New blinders

We shoot with both eyes open, and so one eye sees the foresight directly and one sees it through the rearsight. Plus, on a competition firing line, there’s movement to either side from the other shooters. Neither of these is conducive to good shooting – so, we wear blinders on the non-aiming eye and also to block out the sides. However, a few years back the ISSF introduced rules about the blinders (ostensibly to promote the sport on television… which was a bit daft since the blinders were hardly the issue. But never mind, on we go…):

ISSF blinder rules
ISSF blinder rules

So at the time I used a very small blinder that just barely covered the foresight to avoid breaking equipment control rules:

Small shooting frame blinder

It worked reasonably well if everything was perfect and nothing went wrong, but if anything was off, even by a little, it just didn’t work and the glasses had to be resettled and adjusted. So a few years ago I changed back to the largest size of shooting frame blinder under the ISSF rules:

Large shooting frame blinder

But then recently, the eye test showed that I didn’t need the frames, so I started ¬†using blinders made up from cut-down target cards:

Blinder made from cut-down target cards

And also one for the sides (because that movement off to the side is remarkably distracting when you’re in a match and not everything is going according to plan):

Normal and side blinders from card

But as I mentioned earlier, they don’t exactly hold up over use (the card just breaks down and gets grimy), so a bit of DIY (ebay is your friend) and here’s what they look like made up in PTFE (0.25mm thickness works well for the non-aiming eye and the blinder to the non-aiming eye’s side; 0.5mm is better for the aiming eye’s side blinder):

Blinders made up in PTFEThe problem with the side blinders is that, as you can see from the rules, the side blinder can only be 40mm deep; and if they’re in at an angle like this (because that’s the only way to get them positioned without using duct tape), the shooter wearing frames has more of the area covered over than the shooter without frames. Happily, a longer blind, a 90 degree bend and some scotch tape and problem solved…

DIY side blinder

DIY blinder, side view

DIY blinder, front view

Not a bad result for a simple bit of DIY. Could be improved (maybe swipe the headband from a pair of headphones instead of that 90 degree bend), but it’ll do for now..

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