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MASTER EYE:

This is really for some of our female members who are new to the sport of shooting, and are not aware of some of the finer points in how to shoot faster, and better. Most individuals depend more on one eye than the other. The eye that is most used is usually referred to as the master eye. The master eye often, though not always, has greater visual acuity and therefore provides a sharper, more precise focus on the sights. The first step toward better shooting is to determine which is the master eye. Most often the master eye will be the same as the dominant hand. To find out which eye is the master eye, pick out an object across the room such as a light switch. Make a circle with your thumb and forefinger. With both eyes open and your arm extended, center the object in the circle. Now, alternately close one eye, then the other. The master eye is the one for which the object remains centered. Most likely you will find that the master eye and the dominant(shooting) hand are the same, which is what you want. If, it turns out that this is NOT the case, let me know or email me, and I will explain something you can do to help you and/or correct the situation.

Most novice shooters develop the habit of closing or squinting one eye while aiming. Most top level shooters keep both eyes open while shooting. Research done by a bunch of people(which I won't name here) indicated that closing one eye had several negative effects. Closing one eye results in straining of the eyelid muscles for both eyes. Pressure from the eyelid on the shooting eye causes a decrease in visual acuity. When one eye is closed, the pupil of the other eye dilates involuntarily in order to gather more light. The strain of keeping one eye closed during the many shots fired in long practice sessions is fatiguing, particularly for beginning shooters.This reduction in acuity is on an average of 20% reduction.One solution would be to "BLOCK" the vision of the other eye by simply placing a strip of transparent tape across the lens of your shooting glasses over the NON-MASTER eye.The tape serves to reduce the acuity of that eye just enough to allow the master eye to take over aiming, while retaining the binocular vision and other advantages of having both eyes open. I hope this helps out those of you whom are NOT aware of the difference in your eyes.

Most of the people that I know shoot with one eye closed. I will tell them all of the time that you are putting a strain on the eye and that is not good.  Find the dominant eye and shoot with both eyes open.  Practice shooting this way and you'll find out this is the only wasy you will want to shoot as firearm.  Practice sitting outside and follow a moving object ex. (birds flying).  Keep it in the field of view of your scope.  Learn to pick them up while the are on the move .  For sure you will become a better shooter. No Eye Strain.

There's good information on eyes and shooting above in this section, and I have another bit to add way below for those who wear bi-focals.  First, I want to stress as extremely important what was covered about finding and using one's dominant eye.

In my case, I'm right-handed and left-eyed, but early-on was taught in junior NRA to shoot rifles and shotguns left-handed to accommodate my "affliction."  With practice, I learned to to be ambidextrous with handguns.  The right-hand bolt action on an XP-100 pistol is perfect for shooting left handed -- and I suspect Sam Colt must have been a lefty, as he positioned his SAA's loading gate perfectly for port-side handling.

Standard bolt-action rifles are somewhat inconvienient, but not so much that I'd give up using my dominant eye.  Lots of rifle manufacturers now offer left-hand models of their bolt-actions.

John Browning might have been another lefty, as so many of his designs are ambidextrous -- the '79 and '85 highwalls, '92 and '94 lever-actions, and superposed shotguns are some, my hunting and saddle guns.

I'm pushing 60, and my eyes -- as well as other things -- don't work so well anymore.  As I went to biofocals to read near and see far, I just adjusted the focus ring on my scopes, but my open sights shooting went to Hades in a handbasket.  The best shooters focus on that front sight, and I couldn't -- until my eye-doc put a trifocal on my left spec-lens. 

Wow!  My competition scores went up again, and I could actually hit again with my iron-sighted carbines and rifles.  I know alternate sights are available -- laser-dots, long-eye relief scopes and such -- but the extra window in my glasses focused a yard from my nose cured everything without me having to alter my guns (also, some Cowboy Competition events won't allow such modern do-dads as lasers and scoped sixguns).

I agree about point-and-shoot up-close.  In one steel-shooting event, the pepper-popper targets are at 7 yards and those who tend to aim tend to lose.  The same is often true in a close people-type confrontations.  A big HOWEVER is as the range increases to 17-25 yards and beyond, those who don't focus on their front sights often come in second best -- not a good standing in a fire-fight.  I know opinions differ, and this is just one borne of many years on the range, in combat, and in law enforcement.

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