Shooting with One Eye Open or Two? Which is Better?

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Shooting with both eyes open is better, but not always. That may sound weird to you, but it is a fact. We know how naturally inclined we are to close one eye when we want to take a shot. We have dug deep into this issue, and this piece documents our findings.

The proponents of one-eye-open shooting based their argument on the age-long belief that it is easier to line your targets with one eye closed. The problem is they fail to take into account different events and their physiological and psychological effects on the shooter.

On the other hand, people who support two-eye-open shooting look at the focal capabilities of an average man. They concluded that having both eyes open gives the shooter better vision. However, they, too, fail to take into account individual peculiarities.

To cut to the chase, which is better depends on individuals.

Shooting With One Eye Open

It is almost a universal practice and one that comes naturally. That is because every man has a dominant eye. A shooter closes the non-dominant and focuses on the target with just the dominant eye to improve focus. It seems this is easy to achieve, so almost everyone does it.

However, facts have emerged that you can achieve all this with both eyes open while you shoot. The only problem here is that it requires lots of practice. You may find it strange initially because images from the two eyes converge and overlap. Just remain calm. At this stage, your brain is still battling to interpret the images from the eyes as one target.

Shooting With Two Eyes Open

Many shooters today shoot with both eyes open and are as good as those that open only one eye. Only that they have some advantages over those who close one eye.

They can see their immediate environment and can take care of any other dangers if there are any. With the two eyes open, the peripheral vision is a significant advantage, and they avail themselves of this edge.

Despite what the proponents of one-eye-open shooting may say, the fact remains that shooting with both eyes open is better. You can quickly shoot with both eyes open and feel safe because you can see all around you.

Closing one eye reduces your field of view and may be challenging when the adrenalin pumps high.

Does the Firearm Matter in Shooting With Two or One Eyes Open?

Yes, the firearm is a significant factor. Some guns are meant for specific purposes, such as the sniper rifle. Sighting with such firearms requires specialized training and techniques.

Also, firearms have different weights. As a result, shooters’ stances and cheek welds differ from gun to gun. For instance, if you have an assault rifle, you won’t handle it like a handgun.  

Shooting with One Eye Open Vs. Shooting With the Two Eyes Open: Misconceptions

Many shooting instructors are rigid and not dynamic in their views. They stick stubbornly to what they were taught at academies and what they have been teaching for ages.

These types of instructors are a source of confusion. They still teach that closing one eye while shooting is better. They disregard the issue-based arguments raised by others.  

For instance, shooting with one eye open may be difficult to achieve in the face of danger. Yes, shooting with one eye open may work fine in precision shooting or marksmanship. An emergency may not play out the same way precision shootings play out.

They gave little consideration to emergencies. There are ‘flight’ or ‘fight’ situations that leave little time for a decision. The shooter, in this instance, spontaneously draws the gun and releases shots to neutralize the threat.

Furthermore, some instructors treat every individual the same way. That is a big mistake because available facts say otherwise. People have differences and peculiarities; in this case, visual abilities and capabilities are of the essence and differ from person to person.

One such difference that matters to this discussion is eye dominance. Every human is unique. Some people are right-eye dominant, and some are left-eye dominant. There are indications, too, that some people are equal-eye dominant. Likewise, as people age, visual capabilities decline.

What are you — right-eye dominant or left-eye dominant? If you don’t know, let’s teach you how to determine that.  

How to Know Your Dominant Eye

You can use many methods, but using your hands is one of the easiest. By this, we don’t mean the idea that right-handed people have a dominant right eye and vice versa.

Follow these instructions to know what we are talking about.

Spread your hands and let the thumbs and the index fingers touch one another. With that, you will create a triangular space between the touching fingers. Hold the hand in front of you a few meters away from your face and take a target. You may pick a point or a location. A picture on the wall or a cup on a table will also work fine.

Through the triangular-shaped space, get an unobstructed view of your chosen object. Then, move your hands steadily to your face, ensuring you don’t lose sight of the object. When the hands get close to your face, you will discover that they are covering one of your eyes. The eye that is covered is your non-dominant eye.  

All this shows that human beings have diverse visual capabilities. Thus, it is unlikely that everyone uses their visions the same way while shooting. The right-handed person and the left-handed person may require different techniques to excel.

How to Learn to Shoot With Both Eyes Open

You will have to start by closing your non-dominant eye. Then, aim at the target and open the closed eye slightly. Keeping one eye wide open and the other partly shut is not easy, but trying it will help you focus even with both eyes open.

If you are using safety glasses, practicing this technique is more leisurely. All you need to do is paint the lens for the non-dominant eye, and you can then aim and shoot with both eyes open. You will have to repeat this several times before trying to do the same without the glasses.

Once your brain learns to deal with the double-vision effects, you will discover that you can focus on targets with both eyes open.


Though shooting with two eyes open is better, it may not be for everybody. It all depends on you and what you find naturally comfortable. However, learning to shoot with two eyes open is essential and should be a top priority. Then try shooting with one eye open. This way, you can compare and tell which works better for you.

It is necessary because you are unique in your ways. Therefore, what works for some people will not necessarily work for you.

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