Shooting without my glasses

A couple days ago I wrote about Reduced Vision ShootingI was able to go to the range and try shooting without my glasses. Here’s how it went.

My Vision

I don’t know what my vision is in terms of “20/something”, but I know I’m extremely near-sighted. Around 9″ or so from my eyes is where things start to get blurry. Of course, I can take off my glasses, see, and generally get around, just don’t expect me to read anything; and after a certain level, things just become blurry blobs. I must have glasses in order to drive.

So yes, it’s a legitimate concern for me as to how I can perform without my glasses.

I have to go without my glasses from time to time. For example, most any martial arts training I do is done without my glasses. I do just fine. I can see well enough to punch, kick, grapple, whatever.

But shooting? That tends to require a bit more precision.


I set up an IPSC target and decided a fair metric would be the KR Training “3 Seconds or Less” drill. That’s our home-base bottom line drill for measuring “can you do what needs to generally be done in a typical gunfight”.

I started my range session shooting it cold, because that’s a common thing for me to do.

Then I took off my glasses and shot it again. I didn’t do any sort of warm-up or trial shots without my glasses, and while part of me wishes I did, I’m also glad I didn’t because I suspect the learning impact was better this way.

First, I had no problems. Shot the drill fine.

But what got me was what I could see and what I couldn’t see.

First, what I could see? The red dot of my front sight. I have Dawson Precision sights, specifically a red fiber optic front sight. It was a shining beacon to me when I couldn’t see anything else. The sights themselves were a fuzzy blur, but that red dot was bright (tho of course kinda fuzzy) and attracted my eyes – precisely what it’s supposed to do (on this sunny day). No question that helped me.

I found myself a bit thrown off by this. I didn’t expect that to be such a beacon. But what got me? I found myself fiddling with my eyes. I typically have to close my left eye, but now I found myself wanting to keep both eyes open, or switch to my right. I can’t say why I was doing this, but given my vision was looking at novel and unknown things, my brain may have just been trying to make sense of things.

Still, this is where things like good body index come into play. Again, I had no problems putting holes where they needed to be put because 1. I know generally where to point, 2. while you can miss at close distances, one doesn’t have to have that textbook perfect sight picture to get good hits (at close distances).

All in all I’m happy with the performance. It was a little odd for me to experience since I can’t recall the last time I tried shooting without my glasses, thus why part of me wanted to have a little “warm-up”. But again I’m glad I didn’t because I think being forced into it made me have to perform, ignoring any weirdness from the experience.

I do think occasionally dry-firing without my glasses would be useful, and every so often some live fire too.

How about you?

3 thoughts on “Shooting without my glasses

  1. I have somewhat of the opposite problem. Without my glasses, I can see the sights clearly, but target is blurred beyond ~ 7 yards. I spent years trying to correct with Rx lenses in my shooting glasses. Finally gave up and I shoot without Rx — sharp sights over a blurred target. I need to remind myself to practice WITH my prescription glasses. In a self defense situation I’ll likely be wearing them so I should get practice with blurry sights.

  2. Pingback: March 2017 KR Training Newsletter – Notes from KR

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