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Teach me how to shoot with one eye shut

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by JBrady555, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. JBrady555

    JBrady555 Well-Known Member

    Hey guys I recently started pistol shooting after years of competitive shotgun clay target shooting. When shooting clays my method was total focus on the target with both eyes open and as long as my head was down on the stock of the gun, the gun would shoot where I was looking. I was very successful shooting like this.

    Once I started pistol shooting the only was I was half assed decent was shooting with a method similar to that of my shotgun method. I would have total two eye focus on the target and I could see the three dots on my gun in a blur, but enough to kinda line them up. But the most important thing was both eyes focused on the target and staying smooth on the trigger. This works ok, especially at HD distances like less than 30 ft.

    I want to learn to shoot better but I don't know how. My current method is very inconsistant at distaces outside of about 10 yards and sometimes even at shorter distances. I've tried shooting with one eye closed but I'm even less consistant like this. When I shoot with one eye shut I can focus on the front sight but then the target is in a blur. How can this produce accurate shooting? I love shooting with both eyes open especially when training for self defense situations but I also want to learn to bullseye shoot 50ft plus.

    Can someone help guide on the best ways to train for different situations. Should I learn to shoot both ways one for close up fighting style situations, and the other way for long distance competition style shots? Also could you explain what your sight picture and focus is on for one eye closed and both eye open shooting. Also I am right handed and right eye dominant, just to kinda rule that out for anyone wondering.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    Shoot with both eyes open. Some guys struggle with being able to master what you can already do. Both eyes open is always better.
  3. JBrady555

    JBrady555 Well-Known Member

    I do like both eyes open better but it just seems to be worthless to me on longer distance shots.
  4. forindooruseonly

    forindooruseonly Well-Known Member

    Don't focus on the target, focus on the front sight. The target should be the blur, not the sights. Always focus on the sight. This cannot be overstated. If the sight isn't aligned when the gun goes off, it's all for naught.

    Next thing you should think about is trigger control. Dry fire - the sights shouldn't move as the trigger is pulled and the hammer or striker or whatever falls.

    Follow through. Keep your poise as if you are still shooting. Don't drop the hold, raise your head, ect. Act like you are still firing.

    That's my .02 cents.
  5. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

    Both eyes open is almost a must with action shooting because of the peripheral vision needed and the requirement to be able to judge distance.

    With target shooting at a known difference (and the target doesn't move) the above requirements aren't important, but closing one eye will cause a strain on the other eye which isn't good for fine precision. If you can't manage using both eyes, get a "blinder" for the off eye. (I've seen some shooters that just put tape on their safety glasses lens to block the vision of the non-sighting eye.)
  6. JBrady555

    JBrady555 Well-Known Member

    If I'm focusing on the front sight only and the target is a blur, how do you hit those ten rings at 50ft? Also as I'm sitting here in my living room trying to do what your saying I can only focus on the front sight with one eye closed, if I try to focus on the sight with both eyes open I can't even find the front sight in between the two rear sights. The only way I can see the front sight with both eyes open is if I focus on my target and blur all three sights. I hope this makes sense. Thanks for the help.
  7. hammerklavier

    hammerklavier Well-Known Member

    What he said.

    Do you know which is your dominate eye? That could help you to know which eye to focus with.
  8. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    Always shoot handguns with both eyes open. Even precision pistol competitors who shoot international style and NRA Bullseye style matches shoot with both eyes open.

    If you're talking about shooting for precision at a fixed target, then you need to set up first, and this includes getting your natural point of aim down. By the time you're actually aiming at the target, you're just using the sights on the pistol to make sure the gun is aligned correctly. Other than that, it's an issue of knowing where to hold. For instance, a lot of bullseye shooters will regulate the sights on their guns so that a six o'clock hold on the target results in a round that goes into the ten ring. That gives a pretty solid visual indicator of where to hold the gun, even though the target looks blurry.
  9. Freedom_fighter_in_IL

    Freedom_fighter_in_IL Well-Known Member

    uhoh. Sounds like you MIGHT have an eye dominance issue. With shotguns, it's not as pronounced. With rifle,pistol sites, it becomes a problem. Pick an object on your wall about 10 feet away, point your finger at it with both eyes open, close one eye at a time, whichever is looking right down your finger to the object you are pointing at is your dominant eye. If you are right handed and left eye dominant, it can be a bit difficult to shoot rifle/pistol with both eyes open and your weaker eye may not focus well when shutting the other eye for one eye closed. I have to scope everything nowadays being old as dirt and all but I shoot handgun left handed because of the eye dominance. I am naturally left handed but in the dark ages when I was young, they converted all of us lefties over to right handed so it wasn't that hard for me to switch up. But I still shoot bow and rifle right handed. If it is an eye dominance issue, you will just have to train yourself with a lot of practice. If you really find you are having a overly hard time with it, try switching up to left handed handgun shooting.
  10. T Bran

    T Bran Well-Known Member

    How is your vision ?
    One of the first signs that I needed glasses was not being able to see both sites and the target clearly. One would blur if I focused on that one the target would blur and so on drove me nuts till someone suggested an eye exam. They were rite things are better now that my shooting glasses are prescription.
    Have your eyes examined you may be surprised what you have been missing.
    Best of luck.
  11. JBrady555

    JBrady555 Well-Known Member

    I'm right eye dominant and right handed and as far as vision goes, I've never had a eye exam but I don't think I have poor vision. I want to stay as a two eye shooter but I still can't focus on the front sight like this. If I try to focus on the front sight with both eyes open my eyes automatically just put the rear sights in focus and the front sight is no where to be found no matter how I move my head or the gun. Now if I move my eyes to the target then I can see the front and rear sights in a peripheral blur. I'm not sure if I'm explaining my problem in a way that you guys can understand it, but thanks for the help anyways.
  12. skiwi

    skiwi Well-Known Member

    Only one way - practice. Start with dry fire. You should be able to focus in the front sight easily enough. Focus long enough that the front sight is the only item in focus. You say you are right eye, right hand dominant, so this should be easy with either both eyes open or right eye open only. Using one eye would be required if you are cross eye dominant. Who suggested you shoot with one eye?
  13. JBrady555

    JBrady555 Well-Known Member

    no one, I just can't focus on the front sight with both eyes open, I can only see the two rears. Its weird because I am right handed right eye dominant, I've done all the little dominant eye tests.
  14. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Well-Known Member

    For pistol, you focus on the sights. The error budget for sight misalignment is very small. The target? Don't worry about seeing it clearly.
  15. JBrady555

    JBrady555 Well-Known Member

    Ok thats exactly what I'm trying to do but I can't find the front sight with both eyes open to focus on it as stupid as that sounds. I can only find the front sight if I look at the target and peripherally blur the front and rear sight.
  16. hammerklavier

    hammerklavier Well-Known Member

    Put a piece of scotch tape (the kind that isn't perfectly clear) over the left lens of your shooting glasses and see if that helps. Once you train your brain/right eye, things might get better.
  17. JBrady555

    JBrady555 Well-Known Member

    thanks for the info, i'll try that.
  18. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    I would also tell you to go for an eye exam and explain your problem to the Doc. He will set you up with a pair of glasses that will work for your needs when shooting.
    I bet your eyes are the problem, I was seeing the sights about like you and they were the problem for me.
  19. El Mariachi

    El Mariachi Well-Known Member

    Wow, great thread. My own vision totally blows, I'm right handed, surf goofy-footed, shoot left handed, can't 'wink' my right eye (which has better vision) so I shoot with just my left eye open. Needless to say.....I'll never be a sniper....:D
  20. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

    And I've also done more than my share of competitive clay target shooting. I even shot at the Grand American in Vandalia one year. And that's how I shoot clay targets (or pheasants).

    But I'm also an NRA certified instructor in Basic Handgun as well as some other handgun classes. And I've been a competitive handgun shooter in USPSA competition and Cowboy Action Shooting. When shooting a handgun, I shoot with both eyes open and focus on the front sight. (When shooting a scoped rifle, I focus on the reticle.)

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