Shooting a Shotgun with One Eye Open
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Shooting a Shotgun with One Eye Open

Shooting a Shotgun with One Eye Open


Shooting a Shotgun with One Eye Open

One eye sighting is distinctly slow and is not adapted to killing game that in the nature of its flight is either imperfectly outlined or rapidly gets beyond arrange. One eye aiming implies that the instant the gun comes to the shoulder there shall be a pause in its movements while the eye adjust itself to the site, or, as it is called, finds it. This focusing the eye upon the sight necessarily dims the vision of the target, for there is no such thing as the human eye focusing perfectly both upon the gun sight and the game. Notwithstanding this the target can be seen, even though it appear shadowy, and the sight placed upon it very accurately: indeed, if the game were not moving, or the shot was directed straight at it, it could be placed with greater precision than in any other way. But it occurs not infrequently that after you have paused to find the sight, the opportunity is gone, either the gam cannot be seen or not quickly enough to cover it before it escapes.

Further, the principle involved in the one eye use of gunsights is that if they do not align perfectly with the target on the first attempt, withhold your fire and never pull the trigger until sure of your aim. Naturally this theory of obtaining a second and surer sight when needful is rarely put in practice in wing shooting, and if it were the result would be a pottering inefficiency that would last through life. The gun pointing shot doesn't do things that way, since nothing short of a house intervening would prevent his shooting exactly on time.

Finding the sights, whether with one or both eyes open, and putting the focused bead upon the target is beyond question the most accurate way of aiming a gun, as witness that it has been adopted by all riflemen who are obliged to do fine holding.

What is required in wing shooting is no such hair-splitting aim, but that we cover the target with the utmost dispatch and pull on the instant, not a hundredth of a second sooner or later. Indeed pulling a hundredth of a second too soon or a hundredth of a second too late will make more difference as to where our shot charge lands than any variation that can occur with the finest sight or no sight at all.

While I am opposed on principle to the novice learning to sight a shotgun with one eye shut or both eyes open, in fact sighting the arm at all, believing that so taught he can never become a first rate performer at shotgun shooting.

Success with game birds is more due to correct estimates of distance and speed of flight than to manner of aiming, and since there is never any question of being able to see the bird, even with half an eye, it is probable that nay system of sighing or pointing the gun can be made to work for the shooter given that he/she estimates distance and speed correctly.

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