One eye or two.


August 22, 2007, 12:13 PM
I wonder if you could give an inexperienced Limey some help on the matter of aiming with open sights.

Should I aim with both eyes open or one eye shut?

I suppose the answer is that it depends on the individual, but I've noticed that whilst most Olympic target shooters cover one eye to shoot, a few keep both open.

I'd appreciate your advice.

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Big Az Al
August 22, 2007, 12:34 PM
Have been all my shooting life.

For me as I have learned shooting trap and skeet, my eyes are not only very equal, one day one eye is dominent, the next day it is the other. Trying two eyed techniques, and stratageys to over come this just cunfuses the heck out of me, and puts my shooting in the tank. SO I am A one eyed shooter!

I hear I am puttting my self at a disadvantage, but with all things we do it is what fits us as individuals that is what we should do! Kind of like a baseball players hitting, some of our best home run hitters have, stance steps style and swing that would and will drive a little league coach to distraction, but their successes are inargueable!

Three of the best all around shooters I have ever known are or where One eye shooters, they didn't have a choice in the matter either! They just overcame adversity!

Steve C
August 22, 2007, 01:12 PM
I use both eyes open when shooting a shotgun as the targets or game are generally moving.

For handgun on reactive targets that are timed like steel plates or bowling pins I keep both eyes open but for precision bullseye targets, esp. slow fire, I occlude the left eye with a patch, piece of tape over the left lens or close it.

Shooting a rifle with a aperture or peep sight I'll close or squint the non aiming eye and generally do the same with open sights.

The most important thing when shooting a handgun or rifle is to focus on the front sight and not on the target or the rear sight. If using a non optical sight the target and the rear sight should be "fuzzy".

August 22, 2007, 01:54 PM
Practice both and see which is more accurate for you. Shoot a lot of rounds trying out both methods, it may surprise you which is more accurate.

August 22, 2007, 04:30 PM
Since you drive on the wrong side of the road, will it matter? :D

Seriously...try it as much as you can. A lot of it will depend on what kind of shooting you do, your stance, and what's comfortable. I learned to shoot (with rifles) with both eyes open, even with a scope. It drove my dad nuts watching me do that. He couldn't do it; had to have one eye closed. Of course, he also said he couldn't see the front sight anyway...maybe that's why I always won our 100 meter steel plate ringing contests :p


August 22, 2007, 06:04 PM
i need all the help i can get.....two eyes....gpr

Carl N. Brown
August 22, 2007, 06:25 PM
I shoot with both eyes open, wearing safety glasses of course.

Harley Quinn
August 22, 2007, 06:46 PM
It really depends on the what you are shooting.
If you are hunting game birds on the slopes using a shotgun, most use 2.

If you are target shooting and a scope you are one eyed as a rule.

With hand guns and target shooting with both eyes is an advantage later, if you are in a fire fight...(I would prefer to have both eyes for that one)

But target shooting many use the one eye routine, if holding the handgun with one hand. If you are into the fast paced two hand hold many are using both eyes.

Train both ways is my advise.


August 22, 2007, 07:38 PM
I have heard from more than one person that two eyes is a faster and easier way to shoot a handgun, but I have never been able to do it with anything approaching speed. Actually, I pretty much have never been able to do it period, lol. When shotgunning, I keep both eyes open, but my brain works very differently when I shotgun than it does when I shoot handgun or rifle.

August 22, 2007, 08:06 PM
2 eyes for shotty and handgun and 1 eye for rifles

August 22, 2007, 09:43 PM
I don't have a choice. I CAN'T shoot with both eyes open. Just doesn't work for me. If you CAN, two eyes is ok. Don't lose any sleep if you can't.

August 22, 2007, 10:07 PM
I can align iron sights with two eyes open, but I'm slower and less accurate.

I think in a real gunfight - at real gunfight distances - you will have both eyes open, and you will not be using the sights. Whoever shoots first wins.

Steel Talon
August 22, 2007, 11:31 PM
Even scoped I keep both open. The only time I close one eye is to maintain night vision. For movement/re-targeting aqusition.


August 22, 2007, 11:50 PM
To answer your question, in a word; Yes.

I try to practice at least once a week with live fire at the range, drawing from concealed and open carry. As a lefty I carry 10 o'clock, IWB. Typically I practice 1-7 yards, low weaver point shooting, six o'clock weaver. Old FBI draw, and side draw one-hand left. And slow fire right-hand. So therefore I shoot left eye, right eye, and both eyes.

Since my favorite defensive arm is my SP-101 I also regularly practice dry firing throughout the week.

August 23, 2007, 12:15 AM
I think if you have a choice 2 eyes is better in many ways. I would suggest you try both eyes open first. I honestly think it is worth a concerted effort to develop the both eyes open method across the board. What first convinced me was shotguns.
It is touted more in combat/defensive/skeet circles. I have seen improvements in my handgun shooting. My rifle shooting is also better with irons and scopes as well.
I started off when 1 eye was the way everyone taught & accepted. Now the rage is both eyes open. I've been trying both eyes open. Reprogramming a habit is not easy. I use sight pictures with a hand gun or rifle, similar to dry firing without pulling trigger. Scope by itself (off of gun) outside on my front porch.
It took some work, but I've gotten to where its natural to keep 2 open. After just working on sighting, then I shot air rifle & .22lr using both eyes. After I felt it worked for me then I used centerfire calibers. Mainly because I'm cheap & didn't want to waste money on struggling with a concept. I also felt separating some of the learning into non-shooting sessions works better.

I would not say 1 eyed is wrong, I'm glad a worked through the transition to 2 eyed. You can't argue with success if 1 eyed works better for someone.

August 23, 2007, 12:18 AM
Double post

August 23, 2007, 02:39 PM
Shouldn't eye dominance be the main consideration when determining whether or not to shoot with two eyes verses one?

If your left eye dominant and shoot right handed your at a disadvantage with both eyes open as you'll be looking across the barrel rather than straight down. Shut your left eye or learn to shoot left handed.

August 24, 2007, 12:04 PM

August 24, 2007, 12:13 PM
I have tried two eyed shooting and I just can't do it! I am very right eye dominant. What I have tried to make a habit of doing, particularly when shooting at moving targets as in hunting or clay pigeon shooting, is to track the target with two eyes until the barrel catches up with the target and then partially close my left eye until I have eliminated any chance of double vision. I think my astigmatism may have a lot to do with this.

I have also seen several bench rest shooters and Trap/Skeet shooters that hold bothe eyes open, but have a patch over the left eye of their shooting glasses. Works for them, but I have tried it and it drives me to distraction.

Bottom line is, whatever works for you and produces the best results

August 24, 2007, 08:24 PM
As this is posted in the Handgun section, I'll proceed assuming the use of one and exclude shotguns and long-guns from the discussion.

If your mechanics are sound, it isn't that big of a deal whether you are right or left eye dominant.

Good mechanics (for fast, combat type work) will have the pistol gripped in line with your arm, such that pointing your arm at the target will have the pistol aligned properly. This is imperative for night shooting as the sights will probably be too dim to use. If you have the proper hold on the pistol, you don't even need to use the sights to hit a man-sized target at close range. Point your arm and the round will hit.

When you present the pistol held as described above, placing your strong side eye (forget the dominant thing) OVER the arm, locked with a cheek weld to your shoulder muscle and looking straight down the arm, you will see the sights just fine.

Even if not strong side dominant, you will see a set of sights aligned really close to where you want to hit. Use them! Hit your target!

Also, while writing this novel.....I'd recommend focusing ON the target, rather than trying to do the Front Sight Clear, Target and Rear Sight Blurry deal. In a stressful situation, you WILL focus on the THREAT. You will NOT be able to withdraw your focus to the front sight. No way. Better to practice shooting the way you actually will be shooting to save your bacon, and accept a bit of imprecision when punching papers full of holes....compared to one-eyeing it and being super precise.

Oh, I attached a pic of an S-1 Target shot @ 50feet with a Kimber 5" 45. 10 mags of mixed (three different kinds) of lead 230's...under a minute. The methods work pretty well with a bit of practice.

August 24, 2007, 08:58 PM
Both - I focus on the target as well (which is technically incorrect for shooting targets - but works real well when the game's on for real).

August 27, 2007, 11:12 AM
Thanks a lot for all your posts.

August 27, 2007, 06:03 PM
both eyes OPEN! :eek:

Average Joe
August 27, 2007, 07:54 PM
Shotgun both open, Pistol & Rifle, one eye closed(tried both open, just can't do it) and sometimes both eyes closed....those aren't my best shots..

August 27, 2007, 07:56 PM
I agree that you should try both methods and see what works best for you.

In my experience, whether I use 1 eye or 2 depends on the sights, the lighting, and the target. The easily-visible sights on my Glocks allow me comfortable use with both eyes open but the GI sights on my 1911 take the focus of 1 eye to use.

August 27, 2007, 08:09 PM
For me, it depends on the range to target. I'd prefer to keep both eyes open, since closing one eye creates a little bit of physical stress. But I can only do it at short ranges - out to 25 feet or so - so that's how I practice with snubby handguns and compact autos. If I'm shooting a full-size handgun at 50 feet or farther, both eyes open just doesn't work for me - I get confusing double images, so I have to close one eye.

Chris Rhines
August 27, 2007, 08:21 PM
If you have two functional eyes, you should be using both of them.

- Chris

August 27, 2007, 10:24 PM
Both open with a handgun, shotgun, any open sighted firearm, longbow, slingshot, and rocks; 1 open when using optics. As stated before, find what works for you.

August 27, 2007, 11:16 PM
I shot for a couple years with just my dominant eye. Then I decided to try two, with the belief that it would be advantageous in a defensive situation. It took a few tries, but once I got it, I found that I actually shoot better with two eyes.

August 29, 2007, 01:08 AM
I shoot with both eyes open out to around 25 yards.

1911 guy
August 29, 2007, 07:56 AM
I had the advantage of learning from the "git-go" from my Dad who stressed shooting with both eyes open. He'd seen the elephant a time or two and explained to me, as a very young man, that whether it's buck fever or an honest to goodness fight, tunnel vision can be a real possibility and you'd best get every advantage you can. He went so far as to cut me off from my ammo supply for a few weeks if he caught me closing one eye.

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