Shooting With Both Eyes Open

I have a very hard time shooting with both eyes open. When I shoot with one eye I am able to stay focused on the front sight…but everything falls apart when I try to shoot with both eyes open. My first question is probably the most basic. When I shoot with both eyes open I tend to focus on the target. Where is my focus supposed to be? I’ve tried to focus on the front sight with both eyes open but I’m finding it near impossible.


Great question, Joseph and know that you aren’t alone with that issue. Most people shoot targets with one eye closed and that has become the “standard” way to target shoot.

Where your focus is, is going to be more related to what your goals are when you are training and what is required of you. The factor determining your focus will be speed vs. accuracy. For a fast shot on target that requires less accuracy, you will be focused on the target with little to no focus on the sights. Front sight focus will be a little more accurate but not as fast. Sighted fire will be the slowest, but far more accurate such as using force to defend yourself if there are others around.

My suggestion would be front sight focus. That is how I started shooting with both eyes open and using peripheral vision to see both the target in front of you and your rear sights. It’s going to take a lot of training and a lot of time, but keep working at it. How long have you been working on shooting with both eyes open?


Took me a year to completely adjust, to get the blurrieness out of the non dominant eye, I was spending three days a week on a range both indoors and out. It’s become natural to shoot both eyes open. I don’t know how I would go back to one eye open. The body will adjust the same way if you moved to London and had to drive on the opposite side of the road!
With two I have the advantage of knowing what’s going on at 180 degrees.
Now if I could only have eyes in the back of my head…


As Tim_D_USCCA said, it depends on the type of shot needed. In a defensive case close quarters I think you’ll only have time to react with point and shoot.
The big factor of keeping both eyes open, I feel, is being able to see most of the happenings within your sight view. Remember the training and explanation of tunnel vision though, main word “TRAINING”.


When I’m at an indoor range I shoot with both eyes opened. Self defense range about 21 feet I just point and shoot. I have gotten better at it.


Please please please tell me that there will be a follow up of shooting with both eyes closed.


Practice makes perfect.


Yippie Ki yea…


Focus on the front sight. The target can be blurry.


Both eyes open is superior.

Front sight is where focus should be, whether shooting nice and slow for pretty groups, or rapidly for practical/self defense.

Even at close range, like 3 yards, you should be looking for that front sight or red dot reticle. With practice and training it can be picked up very quickly, and training to do so will result in faster, more accurate shooting.

People regularly miss at 3 feet, videos of this in real life or even at the range can be found everywhere. Usually, they are not even trying to locate the front sight, even in their peripheral as they bring the gun up, with those misses.

A piece of magic tape (like you use for wrapping paper) over the non dominant eye can help train for both eyes open.


Figure out first which eye is your dominant eye.
You can do this by holding your thumb up in front of you and looking at something behind your thumb.
Close one eye then the other and the one that does not change your position of your thumb is your dominant eye.
Then with a safe and cleared weapon with no ammo around practice with both eyes open aligning your sights to your dominant eye. If you use your non dominant eye closing one eye will allow you to focus better but any tunnel vision you have from an adrenalin rush will be increased that much more.
Practicing acquiring a target with both eyes open then step it up by acquiring multiple targets.
Just remember, practice, practice, practice! and train! Not Amtrack, but actually training in a class.


As it happens, the July issue of Concealed Carry Magazine that should have just arrived to subscribers and USCCA members in the past few days, has an article about finding eye dominance. :slight_smile:


Got mine yesterday :smiley:


Just keep at it, it took me off and on for years for my hands, eyes and brain to figure it out.
I learned with a shotgun hunting Grouse and then it clicked with a handgun. :slightly_smiling_face:


What helped me was to practice drawing to get my NPOA consistent to where I need the front sight to be.


What I did to learn was to open both eyes, align sights, then close the non-dominate eye. If the sight was still aligned, I knew it was right. After, I do not know how many sessions, I could easily switch from strong-hand to weak-hand, which I used my non-dominate eye to aim with, to accurately shoot with both eyes open. I had a bit of an advantage as I taught myself as a kid to shoot a pellet rifle with either hand, sighting with my strong and weak eye depending on which hand I was shooting with. I became almost as good with my weak hand as I was with my strong side. Forty years later, after having never shot a rifle afterwards, my veracity of that claim was challenged and I proved I still had that ability.

As the rest have stated, practice, practice, practice, kind of like the real estate sellers, location, location, location. It is what matters. I shot my pellet rifle just about daily as a kid until about 17/18 years old - a good 10+ years of practice, though about half that time was with my brother’s Crossman 760 and my spring-action bb gun. I was able to hit targets well-beyond the range of it’s sights, aiming several inches or more above the sights, depending on how far the target was. After about 100 feet, the drop was huge.


I’ve been using an optic on my SD pistol for several years now and it took some time to learn to shoot both eyes open after decades of closing one eye.


@Joseph424 , you have to be patient with this. Shooting with both eyes open is challenging and takes a time. It may me one week, or two months… but if you keep practicing you eventually find it working for you.
First of all - always focus on front sight. The trick is to see the target first, focus on it, but once you align the sights, change the focus to front sight. Our target becomes to be blurry, but don’t worry, you will still see it covered by image of your front sight. You have to know which target is the real one and disregard the other one.
If you find both eyes open technique hard, start with one eye. Then try both eyes, but squint your non dominant eye for a moment to make everything clearer. Then open it again and take a shot.

I personally spent 3 weeks on this but eventually made it working for me. Patience is the key here.
You have to teach your brain to see one sight picture and not paying attention to the other one.

Good practice is to learn to quickly change focus between target and front sight.
These are two videos which helped me to shoot with both eyes open:


@Joseph424 > this is some stuff that may give more ( insight ) for shooting ; it called instinct shooting. With practice it can be accomplished shooting anything, you’ll ( see ) what I mean about the principle of instinct shooting. You don’t have to be the fastest gun in the west but the principle is real.


I’ve tried, especially since moving to a carry optic, but have consistently failed. Now I don’t care. I do quite well with my preference and it’s not something I’m going to try and further develop because someone else thinks it’s the right way – it’s one way. I’ll stick with mine.