One or Both Eyes Open
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Thread: One or Both Eyes Open

  1. #1
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    One or Both Eyes Open

    Since I was a kid with long guns I was taught to shoot with both eyes open, except if using a scope. I felt like it really worked good especially when rabbit, bird, or skeet shooting a moving target. It gave me depth of field, good judge of distance, and helped lead moving targets. But now that I have a semi auto handgun has me revisiting the subject.

    Not what the heck the difference is, but shooting with both eyes open with a pistol is different and I am having some issues with double vision. I think it has something to do with the front site being much closer to me vs a riffle or shotgun. My gut tells me for self defense I would want both eyes open for situation awareness. With that said at the range I can shoot with both eyes open, but I find myself having to squint or shake my head yo see the front sight with my dominant eye.

    So what do you think? Which way do you shoot and why?

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    Senior Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Both eyes wide open. Reason? If I have to pull my sidearm and use it in my defense, I want to see as much of what is in front and to the sides of me as possible. Of course I know that in an extreme encounter, I am likely to experience tunnel vision but still, I want to see all I am able to see. Besides, keeping both eyes open is how I train, how I shoot. When you have both eyes open, your brain will automatically favor your dominate eye. Try this.

    Using the isosceles stance, hold your gun (unloaded) out and point at a target on a wall, with both eyes open. Close one eye, then open that eye and close your other eye. When closing one of your eyes, yous should see that your sight picture remains centered on your target. When closing the other one, the sight picture will shift. The eye that, when closed, does not cause a shift is your dominate eye. Your brain knows this and will compensate just fine.

    So keep both of your eyes open. You will want to know as much as possible what is happening around you if you ever have to use your friend.

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    Senior Member Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    I close my weak-side, non-dominant eye.
    It's a throwback from rifle shooting, but even in that discipline it's no longer considered the best practice.

    I admit to sometimes leaving both eyes open at riflery, when I remember to do it. My 'scope is of low power specifically for that purpose.
    But it takes a force of will and a couple of deep breaths to get me to remember to do it.

    I also leave both eyes open when shooting the pistol in the dark (or semi-dark). But that's because I don't use the sights in the darkness. So I need binocular vision to line-up the silhouette of my pistol with its target.

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    Member Kennydale's Avatar
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    I would prefer both eyes, BUT my trainer wants me doing my best POPEYE imitation

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    Could be eye dominance issue? Many people never check/learn they are cross-dominant. My wife shot for years before I met her and never knew she was left-eye dominant as a right hand shooter. It's simple to check.

    Determining eye dominance

    I transitioned to "both eyes open" several years ago. Hard at first but in time it becomes natural (at least it did for me). However, I should handguns almost exclusively and from a defensive perspective I like the increased peripheral vision shooting this way.

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    Senior Member Cait43's Avatar
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    It takes some getting used to.........


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    Member AZdave's Avatar
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    My 2 cents is that it depends on what works best for you. Stick to it and practice.
    Steve M1911A1 and SouthernBoy like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZdave View Post
    My 2 cents is that it depends on what works best for you. Stick to it and practice.
    That is kind of what I was thinking. I have always aimed with both eyes open, but that is with long guns. With pistols I am getting double vision. I can only guess it is because the Front sight is so much closer than a long gun is messing with my brain. I will keep trying both eyes open, but if push comes to shove, I will use Popeye method as I am grouping good and on target with Popeye.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dereckbc View Post
    That is kind of what I was thinking. I have always aimed with both eyes open, but that is with long guns. With pistols I am getting double vision. I can only guess it is because the Front sight is so much closer than a long gun is messing with my brain. I will keep trying both eyes open, but if push comes to shove, I will use Popeye method as I am grouping good and on target with Popeye.
    Try relaxing or partially closing the eye until the double vision disappears.

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    image.jpeg

    To be fair, it looks like Glock Team member Randi Rogers is squinting her non-dominant eye. Which is better than closing it entirely—IF we’re talking about “proper” self-defense shooting. This snap hails from the 2010 USPSA Georgia State Championship, where Ms. Rogers placed in the top five overall in five stages and won the Ladies Production championship. “Georgia State was a great way to continue the practical shooting portion of the shooting season,” Rogers said. “The match had a great mixture of target placement including moving targets, tight leans and partially obscured targets.” Partially obscured because she was squinting? I kid. So, do you keep both eyes open, squint one, or close one when you shoot

  11. #11
    Member TurboHonda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pic View Post
    Try relaxing or partially closing the eye until the double vision disappears.
    Good advice. I was taught at an early age to focus with the shooting eye and lazy eye the other one. Even when using a scope I do that. When using a high power rifle, the recoil will blank out the good eye and allow the lazy eye to immediately assess the results.

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