Non-pistol purchase: with bad eyesight need advice

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I’ve got a few nice pistols and it’s time for a long gun. My first one and I need advice. Every time I shoulder a rifle (right shoulder) I just have a hard time seeing thru the sights. It’s very bad. With a .22 I can barely hit the target at 50ft. I know a red dot will help with this. I have glasses but they don’t help very much (left eye is perfect).

Would love an AR but wondering if the cost (trying to keep it under $2k) is worth it if I can’t effectively take it to the range. My priorities: 1 fun at range, 2 compact for home defense, 3 looks evil and brings me joy. I’m in MA so options limited. Affordable carbine with aftermarket sight? Tactical shotgun with aftermarket sight?
 

42!

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Tell your optometrist to find a prescription for your dominant eye that focus best at 2 feet. Tell him it's for reading things on a computer but it's also the best distance to see your front sight. If you can see your front sight clear, you can shoot well.
Or tell @Idoktr you shoot and you can talk guns while he checks your eyes and writes you a prescription that will help you shoot.
 

quiller

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Personally the difference lens route failed for me. As mentioned above get a Holosun or similar red dot sight. Then go practice shooting with both eyes open.
 

milktree

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Not a stupid question at all.
I’m right handed and left eye dominant. Many people don’t realize or know how to determine it.
I had a student who, despite having what looked like excellent technique (no flinch or anticipation, good grip, good stance, etc. ) and could describe proper sight alignment and sight picture perfectly, couldn’t shoot for shit: like 10” groups at 15 feet.

Then we gave him a red dot and his groups narrowed to like 4” at 50’

He simply couldn’t pick an eye and stick with it.

A piece of scotch tape on front of one eye and as nearly as effective with iron sights.
 

adacosta

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I went the “computer glasses” route as someone above mentioned and this is what I experienced: the vision up to the computer was great, but; beyond the computer, the vision was fuzzy to the point where I was told by the optometrist that I shouldn’t drive with those glasses. Yes, you’ll be able to see the front sight really well, but if you also need correction for distance then the only solution is progressive lenses “bifocals without the line”. The only problem is you’ll be constantly moving your head up and down to get both the target and the front sight in focus. Realistically, if you need corrective lenses to see distance, as well as the front sight in focus, the only solution I’ve found (have worn glasses all my life) is to switch to a scope or holo sight as someone else above mentioned. YMMV
 

42!

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I went the “computer glasses” route as someone above mentioned and this is what I experienced: the vision up to the computer was great, but; beyond the computer, the vision was fuzzy to the point where I was told by the optometrist that I shouldn’t drive with those glasses. Yes, you’ll be able to see the front sight really well, but if you also need correction for distance then the only solution is progressive lenses “bifocals without the line”. The only problem is you’ll be constantly moving your head up and down to get both the target and the front sight in focus. Realistically, if you need corrective lenses to see distance, as well as the front sight in focus, the only solution I’ve found (have worn glasses all my life) is to switch to a scope or holo sight as someone else above mentioned. YMMV
My "reading" glasses are set up for computer use since that's what I do most of the time. And I have distance glasses mostly for driving so I can read the street signs before I get to them. And you are absolutely right, the reading make the sights clear and the target fuzzy, and the distance do the opposite. The trick is a prescription that compromises and gives you a sharp enough sight picture while not making the target too fuzzy, it's impossible to correct both. And that's why you go with someone who understands the problem. A prescription that helps shooting clays isn't much use with a handgun.
 
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Stupid question: are yo left eye dominant?

Have you tried shooting left handed?
[/QUOTE
Stupid question: are yo left eye dominant?

Have you tried shooting left handed?
I’m definitely left eye dominant. But I do everything right handed. And I’ve been shooting for maybe 10 years and I think only once maybe I tried firing left handed. I’ve probably adopted some cheats to shoot ok with a pistol. Maybe shooting left is something I should actually try. Good thing ammo is cheap and plentiful to experiment with lol.
 

silversquirrel

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I have struggled withcross dominant vision. Nearsighted both eyes. Rifle and pistol werent too bad, but clays were frustrating.
I first learned to shoot from low ready, mount and swing in one move, and would pick up the bird with the left eye, and bead with the right. I could hit right to left, but crossers from the left i was a mess. I tried shooting glasses with a perscription in the right lens, and plain (no rx) in the left. Also the tape trick. Tried shooting lefty too, but never got the rythme.
One thing that did help was a red fiber optic front bead, similar to a pistol sight, but with a 1" long tunnel in front of the near dot end. This made it impossible to see the dot with my left eye, but picks up with right. Helped tremendously with going away and pop up targets. Slight impovement with crossers, but still my left goes to the bird half the time.

Eta
I tried my computer glasses (24-28") for pistol, and that really sharpened up the front site, so I had some randolph aviators (thanks nes classified!) fitted with tinted polycarbonate lenses. My new shooting glasses. Havent tried them with clays yet, but great for action pistol.
 
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milktree

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I’m definitely left eye dominant. But I do everything right handed. And I’ve been shooting for maybe 10 years and I think only once maybe I tried firing left handed. I’ve probably adopted some cheats to shoot ok with a pistol. Maybe shooting left is something I should actually try. Good thing ammo is cheap and plentiful to experiment with lol.
Oh, if you can't get your good eye behind the rear sight, you'll have a hell of a time shooting a rifle. That would explain every symptom you're describing.

My brother is left eye dominant and right handed. He shoots left handed because he's far, far more left eyed than he is right handed.

If your right eye is good enough, try shooting with something obscuring your left eye's vision. If not, shoot left handed.

I suggest using something like scotch tape, only big enough to block your left eye's view of the target and the front sight (plus a bit)

If you block too much, it starts to mess with your sense of balance and it can be disorienting.

Also, use something that doesn't block too much light, like scotch tape, and not electricians tape or a full-on patch. Your pupils more or less work as a set, so if it's really dark for your left eye, *both* pupils will get bigger; likewise, if it's really bright for your left eye, both pupils will get smaller. Smaller is better because it will increase your depth of field and make everything sharper.






Disable your left
 

mac1911

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Tell your optometrist to find a prescription for your dominant eye that focus best at 2 feet. Tell him it's for reading things on a computer but it's also the best distance to see your front sight. If you can see your front sight clear, you can shoot well.
Better yet find a eye dr who shoots and knows what shooters needs are
 

mac1911

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I went the “computer glasses” route as someone above mentioned and this is what I experienced: the vision up to the computer was great, but; beyond the computer, the vision was fuzzy to the point where I was told by the optometrist that I shouldn’t drive with those glasses. Yes, you’ll be able to see the front sight really well, but if you also need correction for distance then the only solution is progressive lenses “bifocals without the line”. The only problem is you’ll be constantly moving your head up and down to get both the target and the front sight in focus. Realistically, if you need corrective lenses to see distance, as well as the front sight in focus, the only solution I’ve found (have worn glasses all my life) is to switch to a scope or holo sight as someone else above mentioned. YMMV
For range use and target work you need a "shooting Rx" a short answer is you will use just enough correction to see the sights well. you may give up a little down range clarity.
Example
At 50 yards or less with iron sights a +1.5 works great for me. But for inside 300 yards I need a +1.0 or down range gets a bit wonky. At 600 yards i have to settle for what +.5 does for me as i will get a headache after 10 rounds or so.

also using a rear aperture or peep will help.
Basically you want the smallest rear aperture you can see through clearly and only enough correction to help see the front sight clearly.
I have had to compromise over the years.
bigger apertures, wider front sights and Rx lenses for target shooting.

Here are my old set of Rx shooting glasses

for rifle and pistol. 10 years old or so. have been through some tough times. The tape takes the non aiming eye out of the "vision" but allows the light in to both open eyes. Trying to keep a eye closed for aiming only introduces more stress for the eyes.
For EDC I practice a more of a cover target style. I practice with both Rx lenses and with out
 
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mac1911

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Yeah - until it starts spitting hot brass down your shirt
maybe a old slab side might get down your shirt , maybe.

I have been shooting right handed guns left handed since I could recite the 10 commandments of gun safety. only rear port right ejecting bulpup designs are a problem but even some of those are not to bad. Worst so far is the M1 carbine it puts spent cases to my forehead, A hat and tight cheekweld solves that.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qy0FlnXCWxQ
 
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BrianWilson

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Maybe see what you can get ammo for first.
If you want to clang that steel plate 100 yds and under a red dot is ideal.
For more precision or longer distance go a scope.
If your going to shoot standing like a rifle was meant to be shot you don't want a high magnification scope.
For plinking Id suggest Ruger American Ranch in 7.62 Russian.
If you want a little more firepower a 357 lever gun.
By the time you get into AR you'll be well north of 2K.
 

Parker Schreiber

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Would love an AR but wondering if the cost (trying to keep it under $2k) is worth it if I can’t effectively take it to the range. My priorities: 1 fun at range, 2 compact for home defense, 3 looks evil and brings me joy. I’m in MA so options limited. Affordable carbine with aftermarket sight? Tactical shotgun with aftermarket sight?
I can't speak to the "looks evil" or "brings me joy" part of things, but I'm enjoying my TNW Aero PCC with an overall length of 33". I'm also looking at a 20 gauge bullpup shotgun, but it looks like the model I want (30" overall length) a) isn't legal to transfer via FFL in Massachusetts, and b) is currently sold out.
 
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I'm cross eye dominant as well. It's not a problem with pistols, at least not for me. For iron sight rifle or shotgun I put a very small piece of Scotch tape on the dominate side lens - just enough to block out where my left eye would see the front sight. That forces my non-dominant eye to control.

Also +1 for @Idoktr
 

1903Collector

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I'm right handed but have no choice but to use left eye, right eye is basically there for show, it doesn't work so I shoot pistol right handed and long guns left handed. Fortunately left distance vision is great but I have needed reading glasses for very close up stuff but that hasn't translated into issues with open sights or scope reticles....yet.
 

commodon

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My "reading" glasses are set up for computer use since that's what I do most of the time. And I have distance glasses mostly for driving so I can read the street signs before I get to them. And you are absolutely right, the reading make the sights clear and the target fuzzy, and the distance do the opposite. The trick is a prescription that compromises and gives you a sharp enough sight picture while not making the target too fuzzy, it's impossible to correct both. And that's why you go with someone who understands the problem. A prescription that helps shooting clays isn't much use with a handgun.
I am sure I am not the only one, but we're in the same boat together, i.e. one pair of glasses for working while at the computer and another pair specific for distance and/or driving. I am near-sighted with Astigmatism.

When it comes to hitting the range I wear the distance pair and make the best of it, though at some point I would like to get a third pair specific for shooting.
 

NHKevin

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Maybe see what you can get ammo for first.
If you want to clang that steel plate 100 yds and under a red dot is ideal.
For more precision or longer distance go a scope.
If your going to shoot standing like a rifle was meant to be shot you don't want a high magnification scope.
For plinking Id suggest Ruger American Ranch in 7.62 Russian.
If you want a little more firepower a 357 lever gun.
By the time you get into AR you'll be well north of 2K.
What is 7.62 Russian?
 
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