One very important skill to master is how to shoot with both eyes open. As humans, we have binocular vision. That’s how we naturally see things.
Closing one eye limits our vision. When you open and close your eye, it changes the lighting in your vision and takes time to transition between the two.
If you are ever in a defensive situation, due to the adrenaline rush you are more likely to keep both eyes open.
So if you actually train to shoot with both eyes open, you will have the upper hand in a shootout.
How to Shoot With Both Eyes Open | Tips for Shooting with Both Eyes Open
Know Your Dominant Eye
Most people that are right-handed are right-eye dominant. This means when you bring up your rifle or handgun it goes up to their right eye and they will close their left eye.
If you are right-handed and left eye dominant that can provide a bit of a trickier situation but not anything that can’t be overcome.
The easiest way to test which eye is your dominant eye is by performing a standard blink test.
You simply need to make a triangle out of your hands and find an object around 15 feet away.
- Place that object in your field of vision inside the triangle.
- Now close one eye, if you close that eye and the object are still in your hand triangle then that is your dominant eye.
- If it doesn’t stay in your triangle then that is your non-dominant eye.
- You can also try pulling up a handgun to see which eye you close.
- You want to train in a fashion that is natural to you which is why you do these tests to know which eye is dominant.
How to Aim with Both Eyes
When you pull up your handgun and you have both eyes open you are going to have a tough time seeing your sights. A way to fix this is to squint your non-dominant eye.
This will clear up your sight picture and let you focus but allow you to have both eyes open. Be sure that you are focusing on your front sight and not the target.
The target should be a little bit blurry. Practice bringing up your firearm and focusing on the front sight.
Cross Eye Dominance
Right-handed and you are left eye dominant or vice versa? Some people and instructors will actually tell you to switch hands, which is absolutely wrong.
You have all your dexterity in your dominant hand so why would you want to lose that by switching hands?
For handguns, you want to definitely use the hand you feel most comfortable with. So when you are lining up your sights, just line it up with the left eye.
For rifle shooting, this is totally different. You will either have to learn to shoot weak handed or learn to shoot with your right eye.
Closing One Eye
If you close one eye, you are losing a bunch of your vision — about 1/3 of your peripheral vision.
Closing one eye would limit you, in a self-defense situation, if there are multiple attackers you might not see. It will also significantly limit your depth of field.
With both eyes open you will be able to accurately estimate distance and follow moving targets better.
Keeping both eyes open lessens fatigue in your face and gives you a clearer vision. It is important to practice this technique.
If you have been shooting with one eye open, then it may be a bit harder for you to adjust at first.
Here’s an infographic guide that you can use. Feel free to download, save and share it with your loved ones:
When practicing, if you start to lose your focus, just blink your non-dominant eye and your dominant eye will refocus on your sights.
Concentration and training are key to getting this down.
It’s very important to keep in mind that closing one eye while shooting is only going to limit the shooter’s vision. If you’re comfortable with this practice, you’re not taking advantage of your full potential as a shooter.
Know your dominant eye and shoot with confidence from aim to shooting action.
Do you know how to shoot with both eyes open? Are you a confident shooter with this method? Tell us about it in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.