The Eyes Have It:
How to increase your eye speed and decrease your time in target transitions.
By Goshawk

The following is a method for strengthening your eyes and increasing  speed and accuracy in target acquisition. To do the exercise, you will need at least 4-1" black dots with a 1/4" white dot in the center.  Place two of the dots on your living room wall, at eye level, about 5' apart.  Stand back and bring the white dot on the left side into sharp focus.  As soon as you are focused, quickly snap your eyes to the right dot, focusing on the white center.  Don't move your head, use only your eyes.  Now, snap back and forth as fast as you can, making sure each time to bring the white dot into sharp focus.  Notice that your peripheral vision locates the black of the dot first, then your eyes find the white center and bring it into sharp clarity.  After a few minutes you will probably begin to notice some eye fatigue and a slight headache.  Take a short break and repeat.  Remember, this is like weight lifting for your eyes.  They are unaccustomed to working this hard.  When you see some improvement place another dot 3 feet above the right dot and practice vertical transitions.

To advance, place a forth dot on your horizontal plane just far enough to the right that you have to move your head to see it.  Now you'll be learning to use your eyes to lead your head instead of vise-versa.  Your eyes are the fastest part of your body!  Use your eyes to snap over and start searching for the other dot, your head will automatically follow.

Once you feel that you've made some progress begin to vary the patterns and add your weapon(s).   While doing these exercises you can also practice trigger control, mag changes, proper sight picture and smooth target acquisition.

With the use of your weapon in this exercise (iron sights) you should no longer be focusing on the dot but should be bringing the front sight blade into sharp focus.  You will still see the dot but it will be slightly out of focus.  Once you get your sight picture, SMOOTHLY pull the trigger.  Did the front sight move?  If it did, you need to work on trigger control.  Quickly snap your eyes to the next dot and focus clearly on the white center.  Your weapon will be catching up at this point and slowing to the white spot where you will pull the trigger again.  When your gun arrives, your eyes will instantly shift focus to the front sight.  BE careful not to slam the gun to a stop, but slide it into position.

Remember, you are training your body through repetition.  This takes time.  Go slow and easy, develop muscle memory.  Insert mantra here- "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast".  If you do your homework, when your mind is under stress your body will take over and efficiently do what you've taught it to do.  You will also find and be able to eliminate wasted movement.  They say that time is money...well it may also mean your life!

I would like to take the credit for originating this, but I can't.  It was taught to me by a professional shooter and good friend.  I urge you to try it and be creative.  It WILL vastly improve your eyesight and shooting skills.  At one time I had little dots scattered all over the house and would practice "sneaking" up on them.  Have fun!!

Footnote: PLEASE REMEMBER!!  When practicing with your weapon ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS make sure it is NOT loaded!  Check it, then check it again.  Practice muzzle discipline, NEVER sweep anyone.  Think safety first.

Goshawk


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