Damned Bifocals! (Long.)


July 20, 2004, 07:57 PM
My 15 year-old son has been down from NY vacationing with me. He loves to go shooting, and this year I got him his first pistol: A CZ P01. We spent several days at the range having a great time, he with his first pistol, me continuing the break in the Loaded Operator, the USP9, and shooting the Rock Island, the P22, and the P99...

Well, having my boy here was fun. I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, if I were in the barn. Normally, I'm - with all due humility - a great shot. I have been known to hit a soda can at 100 yards with a Garand's iron sights. Not today, I can't even hit a target at 15 yards. I know it's not the new Operator - it's not printing any particular place, just all *over* the place, left and low, right and high, left and high, right and low, and some actually this the 5 rings... with whatever pistol I'm shooting.

I'm down to 22 rounds of .45, and in an act of frustration, I take off my glasses. I've only been wearing glasses for 6 months, but when I do something, I do it all the way. My first glasses are bifocals. In 2 years I went from perfect vision - 20/10 - to 20/20, and I need reading glasses too. I got progressive lenses, because I teach tennis part time, and it is the best way to keep a ball in focus.

Now, this was a somewhat dumb move, because I didn't have any shooting glasses to use, and I removed them mainly because I was just frustrated, and wasn't really looking for an answer to my bad shooting. I just planned on burning up the rest of my ammo. Luckily, no injuries there, but I did notice one thing: Of my next 7-round mag, 5 were in the X-Ring!


I load my next mag, (this in the Rock Island) 4 in the X, 3 in the 10...

Next mag (+1 in the pipe: my last rounds, and in the Operator) shot at the 3 16-ounce waters bottles we set up on the berm at 25 yards: 3 shots, 3 bottles down, 2 still on the berm. 3 shots to hit these, and then the last 3 shots at my target, rapid-fire, all in the 10 ring.

Damned bifocals!

I don't know if there's some optical illusion, or scewing of the sight image when wearing glasses, but I just couldn't hit a thing until I took them off.

The only good news is that I can now say the Loaded Operator is *much* more accurate than I had given it credit for. Even the Rock Island, with its tiny sights is so much more fun to shoot. I'm just miffed that it took that long to start shooting the way I knew I could, and on the last day with my boy: I put him on a plane for home earlier this afternoon.

No real point to the story, just ranting over the glasses, and already missing my son...


If you enjoyed reading about "Damned Bifocals! (Long.)" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
July 20, 2004, 08:39 PM
I went from better than normal vision to bifocals as well. Part of the fun stuff one gets as one ages. I'm due for another script myself.

My eye doc is a shooter, so he takes everything into consideration. For me I have the lines in the bifocals, that is what's best for me.

Now I do shoot without my bifocals and use regular shooting glasses - or I have been. I have noticed a difference in my eyes like I said. With the bifocals I'm ok, but if not careful my head position is different from normal.

I'm fine with a shotgun, with non script shooting glasses...just don't ask me to read or sign anywhere...keep your finger on the spot on the score sheet, otherwise who knows where I'll sign it.

I had some static stick on 'scripted stick on dealies I used , these work fine. They come in various 'scripts, I put these on my regular shooting glasses and they don't interfere, some folks use on regular sunglasses to tie knots when fishing.

Where these static 'scripts really come in handy...when you are trying to do something "up" like hammer a nail, drill a hole, put in a screw, the bifocal is in the wrong place...putting glasses on upside down don't work.

I got mine from my eye doc, not expensive, and I figure I can "get by" with these cheaper and more versatile when my eyes change , than the expense of 'scripted shooting glasses.

I can't find a link I had to show these. Call your doc and ask, he will know, they may even be available locally. Seems like I paid $20 for 3 pair. I really can't remember...

Art Eatman
July 20, 2004, 10:54 PM
I wear trifocals.

I shoot pistol via Weaver stance. I have an extra lens glued to the upper inner corner of the lens of my master eye. It's oval, about 1/2" by 3/4". Since I wear aviator-style glasses, it doesn't take up too much space.

The grind of this add-on lens is the same as the middle grind of the trifocals; about fingertip focus with arms outstretched. Works for the panel of a 172 or the instruments on a car's dash--or for pistol sights. It's not bad for iron sights on a rifle, as well.

It doesn't matter that the edges of a target are a bit fuzzy; the sights are razor sharp.


July 20, 2004, 11:41 PM
Weaver here as well, these static thingies are about that shape and size I referred to. One can place them where needed. I use the old Aviator style as well...my Zeiss walked off. With shotguns I want the glasses to ride higher so I won't raise my head.
We are on the same page... just individual adaptations.

July 21, 2004, 08:29 AM
Before I retired my job as a millwright had me in all kinds of positions looking at things from all angles. I got a set of safety glasses made with the bifocal at the top and bottom portions of the lens while the regular prescription was thin strip right in the middle. I use these glasses as my shooting glasses and only have to slightly tilt my head down for the sights to be perfectly clear. With my regular glasses I have to tilt my head back and can't hit squat.

July 21, 2004, 08:31 AM
My eye doc promised me that my wife, who is a bit younger than me, would get bi-focals first. He lied.

I've had the invisilines for several years now. I've had no trouble shooting with them.

I guess I lucked out.

July 21, 2004, 09:38 AM
I had a pair of progressive lenses...for less than 48 hours. I hated them. Too much blur to the sides. My eye doctor (who is a turkey hunter) made me a pair of tri-focals with yellow lenses. The bi-focal is for reading, loading, up close work and the tri-focal is a prescription that allows me to focus on the front sight. This set up works great for me. Experimenting with shooting lenses can be expensive. But, you can't hit what you can't see. :cool:

July 21, 2004, 11:24 AM
I'm 41 now and have been wearing bifocals since I was 10 (that is NOT a typo, ten years old). I tell you this to say that I have long experience with the beasties.

I switched to progressives a few years ago and I personally like them. They took some getting used to, but now I find I adjust my head tilt without thinking about it. They're especially nice since I use a computer all day, the distance script on my old non-progressives was too long, the close-in was too short, so I got lots of headaches. I tried a second pair of glasses with a different script just for the tube, but I'd find I forgot to change when I got up to go to the men's room, or switching when I went from reading something on my desk to using the tube was a problem.

My advice to those trying the progressives is to give them a couple weeks. I hated mine at first, but now don't know how I did without them. Then once you get used to them they should improve your shooting too, you can get the correct focus on the front sight.

Now if only going down stairs wasn't such a problem...... :what:

July 22, 2004, 07:23 AM
I transitioned to "lined" bifocals for computer work at 35, and for all up close vision needs at 36. I have two different sets of prescription lenses, one with a computer distance correction and the bifocal for really precise work (like reading the values of 0805 resistors and surface-mount soldering) and a second, distance-only, prescription for my non-shooting needs. To be able to shoot both handguns and shotguns also required two prescription inserts for my shooting glasses. So, yes, I have four different sets of prescriptions, and I have backups for all of that. Thus, my optician smiles when I walk in the door.)

The shotgun one was easy; it was just a single lens distance prescription -- but not the same one as I use to drive. This prescription is really good for focusing on the target -- since the rib is a blur.

The handgun prescription took some experimentation to get right. I started with my distance prescription in the upper section and my computer RX in the bottom section with the line in the same place as my work glasses. This led to lots of head bending to see the sights, or I found the target was in sharp focus while the front sight was a blur. Needless to say, my groups were patterns. The next version used my computer RX in the upper section and a variant of my "detail" RX for the lower section. So far, this has worked although I had to adjust the sights on all of my pistols since I now shoot two to three inches to the right at 25 yards from where I shot before.

This has not been much fun at all.

If you enjoyed reading about "Damned Bifocals! (Long.)" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!