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Hunters and Self-Defense, BOTH EYES OPEN

A New Approach

My firearms experience was always centered around Hunting Safely and Ethically. The ethical portion focused on becoming an excellent marksman, so I would always kill the animal swiftly.

Included in my endeavors was learning how to hold the firearm, learn how to breathe so I would not fog up the scope if there was one, slow your heart rate and your respiration, keep eyes as steady as possible, KEEP BOTH EYES OPEN, and at the bottom of an exhale, squeeze the trigger.  I should also state that I was programmed to perform these tasks in order once I made tthe decision to harvest the animal.  When using a scoped rifle I would; calm myself, breathe low left to not fog the scope, shoulder the firearm, acquire the target, keep both eyes open, inhale, exhale, aim small, hit small and squeeze the trigger.

New Words and New Ways

My new NRA certified Firearms Instructor has me now, PRESSING the trigger instead of Squeezing it.

I was taught to shoot with BOTH EYES OPEN from the very beginning. What I have noticed lately, as I live past my 45th year, my eyes have aged and I catch myself starting to hyper-focus with my
dominant eye and closing the other.

Just before Thanksgiving I took a Red Dot Sights for Pistols class. The training was a Willapa Firearms Training course titled Pistol Mounted Optics class for Defense.

Taking this course was a transition for me and an endeavor to gain a whole new skill set, using a semi-automatic pistol.  I wanted to purchase a firearm for this course.  My instructor offered to let me run one of his but said I would need to purchase 300 rounds of ammo for the class. There are only 2 weapons I have ever put more than 300 rounds through in my life…..My Daisy BB gun and my Ruger 10-22. Never had I shot 300 rounds with a firearm that fired center-fire cartridges. My Father made me find and keep all of my center fired brass, every spent case.

New Gun and Set-Up Right

I decided I wanted a weapon of my own so I could practice at my own leisure. So after speaking with several Law Enforcement officers and looking up some ballistics, I decided to purchase a weapon that I could conceal carry and hunt with as well, based upon my upbringing with operating large caliber weapons. So I purchased a Glock 40, Gen 4 MOS, Long Slide, in 10 mm.

In preparation for the course, I accessorized it with a Holosun 509T- Red Dot Optic. The optic required a mounting plate to be installed on my Glock 40.  I purchased a CHPWS RDS GL-509T-RSF adapter plate. The rear sight is built into the plate and is clearly visible through the optic to align with my taller front sight post. I also purchased a Streamlight TLR-2 HLG, 1000 lumens, light and Laser.

GLOCK MOS V4 MIL/LEO to Holosun 509T with RSF

This entire set up performed flawlessly throughout the day. No jams or misfires, optics performed and adjusted as advertised. Light and Laser worked well. No free holes at 3 meters and rung the steel with my first free-standing shot at 100 yards as well.

Being used to shooting a 44 mag, a 454 Casull and the S&W 500…..This well balanced, 6” barreled, 10mm, was an absolute joy to shoot. Absolutely no hand fatigue after 300 rounds.

What I discovered during the class and on the range surprised me. While keeping BOTH EYES OPEN and focusing on the target, using the red dot optic, it was extremely easy to bring the dot onto target. I tried on multiple occasions to just use my dominant eye or just try to find the dot first, with horrible results.  I stayed focused on the target, looking through the red dot with a solid presentation of the firearm and found this to give me the best results.

Target Focus & Both Eyes Open

After the class, I went home to my private range and decided to re-invent my target shooting practice routine. Before taking this class, if I were going to sight in a big bore rifle I started by shooting at least 10 rounds through my scoped, Ruger 10-22. Then I would move to the weapon of choice, make sure the scope was secure and the cross hairs were not broken, (actually happened to me once), dry fire it 3 times to get a sense of the trigger feel and poundage and then send the first bullet down range. So, for a four day period, I sighted in 4 scoped rifles. Days one and 3 using my old technique, and days 2 and 4 using a new technique that included 5 minutes acquiring targets through my new red dot mounted pistol. Now maybe using a red dot mounted rifle would be the best for this but I do not currently have a red dot mounted rifle. Although I am considering purchasing a T-Rex Killer from Henry Rifles in the 45-70 caliber and mounting a red dot sight on it. What a great Lever action,100 yard, brush gun that would be!

I discovered it was much easier for me to target shoot with BOTH EYES OPEN after practicing acquiring the target with a red dot for 5 minutes before moving to the big rifles. I am talking about
extreme accuracy, 10X or higher, good quality scope, no free holes at 100 meters, second shot fired before 15 seconds has lapsed, 3rd shot fired before 2 minutes has lapsed. That’s my definition of
Hunting accuracy! These new-to- me firearms and accessories are changing the way I prepare for hunting and self protection.

The OLE’ DOG is learning some new skill sets that are enhancing all my senses. I am a huge believer in Tried and True comfort however when you decide to expand your knowledge and skills, keep an open mind.   When learning the new knowledge, the Ole’ Comfort can become enjoyable again and it can start to have a motivating effect.

Keep your senses sharp, learn, adapt, and enjoy! I am finding a better way! Hope you will too!

The biggest guy on the right, that’s me, learning new things.

About the Author

Lex is a life long hunter and is a Professional Detail Specialist. He is a Biomechanist and is extremely experienced in weapons accurizing and supreme accuracy reloading. His Education of Woods, Metals and Plastics, Design and fabrication, have given him the ability to design and create several patented items that are currently for sale all over the world. His Biomechanic skills are currently being used to enhance the athletic performance of some of the top High School, College and Professional sports teams and individuals in the Country and abroad! If you would like to contact Lex about his articles or his work, he can be reached at

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