Discussion in 'Anything Else' started by DocChronos, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. DocChronos

    DocChronos Premium Member

    I just couldn't resist starting a thread about "aging eyes," a problem others have mentioned in other threads. I have 66 year old eyes, and like others have said, when my sights are in focus, the target is out of focus. The result is that the quality of my shooting has really dropped off over the past few years. At least that is my story, and I am sticking with it!

    When I updated my glasses prescription recently, I asked the optometrist about the possibility of a special pair of shooting glasses to address the out-of-focus target/sights. He suggested I set up a pair of glasses with bifocals, where the upper half is focused for the target, and the lower half for the sights. Then all you would have to do is switch your eyes slightly up or down to see either the target or the sights. It sounds logical, but I haven't seen anything about this issue in other fora, and haven't seen any other solutions.

    Part of the problem is that target distances vary, and as Netfotoj has stated elsewhere, gun barrel lengths can make a difference. A 4-inch handgun barrel at arm’s length presents a whole different sight picture than a long barreled hunting rifle. Handgun target distances become problematic much beyond 15 yards, but long gun distances can go way out. A secondary part of the problem is that the eye exam and prescription would cost $50-$75 and lenses would cost over $200. That is quite a bit of money for an experiment.

    I have been messing around with a Colt CAR15 flat-top with Daniel Defense rails, and recently mounted a Hakko TacPoint holographic red dot sight on it. I haven't shot it with the red dot sight yet, but today when I was practicing target acquisition, I realized that when I put the red dot on the target with both eyes open it wasn't necessary to focus my eyes like I would with open sights. It seems like I should be able to focus and shoot without constantly re-focusing my eyes like I do with open sights.

    It makes sense to scope a long gun, and I know we can scope our hand guns, but it would be a little hard to stuff my Kel-Tec PF9 in my pocket with a scope. So has anyone else found a workable solution for handgun shooting with aging eyes?

    I know some of you are thinking, “What in the heck is he talking about?” Believe me, this is a problem that most of you will face one of these days :wink: , and I would appreciate your suggestions.


  2. babj615

    babj615 Premium Member

    Hey Doc,

    You talkin' 'bout target shooting only?

    Or you talkin' 'bout defensive scenarios?

    If the latter, I would think maybe you might want to consider what equipment you will have available if/when a defensive live/death scenario presents itself....

    ..either at home or elsewhere....

    ...while I am not there yet, I would probably be practicing with what the good lord gave me and nothing more.... kind of a 'worst case scenario' sorta thing... thinks [but what the heck do I know?], that maybe with enough practice you could adapt to your new circumstances???

    my 2 cents.... [prob get change back too.....] :doh:

  3. DocChronos

    DocChronos Premium Member


    Your suggestion is what I have been doing, and as you allude, in a real home defense situation it will be mostly point and shoot with 12 gauge buck. Even with handguns at self defense distances I can hit center of mass with my vision the way it is.

    What I am talking about is precision shooting, where you punch the center out of the bull. That is the situation at most local ranges--no rapid fire, no drawing from holster, say, "Please and Captain may I?" And for most of us, that is where we practice. I am fortunate that I live an hour or two from open wilderness and can get out occasionally, but most days my local range gets my business.

    Can I hit the target at 7 to 10 yards with open sights? Yep. Can I hit a 12 inch target when runnin' & gunnin' with open sights? Again, yep. But when I try to focus these eyes for bullseye shooting, I am having increasing difficulty.

    Any other ideas?

  4. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

    You're grappling with the same issue I am, Doc. I have prescription glasses that are multi-focal and I've gotten new prescriptions each of the past two years with specific instructions to the eye doc/glasses shop to raise the close-up magnification as high as possible in the lenses. My second set I got about a month ago are better than last year's set, but they're still not worth a lot with pistol shooting.

    I can cheat by putting on a pair of 2.5X reading glasses when I go pistol shooting and I can see the front and rear sights just fine, but of course, that throws the target out of focus. I really can't remember the good ol' days when I could see sights and target both in focus, and maybe I never could do that. Shooting instructors have told me to focus on the front sight and let the target go out of focus because you can't keep both in focus unless they're very close to each other.

    But as I noted, wearing reading glasses to shoot is cheating, so I try to do that only when I'm doing something crucial, such as bullseye shooting to test hollow-points. And when you're shooting 10mm at $2 a pop, I sure want to be as clear-seeing as humanly possible!

    So for most of my shooting, I wear my prescription glasses and do the best I can with fuzzy sights. I definitely can't plan to carry a pair of reading glasses around and say, "Wait a minute, Mr. BG, while I put my shooting glasses on and then I'll shoot back."

    A longer barrel definitely helps, which is one reason why I love my new Llama with its 5 1/8" slide. As soon as I unload my 3.5" S&W 9mm, I plan to get a 5" or even longer 9mm if I can find such a critter. There's a few 4.5s and 4.75s but precious few 5" or longer. The only ones over 5" I've found is G34 at 5.3" and G17L that's 6" and I can't find either of those models available for sale anywhere yet. So I don't know what they would cost.

    But the attraction with either of those Gs is Lone Wolf replacement uppers and barrels that would transform either of those long-slides into 357 Sig, which is a real added bonus.

    Anyone got other suggestions for 5" or longer 9mm models? Beretta 92 is close at 4.9" and Taurus has a cheaper copy, PT-92. Para Ord has some 5" 1911 models in 9mm but they're mighty pricey for a poor boy like me. A GB would also be nice, but same problem, can't afford one, even if I could find one. My budget is limited to about $600, not much more.

    For carry purposes, I'll just do the best I can with my glasses and fuzzy sights with my PF-9, M357-A1 or G29. I hope if push comes to shove, close enough will be good enough.

    I'm using my Llama .45 as my car gun and if I can find a 9mm with a barrel as long or longer, that's what I plan to do with it. I figure for precision shooting, longer is better. Maybe I can fight my way to my car with fuzzy carry sights. :shock: