Thursday, October 6, 2016

Overwatch: October Drill Of The Month

Learning to Shoot with Both Eyes Open

Many shooters close or squint their weak eye to focus on the front sight, but doing so impairs peripheral vision and depth perception while increasing eye fatigue. Your target-to-target transitions will be much quicker if you are using both your eyes, and you can be more relaxed, which will improve your shooting in general. The problem is usually that the dominant eye is not much stronger than the weak eye, so instead of seeing one image strongly and the other faintly, you see both strongly. When focused on the front sight, you see a confusing array of rear sights and targets, with no way to coordinate them.
It’s impossible to sort out the double images every time you take a shot. Instead, train your eye to
simply "know" what a good sight picture is and to ignore the extraneous elements. Within a few months, you can shoot as well as anyone, with complete peripheral awareness, by learning not to "see" any doubling of the sight picture.

The following is a recovery program for shooters with eye squinching problems:
Put a strip of scotch tape on your shooting glasses over your non-dominant eye and learn to shoot with both eyes open. The tape will obscure the weak eye's picture to the point where it will not interfere with your sight picture. Shoot this way until you have acquired the technique and your stance, sight focus, and follow through feel natural.
Dry fire every day. Select either the presentation from the holster or low ready, whichever makes sense to your situation, and practice first to make it smooth, then to make it perfect. Always keep a strong front-sight focus, and be very aware of where the sights are when the hammer falls. Work your way up to being able to make a presentation with your eyes closed, then open your eyes and see a solid sight picture.
Replace the tape with a smear of Vaseline, thin enough you see a ghostly rear sight when focused on the front sight. It will disorient you, as you'll see two rear sights and two targets. You will find that you are able to put the sight dead on the target regardless of the double vision. Continue the dry-fire regimen, and soon you will hardly be aware of the second image. As you get more acclimated to seeing the sight picture with only the strong eye, you can remove more and more Vaseline.
Eventually, open both eyes. Watch the sight through recoil. You will learn that you can follow the sight and retain a sharp picture, disregarding any weak-eye images of the rear sight or target. If your eyes begin to confuse the images, go back to the other glasses for a few minutes. In live-fire, gradually phase out the old glasses.
Within a few months, you won't ever think about it again--your eyes will "know" the sight picture and the non-dominant image will seem like a peripheral, ghostly superposition. This is because attention is what makes the image strong. The steps above will allow you to shoot as if the conflicting image didn't exist--and the more you ignore it, the more it doesn't exist. The result is no visual confusion, just a strong sight picture, normal depth perception, and the full range of your natural peripheral vision.

See “Overwatch: Drill of the Month” page
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