by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Pyramyd Air has dropped its price on the HW30 rifle. It’s been selling for $344.25, but the price has just been dropped to $299.99. That’s a pretty big discount on a really fine gun. This is an easy-cocking breakbarrel that’s going to become an all-day shooter for you and your family. It’s fun to shoot and made with typical Weihrauch quality. This sale price won’t last forever!

Today is different. Today is reader participation day.

Here’s what you need. Get piece of card stock. Right now I’m sitting in the Philadelphia airport and I used my ticket stub from the last flight, so I don’t want to hear any excuses that you don’t have what you need. Tear one of the flaps off a cereal box if you need to. Or use that losing lottery ticket.

Poke a hole through the card with a ballpoint pen. Or use a pencil or the awl on your pocket knife or just the sheer force of your will. Make a hole!

How big a hole depends on your skill and control, but the smaller the better for this exercise. I made three holes and all of them worked–even the one that was a quarter-inch in diameter. But smaller is better. We’re going to play the peep sight game.

Hold up the card so the hole is about an inch in front of your master eye. Peer through the hole you made but keep both eyes open. Look at a bright outdoor image, like a parked car or a light-colored house. Now, while looking at the image through the hole, close your non-sighting eye by squinting. Did you notice what appeared to happen to the hole? It got smaller and darker, didn’t it? It probably became non-round, too. The hole is no longer the same size and brightness. Open both eyes, and the hole becomes round and bright again.

I’m 61 years old and have been shooting for over 50 years. I’ve always read that you’re supposed to leave both eyes open when sighting, and I practiced that for decades but never really understood why. Two weeks ago, while shooting a new gun that has peep sights, I noticed that I couldn’t see the target if I closed my other eye. The peep hole was almost the size of the bull I was shooting at. But when I opened both eyes, the peep hole became large and round and bright.

After all these years, I finally understand what not closing the off-eye is all about. Maybe you already knew, but as I said, I’ve been shooting for half a century and didn’t get it until now.

Now, if that holds true for a peep sight, don’t you suppose it also applies to open sights and scopes? I do. I’ve always taught my pupils to leave both eyes open “just because.” Now I have a little exercise to demonstrate why they need to do it.