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Help with eyes - pistol shooting

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Sigraph, Oct 15, 2009.

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  1. Sigraph

    Sigraph TS Member

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    I haven't researched anything to help, but I'm sure someone else on here has the same problem.
    On the short, I used to shoot pistols/revolvers about 2 or 3 times a week with open sights. Since divorce, dating, and getting re-married, I've started shooting again and joined a local gun club. About 2 years ago, I took my Gold Cup and Smith to the range and guess what - can't see the sights without my reading glasses, and can't see the target with my reading glasses on (but can see the sights). I've added red-dot sights to my hunting revolver and ruger 22, and that solved the shooting problem with them, but I used to be proud of the way I could shoot a handgun with open sights. I was no champion, but could murder a concrete block at 50 yards.

    Any ideas? - I've heard of something called a magic dot, and I always shoot with both eyes open (even with a scoped rifle).
     
  2. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    What you have is also known as the aging process. You have a choice of paths to follow. The fork to the left is one where you work on your instinctive shooting and focus on the target with the front sight being somewhat blurred and the rear sight being there but not used for much. This will get you by in most of the action pistol games or self defense senarios.

    The fork to the right has you mounting a red dot sight or similar optic on your handgun. This approach will let you get back into shooting for accuracy and speed. The down side to optics on handguns is they don't carry nearly as well and if you get into competitive shooting there is some pretty serious competition in the optics/unlimited divisions.

    A relatively inexpensive way to find out if an optic is right for you is to try one of the $75 to $100 red dot sights on a .22 automatic pistol. I'll bet you would have a blast with a rig like this. The important thing to remember is that aging eyes don't have to limit your shooting enjoyment.
     
  3. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    Or...you can just take the correct fork, put your glasses on, keep focusing on that front sight, and keep right on hitting that concrete block.
     
  4. wayneo

    wayneo Active Member

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    Lyman makes a Hawkeye Optic Aid, it has a suction cup that sticks on your glasses. It forces you to focus on the front sight, and at the same time you can see the target. I went what you are going through a year ago. I think Midway and Brownell's sells them. They make a fixed and an adjustable one. Do a Google search Hawkeye optic Aid. Wayne
     
  5. brent375hh

    brent375hh TS Member

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    Try using your reading glasses to see the sights. Shoot a 6 o' clock hold on the black bullseye. Prepare to be amazed.

    You can also shoot a white paper plate with a center hold. Same results.

    Pistol shooting requires seeing the sight way more than the target.

    If you really want to see both. You can use a Gehman aperature that attaches to you glasses. Neal Johnson and Champions Choice sells them.
     
  6. chiefjon

    chiefjon Active Member

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    I am told that Decot will put the bifocal part of your glasses on the upper side of your "aiming" eye. In other words, when you get your neck/chin in the right position to see the gun sights you will be focusing on the sight with the reading portion and with a very minor head movement you will get the distance part of the glasses to see the target. I am in the same boat and have really given up shooting "bullseye" targets. One of the reasons I shoot trap. Good luck.

    JON
     
  7. colonel klink

    colonel klink Active Member

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    Jon is right about the bifocal on top thing from Decot. I have the same problem, hell to get old. What I found works for me is I use my regular prescription glasses & concentrate on front sight in reference to target.
    I do not pay attention, at least consciously, to the front sight. Works pretty good for me. Colonel
     
  8. Bob_K

    Bob_K Well-Known Member

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    The facts of life:

    The front sight, the rear sight, and the target are in three different optical planes. You cannot focus on all three simultaneously. For open sights, focus for all you are worth on the front sight. The rear sight will be a slightly out of focus, but you will see it well enough to see the front is centered. The black bull should be a grey ball. If you see it black, you are looking at the target. If you are looking at your target, you are not looking at your sights and you don't know where you are pointing the pistol. As your eyes age, you'll find that you have a harder time focusing on the front sight. Your eye lens has hardened and is less accomodating to focus at different ranges. The solution is to get prescription glasses with the focus set to the distance your front sight is.

    The other solution is to put the target and the sights in the same optical plane. This means telescopic or red dot sights of some form or another.

    Vision is just the first of your problems. Getting old is not for the faint of heart.
     
  9. PerazziBigBore

    PerazziBigBore TS Member

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    For X-ring shooting.. put a dental mirror on a ring that fits your thumb..Put the mirror on the hand that does not hold the pistol.. Cross armed..use the mirror to line up your front & rear sights..AND the target.. You'd be amazed at how steady and well you can shoot this way... It works for me when I test fire my pistols..if I'm not using a rest..
     
  10. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    There are a few ways you can solve the problem.

    Get a pair of classes that have a weaker perscription than your reading classes. That way you will be able to see the sights and the target. It won't be perfect, but if you do the next step it will be.

    Next get a small plastic or black metal disk with a small hole that you can look through. Mount it on your glasses so you can look through he hole and the lense with your aiming eye. This will bring both the sights and the target in focus at the same time.

    Wayneo in his post above describes the disc with the hole in it that you can buy. The adjustable aperture one is the best one to get. You can adjust it and get everything in focus. HMB
     
  11. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    My fix for this issue was to go to the drug store and buy "cheaters" (aka reading glasses) but not for reading at my normal distance for reading but, instead, for the distance from my eye to the front sight. I could do this right at the store by sighting down my extended arm and at my index finger nail. You should then see the front sight perfectly and the target somewhat out of focus. This will work and you must concentrate on shooting for center of mass on the bullseye, bowling pin, metal target or whatever. Once you know what degree of correction works, have your shooting glasses made to match.....Bob Dodd
     
  12. TEXASZEPHYR

    TEXASZEPHYR Member

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    The thing that works is the small apeture. If you will remember the old brownie kodac cameras, They had a small hole for which the light would enter the camera to produce a picture that was in focus over a large variety of distances. On the newer cameras if you use a wider (bigger) opening (APATURE) you will notice that it has a very short focal range. When you focus the camera every thing that is any distance nearer for further from what is focused on will be out of focus. The variable apature attachmets let everything be in focus at once and not only work well for pistol, but equally well for pistol and archery where you are using sights that are a ways off from your eyes

    Bob
     
  13. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    When shooting trap, you should see the target, not your front sight. When shooting pistol, you should only see the front sight aligned with the rear sight. You should never look at the target.

    HMB- What you described is theoretically possible. A very small hole would only allow parallel light rays from the front sight into your eye. These rays would also be parallel with the rays from the target. This is required to focus on both objects. But it is not practical to do this. The aperture would have to be so small that you could not see the entire front sight, much less the target.

    Pat Ireland
     
  14. 221

    221 Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    I don't know if this will be accepted as it sounds, but here goes....

    If you can focus on the front sight and not the target....you are blessed....

    Some of the best Bullseye shooters ever, would never LOOK at the target...You want to train your focus no farther than your front sight...

    Ever try to find something something you lost or in a store.....and once you see it you can walk away and come back and look right at it.....that's your internal GPS at work.

    With pistol shooting you should never focus on the target....it should never be more than a fuzz ball down range......If you must look at it.....use a spotting scope not your vision per se.

    If you are perfectly executing a shot with a 22 pistol....you will see the ridges or serrations on the front sight encased in fire

    It's totally backwards from shooting a shotgun where the target is where you focus.

    A rifle is no different .....with a scope you are supposed to focus on the cross hairs not the prairie dog.

    Give it some thought as it is absolutely required, if you want to improve your shooting

    It takes one hell of a lot of talent to be rifle, pistol,...and shotgun proficient any day of the week

    Now that I've said that using a "RED DOT" type of sight is another thing altogether and may be the best for a shotgun shooter to use, as with it you look at the target......but they are heavy, and it takes a pretty strong arm to last a 900, or 2700 with one in bullseye.

    I still have my Oxford that I tried and gave up on.

    Remember you only have to see the black fuzzy ball or target when shooting for accuracy.

    It may sound controversial on this forum but it's the way to shoot them.
     
  15. 221

    221 Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    BTW there is an Optometrist,(?) thats a shooter who will make you a pair if custom glasses to do just what I have described.


    I'm a slow typist...... and what pat said

    If you shoot correctly you can score yourself and never look at the target, that is a drill, the pros use......It's called.... calling your shots......

    I should be charging for this but I'm really a nice guy....LOL.HAHA
     
  16. Jerry944t

    Jerry944t Well-Known Member

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    In my day, 35 years ago, I was a damn decent Bullseye shooter with open sights. Those were the days when you blackened your front sight with a carbide lamp which produced soot.

    The rule was NEVER focus on the target. The focus was hard on the front sight with the target being a black fuzz floating slightly above the front sight. If the target came into focus you put down the gun and started over.

    Fast forward to now when I'm 65 years old. I recently decided to go pistol shooting again , with open sights of course since it's the only manly way to shoot, sort of the same mentality as people who flinch and won't use a release trigger. No good. I really struggled to keep 10 in the black of a 25 yard target. I couldn't focus on anything. Reading glasses helped but I was unhappy with my performance based on what I knew I used to be able to do.

    After much angst I put UltraDots (good brand of Red Dot) on one of my 22's and one of my 45's. What a difference. Scores went way up and my eyes became much more comfortable. As someone noted the aging process is not for the cowardly so don't fight it. Get the Red Dot and enjoy pistol shooting again.

    Jerry
     
  17. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Pat,

    You do not have a clue regarding this subject. Top shooters have been using the aperture method in conjuction with a corrective lense for many years. The closer you put the aperture to your eye, the larger your field of vision. Not only can you see the sights on your pistol, you can also see the target. And with the right combination, both will be in focus. HMB
     
  18. brent375hh

    brent375hh TS Member

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    I shoot international free pistol and do fairly well at it. I shoot with a Gehmann aperature. It does increase my ability to see the target along with the sights.

    The few times I left my aperature at home & aligned the sights while putting that sight picture on the fuzzy black dot (target) with a 6 o'clock hold, set the trigger and squeezed, my scores were the same.
     
  19. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    You should never see the target? Why is it good for shotguns and not pistols?

    Competitive pistol shooting games have evolved quite a bit from bullseye competition. The usefulness of a pistol in any real world application depends on a combination of speed and accuracy and you will never get the speed if you aren't looking at the target. Looking at the target is also why red dot optics and reflex optics are such an advantage to the action pistol shooter. Trust me on this one, the great pistol shooters of today focus on the target and if you don't believe it just watch them mow down an array of staggered targets with split times less than 1/3 of a second. It works just like shotgunning, the gun follows the eyes and when you develope sufficient skill this happens in a very precise and repeatable manner.

    Sorry if I am stepping on the toes of any bullseye shooters but to me that is an overly specialized discipline with very few practical benefits.
     
  20. brent375hh

    brent375hh TS Member

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    You can run a sub three second bowling pin table and never focus on the pins either. As a matter of fact if you are watching the pins you are doing it wrong.
     
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