Gun Digest

Shooting with Corrective Lenses: Bad Eyesight and Concealed Carry


Just because you wear corrective lenses doesn't mean you can't hit the broadside of a barn. Follow these handgun shooting tips to overcome less-than-perfect eyesight.

Legally carrying a gun concealed is not just for young adults with 20/20 vision. Take me for example, for whom the days are long gone when, in semi-annual qualifications at the police department, I pounded out groups that could be covered with one hand.

As time went on, my groups opened up a bit but were all “center mass.” Still, several years before I retired, I had to start choosing between seeing the sights or seeing the target.

At concealed carry classes I observe lots of good folks with corrective lenses. And in those states where a shooting qualification is required, I shouldn't chuckle — but I still do — when they squint with noses held high in the air using bifocals to see the front sights. Don't do this.

If you get in a jam that requires you to pull your gun, you are not going to assume that ridiculous posture to pick up the sights through the bottoms of your glasses. Adrenalin will drive you into a semi-crouch and your vision will tunnel on the threat.

If the gun fits your hand and you practice regularly, you may get hits at contact distance whether you can see the sights or not. If the gun doesn’t fit and/or you don’t practice with it often, you will probably miss.

The best solution to old eyes like mine is adding a laser designator to your gun — or buy a new handgun that comes equipped with a laser. Use your glasses to read the paper. Use the laser to run the gun (an added bonus is that with the right verbal commands, the laser can help you de-escalate).

Remember, all lethal encounters are different and everybody brings unique needs and capacities to the fight.

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