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Just read a note from an experienced shooter, said he was teaching some young'ns to shoot. One or more kids having trouble keeping an eye closed without closing both.

I was taught, at age 15, to keep both eyes open when shooting. I have taught several hundred kids, and a few adults, to shoot with both eyes open. Would have taught more adults, but most adults come loaded with preconceptions, seen too many cowboy movies, never could get them to shoot with both eyes open.

It is easier on the eyes, reduces eye fatigue, squinting, lumbago, and the vapors.

It lets you have better awareness of the situation downrange, whether it be a puff of crosswind, a person or pet wandering into the line of fire, or a bad guy appearing when you are concentrating on a different one. .

It isn't hard to teach, just identify the dominant eye, and teach 'em to concentrate on using that eye.

Comments?

Discussion?
 
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What a darn coincidence, I was doing exactly that!

I shoot either way. When handgun “target” shooting (as in going for small, precise groups) I use one eye to align the front sight in the rear and get that on target. Using one eye has an advantage in this aspect. When focusing on the front sight you don’t have two, overlapping ghost target images down range nor a blurred rear sight… seeing you are not using your God given binocular vision everything (rear sight, front sight, target) is in better focus (kind of a depth of field thing).

When handgun “Action” shooting (read practice defensive handgun shooting) I keep both eyes open for the reasons you state. I’m not trying to 1.5” X ring at 25 yards, just put a couple shots center mass as quickly as possible. And actually I don’t want to put the bullets in the same hole… I’d rather have my shots about 1.5” – 2” apart… if I have to put a hole in someone I don’t want to reiterate my first hole but give him/her another hole to think about.

With my hunting rifle (with low power scope) I bring the rifle to bear and look down range at the target… weak eye on target unobstructed, strong eye looking through my scope. After I confirm I’m tracking the target I close the weak eye to take the shot.

With a Red Dot scope both eyes open looking down range of course.

I guess it all depends on the application in my case. I'm going to start my kids off using the one eye "target" shooting technique. After they are punching out the X ring, have a good trigger press, and I move them up in caliber, then I get into “Action” shooting with two eyes open. My oldest (at home that is) daughter, being 12 will probably hit that benchmark first. The two youngest (6 & 7) will stick with a .22 for a while till I move them up to the .380. This seems to be the best way... but I'm open for suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
P.S. (and Thanks, to Schmit for reminding me)

Whenever I got a really new shooter, as in Zero (0) trigger time, I tried to teach him/her rifle shooting first. Both eyes open, all the time.

I only got to transition a few from rifle to pistol (they kept growing up, and moving off to marriage or school) , but I continued with both eyes open.

Schmit's big reminder to me was that I forgot to mention the ease of finding a target with both eyes open and then bringing up a 'scoped gun into the shooter's line of sight _without_ losing sight of the target for an instant.

As it sometimes says on the walls of certain ceramic defecatoria,

"We aim to please, your aim will help."
 

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Big Mike, I thought the saying was "We aim to please. You aim, too, please." :wink:
 

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I was taught to shoot with one eye closed because that was they way my father had learned in ROTC in the early 1950's --- I shot that way until attending Smith & Wesson Academy in 1997 where they made us shoot with both eyes open so that we could see if there was any other threats in our peripheral vision. I have practived and praticed this in dry fire and live fire practice and now can shoot as good as I used to.

Mike
 

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:) What a surprise! I was taught to keep one eye closed but when I shot trap I found it easier to keep both eyes open. Yeah, ROTC in military school said keep one eye closed so I did.

Now I always keep both eyes open and close one if it warants.
 

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My father taught me to shoot his snubbie with one eye shut; then again I was also shooting one handed... I have since transitioned to both hands and both eyes when pistol shooting. The cup'n saucer hold has kinda gone by the wayside too :) My M4ish is fitted with the ML-2, so it's a 2-eyed deal also. I need to get some instruction with a scoped rifle.
 

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My boy (age 9) is cross eye dominate, he does everything right handed, but his left eye is dominate. It took along time for me to figure this out.

I had about given up hope of him being a shooter, he couldn't hit the broad side of the barn, literally. One day I saw him squinting thru a scope at the shop, with his left eye & it hit me. So that weekend, I had him try shoting left handed & in almost no time, just a few shots, he was on target every round.

Although it looks really un-natural for him to be shooting left handed, I can't argue with the results.

Now, on to shooting a handgun & see which way works better on that. :roll:
 

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I'm naturally left handed and left eye dominant, BUT I learned to shoot right handed and switch eyes. Wasn’t something I planned, but it seems like playing with Garands, M14s and M16s may have had something to do with it. Give your boy a while then try putting a patch on his left eye and go back to the right hand. Once he see he can shoot that way, remove the patch and have him shut the dominant/left eye. This will force dominance to the right. I’ve switched so often I don’t even need to close an eye anymore. I've a mixture of LH and RH bolt guns plus my car guns are situated for my right hand. And when the gun goes bang both eye are open. Charlie, a fellow sinister fellow, once accused me of being weird. Maybe but it works.
 

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Nobody "taught" me to shoot, until I joined the military. Both in the beginning when it was just me, and also after I joined up, I always shot with both eyes open. Rifle, pistol, makes no difference.Of course, I've never used a scope, though... just iron sights, or the occasional red dot sight in the military.

I was as the range the other night, and there was two "couples" there, very young kids (between 18 and 22). The boyfriends were trying to teach the girlfriends how to shoot, and the range officers stepped in. Seemed one of the girls had an eye dominance problem, left eye/right handed. Once this was identified, she picked things up very quickly, and shot VERY well for a first timer. With a .40 auto pistol, and a .45, no less! She was a skinny little thing - and very cute, too!
 

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:D Here's my opinion. It hasn't been casually arrived:

When I shoot, either, trap or skeet I DO keep both my eyes open; but when I’m looking for a fast front sight on a pistol I squint with my non-dominant eye. I do this because (Like many other people) my own vision isn’t perfect; and I have experienced, ‘target distortion’ while keeping both eyes open on a fixed point.

We’re not talking about wing shooting, here – it’s all about CQB pistol combat! The fact is that very few people have perfect, ‘cooperative vision’. In order to avoid the chance of parallax, and acquire the front pistol sight AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE my suggestion would be to, at least, squint with your off-eye as you seek to acquire that front sight. Once you start shooting, if you want to open both eyes – fine!

And, oh yeah, I don’t use any of these techniques on targets inside 3 yards. I continue to disobey every instructor I, ever, had and, ‘instinct’ shoot these – but that’s a subject for a whole new thread. :wink:
 
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