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Old April 19, 2017, 12:17 AM   #1
AL45
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How to shoot with Bi-focals

With my glasses, I can see a mile away and read up close, but the intermediate range is tough. When shooting handguns, if I focus on the target, the sights are a LITTLE blurry, whereas if I focus on the sights, the target is VERY blurry. I have found that I shoot much tighter groups if I focus on the sights and aim at the center of the blurry target. Would tri-focals solve the problem or should I just keep shooting at blurry targets?
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Old April 19, 2017, 01:06 AM   #2
mete
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Even a normal eye cannot focus three points at once.
The front sight should be perfectly focused ! That's why in some of the IPSC matches shooters would wander around mumbling 'front sight ,front sight '
If necessary you can roughly line things up with target focus ,then just before shooting bring your focus back to the front sight !!
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Old April 19, 2017, 07:58 AM   #3
dahermit
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Quote:
Even a normal eye cannot focus three points at once.
The front sight should be perfectly focused ! That's why in some of the IPSC matches shooters would wander around mumbling 'front sight ,front sight '
If necessary you can roughly line things up with target focus ,then just before shooting bring your focus back to the front sight !!
That advice pertains to people who are not trying to shoot with bifocals. The point the original poster was trying to make was that neither lens was good for focusing on the front sight...the close up part of the bifocal has its focal point way too close and the distant focal point of the top lens area kept him from focusing on the front sight. In other words, neither part of the bifocal enables a clear image of the front sight. In my case, I have given up on bifocals for shooting, I just go with a standard pair of shooting glasses and do my best to focus on the front sight...bifocals just make it worse.
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Old April 19, 2017, 08:08 AM   #4
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Visit you optomitrist and take a yard stick or some sort of dowel with you and tape a "sight" (pencil stub, screw, etc) on the stick at around 24-27" and explain to him that you want a pair of lenses made up so that you can sharply focus on the "sight" at the 24-27" mark. Tell him what you're trying to do. I've had several pairs made up over the years and they all worked very well. No one, not even with the best eyes in the world, can focus at two different distances at one time. That's just impossible for anyone. Before Lasik surgery, back when I was younger, my vision was 20/15 and I couldn't do it, and after Lasik it's back to 20/15 and I still can't do it. You need a pair of Intermediate lenses made for shooting. Your focus should be sharply on the front sight and the target will be a bit blurry with these lenses.....and that's what you want.
Note: these don't need to be expensive glasses. You can get a really inexpensive pair made up for under a hundred bucks. Some of the eye glass places advertise two pairs and an exam for sixty-nine dollars....and they'll work just fine. Have you considered using a red dot sight? I have them on all my handguns, both target and hunting. You can use the glasses you have now and you'll be amazed how well you can shoot using a red dot.
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Old April 19, 2017, 09:01 AM   #5
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The transition with bifocals proved to be as you describe.
Too much confusion when just tilting my head, let alone trying to find the right combination for shooting.
I went with a division of lenses, but right and left instead of up and down.
Right lens for the sights and left one for the target.
Works much better, at least for me.
And it didn't even require the expense of an eye doctor.
Just two eye glasses from the drugstore rack, with suitable lenses installed in one frame.
Cheap and effective.
Maybe not so hot for other things, but for shooting, they're great.
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Old April 19, 2017, 09:25 AM   #6
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I have prescription shooting glasses I got when I was trap shooting. They work well for rifle and pistol also. The prescription is for distance rather than close
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Old April 19, 2017, 10:18 AM   #7
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Dedicated shooting glasses are one option. I have dedicated music glasses, with lenses for the distance from my eye to the music stand of a piano, for the same reason. My everyday glasses are progressives. I can find the right spot in the progressive lenses, but it is easier during performance to use the music glasses, let the conductor be a little out of focus but visible and usable, and concentrate on my music rather than concentrate on finding the right spot on the progressive lenses.

I have never used trifocals, but I would imagine them to be similar. Trifocals or progressives would be decent options for you, I would think.

If you decide on getting shooting glasses, it would be advisable to also use your everyday glasses at least some, whether they are bifocal, trifocal, or progressive, so that you have some feel for how they will act in a defensive situation. Personally, I just shoot with my progressives, so that it is pretty automatic for me to find the sweet spot in the lens at the same time that I find the front sight.

Last edited by TailGator; April 19, 2017 at 11:30 AM.
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Old April 19, 2017, 10:44 AM   #8
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I now use progressive lenses, but I used trifocals for years. Both work well with a little practice. Bifocals did not allow for a clear sight picture.
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Old April 19, 2017, 11:17 AM   #9
Glenn E. Meyer
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I use progressives. I thought about dedicated pistol glasses as that's my main shooting paradigm. However, since I focus mostly on self-defense oriented competitions, I decided to shoot with my every day glasses.

I'm thinking about more visible sights on my pistols. I had fiber optics on my Glock 19 but the fiber optic just fell out in the middle of a match. There are better ones but sloth prevents me from pursuing that.
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Old April 19, 2017, 08:53 PM   #10
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I have progressive lenses and at first, I had issues. However, I kept shooting and for some reason, I have adjusted and have no problems at all now. It seems natural now.
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Old April 20, 2017, 10:16 AM   #11
Jim Watson
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I have shooting glasses with the right lens focused on the sights, the left lens focused at distance.

I sometimes practice with SD weapons in my street progressives.
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Old April 20, 2017, 11:00 AM   #12
Carne Frio
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I went to trifocals about 10 years ago.
The reason was so that I could use my
work and home computers. The front
site being perfectly in focus is an added
benefit.
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Old April 20, 2017, 12:15 PM   #13
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They take some getting used to, but I switched to progressive lenses a few years back. I hated them at first but stuck with them. With the right cut they are good. The pattern for lots of computer use seems to be the best all around and works,we'll for shooting.
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Old April 20, 2017, 04:59 PM   #14
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Use stick-on bifocal lenses

You can use the stick on bifocal lenses (https://www.amazon.com/Optx-20-Stick...eading+glasses).

Just stick one lens in the appropriate spot on your dominant eye glasses lens; leave the other lens clear. This should allow easy front sight acquisition without head tilting. Yet when not needed they simply peel off for reuse later.
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Old April 20, 2017, 08:24 PM   #15
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I bought a pair of sport glasses with the right lens adjusted for 28" focus. The left is distance with a bifocal for reading.
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Old April 20, 2017, 10:04 PM   #16
Mike38
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Here's what I did after asking my eye doctor a ton of questions, and spending literal hours searching on the internet, I came up with a solution. May not work for everyone, but it works great for me. Wearing your normal bi-focal glasses, go to WalMart, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, or just about any place that sells those cheap "Reading Glasses". Grab a pair of 1.0 readers, and put them on over the top of your regular glasses. Stand back at arms length, pointer finger extended, from something to read. You will be looking through your distance lenes and these readers at the same time. Is it nice and focused? If not, try the next pair stronger, such as 1.25 or 1.5. What I did was try and read a period at the end of a sentence of normal sized typing letters. Without the readers over my regular glasses, I could not see a period at arms length. With the readers I could see the period. This was with 1.0 readers. I bought these along with 1.25. The cost was $10 total.

Went to the range to try it out. With the 1.0 readers over my regular glasses the rear sight was a bit blurry (like it's supposed to be) the front sight was clear and sharp (like it's supposed to be) and the target a little more blurry than the rear sight (like it's supposed to be). I shot very well. I then tried the 1.25 readers over my regular glasses. This time the front sight was even sharper, but, the target was way too blurry. Did not shoot as well. I found a happy medium with the 1.0 readers.

I then decided that I looked like a goon wearing two pair of glasses, so back to the internet I went. I found on ebay what they call "clip on flip up readers". They are just like those clip on sun glasses, but are readers. I ordered a pair of 1.0 for $15. They work so well for me while shooting I bought another set for back up. When loading mags, scoring targets, etc, you just flip up the readers. Flip them back down to shoot.

Words can't describe how happy I am being able to shoot iron sights again. I am back up to shooting as a Master in PPC, and should soon jump up a class in Precision Pistol. I can even shoot a rifle with iron sights again. I am one happy camper!

Edit: I forgot to add, this set up works two fold for me. I am wearing those "clip on flip up readers" as I type this. It works great as computer glasses.

Last edited by Mike38; April 20, 2017 at 10:11 PM.
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Old April 20, 2017, 11:17 PM   #17
Cirdan
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I have progressives. Kept working at it until I got just the right angle.

Having said that, after a session at the range it takes about 10 minutes for my eyes to reset.
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Old April 21, 2017, 04:11 AM   #18
cptjack
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take me glasses off to shoot my peep sight see better with white out on front sight
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Old April 21, 2017, 10:18 AM   #19
Glenn E. Meyer
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Taking off glasses to shoot is not recommended, folks.
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Old April 21, 2017, 11:22 AM   #20
K_Mac
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Taking off glasses or needing a separate pair to shoot accurately isn't an option I could live with. I understand having a dedicated pair for competition, but your daily wear glasses have to be usable in a self-defense situation. There are too many options available not to in my opinion.
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Old April 21, 2017, 03:45 PM   #21
AL45
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All things considered, it looks like it is time for tri-focals.
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Old April 21, 2017, 07:27 PM   #22
osbornk
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Quote:
All things considered, it looks like it is time for tri-focals.
I think progressives would work better at a far better price. Once you get accustomed to them, they work automatically. I recently replaced mine at Walmart. They had a pretty good frame for $9 and my out the door cost for my progressives was $88. They work well for me.
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Old April 22, 2017, 07:17 AM   #23
Jim Watson
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I wear dedicated right eye sight focus shooting glasses for most of my pistol shooting, but I occasionally exercise a SD gun in my street progressives. I wear the progressives for chronographing or function testing ammo so I can read my test program and make legible notes.

I saw a shooter with a flip down lens over his aiming eye only. The bracket for the other eye was empty, I assume he modified the $10 reader to suit himself.



Quote:
Taking off glasses to shoot is not recommended, folks.
Pistol shooters seem more careful about eye protection.
Glasses are required at the ranges/matches where I shoot.

Shotgunners seem to wear glasses mostly to get the strange colors advertised to make clay pigeons show up better.

Rifle shooters are very lax about it. Iron sight target shooters will normally be seen with one of those monocle affairs about an inch diameter over the aiming eye and nothing or maybe a thin plastic blinder over the other eye. I have shot BPCR and seen a lot of naked eyes behind Sharps rifles.
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Old April 22, 2017, 11:33 PM   #24
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In a perfect world, one should hard focus on the front sight which would make the rear sight and the target fuzzy and out of focus.

However, with my old eyes and tri-focals, a perfect world is just something I vaguely remember from the past. I originally tried using my mid range lenses to acquire the front sight as I was coming up on the target. Sure that works when shooting at paper but I was taking much too long in defensive practice.

I now practice with the top or distant lens in my tri-focal glasses. Everything is a bit fuzzy but I am able to acquire both the front sight and the target with ease. And, as I got used to this I found the rear sight just naturally aligned.

The key, I believe, is to find what works for you and your glasses, and practice and then practice some more until you acquire a level of ability that meets your standards of excellence.
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Old April 23, 2017, 04:16 AM   #25
armoredman
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I got my very first bifocals a few weeks ago, the no-line progressive style. Once I got used to them, I have had no difficulty whatsoever shooting handgun or long gun. Perhaps as my eyes age and get progressively worse that might change.
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