Should You Shoot a Scoped Rifle With Both Eyes Open?


Should You Shoot a Scoped Rifle With Both Eyes Open?

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 more so 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.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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