Eyesight and Shooting


January 16, 2003, 11:46 AM
Okay Ladies and Gentlemen, I need some input.

Having reached a certain age in life...you know into that decade that begins with a 4....I find that keeping the front sight and the target in the same focal plane is increasingly difficult.

Right now I'm wearing single vision lenses, but will likely go to bi-focals at the next eye exam. I did try the progressive lenses for awhile, but gave them up as they required you to look straight at whatever it is you're looking at, required too much head rotation, and not looking right at people while you watch them is sometimes a necessity. :D

Maybe, at some point, optics is a necessity rather than a luxury.

How have you solved your "aging eyes" quandry?

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January 16, 2003, 11:53 AM
Gave up on progressives. Couldn't get used to them.

An IDPA champion I know turned me on to the current soluiton I use. I had my shooting glasses made with the gun side lens ground for perfect focus at arm's length and the other lens ground for distance.

The brain reconciles the two so I see the gun and target perfectly clear.

They're for shooting, and that was brought home when I used them for day to day correction. They're a little hinky while driving, but they're sure great for shooting! :neener:

January 16, 2003, 12:02 PM
Since I am 58 yrs old, I have 'been there-done that'. I wear the progressives. Sure, they take time to get used to and there are some things they are never going to be good for. However, for shooting, I find they work for me. Since you can 'focus' them for different distances by 'head tilt', you can 'bullseye' shoot with one arm fully extended AND 'weaver' or 'isoceles' with both hands, elbows bent a little. The sights are at two different distances with the two methods and both can be 'dialed in'.

Ain't but one cure for old age! Don't want that one!

January 16, 2003, 12:08 PM
I feel your pain. My decade starts with a high number than yours.

You don't say what your sight problem is (near or far sighted). I am far sighted (can't focus on things close up). I went to red dot sights on all my bullseye guns and that was a big improvement. I doubt I could even get through a 270-shot match with iron sights.

I also wear progressive lenses, which work OK for EIC matches where iron sights are required. Though I don't need glasses to drive, or for anything other than reading, I've found it just as easy to wear them all the time.

January 16, 2003, 12:10 PM
Actually, you don't keep the front sight in the same focal plane as the target. You focus on the sight alignment (particularly front sight) and let the target dissolve into a fuzzy blob.

January 16, 2003, 12:39 PM
a flip-down disc over the lens of my shooting glasses which has multiple peep apertures of different sizes and positions, called the "Farrsight". It lets me keep the sights in focus, and I don't need to see the bull clearly; it's just a fuzzy blur. At 10 meters for air pistol, I can't see hits in the white even with glasses, so you can imagine just how bad my distance viosion is getting, but it doesn't matter as long as I can see the sights clearly.

For rifle, I dunno. Haven't done that much rifle target shooting these last few years.

January 16, 2003, 03:53 PM
:what: :cool: I keep telling myself that if I had better vision, I'd shoot better...if I got rid of excuses, I'd have to actually have to start shooting better! :neener:

January 16, 2003, 04:22 PM
I like Blackhawks solution for the problem. I will have to try that. I use progressives, but I found an eye doctor that let me bring a couple of my guns into his office and he tried several different diopter lenses to find a power that allowed my old eyes to see the front sight in sharp focus and the rear sights almost in focus. Right now I use some "stick-on" plastic fresnel (sp?) lenses placed on the glasses where you would normally look through the lenes when shooting. I also had the "seg" as he called it raised up from the usual place they put it on "standard" progressives, this makes it so that without the stick-ons, I can still see the sights well enough to shoot without tilting my head back.

Ed Brunner
January 16, 2003, 04:36 PM
I would suggest that you look at the lenses available from:

Still, I like the idea of two different lenses.

January 16, 2003, 04:48 PM
This thread better not spiral into an old man crankfest.

Last year I found out some guy that is always shooting at my gun club was 78.:)

No, his name was not C.R.Sam.

January 16, 2003, 05:11 PM
just learn to live with it. Shooting a pistol is easy as you can add a red dot sight to shoot bullseye or many of the other pistol competitions. Rifles can be fitted with optical sights. I have two of Darrells scout mounts on my Mosin Nagants and with a pistol scope everything is hunky dory. I still shoot alot of my milsurps with iron sight and just shoot at 50 yards instead of 100. I have been wearing glasses since I was 10 so it is nothing new to me and I have progressive lenses. I just move my head around a little and my close up seeing is more flexable and you don't have to "jump" to another bifocal or trifocal segment. It is a smooth transition from reading something to looking at the computer screen. Its the price of getting old.....chris3

January 16, 2003, 05:34 PM
As I've mentioned a zillion times before, I also wear one of those adjustable discs on my shooting glasses (actually, they're reading glasses).

For awhile, I was aiming for the center of the fuzzy black circle, but found that too imprecise. So I made my own targets that have a 1" bullseye that's white. It's much easier to find the center now.

Jim Watson
January 16, 2003, 05:45 PM
I have been running the system described by Blackhawk for some time. It is the best way to go for action shooting like IDPA, IPSC, or CAS.
For bullseye or other precision shooting the clip on aperture, the clipon lens (Clearsight) or the inverted bifocal from Hansen are good.
No way I am going to crane my neck back to aim through my progressives except for a few shots to say, check out a new gun.

I know one shooter who had Lasik and had her master eye permanently corrected to front sight distance. That seems a little much, but there are plenty of folks out there with Monovision contacts, post cataract implants, or Lasik giving them near vision in one eye, distant in the other.

January 16, 2003, 05:57 PM
Roger on breakin the big-4-0.
I have noticed lately that my right eye gets strained, and fuzzy after a good range session of say 75 rifle shots at 50 yds.

Guess it's time to get something done about it. Thanks for posting on this subject.

Art Eatman
January 16, 2003, 06:48 PM
Been wearing tri-focals for several years; previously had bi-focals.

I wear the aviator-style lenses. I have an oval lens, 1/2" x 3/4", glued to the upper inside of my strong-eye lens. It gives the same grind as the middle part of the main lens, which puts arms-length objects in focus. Instrument panel, gunsights...

The location makes it perfect for Weaver stance with a handgun, or for a .22 rifle with iron sights. It's not in the way for a scoped rifle. I don't notice it in day-to-day use.

It's also a conversation-starter when folks ask if my glasses are broken. :D


January 16, 2003, 07:10 PM
I'm over the big 4-0. Do you mean to sat I can say that my poor shooting can be blamed on visual problems. Woo-Hoo!:D

I think though that I might check out Blackhawks solution!

Standing Wolf
January 16, 2003, 09:16 PM
I'm four and fifty years of age, and can usually see the hand in front of my faceā€”as long as I've got my glasses on. I wear trifocal glasses to read and drive, and bifocals to compute and paint and shoot.

The Merit peep sight (http://www.meritcorporation.com) has been my constant range companion for the larger part of a decade now. It makes an enormous difference. I use it with iron sights and red dot alike.

I make a point of practicing defensive shooting without it now and then, and definitely don't shoot as well.

January 16, 2003, 09:41 PM
Saw a infomercial the other day about Lasik, and what the spec-op guys are doing to have good combat vision.

Depending on how the eyes need to be corrected,
one eye will be used for distance, and the other for close up.

Interesting info.


Guy B. Meredith
January 17, 2003, 01:47 AM
I found that progressives have a focus zone for the front sight that is one computer character wide. I now use computer distance lenses as the front sight is the critical component and let the target fuzz. The Merit device is something I've found intriguing for target shooting but have not put out the few dollars to get one.

January 17, 2003, 06:42 AM
someone asked earlier whether apertures like the Merit disc or the Farrsight are permitted in bullseys competition. Anybody know for sure? My copy of the NRA rules is from '94 and says nothing about it except that any sight on teh gun is permitted so long as it doesn't project something onto the target, e.g. a laser sight.

Ed Brunner
January 17, 2003, 07:07 AM
I have seen another accessory, but I can't locate a reference. It is a plastic bifocal lense that attaches itself to your glasses. It is almost like the window tinting plastic, it can removed and put back on etc. You can put it in any position on your lens.

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