The Science behind the SP Shooting Aid
The principle of the SP has been developed from scientific discoveries in the world of Optometry – historic binocular rivalry experiments were carried out on static images, Individual images were presented to each eye, they were similar but not the same. The brain will naturally try and bring the images together so you can focus on them but it is unable to as the images are unique and each image is only seen by one eye.
At this point each image will alternate randomly with the subject seeing each become stronger randomly, sometimes combining to make a shape that is a combination of the two images. Unchecked this will continue for as long as the test is conducted.
Scientists found that if a unique shape was placed into one of the images the random changing of the images reduced – with the shape staying visible all of the time hence stopping the eyes randomly changing. This reaction suggests control, working against normal dominance or strength.
This discovery generated the idea of creating a version of this test using a shotgun, as the shotgun naturally can block one eye from seeing one side of the barrel by its shape. Initially, I introduced a shape to one side of the shotgun such that the other eye couldn’t see the shape – replicating the scientific studies. The results were instant and quite difficult to believe – having central vision it was impossible to place the gun properly but now I could – 100% of the time.
A long testing and development phase then started to truly establish what was happening – but it all came back to the simple fact giving one eye a stimulant can subconsciously control the brain’s choice of an eye – this is the ultimate solution for the shooter.
When in the ready position and the barrels are in your peripheral vision, you may have a double image of the barrels, this is created by a picture from each eye. If unchecked when you address the target and take the shot either barrel could be used to establish the shot or even a combination of the two – an effect of central vision.
When the right eye image for right-handed shooters or the left eye image for left-handed shooters isn’t used, the gun will not be pointing where you expect and a miss will occur.
A solution to this is to place a stimulant like the SP so that one barrel becomes unique and hence allowing the correct barrel to be identified in your peripheral vision subconsciously.
The SP is placed on the right side for right-handed shooters and on the left for left-handed shooters. The constant image of the SP in your peripheral vision will add consistency in the shot picture and will control the eye taking the shot – remember only the eye over the rib can see the SP so only this eye is being stimulated, It is critical that the opposite eye can’t see the SP.
The SP is the closest thing to training your eye to be dominant. The SP does not occlude vision, both eyes are seeing as much as possible. The SP ensures the eye over the rib is in control when it comes to shot information and picture – it’s that simple. Without the SP the brain will be getting conflicting information from your eyes and a clear picture is difficult to establish.
Developing the SP
Shooters spend a lot of money on equipment, practicing and travel but overlook a vital aspect. Most suffer from some form of eye dominance issue, so they aren’t fully in control of the eye on the gun. This can lead to frustrating and inconsistent results.
The development of the SP started after the inventor couldn’t find a suitable commercial solution to control his eye dominance issue. Wanting a discreet solution that wouldn’t distract the shooter and could be used gun up or gun down to give total control of the eye on the gun, the industry was void of a solution.
The research started in science journals and books mapping the history of the eyes and the brain and how they work together. It was an article on binocular rivalry and control of an eye that started the design roadmap.
Development used shotguns, air weapons, and a Dryfire simulator through which 10,000+ shots where recorded and checked to establish if the research and development had created a real solution.
Only on the conclusion of this initial testing was the research moved on to real targets with shotguns at this point 6 development shooters were drafted in to test the concept independently. This development aided further by parallel Dryfire testing meant the SP was a credible product and solution, so the decision was made to launch the SP.
A note on Dryfire: The Dryfire is a superb piece of equipment for practicing your shooting. We utilised this equipment to understand the SP and its effects. The shot positioning data is a record of the shot and gives you real-world feedback. A further note was the ability to repeat the clay target and to analyze a perfect clay and shot time and time again.
The multiple disciplines on Dryfire also allowed the SPs to be trialed Gun down and Gun up across multiple disciplines for a fraction of the cost of real-world testing. The Dryfire system is a key piece of equipment that we continue to use and is now being used for some Eye dominance testing of shooters on test days and some well-deserved downtime and clay practice when the SP team can’t get to the range.
A scientific design
The final product enabled me to shoot more easily and more accurately. With the help of a professional who has an in-depth knowledge of eye dominance in sport, I started to collect scientific data and to conduct tests to show the impact of the SP on shooting. Meanwhile, shooters of various abilities tried the new product and it soon became clear that it could help people at all levels of the sport.
The SP was designed using the latest 3D print technology. It’s discreet and extremely light. The key is its shape which is a paraboloid (3D ellipse) and its positioning. The SP form stays consistent as you mount the gun so the picture stays the same in your peripheral vision, this is key, a changing picture would draw your eye.
It gives shooters total confidence that they’re seeing the true image of the target. The development of the SP has led to patents being filed across multiple industries in the UK, Europe and America.
The result – an eye for detail
So how does the SP work? Most people see two gun barrels in the peripheral vision when shooting a gun. This second image is from the eye off the gun – the image below shows equal dominance from both eyes – central or equal dominance (example is for a right shoulder shooter)
To allow the brain to subconsciously identify the correct barrel then the shooter must place the SP on the side that they shoulder the gun, this then allows the brain to settle on the correct barrels and the shooter to get on with the shot. The “off” eye can’t see the SP so there is never any confusion. Though not obvious in the images the contrasting shape is easily recognisable in real life, the contrasting shape instantly guides a reaction. (the images are not true to form as the side of the barrels are typically seen by the off eye)