Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • SpudGun

    Some great advice there, but I’m a bit baffled by Doug Koenig’s ‘shooting with both eyes open’ philosophy. Perhaps I suffer from binocular vision syndrome or something, but if I try to line up the front blade with both eyes open, I get two targets. Maybe he’s talking about Aimpoints and such.

  • Sian

    @SpudGun It’s a lot of work if you’re cross-dominant like me. lots of sighting drills are a must. After some time, it becomes a lot easier to filter out the duplicate image and just ends up faster overall than doing everything with your weaker eye.

    • David/Sharpie

      I usually squint my left eye when shooting, gets rid of the bino effect but they’re both open.

  • Kurgen99

    Doug Koenig’s caught my eye was well. I was fairly certain I had been taught to shoot a handgun with both eyes open and keep the target in focus a long time ago, but people now were saying use one eye?

    Seems like certain things with shooting change every five years, especially where bullets are concerned.

  • Don

    I (somewhat) disagree with the “dominant / non-dominant” piece of advice. I’m a lefty and eat, write, drink etc with my left hand but when shooting is involved I feel extremely uncomfortable using my left hand.

    Perhaps I’m in the minority?

  • Tuulos

    No, you should shoot with both eyes open even with iron sights. It’s damn hard and I can’t do it but people that are far better shots than me are doing it. I’ve heard the reason why both eyes should be kept open but I can’t remember it for the life of me.

  • Yeah I was gonna ask, too. Of course you shoot with both eyes open with a sighting system that is in the same optical plane as the target (like the red dot on his pistol, which, BTW, I think he’s an idiot for holding in that manner), but I can’t understand how you can possibly shoot with both eyes open with iron sights, especially if you have a scout style rear. Perhaps it’s my astigmatism that precludes me from doing so?

  • Zulu

    @SpudGun: Have you done much practice shooting with two eyes open? It came naturally for me (praise the Lord!), but I here it takes a fair amount of practice for some people to get used to it. Supposedly if you do it enough your brain figures out what you’re trying to do and the image you see becomes more precise.

    Cool link, Steve =)

  • “gunner”

    in the minority possibly, but not alone. like you i write and eat, etc. lefthanded but shoot right handed. back in the ’50s the corps didn’t make allowances for portsiders

  • Michael Barncastle, Sr.

    I’m extremely right eye dominant, yet I find shooting with both eyes open natural, iron sights or optics, doesn’t matter. My brother in law taught me to shoot like that when I was 8 or 9 years old, some 45 years or so ago, because he caught me shooting right handed with my left eye. He fixed the problem by patching my left eye which forced me to use only me right eye, and then simply unpatched my left eye. After that, it just seemed natural for me at that point to shoot with both eyes open. My left eye, right handed shooting is a syndrome I’ve seem quite frequestly over the years, primarily with folks not familiar with shooting, obviously. Most everyone has a dominant eye issue. I would recomend trying the above method to solve this troublesome, and rather embarrasing problem. Another strange thing about this syndrome, is that those who deal with it, usually aren’t even aware they are doing it. I’ve worked in the sporting arms business, guns and archery, for quite a long time, and have helped many shooters improve their skill by using this method, time and time, again.
    When seconds count, the police are only as few minutes away!

  • Michael Barncastle, Sr.

    Hi Tuulos,
    There are a couple of good reasons to shoot with both eyes open. One is you have an open sight plane which makes it easier to find, and focus on your intended target. This is especially useful if you are hunting or shooting a timed competitution. It gives you quicker aquistion of your target. If one is dealing with a self defense situation, it gives you a better peripheral vision, or field of view, which can save your life when entering a room, or area that requires you see more than just the limited plane only one eye would provide.
    When seconds count, the police are only a few minutes away!

  • SpudGun

    I must admit, I’ve never done any shooting with both eyes open – except full auto from the hip – so not closing my left eye just seems a bit ‘weird’.

    Additionally, I have enough trouble with the FOV on high power scopes, I couldn’t imagine trying to find it with both eyes open.

    Bearing in mind that I’m both quite lazy and set in my ways, here is my piece of shooting advice – if you have a system that works for you, is safe and you can hit the target fairly accurately time after time, don’t suddenly change and mess it all up because of an article on the web.

  • Semi-related… We recently tested out a pair of “bullet proof” safety glasses. The worst advice we received was: “Hey make sure you stand really still when he shoots at you…” Um… No, I think we’ll place the glasses on a stand, thank you. Here’s the review for reference:

  • M Gallo: Holding a revolver’s barrel or a pistol’s scope mount shroud against the barricade has been a near-universal technique in the Bianchi Cup for around two decades. Given that Koenig has won the Cup twelve times, eleven with perfect scores, I dare say the technique works. If it works, it is not stupid. The only Bianchi competitors who don’t use this technique are pretty much limited to the Metallic (Iron Sight) and Production Firearm categories where it is specifically forbidden by the rules.

  • Squidpuppy

    Have to remember that what they’re offering is the best advice for the widest range of normal people, and commenting on arbitrary bad advice. I have a shooting buddy who has a physical visual defect with jittery parallax during focused fields of view like a sight picture on long guns; he _must_ close his non-dominant eye; end of story. BTW, he shoots fine; better than me, and I use both eyes open. He’s okay on handguns; it’s just long guns.

    The best instructors I’ve had looked at what I was doing, considered what was needed for me to shoot to the best of my capability, and advised me based on that; not truisms, nor rules of thumb, not manuals of arms. So, best advice: get expert training.

    The most consistently bad advice I’ve heard is goofball boyfriends trying to teach their airhead girlfriends how to shoot based on Hollywood movies. Nearly every other time I’m at a range, I hear this kind of nonsense going on. It’s all I can do to keep from smacking them upside the heads, and taking away their toys.

  • Redchrome

    In much the same way that a very small minority of the population (I’ve heard 0.5%, but don’t really know) is ambidextrous, I’m one of a very few people who don’t have a strongly dominant eye. If I try to shoot with both eyes open, I see two sets of sights and one target while lining up, and two targets and one front sight and two rear sights when I focus on the front sight. I’ve seen red dot sights hit to a different point of aim for me than most other people; and I’ve tried looking through a scoped rifle with both eyes open (seeing the crosshairs ‘floating’ in my field of view); then closing one eye and seeing the crosshairs ‘jump’ to one side. (Tried it with the rifle on each side too, just to make sure… same results).

    So I shoot iron sights with ‘one and a half eyes’… I squint my left eye enough that I’m only looking at the sights with my right eye, but keep the lower part of my field of view with the left eye. It seemed to be a completely natural and automatic thing for me to do and I’ve shot that way longer than I remember.

  • Sian

    @Redchrome It’s easier for people like you than those of us who are cross-dominant. Put a piece of frosted tape on your shooting glasses and practice that way, and before long you won’t need them to shoot iron sights. You’ll just filter out the wrong target automatically.

  • Michael Barncastle, Sr.

    In retrospect, if it is not working for you then you must obviously revert to what does work. My circumstances were unusual, in that, when I began shooting a gun back in the mid 1960s I had suffered 3 severe brain injuries that caused permanent damage. The damage had a profound effect on my vision and caused me to see double vision without warning. So what my brother in law did for me, was probably retrained my brain. In any case, it worked for me and may not work for everyone. I havew not had a double vision issue since patching my eye 40 some years ago.
    When seconds count, the police are only a few minutes away!