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Discussion Starter #1
I was never in the military or taught to shoot, I just learned as I went along.so my question is this, when shooting with irons or glass should both eyes be open or weak eye closed ?
 
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Handguns I often shoot with both eyes open. Rifles I shoot using only my dominate eye (other closed).

This question/subject is an open ended one as different folks may have varied opinions.
 

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I contend that both eyes should be open. The effect of closing one eye is that the other pupil will open up some which will effect your sight picture. Keeping both open allows the eyes to relax, no mussel strain, no conflict in adjustment for light.

I remember having an argument with my instructor during Air Force basic training while qualifying with the M1 Carbine. He insisted on us closing one eye. I insisted on keeping them both open. I did and the result was I was second highest shooter that day. I qualified Expert.

I coach all my students to shoot with both open.
 

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"I contend that both eyes should be open...keeping both open allows the eyes to relax, no mussel strain...I qualified Expert."
+1

Until I joined the military and enjoyed some quality trigger time I was a one eye'd shooter. I found that over long range sessions I would developed some muscle strain and found it somewhat uncomfortable to shoot that way.

In speaking with some of the Cadre (instructors) they recommended keeping both eyes open. It didn't take much to adjust and ever since I've always scored expert on the M4.

I will say tactically it improves your depth perception and gives you a wider field of view to quickly identify and engage targets. My recommendation is two eyes open all the time.
 

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With dry fire practice you can get to both open most times. If your cross eye dominant like me shooting with a magnified optic you may have to squint just a bit.


Experiment and find what's best for you.
 

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I'm kind of like MAU... I've taken up the rifle later in life after being a wing shooter with a Browning A5 shotgun. My wing shooting experience seems to allow me to get on target quicker but my time loss is when I begin to look through the iron sights. I find I transition from both eyes open to closing my left eye as I move behind the sights. The majority of my rifle shooting is tactical rather than square range from a bench. I'm still looking for techniques to improve my shooting.
 

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I've transitioned to shooting lefty because of my cross dominance. Works better and does relieve eye strain.
Sound silly but I started brushing my teeth left handed to help develop fine motor skills
 

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I guess the ultimate answer is to shoot the way you shoot best. All that being said, I instruct trap shooters to shoot both eyes open.... if the non dominate eye causes cross fire problems, tape the glasses or use a blinder...no not close one eye and keep the other open. When you close one eye the other tries to squint down a little. When you close one eye your depth perception is a little off too ...

For rifles, iron sights, I recommend 2 eyes open and if it bothers you use a piece of tape placed on the off eye lens or use a solid blocker of some type rather than wink the off eye. With a scope, I like both open but using one is not as big a problem with a scope as with irons... Just IMO.
 

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Back in the "good old days", you were taught to shoot handguns and rifles with your dominant eye open. This was because one needed a sharp sight picture and with both eyes open, you would unconsciously switch from eye to eye, throwing your aim off. Remember this was before the use of telescopic sights were widespread. With shotguns not having sights and needing depth perception both eyes open.
As telescopic, reflex and other optic systems became popular, it was found that having both eyes open helped with situational awareness and tracking moving targets. Even handgunning as the tactical disciples became popular went to both eyes open. Today, mainly the high-power, long-range competitors using iron and telescopic sights for precision work still close their non-dominant eye.
 

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No set answer

Not that it's particularly relevant, but for 33 years, both rifle and pistol, I've qualified expert. I've always been told that the answer on your question is that there is no set answer. However, if your dominant eye is very dominant, you should not have to close the other eye, if your eyes are very close - if one eye is not clearly dominant, you should close the weaker eye. Keeping both eyes open when your brain shows no clear natural preference, can cause a conflict as your eyes adjust to the close in sights and the distant target. I have a very dominant right eye, but I still close my left when shooting rifle, and keep both open shooting pistol or shotgun.

I suggest you put a lot of rounds down range with either method, and stick with the one that makes you most comfortable - and that gets the best results.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I tried figuring this out on my own by watching the sniper shows on the military channel but they seem to always have sunglasses on.when I get my rifle back I'll try both and see what happens.thanks for the advice.
 

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Ever since I started shooting with red dots, I've kept both eyes open for optics. Mostly because the TM said to but also because it takes away so much strain when you don't keep an eye closed. But there is another good reason, read about the Bindon Aiming Concept. As for iron sights, I still keep one eye closed because that's how I was taught, but it is something I'd like to unlearn.
 

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I've transitioned to shooting lefty because of my cross dominance. Works better and does relieve eye strain.
Sound silly but I started brushing my teeth left handed to help develop fine motor skills
Very, very interesting. I am cross dominant also. I have traditionally been able to compensate with pistol shooting by simply turning my head about 15 degrees in order for my left dominant eye to take focus on the sights and keep both eyes open. It has become pretty natural for me at this point. Rifle shooting with open sights I must close my left eye. With optics, I found that both eyes open works fine. I have tried shooting lefty but after decades of compensating, it has proved an almost insurmountable challenge to relearn everything. Huge hat tip to you, and others who do the same, to be able to go through with it. I honestly don't know how you do it! I will admit that shooting with sights, my weak eye gets tired rapidly, and even does with optics but not as rapidly.
 

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My hat is off to you righties with dominant left eyes that have to shoot lefty. If I had to do that I'd probably not even bother.
 

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I instruct rifle, pistol, shotgun and machine gun in the navy and for my guys and gals I let them shoot the way they are most comfortable with their eyes and show them how to exploit that skill. During other types of shooting for just combat style we train both eyes open all the time. Sometimes I run into a situation where the shooter is for instance right handed but is left eye dominant. For them some had so much of an issue that I had to put a pirate patch on one of their eyes just to get them to somewhat come near a bull. I am right handed and left eye dominant but I have found over time there were ways around this and have also found for myself that there is a time for me to have both eyes open while shooting and a time to have one closed while shooting. For pistol and combat style rifle shooting I use both eyes. When shooting for marksmanship and where my stance changes from the isosceles (combat style) to weaver this is where I transition from both eyes open to only one open.
 

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It depends on your dominant hand in relation to your dominant eye and your experience. Too many are giving absolutes about two eyes being better without even mentioning this caveat.

I am right-handed, but left-eye dominant. If I shoot a handgun with both eyes open it takes much more concentration to use the correct image. If I close my dominant eye, I am very proficient and fast with my weak eye. By the time I knew how to compensate by shooting with the other side of my face (easier with Isoceles stance but I shoot Weaver) or shooting with the other hand, I was already in my thirties and didn't care since I was already pretty damn good closing my left eye and shooting right-handed.

I'm the same with the scout scope concept. With a 2.5X scope, it's actually easier to focus my weak eye through the optic while keeping my strong eye open, but with a 1X reflex optic it's a bit more distracting, though I can still do it more easily than shooting a handgun with iron sights.

Your eye dominance is unrelated to your hand dominance, so you have a 50% chance of them being the same.

Unless you are a world-class competition shooter (especially shotguns), it's not as important as some make it out to be, as long as you learn the techniques to compensate for you.

Yes, if I hold a pistol in my left hand and shoot with both eyes open, I can see the advantage you like-eyed people have, but I'm willing to live with my handicap at this point. I'm not switching hands except the times I need to and occasionally practice for.
 

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Both eyes open. Its something that came natural to me very early and young. I actually have to make it an effort to close (And keep 1 eye closed) while shooting. therefore, I have never, and will never do it.

For me, my awareness and field of view is multiplied. And I lose NO sight picture while scoping at distance and seeing close/medium range with my non-scoped eye. Its second nature to me.

Now Im trying to learn how to walk through woods at night while looking through a Nightvision monocle. So 1 eye is completely black, and 1 is like looking through a green 1x scope with (Not so good) depth perception.
 

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I am right handed, but left eye dominant. It is a pain in the *** for rifle shooting, especially with iron sights. With handguns, and some rifle optics, I have learned to go with both eyes open. With scoped rifles, and iron sights, I have learned to shoot left handed. I try and go with what seems to work the easiest, if I have to force it my eyes get really fatigued.
 
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