Sight picture / eagle eye,

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Josh Cox
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Sight picture / eagle eye,

#1 Postby Josh Cox » Wed May 27, 2015 8:14 pm


I am a newish target rifle shooter and have due to "convention" been using a 0.5 eagle eye.

Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to do quite a lot of shooting.

With the advice and guidance of some knowlegable shooters in my district, I have good quality hand loads, in a rifle that is shooting well off the bipod.

Insert the shooter, I am having some really good shoots and some not so good, and I believe, usually sighting related.

I do not wear glasses, my eyes are frequently tested, no issues with my eye sight.

I feel that my use of the eagle eye may be the variable, it was explained to me that not using an eagle eye puts me at a disadvantage.

When shooting in poor visibility with the eagle eye, the sight picture is crap.

Most points lost are at 6 and 12'oclock, the rest rimming around the 5 ring.

Am I misusing the eagle eye ?, having the eagle eye makes the aiming mark look bigger, but at what cost ?

I will shoot without the eagle eye for the next few weeks and see what changes.

Thoughts ?

Cameron Mc
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Re: Sight picture / eagle eye,

#2 Postby Cameron Mc » Wed May 27, 2015 9:14 pm


Put the bipod back on. Replace the magnifying eagle eye for a proper scope and shoot with the F Class crowd.
Sorry mate I could not help it.

It's been a long time since I shot TR. I know I did lot's of fiddling to get ring sizes correct though. Best shoots were with an eagle eye.


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Re: Sight picture / eagle eye,

#3 Postby EddyW » Wed May 27, 2015 9:36 pm

The proof will be in the difference, if any, to your scores without the EE.

What size rings are you using?

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Re: Sight picture / eagle eye,

#4 Postby pjifl » Thu May 28, 2015 1:26 am

My experience with Eagle Eyes is that I much prefer the 0.3 Dioptre one.

The best settings seem incredibly personal and there is no one 'correct' sight picture - with or without an Eagle Eye.
And the focus is different to a rested or tired eye and a hydrated or dehydrated shooter.

it is impossible to have target and front ring in focus at the same time so one or both must be blurred.

One thing not usually appreciated is that the higher the magnification of the Eagle Eye, the more the focus difference shows, and the duller the target image gets. This is why it may not be better to simply increase Dioptre strength - although I believe 0.5 Dioptre is the highest allowed/

Some are using Zone Plates/MultiFocal lenses/Fresnel lenses in an attempt to enhance simultaneous focus in two planes but these are also a big compromise.

Peter Smith.

Josh Cox
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Re: Sight picture / eagle eye,

#5 Postby Josh Cox » Thu May 28, 2015 7:32 am


Thanks, good suggestion, but as I've mentioned before, I'm not a homosexual ( not that there's anything wrong with that ) :D

Hi Eddy,

I have been using smallish front rings with the 0.5 eagle eye, generally with very good effect, small has not worked so well in very bright or very dull shoots.

Thanks Peter.

I'll shoot without an EE and perhaps also try the 0.3 and see what does and doesn't work.

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Re: Sight picture / eagle eye,

#6 Postby tom1 » Thu May 28, 2015 8:32 am

I have used 0.5 eagle eye for over 12 months and now have gone back to a 0.3 eagle eye. I found that the 0.5 tended to magnify all my little wobbles and shakes. I am also trying not to use one at 3 4 and 500 yards. I too was told that I am at a disadvantage by not using a 0.5 EE. I am not convinced about that. Like a lot of things Eagle eyes are a compromise , sure the aiming mark appears larger but in my opinion it is not quite as sharp to look at. Experienced shooters didnt have them and shot very well for decades, they will also say be wary of using tight foresight ring sizes. But as someone already posted sighting can be a very personal ,conditions vary so I write ring sizes and light and distance in a notebook even for different ranges.

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Re: Sight picture / eagle eye,

#7 Postby aaronraad » Thu May 28, 2015 11:19 am

The guide by Paul Carberry is a decent starting point and gives you some reference to the coaching/training you have received from your club members and other shooters.

There are a lot of factors that go into correct aiming and you will need assistance from others on the mound to confirm you are doing exactly what you think you are doing. Correct technique aside, confidence or belief in recognising the so called 'perfect sight picture' will haunt you all day long if it's lacking. As EddyWW suggests it's probably best to establish that the eagle eye is the significant cause of your problem(s), either way it seems to be affecting your shooting confidence?

The rear sight aperture diameter needs to set correctly for the average light conditions during the shoot. If you hit an extreme light condition during the shoot, you need to be aware of what impact any rear sight aperture diameter adjustments will make to your point of aim; and if it will vary your 'perfect sight picture' that you will still be confident in this 'new perfect sight picture'. At this point you want all your undivided attention focused on the firing sequence so your windage adjustments are still true for the zephyr you are playing for.

If your eyes are testing fine, but seem to be undergoing some sort of strain during the shooting string it's inevitable you will start throwing shots. This is where you need others to confirm your head is angled correctly to make sure you are looking through your eye and not across it so speak. This is where adjustable cheek pieces and/or front sights with elevation adjustments help you chase/maintain the correct eye alignment, as the elevation adjustments from 300y to 1000y can be physically significant for your head position. A mound buddy can also pick up if your position is collapsing during the string while reloading; and you are unconsciously chasing your eye alignment and cheek weld so that everything 'feels' right again, but you've canted your head to do so! As you can imagine this all plays into the elements of your position technique, trigger control, recoil, mound profile etc. and you end up adjusting everything all the way back to how you point your big toe, but whatever works and is repeatable. :)

It would be interesting to do a survey of the top TR shooters to clarify what they perceive as their 'perfect sight picture'. The survey should allow them to adjust not only the apparent sighting ring diameters and thickness but also the sharpness of the main areas and the shading scales from white to black. I imagine they would be far more varied than the average shooter thinks, let alone vastly different from the sharp black and white images we might see in texts describing sight alignment and proportions using computer generated images.
Be careful what you aim for, you might hit it! Antipodean Industrial - Home of the G7L projectiles

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Re: Sight picture / eagle eye,

#8 Postby scott/r » Thu May 28, 2015 4:12 pm

May be a silly question, but are you shooting with both eyes open? I've only been shooting t/r for just on 12 months and almost went back to f class because it was hurting my eyes a lot. Until one of the guys helping me get things sorted out realized I had one eye shut. Haven't had a problem since with my eyes and my sight picture has improved ten fold.

Josh Cox
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Re: Sight picture / eagle eye,

#9 Postby Josh Cox » Thu May 28, 2015 4:31 pm

Both eyes open.

mike H
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Re: Sight picture / eagle eye,

#10 Postby mike H » Thu May 28, 2015 4:47 pm

It seems a shame that Optical Class didn't take on.

Josh Cox
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Re: Sight picture / eagle eye,

#11 Postby Josh Cox » Thu May 28, 2015 5:06 pm

Whilst I agree with you Mike, my issue, I believe is working out the right setting for the right conditions.

Cameron Mc
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Re: Sight picture / eagle eye,

#12 Postby Cameron Mc » Thu May 28, 2015 5:16 pm

Do you use a filter Josh?
I used a yellow filter and it gave me the best sight picture.
I used a 0.3 eagle eye.


Josh Cox
Posts: 414
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:00 pm
Location: Cairns QLD

Re: Sight picture / eagle eye,

#13 Postby Josh Cox » Thu May 28, 2015 5:42 pm

I have been using the polariser a bit lately.
Last edited by Josh Cox on Thu May 28, 2015 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sight picture / eagle eye,

#14 Postby NDOliver » Thu May 28, 2015 7:18 pm

Whilst your vision is good, you will probably find you need a slight correction to compensate for the +0.5 dioptre e/e.

Depending upon whether this is a negative or positive compensation, a -0.25 or a +0.25 lens in the rear sight is a good starting point, assuming good vision and no astigmatism.

Sumo make a screw in lens holder for this purpose.

Bryan Smith can help you with the lens.

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Re: Sight picture / eagle eye,

#15 Postby AlanA » Fri May 29, 2015 9:04 am

Just my 2 cents worth on TR sighting issues. I shot TR for 40+ years, 30 or so in North Qld. The following may help.

1) Make sure that the front ring is in perfect focus. The sighting radius is approx. 1 mtr and your optometrist should check this for you. For older shooters that need a lens or shooting glasses this may mean that the reading and distance vision are somewhat blurred but the 1.0 mtr focus is crystal clear.

2) The rear peep should be roughly 1.0 to 1.1 mm. Too big and your group will open up, too small and the sighting picture will be too dull. Once set I can't recall ever changing this no matter what the sighting conditions.

3) An eagle eye is almost essential these days. When they became legal I used a 0.3 for a while and then went to 0.5. I never went back. There are some negatives like greyer, slightly blurred aiming mark and any rifle shake is magnified. However the upside is that you have a bigger blot to aim at. Another plus is that it helps to see the target numbers at long range.

4) Ring sizes should be big enough to allow you to accurately centre the aiming mark even if it does look a bit grey and blurred. You need plenty of white around the aiming mark. Too small a ring might look good but generally it just doesn't work.

5) Filters can improve the picture. With bright light (sun) on the target a light brown filter works well. In dull light a yellow can improve the contrast between black and white.

6) The sighting process is to focus on a crystal clear foresight ring with a perhaps greyed and blurred aiming mark in the middle. All other things being correct, as long as your sight picture is consistent from shot to shot you will be amazed at the tight groups you can shoot.

Good shooting,

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