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Old March 31, 2006, 10:06 PM   #1
Join Date: March 14, 2006
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Shooting with both eyes open

First of all, I'm not sure if one way is wrong or just not as good. I've learned to shoot my handguns with my right (dominant) eye open while shutting my left eye. Now I'm trying to learn to shoot with both eyes open. I think that this is the better way to shoot. I've just started practicing this way and my accuracy is way off. I can't seem to focus on the front sight clearly, while fading out the rears and the target like I can when my left eye if closed.

Any suggestions?
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Old April 1, 2006, 08:41 AM   #2
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More practice! I was just like you and it was difficult to switch to both eyes. It can be done. It ain't easy. I still squint one eye when shooting bullseye. Quantrill
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Old April 1, 2006, 11:00 AM   #3
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Put a small piece of scotch tape 1/2" x 1/2" (or a vaseline smudge) on your shooting glasses right in front of your non dominate eye pupil. Get the feel of it and train your dominate eye. Later, try squinting the non dominate eye.
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Old April 1, 2006, 09:55 PM   #4
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Are you sure your right eye is dominant? When I went from just plinking at the range to pratcical shooting, I thought I was r. eye dominant. When I started bringing my left eye into line, everything became clearer.

Another trick to practice is to take a pen between your thumb and forefinger at arms length and point it at small objects. Move it to different aim points at various distances. That helped train my eyes to work together. The benifit is you can do that anywhere.
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Old April 2, 2006, 12:26 AM   #5
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I am left-eye dominant and right handed. Shooting rifles I use an eye patch over my left eye. This is the only way I have been able to clearly see through a scope.

Using a shotgun, I can quickly close my left eye during the shot while wing-shooting.

My problem stems from the fact that I can close my left eye, but not keep it closed for any duration. This is why I use the patch for shooting a rifle.

I have been working at keeping my left eye closed during my range visits while shooting my handgun. Tonight, however, I think I have decided to try: 1. Shooting with both eyes open, or 2. Aiming with my left eye while shooting right handed. I think either of these 2 methods will be easier for me. Especially #2.
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Old April 2, 2006, 12:30 AM   #6
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It is a sacrifice but, keep practicing - it's our burden to develop things like that!

Seriously, I've found the thing that has helped me most over the years is dry fire practice at home. Works for me.

OJ -
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Old April 2, 2006, 01:56 AM   #7
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I too am learning to keep both eyes open. I can do it fairly well when skeet shooting, but handgun has been more difficult for some reason. But I agree with the others, it's a practice deal. I am getting better but there are days when it's worse for me. Maybe light conditions or mental block...who knows?

I like the pen idea. you can practice that in the bank or grocery store, where the dry firing may get you in deep trouble

Below is a tool that may work like the tape method that Lycanthrope mentioned above, but not sure if it's the same deal or not. Take a look.

Lyman's new Eyeglass Diopter instantly improves eye focus for shooters with prescription glasses. Eliminates target fuzzing and distortion. Mounts directly to the eyeglass lens, rubber suction cup will not scratch lens. It is the ideal product for shooters whose eyes simply don't focus the way they used to.
Item #3112020

It's kinda goofy looking and I think I have seen shooters using a homemade version of this on the skeet fields. Don't know if this would help with keeping both eyes open or not. Take a look. (Is that a pun)?

BANG------------ >>> !
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Old April 2, 2006, 07:25 AM   #8
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I also have to put a small piece of "opaque" tape over my non-shooting eye. I'm right handed, left eye dominant. If I don't, sometimes I can see another gun coming in from a different angle. I also keep glasses in my shooting bag that are taped off for right or left eye shooting. I've learned to shoot left handed in bullseye/international, but shoot right handed when I do the action stuff. If you can learn to shoot with both eyes open-do it! I have a tremor in my right arm, tennis elbow in my left, and need glasses. Try and keep both eyes open, wether you tape the non-dominant eye or not. There might be less fatigue on the shooting eye. BTW I also do Summer Biathlon and started out with a right handed rifle. It got to the point when I came into the shooting range I could'nt see the 50 meter target correct. The black circles all looked like half moons and I could'nt tell if I hit a target or not....Solution....Buy a $3000 Anschutz 1827 Fortner in left hand and learn to shoot lefty! It might have been cheaper for me to get laser surgery on my right eye
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Old April 2, 2006, 09:17 PM   #9
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I always thought that I was right-eye dominant, but now I'm thinking that maybe my left eye is equally stong and neither is dominant. Maybe that's why when I shoot with both eyes open, I see two angles to my gun??

Does the patch over the left eye help in training to shoot with both eyes open or is it just an alternative to closing my left eye? I can comfortably keep the left eye shut while shooting. Thats not a problem.

The problem is that I see two of everything when both eyes are open.
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Old April 3, 2006, 07:48 PM   #10
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also have to put a small piece of "opaque" tape over my non-shooting eye

gets my vote
Have a nice day at the range

NRA Life Member
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Old April 3, 2006, 08:01 PM   #11
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The idea of placing an 0pque piece of tape over the non-shooting eye is it allows both eyes to be open to the same amount of light but only the shooting eye sees the sights and target. Supposedly causing less eye fatigue. You only need a strip or two of tape to block the non-shooting eye. If I shoot with both eyes open I also see converging pistols. This is only target shooting at a range, hunters and police need both eyes to see. Competitors at percision pistol events might have side blinders, eye cover for the non-shooting eye and may look through an adjustable iris(similar to a pinhole) to get the right sight picture. Also different diaopter lenses(like reading glasses) to focus on the front sight. I'd try an inexpensive pair of saftey glasses and some tape just to see if it helps.
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Old April 7, 2006, 08:54 PM   #12
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I tried putting a strip of scotch tape over my left lens today at the range. It felt awkward looking through them when I wasn't aiming, but my eyes felt very comfortable when shooting. To be honest, the first 10 minutes or 25 or so shots were all grouped at 1 o'clock. They were tighter than usual, but off the bullseye. Very weird! After those, the last 125 or so felt much better. Hopefully sometime in the near future I can take the tape off and still shoot well with both eyes open.
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Old April 8, 2006, 12:43 AM   #13
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Maintain a perfect isosceles triangle with your arms and see if they still group at 1 O'clock. My hunch is that you are favoring your left side.
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Old April 16, 2006, 06:12 PM   #14
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The more I read this, the more I'm convinced you're actually left-dominant. It's been my experience that when you're shooting from your dominant eye the state of the other eye doesn't affect your accuracy.
Your brain only uses the information from one eye to compute angular relationships. The other is used to supplement that information for triangulation ranging.
Try shooting a left-eye only string and then repeat with both eyes open. If you miss in the same place both times that's the problem.
Or better yet, point at your light switch with your index finger. Now close your left eye. Are you still pointing at the switch?
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Old April 30, 2006, 08:28 PM   #15
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Ummm... I believe those of you who are seeing two "converging" pistols are not focusing on the front sight. I think you are focusing on the target instead. When I focus on my thumb at arm's length I see one thumb. Same with the front sight. I do see two light switches, door knobs (with thumb) or targets (with pistol) though. At arm's length you should be able to focus on your thumb with both eyes without seeing two thumbs. Anything past the front sight should split into double vision as your line of sight from both eyes will cross at the sight and be offset past that.

I find it extremely hard to shoot with both eyes open so I don't do it. I don't always totally shut my left (non-dominant) eye but rather I just squint it enough to eliminate or blur the image of the "second" target in my "double vision". It's just a lot easier for me to do that than to deal with the double images of the target.

Being right eye dominant though, if I align the image of the front sight with the image of the target to my right hand side I can hit the target. When it comes down to being liable for every round I shoot though, I don't want to be dealing with two images of the target to choose from.
Si vis pacem, para bellum...

"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Jeff Cooper
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Old May 1, 2006, 11:05 AM   #16
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As a professional shooter with the same problem you have, here is the solution that I have used for almost 20 years. As mentioned, place a strip of transparent tape over the top half of the left lens of your glasses. Placement is important. To make sure it is positioned correctly, close your right eye and extend your arms like you are shooting. The tape should occlude everything past your wrist. If you can see your hands, then lower the tape, if you can't see your wrists, raise it. You should only need to do this with iron sights - not with optics. The tape allows you the benefit of binoucular peripheral vision and depth perception while eliminating the double front sight. You will find that shooting with both eyes open is much easier, faster and more consistent than closing one eye. BTW, this was a problem for me and I am not "cross eye dominant".

To find out which eye is dominant, extend both arms in front of you. Make a circle with your hands. Look through the circle and pick a small object. Focus on the object. While keeping perfect focus on the object, pull your hands closer and closer to your face until they touch it. Keep the object in clear focus and your hands will go to your dominant eye.
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Old July 14, 2006, 03:03 PM   #17
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I just started trying to shoot with both eyes open with my hand gun like i was taught with the M4 and M16. Center mass. Not dead on yet but i'm hitting in the 8 point range.
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Old July 14, 2006, 07:39 PM   #18
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I suggest more practice. Make a clear and safe weapon, and then practice focussing on the front sight with both eyes open. Do this a lot, and with different targets at different ranges. Then try it on the range, first at close ranges until you're comfortable, and then move the targets back when you're ready.

I find I can shoot pretty well (nothing that will win an accuracy competition, but definitely well enough to drop a BG) with both eyes open, but only at very close range...Say 20 feet or so.

I haven't tried this with a rifle yet, but when I get a chance I'll post my findings.
Real men use iron sights.

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Old July 20, 2006, 04:43 PM   #19
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some people dont shoot textbook IMO. some of us are weirdos. like me, im left handed, right eye dominant, and shoot right handed, whether its pistol rifle or bow. ive tried left handed rifles and it just dont feel right. i can shoot great right handed though. the key is to find your dominant eye. i can rifle shoot with both eyes and find aqquiring targets alot easier with both eyes. bows the same way. but pistols are a differrent story for me. and i cant shooe a pistol for sheizz.
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Old July 23, 2006, 02:37 PM   #20
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Right handed shooter, left eye dominant here...

I just squint my right eye, while bringing the pistol in line with my left. I shoot a modified Weaver stance and it Works quite effectively for me. I second dry fire practice at home...
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Old July 26, 2006, 07:03 PM   #21
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I've been shooting with both eyes open for quite some time, but it did take some getting used to. I'm right handed / right eye dominant, but slightly short-sighted in my right eye. My problem was one gun but two "targets". I had to experiment on my stance, turning my body, turning my head slightly or bending my arms to vary the distance between my eye and the gun until I found one whereupon the front sight fell naturally into focus and the real background target becoming apparent while my brain learned to ignore the "ghost" target.
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