portland OR - looking for shooting friendly optometrist


March 21, 2009, 09:09 PM
Greetings all,

First post, just found THR, what a great site.

Question for the PDX readers. I'm knocking on 50, and my eyesight has really gone downhill the last 2 years. I can no longer see the front site worth a damn, and need to have (I think) a set of shooting glasses made, with the focal plane at the front site.

Can anyone recommend an optometrist who works with shooters? I have a pair of reading glasses, but without eyeglasses or with my prescription eyeglasses, I can't even see the front site...

This aging stuff isn't for sissies.

Thanks for any suggestions.


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March 21, 2009, 09:15 PM
Welcome to THR.
I use bifocal reading glasses. I need the 1.25+ bottom to see the front sight clearly. They are weak glasses so I can still see the target OK with the bottoms but if I want a clearer view of the target I use the upper part of the lens.

March 21, 2009, 09:35 PM
i may be mistaken, but it seems your primary concern is eye protection that is also prescription? assuming you already have eye glasses i suggest you buy the larger shooting glasses designed to go over them. this will save you a pretty-penny by not buying a special pair of shooting glasses


March 21, 2009, 09:51 PM
Thanks for the replies.

Sorry I wasn't clear in my original post.

I have prescription bi-focals that work well for reading, and everyday wear. However, I see almost nothing of the front site (of my pistols, rifles are a bit better).

It seems my glasses, while good for reading and driving, do a terrible job of focusing on something at the front sight distance. and I think I need a pair of glasses designed to let me focus on the front sight (and past).

Cannon, I have tried reading glasses, but given my fairly long arms (and 5" slide), it seems the distance they're good for (for me at least) is in closer than my shooting stance.


March 21, 2009, 10:55 PM
that's an excellent question. not sure if there is an answer, or all those old high power shooters would be using it

unfortunately laser surgery doesn't help that either

March 21, 2009, 10:59 PM
Try using the best optometrist there is, and explain the situation. Make sure they know you own the firearms for lawfull reasons.

March 21, 2009, 11:01 PM
Try posting this at northwestfirearms.com - there is a huge OR membership. I have heard of people having glasses made for what you are describing. If you don't find a "gunny" optometrist, don't worry. Frankly, any optometrist can do the math and set you up with a bifocal that shifts the two areas of focus to the distances you want.

March 21, 2009, 11:02 PM
I don't think you need a shooter-friendly doctor, just one who understands that you need to focus at a specific distance. Measure it with a tape measure and report it to the doctor. Doctors understand marksmanship and other sporting endeavors. No one will hurt you just because you're a shooter.

Other shooters recommended 'progressive' lenses (sometimes called computer lenses) but that was a very expensive mistake for me. It is typical of progressive lenses that only a narrow vertical corridor of lens actually is used for correction, which eliminated my peripheral vision. Straight reading glasses (correcting focus at the right distance to front sight) without bi-focal split works for me.

March 21, 2009, 11:14 PM
I have the same problem. Several years ago I ask the optometrist to fit me with bifocals with the "bifocal" lens on top. The focal distance for the top lens was the distence to my front sight. I found that it worked, I just lower my head when I need a crisp sight picture. For quick close range shots I don't lower my head, just look at the blur. I also found many other benefits, its just a better idea for me and my life style. Better posture too, from the need to keep your head erect to see under the upper lens. I'm on my second pair.

The optometrist had never heard of the idea. I learned it from an old guy years ago who had trifocals, with the top lens so he could see his sights.

good luck stan

March 21, 2009, 11:39 PM
I don't reccommend shooting friendly optometrists as they are hard to find.

I'd shoot the mean ones.

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