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Discussion Starter #1
Last night I really got into researching target focused shooting with my CCW. I read numerous articles and watched several videos about keeping both eyes open while shooting. I've always heard that one should keep both eyes open, but whenever I tried it, there was no way I could do it.
Well, after putting my mind to it, I dry fire simulated for about an hour at targets on the wall focusing on the targets first. After a while, it did become easier for me to ignore the double vision of my front sight. If I focus intently on my target, I can see where I could train myself to keep both eyes open and quickly get on target with my sights. I'll try live fire drills on my range day tomorrow.
After dry firing, I kept researching, and found that a huge percentage of shooters use the opposite, and focus on the front sight. When doing that, I get double vision on the target instead, which I did not like.
Does anyone else have opinions on this? I'm mostly interested in getting very proficient 10 yards and in with my CCW. I would think I would be focused on my target automatically if I had to deploy my firearm.
 

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I have a tough time doing both eyes open because I'm left-handed but right-eye dominant. Too old to switch to right-handed shooting.

Let us know how your real target shooting goes, and good luck.
 

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I was taught from the first time I picked a pistol up to keep both eyes open. Since I was south of 10 then it just imprinted. I don't even think about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have a tough time doing both eyes open because I'm left-handed but right-eye dominant. Too old to switch to right-handed shooting.

Let us know how your real target shooting goes, and good luck.
After checking, I believe I am left eye dominant and a right hand shooter. I do a few other things both left and right handed and I wondered about this. I golf both left and right handed, but can only putt left handed. I swing a baseball bat better left handed, but can bat right if need be. All fine motor skills are right handed, and I kick a ball with my right foot.
I've tried to slow my shooting down while at the range and become very conscious of all my movements that I progress through when firing. I've found on my last few range trips that I kept trying to cock my head to the right. I hadn't really noticed it before. I'm guessing it might be because I've been shooting with my dominant eye closed my entire life!
Left hand shooting just doesn't feel right to me and I don't think that is an option.
This is where the both eyes open struck me as something I might need to check out.
I ordered and am waiting for a set of Dawson Precision sights for my Walther P99C with the blacked out rear. I can really see an advantage to using a blacked out rear when shooting with both eyes open. I taped over
my stock rear sight dots and it immediately helped pick up the target and the front sight.
I'll keep working on it and report my results.
 

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This is a good test to verify eye (ocular) dominance.
Eye Dominance Testing

I spent three years in ROTC doing marksmanship and 22+ years in the Army - never once did anyone check for eye-dominance. The "both eyes open" technique on a rifle really didn't work out for me, but I muddled through and made both Marksman and Sharpshooter.

It wasn't until ten years after I retired and a former Marine friend - while we were shooting at the farm - did a quick check on me (after pushing for the "both eyes open") and said "There's your problem..."

The technique in the link above verified it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is a good test to verify eye (ocular) dominance.
Eye Dominance Testing

I spent three years in ROTC doing marksmanship and 22+ years in the Army - never once did anyone check for eye-dominance. The "both eyes open" technique on a rifle really didn't work out for me, but I muddled through and made both Marksman and Sharpshooter.

It wasn't until ten years after I retired and a former Marine friend - while we were shooting at the farm - did a quick check on me (after pushing for the "both eyes open") and said "There's your problem..."

The technique in the link above verified it.
Yep, I'm left eye dominant. Nice to know! It's funny because I have found myself shooting with my right eye closed at times without realizing it. I was ignorant to this. Very interesting stuff.
 

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I'm a righty, and no problem with both eyes open for rifle or pistol.
My daughter is a lefty, we found out, Right eye dominate after she had lots of problems shooting lefty.. so she starting shooting righty and qualified at an AS event.
One of the other instructors at the AS event figured it out, was a learning lesson for me too. So now she shoots everything righty and does just fine.
 

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I have a tough time doing both eyes open because I'm left-handed but right-eye dominant. Too old to switch to right-handed shooting.

Let us know how your real target shooting goes, and good luck.
I've been shooting for as long as I can remember and have never got into the one eye shooting either. Maybe a bit of a squint at best :p. They all seem to stay in the black just fine. Keeping them all tight is more from form than sight. :D
 

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Great discussion. I am right handed and right eye dominant which makes both eyes open shooting work for me even with low power scoped rifles. With open sight pistols I focus on the front sight or laser dot on the target if using a laser. I prefer the laser.

Like Hunter49 I have some ambidextrous ability and have taught myself to shoot left handed and actually carry a side arm left handed when hunting. In fact I can shoot about as well left handed as right if I take my time. This carry location eliminates interference between a rifle slung over the right shoulder and my side arm. However, it does introduce the left hand, right eye dominant issue and I have to focus on using my left eye when shooting left handed. I am still faster on the draw right handed, but left carry has its advantages.
 

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Whether you target focus or sight focus is really just a function of what you are trying to accomplish.

Target focus is generally what one is taught for defensive shooting. In this scenario, you are trying to place x number of shots "center mass". Generally, any shot landing within approximately a 9-inch circle is a "good hit".

However, if you are in a competition seeking to hit the "x ring" on each shot, you better be sight focused if you are to have a prayer to win, place or show.
 

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At the range your target won't be doing anything interesting. Assuming the gravest, your target may indeed be doing something you want to know about and your front sight won't be. Which do you think you'll be looking at?
 

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I'm right eye dominant and right handed...I've shot for years and years and back 'in the day" with iron sights on a rifle I was strongly right eye/right handed and a better than fair shot...I always shot a shot gun with both eyes open and also for quick snap shooting I shot with both eyes open on a handgun..for precision target work I'd revert back to right eye/right hand.

I had a branch retinal occlusion (busted artery in the retina) in my right eye which is stable and just there...it's a bubble right where my eye focus is located...I can no longer shoot with iron sights with my right eye...I shoot all handguns with both eyes open...I shoot a red dot with both eyes open and I shoot a scope with my right eye and let it sort of "wander" into focus/range...Never will be the shot I was but still enjoy it...I've taken to "snap" shooting with head up and eyes on the target for self defense training...I find I'm about as accurate to 20 feet that way as any way I might "aim".

In training myself to shoot both eyes open I had to learn to relax and just let the eyes come into focus...the harder I tried the worse it got..but if I simply relax my eyes..the focus on the front sight is almost instant now and the fuzzy target works just fine.
 

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In his instruction on marksmanship, MSGT Taggart referred to the Body Weapons System. That is the whole body has to be engaged in the process. One of the many concepts that serves me well is determinig the Natural Point of Aim:

To achieve natural point of aim, the shooter settles into position with the eyes closed, opening them after ensuring the position is comfortable and the firearm is resting in the stance with minimal muscle tension. If the sights are not resting on the desired point of impact, the shooter adjusts the position by repeating the same steps until the sights rest on the target. After achieving a comfortable and natural position, if the sights are not on the target, the shooter adjusts his stance (moves his feet) until the sights are on target. The arm, head and body position do not change; when standing only the feet are moved to bring the sights onto target.[1]
Hunter, with left eye dominant and right hand shooter this might be helpful and to "teach" uniformity of the right eye, right hand and rest of the body. Here's further info:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bE6PI556wu0
 

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Ive always shot everything from open sights to scopes with both eyes open, and no flinching. Ive been doing it since the early 70's. I think it takes some practice. But I practice point shooting and point aiming all the time.
generally, I point first then look to see where the sights are at. And you can clearly see the target and the sights.
I noticed as I get older with poorer vision, it gets harder,, which makes me practice it more.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
At the range your target won't be doing anything interesting. Assuming the gravest, your target may indeed be doing something you want to know about and your front sight won't be. Which do you think you'll be looking at?
Exactly what I'm thinking. I've read several articles and ran across one officer who interviewed dozens of other officers involved in shootings. Most were 10' or closer. Some officers had no memory of seeing the front sights, and others remember only a green blob or red if they had colored sights.

Without knowing, I may be leaning more towards "point shooting" or "flash shooting" with the sights on my CCW more than anything else. Like another poster said, hit a 9" plate at 7 yards with some speed may be the best practice I can do.

Great info and discussion guys. Thanks for all the replies.
 

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Exactly what I'm thinking. I've read several articles and ran across one officer who interviewed dozens of other officers involved in shootings. Most were 10' or closer. Some officers had no memory of seeing the front sights, and others remember only a green blob or red if they had colored sights.

Without knowing, I may be leaning more towards "point shooting" or "flash shooting" with the sights on my CCW more than anything else. Like another poster said, hit a 9" plate at 7 yards with some speed may be the best practice I can do.

Great info and discussion guys. Thanks for all the replies.
Training and muscle memory.
 

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I shoot trap with both eyes open. But can never master it with a pistol. Been shooting this way since the 70's and at 66 I see no reason to change. I'm left handed, right eye dominant and shoot with my right hand.
From past experience I can honestly say when push came to shove in close quarters it was point and shoot.
There was no time to think about sights. I just switched to Rock & Roll and prayed.
 

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One of the reasons I like red dot sights is I can keep both eyes open. The iron sights are getting too small to see with these old, tired eyes. One of the things I was taught when I was an amateur astronomer was to keep both eye open when using a telescope. This reduced eye fatigue and allow you to use the scope longer. I prefer to shot with both eyes open, too.

I, too, am left handed but right eye dominate so I usually shot right-handed. However, I like to shoot with both hands just because I can.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, took a short range trip at lunch and can honestly say I've been shooting with one eye closed and it's been the wrong one!
After doing several of the easy tests, I determined I am left eye dominant but shoot right handed. I went ahead and shot with my right eye closed and accuracy was excellent. I switched to two eyes open and my accuracy declined a bit, but was still pretty good for the first time trying. I can really see myself switching entirely to two eyes open from here on out. I did not try left hand shooting, I ran out of time.
I tried some "flash" shooting and was quite surprised at my success. I only had the target out to about 7 yards, but this is the distance I consider most threats will come from. All shots landed inside a 9" circle.
I can't wait to get my Dawson Precision sights and try them out. I'm thinking they will help even more with the blacked out rear.
Thanks for all the help in this thread. I always just assumed I was right eye dominant!
 
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