Best way to train with both eyes open

what is the best way to teach myself to shoot with both eyes open


I just started trying to, it took a longer time that I thought it would and a lot of concentration at first. I wish I could say it get the perfect sight picture every time I bring the weapon up but the truth is there are times I still have to think about it before its right.

Some sights on the gun do make it easier than others.

What about you instructor types we have here, any words of wisdom?


Hi @Ken1, welcome to the group!

here’s something I do…

  • start with the gun at low ready looking at the target with both eyes open.
  • bring the gun and sights up into my line of sight without changing my point of focus - still on the target.
  • shift my focus to front sight
  • wink my weak eye a couple of times to make sure I have both open. you might try winking one eye then the other to see if that helps.

sometimes I just get my sight picture and then wink the weak eye or alternate to check.

also, after your string of fire, look right and left (for situational awareness and other assailants) and make sure you actually LOOK at something - the wall, other shooter’s targets, the sidewall of your shooting lane, some PHYSICAL thing. You’ll naturally do this with both eyes open, and it’s excellent practice anyway.
Sometimes people get in the practice of swinging their head left and right but they’re not actually LOOKING, they’re thinking about how they just shot.

hope that helps some.


For me it was being dedicated to it. Start slow with some basic accuracy almost like a first time shooter. Seems boring but helps develop fundamentals and will pay off in the long run.

I started shooting all my firearms both eyes open even the AR with a magnified optic. Once it clicked I haven’t gone back.


That will definitely help! This blog article is a little off topic, but using point shooting might help as well:


I’m having a hard time keeping my shot going left even after I’ve changed my stance every time… During instruction class, I was told to bed at knees shoulder length apart, have gun at ready position, fire when ready, first couple shot hit target dead center or mm from each other, but when unloading clip, I find my hits tend to vier to the left. I then changed my stance to left leg forward with slight bend and rt leg maybe 6 inches back and to the right. My trigger finger pulling trigger back at the tip of finger just before bend. Again 2 shots light up, but while unloading clip, to theft again the bullets vier Lt. What am I doing wrong? How can I fix it?

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Are you left handed or right handed? If you’re right handed - it sounds like you might be pushing the trigger to me. You want the trigger in the middle of the pad on your finger.

Why are you changing your stance?


I’m rt handed… The instructor said since I’m a bit short armed, (due to a bit of belly size) it would benefit me to change my stance.

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That was a great article. I’m left handed and I also seem to have all of my shot going to the left as well. And I have tried adjusting my sights to correct it. And on my rifle it worked find. But on my handguns it doesn’t seem to work as well. And I have a gun that I just put a Red Dot site on and I’m having troubles getting it sited in for Bulls Eye competition. And the range is 25 yards. But I keep making adjustments in not only me sites but also my aim and stance. And things do seem to get better. but still not what I want. I’ve heard and read about POINT SHOOTING. And I think that I’m going to give it a try. and I have a gun that I can practice with in my home and a target that I use for when I practice in my home. So I’m going to give POINT SHOOTING a try to see if it will help.


Whether you are right or left handed the correction is the same. When you shoot your normal reaction to a explosion, rapid recoil and muzzle flip is to contract your hand. If you just hold the gun in one hand and squeeze, you will see the gun/slide/barrel move toward your support side or your finger side. That is normal, we squeeze or contract the hand to hold on the the gun. If you have the trigger placement so one side of the trigger is at the first knuckle, you will not push the gun toward your finger side.
Since we control the handgun with pressure to the front and rear of the stock, we do not need to squeeze to control the handgun.
Start in an unloaded condition, Dry Practice. Instead of squeezing the stock try pushing out with the firing side hand and pulling back with the support hand. Point in at a target and press the trigger. If you see the sights move try again. Relax the hands and only push and pull. Continue till you are able to press the trigger 20-30 times without move the sights laterally.
When you have done this you can go to the range and try shooting. If you pull the shots laterally, unloaded and continue the dry practice.
Most instructors can tell what to do, but can not diagnose and correct the student.
Dry practice improves, shooting ingrains. If you keep shooting when you are shooting badly, you will get really good at shooting badly!


Focus on your target. What I like to do when introducing this concept to new shooters is start with just a blank target with a spot on it at 3 yards/9 feet.

We start with our “finger guns” practicing just coming from the ready position and extending pointing the finger gun in the direction of the spot.

We do this without bringing the gun to full eight for sight alignment but after they have pointed check to see how well aligned they are.

Depending on how well this goes we’ll repeat five or ten times and then repeat with a dry/clear firearm.

When the student thinks they have it down we’ll load one round at a time and repeat, making adjustments as necessary.

We’ll then introduce multiple rounds and introduce them to the idea of walking the shots as needed if they are having problems getting them on target.

We’ll then move to something similar to the Extend, Touch, Press Drill but again, without using sights.

I find most people pick this up quickly, so quickly in fact it surprises them.


Love this! I find the same can be said with golf - if I am driving poorly at the range, I get really good at driving poorly when on the course.

Welcome, @Ralph1!


This is good advice. But if the only place that you can practice by shooting is at your local gun range you also have to abide by there rules. My gun club will not let you put your target closer than 11 yards. And you can only shoot paper targets. But if you’re certified to shoot on their club member only pistol ranges then you can set your targets up closer. and the club member ranges are NOT FOR THE PUBLIC. They are from members that compete on those ranges only. And I don’t compete in any of the matches that are on those ranges. So when I’m at the range to practice 11 yards is as close as I can set up my targets. But I can practice in my back yard at whatever distance I want. I have a gun that is like and air soft but has a lot less power and is non-lethal and will not leave a mark unless it is point blank range.IMG_20150318_143608337_HDR

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Golf is an evil sport! When I was at my best I was a bogie to double bogie golfer. I had to stop playing about 15 years ago when swinging the club gave me shoulder pain I was no longer willing to bear. I had entirely too much “FUN” when I was younger and it has started to catch up with me in the one shoulder and my knees.

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This is a skill I am really struggling with. I have been shooting with one eye closed for almost 60 years, so it is probably going to be a hard habit to change.

I never thought about shooting with both eyes open until I bought my USCCA policy in April and started reading about people doing this. I understand how this is a great self-defense skill worthy of developing.

Trying the finger gun approach @WildRose suggested I see 2 “front sights” when I focus on the target. I see 2 targets if I focus on the “front sight”. I have the same experience pointing with a firearm. I have found that if I focus on the target and pick one of the 2 front sights, then the gun is pointed at the target. I am right hand and eye dominant so I put the right front sight between the rear sights and see an additional left front sight to the left of the rear sights.

Is it normal to continue to see 2 front sights and you eventually just get used to it? Or does your brain reject seeing the extra front sight over time?

As a side note: I think I do fairly well with picking the gun up and point and shoot without aiming. A whole magazine will generally hit an 8 inch plate at 5 yards, most of the time. I know others are better, but we all do the best we can with the skill set we have.

I’d also suggest taking the USCCA Defensive Shooting Fundamentals class, @Ken1. We went through both eye intuitive unsighted shooting a bunch. It was a great class!

I am definitely not saying that because I work at the USCCA - I took the class and it was AMAZING! I learned so much and it improved my shooting and my confidence if I ever have to defend myself in a dynamic critical incident.


Practice lots of practice. Do it every day at home on the range I don’t care where as long as it’s safe. Just practice that muscle memory remember it takes 3,000 repetitions to build muscle memory.

A great way to practice training with both eyes open is with a laser bullet in your carry gun, you can see it hit where your aiming at and new shooters learn not to flinch because of no sound and recoil. I use my iTarget pro. You can practice more often then go to your range and practice more. You will get faster results and save on ammo.

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Gary try focusing solely on the target and not using the sights at all.

We have the draw, extend, touch, press drill and you can use that for unsighted fire quite effectively.

Focus solely on the target and without looking away, grip, pull, lift, rotate, extend while bringing your support hand to the proper grip all in one fluid motion placing one shot on target.

Note where your hit is in relation to the target.

While holding as close to the same position you fired from, close your off eye and see where the sights are pointing.

Repeat this process until you start getting good hits, still one at a time and then start adding multiple shots.

Rinse and repeat

You’ll be amazed at how quickly you will start getting solid hits as you progress.

Closing one eye is fine when you are working on a precision shot but it can get you killed in a fight because it is so limiting to peripheral vision. You actually lose more than half of your total sight when closing one eye because it enhances your focus on the target.

Thanks for the guidance @WildRose. I have continued practicing this skill with dry-fire.

I have not been to the range much the last couple of months, but spent a whole range session practicing this two weeks ago. In some ways the live fire went better than expected, but target acquisition was markedly slower and overall accuracy reduced but I will continue working on it. I set 2 targets up side by side. I am right eye dominant, and of significance to me was how much better I did with the right side target vs. the left side target. My guess is the left side target was obstructed by hands and firearm when shooting the right side one, and my brain was confused with a clear view of both targets when shooting the left hand target.