Shooters Forum banner

"Hey Doc, I can't see the sights"

2546 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Kruzr
FYI: Just wanted to pass along some info that may be helpful to anyone with poor up close vision. I've had trouble focusing on the front sights of my handguns for sometime. Scores and shot placement have been suffering. Read an article in SHOOTING TIMES (March 2001) about a solution for aging eyes. Took the article to my optometrist who hunts turkey and found it very interesting. In short, he ordered my glasses with yellow tint and bifocals. But, the right lense for my shooting eye has a low prescription that allows me to see the front sight clear. The left lense is clear. If you hold the glasses up to the light, you can see a slight difference between the left and right lense. A word of caution. The glasses in my case work great on the range. No problems walking or seeing far away. However, I just discovered a problem. They are not real good for hours of wear walking in the woods and you cannot focus binoculars. So, I went back to the eye doctor and re-ordered trifocals. This way each lense will be the same. I'll have to move my head up and down for a clear sight picture, but I'm sure that will come easy with practice. Hope they work. Just wanted to pass this along for anyone else with this problem.
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

I've gone throught a similar experiment this last winter. I had my left lens fabricated as my normal trifocal and the right lens set for 74mm (length to front sight -- short arms) and no bi/trifocal. I haven't spent a lot of time with the glasses off the range, but so far, having the left lens as normal correction, I seem to have the best of both worlds without too much discomfort. The primary disadvantage for me is that while the front sight is very clear, without my prescripted correction, the target isn't as clear. But it works well out to 25yds and that's most of my shooting....longer distances are typically with red dot or scoped revolvers.

I was pleased to find that in Florida glasses were noticeably cheaper than in my home state of Iowa. My frames, lens and exam was $84. Please keep us informed on well you're able to adapt to the head movement. Frequently that type of situation becomes much less noticeable with time.

Hi, Gents:
I got trifocals last fall with the trifocal section focused to 4 feet or front sight plus 1 foot. They goofed when they measured me up and set the trifocal section too high. Actually this made them perfect for shooting, since I don't have to tilt my head back much to shoot. I had bifocals before and had to tilt my head way back to focus on the front sight. The focus was set for reading distance on them. The front sight was sharp, but the target was a blob. Either that or use the long focus. Then the target was sharp but I couldn't figure out which front sight to use. Both the front sight and target are slightly blurry with the trifocals, but I came up 10 points in the first club match after I got them.

The high trifocal section is inconvenient for driving because it's above the instrument panel and on to the road. I usually don't wear them outside anyway, preferring single long focus glasses. Bi and tri focals aren't made for running a combine, since the action is 8 feet past your toes.

See less See more
DOK and I have been talking about this very thing off the forum.
I wear trifocals. The trifocal slot gives me good sight clarity with a fuzzy target. I tried a poor-mans shooting glasses trick of buying a cheap($10) pair of reading glasses from Wally World that focused at about the front sight. Since my distance vision is still pretty good, I knocked the left lens out, thus giving a right eye focused at about 3.5 feet and the left eye with no correction. You would not believe the severity of the instant headache. May work for some people but not for me.
DOK also suggested a pair of clip on sunglasses with a tiny aperture drilled in the lens material. This helps but not enough to pursue it for me.
I have tried the peepsights but tend to string shots verticly with them.
DOK also has tried an add on lens that sticks to the front of your regular glasses with some success.
This is not a modern problem, by the way. Several antique muzzle loaders have been found with multiple rear sight dovetails. As the eysight failed the owners had the dovetails recut moving the rear sight farther away from the eye

Good luck!!!!
See less See more
Hey Guys!
I have bifocal glasses for near reading and far seeing. I also have a single vision pair of eyeglasses just for computer use. I asked the eye doctor to set the focus of those at 30 inches -- the distance from my eyes to the computer screen. I happened to be wearing those at the computer the other day when I picked up a revolver to dry fire (a computer boredom break) and pointed it at the neighbor's mailbox (after checking three times that the cylinder was empty). THAT WAS THE BEST SIGHT PICTURE I HAVE SEEN IN YEARS !!! The mailbox picture wasn't too bad, and the sights were astoundingly sharp. Just the way the experts say it should be. I am going to use my computer glasses next time I am at the range, and if it works. maybe I'll get a clunky plastic frame (inexpensive) pair of bifocals just for shooting and hunting, with the lower part set at 30 inches and cut high the way Jack Monteith suggested so I don't have to keep flipping my head back. Good idea. Maybe I'll go for the yellow tint too. I've heard about that for a long time.
DOES ANYONE KNOW if it matters to have a particular shade of yellow for hunting in the woods in both low light and midday conditions?
See less See more
Hi, Dave:
I've got a pair of Remington intense yellow clip-ons. They work if it's dull overcast or driving in white-out conditions (a frequent problem in Florida, I'm told :)), but they aren't for sunny conditions. Perhaps a slight yellow tint would do in sunlight.

Most claybird shooters I know are retirees, and they shoot outdoors. Do a search for glasses here. There's threads on bifocals and colored lenses.

BTW, the trifocal section of my glasses isn't quite high enough for rifle shooting. Another thing is the centre of focus. It's usually in the mid lower section of the lens, which is not where you're looking when you're shooting a long gun. You can get shooting glasses with the centre of focus moved towards the upper left corner, which is where you're looking when you're shooting your rifle or shotgun.

Thanks Jack -
I'll take a look at some of those Remington clip-ons for shading ideas for a prescription set. I walk through fields, but I'm a woods hunter so the Remington tint sounds like a good solution for me. Also, thanks for the tip on the trapshooters site.
Hello Gentlemen:D

I too, must wear glasses to shoot. My eyes have not yet gotten to the point that I need bi's or tri's, but none the less I have a prescription. My first pair were of the yellow color, made by a DR. who also is an avid National Match shooter.
The yellow, as stated before, is excellent for cloudy/snow/overcast days, but are very "glary" and destracting in bright light.
The good Dr. has now made me a set of, what I could best call orange, lenses for my new set. They work very well in bright sun and seem to do the trick in haze also.
He also moves the optical center to accomodate for your head resting on the stock of a rifle.[ actually lets you bring your rifle to the office for the last appointment of the evening, sets up a target at the end of the hall to help get them just right!!!!]
The orange color seems to act as "blue blockers" on very hazy days.
In response to keeping you guys updated on my glasses. I just picked them up and WOW the front sight is clear. Haven't been to the range yet, but I'm sure it will be an improvement. It's a little weird having a trifocal lense. After putting them on I thought, geeze, am I really getting that old? Anyway, at this point I'll have to raise my head upwards a little more. My "boxer" stance will have to change since I cannot focus out of the corner of the lense. I'll have to be more square and face the target. The old, "put your feet on the line" and look straight at the target shooting style. I can also see great now when looking through binoculars.
I just finished a project in which I had to use a 1/16" drill bit.
Being the klutz that I am I bought several so I had one left.
The next day I happened to run across the clip-on sunglasses with the 1/8" hole drilled in them that was done in an effort to make the revolver sights more visible. The light came on!
I drilled a 1/16" hole in a small piece of black plastic, hot glued it over the existing hole and "voila", It works.
My sights are clear and so is the target.
Now I have to shoot a lot better because one of my excuses is gone.
More solutions

I too suffer from short arm disease and couldn't focus either my front or rear sights. I have no distance correction but use 1.5 diopter reading glasses. I originally went to LensCrafters and had a pair of glasses made in a safety frame that are Progressive lenses ending in a 22mm bifocal of my reading correction of 1.5. I noticed that my sights would come into focus before I got to the bifocal. I then started searching the internet looking for a solution. I came across DeCot Hye-wyd glasses. They recommend cutting your reading correction in half. I ordered a pair of glasses from them with the right eye having an inverted ft35 (a big one) bifocal in the upper inside part of the lens. I got a correction of +1 but found it was too weak for the rear sights. I exchanged them for a 1.25 and now everything is in focus. I just lower my head a bit to look through the bifocal now instead of pointing with my chin.

I've since found other possibilities: There is a company that makes stick on bifocals for golfers, shooters and for sunglasses. see this link:

I've also seen a company that makes safety glasses with a large bifocal on the lower part of the lens. These are only 20 bucks! Link is:

All I can say is it sure made a huge difference when you can focus both sights!! BTW, I also shoot one of my guns through an UltraDot and you don't use a correction there. My DeCot glasses have an adjustable bridge so when I want the bifocal out of the way, I just lower the bridge and raise the glasses up higher on my face.
See less See more
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.