Ever go to line up a target with your red dot or reflex optic only to find a blur of water, smudges or the dust cover? In tactical circles, this is what is called an occluded sight picture and if you don’t know how to handle it, it can mean curtains so check out some surprising details about what it takes to shoot an AR-15 or other rifle accurately with an occluded sight picture.
What Causes an occluded sight picture?
An occluded sight picture is an obstructed sight picture. To occlude means to stop or block a passageway. As it’s related to shooting, consider the pathway, tunnel or tube of a red dot or reflex optic or a rifle scope being blocked in the front (the muzzle end). The shooter can see the red dot, for instance, but the target is blacked out –at least from the dominant eye.
The most common reason an occluded sight picture? A flip up dust cover in the way. If a shooter hasn’t prepped his/her optic before hand, the time it takes to remove an obstructing dust cover could mean the difference between winning and losing a gunfight, which is the nice way of saying living or dying. But it’s also something that can happen regardless of your best laid plans so whether it’s a broken dust cover spring that doesn’t allow the cover to flip open or mud, sweat, rain drops, blood splatter or a partially shattered optic, in the heat of battle, you should know how to shoot without immediately fixing this problem.