Aging eyes – corrective lens needed for shooting – maybe not…

This is a discussion on Aging eyes – corrective lens needed for shooting – maybe not… within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I’ve reached ‘that’ age where the eyes don’t focus as closely as they did. It’ll probably come as a shock to young guns, but as ...

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Thread: Aging eyes – corrective lens needed for shooting – maybe not…

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    Aging eyes – corrective lens needed for shooting – maybe not…

    I’ve reached ‘that’ age where the eyes don’t focus as closely as they did. It’ll probably come as a shock to young guns, but as you age your eyes become less able to focus close up. Close up means on the front sight! I’m to that age and past it. My solution in the past has been to use low power reading glasses for shooting; just enough power to let me see my front sight in focus. That is a troubling solution however. While reading glasses are good on the range, it’s highly unlikely that I’d have them on in a SD situation.

    But, since I shoot almost every week, I’ve noticed some things. One is that it doesn’t seem to make much difference out to 21 feet or so whether I wear reading glasses or just safety glasses. In fact, I’m starting to notice that with reading glasses I tend to over align the sights because I can see them better to align them better. Here’s the funny thing. If I align the ‘blurs’ (the sights w/o reading glasses) I hit as well and seemingly faster than when I can clearly see the sights. Here’s an example:

    Yesterday I shot my new M&P and used my reading glasses. I was unimpressed with my performance, in fact I came home disappointed. Today I shot the same gun on the same range without the reading glasses. The first slow fire shot at three yards (warm up) hit the X dead center. I re-aligned the front blur (front sight) and broke the shot. It went through the same hole. After a few more slow fire shots, I moved the target out to 21 feet. Again, ‘focusing’ on the front blur, I put 44 rounds out of 50 in the ten ring firing a bit faster than one shot per second. The six misses were gun mismanagement on my part.

    So what to conclude about this? I’m not sure. But I’m pretty sure one can shoot pretty accurately even if the front sight is a blur. The funny thing is the attempt to focus on the front sight makes the front sight blurry because I can’t focus that short and the target is blurry because I’m trying to focus on the front sight. Strangely it all works. I have also observed that white dots, when they can be seen, are really fast for me. E.g. a Glock has nice big white dot on the front sight and the M&P has a smaller dot, but I do remember seeing it all the way through the recoil cycle as I shot today.

    Hey, maybe there’s hope for us old guys after all.

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  3. #2
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    I too have had to adapt. My computer glasses do well as they have a focal length of about 18" - but unlikely those would be in use in a ''situation''! Plus the blur distance vision.

    I have just persevered with the blurred sight pic, concentrating on consistency of grip, presentation - and even shooting from retention. The CT grips helped a lot early on - as I could draw and point and see where the dot finished up - without having to fire any shots. I still tend to shoot a few inches left doing that even now but hits are still good.

    When we think about it, sight aquisition is somewhat of a luxury - or could be - and so the ''look'' over the slide/barrel is more what counts - particularly bearing in mind we would be probably somewhat up close and personal.

    I used to shoot bullseye and could get a wonderful sight picture - but that was then!
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    Member Array Draco's Avatar
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    I have the same issues at 57 I have 3 ways of dealing with it First I lie about my age. Second I try as much as possible not to get spooked about it just come on sight picture and do what seems right and I still do resonable well. Can still shoot as well or better than 30 year old son unless I try to hard then diaster. I have appt in Feb with Laser surgen to see if that type of surgery could clear up sight picture .I have talked to some guys who said they had it done and feel it was a great help....
    It is not wrong to be Right
    An apeaser is a man who hopes that the crocidle eats him last

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    Member Array jongle's Avatar
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    I have had bifocals for years: with the "up close " part of the lens, I get a clear view of sight alignment, but the target is blurred. If I use the distance (top) part of the lens, the reverse occurs. As a result, i have had to accept that the precision I had as a younger man is probably gone, unless a new kind of blended lens is invented. The good news is that going for the clear sight alignment on a blurred target still rsults in shot placement in the desireable anatomical area of the target. In other words, I can consistantly shoot into a three inch circle at 15 -20 yards. But the 10s are mostly accidental.

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    Bullseye shooting isn't something I strive for these days...like Chris, I have to wear my "computer reading" glasses to sharply focus on the sights. I am, however, able to shoot "minute-of-badguy" with my regular distance lenses, and I'm happy with that at this point.

    One thing to consider...if you've practiced for many years with a good sight picture, perhaps shooting can become more instinctive as you start to lose your focus power...
    "I surrounded 'em"- Alvin York

    "They're ain't many troubles that a man can't fix with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six"- Jeff Cooper

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    I Need My Reading Glasses...

    to do simple tasks...I do, however, only shoot without glasses. I do this because I want to be ready to shoot 'when I don't have glasses', and I don't want to have to ask the BG if I could put my glasses on to find my wallet...

    My new AR has the EO Tech holographic scope...this works well without glasses...

    My new Marlin 336SS has a fiber optic front site...this seems to work well without glasses...

    In low light, each of my pistols has night sights...this help a great deal. In fact, the night sights work better without glasses...

    During the day, in a close up incident...I don't need glasses or sights...I just point and shoot. At our range, we have a special range with metal 'man size' targets. Drawing from retention, and/or walking sideways (when alone on site) is a good training technique...not the best, but better than a sitting target.

    The metal spinning targets, the hit and drop, and man-size targets allow for increase in speed and accuracy...without glasses!

    These 60 y/o eyes...

    Stay armed...practice...stay safe!

    ret
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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    well they, USMC, taught me clear sights and blurry tgt or you are doing something wrong. So bifocals should be the thing for any tgt bigger than a match book. If you only need reading glasses get bifocals, clear glass over your reading prescription.

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    Member Array mrtca's Avatar
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    I am also 57 and everything is blurry close up. Like Tango said I probably won't be wearing reading glasses if I should ever have to use a gun. So I bought a subcompact laserlyte so I could practice point shooting. I would know where the gun is pointed when I am ready to fire, without trying to line up the sights. Also I think it would be very handy in low light situations where you could see the BG but not the sights. In darkness a flashlight would be in order. For such a small unit it is very bright, and easy to see.

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    Longer arms? So far I can see my front sight well enough, but I know the day I can't is coming.

  11. #10
    Member Array ppro's Avatar
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    A whole lot comes into play when considering correction for shooting.
    Considering the varous eye conditions....what works for one person may not work for another.

    My wife is in optical and I have worked with the eye docs for years trying different things mainly because I still carry for a living, and have been a competitive open sights shooter for many years. I can still qualify distinguished expert (100%) on the I.C.E. qualifications....and I have tried bi-focals tri-focals mixed focal range lenses etc etc etc. buty it gets harder as the corneas get harder...

    Get the sights for your weapons that give you the best chance such as race cut sights....or at least sights providing more light on either side of the front sight post and a taller rather than short front sight helps here too. White dot sights can help during the day, and night sights for night, even though things get somewhat blurry the white dots and night tritium will help. Sure you may shoot very well when actually just looking over the top of the sights ( or what you make of them) due to training and experienced hands etc., but sights are still useful....and improve things in most cases especially as the range gets farther and you still don't want the delays while trying to acquire a good sight picture...which doesn't help.

    Placement of the lower viewing zone of the mid range portion of the bifocal lense to ease your sight alignment can help, and some guys can get the no line glasses to work well too.

    Glasses tailored just for your shooting will be extremely helpful and and can be used during combat comp like 3 gun, with VERY good results. I am talking about such things as a mid range only lens for your dominate sighting eye and a distance only lens for the other eye....things such as that.....and you can specify the center zone of the dominate eye sighting lens to align with your eyes aiming point through the lens which when ground, gives the better sight picture and is more forgiving than trying to sight through the edge of the lenses adjusted viewing area just because your glasses were made without consideration of where to place the center of the lens zone that works for you, where you need it on the lens....to help you shoot.
    There's more.... but glasses can really help, or simply drive you nuts....depending on how you approach the problem and what you arrive at for a solution.

    Paul

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array my2cents's Avatar
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    Years of computer use I'm sure have not been kind to my eyes. I have progressive lenses that almost work. I rely on the night sights for my 45 and the EOtech for my rifle. That's about the best I can do now.
    Walk steathly - and carry a big Springfield.

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    Member Array Draco's Avatar
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    What about the lazer surgery one hears about on the radio all the time? has any one asked the doc's about that?
    It is not wrong to be Right
    An apeaser is a man who hopes that the crocidle eats him last

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    I checked, but my corneas are to thin.......I'm stuck with bifocals.
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. If I have a gun, what do I have to be paranoid about?" -Clint Smith

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  15. #14
    Member Array ppro's Avatar
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    Results with Lazer surgery depend on your eyes. If you wait till your corneas stiffen up (age) then you can usually correct to at least one focal distance.....With my eyes, I can't see close, or far.....so I could correct to one focal distance like near (not close) and have pretty good handgun sight vision then use glasses for the far vision. BUT I am not a candidate either.....wife explained it to me but I don't remember what the reason was.
    If you understand about what focal distance you need which is somewhere around near (not close or far) check with you optical guy and see what they think can be done. Also, usually there is someone in the optical trade that has delt with shooters before and understands better what you are trying to accomplish, so you just need to ask around.
    The surgery's are getting better and cheaper, so it can't hurt to ask.

    Paul

  16. #15
    Member Array CraigJS's Avatar
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    Here is a web site that deals with shooting and eye glasses some very good info check it out.
    http://www.midwestshooting.com/Eyeca...0Professionals

    Be safe..

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