Should You Shoot a Scoped Rifle With Both Eyes Open?
Russ Chastain 03.02.21
It’s a question many new hunters have asked over the years: Should you shoot a scoped rifle with both eyes open? As with many things in the shooting sports, there really is no easy answer. Instead, it will boil down to your individual preference and ability.
As a right-handed shooter who learned to aim with my right eye while closing my left eye, I find it unnatural and difficult to aim with both eyes open, regardless of what type of sight I’m using, and even moreso when using a scope. If I dedicated some time and training to it, I could probably learn to shoot a scoped rifle with both eyes open, but I have no inclination to do so.
My brain doesn’t really get along with the notion of viewing a magnified image with my right eye while viewing the same unmagnified scene with my left, and although my right eye is usually dominant, both right and left are so close to equal in dominance that I don’t automatically shift the weight of my attention to what my right eye is viewing. So it’s faster for me to close one eye, and sometimes when you’re hunting, speed is everything.
Some people do prefer to use both eyes while aiming, even with a scope. This can be helpful in tracking a moving animal or to help a shooter “find” the target in the scope, and if it works for them, that’s great. I say more power to ’em! I keep referring to hunting situations because that is what most folks do with their scoped rifles. In a self-defense situation it would be vital to maintain as much of your peripheral vision as possible; therefore, it would definitely help to have both eyes open.
Some folks believe every shooter should strive to keep both eyes open for all types of shooting under all conditions. As you can tell, I do not subscribe to that theory. I believe hunters should use their scoped rifles in whatever way allows them to make the cleanest of kills in the most comfortable and efficient possible way. Agree? Disagree? Please feel free to comment below.