Shooting with Eyes Open or Closed?

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Shooting with Eyes Open or Closed?
Shooting with Eyes Open or Closed?
Shooting with Eyes Open or Closed?
Shooting with Eyes Open or Closed?

Depending on which firearms instructor you talk with, you’ll either hear insistence that you’re supposed to shoot with both eyes open or that it’s alright to shoot with one eye open while the other eye is closed. So who is right?

Well, it all depends on you. Just like every one of us has different size hands, fingers and bodies, each of us also has different vision. You see, the majority of people are right eye dominant and right handed or left eye dominant and left handed. This means they’re more likely to be able to shoot with both eyes open because their dominant eye is on the same side as their dominant hand. 

However, there are a small percentage of folks…

Myself included, who are cross-eye dominant. For instance, I am right handed but left eye dominant. And when you try to shoot with both eyes open and you’re cross dominant you’ll see double, which doesn’t exactly make it easy to hit the target.

This is why I close my right eye when I shoot and (very) slightly tilt my head to the right so I can align the sights. It doesn’t affect my accuracy and if you’re cross-eye dominant I recommend that you tilt your head too.

I’ve heard many times before that the reason you don’t want to shoot with only one eye is because it narrows your field of vision. Yes, that is true, but it narrows it for only a split second. You see, I don’t walk around with my right eye closed all day long, I only close it when I’m about to take a shot.

And in the times in my life when I had to draw my gun, I remember getting on the threat and closing my eye and not having any problems at all. Thankfully I didn’t have to shoot and I obviously quickly opened my right eye when the threat was over.

So don’t worry too much about whether you shoot with one eye open or two.

Figure out what works best for you and then worry about hitting the targets. If I were a betting man, I’d say there are plenty of people who shoot much better with one eye closed than folks who shoot with both eyes open.

And don’t forget, if you’re still wondering which eye is your dominant eye, here is the simple test you do: Hold your hands up (palms facing out) and lay one hand’s fingers and thumb on top of the other hand’s fingers and thumb, making a small triangle with your thumbs and index fingers.  Your arms should be fully extended and the triangle should be in the middle of your body.

Slowly bring the triangle towards your face and whatever eye the triangle gravitates towards is your dominant eye. Trust me, this works, and if you don’t already know which eye is your dominant one figure it out today and then figure out if you want to shoot with one eye open or two.