Need help with glasses/sighting


April 14, 2003, 04:50 PM
I wear reading glasses. At 56 it is unavoidable. I can shoot really well with them on. The sights on my 92FS are clear and crisp, the target however is a litte blurry but I do okay. Now the delema. I never wear my glasses except when reading or shooting. When I shoot without them, I can't line up the sights. The target is clear but I can't hit it.
Anyone else have this problem? If we get CCW, and there is a real good shot this year, I guess I'll have to get some kind of bi-focal that would let me see normally but also read and shoot. Just curious to find out what the rest of you do.

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Mal H
April 14, 2003, 05:05 PM
Move over a little Rickstir, because there's a whole lot of us in the same boat. :)

I also have to use reading glasses to shoot well. I find it better to have a clear picture of the sights than of the target. In other words, it's better to line up sharp sights at a fuzzy target than to line up fuzzy sights at a sharp target.

If I understand your question, it is should you worry about that problem if the time ever comes when you have to use your CCW for real? I don't think it will be a problem. In general, you will not be aiming in the same way as you do when target practicing. Wearing bifocals would probably be worse. First of all, you would still have to put them on just as you would have to put on reading glasses. Second, I think it would make aiming even more difficult.

It is a good idea to practice using close targets without any glasses (other than plain safety glasses) just to assure yourself that you won't miss the target as much as you might think. You're most likely not going to have any glasses at all, including safety glasses, when the time comes.

April 14, 2003, 05:08 PM
Rickstir: You might want to practice point shooting at short distances (say out to 20 feet or so). Bring the gun up to your normal eye level two-handed stance, but focus on the target instead of the sights. It isn't as accurate as using the sights, but it can work in a pinch.

George Hill
April 14, 2003, 05:11 PM
Man, that is the question isn't it?

I'm not as old as you are - but my eyes are becoming an issue. Has been for the last 6 years I guess... and just recently I've been starting to do something about it.

I'm hearing a lot of good things about this "See Clearly Method" which from what I understand is just some "Eye Excercises"... but supposedly they really do help.
My Wiffy and I are taking an herbal suppliment that is formulated for strengthen the eyes... and I think it's working. We shall see if that pans out.

Barring these or laser surgery, there are a couple hardware options...
Express Sights (what used to be called Ashley Express Sights) These have a bigger front sight dot that is easyier and faster to pick up with less than perfect eyes.
Optima. An electronic red dot that is quite popular with those that have used it even but once. I have to admit, I like it too.

Just some options for you to look at.

April 14, 2003, 05:31 PM
You've got OFD (old farts disease). I will tell you how to geta round it (learned from an old pro). Go to the optometrist and take the SLIDe off your 92... don't take the whole gun. Have him adjusta scrip for you where it is just enough that you can focus on the sights at normal firing distance. If you don't want to take the slide, a business card is OK. Hold it at sighting length and make sure you can read all the little letters clearly. That's the scrip for the sighting eye... just enough so you can bring the sights into focus. Then get your normal (distance) prescription in the other eye.

There is another tool called a Meritt sighter which is basically an adjustable peep hole device you stick to your sighting lense. You will not believe how much better you will see the target with one of these. I swear by them. I don't have their website but you can find them.

April 14, 2003, 06:43 PM
I wear progressive bifocals and I painted the front site of my carry revolver with some bright orange paint. I've worn glasses for about 15 years for distance, mainly driving, and just recently had the addition made for close work. I shoot well enough with this that I am confident I could stop a BG. It is so lovely to be able to see everything clearly that I find myself wearing them more often than I have in the past.

Ala Dan
April 14, 2003, 06:50 PM
I wear the Var-i-Lux bifocal lens when reading and
shooting. Mine have the "Hi-Viz" yellow tint;
where the sight's of my handgun are perfectly clear.
One would be surprised to see how their score will
increase; if prescription glasses are needed!

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

April 14, 2003, 08:44 PM
While I am much younger (just turned 36) than most people who need bifocals, I just transitioned to them this year for work. My professional work involves a lot of close-up work with very, very small electronic parts, and I need the bifocals to see the parts and their terminals. Kinda hard to solder if one only sees a blur instead of distinct terminals. Because my work is so close, my bifocals are the older, distinct change from distance to near vision type.

When I shoot, I do not use my bifocals, but I have found a trick that helps. I usually wear a ball cap to keep brass out of my face, and if the brim of the cap is pulled down so it is just above the front sight, it really sharpens the front sight. This works for target shooting, but for CCW practice, I just focus on the front sight (I use a plain black post) and let the target "blur out". The resulting accuracy is good enough (for now).

I do need to try the Merit sight disc.

Standing Wolf
April 14, 2003, 09:06 PM
The answer is at

The Merit peep sight attaches to your glasses with a small rubber suction cup. It's diaphragm is adjustable to your eye. I paid about $75 for one five or six years ago, and it's proved well worth the expense.

Jim Watson
April 15, 2003, 09:13 AM
As Bountyhunter says, you can have shooting glasses' lens for your master eye ground to see your sights best. You will likely be able to see the target a **little** better than with reading glasses which focus closer than arm's length.

A Merit aperture will help, and there is another, less expensive version recently on the market. There is also the Clearsight which clamps to shooting glasses' frame like a jeweler's loupe and holds a low power "diopter" corrective lens you select for sight distance.

Decot Hy-Wyd and Hansen Eagle Eye make inverted bifocal shooting glasses. Straight ahead is distance vision, drop your head a little, as most shooters do, to see the front sight clearly.

Of course you are not likely to have any of these things on when you go to the convenience store. And I doubt you would have the presence of mind to crane your neck to see the sights through bifocals like my FLG does when testing guns he has worked on. All I can suggest for CCW is some experimentation with high visibility sights. The XS Big Dot might be what it takes to get close enough to center at self defense distances.

April 15, 2003, 01:52 PM
"you can have shooting glasses' lens for your master eye ground to see your sights best. You will likely be able to see the target a **little** better than with reading glasses which focus closer than arm's length.

A Merit aperture will help, "

At the risk of sounding like a lunatic: I have an "intermediate"scrip on my shooting eye and also use a Merit sighter. With the sighter cranked down just right, I get a sight picture where the black bull center on the bullseye target is sharp at 25 yards and the sights are also sharply focused with my eye relaxed. Sounds impossible, but it isn't. You actually can focus on teo things at once with one of those sighters. I adjust my gun sights for the "six o'clock" sight method and can really aim the gun perfectly. I shot 298/300 and 297/300 last night at bullseye with my iron sights gun. Not bad for an old fart, but seeing both the sights and the target clearly is almost like cheating.

Standing Wolf
April 15, 2003, 09:13 PM
...seeing both the sights and the target clearly is almost like cheating...

I'm sure I'd weep for joy.

April 17, 2003, 11:15 AM
Varifocal lenses, which are bi-focals without the lines. It makes a BIG difference! When I had to requalify for my CCW last year, I shot a 249 out of 250 with a G30 due to my new glasses!

Old age is hell. Not growing old is worse...............


Texas Bob
April 18, 2003, 05:21 AM
Back to your original question, it seems you are telling us you go about your daily business without wearing glasses and you are concerned about "seeing" the sights if a self-defense situation happened and you were ccw. My vote would be for the XS Express Big Dot sights, formally Ashley Express. You sound like you are NON-LEO(myself included), which means, realisticly "our" probable "worst" encounter would be a close range affair. I do not use these sights for target work, however I found I can still see them with my glasses off, never know when an old-fart might get knocked down and loose your glasses. Hope this helps.:)

April 18, 2003, 06:07 AM
You can purchase "stick on" plastic-flexible bi-focal lenses at different stores. the are about the size of a quarter cut in half and I put one the right lens of my shooting glasses where I view the sight. You can get them in different strenghts. also saw them at my optometrists office. Don't remember the brand name off hand. They work great for me. Good luck.


April 18, 2003, 06:36 AM
Your main concern should be how to assure that when you get CCW you will be able to hit a BG at combat distances, 21 feet or less. As has been stated here, chances are you will not be wearing your glasses, (I know I dont) so the main thing is to practice without them at these ranges. Wear safety glasses of course and after just a little practice, your ablity to acquire and hit the target this way should improve dramatically. The Express sights might help you, and a friend of mine went the ultimate distance by having hie master eye Lasixed to reading distance and his non master eye done to distance vision prescription. He swears it works but I would be wary.

smooth operator
April 20, 2003, 07:38 PM
If you can afford it get LASIKS. I'm 51 going on 52 & have worn glasses since I was in 4th grade. I definitely didn't want bifocals progressive or otherwise. I couldn"t read the number on my cell phone when I answered it without looking over my glasses & pulling it away from me or read the date & day on my watch. I got LASIKs over 2 years ago-monovision, one eye for distance & one for close up work. I can sight & shoot my guns, read small print & see distance. No more fumbling for my glasses to see the alarm clock, no more heavy frames cutting into my face etc. Actually it's nice having to wear regular protective eyewear at the range. I can truely say it was one of the best things I ever did for me.

April 20, 2003, 10:38 PM
I just dont know how that stuff works. Putting two different perscriptions on your eyes. Thats gota really mess you up.

But dont worry it happens to everyone. I have wore glasses/contacts since i was around 6 and I still have trouble at the range. Even with my contacts in I cant get a good focus on the sights. One is always out of focus even tho they arent really susposed to be. When i say out of foucs its pretty bad, not just blurry. But I do ok now that ive noticed that. The target is basicly burred out, I have no idea where the 10 ring is sometimes. I have to really change focus a few times and concentrate. But practice how you are normaly. I wear conctacts 16 hours a day unless a BG comes at me in my sleep Ill likely have them in.

smooth operator
April 21, 2003, 03:07 PM
It works good. Most people walk around with one eye being stronger anyway. The dominant eye is the one I shoot with & it is set for distance. The othe eye is for reading. The brain just compensates & puts it all together. I don't understand it either, but the Dr. told me if I didn't like it he would have set both eyes for distance. I don't get the headaches etc I've gotten before.
It's worth checking out most Drs around here will give a free appt to see if LASIK can help. I went to 3 Drs. before I found one I was comfotable with.

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