Right Handed/Left Eye Dominant....


September 20, 2004, 01:09 AM
The reason I'm posting this in the rifle forum is because I don't have problems shooting hand guns... Only rifles...

Is there a solution for this? Today I shot my friends AR-15 who has a red dot scope and I'd keep both eyes open for a little bit then the dang red dot would disappear as I'd now be using my left eye. So, I'd close both eyes and start over... This would cause me to rush the shot because the red dot would slowly fade away each time... Tried shooting my Marlin .22 with open sights and I should have just given up after the first couple of shots... My left eye was getting tired from squinting and I was not even close to accurate...

So, what are my choices here? :(


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September 20, 2004, 01:27 AM
Learn to shoot from your left shoulder or figure out how to mount a scope or red-dot so that you can use your left eye while shooting from the right side. I have the same problem due to damage to my right optic nerve and have found that an AK with a side mounted Kobra sight allows me to do this. This is not a situation that is easy to overcome.

September 20, 2004, 02:19 AM
Make the switch. It'll feel very odd at first, but you'll adapt after a few trips to the range and if you're like me you'll see better groupings almost immediately. I fought going from right to left for years, but as soon as I did my shooting improved.

September 20, 2004, 09:07 AM
Okay, I'll give it a try and see what happens.


Bwana John
September 20, 2004, 09:58 AM
I am the same (rt handed, left eye dominate) and find that it is a good thing when using a low power scope (4x) I can keep both eyes open and still see a cross hair in my vield of vision. When it comes time to pull the trigger I have to slightly squint my left eye (not close) and the cross hair image becomes the dominate image. If I leave my left eye open with a shotgun however I do have problems but can correct them by squinting my left eye (not closing)

Highland Ranger
September 20, 2004, 10:12 AM
With a handgun and enough practice you can compensate for it and do really well over time.

On the other hand you may find that if you shoot poorly, switching to your left hand can help. Lots of "bad shooters" have this problem and switching hands can help cure it right out of the box.

With a long gun, I've found no way around it other than shooting from my left shoulder.

September 20, 2004, 01:24 PM
i know your frustration, my son lost his right eye in a accident, he is 13 years old and i have been trying to work with him, he was and is very right eye and right hand dominent, what i really wonder if there is a company that can adapt a scope with some type telescopic sight that you can look out of left eye and shoot right handed.
as far as one eye dominent borrow a old pair of eyeglasses and get a roll op tape, tape over good eye and watch how the poor one starts to pick up

September 20, 2004, 01:37 PM
I started using my mouse left handed at work and right handed at home. And after a year I am much more ambi than before as far as trigger pull goes.

But for pulling a rifle up for quick shots I am still slower on my left side. Practice makes perfect. My redneck associates will allegedly tell you "it ain't no thang cuz you need to be prepared to shoot out of either truck window"

It is different getting used to shooting on both sides but I feel I am at no disadvantage and actually have some advantage because I practice both ways.

I'm not the best shot but I get better with concentration and practice. I am better than some. Do not lament amigo, you may come to enjoy your special gift. I do.


September 20, 2004, 01:56 PM
From an instructors point of view I would switch to left handed. There are a number of physiological reasons for this fatigue being the most important. Closing the eye isn’t the option since whatever one eye does the other follows also leading to fatigue.

I had surgery last year and complications leading to blockage in the artery in my right eye. I lost some vision in the peripheral region. If it got worse I was prepared to switch, whatever it took. Fortunately it did not get any worse and the central axis of my vision is fine.

Bottom line trigger squeeze, breath control, follow through.
Get a good .22 and Practice, practice, practice.

September 20, 2004, 03:29 PM
To add to my previous post, I started off shooting right handed with everything, switched over to lefty with long arms after a few years and had very few issues with it, started shooting better that day. I stuck with shooting right handed with handguns, but decided to switch about 8-10 years after I switched long gun sides.

It tood a little longer, but my shooting quickly improved, and although it felt very odd I quickly adapted and now right handed feels odd. I'm kicking myself for not shooting off both sides, at least handgun wise, but it's not that big a deal.

Personally, I would try to switch with both handguns and long guns, but once you're feeling adapted to using your left, make sure you fire a few rounds from the right just to stay in practice. Can't be a bad thing to be able to shoot well with either hand right?

BTW, the only thing I do lefty is shoot, even using a drill, hammer, saw, etc... I go with my right hand. Mr. Lefty is really specialized:p

September 20, 2004, 04:29 PM
I'm cross dominate as well.

I learned to shoot right handed, and have always done so. With practice you can learn to leave both eyes open. I just kind of squint with my dominate eye. Works for me.

September 20, 2004, 04:40 PM
This may sound stupid, but what if you've already spent tons of money on amassing a gun collection of right handed long guns?


Pistols may be a different story, but I can't imagine fumbling with the bolt on my deer rifle as I try to recover from the first shot and chamber another round for a [potential] followup shot or shot at another animal.

....or else spend an untold amount of time/money selling my guns and rebuying identical models (if possible) in left-hand configurations.

Jon Coppenbarger
September 20, 2004, 04:55 PM
I am left eye dominant and shoot right handed.
Always have and still plan to for a little while longer.
Can it be done yes it can but I will switch.
My goals is to make high master shooting right handed and then switch over or shoot till I get my EIC badge which I plan to finish out this year with.
As soon as either is done I will start the practice to switch over that winter and start some heavy practice. Have practiced it a few years back and it did not seem to cause me a whole lot of trouble but I will wait and see.

Might even do the off hand and sittin gright and then do the lefty thing for the prones as the distances are a little more hard on me these years.

September 20, 2004, 08:47 PM
I'm left eye dominant and learned to shoot right handed. I switched over to left handed at the beginning of the year. After two weeks of dryfiring, I shot my first highpower match left handed. I shot personal bests that day in prone and sitting was only 5 points lower than my average offhand score (89 instead of 94).

You can always go back to shooting right handed if it doesn't work out for you.


September 20, 2004, 10:23 PM
My son has this problem, and I haven't yet found a good solution. For now I'm trying to get him used to shooting right-handed, because he's right-handed, and using his non-dominant right eye, since he does this quite well when his left eye is covered. But once his left eye is uncovered, he insists on using it. So, I'll keep trying for awhile, and then maybe give the left-hand shooting thing more of a try, though the first attempt was not pretty.

Ian Sean
September 21, 2004, 02:19 PM
WOOHOO!...I'm not the only one!

Maybe we should start a club? Nickname? The L.E.D. Righties?

My shooting was fair at best, tried the tape on the left eyeglass (it did help), but I bit the bullet and now shoot leftie.

Very awkward but my accuracy and sight picture had an immediate improvement even with shaking and not being used to lefty right from the start!

Seems this affliction affects more people than I imagined.....I was beginning to feel like a leper.

September 21, 2004, 04:47 PM
I also shoot pistols right-handed using my left eye. My right just doesn't work at all. I have been planning for a while now to get a .22 and start trying to switch to left-handed for rifles, but I wasn't sure it was worth the trouble. This thread has convinved me to give it a try.

Texas Bob
September 21, 2004, 08:50 PM
I was also given the task of learning what to do with a body that is right handed, but left eye dominate. With a handgun, my right hand is my strong side and I just tilt my head to the right. Now with a rifle, I mounted an ACOG on the carry handle of an AR15. I shoot my rifle left handed, however this setup is high enough off the stock that I can shoot right handed and still use my left eye.

October 5, 2004, 02:04 PM
I've shot three Highpower matches now after shifting to left handed (we had our first child this summer, so the shooting has been infrequent). On Saturday, I posted my first ever high master score which beat my previous best aggregate by a full six points. Had a 197-7 prone slow with an M1A (albeit on the 200yd reduced course).

I'm getting a real left handed coat. I stitched mousepads onto my righthanded coat to make it work while I was testing the waters. I guess I'm not looking back!


October 5, 2004, 02:23 PM
I am left handed and right eye dominant. Because of this, when I began shooting skeet two years ago (first time picked up a SG), I decided to switch to shooting right handed. Although, it felt funny at first (have always shot rifles left handed), I'm glad I made the switch. It's amazing how the body can adjust to something like switching shooting sides!

Andrew Wyatt
October 5, 2004, 04:51 PM
shoot left handed. trust me, it's pretty much the only way.

October 5, 2004, 05:14 PM
I shoot rifles left handed. I have lazy eye in my right, and it pretty much sees nothing. So I bought a Savage left handed .22 rifle bolt action to pluck away with.
I wish those German Mausers that are all over now had left handed models.
I can't shoot those left handed because racking the bolt pushes it back into the flesh of my left hand.

October 5, 2004, 08:20 PM
This is hilarious. Don't worry I am not laughing with you, but at your misfortunes. (Not really I can comiserate). This is ironic though, a bunch of left-handers trapped inside right handed bodies perhaps?

But seriously, learn to shoot from both sides, and use either eye in a pinch. Stick with whichever you are better with then.

Though I am left hand, and left eye dominant, I have nerve damage in my left side, a broken left collar bone that didn't get set, and a couple of busted knuckles. Rifles are not an issue, but pistols are a serious problem anymore. I can manage a couple clips, but after that shooting gets downright painful, literally. I have been shooting ambi on both sides now for a few years, and generally try to shoot with both eyes open. Choosing to use the eye on whichever side I am shooting from, but I also practice shooting left eye-right side, and vice versa. I can shoot a weapon just about any way with proficiency and it doesn't feel unnatural anymore.

Frankly I shoot better with a pistol right-handed, both eyes open, right eye focus. And I can shoot all day this way. Rifles I still prefer shooting left handed, both eyes open for short range work, and left eye only if I'm using a scope.

I guess ditto on the one eye closed for aimed fire with a pistol too. Out past about 15 yards I guess I tend to close the other eye and take my shots carefully.

I guess what I am trying to say is a man has got to know his limitations (thanks Clint). But you also gotta compensate, and keep fighting. Keep learning. You gotta have heart Rock...oh crap, now I'm going to have the Rocky theme song stuck in my head the rest of the night.

October 5, 2004, 11:20 PM
Well, I'm another cross-dominant. Left eye, right handed. I started shooting left handed when I realized I was leaning my head across the stock on a Red Ryder when I was 9. My Daddy tried to get me to stick with right handed, but I never could get my left eyelid to work right for it and I never could hit well that way. A few years ago, I started shooting with both eyes open along with shooting left handed. My accuracy really picked up because I was able to relax. Last few trips to the range, I was busting clay birds at 100yds offhand with a M1 Garand. To parents trying to make their kids shoot a certain way, I point to my own experience- Daddy and I kinda learned this one at the same point. Whereas he told me he trained himself to close either eye just while watching tv, I never could. Just a difference between individuals- a kid may not be able to do certain things exactly like his/her parents. I'd have to advise parents or anybody else to just experiment and see. Shooting isn't one-size-fits-all by any stretch.

Oh, and the part about the right handed bolt actions- I shoot those left handed too. Think "one shot, one kill." But, this is one thing I like about a good levergun or a H&R HandiRifle- they're pretty much ambidextrous. The Garand does fine left handed too- you just have to remember to keep your right thumb out from behind the op rod's handle.

October 6, 2004, 02:16 AM
I've been seeing this problem with my 9 yr. son.I put tape over the left side of a pair of glasses and his shooting improved alot.After thinking on it awhile ,I told him to look at me and try closing each eye one at a time.He can close his right eye but when he tries to close his left eye they both close.
By the way,what would be a good bolt action 22 for a young leftie?

October 6, 2004, 12:49 PM
454c, Savage and Marlin both make left handed bolt action .22LR rifles which are pretty affordable. If possible, I would suggest mounting a Lyman or Williams target aperture rear sight- they've tended to be, in my experience, easier to see.

I put tape over the left side of a pair of glasses and his shooting improved alot.

There's one guy I can think of right off at the range I use- he took a cheap flip-flop and cut a hole in it to put it on his scope. He's another cross-dominant, but he's not ambidextrous that I know of. He does quite well with that, but that's his sillouette match set-up with a right handed bolt rifle.

October 6, 2004, 01:32 PM
savage makes a neat little falling block .22 that is handy and really ambi. I forget the number though. Hell it might even be a Stevens I think it is savage though.


October 6, 2004, 04:52 PM
That little Savage falling block .22 is a recent copy of the old Stevens Favorite. I looked at one once and it's alright. I haven't had the opportunity to shoot one though.

A Winchester 9422 in .22LR is a nice one, as is Henry's '94 type. The Henry is a good bit less expensive than the Winchester, but the action may be just a tad slicker in ways. Leverguns are pretty ambi too; that's one thing I like about them. And while some people will tell you the side ejection is distracting, I never had that problem.

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