Max Distance for Both Eyes Open?

So this is related to the “Best way to train with both eyes open” thread as I was practicing this skill prior to RSO duty this afternoon. At 3yds, I’m good to go…both eyes open (BEO), all hits within 8x8 square even with rapid succession shots.

But once I get to 7yds, I have to aim at a different point on the target (e.g. lower left of the target) in order to get the shots to hit inside the 8x8 consistently.

This got me wondering, is there a max distance you practice at with both eyes open, or do you do it at all distances assuming in a defensive situation your body will reflexively keep both eyes open regardless of distance of the threat? Just wondering if I should plan on stopping at 7yds or keep going to 15yds (which will definitely take some committed practice on my part).


In my case - 30 ft is the max distance I’m able to focus on target and still have good hits with BEO.
And I don’t even train myself to use BEO for further distance.
If I have to make precise shot and still have 2 or more seconds then I use my dominant eye.
In self defense: 20 - 30 ft-> BEO, below 20 ft -> no sight picture needed at all.

Be precise if you have time, otherwise be fast.


About a mile. That’s as far as my range goes. :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh wait your talking pistols :flushed: :blush:

Honestly I keep both eyes open all the time. Then again I really don’t bother with my sights until about 10 yards for offensive/defensive shooting. If I’m trying for an accuracy run or a long shot then I will use them.

@JamesR I’m wondering what a: type of handgun and b: what cartridge are you using that requires that much of a sight shift from 3 - 7 yards?




Ruger SR40c (.40 S&W) standard Winchester Range ammo (180gr). It’s probably less a factor of the gun and more a factor of the shooter. :rofl: Although I am getting a new higher viz sight installed next week (I discovered last week that the front sight isn’t as visible as it once was despite the florescent site paint). Maybe that will help?

Below are the targets I was shooting at yesterday…target “B”, 3yds BEO 9rds (from the draw rapid fire, one flyer high)…target “A” 7yds BEO 10rds slow from low ready, 10rds, strong hand only aimed, 5 rds week hand only aimed. Three misses along the tope were from weak hand firing…Stray round in the B target was from BEO, the other three outside the box were either from BEO or strong hand only.

At 7yds I have to aim (put the front site on with BEO) towards the bottom left (midway between the A and the bottom left corner and more left than low) of the target box (8"x8") to get centered. I think it’s just the way my eyes start lining stuff up once I get to a certain distance (any thoughts/recommendations welcome)

Kind of hard to tell without seeing what you are doing while doing what you are doing :face_with_monocle::crazy_face:

Since it appears you get to the range fairly often I’d like to see two different “clean targets” with the same POA, same stance, same grip, etc for accuracy. Use say a 2" dot as the target (aim small -miss small) Just let me know if you use lolly-pop or center hold. If you really want to test yourself shoot a blank target at 3 yards and then at 7 yards WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED. Say five rounds each, hold the gun out there and squeeze off 5 at each range, no peaking between shots :blush: I have been able to learn and teach much using that drill.




It might be a week or so, but assignment accepted sir. :slight_smile:

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@JamesR, as I noted in linked post below, I had more trouble when shooting BEO when two identical targets were side-by-side. I have had some issues preventing me from going to the range lately, but have been practicing acquiring the sights (with an empty gun) on targets from probably 3 to 50 yards away. It has taken months of practice for this to feel natural, but it is getting there.

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The simple answer… max distance is the distance at which you, personally, are defensively accurate. If you are good at 15 ft… then the answer is 15 ft.

If you aren’t accurate at a distance with both eyes, that’s the time to close one. Of course you can extend your range with practice, but today, you are where you are.

The tradeoff is losing that additional information on what’s happening around you. But if you’re missing the primary threat because you had both eyes open, that may not be working in your favor. Stop the threat with the accuracy you need, assess with both eyes immediately after.

I’ll check back when I get off the road and see if the other smart folk here have posted all the good stuff on how to get better, further :blush:


Hey @Craig6 (and anyone else who’d like to comment). Below is my target from today’s session (7yds)…first thing first, is I have a new higher viz front sight on and I think that’s helping. I put numbers by the various targets as to the sequence I shot them (1 - 11) firing 5-10rds. I used the same shooting stance for all of them the only change between targets were whether both eyes were opened or one eye was opened.

Target #'s 1, 5, 11 were all one eye closed

I’m having trouble mentally deciding when I’m aiming with BEO whether I should be focusing on the target or focusing on the site. I seem to do better when I’m focusing on the sight (target #'s 3, 4, 8, 10) than I do when I’m focusing on the target (target #'s 2, 6, 7, 9).

Even when I focus on the site, I have to offset to the left some e.g. target #'s 3 & 10 (A box) I have to put the front sight just to the left of the A, if I put the sight on the A then I get to shots that are along the right. When I was shooting at the main body (#4 ) I started with the site on the center and then adjusted to where it was to the left of the center line.

Based on today’s results, I see this as a big practice focus area for me over the next month or so (that or I may just adopt to wearing an eye patch permanently :face_with_monocle: :grinning:)


This tells me you’re having trouble with your sight alignment when you’re two eyes open.

That’s the way it should work… controlling the front sight results unless error at the muzzle which translates to much less error at the target.

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Are you shooting right eye / right hand?

I see a lot of inconsistencies from group to group… a couple nice groups in there, but most of your groups are dissimilar with each other… that is, I’m not really seeing a consistent pattern. Your two best groups are both a bit left. Otherwise I see two groups that are overall right, two overall high, one overall low, one overall left, two centered but scattered.

Here’s my observations, FWIW. I think I’d be looking at your grip first. Getting the firearm backstrap deep in the web of your hand, hand high up, getting the support hand in the gap on the grip, support index finger right up under the trigger guard, thumbs stacked one over the other. Maximum skin on the grip, good alignment with your strong hand bones, same grip every time.

Next I’d move your distance in from 7 yds to 3 yds… I’d want to eliminate some variables.

Then I’d have you closing your non dominant eye until we’re sure your grip is consistent (then work on eye stuff once we’re sure it is).

Last, I’d have you doing rest (low ready or high compressed ready), extend, breathe, acquire (take your time with sight alignment and sight picture), slooow squeeze, slooow release, return to rest until we had consistent shot placement. Once you do, slow two shots, then slow 3-5 shots until your groups are good.

After that’s reliably repeatable, I’d start looking at eyes :slight_smile:

Just my thoughts on it. Apply as you like.


I’m right eye dominant so I’m closing my left eye. I tend to shoot a little left in general so top three targets are about right (with a couple flyers due to poor trigger pull techniques).

I’ll give your suggestions a try! :slight_smile:

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@JamesR I appreciate your target and your feedback regarding your observations. I do not have time at this particular juncture to fully evaluate what I am seeing. That said I would like you to describe your “stance”… I have the distinct impression that you are fighting your body. I also get the impression that the gun is jumping around in your hands if you are doing this all from one grip for the length of the string.

In general I think you may be snatching the trigger as that is the only thing I know of that will give you high and low shots.

I will ask you again to shoot a segment “eyes closed” Get set up in your stance, point at the target, then close your eyes and shoot a string of 5 without opening your eyes (even better with a mag change).

At 7 yds you should be wearing the center out of the circle targets.

The other option is that your sights are way off and you are compensating after each shot. Shoot same POA for every round. It doesn’t matter if they are in the zone. THAT tells you that your sights need adjusted not your shooting.




@Kiest, tagging you on this thread