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Scarecrow Repair
05-25-2007, 6:08 PM
I am nearsighted. I cannot read with my glasses on, my drivers license requires me to wear glasses while driving, but I feel safe driving on the freeway without my glasses but not in cities. I can read license plates from 100 feet without squinting and from 200 feet if I squint. If this describes you, I ask your opinion.

AR-15 iron sights, the hole in the rear sight and the post up front, make me feel like a dithering fool who can't make up my mind whether they are too exasperating or too good. With glasses, the sights are so blurry and out of focus that the target is hidden: I can only aim by waving the sights back and forth across the (clear) target and guessing when to shoot. Without glasses, targets past 100 feet or so are blurred enough that I am not quite sure where the center is. As an example, from my front door shooting at the hillside 100 feet away and using a benchrest, I got six inch groups with irons sights (no glasses) and a one inch group using an Aimpoint. (I am not the best shot, but I am practicing!) For all I know, the Aimpoint 3x or a scope might be even better.

Within 100 feet, I love the AR-15 sights. They seem so natural and easy to use, and so easy to bring up on a target, that I feel guilty for not appreciating them past that distance.

When I started shooting, it was with these evil OLL that you scoundrels got me hooked on, and I have just assumed it was part of being nearsighted. But then I got a Springfield 1861 black powder rifle and discovered I could shoot more accurately at 100 yards with it than with the AR-15. Part of it is probably the sheer weight making it less susceptible to the slightest body movement, but I am beginning to wonder how much difference the sights make. One day when friends and I were switching back and forth between AR-15s, black powder rifles and pistols, a varied collection of friends' modern rifles and handguns, I got the idea that the simple 1861 sights were better at distances over 100 feet because there is less sight substance to get blurry and obscure the target.

I tried the AR-15 iron sights (small and large holes) and the Aimpoint with and without the 3x magnification, looking at my license plate from about 100 feet. (It would be interesting to try this again with the 3x at 3x the distance. However, it did look a little blurry, not the clarity I get from a 3x scope, so I think it would be the same.)

There seemed to be no difference in the license plate clarity with any of them, but the red dot was easier to read simply because there was more to see within the sight boundary, more context around the target.

I am interested in general comments from other near sighted shooters, but mainly those who are not so near sighted that they need glasses all the time, the ones who can see the target with or without glasses but cannot read with glasses on. You farsighted people, and you with the perfect vision -- you! I see you smirking! Go away! -- you don't have much to offer :-)

Or maybe -- if anyone used to be nearsighted as I describe and has had LASIK or any similar sight correction -- maybe you could report on the differences.

As a specific question, I would also like to ask if you can get different sights for the AR-15. A friend brought over a .22LR rifle with a bead up front and a notch in the rear, and that was very easy to use; I felt more consistent at 100 yards than with the AR-15.

I thought of butchering a standard set of sights and carving wooden sights to attach as experiments, but that's expensive and maybe you folks could save me (and other nearsighted victims of BRD) some money.

See post #7 for minor corrections and more detail.

ocabj
05-25-2007, 8:38 PM
I'm right hand dominant with right eye dominance.

I have a unique situation where I have a synthetic lens in my right eye because of cataract surgery a few years ago.

I shoot Service Rifle High Power. I shoot with prescription glasses on.

The primary concern is seeing the front sight post. If that sight post is clear, then that's the main issue. The second issue is being able to distinguish the target black. That is the only reason I wear prescription glasses when shooting. I could theoretically shoot without prescriptions, but I will string vertically because I won't be able to hold on the target black appropriately.

You could try the Bob Jones sight. It is a replacement rear sight aperture system that has different inserts with small magnifications.

http://www.bjonessights.com

The Bob Jones sight is CMP and NRA Service Rifle legal.

I don't use the Jones sight myself. I stick with the standard style National Match sight. I currently don't have any problems with the 'crispness' of the front sight post in my sight picture.

swift
05-25-2007, 9:10 PM
Ocabj,
You string vertically with prescription glasses? w/o glasses, do you shoot better?




I'm right hand dominant with right eye dominance.

I have a unique situation where I have a synthetic lens in my right eye because of cataract surgery a few years ago.

I shoot Service Rifle High Power. I shoot with prescription glasses on.

The primary concern is seeing the front sight post. If that sight post is clear, then that's the main issue. The second issue is being able to distinguish the target black. That is the only reason I wear prescription glasses when shooting. I could theoretically shoot with prescriptions, but I will string vertically because I won't be able to hold on the target black appropriately.

You could try the Bob Jones sight. It is a replacement rear sight aperture system that has different inserts with small magnifications.

http://www.bjonessights.com

The Bob Jones sight is CMP and NRA Service Rifle legal.

I don't use the Jones sight myself. I stick with the standard style National Match sight. I currently don't have any problems with the 'crispness' of the front sight post in my sight picture.

ocabj
05-25-2007, 9:58 PM
Sorry. Without, rather. Corrected post.

If I shot without prescription glasses, I wouldn't be able to get a good hold on the target black because it would be too blury.

Scarecrow Repair
05-25-2007, 10:54 PM
The primary concern is seeing the front sight post. If that sight post is clear, then that's the main issue.

It's dark or I'd go outside and see what I could see ... I will try again in the daylight. But my experience before, the one time I tried with my glasses, was that the rear sight was simply too close and became so blurry as to hide everything past it.

You could try the Bob Jones sight. It is a replacement rear sight aperture system that has different inserts with small magnifications.

That's interesting. I don't mind changing the sights, but if I were to try a bead sight, for instance, I could still swap with friends. This sight would make the rifle specific to me, and I am not sure I want that, nor the other way round where I get used to a special sight and have even more problems adjusting to friends' rifles. But it sure would be nice ...

I wonder if you can get special glasses with just one section ground differently ... I will have to ask my eye doctor, I am probably due for an exam. I can't quite imagine what they could do, maybe make the distant view somewhere between what I see without glasses and what my current glasses do.

ocabj
05-26-2007, 12:08 AM
Yes, getting glasses with different parts of the lens ground for different focal points is a good idea.

I'm actually going to probably do that sometime in the near future myself.

I need to find out if there's a better scratch resistant glass/polycarb material out there because I'm using my previous pair of glasses for shooting, which were replaced by the ones I wear now. I keep putting small scratches in the right lens because I like to get close to the rear sight on the AR. I know they make rubber hoods for the rear sight, but that can get in the way (weird affect on sight picture, falling off, etc).

Scarecrow Repair
05-26-2007, 5:55 PM
I went out and shot a bunch at 100 yards to get better info. I was wrong, a bit, about the effect of glasses. The sights do not fuzz into a single blob. Instead the rear ring becomes quite large, I can still see thru it, but it is hazy and large and definitely intrudes into my vision, and in fact hides most of the front sight's side posts. The front post is dark in the center for all its height, but is surrounded by a haze which gets lighter until it fades to nothingness, about the same distance each side as the center dark pillar. This is when I focus on the front post. I couldn't focus on the rear ring if I tried, it is simply too close, and the target is much too far away to even think of focussing on. Trying to aim is mostly a matter of swaying the post back and forth across the target, trying to keep the pace even, and pulling the trigger when it is probably centered. It is made harder by the top of the post also having the haze extending upwards, so if I try to put the top line of the post in the middle of the target, well good luck, there is no top line, there is only a gradual change from black to dark to hazy to fuzzy to nothingness.

As for results, I had about a 10 inch group without glasses, and most shots weren't even on paper with glasses. I tried both small and large apertures. The large aperture was slightly less intrusive and didn't hide the front sight's side posts, but that didn't help any.

I also tried the red dot with and without the 3x magnifier and with and without glasses. Without glasses was pretty much as with the open sights except better. With glasses, the red dot turned into collection of red dots, I think a hexagon, but it was hard to count them :-) I did get on paper, but only some, nothing to write home about (but worth writing to calguns!).

I will ask at my next eye exam about special shooting glasses, but unless there is a common cure for it, I doubt I will fork over the money. And I will pass on the special sights, not wanting to come to depend on a rifle no one else can use. I will keep on practicing with scope for clarity, iron sights for simplicity, and red dot for a good compromise. I will get an Eotech one of these days, maybe wait for that one that is supposed to have a 3x or 4x mag built in, and that will be another choice for my tired old eyes.

I guess I will never be a national match champion. I can live with that :-) Meanwhile, I will keep on practicing. The only real goal is to get better, and the only real comparison is with how I was the day before.

ocabj
05-26-2007, 7:09 PM
Well, the only two things you need to be able to focus on are the front sight and the target black.

The rear sight should be large enough where you can still have a full clear image. It doesn't have to be a crisp circle, but it should be a relatively clear image that you are seeing in your sight picture. The front sight ears shouldn't even be thought about when you are obtaining sight alignment. The ears are meant to protect the front sight from damage. That's it. Do not use them for your sight alignment or sight picture.

As far as what to focus on when you break the trigger, you should be focused on the front sight post.

Scarecrow Repair
05-26-2007, 8:17 PM
Well, the only two things you need to be able to focus on are the front sight and the target black.

The rear sight should be large enough where you can still have a full clear image. It doesn't have to be a crisp circle, but it should be a relatively clear image that you are seeing in your sight picture. The front sight ears shouldn't even be thought about when you are obtaining sight alignment. The ears are meant to protect the front sight from damage. That's it. Do not use them for your sight alignment or sight picture.

As far as what to focus on when you break the trigger, you should be focused on the front sight post.

The rear sight, when wearing glasses, is cramped, even with the large aperture. It feels like I am using a scope, almost, and having to worry about eye relief and position much more than without the glasses.

I did not know to not use the front sight ears, but my usage has been more subconscious and inferred than intentional. I thought they were part of the design to make centering more instinctive, and thought it pretty clever.

As for focusing on the front post, that's what I do, except I can't when wearing glasses :-(

I wonder what the heck I'd do if I wore contacts ... would I take them out to shoot, or get a set of glasses with a prescription to cancel out the contacts? Geez that would be weird, either way.

Another idea just came to me ... I wonder if I like the 1861 sights so much because the front sight is so much further away that it is easier to focus on? I wonder if I should investigate mounting an extendo-sight (tm) (patent pending) on a 2 foot boom ... let's see, 16" barrel vs 42" barrel, that's a 26" boom .... yah, that would be good and stable. Does anyone sell a 42" AR-15 barrel?

ocabj
05-26-2007, 8:33 PM
I guess you could switch to a 'Spacegun': AR15 in match rifle configuration with aperture front and rear sights like RRA or Warners.

I get really close to the rear sight in sitting and prone. When I drop into position from standing during the rapid stages, I will often use the rear sight to push my glasses towards my face. This helps me get the same eye relief everytime. The eye relief I'm looking for is basically just where my glasses lens is just far back enough away from the rear sight. In standing, my nose just barely touches the charging handle, or is slightly back from it.

But you are describing issues that many shooters with less than steller eyesight are experiencing. That's why lots of NRA High Power shooters shoot 'match' rifle because of the better sights. A friend of mine is right on the edge of that. He admits that his eyesight is getting worse at his age. He should make Distinguished at the end of the year. Once he does, he's ditching Service Rifle and going to Match Rifle (AR15 spacegun upper).

Prc329
05-26-2007, 9:27 PM
Or maybe -- if anyone used to be nearsighted as I describe and has had LASIK or any similar sight correction -- maybe you could report on the differences.

I was pretty nearsighted. I was so nearsighted I could not see clear anything past about 2 feet from my face. I had a prescription saying I was 20/400. I went to the laser eye center and $3000 later I am 20/20 in my right eye and 20/40 in my left. I am very pleased with the results. I waited till after I was 25 (28 to be exact) to have the surgery. I can use my ironsights very well. I just completed an all RRA national match rifle so I will be shooting it for groups and off hand tomorrow to see how I do. With a scope I am very good and can hold 3" groups at 25 yards with my Para PXt LTC. I can hit a steel plate target 200 and 300 yards with my 16" Mega/stag build.

hoffmang
05-26-2007, 9:42 PM
Scarecrow,

This looks like the upper for you:
http://www.champchoice.com/detail.php?item=USP26K

-Gene

Scarecrow Repair
05-26-2007, 10:25 PM
Scarecrow,

This looks like the upper for you:
http://www.champchoice.com/detail.php?item=USP26K

-Gene

Ahh, that's only 26" total, not 26" longer :-)

Actually, I was thinking of what this means for my back burner plans for a blackpowder upper ... a Brown Bess first model has a 46" barrel, .75 caliber, now if I could only hold it up, I'd be in business!

M. Sage
05-27-2007, 11:23 AM
If you can read a license plate at 100 feet without squinting, you're not terribly near-sighted.

I'm a little more near-sighted than that, but can read with my glasses on... :confused: I shoot with 'em on, too. Rear sight is always going to be blurry no matter what anyway. I haven't tried shooting glasses off, but a front sight is never going to be in crisp focus if I do, so it's kinda pointless, IMO. Besides, then I'd have to wear some safety glasses instead. :p Might as well wear my prescription and be done with it.

ETA: I've always had trouble seeing ALL of the sight protector ears through a diopter... I don't think that's abnormal? You only need to center the tip of the front post in the ring of the rear sight anyway. As long as your hits are consistent, you only need to adjust your sights to bring POI to POA.

Scarecrow Repair
05-27-2007, 3:41 PM
As long as your hits are consistent, you only need to adjust your sights to bring POI to POA.

They are consistently pretty scattered :-) I could hit a barn door consistently from 300 feet with my glasses. I could hit the window of the barn door more often than not without my glasses. I could choose which pane with a scope. That's with a table rest. Offhand, weeel let's just say I need practice and I am taking it :-) I suppose practice will help both the offhand consistency and the iron sights consistency, and probably would even help shooting with glasses, but shooting with glasses is simply not fun, so I don't do very much.