M*CARBO Brotherhood

Aging eyes and glasses/marksmanship

Forget just where, but I said I was going to see my optometrist about a “special pair” of shooting glasses. Never did the follow-up for the brotherhood, so here goes. I had my appointment and we spoke about the pros and cons. This is regarding using iron/open or peep sights. My optometrist is a Marine, and knew exactly what I was after, we spoke at length on this matter. Let me get the “cons” out of the way first.

  1. They would be almost specific to the firearm, a pair ground for my M1 Carbine would not work with the 03 A3. The rub is distance from dominant eye to the front sight post/blade. A pair would work for two or more rifles of near length, within a 3" range for me. (21" to 24" barrel)

  2. Not suitable for anything else other than shooting, would need to change glasses to walk down and re-set target.

  3. As the VA issues one pair every two years, is my current prescription going to make it for another two?

As for the pros…

  1. The sight picture would be improved, i.e., the front sight post/blade would be in sharper focus. That said, it also presents another con. The target may get fuzzier or distorted.

  2. Being far sighted, my likelihood of the target getting fuzzy is reduced.

So from there we went ahead and did the exam, my Rx changed slightly. We decided, for me, the best option was to just get new glasses, forget about a special pair until such time as my Rx is stable.

For marksmen of a certain age, I recommend you have this conversation with your optometrist next visit.


For me it depends on distance to target. I too am farsighted and wear glasses for 10 yards or less (pistol) and just safety glasses for farther than that (pistol and rifle). Neither is ideal but better than doing an old vaudeville routine switching glasses all the time.


Mine is an astigmatism! My red dots look like comets! Heard a prism sight helps but have not tried yet!


Im still trying to figure out how to mount a vernier tang sight on a sub and still be able to fold. I have one and all my levers and a few others.
the disc actually helps older eyes focus. larger the disc more it seems to help
I have seen multiple hits at 1000 yds, these are guys that can do that on demand when im around. I am the young pup and rookie. (got in with em due to my .45 cal flintlock shooting ball on ball freehand)


I would think that would be fairly easy to do! But the Sub is a 100 to 150 yard effective rang at best and that’s pushing it! Your best groups would be 100 on in! I would think the Mcarbo rear folding peep would be a better alternative! But that being said I dont think that vernier sight would be tough to figure out!


sight itself is easy. have it to fold while sight is still in place is a lil bit more… well.
so far difficult. trying to keep it simple is anyway LOL


I’m new here, but had to jump in on this post because I found a pretty good solution to this problem. I have been looking for a few years to solve this problem. I have tried many different glasses, but couldn’t find anything that I could shoot with and use as regular glasses also. Didn’t want a special purpose glasses as that wouldn’t help if I needed to shoot away from the range. If you aren’t opposed to contact lenses, there is a solution. They now make multi-focal contact lenses,not a bifocal, a true multi-focal. B&L makes them and a couple of others. I have an astigmatism so I had to wait a little longer for that version to come out. They allow me to see my sights in focus and also see my target in focus. Feel like I’m 20 years younger. I also work on computers all day and don’t have a problem with the contacts in. I can drive with them also. The only thing is I still need a pair of weak 1.0 reading glasses for small type and cellphone.


:eye: shoot with dirty glasses…then clean them and shoot some more…

what a difference!..and the cost is just right!!!..:eye::eyes::sunglasses::boom::boom::boom:


@Rick1024 Welcome aboard. Contacts, never even thought of that. During my career as an electrician, they weren’t an option. Being retired now, maybe it’s time to have this conversation with my optometrist. Don’t know if I can get used to jamming something into my eyes though. One question, when being fitted for contacts, do they use the Rx as prescribed by your optometrist, or is the exam different?


Hi Festus, thanks for the welcome. So two answers to that one question. There is reality and then there is what they charge you for. Tell them when you make the appointment you are thinking about contact lenses. They will do one exam that seems exactly the same as every other exam you have had, but charge you more, because of the contacts. That said fitting for contacts is not an exact science, especially multi-focal lenses. The distance correction is variable and can be adjusted for each patient, but the up close is really just two settings (at least with the ones I have) it is either low (1.5) or high (2.5). Also the distance and up close counteract each other a little, so they will typically try both up close settings (They give you a free pair at the time of the exam to try) To improve your distance they can either reduce the up close or increase the distance. To improve your up close they can do the opposite increase the up close or reduce the distance. So they have to do a balancing act to give you the best up close and the best distance they can get, so it isn’t as simple as a pair of glasses. Sounds worse than it is, just don’t let them rush you and if you get a pair and aren’t happy with them, have them give you another free pair to try with a slightly different setting until you are happy, because contact lenses are a lot more expensive than glasses. To make a too long post a little longer, when you ask about multi-focal lenses, make sure they don’t give you what is called mono vision lenses. That is when they put a distance lens in one eye and up close lens in the other eye. This works for most people, but not a shooter, because you will be sighting through just one eye. So you need a true multi-focal that has both settings in each eye. The lenses I have are Bausch and Laumb Ultra Multifocal for Astigmatism, you can read about them here: https://www.bausch.com/our-products/contact-lenses/lenses-for-astigmatism/bausch-lomb-ultra-multifocal-for-astigmatism

Sorry for making my answer so long.

Good luck they made a huge difference for me. If you have any other questions feel free to ask…


@Rick1024 Great answer! Looking at the link you provided was informative. Combined with your information I feel I can have a good conversation with my optometrist. I trust him. For what it’s worth, this new pair of glasses works pretty darn good for all around work. Sure wouldn’t mind losing the glasses though.


I have been wanting to do something about this problem with shooting also. Have all the same conditions as you all @Festus/@Rick1024.
Great info @Rick1024. Very easy to understand in your reply :v:
But I am the opposite of you @Festus. I have had the same style and tent of glasses sense I was a kid. I will look funny or funnier that I look now with out my glasses. Plus I agree Festus about jabbing something in my eyes✌️


Another VERY expensive option is to have your cataracts removed and replaced with artificial lenses. There are 3 types - monofocal (around $1000/eye) corrects for a specific distance and you wear glasses for all others, toric (about $2000/eye) for either near or far and you wear readers for the other, and multifocal (About $3000/eye) for both but you may need readers for fine print. Add cost of the lenses, anesthesiologist, and OR fees, but don’t be surprised when you get socked with bills they didn’t tell you about.

They do one eye at a time and wait a week to do the other. You’d be amazed at how “dirty” your vision was when comparing the two eyes - it’s like looking through a window dirty from cigarette smoke then looking through a clean window. The procedure takes an hour, usually in their own OR, you wear an eyepatch for a day, back to normal life right away, full recovery in a week or so. Light sensitivity is much higher - driving at night was tough at first with oncoming headlights, and bright sun is painful until my eyes adjust.

I had to have it done because I’m old. LOL I got the toric lenses so I still wear cheap Walmart readers when I use a scope. Total cost was around $7000 so it’s not for the faint of heart.


I personally cannot stand wearing contacts but a long overdue new eyeglass prescription dramatically improved my shooting vision. One interesting note. To work correctly, multi-focal eyeglasses and contacts need to be in the proper orientation with the right parts of the lens in the right place. With eyeglasses, your frames determine the orientation. Last time I checked, contacts needed a micro weight embedded that forces them to rotate into the proper orientation. Just found that interesting - and obvious once I thought about it.
If you have astigmatism that affects your view of red dot and similar sights, search for my posts on that subject. (And a lot of us do have that problem but blame it on the sight). I will say though that the astigmatism flare is extremely variable among different red dots so simply trying another may largely alleviate the problem. Green seems to be less of a problem than red for some reason.



A prism sight solves this issue such as the Burris AR-332 (fixed 3X magnification) or smaller Vortex Spitfire AR (no magnification). The circle dot reticle is etched into the glass and stays black even when off but can be lit up red or green and there is no “wash out” or star burst when on. I have both these optics and they work very well.


I looked up the spitfire, I’m going to give one a try. Thanks ! Red Dots Sux for me .


That’s funny, because that has been all I could use prior to getting the new contacts. I have red dots and scopes on my rifles, and the crimson trace grip laser on my carry handgun. All of those I see no problem, it was strictly my iron sights I had trouble with. Didn’t matter the type, 3 dot, peep sights, traditional rifle iron sights all of them were fuzzy. With the contacts still able to use all the optics and now all the sights I had a chance to test before lock down I was able to see much better than before. That is the one thing with the contacts they have a “thicker” end on the lens so when you blink it re-orientates itself properly on your eye. I do it subconsciously now when raising my firearm into position I do a few quick blinks and they seem to be perfect when the firearm is in position. I don’t know why companies, be it eyeglass, contact , sights optics don’t invest more time into advertising what they have for this problem, because when I am at the range everyone is discussing it and comparing notes.


What this guy said. I have a Spitfire 1x (before the AR model) and it works very well for me and my older eyes. Like @dave67 said, no flare or burst and no wash out. I believe mine can be set for red or green illumination as well. Plus if yo battry goes, ya still got a reticle. I only wish I’d purchased two of them at the time as the model I have appears to be defunct.

EDIT: I should add that I was a little apprehensive at first with the circle dot reticle. I had never used one before and wasn’t sure how well it would work for me. I needn’t worry as target acquisition ended up being a breeze, amazing how quickly your eye is drawn to the circle, follows through the dot and you’re spot on…almost instantly, really. Like I said, should’ve bought two of 'em…



Agreed 100%…I just wish more optics had a circle dot reticle option.