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Some History: The Bindon Aiming Concept - header image

Red Dot Pistols

Some History: The Bindon Aiming Concept


One of the things the detractors of the Red Dot Pistol often bring up is the possibility of the optic being occluded in one way or another such as rain or other environmental factor (mud, fog, etc.). The reality is that in a close range gun fight, inside 7 yards for example, you do not need any sort of a sight picture to shoot your adversary in the chest. So if the reactive need for the handgun arose, and even if whatever sighting system was there, suddenly disappeared, you would still be able to hit the other man in the chest.

I can prove this to anyone in about 30 minutes on the range if they have an open mind and come without an agenda. So the requirement to fire a reactive shot at close range with occluded or missing sites is not a problem. Suggesting that a pistol cannot be used unless the sighting system is 100% functional smacks of a total misunderstanding of the nature of gunfight. Not surprising since the expertise of so many “authorities” begins and ends on the shooting range.

That lack of understanding aside, on the shooting range we have seen front sights fly off pistols on at least a dozen occasions in the 20 or so years that I have been teaching professionally. The properly trained shooters continued what they were doing, and while their accuracy may not have been spectacular, they none-the-less hit the target repeatedly - and in the center.

But now lets discuss situations that involve a pistol mounted optic. If the objective lens has been blocked by debris, or is dirty, or if there is glare present to prevent the operator from seeing through the lens, he can resort to the Bindon Aiming Concept.

The concept dates back to ancient times and Glyn Bindon, the founder of Trijicon. It is a method for ‘two eyes open’ shooting with a magnified optic. It works even better with a non-magnified optic like the RMR or Deltapoint Pro. When done correctly it allows the shooter to incorporate their non-shooting eye to provide the wide field of view that their shooting-eye lacks while looking through a scope.

The BAC works as such: As the shooter moves their scope to track a target with both eyes open, the image observed through it by the shooting eye becomes blurry due to the fast magnified motion. When this happens the brain will adjust to primarily take in the view from the non-shooting (and non-magnified) eye, which sees a much wider field of view. By using a scope with a bright reticle, the reticle remains visible in the shooting eye and gets merged into the non-magnified view.

Essentially, the brain takes the two images of the target scene – one from each eye – and combines them, pulling the non-magnified view from the non-shooting eye, and the reticle from the shooting eye, to create on combined image. The end result is the shooter seeing a non-magnified view with the reticle still present. When the weapon settles on a target and becomes still, the brain readjusts back to primarily taking in the view from the shooting eye, allowing the shooter to use the scope as intended. Shooters who practice this method are able to track targets as they move downrange without losing them. The whole process is a natural effect that takes place within the brain, all the shooter needs is two eyes and a bright reticle to make it work.

I originally learned this with the original Armson Occluded Eye Gunsight.

Although not as accurate as traditional marksmanship principles, this is still accurate enough for close-quarter battle shots out to approximately 20 yards. To test this out it's a simple matter to take a piece of tape and cover up the front facing lens of your Red Dot. Then keeping both eyes open, and looking at the target, bring up the pistol into your line of sight. The non-shooting eye tracks the target, while the shooting eye recognizes the dot.

There is a small learning curve but if you allow the eyes to work as designed, the brain will "blend" the red dot in the sight with the object that you are sighting at. This is a function of natural "binocular vision". It is important to note that both eyes remain wide open while sighting allowing for maximum peripheral vision. The use of the BAC with the pistol mounted red dot is for use in hostile environmental situations where the usual marksmanship methods are not possible. And although it is not perfect, use of the BAC exceeds what can be done with standard iron sights that have either been occluded or damaged. The bending concept is yet another tool should have in the toolbox if you have stepped into the future and added a red dot optic to your handgun.