Seeing is believing

Regarding shooting, one thing we can all agree on is you need to have decent vision.

Most of us as we get older will need to do something to correct our vision, whether through surgical procedures, contacts or glasses. It is a fact of life, you cannot expect to have perfect vision forever, but correctable to 20/20 should be a goal. If corrected with contacts or glasses then you are going to have to wear them when shooting, I know seems obvious.

At a recent class while in the classroom I noticed one of the students was wearing glasses, but on the range only wearing safety glasses. It’s not uncommon to see prescription style safety glasses so I just assumed that was the case. He struggled with several different shooting errors and it was difficult to diagnosis many of them in order to make progress. On training day two he asked me if he could use his “other” glasses to which I asked what other glasses. He went on to explain the glasses he wore daily. As soon as he was wearing his regular glasses he saw a big improvement, literally. I just took it for granted the issues were a result of the various shooting errors. I didn’t stopped to consider he wasn’t able to see well at all as an error. The regular glasses allowed him to see with more clarity the essential components to shooting. Once identified he made steady progress and ended up making the biggest gains in the class.

Another student also struggled with his vision. His problem was slightly different though and had to do with eye dominance. He believed his dominant eye was his right, when in fact it was his left. Again, we didn’t figure this out until the end of day one, but day two he saw some improvement. He had a very difficult time seeing his front sight and described what we typically call sight chasing. Sight chasing is constantly varying your focus from the front sight to the target and usually breaking the shot somewhere in the middle. The sight chasing was complicated by the eye dominance issue when he really couldn’t see his front sight clearly. Compound the vision issue with shooting a .40cal double action pistol and that makes for a really difficult time. It’s too bad he didn’t have a chance to read the article on double actions as it might have helped on his pistol selection.

You cannot take action without knowing there is a reason to take said action. That means you will have to visually pickup on cues through situational awareness. Situational awareness leads to threat discrimination and if necessary responding with lethal force, which will require transitioning to a visual on your front sight. The quality of that visual will be dependent on your visual acuity and knowing your eye dominance.

Vision is pretty important to our everyday quality of life and when that quality of life is challenged because of a treat it will be even more important.

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