What do you do when your arms are too short?


January 23, 2010, 12:59 PM
When I last shot pistols (IPSC in the early 90's) my vision was 20/13 at ANY distance. It's probably still about 20/20... but only beyond arm's length.

I guess it's just presbyopia and presume it's rather common beyond a certain age. For doing things on my workbench a $12 pair of 1.25 WalMart cheaters resolves the issue; for reading, a pair of 1.5 reading glasses works fine.

With a shotgun or rifle, I can focus on the front sight; shooting a pistol offhand I can almost focus on the front sight. In a Weaver or isoceles stance, I can't focus on the pistol sights without glasses. With glasses, the pistol sights are sharp, but the target is very blurred.

My reading glasses are not safety glasses, and I should not be shooting without safety glasses, but it's awkward to wear safety glasses over the reading glasses. If I wear a pair of safety glasses with the little 1.25 inserts, I have to tilt my head way back to see through the inserts.

So, do I shoot with plain safety glasses and have a blurred sight picture, use magnified safety glasses and have a neck cramp, or wear safety goggles over my reading glasses?

I know lots of others deal with this issue. How do you handle it?

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January 23, 2010, 01:05 PM
If you carry a gun without glasses, then practice shooting without. I don't know what else to say.

January 23, 2010, 02:14 PM
Actually, my dry-fire practice lately (with snap-caps) around the house has been with and without glasses. Point-shooting practice (7-10 yds) at the range without glasses. Target shooting at longer distances with glasses.

I think for 25 or 50 yd target shooting, I'll be using safety glasses with magnified inserts.

I was simply wondering how others have dealt with vision challenges.

January 23, 2010, 02:23 PM
I shot for years with a progressive lens/bi-focal set up that was acceptable.
Last year while having cataract surgery, a laser surgery/ implant was performed.
My shooting with the "irons" has improved imensly.
Need the $2.00 "specials" for reading though.

deputy tom
January 23, 2010, 05:07 PM
I paint my front sights orange and shoot the fuzzy target.Works for me.tom.

January 23, 2010, 05:14 PM
I wear glasses full time. Some years ago now, I finally had to move to progressive (mulitfocal) lenses. I do look odd probably when I shoot, as I have to tip my head up to use the lower portion of the lenses, but they work great for shooting.

On my fixed sight revolvers, I am going to try some finger nail polish to paint the front sights (thinking white/orange/clear coat and outline the rear in white/clear coat).

The progressive lenses did take a good week or two to get used to (was very weird when first wearing them), but your eyes quickly learn to just shift their point of focus as needed without any real conscious thought.

January 23, 2010, 05:16 PM
Yep, focus ain't what it used to be for me either.

I just make the best of it and shoot poorly most of the time, especially when the light is dim.

January 23, 2010, 08:25 PM
Welcome to the club. I use weak reading glasses. I can shoot fine for a while. However let's say I want to test a load and see how accurate it is. My eyes get so tired I have to give them a rest of about ten seconds between shots after just a short time. Often I will look over the top into the distance to help recalibrate my eyes. My eyes not being able to focus for very long is the part that really bothers me.
Seven or eight years ago I quit shooting because I couldn't see the sights well enough to shoot accurately as I had been used to the prior 25 years. Being a handgun shooter all my life it had been pretty disheartening. The last year I've been laid off and decided I'm going to start shooting again no matter what. I can still shoot sub 1.5" groups at 25 yards but it takes more effort. Off hand getting a 4" group is difficult and 5" groups are probably my average. Unfortunately my ability to hold as steady as I used to also seems to have deteriorated. Fortunately I love to shoot and point shooting has always been fun. Point shooting is also a great way to let my eyes rest.

Elm Creek Smith
January 24, 2010, 02:41 AM
I wear progressive bifocals, and they work fine. One of my guns has CT laser grips, and putting the little red dot where I want the bullet to go is easy!


January 24, 2010, 03:27 AM
google, or bing, eye exercises, or the bates method. dropped my readers from 3.0s to 1s and can see front sight again. Before I retired some of the guys at work were getting dual progresive lens for reading guages and whatnot that were overhead. they have the close on top and bottom both never tried them but those that had them swore by them for shooting.

January 24, 2010, 07:22 AM
time to acknowledge the years, and pony up for progressive bifocals, like they said above

good news, if just now going to spectacles, you probably won't need a real strong correction, and should be real well pleased with the result (after a couple of days learning to walk without stumbling a bit)
but count on a newer stronger prescription every couple years, and even so, fuzzy front sightitus will gradually mean a less sharp top of sight, and some vertical stringing... but it ain't that bad

once you start wearing progressive bifocals, DO wear them always for everything

and welcome to the club !

January 24, 2010, 12:21 PM
I got a set of reading glasses that are safety rated. They don't really cost any more and you can buy them on line if you have your prescription.

January 24, 2010, 12:22 PM
Focus on the front sight, let your target be fuzzy.

January 24, 2010, 01:01 PM
Using these sights, you focus on your target and let the sights blur....

January 24, 2010, 01:03 PM
I wear progressive (lineless) bifocals. I've noticed if I wear them to shoot, I hit low and left when sighting with my left eye, and high and right when sighting with my right eye, put on regular safety glasses, and I'm back on (fuzzy) target. Anyone else experienced this?


January 24, 2010, 02:03 PM
get a 45/410 revolver,made in the u.s. then spray and pray,praise the lord and pass the ammo.

Ed Ames
January 24, 2010, 04:12 PM
A long time ago I read about a technique pioneered in the USSR that could help.

They would carefully break a too-short limb and then pin the bone with a slight gap between the broken ends. The gap filled in with new bone as the break healed. Each break would gain a few millimeters and they just repeated as needed until the desired length was reached.

They used the technique mostly for people with legs of different lengths but it might be worth a shot.

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