Should I Shoot with Both Eyes Open?

Should I Shoot with Both Eyes Open?

Depending on who taught you to shoot, you might hear some differences on whether you shoot with one eye open or both eyes open. So which way is right and why?

According to former CIA Officer and the author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry Jason Hanson, it depends on you. Hanson says that everyone has different vision in the same way we all have different size hands, fingers and bodies so there is no one-size-fits-all technique. Typically, a shooter will fall into one of two categories: right eye dominant and right handed or left eye dominant and left handed. These people are likely to be able to shoot with both eyes open because their dominant eye is on the same side as their dominant hand.

The third and less prevalent category, according to Hanson, are people who are cross-eye dominant. This type of shooter would be right handed but left eye dominant or left handed and right eye dominant. When these shooters try to shoot with both eyes open they see double, making target practice difficult and ineffective.

Field of Vision

Another train of thought on shooting with one eye closed is that this narrows your field of vision. Hanson says this is true but that it really only narrows your field of vision for a short period of time, only when you are about to take a shot. I had a friend who was a highly trained military soldier who said that he always kept both eyes open so that he could be aware of all of his surroundings at all times. Coming from someone who had to be alert and had the potential to be endangered from all sides, this made sense. It still doesn’t mean that it would be easy or necessary for everyone to do.

What Works Best for You

Hanson’s advice is to practice whatever works best for you. If you can hit your targets better one way than another, then stick to that.

Which Eye is My Dominant?

If you are unsure about which of your eyes is the dominant one, try this trick:

  • Extend both of your hands in front of your body and place the hands together making a small triangle between your thumbs and your index fingers. The thumbs should overlap each other.
  • With both eyes open, look through the triangle and center something such as a doorknob in the triangle.
  • Close your left eye. If the object remains in view, you are right eye dominant. If closing your right eye keeps the object in view, you are left eye dominant.

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