Is it Better to Shoot With Both Eyes Open?

Shooting with Both Eyes OpenShooting with one eye closed is a habit most shooters find hard to break. The truth, however, is that you cannot have full visual function with one eye closed. Your brain will only be processing half the required information. It’s no wonder then that when you find yourself in a combat/proactive situation, both your eyes will be fully open and dilated; it’s because your brain is inclined to take everything in.

But not everybody agrees that it is better to shoot with both eyes open, as often not, the situation dictates how precise you need to be. For example:

  • 2 eyes open for a 3-foot target
  • 2 eyes open for a 7-foot target
  • 1 eye open for a 15-yard target

So, should you shoot with both eyes open? Let’s have a look.

Advantages of Shooting with Both Eyes Open

  1. Awareness of your situation: With one eye open, your field of view is diminished. But with both open, your peripheral awareness improves, raising your surrounding awareness levels.
  2. Vision speed: Your brain adjusts each time you open or close an eye which means there’s a delay in processing vision. This can be prolonged when you close and reopen one eye.
  3. Balance: To better understand this, try running with an eye closed. Most likely, you won’t be that fast or straight. The fact is when moving and shooting at the same time, you need both your eyes open for balance.
  4. Stress and fatigue: When you are threatened or competing, you will be under some level of stress. This is when you experience flight response, which manifests as increased breathing, heartbeat, and pupil dilation. That causes poor target transition when one eye is closed. It gets worse if you are not used to shooting with both eyes open.
  5. Clarity: When you close one eye, the other one does not open fully. Your eyelid and eyelashes will block it slightly which means your target area will not be well clarified.

According to Dry Fire, you can expect a 20-30% increase in performance and even accuracy when you learn to shoot with both eyes open. But with all the obvious advantages, some people still insist on shooting with only a single eye open.

Some People Can Only Shoot with One Eye Open

The biggest reason why you might not be able to shoot with both eyes open is because of eye dominance. In some cases, you will come across a left-handed shooter who is right-eye-dominant and vice versa. While for some people it may not really be an issue, some are so dominant in one eye that it takes over when trying to focus on a target. Hence, they can never shoot with both eyes open and make a hit.

But, this should not ruin your shooting experience. You can use an eye shield to cover the non-dominant eye but still have it open while using other techniques.

When shooting, you not only need to anticipate a hit; you must also guarantee it. The benefits of shooting with both eyes open outweigh those of not doing so, like improved hand-to-eye coordination and better calculation of your threat distance and speed.

For most shooters, we recommend practicing the skill before you even need it.

How to Choose the Best Tactical Rifle Scope for Your Firearm

Choosing a rifle scope

Weapons developers began including tactical optics on their weapons to improve accuracy and shooting rate in varying conditions. Basic rifle scopes were immediately favorable over iron sights for such characteristics as magnification, sight steadying, lighting, and ease of use.

The best tactical rifle scopes evolved to specialize in certain shooting conditions that matched the styles of various types of shooters. Some types of rifle scopes are more favorable for game hunting, others are geared toward urban combat, and some are designed to provide increased sight in low-light conditions.

What to Consider When Choosing a Rifle Scope

Start your search for the best tactical scopes by asking these questions:

  • How do I intend to use tactical optics?
  • Do I intend to regularly shoot from certain distances, or will those distances be significantly varied?
  • Will I ordinarily be shooting in low light or daylight?
  • What are my rifle specifications (weight, caliber of ammunition)
  • How much am I willing to spend on the right optical upgrade?

List your answers for quick reference as you browse good potential tactical scopes. You’ll most often find keywords in product descriptions that match your answers. Look for scopes made for long-distance or short-distance shooting, those that work best in low light or daylight, and those that keep weight minimal or help you balance your weapon.

Characteristics of Tactical Optics, Explained

  1. Type – There are two types of optics: telescopic and reflector or reflex sights. Telescopic lenses use magnification to make your target appear closer. Reflector scopes focus on a single point of reference – very often, they employ the famous red dot. Reflex sights make target acquisition a little bit quicker.
  2. Magnification – Telescopic optics are defined by their magnification capabilities and size of tube. For example 2.5-10X20mm means magnification power ranges from 2.5 to 10, and the objective lens diameter will be 20mm. Most people find a 2.5-10X scope comfortable enough – too much magnification can be a liability.
  1. Adjustment turrets – An optics tube comes with a block mounted to it with windage and elevation adjustment turrets. The turrets should give you distinct audible clicks as you tune. Scopes with ½ MOA (minute of angle) adjustments are generally preferred.
  1. Reticle – This is the aiming indicator inside your scope. The most common reticles are recognizable as the red dot, ring, or crosshairs. A reticle is illuminated either by LED lights, fiber optics, or with radioactive material. Early scopes like the Starlight scope relied on ambient lighting.

Helpful Tactical Optics Terminology

Should you encounter a feature of a scope or sight for your weapon that you do not recognize, reference this rifle scope guide before choosing a rifle scope:

The circle of light you see at the end of your scope when you aim it at something like a wall. The exit pupil controls the amount of light that enters your scope.

This is the distance between your eye and the scope’s eyepiece from where you can see the entire image of your target. If your scope is not mounted properly, it affects your eye relief.

This is a measurement equal to 1/60th of a degree that you use to adjust your scope.

When a round exits the barrel of a rifle, it tends to rotate outwards and downwards from your target depending on the wind speed and direction. Shooting from longer distances causes your bullet to react to an increased number and volume of obstacles, including gravity. Some optics attempt to compensate for gravity and wind by including a bullet drop compensator (BDC).

Take Your Time When Choosing a Tactical Rifle Scope

If it’s your first optics purchase, be sure to review the basic features of rifle scopes and ask yourself what is necessary for your shooting circumstances and style. Getting to know how and when you shoot will help you optimize your tactical scope selection in the best way, which will also help you get more value out of the price you pay.

SHOP OPTICS

Burris Optics

Army Updates Infantry Training for Focus on Mobility, Marksmanship

Infantry Training

 

Enemies of the United States continue to lead charges to train and equip as readily as the U.S. military. Though stateside military retains dominance in military force, leaders want that dominance to be decisive. Improvements in military performance begin with training the United States Army’s Infantry Branch, which is made up of over 100,000 highly trained frontline operators.

Brig. Gen. Christopher T. Donahue said that the Army seeks “intelligent, physically fit people who are capable of enduring hardships against a near-peer.” In accordance with a call for better-prepared troops, the Army seeks to run a pilot program that extends the Infantry One-Station Unit Training (OSUT) to 21 weeks and a transition to a new marksman qualification test.

Extended OSUT and Marksman Qualification

OSUT comprises basic infantry combat training and advanced individual training. It typically lasts 14-16 weeks depending on the individual’s specialty and carries a soldier in training through all base-level knowledge and hands-on training with the same unit.

Extending the length of OSUT will allow infantry recruits more time to build a mastery of basic army unit and weapons operations as well as additional time to excel at their military occupational specialties (MOSs). Instructors will also extend infantry training to include fighting in austere environments wherein communication is either compromised or impossible.

The extended infantry training will better reflect actual combat conditions reported by frontline operators. Soldiers will learn how to continue fighting even when they are unable to take orders or communicate movements with leadership.

Multi-domain environment training will also train infantry to be at least at a base-level readiness to operate in subterranean, urban, cyber, and space environments. The idea is to build a force that is highly mobile and adaptable in places that are far removed from what one might encounter in nature.

Marksmanship testing will also undergo expansion. Traditionally, to qualify for marksmanship, soldiers received 40 rounds to fire in a prone position from a foxhole. New standards will test soldiers on their ability to fire prone, unsupported prone, kneeling, and standing, and qualification depends on the ability to fire accurately from all positions within six minutes.

Instructors pose such rigorous Army infantry training standards to foster a sense of accomplishment and pride while improving overall troop performance in combat zones.

New Training Comes with Technology Upgrades

To aid soldiers in their journey to more advanced combat capability, new technologies such as virtual reality may see implementation into infantry training programs. Since live-training requires real-world resources to conduct and undergo, it tends to be used as a benchmark testing tool rather than a repetitive training tool.

Virtual reality, however, can run soldiers through repetitive training until the necessary knowledge and muscle memory sinks into their consciousness. Combined with increased gamification of training using competition as a basis for incentive to perfect technique, virtual reality may be the next indispensable training tool.

SHOP OPTICS

Burris Optics

Types of Stocks for AR-15

AR-15 Stock Types

The modularity of the AR-15 allows for some deep customization of its parts, but some of the changes are so fine that you may be hesitant to drop money on pieces about which you’re unsure. Types of stocks for the AR-15 come in a range of specifications and designs that fit different shooting styles; understanding how much stability and what size buttstock you prefer goes a long way toward fine-tuning your shooting experience.

Mil-Spec

Your type of AR-15 stock has to match your buffer tube, so you’ll need a mil-spec stock to support a mil-spec buffer tube. Mil-spec tubes measure about 1.146” and have a flat back.

Actually, commercial stocks will also fit over a mil-spec tube, but will be loose, which is unfavorable for accurate shooting. The mil-spec stock is more robust in design and tends to cost more in return for its stability and reliability, making it the best stock choice for the AR-15.

Commercial Spec

Commercial-spec stocks support the 1.17” commercial buffer tubes, which sometimes have slanted backs. Unlike the mil-spec tube, commercial tubes can only receive a commercial stock. It is unadvisable to force a mil-spec stock onto a commercial tube.

This type of AR-15 stock exists as a money-saver for consumer-level weapons enthusiasts. The slightly larger diameter allows manufacturers to cut in, rather than roll in, the threads, which translates to lower-cost production and, ultimately, a lower-cost product.

Fixed

Stocks of a fixed variety don’t shift while you are mobile. It’s a tradeoff of efficiency; The stable AR-15 stock is best for ensuring your can fire reliably when in the field since it won’t change positions or fold for easy carrying, but it lengthens the weapon and makes it more difficult to carry with modern combat gear.

Collapsible

Types of AR-15 stocks that are collapsible can fold in for easy storage and mobility. However, when faced with combat, the stock must be snapped back into place before firing. It also has the potential to shift or fold if not handled properly in a firefight.

Opting for a collapsible stock almost certainly entails extra training to understand the advantages and shortcomings of a moveable stock. However, the increase in mobility may be more advantageous than the stock is cumbersome, especially for highly trained and experienced operators.

How Do I Choose the Best AR-15 Stock?

While commercial-spec stocks tend to be more affordable, it’s very telling that the U.S. Army still uses mil-spec equipment. For the best stopping power, accuracy, and efficiency in an AR-15 stock, you can’t go wrong emulating U.S. armed forces.

However, while commercial AR-15 stocks use different types of manufacturing methods developed to lower cost, they do still perform admirably for such weapon-centric activities as hunting and home defense. Consider your application before choosing an AR-15 stock and base your decision on how much accuracy and stability you need.

SHOP AR-15 STOCKS

CQB Stock

Marines Seek New Armor-Piercing 5.56mm Rounds

New Military Rifle Round

 

The current 5.56mm Enhanced Performance Rounds employed by the Army and Marine Corps are, as reported by military officials, no longer powerful enough to penetrate body armor plates used by enemy troops. A new military rifle round may also spell a change in standard weapon types.

The Army is implementing a replacement of the M249 squad automatic weapon and M4 carbine with weapons that are capable of firing 6.5mm case-telescoped rounds. The challenge will be implementing the change military-wide, providing the necessary training on new weapons, and ensuring that new standard weapon types won’t affect combat performance.

The Marine Corps Joins the Ammunition Experiment

Marines have, until now, remained fairly silent about outcry from Army officials for new armor-piercing ammunition rounds. However, they have quickly caught pace and are examining the possibility of using 6.5mm Creedmoor ammunition.

Decision-makers have just opted to buy more M27 5.56mm Infantry Automatic Rifles, the Marine Corps’s current preferred weapon. The planned purchase indicates that the Marines may not quite be ready to change their standard-issue arms, but they are still in agreement with the ammunitions change.

Enemy Armor Plates Have Improved

The change comes from observations that enemy body armor plates are now very similar to U.S. military-issue rifle plates, especially the Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert, or ESAPI.

It’s a ceramic plate that goes beyond the protection of the Small Arms Protective Insert (SAPI), which stops projectiles up to and including the 9x19mm Parabellum submachine gun rounds. ESAPI adds protection from .30-06 M2 Armor-piercing bullet rounds thanks to their boron carbide construction.

Though enemy plates may not meet the exact specifications of ESAPI plates, operators have observed that modern plates compromise the stopping power of the 5.56mm round and the ability to eliminate lethal threats.

Debate is still hot over how effective the 5.56mm cartridge is in real combat. The ammunition is engineered to be lighter in weight with less recoil, which allows operators to carry about three times as much 5.56mm ammunition compared to 7.62mm ammunition. However, it has a shorter range and its stopping power is no longer armor-piercing ammunition thanks to improved enemy plates.

6.5mm Ammunition Could Be the Best Compromise

Deployed troops must carry about 50-100 pounds of non-weapons equipment when operating in combat zones. The weight of a new military rifle round could compromise a number of advantages of the 5.56mm round, such as:

  • Higher round count
  • Lighter weight in short-distance combat
  • Ease of weapons training and proficiency for inexperienced infantry

A change to 6.5mm munitions, however, may balance the need for greater stopping power with the benefits of lightweight 5.56mm rounds. Officials say that fielding new weapons that support armor-piercing 6.5mm ammunition could happen as early as 2022.

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Federal Ammunition

5 Tips for Cleaning Your AR-15 Rifle

Cleaning an AR-15

 

Despite the AR-15’s modularity, the procedure for cleaning it remains almost universally the same. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few tricks to keep in mind each time you disassemble for a deep clean. Save yourself some time and effort by trying some of these tricks for proper cleaning of an AR-15.

Use Consistent Cleaning Materials

Try to have the same cleaning materials on hand each time you clean. It will push you to develop cleaning habits that will save you time and money. Prepare these materials regularly when cleaning an AR-15 rifle:

  • Cotton Patches – The larger surface area of cotton patches combined with their density allows you to wrap the patch around all cylindrical parts and push the patch into hollow pieces for internal cleaning, too.
  • Solvent – A quality solvent will break down bonds between carbon, grease, and your gun’s metal without compromising the strength of the weapon’s construction.
  • AP (All-Purpose) Brush – You’ll come across stuck-on carbon and debris from time to time that requires a bit of extra strength from the metal fibers of an AP brush.

For almost any AR-15 cleaning job, these three materials are all you’ll need.

Inspect the Metal as You Clean

Cleaning is the perfect time to do a safety inspection of your weapon. It should be disassembled for a thorough clean, so you can get a good look at each part as you clean it.

Keep an eye out for cracks and pieces of debris, especially in hollow pieces. Make sure you’re cleaning the inside of AR-15 parts with hollow centers, as you may not be able to see debris hiding inside.

Make Sure Firing Pin Stays Dry

You should absolutely clean your firing pin, but dry it completely once it’s clean. Skip the lubricant on the firing pin – it’s essential that this particular part of your AR-15 stays 100% dry.

Lubricate with Grease, not Oil

All weapons need consistent and thorough lubrication to function. One of the most common beginner mistakes when first firing a new AR-15 is to fail to lubricate. The weapon will usually cease to operate under unlubricated conditions after a relatively small number of rounds are fired.

Some operators prefer to use oil as a lubricant, but since oil tends to run off rather than stay put, it can infiltrate parts of the weapon that don’t need oil or need to stay dry as well as thin out to the point that it is no longer viable as a lubricant.

Instead, you can use specially-formulated weapons lubricants that are greases, not oils, to ensure that lubrication stays in place. When it comes time to clean your AR-15 again, grease is also easy to remove with solvent and cotton patches.

Don’t Spend Too Much Time

A skilled operator can clean and reassemble an AR-15 rifle in about five minutes. Most of us aren’t going through a Commanding General (CG) inspection in which the parts of our weapons must be immaculate. Take the time to remove as much gunk as you can, but don’t overdo it.

Getting the majority of the buildup off the weapon so that it functions as intended is the goal of cleaning an AR-15. Once you have most of the dirt removed, the remaining dirt in the small, hard-to-reach areas won’t affect weapon performance.

SHOP CLEANING KITS

Gun Cleaning Kit