Tactical Vision Training Drill For Defensive Pistol, Carbine, and Precision Rifle

I’ve got a deceptively simple vision drill for you today that will help you with both-eyes-open shooting:

You can do this drill at home leading up to your time at the range or at the range as a warm-up.

*Big Tip*  If you’re having a challenge at first suppressing one eye, it’s normal.  If it’s a challenge, try partially squinting the eye you want to suppress until the other eye takes over and then go back and forth between squinting it and opening it back up.

Once you’re able to switch back and forth easily when you’re looking at your finger, start stretching it out until you can do the drill at any distance.  I like using power poles and trees in the distance.

If you want to do the tactical version of the drill, simply paint the cylinder black 🙂

If you want a range-bag-friendly tube that’s crush resistant, use a short section of PVC.

Why’s this important?

  1. In an extreme stress event, it’s incredibly unlikely that you’ll be able to close your non-dominant eye.  If you haven’t trained your brain to aim with both eyes open, this is going to be a problem.
  2. When you close one eye, the other eye partially closes too…and that means you can’t see as well out of the eye you have open.
  3. In a 360 degree environment, you don’t want to turn off half of your visual threat detection.

Get more tactical vision drills by clicking >HERE< so you can expand your peripheral awareness, identify threats quicker, see your sights clearer and quicker, follow your sights during recoil, and shoot better with ANY gun you pick up…because when you can see quicker, you can shoot quicker.

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  • Clark Sann

    Reply Reply July 5, 2023


    The reason to have both eyes open is to achieve better tactical awareness because of awareness of our full peripheral vision Otherwise might as well shut one (or poke it out!). BUT when we are sighting, it seems we want to temporarily suppress one image. Then when the shooting is over we need to go back to having full peripheral vision. So am I right that what we are trying to do is learn to suppress when we need to and how to quickly revert back to unsuppressed when we need that?

    • Ox

      Reply Reply July 6, 2023

      Hey Clark, you nailed it! There are several reasons why we want both eyes open when we shoot. I go into them here: https://dryfiretrainingcards.com/blog/shooting-pistols-with-both-eyes-open/

      We may or may not need to suppress in order to shoot quickly, accurately, and without confusion…it depends on the shooter.

      The issue that we’re trying to solve with this drill is called visual confusion. Visual confusion is when both eyes are open and the images are being fused in the mind in a way that is confusing. It could be because there are 2 images of your pistol, 2 targets instead of one, or both of those at the same time. We want the brain to automatically know which images to pay attention to and which to ignore. Temporarily suppressing the non-dominant eye is one way to make this happen.

  • Lars P

    Reply Reply May 25, 2018

    @J Webb-It took a couple of times for me to adjust, but I found when I consciously shifted my gaze from one eye to the other, it got easier. I mean physically feeling them move. Not sure if this is what Ox intended, just throwing in my two cents as it seemed to work for me. Hope it helps. Went to the range the other day to try “both eyes open” shooting for the first time. I couldn’t hit the target from 20′ with a .22!!
    This is definitely something I need to work on.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply May 25, 2018

      Hey Lars, that’s exactly what I intended…there’s a sensation that they’re moving, even when they aren’t. It’s truly bizarre.

      Have you gone through the Tactical Vision Training course? It deals specifically with shooting with training the brain to shoot with both eyes open.

  • J Webb

    Reply Reply May 25, 2018

    (From Youtube) This doesnt make sense to me. I am unable to see finger except thru the tub as tube blocks my view of the finger making it impossible to see it. I have to close the eye I am not looking thru the tube with. what does painting the inside (or outside) of the tube accomplish? Help

    • Ox

      Reply Reply May 25, 2018


      To start with, painting the outside black to make it tactical is a joke that obviously fell flat. I apologize. In the gun/tactical/preparedness world, there’s a joke that you can take something that’s pedestrian, paint it black, and sell it as a “tactical” item.

      I was under a 1 minute constraint for this video so I didn’t go into a ton of detail…but I’m happy to help you.

      I’m not sure which eye is your dominant eye…and it doesn’t really matter because you can and should do the drill with the tube in front of either eye, but here’s what you should do…

      Hold the tube in front of your right eye.

      Take your left finger and put it out in front of the tube far enough that you can shut your RIGHT eye and still see it with your LEFT eye. You might need to shut your right eye to make sure that the cylinder isn’t blocking your finger.

      Switch eyes that you’ve got the tube in front of…it may be easier in front of your right or left eye.

      There’s no one-size-fits-all in neurology so we may need to tweak the drill a little for you to get the most benefit out of it. Let me know if that helps/clarifies.

      • J Webb

        Reply Reply May 25, 2018

        I am still stumped. How does it help me to be able to choose which eye. (in my case i am right eye dominate and want to have clear ability for the sights with the right eye keeping both eyes open. I am near sighted with prescription) How do I recognize the effect of this drill i.e. is it working? I am having trouble with seeing double(crosseyed?) when the sights are on a small target. when that happens I close my left-nondominate eye. Is this good for that? THANKS

        • Ox

          Reply Reply May 25, 2018

          No problem. I may not always be fast with my replies through YouTube, but I’ll get you taken care of.

          1. How does it help. I’m going to copy/paste a quick snippit from an article that I wrote here: http://dryfiretrainingcards.com/blog//see-front-sight-faster-clearly/

          “One of the most common problems that shooters have is how long it takes them to see their front sight clearly.

          The process is pretty amazing.

          The shape of the eye changes so that a clear image of the front sight forms on the back of each eye.

          A chemical reaction turns that image into an electrical signal that is split in the optic chiasm and sent to the visual cortex to be put back together.

          Then the visual has to decide whether to use the image from the right eye, left eye, or to combine the two to make a hybrid image and it feeds that image to the rest of the brain for threat detection, navigation, aiming, etc.”

          The hybrid image is the problem. This drill puts you in control of which image your visual cortex sends to the rest of the brain.

          2. How do you recognize that it’s working? You’ll alternate between seeing everything but the center of the tube fade away when you’re using the eye that’s looking through the tube AND seeing the tube fade away when you’re using the eye that’s outside the tube.

          3. You may be crosseyed, but not necessarily. It’s normal to see double when you shoot, as I explain here: http://dryfiretrainingcards.com/blog//shooting-pistols-with-both-eyes-open/

          The trick is to train the brain to know which image to use and which to suppress. That’s what this drill does.

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