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Shooting: One-Eyed or Two? - Firearms Practice

 

When responding to a stimulus, 80% of sensory input derives from the visual sense. This process requires the use of both sides of the brain in order function. Both the left and right hemispheres of the brain share the information acquired through visual input. When shooting one-eyed, shooters don’t get the full picture. As a matter of fact, without the use of both eyes, many visual functions are limited. Many shooters initially learn to shoot with one eye and it is a habit that is hard to break. The benefits of shooting two-eyed, however, make learning this skill worthwhile.

Drawbacks of Shooting One-Eyed

Should I shoot with one eye or two eyes?

There are many disadvantages to shooting with one eye. For those who carry concealed, they do so for self-defense or defense of others. Closing one eye negatively impacts the visual system. Visual acuity decreases, as does depth perception, balance, and spatial orientation. These are important tasks that must not be sacrificed during serious situations.

Shooting with one eye will decrease the speed and efficiency of information processing. This means that it takes longer for the brain to process the information needed to react. In critical situations, our brain cycles through a process known as the OODA loop(Observe, Orient, Decide, Act).

Shooting with two eyes is a hard habit to break.
Photo by: Sara Ahrens

This is important for threat assessment and reaction time. In addition, after addressing a target, the shooter needs to determine the effectiveness of their actions, and identify the existence of other threats.

Benefits of Shooting Two-Eyed

Shooting with both eyes openShooting with both eyes aids survival. Research has found that both eyes will remain open during a shooting. This is instinctive and cannot be controlled. Therefore, it would be advantageous to learn to shoot with both eyes before being faced with a deadly force situation.

 

 

Shooting with both eyes open has many benefits.
Photo by: Michael Ahrens

Even though it’s instinctive, practicing the skill increases success rates. The eyes are complicated organs. They are offset, each interpreting visual stimuli from a slightly different perspective. Each eye takes in visual stimulus, and the information from each eye is transmitted from separate sides of the brain to the other. Field of vision occurs when both eyes converge. This convergence allows us to see in three dimensions, determine distances and speed, allow for spatial orientation, and assists with balance.

Our visual sensitivity and hand-eye coordination increases when binocular vision is employed. Visual sensitivity is the ability to respond to physiological changes. This sensitivity provides the shooter with the ability to respond to changes in the environment. It is more than twice as great using both eyes (duh, right?). The shooter will experience an increase in efficiency in hand-eye coordination, also known as visual-motor task.

When addressing a target less than three feet it is virtually impossible to determine distance. So determining distances up to 25 during a shooting situation can be extremely difficult, if not impossible. Distances beyond three feet can be judged only by visual cues, which require moving the head back and forth. Individuals with monocular vision are often unable to drive because of being unable to determine distances, they are seven times as likely to be involved in accidents than other motorists.

The use of two eyes in low light situations can increase one’s success when addressing a target. Many shooting situations occur in low light situations. The eye contains cones and rods. The rods are dominant in bright lighting conditions, where as rods are dominant in low light conditions. The rods are what allow the eye to see detail. The more lighting decreases, the more prominent the cones are in the eyes. This diminishes details that may be necessary for determining whether or not an object presents a threat. Using two eyes while shooting or even assessing a threat, allows for more light to enter the eye. This additional lighting increases our ability to see more details, thus decreasing the OODA loop.

One Eye Or Two? Survey Says...TWO!

Learning to shoot with two eyes has many benefits

Shooting with both eyes open is a skill worthy of learning
Photo by: Michael Ahrens

Clearly the research indicates that the benefits of learning to shoot with two eyes have a significant positive impact during shooting situations. Shooting with two eyes will improve hand-eye coordination; allow shooters to determine speed and distance of a threat. It allows for spatial orientation and allows us to maintain balance. In addition, it increases our field of vision and shortens our OODA loop in low light situations. Since it has been proven that shooters will leave their eyes open in a shooting situation it is best to practice the skill before it is needed. And although this was probably not the intent of an old adage - it certainly applies; two eyes are better than one.

 

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Hunting the Honey Hole Tree

 

 

Thompson Center RenegadeMy dad bought me my black powder rifle when I was 12 years old, which was my first deer rifle (before this I had been using a 20 gauge shotgun). We were in the sporting goods section at the store, when I noticed it on sale. I don’t remember how much it was, but it was too good a price to pass up. I ended up with a .54 caliber Thompson Center Renegade.

I got the rifle after deer season was over, and I spent the months leading up to the next muzzleloader season practicing with it. I was extremely excited about hunting that year because it was going to be my first time getting to deer hunt in a stand alone. By the time muzzleloader season arrived, I was a crack-shot with my new rifle.

We loaded up the Jeep and headed to the woods the Friday before opening morning (Dad took me out of school early to go hunting). When we got to deer camp we were greeted with my uncle, Paul, telling us about a bear that came under his tree while he had been bow hunting that morning. He said the bear caught his scent and came right up to the tree he was in then stood up and leaned on the tree on its hind legs and watched him for about five minutes before moving on. After giving the bear time to move on, Paul climbed down and hightailed it back to camp.

There were a lot of hunters in camp that weekend so I ended up hunting with Dad opening morning because all the stands were taken. We didn’t see anything. Paul killed a buck about daylight. He field-dressed the buck, dragged it back to camp then went back to his stand and killed another buck about an hour later. Since he was tagged out, Paul suggested that I hunt his stand that evening. My chance had come.

I got in Paul’s stand about 2 o’clock that afternoon and settled in to wait. I didn’t see anything all afternoon, and I had watched like a hawk due to that bear being around. The sun started to dip down behind the top of the mountain behind me, so I decided to call it a day. I removed the cap, tied my string to my rifle and started lowering it out of the tree. My rifle was about halfway down when I heard a noise. I looked up and saw a spike coming down the trail towards me.

shooting tce muzzleloaderI have no idea how that deer didn’t see or hear me trying to get that rifle back up the tree. However I did it, that spike kept coming at me. I jammed a new cap on the nipple with trembling fingers, drew down on Spike and dropped the hammer. Smoke and fire blew out the end of the barrel as the rifle boomed, and I couldn’t see a freaking thing because of all the smoke. I heard the deer running then a crash.

I reloaded with shaking hands and probably spilled half the powder then hustled out of the tree. After a little bit of looking I found him. He had run about 30 yards down the bench and keeled over. I had killed my first deer with a perfect heart shot.

About 5 minutes later, my dad came walking down the bench from the direction the spike had come. Dad had pushed Spike along the bench ahead of him on his way to get me. I am not sure who was more proud, Dad or me.

Three bucks were taken from that tree in one day that year and that was how the legend of the Honey Hole Tree started. That may not sound impressive compared to where you hunt but that never happens hunting in the Ozark Mountains, where a deer camp of 10 men might tag 2-4 deer on a good Opening Morning or sometimes all season depending on the year.

We killed more deer out of that tree over the next several years, but never again so many in one day. We don’t hunt in that area anymore, but one of these days I plan on going back. Those memories are some of my most treasured.

How old were you when you first went hunting?

 

You can follow Jason on Twitter @thejasonparks and Instagram @jason_parks_brothers_farm.

Second image via http://www.backcountrychronicles.com/top-3-reasons-shoot-hunt-muzzleloader/

 

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

3 Concealed Carry Tips For People With A Disabilities

 
I was diagnosed and treated for a rare muscle tumor when I was 17. The cancer was so rare that I was only the 7th person diagnosed with it and the first person to ever survive it. I was sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN which is an awesome hospital and I strongly recommend that you help support they hospital with donations or fundraisers.

I spent 6 months in treatment and have been in remission since December of 1997. Eventually the side effects of the radiation treatment set in and the scar tissue in the radiation area set up like concrete. I reached the point where I couldn’t move my left hip or knee. I walked with a very pronounce limp.

In March 2010, I broke my bad leg. My femur snapped where the good bone and the irradiated bone met and the bad bone shattered into 3 pieces. Two years, ten months, two surgeries, a bone graft and two titanium rods later (the first non-slip rod slipped), and I am still on crutches and will be for the foreseeable future.

The bone started mending after the second surgery but the healing is slow due to the poor circulation in the radiation area and also due to the poor condition of my femur bone. The doc was shocked when what looked like dead bone started healer. I guess it was just mostly dead. Thanks to God for the miracle of the human body.

I’ve told you all of that so that you can know that I know what it is like to live with a physical disability. As you know from my previous posts Crutching Around With A CCW and 3 Problems With Carrying A Gun While On Crutches I now have a concealed carry permit and have been working out the best way for me to carry a concealed weapon.

Here are 3 Tips for folks with a disability that conceal carry:

Don’t Let Someone Else Tell You What Is Best For You – talk to people, get opinions but when it comes down to it, you need to carry what works for you. Don’t let someone tell you that you should be carrying a .45 for the stopping power when your arthritis will barely let you use a .22. The choice of a carry pistol has to be what works best for you.

When is comes to how you will carry concealed, you will need to figure out what works best for you with that too. In your case, a lot of the recommended conceal carry techniques and holsters may not work for you. Don’t let someone else tell you what is best for you. You need to work it all out in a way that best suits your needs.

Practice Your Way – Once you have the best method that fits your situation, practice, practice, practice. This applies to everyone but more so to someone with a disability that might impede their ability to draw their weapon. Sorry but that’s just the way it is.

Don’t Carry a Gun – I know that sounds radical but hear me out, if your disability doesn't allow you to draw or shoot your pistol or allows an attacker a more than average chance of taking your pistol away from you, don’t carry one. You are responsible to be able to defend yourself and your loved ones. If your disability makes carrying a pistol a danger to others either by your inability to fire the weapon safely and accurately or by the potential of your weapon being used against others then you should seriously consider not carrying a pistol.

Instead, you could carry a knife and tactical flash light. In a pinch, those two items are quite effective. I am not sure where I heard this saying but is has stuck with me (I am paraphrasing): Someone can take a gun away from you without getting shot, but no one can take a knife away from you without getting cut.

What do you think? Anyone else have some tips that you want to add?

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

Check out www.BeretttaUSA.com and make sure you follow Beretta on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

You can check me out on Twitter @thejasonparksand on Instagram Instagram
 

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Going Through The Change

 

by Carrie Lightfoot - Guest Contributor

Photo: Change of seasons by Silveryn


I suppose I could be writing about the change of seasons as we all are invigorated by the crisp weather and the changing leaves. Or, I could even be writing about THE CHANGE. You know: the change that involves hormones and hot flashes! 

No, I won’t go there; not today.  The change I am talking about is the very profound change that a woman goes through after making the decision to own a firearm, goes through the very important process of deciding which firearm is right for her and training to properly, safely and proficiently learn how to shoot it to defend herself. 

It changes us profoundly. We feel different and we move through our daily lives differently. We in fact are different. How so? We have confidence. With this new sense of confidence we start to look people in the eyes more when we are out and about. We scan the environment with new keen sense of awareness of possible risks and people out of place. We walk through parking lots, restaurants and other public places more prepared and with the confidence that given the worst possible case scenario, we know we are fully prepared to give it all we’ve got to defend ourselves. This not only changes us in the realm of self protection, it also effects every aspect of our lives and relationships.

I believe society breeds high levels of insecurity in women, socially, emotionally and physically. We seem to always be the “weaker one” or the one “not good enough”. The ability to level the playing field, or more appropriately the battle field, is extremely significant for a woman. We feel less like a victim and more like an empowered, fierce force. 


The role of self protector doesn’t come naturally for most women. We are raised to believe we are protected by others. Today, this just isn’t an option for it is not possible in this crazy world, with out crazy schedules to be protected by our men, our police or others all of the time. Women are taking on this role with courage, intelligence and passion.

So we are changed on the outside because we now carry a firearm and are equipped to defend ourselves, but we are also changed on the inside because we carry a new sense of confidence that impacts every area of our lives. 

Has it changed you? 

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit www.thewellarmedwoman.com

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

What A Weekend!

 
By Brad Wilson - Guest Contributor

Hunting season!  I had the pleasure of spending the weekend chasing dove with a great group of guys. My younger brother is getting married in a few weeks so myself and a few of his friends put together a bachelor weekend at a friends ranch just outside of Weesatche, Texas.  There was great food, clay targets, shotguns, rifles, pistols, a decent number of dove, and an all around great time with some good people.

The weekend looked like it might have been a wash in all literal sense of the word.  Friday night and Saturday morning was an ongoing rain event that dropped 2-5" of rain in the area.  Saturday afternoon the rain came to a halt and the timing couldn't have been any better.  We were able to get a few rounds of skeet in before we all went out in the field to put a minor dent in the Texas dove population.  The final tally of birds in hand was 9 mostly due to the birds being spread out from the weather.  We stayed out until dusk and then made the short drive back to the barn.

Upon arrival at the barn we found that my dad, the cook for the weekend, had carved up the brisket that had been on the pit for about 12 hours as well as 6 beer can chickens accompanied with a pot of beans.  One thing about Texas country boys, WE CAN EAT!  Within an hour all the food was devoured, cold beverages were being consumed, washers were being thrown, and college football was on the big screen.  It was definitely the absolute best bachelor weekend I have ever been lucky enough to attend.

I'm dedicating this post to my brother.  Jared, I hope that your marriage is filled with good times and an eternal bond with a wonderful woman.  You are a hell of a man and I am thankful to be able to call you my brother.  I am extremely proud of you, and I love you.


Brad Wilson is an avid outdoorsman targeting waterfowl and saltwater fish and is a guest contributor for the Beretta Blog.  He can be reached on Twitter or YouTube.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube

 

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Dove Season Opener

 


Dove Season Opener
By Keith Hollar – Guest Contributor

This year I got the opportunity to go on a dove hunt.  It was me first hunting trip. Part of the reason I started to get into clay shooting was so I could at least hit something when I went on this hunting trip.

So after meeting early in the morning on the day before dove season opened and loading up the trucks my dad, me and six other guys set out on the about four hour drive to Parker, Arizona.  We arrived at the vacation house that belongs to the brother of the guy who sets up the trip every year, Neil, to turn on the air conditioner and unload the vehicles.  We wisely decided to wait until the early evening to go out scouting since the afternoon temperatures were in the low 100’s.  We drove out on Indian land and scouted a couple areas south of Poston, Arizona that evening and made a decision on where to go the next morning.

At the early hour of 4:30 a.m., with the temperatures already in the high 80’s, we got on the road for the almost 45 minute drive to the spot we chose to start the opening day on.  We all spread out into different areas of the field to try our luck.  As things got light there weren’t that many birds flying around and not a lot of shotguns going off either.  By the end of our time out hunting that day I only got one bird and I think we only had 17-18 birds between the 8 of us.  From what the guys who had done this before were telling me, this was definitely not normal and it was probably the monsoon rains that had come a couple weeks before and drove the birds off.


On day two we decided to go to about the same area but to a location that we were getting some success.  We got there early and set up.  I selected a bush that would come to find out was not the wisest choice.  While I did bring down another two birds, the mosquitoes ate me alive.  I had at least a hundred, and probably more, bites even though I was wearing long sleeves, pants and bug spray.  It was over a week before they finally stopped itching.  As he traditionally does Neil made us dinner this second night.  Normally he does it on opening day but because of the low amount of birds we got he had to wait until the second day.  The recipe he chose was a wild rice, mushroom, celery, white wine and dove casserole.  It was pretty good.



The third and final day we decided to try a completely different location.  This was met with about the same results, not a whole lot.  I hardly saw any birds and only shot at a couple and missed.    Over the three days I only shot a little over a box of shells.

Overall I had a pretty good time, although I was glad to get home after being out of town for most of August.  I do think it is something I’d like to do again, although the 100 degree weather was a little tiring.  Maybe next year I’ll try my hand at quail.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

10 Gun Wish List

 

By Jason Parks – Guest Contributor

10 guns I can’t afford....

…right now…

….but wish I had.

In no particular order:


I generally prefer short barreled pistols, but this one is the exception. I have always liked the look and feel of long slide 1911 pistols. I tried to buy or trade one away from a good friend of mine, but he never would let go of it. As long slides go the Nighthawk is the coolest one I have see so far. It comes in 10mm so the only thing that would make it better is if it was in .45 ACP. (Picture courtesy of http://www.knesekguns.com/commercial/Nighthawk-10mm-Long-Slide)



In a world where tactical semi-auto pistols reign supreme, I like the direction Smith & Wesson went with this pistol. Given the choice between Smith & Wesson Model 325 Thunder Ranch and a tactical semi-auto, I would have a hard time deciding on which to get. (Picture courtesy of http://www.knesekguns.com/commercial/SW-Model-325-Thunder-Ranch)



This is one awesome rifle. I would prefer an original 1895 Winchesterin .405 but would not complain if it was in .30-06 or 7.62x54R. I love old, large caliber, lever action rifles like the .405, but it would be really cool to have one that shoots .30-60 like my deer rifle. Who wouldn’t want to own a piece of history like a Model 1895 Winchester(Picture courtesy of http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/winchester-model-95/)



I am a big fan of .45-70’s and of carbines. The 1873 Trapdoor Springfield is the original .45-70. The Springfield Trapdoor Carbine is the Alpha Prime Numero Uno of .45-70 carbines and I want one. (Picture courtesy of http://www.uberti.com/firearms/springfield-trapdoor.php)



Every hunter alive wants a double rifle, but few can afford them. Once again, the USSG Double Rifle comes in .45-70, but I didn’t know this one was available until I started this post. As double rifles go, this one is almost affordable. The next step up costs 5 times as much. I might be able to afford this one if I liquidate some inventory and clean the kitchen every night for the next 8 years and vacuum for the next 12 years and.... (Picture courtesy of http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/60304)



A take down, lever action .45-70. What more could I ask for? (Picture courtesy of http://wildwestguns.com/copilot.html)



Small, stainless and .45 ACP, this Kimber would probably be my first choice for a conceal carry pistol. Sorry Beretta. (Picture courtesy of http://www.knesekguns.com/commercial/Kimber-Stainless-Ultra-Raptor-II-45ACP-3200196)



I grew up watching Steve McQueen bring in the bad guys with this gun on Wanted Dead or Alive. Ever since then, I have wanted a Mare’s Leg. There are several out there now to choose from, but I like Henry's brass receiver and octagon barrel. (Picture courtesy of http://www.henryrepeating.com/rifle-mares-leg.cfm)



If I were to take up Cowboy Action Shooting full time, this pistol would be my first choice. I prefer short barreled revolvers especially when it comes to single action pistols and the ease of loading and unloading a top break pistol is obvious. (Picture courtesy of http://www.uberti.com/firearms/top-break.php)



Like I have said, I like light, short barreled guns. I also prefer semi-automatic shotguns over pump or double-barreled shotguns. I didn’t add this one to kowtow to Beretta. I have a semi-auto shotgun that I am very happy with. It is not a Beretta, and it is not a 12 gauge. But if I needed a new shotgun, the Beretta A400 Xplot Light KO would be at the top of my wish list. (Picture courtesy of http://www.berettausa.com/products/a400-xplor-light-ko-12ga-3/?F_All=Y)


Bonus:


I might be able to afford this pistol if I could ever find one. If you are not familiar with this revolver, it is a .38 caliber pistol that has the capability to shoot 25 different types of ammunition including .357 Magnum, 9mm, all types of .38’s and 7.62x25. This is one of those if I could only own one gun types of pistols. In a survival situation, this pistol is the one to have. (Picture courtesy of http://airbornecombatengineer.typepad.com/airborne_combat_engineer/2007/05/medusa_revolver.html)


So what guns are on your wish list?

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

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You can follow Jason on Twitter @thejasonparks

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

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