Reduced vision shooting

I wear glasses. Without them, I cannot see very well.

A couple weeks ago I read something from Phil Wong. Phil also wears glasses, and shares similar realities and concerns regarding glasses, vision, and being in a fight.

So Phil shot the MAG-40 qualification course. He did pretty well, tho a bit slower.

In November 2013, I shot the qualification course of fire for the Massad Ayoob Group MAG-40 class with my Glock 19, OEM Meprolight night sights, and non-prescription lenses in my shooting glasses, in front of about 25-30 students, staff instructors, and Massad F. Ayoob himself – just to see how I might be able to shoot under pressure without my corrective lenses. My final score was 297/300, which means that I had zero misses and only 3 shots outside of the A-zone of a standard IPSC cardboard target, over 60 shots fired at distances between 4 yards and 15 yards. I wasn’t nearly as fast as Mas and the other instructors, but I met the allotted time limits and still got the hits on target. Honestly, the hardest thing to do was to make sure I shot the right target – I had to consciously count targets from the end of the line before each string of fire, to distinguish between my target and a couple dozen other identical targets. As long as I don’t get attacked by a bad guy wearing the exact same clothes as an innocent bystander, I should be OK…

Years ago I put some thought and work into this, and tried solutions like XS Big Dot sights. The thinking there that if I lost my glasses in a fight, I could still see the front sight. Nope – still can’t see the big dot without my glasses. So while I did some work here and there, I mostly relegated myself to “just dealing with it”.

But it’s been a while. I’ve improved my skill greatly since those days. And “fighting without my glasses” came back to my mind a few weeks ago during the Cecil Burch classes, since I did most of that weekend without my glasses.

I’m going to give this a try next range trip. Phil’s one of Mas’ guys so shooting the MAG qualifier make sense. I’m one of Karl Rehn’s guys, so I’ll probably shoot “3 Seconds or Less“.

Have you given this much thought or practice?

Don’t have your glasses or contacts, can you perform? What if you don’t have a limb, like say you break your right arm, can you perform with your left? Or what if say you lost vision in one eye, can you perform with the other?

This isn’t to say we need to practice up hard on those skills in the off-chance something happens. But it can’t hurt to spend a practice session to tinker with those things for whatever they might tell you. Maybe you find out some weak-hand-only work would be good for you. Maybe you learn that your eyes have aged more than you thought and a different sight system may be in order.

A quick check now and again can be good for you.


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