THIS is the quickest thing you can do to shoot better…but you shouldn’t do it.

I’m going to let you in on a little firearms training secret today.

It’s a trick used by instructors to get shooters on target quickly when they’re having problems, but don’t have the time to work with every shooter on the line as much as they’d like.

Roughly half of the shooters I work with keep using this trick for the rest of their lives.

I surveyed each of the last 5 classes I taught and about 80% of them use this trick.

The problem is…this technique that works so well shooting paper is almost guaranteed to fail in a life and death shooting situation.

What is it?

It’s closing one eye while shooting.

This will cause an immediate improvement in accuracy for about half of all shooters.

But it creates big challenges down the road if they ever end up needing to shoot under stress.

You see, under stress, it’s very hard to close one eye.

First, the brain wants both eyes open so it can detect threats better…in a wider field of view.  There’s a paradox here with the fact that people tend to have tunnel vision under stress, but there’s an even bigger reason than peripheral vision at play.

The second reason is the biggest…The brain processes visual images roughly 20-30% quicker with both eyes open than with one eye closed.  In a fight for your life, seeing 20-30% quicker is H U G E.

If you do manage to shut one eye, the eye lid of your open eye will droop sympathetically, reducing the amount of light entering the pupil.

Here’s the problem with shooting with both eyes open.

It can be confusing trying to figure out whether to use the image from the right eye, the left eye, or a combination of both.

What do you pay attention to and what do you ignore?

Here’s a representation of what I see when I shoot with both eyes open.

1 blurry target

2 clear front sights

2 fuzzy rear sights

This isn’t “right” or “wrong”.  It’s just the reality of what I see.

Some shooters see 2 targets, 1 front sight, and 1 rear sight.

Others see 2 of everything or 1 of everything.

Some people don’t see a shadow image at all, and other people see 2 images of equal intensity.

Everybody’s different.

So, instead of working with 10-20 shooters individually, trying to figure out how to help them, instructors just have them shut one eye.

It’s quick.

It’s easy.

And it works…until it doesn’t.

Because if you always shoot with one eye closed and your brain won’t let you close an eye in a life or death situation, you’re going to have to figure out how to do both-eyes-open shooting on the fly when the stakes are at their highest.

You’re going to have to figure out what to pay attention to and what to ignore when lives are on the line.

That’s a great way to guarantee a sub-optimal outcome.

Fortunately, everyone can learn to shoot with both eyes open.  Most people can start doing it VERY quickly.

I’ve run a little drill with almost 1,000 shooters where I have them warm up and shoot a course of fire for time. Only hits count.  (It works with either live fire or with a laser pistol.)  I make sure they’re warmed up because I don’t want the improvement to be because they shot cold the first time and warmed up the 2nd.

Then, I have them do a few minutes (usually just 3-5 minutes) of vision drills from the course.

Then I have them run the drill again.  I tell them that some people shoot it better, some worse, and some the exact same.  Neurology is different for everyone and not everyone responds immediately to every drill.

But time after time with group after group, there’s an average improvement of 20%…even though they’re using the exact same gun and same technique.  The only change is how quickly and accurately their brain is combining and interpreting visual input.

The averages have held with shooters who have healthy eyes, bifocals, trifocals, transitions, monovision, astigmatism, and more.

So, if you’ve ever had a challenge shooting with both eyes open, I want you to do this

The next time you shoot or do dry fire, take some time and go through the following sequence:

  1. Shoot the tightest 5 round group you can from 5-15 feet away with both eyes open with no time constraints.
  2. Shoot the tightest 5 round group you can from the same distance with your non-dominant eye closed with no time constraints.
  3. If your 2nd group is markedly tighter or more precise, do the following:
    1. Close your non-dominant eye to aim
    2. As you take up the slack on the trigger, open your non-dominant eye.  Don’t adjust the gun.  Pay attention to the ghost images that appear…and ignore them as you continue pressing the trigger.
    3. Each accurate shot that you make with both eyes open will reinforce what a proper both-eyes-open sight picture looks like and you’ll be driving nails with both eyes open in no time.

Why does it work?

It’s trickery 🙂

When you have both eyes open, there will almost always be a ghost image that your brain suppresses or tries to combine with the image from your other eye.

When you aim with one eye closed, you’re removing the confusion and it’s easier to line up the sights correctly.

When you open your non-dominant eye while the sights are in perfect alignment between your dominant eye and the target, it’s much, much easier for the brain to identify any new images that appear and ignore them.  When you resist the urge to move your pistol and just continue pressing the trigger with the sights in perfect alignment, you’ll hit exactly where you wanted to, get a hit of dopamine, and your brain will quickly learn to pay attention to the right stuff and ignore the extra.

Finally, if you have at least one eye and you shoot, you NEED to sign up for my Vision Training Course by clicking >HERE<

In addition to shooting better with both eyes open, you’ll learn how to see your sights quicker, your target clearer, and see threats in a wider field of view.  It’s full of neurological techniques to improve your shooting performance quicker than what’s possible by just grinding out reps.  As one student recently put it, the impact is life changing.

So, sign up now by going >HERE<



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  • rod vanzeller

    Reply Reply May 23, 2023

    Are you familiar with Peyton Quinn Rmcat facility in Colorado?
    In the seventies he pioneered adrenal stress reaction training.
    Unless you can control your adrenaline anything you train is useless, he demonstrated this issue many times with highly trained people.
    What are some of the drills you do for adrenaline control when under attack so that your training performed in a non-adrenalized state will transfer?

    • Ox

      Reply Reply May 23, 2023

      Very 🙂 In fact, there’s a video of some of my friends doing training at his facility that I share in the presentation.

      In that presentation, I discuss methods of managing the stress response and lay out a training plan specifically crafted to increase transfer between training and chaotic real-world situations.

  • Jim R

    Reply Reply April 26, 2021

    This is not a trick. It’s a crutch. If you shoot this way, train yourself out of this habit. It will get you killed. Your situational awareness is shot using this crutch. It is too easy to develop bad habits, and hard to get rid of them. I know. I am veteran US Army, and veteran law enforcement.

    Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect. Use both hands and both eyes when shooting any handgun or rifle with iron sights, RDS, or ACOG type sight.

    Be safe, train with intensity, and be ever aware. We will need you very soon.

  • Jerry Webb

    Reply Reply April 26, 2018

    I do not understand “Try to switch back and forth between which eye you’re using so that you’re switching from tunnel vision to seeing everything.” -are you referring to switching the tube? Explain further please as I know you are a great source of info.

    “If you need to, try partially closing one eye at a time until your brain prioritizes the other eye. You only need to do this for 1-2 minutes at a time, a few times a week.”- is this while using the tube or without? can you please explain further.
    I already have your course. THANKS

    • Ox

      Reply Reply April 26, 2018

      Absolutely…you hold the tube in front of one eye, and get your brain to switch which eye it’s prioritizing. At first, the easiest way to do this is to put the cylinder in front of the dominant eye and start by partially squinting each eye in succession until the brain prioritizes the image from the other eye.

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