice toward being able to shoot with both eyes open. There are significant advantages to being able to shoot with both eyes open.

But it is bad, bad, bad to waste time when seconds count, and even worse to miss your target (perhaps hitting an innocent bystander) because you kept both eyes open rather than doing what you needed to do in order to get your hits.

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Old May 27, 2007, 12:28 PM   #8
4V50 Gary
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Concur with Pax because, as she stated, greater peripheral vision equals greater situational awareness.
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Old May 27, 2007, 04:48 PM   #9
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It's always best to shoot w/both eyes open. There is no reason why someone cannot be trained to shoot that way. It is just a matter of training the mind.
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Old May 27, 2007, 08:33 PM   #10
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I have had to shoot defensively twice in my lifetime. I don't know whether I used one eye or two. I don't even remember drawing my gun. I remember thinking "Oh s---" and then I was looking down at the perp. Bottom line is, train for the event and when it happens you won't even think about what to do. It'll just sorta happen while you're trying to figure out what to do.

You should know however, what is your master eye and use that for the sights. If you are left eye dominant, learn to draw and shoot left handed.
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Old May 27, 2007, 08:34 PM   #11
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A cop friend says always keep both eyes open. See everything...no surprises. I'm not as accurate using that strategy.
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Old May 27, 2007, 11:55 PM   #12
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I came to a revelation this past weekend at the range. Normally I'll shoot with one eye when using iron sights, but all that does is make me squint and things go somewhat fuzzy.

I enjoy using red dots with the quick sight aquisition. Tried it on my CZ carbine with iron sights and holy cow...I was hitting bowling pins at 100 yards with no problem. I even measured it off because I couldn't believe it.

Both eyes open really helps me out.
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Old May 28, 2007, 12:31 AM   #13
Jamie C.
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I shoot with both eyes open, but my left eye, due to a severe astigmatism, is pretty much worthless for anything but ranging... I'd be royally screwed if I had to shoot with my left eye only.

So I guess my answer to the question is "both A and B".



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Old May 28, 2007, 01:08 AM   #14
gvf
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Pax's Site + Seperate Point: POINT SHOOTING

Pax had his SD site listed at the bottom of his post. Thanks! It is very helpful and covers MANY topics.

I posted on an earlier thread one Q about sighting in a real SD situation: dosen't staying with the front sight while aiming prevent full awareness of what the perp is doing, including the possible awareness you've misinterpreted an agressive move and the perp is NOT actually a perp. On that other thread, a number of posters recommended POINT SHOOTING.

Any thoughts, (though I'd not like to hi-jack my own thread) _ the issue is still confusing for me.
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Old May 28, 2007, 09:37 AM   #15
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I know that the current wisdom is to hold with two hands and focus on the front sight, but I don't do either. I don't look at the gun at all. I use both eyes on the BG (or target) and point shoot. Yes I said point shoot,(instinctive). The same as I do with my longbow or throwing knives or hatchets. It takes a bit of practice to be consistent, but it is much faster and you can devote all of your attention to the situation, not the weapon.

Of course if you are 40 yards from the target or more then the sights will give better accuracy. I practice with the pistol (.357) at ranges of up to 300 yards, or as close as 3 feet. You may be surprised if you try it.
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Old May 28, 2007, 10:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
The only way to shoot defensively is two-eyes.
kcshooter,

I'm sorry, but that's just not true.
Again, Pax, I hate to disagree with you but my statement is completely true.

If you cannot shoot accurately and consistantly, the solution is not to shut one eye in a self-defense shooting situation.

The solution is to practice and get trained to be accurate with both eyes open. If you cannot shoot with both eyes open, please get training and lots of practice until you can consistantly shoot well with your eyes open!

In a self-defense situation you need to shoot fast and move, how do you expect to be able to move with everything on one side of you body unable to be seen and no depth perception at all?

If you can't shoot with both eyes open, its because you haven't been taught to do so or practiced this way. You need to take action to be comfortable with your shooting ability with both eyes open.




Quote:
I don't look at the gun at all. I use both eyes on the BG (or target) and point shoot.
Of course if you are 40 yards from the target or more then the sights will give better accuracy.
Point shooting at a distance of 40 yards is not even a remotely good idea. It is pretty much useless more than 20 yards, and a waste at more than a few feet. You need to learn to use your front sight. There may be other people around in a defensive situation and point shooting at that distance runs the risk of hitting a bystander and winding your butt up in prison for it.



Quote:
I practice with the pistol (.357) at ranges of up to 300 yards, or as close as 3 feet
You're pointshooting a .357 at 300 yards? Um, no.

Last edited by kcshooter; May 28, 2007 at 01:00 PM.
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Old May 28, 2007, 11:56 AM   #17
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Let me first say that I'm relatively new to pistol shooting. When I first started I shot with one eye closed. I started hearing more and more that I needed to shoot with both eyes open. At first I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. I was using the method of focusing primarily on the front site and secondarily on the target. I started focusing primarily on the target and my accuracy increased exponentially.

Quote:
I practice with the pistol (.357) at ranges of up to 300 yards, or as close as 3 feet.
MacGille, I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert but 300 yards seems a tad ridiculous. Sure you didn't add an extra zero?
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Old May 28, 2007, 12:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Of course if you are 40 yards from the target or more then the sights will give better accuracy. I practice with ...
Quote:
You're pointshooting a .357 at 300 yards? Um, no.
Quote:
MacGille, I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert but 300 yards seems a tad ridiculous. Sure you didn't add an extra zero?
Let's all jump on Mac for what he didn't say.

Pops
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Old May 28, 2007, 12:27 PM   #19
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kcshooter,

You have made some assumptions about my level of training & experience which ... well, aren't warranted. I've only been shooting for 7 years. But during that time, I have taken multiple classes from Jim Cirillo, Marty Hayes, Massad Ayoob, Gabe Suarez, and others. I'm an assistant instructor at the Firearms Academy of Seattle and have been active in helping to establish the women's programs there. In short, what I said above was not because I am an inexperienced new shooter who doesn't know any better. It was the result of personal experience -- both in my own shooting, and in helping newcomers get up to speed in defensive shooting.

Most people have a dominant eye. Not all do.

Most people can be trained to shoot with both eyes open. Not all can.

Peripheral vision is important. Because of this, if possible, folks should train to shoot with both eyes open. If it is not possible (as it is not, for a small but not insignificant number of shooters), folks should do whatever they need to do in order to get their hits. In either case, it is very important to train yourself to habitually break out of the stress-induced tunnel vision after you shoot -- to consciously move your head and look at your surroundings.

When you look around, by the way, of course you have both eyes open, no matter what your eyes did when you were shooting. Closing one eye to shoot takes only a fraction of a second. As soon as the shot or shots have fired, you train yourself to immediately open both eyes, move your head, and REALLY LOOK at your surroundings, including the areas to the side and behind you.

Again. The ideal is to keep both eyes open. But it is not "the ONLY way to shoot." Not everyone can be trained to that ability.

Everyone can and should be trained to break out of the tunnel, by habit, as soon as they have stopped firing.

Techniques have to be adapted to the real world, and that includes working with the wiring people were born with. Just as some 10% of people cannot close one eye independent of the other (did you know that?), some small percentage of people do not have one eye which is dominant enough to take over the sighting task when both eyes are open. We have to work with the wiring people actually have, not with the wiring we wish they had.

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Old May 28, 2007, 12:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
You have made some assumptions about my level of training & experience which ... well, aren't warranted
I wasn't speaking about your ability, I am aware that you are well experienced. I should have said "One" instead of "You". It wasn't directed at you. I was speaking to those who are less experienced and may be reading this thread for that information. Those are the ones that will be inquiring about whether they should shoot with both eyes or just one.

I don't believe you can't be trained to shoot with both eyes. I've taught several people to do it. Sure, it may seem unnatural at first and go against your wiring, but that's why it's called training. The common knowledge of training like this is that there is not reason why you can't overcome the natural instict to shut one eye through practice. Some may need more than others to get past this but I beleive those who feel they need to shut one eye simply need to work on two eyed shooting instead of saying, "well I just can't do that".

I too am experienced, and have been shooting for about 10 years, shooting about 25,000 rounds a year for the last 5 years. I've taken a few classes, locally and at Chapman Acadamy. Every instructor I've ever had has taught that one eyed shooting is a crutch that needs to be overcome. I firmly believe that. My personal experience led me to this belief. It was very hard for me at first. Now it feels funny to have one eye shut. Why? Practice, and lots of it.
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Old May 28, 2007, 12:51 PM   #21
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kcshooter ~

Back a hundred years ago or so, schoolteachers all believed that left-handedness was simply a crutch, a case of the kid being stubborn, and that anyone could be taught to be right-handed.

Were they technically correct? I suppose so; entire generations of schoolchildren were forced to "be" right-handed, whether their personal wiring supported that practice or not. So technically, they were correct: any school child could be taught to be right-handed.

But among those students were a significant number of children who never did learn to write as easily, as quickly, as fluently, as they would have learned if they had been taught in accordance with their built-in wiring rather than in opposition to it. And the record also shows that lefties were far more likely than righties to drop out of school and thus never learn to write at all.

Appropos of nothing much...

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Old May 28, 2007, 12:56 PM   #22
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Quote:
I posted on an earlier thread one Q about sighting in a real SD situation: dosen't staying with the front sight while aiming prevent full awareness of what the perp is doing, including the possible awareness you've misinterpreted an agressive move and the perp is NOT actually a perp. On that other thread, a number of posters recommended POINT SHOOTING.
Focusing on the front sight does not prevent you from seeing what is taking place around you (what it does is tells you exactly where the shot will hit). Also, you shouldn't be pointing your pistol at the BG unless you have already made the decision to shoot.

Point shooting is not faster than using your sights. With proper training, anyone can be taught to draw and hit a target at 10 yds in under a second using the sights. There is no reason to not use the sights if using them is just as fast. The only time to not use them is if the BG is within arm's reach.

In the 20+ years I've been doing this and the thousands of people I have taught, I have yet to run across someone who cannot be trained to shoot w/both eyes open.
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Old May 28, 2007, 12:58 PM   #23
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Pax
I understand your point, but the difference is, what harm could come from left-handedness, (other than needing different scissors)?
In this situation, you are risking compromising safety when simply learning to do it another way would increase your ability to defend yourself.

A case of agree to disagree, I suppose.
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Old May 28, 2007, 01:11 PM   #24
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Especially for handguns, both eyes for me..... squinting one eye causes strain.. not as comfortable as both eyes open.... But to each his or her own.
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Old May 28, 2007, 01:19 PM   #25
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In this situation, you are risking compromising safety when simply learning to do it another way would increase your ability to defend yourself.
Actually, I covered that in my first post on this thread.

People who are not wired for the ability to focus on a small point with both eyes open have two distinct risks they encounter when they try to do it anyway:

1) Missing the target, and perhaps hitting an innocent while doing so. "You can't miss fast enough to win" applies not only to IPSC, but also to real life.

2) Fatal slowness, as the shooter battles with a confusing array of multiple, equally-bright images and must choose between them in a moment of high stress.

Both slowness and missing the target are more likely to get you killed than tunnel vision is, and the risk from tunnel vision can be reduced by deliberately training yourself to physically break out of it at the moment your finger comes off the trigger.

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