Thursday, June 23, 2011

Aging eyes: ongoing

After falling apart during the styrofoam cups event on Sunday morning (zero for . . . [cough] nine), I decided to make haste to my optician for some vision expertise. I can tell you that everything was a blur during that event--and I do mean EVERYTHING, targets, front sight, rear sight, everything. What concerned me most was the apparent double vision I had of the targets themselves . . . I couldn't blink them straight, I couldn't line up the front sight on a single isolated cup, nothing. That's never happened to me before. So off I went.

The optician I go to is a good one, and he's got several other customers who shoot. Half the problem he suggested was not having the right color shooting glasses to make the targets pop out of the green background a bit more. That made sense to me, so we talked about shooting glasses. We also talked about the need to focus on the front sight with my dominant (right eye). Ordinarily I've been shooting with bifocal contact lenses and clear non-prescription shooting glasses.

He suggested dropping down a diopter in my right contact lens and wearing a non-bifocal lens in that eye. He predicted that would give me good focus on the front sight at around 30 inches or thereabouts. So he gave me a couple of -3.75 lenses to try (my normal prescription is -4.75) in the right eye, with the instructions to keep my normal bifocal -4.75 in the left eye.

And I bought a pair of Bolle sport glasses with 4 different colored lens inserts: yellow, light brown, vermillion, and a polarized set for driving. These are polycarbonate so should work for shooting; he also sells the Wiley X brand but did not have any in stock, so I went with the Bolle. The idea here is to see if I can get the target image as sharp as possible against the various backgrounds and in different light conditions.

Went to the range yesterday morning before the rains came--put in the weaker contact lens in my right eye, wore the yellow lenses (cloudy conditions) in the shooting glasses, and shot 20 or so rounds at paper.

Results were encouraging: My first target put three just outside the black in one big hole; the second five shots were kind of all over; and the last ten shots put a number in the black.

Then I shot a half dozen or so shots plinking at blocks of wood against the backstop. This was the best thing I did: I probably hit 2 out of 3 shots on average for about ten shots total.

So hopefully this will be the next step in trying to figure out how to improve my musket shooting with aging eyes. The rains came a bit too quickly yesterday to shoot anymore at clays, but I'm going to make up some hanging clays to try with the vermilion lenses, which I understand really accentuate the orange. I'll let you know how that goes.
you can't hit what you can't see . . .

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