It was day one of a Sniper Course and I was teaching the Prone Position, first on the right and subsequently on the left. After explaining the details and cue points, I dropped down behind my custom Recce Rifle and placed my cheek on the stock, looking through my Leupold TMR scope.
"They never quit", I thought.
Our staff, like any group of tightly knit military and police veterans tend to rib each other constantly. It is all in fun and when it needs to get serious, none are better. But the finger print smudges on my scope...they could only be the work of "The Hyena". I'd get him back later when he wasn't looking.
Then I switched to my left side and I realized the problem was not the scope, but my eye. I'd never noticed it before but I was beginning to grow a cataract. That was 2015 and it was very slight. It didn't affect my shooting or my back country work, so I left it alone. But this last year it had become more noticeable. I went to my eye doc and we set up a scheduled fix after the training year concluded.
Between that visit in June and the issuing of "new eye", I noted what I needed to do to stay combat effective even with the cataract.
Initially even though the red dot on the RMR looked like a bunch of grapes rather than a dot, I could still do well with the red dot pistol, simply "putting the grapes" on the desired target and pressing the trigger. As the eye got worse, I simply shifted to the left eye, which is perfect.
Now some want to make a big deal out of always shooting with the dominant eye, and how difficult it is to shoot from the opposite side. I will tell you that is false. I shifted to using my non-dominant eye, the healthy 20-15 eye for shooting in August and taught several marksmanship intensive classes that way. It took exactly 450 repetitions using the left eye to pick up the dot before it was quite natural. And even when using both eyes open for close work, I still found the image from the left eye (a dot not a cluster of grapes) had become the dominant image.
At the Red Dot Class this November I finished the session by hitting a 1/2 size silhouette at 115 yards standing with a suppressed SIG P226...using the left eye for sighting. Not a big deal at all.
This last week I went in for the new eye, and already the vision is returning. My left eye still feels dominant. Training will be interesting, but I hope this helps the guys that may have the same issue.