Shooting with glasses

Discussion in 'Training' started by Phaetos, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. Phaetos

    Phaetos Distinguished Poster

    I started having to wear glasses full time last year and I haven’t been to a range since well before that ( lack of time and finances to buy ammo and range time). So in short, I’ve never shot my guns with full time prescription, line less bifocals.

    How do train with glasses? I was a decent shot without glasses but was beginning to think I am actually left eye dominant while being right handed. How the heck do I train for that? Also, how do you wear eye protection while wearing glasses? Does someone make prescription shooting glasses, but I bet that’s expensive. Does it make sense to have hi-viz optics on your guns to see the sight picture easier?
    Mesquite and JohnDeere like this.
  2. patchz

    patchz Court Jester

    Most prescription lens have the same protection as shooting glasses these days. Check with your optometrist to be sure.

    As to shooting with bifocals and left eye dominance, it will take a little experimtation and practice. I used to be right eye dominant, right handed, but a ptyrigium and beginnings of a cataract changed that. I've been shooting with my left eye for several years now without prescription lens but wearing shooting glasses. I have to wear my glasses to shoot long guns though.
    Mesquite likes this.

  3. GunnyGene

    GunnyGene Distinguished Poster

    Bifocals are a pain in the rear. If you have a scoped rifle it's better to just pull your glasses off and adjust scope focus. For non-scoped rifle or pistol, you need to have a prescription specific to the sight radius of the front sight from your eye. Find a optometrist that has some experience with prescriptions for shooters. I also often use clip on, or glasses over (OTG - , yellow tint sun glasses which tends to sharpen the image a bit.

    It can get expensive.
    Mesquite likes this.
  4. namsag

    namsag Distinguished Poster

    I’m fortunate I don’t need bifocals yet, I hate to even think about trying to shoot with them.

    As Gene described, I had some unifocal prescription glasses made to focus on the front sight of my pistol with my right eye and normal distance prescription for my left. They take a little getting used to but they work really well. As might be expected, though, the main drawback here is the cost.

    For a while before I did this I used Hydrotacs

    Hydrotac (formerly Optx 20/20) Stick On Bifocal Reading Lenses for Sunglasses

    I put one in the upper inner corner of my dominant eye lens. I found them a little harder to use because I found myself having to move my head around to see when I wasn’t sighting the pistol but this is ‘way more affordable than prescription shooting glasses.

    You can also certainly experiment with different styles/colors of sights for your pistol and see what works best.

    I think each person just has to try the various options available and figure out what they like best.

    It can get expensive. (Amen Gene)
  5. gunsinger

    gunsinger Distinguished Poster

    Petal, MS
    I struggle with long guns being a bifocal wearer. A red dot on my AR helps. Handguns don't really seem to be a problem for me though I may be shooting point of aim more than i realize.
  6. Mesquite

    Mesquite Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    I quit battling over whether to get presc. shooter & practice with & without my prescriptions on.
    I wore Tri-focal ,due to work;for few years before going back to Bifocals.
    Now use both standard shooting glasses & prescription , depending on whats best for time.
    fordpkup likes this.
  7. GunnyGene

    GunnyGene Distinguished Poster

    One of the main issues with bi-focal lenses when rifle shooting is that it forces you to change your cheek weld to get everything lined up, which is a real PITA, and why I just take them off and adjust scope focus. If you don't use a scope, then the only real solution is what you described for pistol shooting.

    Getting old sucks sometimes. ;)
  8. Doc

    Doc Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    Welcome to the world of prescription glasses .... I shot rifles (metallic sights) for years before I started wearing prescription glasses. After needing glasses, while shooting rifles I obtained a set of Knobloch glasses with a prescription lens in the right side and a blocker in the left. The problem with that for casual shooting or ON DEMAND shooting is that you don't have time to take off your regular glasses and put on the Knoblochs. The Knobloch options is strictly for range use.
    Then I transitioned into a trap shooter and rapidly found that I could not afford the cost of many sets of lens in different colors for different backgrounds - There are shooting glasses made which allow you to wear a prescription lens and utilize interchangeable colored non-prescription lens over them. My solution was to pick a color that I could use 99.9% of the time and stick to it (as I do not use contacts - never could wear them). the other <1% of the time I have a lighter color for shooting under the lights.

    All that really does not help you - just lest you know that needing prescription lens in glasses does not stop you from shooting.
    If you are interested in trying to optimize your glasses for shooting - I would suggest you spend a few minutes talking to Art Neergaard. He is an optical engineer who designs lens for special applications --- He has a www site Shooting Sight ShootingSight - he makes a lot of great "gadgets" for the metallic sights, the AR and M14 based rifles. Art helped me develop what is referred to as a mid-distance focal or correction. It is a calculation and will give you a compromise where you can see your front sight pretty good and see the target pretty good. That lens allowed me to shoot my M1A again --- and I use it for shooting trap and it works great.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
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  9. melmerf

    melmerf Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    With pistols I have to tilt my head back slightly to see the sights clearly. With a rifle I have to make sure my glasses are pushed all the way up on my nose. Sucks, yes. But there it is.
  10. Phaetos

    Phaetos Distinguished Poster

    Sounds like I got fun times ahead to figure this out
  11. dhollis51

    dhollis51 Distinguished Poster

  12. confederado

    confederado Distinguished Poster

    As for getting older, I've discovered that focusing on the front sight of handguns has become increasingly harder. What works best for me is to replace the front sight with a fiber optic and use the lowest power reader lens that allows me to see the front sight and still see the target fairly well. These are some great reader safety glasses. I am right handed and left eye dominant. What I do is just move the gun a little more to the left and squint my right eye, this allows my left eye to pickup on the front sight.
  13. Dave

    Dave Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    I have been shooting using only one eye all my life. I'm left eye dominate but shoot right hand most of the time. The only exception is shooting natural point of aim. I have precription safety glasses to shoot with and they are set to be in focus at the distance of my front sight. They are bifocal so I can also see stuff close up like keeping score at matches. My normal glasses have glass lens so I can see better. The safety glasses are plastic lens and they are larger to give better protection to the eyes.

    This works for me but might not work for everyone. I tried one eye with a normal precription and the other eye with the precription for the front sight. I never could get adjusted to that setup. As a side note, I don't need to change the precription for the shooting glasses as often as I do for my everyday glasses. I can shoot a handgun with my every day glasses. I just can't seem to focus as well on the front sight.
  14. Phaetos

    Phaetos Distinguished Poster

    How do you train for right-hand, left eye dominance?
  15. Dave

    Dave Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    For me I just closed the left eye and forced the right eye to sight as a normal right hand right eye person would shoot. It just feels more natural for me to do it this way. I also close the right eye when shooting left hand. This is for target shoot I might point out. I have also seen many people just put something over the left lens of their shooting glasses to force the use of the right eye while shooting.

    For up close and personal shooting, I will shoot natural point of aim and both eyes are open. In a situation like self defense you need to be aware of as much of your surrounding as possible and closing an eye will limit you too much. I know of a few people that always shoot both eyes open and they will move the pistol more left to see the sights when shooting right hand. That could work but it does effect my grip a little so I prefer to just do it the way I have been for a very long time.

    I found I am a better shot left hand using optics with a long gun. I also shoot bulleye better with a pistol left hand. I am quicker with right hand shooting but I practice shooting this way a lot more.
  16. Phaetos

    Phaetos Distinguished Poster

    Thanks for the input. That’s pretty much what I had been doing anyway, closing the left eye. I was a pretty good shot, don’t know how I am now since I’ve started wearing glasses. I need somewhere to practice.
  17. Dave

    Dave Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    There is Brothers in Arms located South of Hattiesburg just off of Hwy 49. You could also make the trip to the Byram area near Jackson to attend some steel matches. You would have to get up early to be there on time in the morning. It is fun shooting steel plates. Those are two options I can think of off the top of my head. If you are able to see the front sight fairly clearly with glasses you should be able to hit stuff if you do some dry fire practice. I wouldn't recommend doing it with a .22 but most any center fire pistol should work.

    I find my glasses I use to shoot pistols works well enough with long guns and iron sights.
  18. maxhush

    maxhush Distinguished Poster

    NW MS
    I just miss the center ring a lot and blame it on me eyes.

    BasMstr and patchz like this.
  19. Phaetos

    Phaetos Distinguished Poster

    I need a Saturday off to go check out BnA.