Keep both eyes open when shooting?


November 6, 2006, 09:29 PM
With iron sights, do people keep both eyes open when aiming? I usually close my other eye, but today tried keeping it open while aiming. It was great when it worked, but I soon went back to closing the other eye.

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November 6, 2006, 09:38 PM
I sure can't do it with my 91/30. Then again, I've always closed one eye - maybe I just need to try harder and/or practice more.

November 6, 2006, 09:38 PM
ArmedBear pushed me (in a roundabout way that he probably doesn't even recall) to get better at this, and he was right. Aiming with a level head and both eyes open is Da Bomb. In the last six months, I've gotten pretty proficient with it both in handguns and rifles, irons and optics. Sadly, I still can't quite keep my hit percentages up at clays with both eyes open but I'm working on it. :)

November 6, 2006, 09:50 PM
When I finally broke down & got the lessons I needed, I was taught to shoot w/ both eyes long gun or handgun, both of my eyes are open :what: :D

November 6, 2006, 10:03 PM
Both eyes open for me. I had it easy though because I started shooting this way from the very beginning.

November 6, 2006, 10:11 PM
Handguns, yes. Rifles, no.

November 6, 2006, 10:26 PM
Yes; irons or scopes.


November 6, 2006, 10:45 PM
I say two eyes open with a rifle out to 30 yards with iron or red-dot or holosight. Any thing further a definte closed eye will be more accurate in hitting where you want.

November 6, 2006, 11:03 PM
yes, it is the preferred method. for a bunch of reasons, eye strain, "visual purple" chemical, eye wobble,other eye mechanics factors. for field purpose, it will give you a sense of more briteness, and clarity,( a symbiotic thing) also if you are hunting, your other eye will allow you to see a much bigger field of view, or if something else is moving towards your sight pic.

November 6, 2006, 11:06 PM
Both eyes open all the time, when I shoot match however I have both eyes open but the left side of my glasses is covered.

November 7, 2006, 08:30 AM
With iron sights, no, but with my Mosin Nagant, yes.(when I have my EER scope on it, that is) :)

Thin Black Line
November 7, 2006, 08:46 AM
Both eyes for CQB irons, both eyes for red dot to 100 yds, one eye for
precision with any type of site at any distance.

Two eye shooting is difficult if you don't have a consistent dominant eye.
Eye fatigue can also affect this.

November 7, 2006, 09:05 AM
I was trying this the other day while shooting my Ithaca Deerslayer 12ga with open sights. I can get my right eye focused on the front sight and my left eye focused on the target at the same time. I can only hold that for a couple seconds but It would be cool if I could hold it for as long as I wanted.

I put 10 slugs into a dollar-bill sized group at 50 yards this way.

November 7, 2006, 09:22 AM
both eyes open

Bartholomew Roberts
November 7, 2006, 09:39 AM
Both eyes open all the time for all sights here.

November 7, 2006, 10:53 AM
I shoot both left and right handed and also use both eyes. I used to play a lot of paintball and it really helped to switch hands to work the opposite side of a piece of cover. I keep both eyes open almost whole time but when shooting left handed my left eye is behind the sight and right handed my right eye is. I find I do still close the other eye in the instant before I fire.

November 7, 2006, 02:20 PM
Actually, closing the left eye (RH shooter) is best for target shooting, especially long range slow fire, as it reduces eye fatigue and improves sight picture. I would suspect it would be next to impossible to do if one is left eye dominant and shoots right handed or vice-versa. If you have difficulty keeping the non-dominant eye open when shooting, try placing a piece of opaque scotch tape on the lense of your glasses to serve as a "blinder"; this allows equal amt. of light to both eyes and further lessens eye strain, works better than a patch.

One can learn to keep both eyes open even with higher power scopes, as has been said, in addition to lessening eye fatigue (important to match shooting long slow fire strings), the wider field of view is beneficial to action type shooters as well as hunters.


November 7, 2006, 02:32 PM
It is apparently a better method, but I have to confess that I have never gotten the hang of shooting iron sights with both eyes open. I can shoot a scope with both eyes open, but I am so slow to gain a sight picture, that I just forgo it. The only exception to this is shotgunning, but I consider shotgun marksmanship, at least in terms of clays or birds, to be a totally different operation than handgun or rifle marksmanship.

November 7, 2006, 04:29 PM
When shooting with a red dot scope, both eyes open. All other times, one eye. :scrutiny:

November 7, 2006, 06:19 PM
I keep both eyes open for all shooting. I can't see handicapping myself by closing one eye

November 7, 2006, 08:17 PM
Both eyes open for scope or open sights. I find that I half-squint my left eye when shooting open sights at long range, tho. Of course you have to make sure the eye you are sighting with is your dominant eye, but you've probably already done that. With both eyes open you've got your peripheral vision and depth perception going for you. Shooting one-eyed you lose both of those.

Some people have a hard time quickly acquiring their target thru a scope, or getting all the components of open or peep sights aligned with each other and with the target. The wrong way to do it is to close one eye, shoulder the rifle and look thru the scope (or along the sights) and then try to track the target down.

The way I learned to do it is like this:

- With both eyes open, and looking at the target, raise the rifle and point it at the target like a stick. Look over the top of the scope (or sights) while you do this. Don't look thru the scope or try to align the sights yet. Just point the rifle like a stick. It will be a couple of inches away from your shoulder at this point.

- Smoothly bring the rifle to your shoulder and lower your head until you've got your cheek welded to that sweet spot where the eye relief and eye-to- scope (or sight) alignment are perfect. Both eyes are still open. This is the part that takes practice, but it's the most important part.

- The target will be somewhere in the scope, or with open sights, they will be somewhere on the target. Make a minor adjustment to bring the crosshair, or sights, onto the spot you want to hit, and that's all there is to it. With either a scope or open or peep sights the trick is to train your eyes and body to weld the rifle to your cheek and shoulder in such a way that the sights are lined up with your eyes properly every time. The sights or scope may not be perfectly aimed at the target, but your eyes, and the sights, are properly aligned every time. Then, a quick minor adjustment is all that is needed to get on-target. I think acheiving this sight (or scope) alignment automatically, and consistently, is the same whether you are shooting a rifle with any kind of sights, or a shotgun.

This takes some practice, but it's not hard to master.

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