Friday, August 28, 2009

Eye Doc

I’m still 20/20 20/25 according to the doctor. But how long will THAT last. Within 10 years, the smart money is on me needing reading glasses. But that happens to near everyone. Especially in my family. Dunno how long the distance vision will last. 10 years ago it was worse than 20/200 but I had some quack shoot a laser into my eyes and fixed that. The first few years after that I was 20/15. That was nice.

Why all this concern over vision? Well I read bloggers a few years beyond my 40 some winters and they occasionally drop the long slide into visual crapulence. The iron sights aren’t as clear as they used to be. They figure it’d curtail their hunting if it weren’t for 9x Leupold glass optic on their favorite rifle “Bambischplatterspitzen”.

Well, I don’t have no glass. Well just the one. The long eye-relief 2.5x scout-style scope on my Garand.

But other than that, nuthin.

(Trollop is nearsighted and realized she NEEDS her glasses to see the front sight allllll the way out on the end of that 8 inch barrel on the Fohty-Fo. She’s ok with the XD. It’s short.)

I guess, when the day comes and that front sight is just too far away, I’ll get some 5x-ish optics for the Marlin 1894C. It’s about the only rifle really ready for easy mounting of a traditional scope.

The Garand is ok. Even with the scope so far from the face, nearsighted people report good clarity.

The M1A is another story. I didn’t even consider mounting a traditional scope on the Garand, but there are considerations on the M1A to make that a more distinct possibility. They were put there to tempt me. I’ll resist that temptation.

Why? Well the way the action works any scope on the rear of the receiver is in the way of ejection brass. Plus, the action of firing with the full powered semi-auto is very hard on scopes. Sure, I know that scoped M1A’s are/have-been used by military forces as a sniping rifle, but military folks can afford to requisition $2500 optics and get the stock glass-bedded in house. I’ll probably never glass-bed a rifle. It’d be fun to shoot 800+ yard ranges, but how would I be able to arrange to get good enough to enjoy that? Perhaps if I was living next to Quantico and was a personal friend to the Commandant such antic could be possible…

So a 10x conventional scope is probably out. A 5x Acog scope might be nice and perfect for aging eyes, but that is still a necessarily rear-mounted optic (he eye relief on Acogs are about an inch), with the mounting compromised an M1A presents. And have you noticed that all scopes are variable magnification these days? Something else to break. What’s wrong with a quality fixed power scope at 9x? It worked for Sergeant Hathcock. Seems, to me, that variable power scopes are lipstick on a pig. The only time you’d need it is when the deer pop up 15 yards away, and all you can see in your lens is fur, and you’d not know if you were aiming at the neck, boiler room, or hind quarters. So you dial back from 16x to 8x? You have time for that, and want to move around that much? The fur would still fill glass at 8x at that range. The scope makers might be better off making a 2x and 12x scope, with no variability in between. A simple switch to go from 12 to 2, and back, if you needed to. At 2x you can shoot anything an iron sight shot could do (good enough for grandpa), and at 12x you can shoot your trophy Ram at 350 yards.

So that leaves a similar operation with the M1A, and just like I have on the Garand. A Weaver or Picatinny fore-rail. I can then swap the out Leupold scout scope or an EOTech. Even get a second scout scope so both rifles are prepped for aging eyes. The commonality of equipment appeals to me.


Anonymous said...

I'm one of those people who's vision is deteriorating. I still prefer iron sights over optics but I have trouble seeing them. I do have two rifles with scopes and one with a red-dot, but all of my pistols are iron sights and even my rifle with optics have backup iron sights that I practice with regularly.

Basically, I've gotten to the point where I simply can't focus on the front sight any more. No matter how hard I concentrate, it's still blurry.

For general shooting at minute of bad-guy accuracy, that's no problem. But for really accurate shooting, it doesn't cut it.

I use 1.5 diopter reading glasses for accuracy. That strength allows me to focus clearly on the front sight. It makes the target VERY blurry, but I've found that it simply doesn't matter. Focusing on the front sight is the key.

I've gotten to the point where I'm about ready to hit the eye doc and see if I need bifocals. My distant vision is beginning to fade as well as my close vision. But in the meantime, when shooting in any type of competitive setting where accuracy is important, the reading glasses make a HUGE difference.

Paladin said...

I was diagnosed as near sighted, way back when I was 10 years old. I was in glasses, and later contact lenses, for about 30 years.

Then, over a period of about a year, I found that I needed my glasses less and less. I currently see fine at distance and pass the vision tests for driving with flying colors.

Of course... the miraculous cure is due to my eyes shifting from near sighted to farsighted. I've been a couple of years without specs now, but I can tell its getting harder to see small print up close with every passing year.

Turk Turon said...

I've had to use reading glasses for over 15 years now and I use these things:

They're cheap, effective, and you can put them anywhere on the surface of the lens of your shooting glasses or sunglasses. I suppose you could even mount two different ones on your right lens, one for reading, and another one higher up for the front sight of a Garand.

I know at least one other highly-experienced shooter who uses these things (but she is a lady and I will not ID her here), and she also swears by them.