7 Sept 12

At a Rifle Instructor’s Development Course in the Midwest earlier this week, I discovered a useful trick for shooting a rifle from the support side.

One of my long-time instructors has only one functional eye, his right one. His left eye is damaged and, for all intents and purposes, disabled. When shooting a rifle from his support-side, he therefore tries to get his head far enough over on the stock to sight down the top of the weapon, and through his Aimpoint T1, with his right eye. However, the maneuver is awkward, time-consuming, and probably inadequate for real fighting. I’ve see others with similar issues.

As it happened, another of my instructors brought a rifle, also equipped with an Aimpoint T1 on top, but in addition with iron sights, mounted on the top rail, but on mounts that put them at a forty-five-degree angle off to the right. Such a set-up permits the shooter to rapidly transition from optic to iron sights by simply tilting the rifle counter-clockwise. This arrangement represents an alternative to co-witnessing.

However, what none of us foresaw until we started exchanging rifles, is this: When my first instructor mounted his follow instructor’s rifle on the support side. The canted iron sights positioned themselves directly in front of my instructor’s good eye! He could shoot off his support-side shoulder, using his good (right) eye, without having to contort his head!

My instructor immediately announced that he was going to set up his rifles this way!

I believe the ability to instantly shift shoulders while fighting with a rifle represents a critical skill, particularly in urban settings, and we thus practice it constantly. Operators with only one functional eye have always found this maneuver difficult, for reasons enumerated above.

Now, we have a reasonable solution that wasn’t obvious until it literally materialized in front of us!

Maybe this trick is well known in some quarters, but, for one, I just discovered it!