How to aim: one-eyed or two?

by Alexander Vostrykov

Bob Vogel is aimingMajority of people prefer to close one eye partly or completely while aiming. This method works in the conditions of shooting range and also provides you with more or less acceptable shooting results right away, without any training.

Nevertheless, it is highly recommended to have both eyes open when aiming. There are many reasons for that:

#1: when you close one eye, the overall vision drops by 15-20% automatically (you may check this out using Snellen chart: print it out, place at the correct distance, then compare how many lines and how good you can see one-eyed vs both eyes open);

#2: your eyes work together: when one is closed, another one gets tired way more (this happens because your brain tries to compensate the loss of vision, so it widens your pupils more);

#3: when you close one eye, you lose almost 50% of your observation (panorama). This in turn increases the time needed to switch to another target;

#4: one-eyed aiming diminishes your ability to shoot a moving target;

#5: in many armies, snipers are trained to shoot with both eyes open.

And please don't be confused, you are still essentially aim with just one eye (your dominant eye), but another eye is seeing everything what's happening to the right or to the left of the line of fire.

Of course, it is easier said than done. Initially, you will see phantom front sights, phantom targets and you will have a temptation to close one eye.

Advice: put a peace of blurry adhesive on your protective glasses to cover your non-dominant eye. And keep the eye open! And then practice, practice and practice!

Determine Your Dominant Eye

The first step to learn aiming with both eyes open is to find out which eye is dominant. Please don't assume that if you are right-handed, that means right eye dominance! There are many methods to determine your dominant eye, but here we will stick to just one in order to speed things up.

Dominant Eye TestDominant eye test:

  1. Extend your both hands and make a circle with your index fingers and thumbs (as on the picture). Diameter of the circle should be about 2 inches.
  2. Find an object and look at the object through this circle. IMPORTANT: the whole object must be seen through the circle. Use anything around: a door knob, a mug on a desk (what's what I'm using on the photo) etc.
  3. Move the circle towards your face, looking at the object.
The eye to which you brought the circle is your dominant eye.

And one more thing. In rare cases, you may find out that both your eyes are dominant. Don't be surprised if so, but it happens quite seldom.