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View Full Version : Triangulation vs One Eye?


J.S.78
01-14-2012, 11:02 AM
My brother in law had me rethinking my style of shooting. :facepalm: I have always shot my handguns one eyed. And, I have never had problem with accuracy and precision. Granted I'm about 8 years older than this guy. He say's he was at some range and having trouble shooting his new S&W M&P 40 and a former SWAT team member that was there shooting offered to retrain him. According to him he taught him how to triangulate using both eyes. He claimed he went from shooting off paper at 15 yards to 2 MOA after the lesson. As skeptical as I was, I was still curious if I could improve my accuracy and precision. I started looking into it and took his 2nd hand advice.

Bottom line, it is hit or miss with me. I don't know if it is because I have always shot handguns with one eye, or if I'm not triangulating properly :43:? I have recently returned to my natural style of shooting and after a few trips to the range I'm back to being a very solid shooter.

This is in reference to handguns only. Rifles I can use holographic, red dot, reflex, etc., no problem with both eyes open. I am deadly accurate with rifles this way. But, any magnified scoped, rifle I use one eye.

I just wanted to see what everyone else thinks? What is your shooting style?

CSACANNONEER
01-14-2012, 11:28 AM
Depends on the type of handgun and type of shooting I'm doing. Run and gun is completely different than bullseye. Contenders are completely different than plastic sidearms. AK pistols, AOWs, etc are all different too. I have handguns that I can instinctively point and shoot better than I can aim with the sights and, I have handguns that I would never think of shooting unless I was using only one eye and taking my time to aquire a perfect sight picture.

Kauf
01-14-2012, 11:50 AM
Subscribed! haha I want to know too! Calgunners step up and post! :D

HighValleyRanch
01-14-2012, 11:52 AM
What is triangulation?
or if I'm not triangulating properly ?

Even with both eyes open, you choose one of the sight pictures and concentrate on that, so it is no different than one eye. Of course with both eyes open you can judge distance, but you can always judge the distance first and use one eye to align the sights.

Seems like aligned sights are on one sight plain anyways.
The axiom, focus on the front sight means that you primarily use one eye to align the front sight perfectly in the notch, and the same eye to take in the sight picture.

Only in something like instinctive shooting (in my case, years of barebow archery) does triangulation come into play, or point shooting. But not sighted shooting.

J.S.78
01-14-2012, 12:35 PM
Depends on the type of handgun and type of shooting I'm doing. Run and gun is completely different than bullseye. Contenders are completely different than plastic sidearms. AK pistols, AOWs, etc are all different too. I have handguns that I can instinctively point and shoot better than I can aim with the sights and, I have handguns that I would never think of shooting unless I was using only one eye and taking my time to aquire a perfect sight picture.

I'm talking about the standard side arms large to small frame semi auto's, e.g., 9mm, .40, .45, etc. In my case S&W M&P .40. And, not for run and gun, but the point is to be able to quickly go through drills, such as start with firearm cleared and mag out on bench. Then quickly load mag, while acquiring target, Triangulate and take rapid shots to target(s). Empty mag, replace mag and continue. Usually we do 2 mag drills. I can pull this off fairly well 60-70% of the time with the same pistol at 25 yards, but then some days, or drills it is hit or miss? Like I said maybe it is just me? But I can go through the same type of drills one eyed with greater accuracy and precision about 90%+ of the time.

What is triangulation?


Even with both eyes open, you choose one of the sight pictures and concentrate on that, so it is no different than one eye. Of course with both eyes open you can judge distance, but you can always judge the distance first and use one eye to align the sights...

OK, so the way I was instructed to "Triangulate" was to focus both eyes on the front dot (this is on a 3 dot sight S&W M&P .40). While doing this aim the front dot over the target. The front dot should be sharply focused and the target will be slightly out of focus. The rear 2 dots are to be used to lineup for vertical manipulation. The rear 2 dots will also be slightly out of focus.

After being instructed on the above, I researched it online and the above seems to be the most accepted way? Although, information is sparse.

Maybe some pro's on here can weigh in?

J.S.78
01-14-2012, 1:10 PM
Maybe this is just the truth, I found it on another forum, but it sounds logical:

"I don't.

Tried for years, been yelled at by numerous instructors, etc -

Fact of the matter is that some folks don't have a dominant eye. This situation has been researched more extensively in sports medicine than anywhere else I've found.

I find that I can "squint out" one eye to the point where that image is obscured, but for all practical purposes it's closed.

It can be advantageous in some ways (I have greater than normal depth perception), so I don't believe in using techniques to "weaken" one eye in order to shoot with both eyes open.

Do what works for you."

Wolfie_AR
01-14-2012, 1:35 PM
I keep both eyes open for run and gun type situations, definitely faster for me and one-eyed for precision. Although, I can shoot almost as good with both; the two eyes gives you better depth perception, situational awareness and speed. Great for timed events, shooting at silhouette or man-sized targets, etc. For MOA shooting I stick with one eye!!

NSR500
01-14-2012, 1:39 PM
God gave humans two eyes for a reason.

LBDamned
01-14-2012, 1:52 PM
for quick acquisition I like to train to use both eyes open... however, try as I might - I'm having difficulty in low light (and dark) to align three dot trijicon.

Unfortunately I have trijicon green (front/rear) on three pistols - man I wish I had gone with a different color front sight from rear (better yet, the new HD version). I have a helluva time with quick sight alignment in low light (three green dots just get lost together).

In well lit environment its easier to get on target quickly with both eyes open. My frustration is that the likelihood of me ever needing to aim quickly will probably be low light/dark (I do have laser on a couple HD pistols though).

My point is - if you intend to shoot with both eyes open and use tritium sights, get offsetting colors for sure.

speedrrracer
01-14-2012, 2:06 PM
Triangulation != binocular fusion

9mmepiphany
01-14-2012, 3:45 PM
OK, so the way I was instructed to "Triangulate" was to focus both eyes on the front dot (this is on a 3 dot sight S&W M&P .40). While doing this aim the front dot over the target. The front dot should be sharply focused and the target will be slightly out of focus. The rear 2 dots are to be used to lineup for vertical manipulation. The rear 2 dots will also be slightly out of focus.

After being instructed on the above, I researched it online and the above seems to be the most accepted way? Although, information is sparse.

Maybe some pro's on here can weigh in?
I can't tell if I'm not reading it correctly, if your B-I-L didn't understand it correctly or if you are getting it quite correct.

Part of your description of sight alignment is the way it has always been taught...but another part boggles my mind and goes against everything I have ever learned in multiple classes or have taught for years. I'm not sure what you mean by: "the most accepted way", but if you are referring to the first paragraph I have quoted above...it is completely untrue. There are not LE, military or competition schools/instructors that teach it that way.

The correct way to align your sights has always been to look through the notch in the rear blade at the front sight, aligning the top of the front blade with the top of the rear blade and centering the front blade in the rear notch. Then you place your front blade on your target. Your focus is on the front blade. The target and rear sight blade are blurred. When fighting with a handgun, you shift your focus between the target and the front sight...but, if you want to place your shots accurately, your focus it on the front sight at the moment you break your shot.

I don't think you can do this if both of your eyes are focused on the front sight. I don't think there is a way to triangulate properly.

At the same time, I always shoot with both eyes open. I just align the sights on the target with my dominate eye, while seeing the background with my other eye

J.S.78
01-14-2012, 4:18 PM
"The correct way to align your sights has always been to look through the notch in the rear blade at the front sight, aligning the top of the front blade with the top of the rear blade and centering the front blade in the rear notch. Then you place your front blade on your target. Your focus is on the front blade. The target and rear sight blade are blurred. When fighting with a handgun, you shift your focus between the target and the front sight...but, if you want to place your shots accurately, your focus it on the front sight at the moment you break your shot."

I don't think you can do this if both of your eyes are focused on the front sight. I don't think there is a way to triangulate properly.

At the same time, I always shoot with both eyes open. I just align the sights on the target with my dominate eye, while seeing the background with my other eye

Your right the proper way to align your sight to target is exactly what I meant. Sorry if you read it wrong or I didn't explain it correctly. In fact that is the same principle I have used forever, with the exception of using both eyes. Like I said the whole triangulate part using both eyes and how is what I've had trouble with and is secondhand information from a non instructor/Leo/exmilitary anything. So, he could have misunderstood or the guy teaching him was full of it lol?

Bottomline is I tried it & got mixed results. Triangulate I assumed was a whole other beast, not just a fancy way of saying I shoot with both eye open?

Maybe there is a master triangulation expert on CalGuns that can school us all lol. I'm just going to stick with what I know and drive tacks with whatever is put in my hands lol!

peterabbits
01-14-2012, 4:56 PM
My dominant eye is so much more dominant than my other eye that I am almost shooting one eyed even with both eyes open, so triangulation shooting doesn't really change much for me.

J.S.78
01-14-2012, 5:12 PM
My dominant eye is so much more dominant than my other eye that I am almost shooting one eyed even with both eyes open, so triangulation shooting doesn't really change much for me.

From what I've read if you're not extremely one eye dominant, one of the best way to learn to shoot with both open is to put tape over the non dominant side of your eye protection. Supposedly it helps immensely, because you don't have to squint one eye and teaches you to leave the other eye open while focusing with your dominant. In that regard you have an advantage.

I would consider that technique if I was trying to be a competition shooter. I believe I'm an above average amateur and whether hunting, defense or a zombie apocalypse j/k, I'm very confident with my ability to use my tools with precision and accuracy to not worry about if I took the time to learn how to shoot a short range handgun with both eyes open lol!

I just found it an interesting topic and with such a large pool of shooters, I figured it would be a good topic to get different opinions on. Because when you search online, there is not much information about the whole "Triangulation" technique.