Wouldn’t targets be easier to hit with a shotgun if they were 35% bigger and 35% slower? They can be. All you have to do is shoot them with both eyes open, according to Gil Ash of the OSP shooting school.
Ash, who has spent more time studying vision than almost anyone in any sport, expounded on the benefit of two-eyed shooting to a group of SCTP coaches at a clinic I attended last March in Iowa.
“All the timing circuits in your brain are designed for two-eyed input,” he said, “If you shoot with one eye closed, you lose depth perception, you lose 20% of your field of vision, and 60-70% of your total vision.”
Ash went on to say that using both eyes allows you to read angles and distances, and determine leads, which is especially important in hunting and sporting clays where the shots are never the same. In trap, two-eyed shooting lets you “see through” the gun to see targets rising behind it, allowing you to hold the gun higher over the trap house as many shooters prefer to do, instead of holding on the roof as one-eyed shooter must.
While Ash’s clinic was oriented to wing and clay shooting, it’s also true that learning to shoot two-eyed could save your life in a home defense situation. Limiting peripheral vision by shutting an eye reduces your situational awareness. In a dark room, you need every bit of light-gathering power and visual acuity two eyes offer. Hitting any moving target quickly is much easier with two eyes than it is with one.