You must learn that situations dictate the amount of precision sighting required for a hit, is measured in distance and target size. More about this subject in the 2 EYE OPEN blog and the advanced Dry Practice Programs that will teach you the difference between shooting 3 feet or 15 yards.
- 3 feet use 2 eyes open
- 7 feet use 2 eyes open
- 15 yards use 1 eye open
Understanding know and unknown distances prior to starting:
Start with establishing a known distance. As you begin, or if you think you have judging distances mastered, that doesn’t mean you DON’T NEED to practice the basics. Judging unknown distances is a stand-alone exercise. On the other hand, we will give you two methods. There are all types of controversy out there on one or both eyes open when shooting. Lets keep it simple; if you were going to push a thread through a needle you would shut one eye. Yes, we shoot with both eyes open and the conditions and distances will dictate using a dominant eye only or both eyes open. Lets move forward and give you a simple solution. From 7 yards and in you can get away with hitting “close enough” to your intended point of impact. But, it will only be close to rather than the exact intended point of impact. (As you read further down, between steps 3 – 4 you need to learn to shift your focus.) For those of you that think you only need to shoot with both eyes open, here is a question for you. If you were held by the neck as a hostage and the hostage taker only exposed one eye every few seconds. Would you tell the cop, SWAT, or XXXX to, “use both eyes, it is faster, just shoot it is not a precision shot”. I doubt it, your exposed to all types of errors which could be fatal. The point is, at any distance you need to guarantee the hit, not hope for the hit. Yes, you may think this is advanced; no it is the basic fundamentals. This is not an range drill trying to hit a big steel plate; you are trying to ht a quarter over and over. Then be able to pick up the pace. As you excel in your skills, you need to always give yourself a refresher course on distancing while shifting your focus from the target to the top of the front sight post. After time you will develop a natural point of aim, which will ONLY last as long as your continuing education does. So lets dry practice at 7 yards with one eye for now. You can go to the next stage of both eyes open after you have performed at least 1,000- 2,000 dry presentations. In our advanced programs we explain in great detail with video of what happens as you back up and forget to close that eye. It a tactical environment, you may have to keep both eyes open to have a wider field of view. But before you go off and start point shooting, get the basics down. It is a safe number to say if you have 10,000 rounds through your pistol and 2 – 3 times as much dry practice, then you can move on to more advanced tactics with both eyes open. In the end, regardless of how much you have trained just remember, if it is a precision shot, use your dominant eye only! You may only get that one shot.
Start with unloading your handgun and to remove all ammo from the magazine and your pockets, we are going to do this dry. Even performing this without ammo, you must follow all the safety rules. Starting from the holster. (Where ever you carry it) These are the basic steps of the Presentation. If you need to see the steps, go to ATAC TV and view the 1911 or GLOCK Presentation, Grip and Stance, and / or Sequence of Shooting Programs. Doesn’t matter which handgun; the steps are basic to all.
(DRY PRACTICE DRILLS SHOULD BE AT ¼ TO ½ YOUR NORMAL PRESENTATION SPEED)
- STEP 1 Eyes on TARGET, establish a firing grip on the handgun while in the holster, at the same time move support hand up to mid-line tight to your body as you focus on your target.
- STEP 2 Handgun is drawn straight up, trigger finger is straight along the frame, (not on the trigger) as elbow drops down, rotating the muzzle toward target, anchor the butt of the handgun in a rib near your pectoral muscle, support hand in mid line of chest tight to your body. Bring the gun as high as you can and is still comfortable for you. Eyes are still on target. (This could be a shooting position, if needed, more on this in the advanced programs)
- STEP 3 As Handgun is raised up toward your line of sight, support hand mates with firing hand, safety goes off if you have one, Handgun is raised higher into your line of sight, and pushing out toward target, trigger finger (firing hand index finger, if you haven’t figured this out yet?) starts to enter the trigger guard and the center of the first pad your index finger is placed in the center of the trigger and pulls the slack (free play of trigger) out. Now shift your focus from the target to the top of the front sight post AS the sights are brought on target.. This is one of the biggest faults many shooters do not practice and their ability can only go so high. Most often you cannot diagnose what is going wrong. You MUST practice shifting the focus from the target to the top of the front sight post. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Shift your focus to the front sight and STAY on the front sight post! DO NOT SHIFT BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN THE TARGET AND FRONT SIGHT!
- STEP 4 HANDGUN COMES TO REST AT FULL EXTENSION, Focus has moved from the target to your sights, front sight level with the rear sight with equal light passing on the right and left sides of the front sight post, (aligning your sights and eye focus SHOULD be happening between Step 3 and 4) closing your non-dominate eye and establish 100% focus on the top of the front sight post.
At this stage, start your trigger press until the trigger “breaks”. (It should surprise you) With 100% focus on the FS post, it should NOT move when trigger breaks! Trap the trigger to the rear, simulating a “reset” while focusing on the front sight (follow-through) trigger finger goes straight along the frame, lower the handgun to about 45* as if following your target to the ground, and perform appropriate After-Action-Responses.
- Handgun is in the ready position (In both hands, pointed low, about 45 degree angle) RESET your trigger by racking the slide and releasing it.
- Return to holster in the reverse order, from the ready position, move through STEP 3 to STEP 2, and PAUSE. Look around to make sure you are ready to re-holster. The muzzle should be point straight out, down range towards your target.
- Move from STEP 2 to STEP 1 (re-holster carefully)
Continue with doing as many repetitions that you can while remaining 100% focused. Once you loose focus, stop! Remember to Dry Practice only when you can focus 100% on the exercise and stop when interrupted or tired. Do not ingrain bad habits by getting SLOPPY. Do it perfectly on each reputation to ingrain it into muscle memory. It will PAY huge dividends in your skill level.
You must learn that situations dictate the amount of precision sighting required for a hit, is measured in distance and target size.
You need to learn the 1-eye open method first, then move on to more advanced techniques. It does not matter what type or brand of handgun you run, but you are cheating yourself if you don’t Dry Practice or Dry Fire with it from the location you carry it. You must repeat presenting your sights to the target with one eye open over and over until the presentation becomes a reflexive action. Building the muscle memory of your eye non-dominant eye lid to close for accuracy. Once you have this sequence of shooting engrained, then graduate to two eyes open.
Next is adding movement, see you after a few thousand dry presentations. and a thousand live rounds for validation. Example, dry practice 30 presentations 5 days week, the shoot 50 rounds. Immediately after the 30-50 rounds end it with 30 more dry presentations. Rest 7th day. Start all over the next week. After 5 months of this, then move onto the advanced programs. If you want to learn faster do more sooner. Do two times a day, 30 in the am and 30 in the pm and 60-100 rounds on the 6th day. The in 2.5 months you will be ready to move on.
REMEMBER, it is OK to cheat in a fight, we actually applaud you for it. But never cheat yourself in training or practice.