Archives

eye stretcher

Sometime after we reach the far side of 40 years old, our eyes lose some of their elasticity. It becomes difficult for the older rifleman to clearly see the front sight AND the target. We see either one clearly, but lack the youthful depth-of-field to see both simultaneously.

My 15-year career of shooting CMP Service Rifle and NRA High Power competitions has been marked with “good eye days” and “bad eye days”. I keep toggling back and forth from using straight safety glasses for a clear view of the all important front sight, or using my prescription lenses so I can see the target clearly.

I finally have the gear as good as it needs to be to shoot at the top of the game, but have been frustrated by my inability to see either the target or the front sight. I finally got serious about vision correction.

If you read my previous post on corrected vision, you will know I tried looking locally for prescription lenses that would make possible my shooting well with iron sights at 300 and 600 yards. I followed up on that to find that I could get specialized shooting glasses that might turn the trick for $300 – $500.

Then a fellow shooter suggested a Bob Jones Sight. I’ll simplify a bit here to say I ended up selecting the right sight with his easy-to-use self-prescription test. I now have a hooded rear sight with a tiny little -0.37 lens in the round peep-hole.

My first look at the target through my new peep sight was STARTLING! It didn’t seem real. I pulled it away from my face and back up again. It was as if someone had put a photograph of a front sight and 200-yard target in front of me.

What a joy.

The first course of fire in every match is 200 yard offhand. I really didn’t think I had a vision problem at this distance, but the clarity of the sight and target surprised me. More surprising was an improved score from a standing position. While I expected the real improvement at 600 yards, to find the sight helping my offhand was quite the unexpected bonus.

The new me continued through 200 sitting rapid fire, 300 prone rapid fire and 600 yard slow fire. Hot Dang!!! I’m grinning and dancing a jig after each string. I shot Expert for the first time in five years. More importantly, I think I can repeat that performance next year and the year after.

Oh yeah … the price of this miracle? $85
… including prescription.