Shooting With One Eye Open vs. Both Eyes Open

Gunfights happen extremely fast…or so I’m told. Hopefully you never get into a gunfight with your concealed carry pistol, but if you do, it is unlikely that you will have enough time to obtain the proper sight picture, line the threat up inn your front sights, and then take a meticulously aimed shot.

The nature of concealed carry is that it is a “reactive” game. The criminal gets to choose the time and place of battle, you are stuck reacting to his action. That presents a serious problem where accuracy is concerned.

Target Focused Shooting

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you have seen my writing about the body’s natural response to a gunfight. One of those responses being tunnel vision, it’s not a great idea to narrow your vision even more by closing one of your eyes to aim.

For this reason, many defensive handgun classes teach target focused shooting.

Target focused shooting is different than the sighted shooting you might see at a target pistol match. Most competition target shooters will agree that shooting with only one eye open is the most accurate method.

Many target shooters close their non-dominant eye when aiming at a paper target some 50 yards down range. However, in the controlled environment of a target shooting match nobody is shooting back at you and you don’t have to worry about threats ambushing you from the side or innocent bystanders in front of or behind your target.

Close one of your eyes to aim at an attacker, and you increase the effects of tunnel vision. You also increase the chance of you getting blind-sided by an unseen attacker, and increase the chance that you will focus only on the threat and ignore the innocent bystander standing behind or in front of him.

The Tactical Compromise

While gunfights happen fast, they also tend to happen at close range…sometimes at arms reach. At those kind of distances you don’t need to be “bulls-eye” accurate, but you do need to be fast.

You are not trying to hit a red dot 50 yards away, you are probably trying to hit a man’s torso standing 5 to 7 feet in front of you. We call that “combat accurate.”

You might loose some accuracy by shooting with both eyes open. That can be over come with proper training. But, the increase in situational awareness gained by shooting with both eyes open and employing target focused shooting is well worth the imperceptibly diminished accuracy at typical gun-fighting distances.

Dry Fire Drills for Increased Accuracy

The dry fire drills in this video will help you to acquire the proper sight picture quickly. Perform them all with both eyes open. Focus on the target until you can bring the gun sights up and into your point of focus instead of bringing your head and eyes down to your sights.