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  • michaelwhapples1Michael Whapples from Leicestershire is blind and shoots air rifle.  In 2011 he was the first British shooter ever to compete at the Open European Shooting Championships for the Vision Impaired, held at Nitra, Slovakia. 

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  • MattSkelhon1Matt Skelhon shot to fame when he grabbed gold at the Bejiing Paralympic Games and proved it was no fluke by claiming silver and bronze at London 2012.

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  • peterbreheny1Peter Breheny from Derbyshire shoots benchrest rifle.  He has Kennedy's Disease, a progressive wasting condition that has weakened his limbs. 
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  • vicmorris1Vic Morris lives in south Wales and is paralysed from the neck down as the result of an accident.  With the aid of an 'equaliser' device invented by his coach, John Kelman, Vic shoots pistol and rifle. 
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  • Di CoatesDeanna (Di) Coates lives in Hampshire, shoots air rifle from a wheelchair, and is one of our most successful disabled international athletes. 
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  • scoutwithprosthesis1This young Scout was born without a left hand.  When he took an interest in shooting, which is very popular in the Scout movement, Hampshire Scouts helped his local club to find a solution. 
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  • stewartnangle1Stewart Nangle, a Lancastrian, is pictured shooting .22 pistol.  What the photograph does not show is that at the time one of his legs was fitted with a metal frame that was bolted into the bones. 
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Ways in which shooters can optimise their vision for the aiming process fall broadly into the following categories:

Controlling the amount of light reaching the aiming eye:

Reducing light:
    Side-blinds on shooting spectacles
    Eye relief
    Iris on rearsight (rifle) or shooting spectacles (pistol)
    Grey filters

Increasing light:
    Eye relief
    Duguid and Clearview sights

Improving/maintaining visual acuity by:

Managing shooting times
Altering the colour of the aim picture:
    Tinted spectacles
    Coloured filters
    Tinted foresight elements
Controlling aiming time

Reducing “glare” in bright light conditions:

Polarising filters

Magnifying the foresight+target part of the aim picture

Magnifying lens on rearsight
Eagle Eye on foresight


More information on these options



In some light conditions most shooters will find aiming easier if they use colours, either in their shooting/safety spectacles, or as part of the sight system.  The two key colours are:

  • Yellow – in poor light conditions this makes a black aiming mark stand out more than when it is seen against a white background. 
  • Grey (polarised or not) – this helps in very bright light conditions.

Lots of other colours are available, but are not necessarily helpful!  A shooter needs to carry out a controlled programme of test shoots to find what actually works for him. 


Hats, Visors and Headbands

Visor  cardboard

These are very useful for controlling the amount of light around the aiming eye and rearsight, particularly in very bright conditions, and when shooting into the sun.  Pieces or card or translucent plastic can be tucked under them to control light around the rearsight.  Those competing internationally can only use ISSF-compliant visors like the one shown here - note the bits of ammo box used as blinders - shooting equipment sometimes costs nothing at all!





Safety Spectacles

These are available in a range of colours.  


Shooting Spectacles

  • Lenses can be tinted
  • Side panels can be fitted to control the amount of light around the eyes.
  • Pistol shooters can have an iris device attached for the aiming eye. 

Shooting spec for Pistol W


Pistol Sights

The width of the rearsight notch, and of the foresight blade can be varied to achieve the optimum sight picture for the shooter. 


Rifle Foresight

  • Aperture size and thickness of the ring; older people often find a thinner ring is helpful
  • Tinted foresight elements
  • Eagle Eye – a magnifying lens that attaches to the foresight tube; there are restrictions on its use in conjunction with other correcting lenses 


Rifle Rearsight

  • Aperture size – this might vary in different light and range conditions, so an iris is best
  • Coloured filters
  • Polarising filters will help in very bright conditions

Duguid and ‘Clearview’ Rearsights

 Duguid rearsight

Rifle shooter Jim Duguid designed a rearsight with a small aiming aperture set in clear perspex, that many shooters find easier to use than one with a conventional aperture in a large black sight block. Jim makes these sights to order.

Gehmann Clearview sight W

Gehmann have now introduced another new option with their ‘Clearview’ sight which offers a halfway house between the Duguid sight and a conventional version.



Eye Relief

For rifle shooters, the distance between the aiming eye and the rearsight is important, and should be the subject of experimentation by each person in order to achieve the optimum sight picture. 


Aiming Time

Spending too long in the aim is a very common error.  It has two effects.  Firstly, because the shooter stops breathing during the aim, reducing oxygen levels in the blood begin to affect the part of the brain that controls vision – this can start to happen after about 8 to 10 seconds.  Secondly, after about 15 seconds of staring at the sight picture it starts to become “imprinted” on the retina, and when this happens it is no longer possible to tell whether the aim is central or not.  These aspects of shooting technique can be improved with help from coaches. 


Shooting Time

Eyes get tired during the day, particularly if they have been worked hard on a computer screen, through a windscreen or on close handwork.  Going shooting in the evening after a full day at this sort of occupation is not ideal, although often it cannot be avoided.  However, if there is the option to shoot important cards early in the day, whilst eyes are rested and fresh, it is very likely to improve results. 



Category: Vision

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Videos on disabled target shooting now on Vimeo and YouTube. You are invited to contribute your videos.

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£250,000 for Clubs!

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Read about the huge increase in Sport England investment in grass-roots target shooting. 

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Read about how we are hoping to expand the range of international competitions open to disabled shooters, and let us know if you can help.  

Helpful Stuff

Vision for Shooters

For most shooters, being able to see well enough to aim accurately is the key to our sport. Our Vision Section has lots of information to help all shooters who have vision problems, great or small.

Funding Guidance & Information

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Need information on funding for any aspect of disabled target shooting?  Check out the extensive Funding section on this site. 

Advice for Clubs

EFDS Inclusion Hub is a free on-line resource created by the English Federation of Disability Sport for clubs that wish to become more disabled-friendly and include more disabled people in their activities.
More information

Disability Awareness

For those encountering people who have various types of disabilities, we offer a round-up of some on-line advice and videos that may help to put everyone at their ease.