Using Two Eyes to Aim, Why It's Better
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Using Two Eyes to Aim, Why It's Better

Using Two Eyes to Aim, Why It's Better


Using Two Eyes to Aim, Why It's Better

Two-eye aiming, or binocular shooting, has all the advantages of closing one eye even for rifle firing while a distinctly clearer view of the target is obtained and distances can be estimated more positively. All of us who were taught to close one eye can well remember that the instant we blinded the left eye to find the sight, the bird at once appeared to be a great deal farther away. I can recall that more than once when a boy I had shut the left eye and then decided that the grouse was out of range, after which I opened both eyes and found it still well within reach.

It is no doubt true that with only one eye a gunner could finally learn to judge distances as well as though he had the use of both, but when from birth to age he uses both eyes to see and estimate distances a million times to one with an eye shut, it reasonably follows that he will do better work in the style in which he has been trained, even though that training were not with a gun. Therefore we can take it as simple statement of fact that with both eyes open we most accurately estimate distance that game is from us, the speed of its flight and the lead necessary in order to kill it.

It is possible to secure equally fine aiming with both eyes open, either with shotgun or rifle, provided one eye alone governs the line of sight or is focused upon the sights. This eye is then said to be the master or dominant eye for the reason that the brain pays attention only to what this eye is doing. The other eye sees just the same, but of its vision the brain keeps only a small record.

Ordinarily it is supposed that the master eye has the stronger vision, which entitles it to govern, but this does not fallow by any means. In shooting from the right shoulder the right eye controls, not because its strength is greater, but for the simple reason that the brain has been trained to register only what this eye sees. It may be the stronger eye or it may not, nor would this make much difference unless its vision were extremely defective while that of the left eye was normal.

A good manner of testing which eye is dominant is to hold up an object at arm length from them and align it with a point beyond while keeping both eyes open. Now close the left eye and if the alignment doesn’t change the right eye governs, but if shutting the left eye causes the point of aim to shift to the left, the left eye is dominant. If you find that you have been shooting using your wrong eye, you either need to train yourself to shoot from the opposite shoulder or to use your other eye.

The style of aiming with both eyes open is exactly the same as with one closed; the gun is brought up and there is a slight pause long enough for the eye to find the front sight which is then placed upon the point of aim. The focusing of the eye upon the front sight, however, will probably not be as sharp as with the other eye shut, with the consequences that the vision of the game will be less dimmed. Offering a better view of what the bird in flight is doing, and allowing for better estimation of speed and direction, ensuring a more accurate shot.

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