As I get older, my eyesight grows worse. Perhaps too many hours at a computer screen, maybe it's the hundreds and hundreds of books I stick my nose in... maybe just genetics. In any case, I now need glasses to read where ten years ago I could stare down a cat with my steely focus.
The thing is.... a rifle's sights fall into the range where everything blurs for me, both front and rear. This presents a problem when it comes time to actually hit a target, rather than just frightening the ink off the bullseye. Not just me, but almost everyone else who needs glasses to read.
The classic answer is to switch over to scoped rifles. This eliminates the need to focus on three different planes in the same event, and allows precise aiming. Sadly, the rules of our high power match do not allow this, even for old farts like me. They do allow the use of a single prescription lens built into a peep sight, or a widget that sticks to the shooting glasses and presents a tiny precision hole to sight through. I don't especially like either solution, one altering my rifle, and the other just looking weird.
I know the real answer is to seek out the help of an optometrist who understands the needs of a rifleman. I've heard of one not far away, and who comes highly recommended. Seeing him is on my soon-to-do list. Till then, I wanted to try a little experiment; Shooting with my reading glasses on.
The time honored main method of precision shooting with open sights is to focus first on the rear sight, and then the front, bringing them in alignment. Next the focus shifts to the target, aligning the sights to it, and then the final focus is all front sight, letting the minds natural tendency to line up points take over. Aperture, or 'peep', sights work differently. In those the rear sight just remains a blurred circle, and the mind/eye will automatically try to place the front sight directly in the middle.
To someone who wears glasses to read, without them the rear sight is out of focus, and for some of us the front sight is as well. This makes aiming accurately very difficult. I noticed that both sights come easily into focus while I'm wearing my glasses, and I wondered how well I might shoot that way. Towards that end, an hour at the range with a very accurate open sighted .22 seemed in order.
Going through fifty rounds while making five shot groups, I discovered something interesting. At the fifty yard target line I was able to cut my group size almost in half while wearing reading glasses. Yes, the target was out of focus, but the front sight was sharp and clear.
Moving out to 100 yards, the results took a new twist and group size evened out considerably. I think this was caused more by my poor shooting ability, and the gusty breezes pushing the little .22 bullets around.
I'll just have to go back and repeat the test using one of my 8mm Mausers. Awe Shucks..... that means more time at the range shooting big guns. Rats.
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