Sunday, July 10, 2011

Improve Handgun Accuracy:
Shoot With Both Eyes Open

It may sound like a no-brainer that shooting with your eyes open will improve your accuracy. For me, it was not so cut and dry. I had always been taught that I should shoot with my dominant eye, my right eye, and close the other eye. Focusing in on the front site tip with only my dominant eye open while tightly squeezing the other eye closed. My groups were satisfactory for a new-to-handguns shooter. They were not, however, very impressive.

Last Monday, I had the pleasure of shooting with a man with a ton of tactical handgun experience. As I watched his form, I noticed that he appeared to be shooting with both eyes looking down the barrel of the handgun. When I asked him about it, he confirmed that in most cases, he does try to shoot with both eyes open. To be honest, the thought had never crossed my mind.

As I approached the target, I tried to focus on the front site tip with both eyes open, I found it at first impossible to get the front site tip to come into view. I had to close my left eye, get the front site in view and then slowly open my left eye. All at once, I had a very clear view of the front site tip. As I squeezed off the first round, I decided not to even look at the target and followed up with a second shot. When I came off of the site to look at the target, the grouping was a keyhole shot. Both shots through the same hole. I re-aligned my focus to the front site tip and put together another three shot group with all of the shots touching.

Just like that, in one fall swoop, I had cut my groups down from 3-4" to less than 1". Turns out, if you shoot with both eyes open - which is a challenge - you can significantly improve your group size.


  1. Interesting post. It's produced a kerfluffle among me and some friends regarding left/right eye dominance, hand coordination and ambidestorousness.

  2. There should be an 'x' in there somewhere.

  3. It was interesting to say the least. To see if have such an insanely huge effect on group size blew my mind. Even in shooting shows, you see marksmen block off one side of their glasses or put tape over a lens, or really try to focus on the dominant eye. I was quite shocked to see such an incredible difference from shooting with both eyes open. Mind you, it's very difficult to get the focus on the front site tip. However, it works. Try it!

  4. I am trying this now...I see double or two targets. I always point at the correct one, but still.


  5. Closing one eye has always been laborious for me but I did it until I started carrying a pistol for a living. With each new tactical shooting course the Navy would send me to, I just got used to shooting with both eyes; it was faster for me and left me with less of a blind spot for the next target that seemed to always be around that next left corner... I guess the trainers knew this was a weak side for most right handed, right eye dominant shooters also.

    In the discussion between eye dominance, I find that with focus and exercise, I am able switch eyes without squinting or patches... This may come in handy in the event a zombie pokes me in the eye before lunging to eat my brains.

    Unlikely, I know, but one must prepare for these things!