Left Eye Dominant, Right Handed Shooter


December 9, 2005, 12:36 PM
I am a right handed shooter and for YEARS now I have been making myself shoot using my right eye as primary, even though my left eye is dominant. I am a lefty in all other activities though. I just can't hit squat using my left hand, It doesn't "feel right" to shoot with my left. I can use my left eye when shooting a pistol and have tried this more often recently with no real change in grouping, maybe a little less eye strain. The right eye has become habit. Shooting a rifle is another beast though.

Does anyone have this issue and how have you conquered this with both rifle and pistol.............? Please help..!

(It must be bad when the wife has pointed it out and suggested I get input) :banghead:

If you enjoyed reading about "Left Eye Dominant, Right Handed Shooter" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
December 9, 2005, 12:43 PM
Lucky me, I'm right hand, right eye, and right foot dominant. I hear closing your left eye will help, but it cuts down on your peripheral vision, and can cause eyestrain.

The Goose
December 9, 2005, 12:51 PM
I am also right handed and left eye dominant. I only took up handgun shooting a few years ago. I always shot a rifle or shotgun sighting with my right eye. When I started shooting a handgun I found out I am left eye dominant. Right from the get go I shoot right handed and sight with my left eye. Works well for me. Now I am trying to get used to shooting with both eyes open and my left eye seems to be sighting naturally.

Too Many Choices!?
December 9, 2005, 01:00 PM
I just shoot my pistol with my left eye, and right handed grip, works fine if I am not practicing using walls as cover, wich makes me use the same eye and hand.

Rifles I force myself to use my right eye, because holding the rifle ia more comfortable to me this way. I knmow not the most logical reason to do it this way, but I have found that it is not that hard to keep the open sights on target with a solid ,"right handed and right eyed", hold on the weapon ... YMMV. My red dot optics almost make it a moot point on rifles though.

December 9, 2005, 01:28 PM
I use my left eye for both handgun and rifle, on a rilfe, I just roll my head slightly over the stock so I can get a sight picture.

December 9, 2005, 02:31 PM
Same issue here. For pistol I shoot right handed and aim with my left eye.

For many years I shot rifle and shotgun off and on (before I really started shooting) and I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn door. One day a buddy of mine asked me about eye dominance and had me move the rifle to my left shoulder. It was very uncomfortable at first but I started to hit what I was aiming at (almost immediately). Now I shoot all rifle/shotgun 'leftie' and I can almost always hit what I'm aiming at (including the small 2 inch sporting clays on a 100 yard berm with iron sights).

Other than the occasional casing in the head I've managed to work the bugs out. If you shoot sporting clays or skeet you'll REALLY see a big difference in your scores by moving the gun to your left shoulder.

December 9, 2005, 03:09 PM
I've read that while with practice it's possible to "retrain" yourself to shoot with your less-dominant eye, it's usually a bad idea. The reasoning goes that in a high-stress SHTF situation, your dominant eye is going to take over. Better to train like you will fight, than train like you wish you could fight.

The same article claimed that cross dominance between your eyes and arms is an athletic trait. This makes sense when you consider how a person stands when throwing a baseball or football. (or spear centuries ago) Most of the time you throw with your dominant arm behind, your body sideways or at an angle to the target, and your head turned slightly back toward your dominant arm, dominant eye toward the target.

December 9, 2005, 03:18 PM
This is an easy solution.

This technique will not allow you to shoot 10-ring, competition bullseye accurate, but plenty accurate enough for 99% of shooting.

Right handed, left eyed.

Aim at the target. Then roll the pistol over about 40 degrees to the left.

Think of the rap video or bad movie "Homeboy" shooting position you've seen with the pistol leaned over 90 degrees.

Do the same, only go about 40 degrees, not 90.

That way, the rear sights line up with your left eye. Keep using your right hand. And start using your left eye.


December 9, 2005, 03:27 PM
I'm right-handed and left-eye dominant too. I shoot with both eyes open. I shoot handguns with either hand and sight with my left eye. I shoot rifles left-handed and that feels right to me as I shot pretty much either hand as a kid and learned I did better left-handed. I've shot right-handed crankbolts left-handed, but I finally just had to get a left-handed crankbolt. I'm sure if I put an eyepatch on my left eye and practiced right-handed, I could do just as well right-handed as I do left-handed. Your mileage may vary.

December 9, 2005, 03:31 PM
Me too - left eye dominant right hand shooter.

I solve this problem by adopting a skewed shooting stance for pistols, using my nose to blind my right eye (!). I also am fond of lasers on handguns as they really help in ackward positions where your right eye might want to take over.

For rifles, I still shoot as a righty, but most of my scopes are red-dot or holographic and I shoot both eyes open. For long-range, illuminated reticals serve the same purpose, but can have parallax if I leave my left eye open. This is tough for me. I am strongly considering making an off-axis mount for one of my long-range guns so that I can sight with my left eye.

Malone LaVeigh
December 9, 2005, 03:35 PM
Aim at the target. Then roll the pistol over about 40 degrees to the left. I'm a right hand/left eye guy, also, and I've tried a lot of things, but that's just wierd.

I normally cock my head a little to the right and sight with the left. I can't see any advantage in rotating the pistol, and lots of disadvantages.

With a rifle, I'm still closing the left eye. I'll definitely never be a sniper.

December 9, 2005, 04:02 PM
Iím right hand/left eye too. Here is the advice I got recently (from this site?) that is working for me shooting a shotgun right handed:

Do something to obscure the vision from the left eye a little, and your right eye will take over.

1. Easiest way is to just squint your left eye a little. If you mount the weapon with both eyes open and start to squint, you will see how much you need to make the sight picture jump to your right eye.

2. Or you can put a few layers of scotch tape over the left lens of your glasses.

3. Or punch out the right lens of a pair of sunglasses, but keep the left one in.

The first one can be used all the time of course, but leads to fatigue of facial muscles after a while.

The second and third ones work better, if you arenít afraid of what you look like at the range.

Hope this helps.

December 9, 2005, 04:39 PM
I read about a cross-dominant shooter who wore a patch over his dominant eye for a while. Supposedly his dominance shifted.

I'm not sure what implications there are for the "patched" eye regarding things like muscle atrophy . . . but it would be worth talking to your ophthalmologist about if cross-dominance is a problem for you.

December 9, 2005, 04:51 PM
For pistols, if you use the isosceles position (http://www.midwesttraininggroup.net/images/Tips3/isosceles1.jpg), it's easier to use either eye.

December 9, 2005, 05:18 PM
Left eye/ right hand dominant here.

Most of the time, when I go to get a sight picture on my handgun, my cross-dominance isn't an issue, but when it is, throwing my left eye off works and keeps working. If you're any good at Magic Eye 3D illusions, or with stereophotographs, you know what it feels like to move your eyes unnaturally, on purpose. When I first started looking at stereophotographs, I had a really hard time doing it, but the more I looked at them, the easier it got and the more intuitive it felt to move my eyes to get it to work. Because of this, I think I've also accidentally trained myself for controlling my cross-dominance when shooting.

Now, when I get a mixed up sight picture, I throw my left eye outward, which allows a proper sight picture while still having peripheral vision.

Go here http://www.3dculture.com/bm3d/ for some great stereophotographs, and view in cross-eye or parallel format. Be sure to read the info page first. Sit far enough back from your monitor (4+ feet), look at an image that's small enough not to be cut off left-right by your monitor, the smaller the image the easier it is at first.

Works for me.

December 9, 2005, 05:26 PM
I am left eye dominant. I shoot handguns with my right hand, but shoot long guns with my left hand. For whatever reason I can not shoot a handgun with my left hand. I suppose that I should some more of it from a tactical point of view, but it certainly doesn't feel natural. I guess that I am just AFU!

December 9, 2005, 05:28 PM
I too was right-handed,left-eyed. My far vision started to go south when I was 30 & I started wearing contacts. I've developed presbyopia over the past 10 years & wear a contact for far vision in my right eye & one for near vision in my left eye. Since doing that, I've been right eye dominant. Having vision as bad as mine sucks but there was one advantage to needing bifocals.

December 9, 2005, 05:49 PM
I'm right handed/left eye dominant as well. I learned at an early age that my left eye was the dominant eye so I started shooting left handed.

Long guns, handguns and archery are all shot left handed. It's not as hard as you may think. ;)

December 9, 2005, 06:02 PM
New guy here, hi all.

I too am left eye dominant and a right hand pistol shooter using the right eye to aim. I shoot rifles left handed, aiming with the left eye of course.

I have always found that by letting nature take its lead, I have been able to hold my own with this goofy footed situation and a this stage of the game, I don't even want to try a change. If I got better, it would piss me off to no end that I didn't do it sooner.:banghead:

December 9, 2005, 06:26 PM
The only time I shoot shotguns is when we go to the grandparents-in-law for the holidays, this is just a social shoot to get the guys out of the house. No real interest for me just necessary to fit in. Ends up with 5 or 6 guys in a line blasting like hell at 3+ birds on the thrower. I don't have to be good, they do!

This was never really a problem until I did my first IDPA match and the "train up" for it. I can shoot well with my right eye but when I draw to line up the first target my left eye wants to jump in for a split second or so and this slows my first shot. I can then force the right eye to take over and all is well. I have tried hundreds of presentation draws to train my right eye but it plays second fiddle for that brief second.

I have been playing with a red dot on the carbine for the last year or so. I can do accurate right eye shooting as well as responsive shooting with both eyes open, but I have not been able to transition that to the pistol.....

How is "canting" the pistol to the left 40 degrees gonna do anything other than mess up my ability to rapidly recover my sight picture, increase felt recoil, and have the "range dudes" giggling at my pseudo-gangsta shooting style. I will give it a try this weekend and see what happens.:neener:

thanks for all the info, please keep it coming.......it all helps


December 9, 2005, 06:32 PM
I'm right handed/left eye dominant. I had troubles in highpower on the 600yd target because I just couldn't get the visual acuity I needed out of my right eye. About 2 years ago, I started shooting left handed. It took me a couple of weeks to work out the kinks, but the first match I shot left handed I scored a new personal best and have never looked back.


December 9, 2005, 06:33 PM
I shoot with both eyes open and practice. I force myself to use my right eye, though I am left-eye dominant. A .22LR pistol and a few bricks really help. Just shoot by yourself as many rounds as you can, a few times.

I had to do this to shoot trap. Shotgunning is an athletic pursuit, requiring the whole body to work together, and I just couldn't do it left-handed, even though I am left-foot-dominant and able to use my left hand for a lot of things. I even fish left-handed.

I didn't want to block one eye like some shooters. This just messed me up.

So I just had to get used to shooting with both eyes open, and using the right eye to line up the sights. This has its advantages.

With a camera, I find myself using either eye, now. It's convenient for taking pictures in a cramped space.

December 9, 2005, 07:08 PM
I too am right handed, left eye dominant. I can shoot pistols left or right handed, usually right though. I have just adapted to turning my shoulder a little more to bring the sights further over for my left eye. I shoot rifles and pool left-handed, which I always found strange because if I try to do everyday things with my left hand, I feel like a child trying to learn dextarity. I guess over the years I have just adapted. I've always wanted to become profitiant with my right hand and eye while shooting rifles, but I just can't seem to do it.

December 9, 2005, 07:34 PM
I'm another right hand left eye dominant shooter due to having lazy eye as a child. RIght eye isn't much good for much. Although not ambidextrous, I can shoot pistols with either hand using the left eye. Makes my options for CCW two as much fun. :rolleyes:

December 9, 2005, 08:02 PM
Right Handed. No right eye. So,I can't do the following:

I read about a cross-dominant shooter who wore a patch over his dominant eye for a while.

December 9, 2005, 08:35 PM
I'm right handed, left eye dominant, I shoot handguns right handed, long guns left handed :eek:

December 10, 2005, 09:02 AM
[QUOTE=hillbilly]This is an easy solution.

Hillbilly thanks alot I use this type of shooting when shooting with the weak hand unsupported but did not think about it for 2 hands. I am not left eye dominant but my wife is. I have been trying to teach her how to shoot (she wants to learn) but both of us have gotten frustrated with this problem. I have been having her shoot with both eyes open but we are not satisfied with her groups.

Thanks again

December 10, 2005, 11:36 AM
Many years ago, one of the gun publications printed an article regarding the "Quell Method" of shooting. It encompassed the dominant left eye of right-handed shooters. I wish that I had held onto that article, so that I could send it to you.

Basically, the "Quell Method" consisted of USING the dominant left eye for aiming while still shooting right-handed. With ANY firearm, you would need to angle your head (either dropping your right cheek on your right arm when shooting a handgun, or placing your right cheek on the stock of a rifle, so that you can aim with the left eye).

I was taught as a "rightie", but I began practising as a "leftie" as well....and that included the eye to aim with. Through experimentation, especially after reading about the "Quell Method", it took some time and a LOT of pracise to become proficient as an "ambidextrous" shooter. It CAN be done, and after you've mastered it, it isn't all that awkward. (HMM! I still look like a girl when I try to throw a ball as a "leftie"!)

Lastly, and whether you believe it or not, shooting and hitting a baseball have several things in common. The baseball bat is merely an extension of your "batting" arm, even though both arms are used.
You can "place" a baseball where you want it if you know how to use that "extension". Add to that, numerous baseball players, who are "righties", switch over to batting as "lefties"....and actually increase their batting averages! It's done through PRACTISE, PRACTISE, PRACTISE! It may seem awkward for awhile, but.....!

December 10, 2005, 12:11 PM
OldTimer, thanks for putting a name to the method I use to shoot. The "Quell Method" sounds like exactly what I do.

December 10, 2005, 08:43 PM
Been shooting handguns for 45 years. Right handed , left eye dominant. I keep both open, but squint slightly with my left. It works for me, but for others, who knows? After reading this thread, it appears shooters have tried a lot of different things. Find the one that works for you.

December 11, 2005, 01:07 AM
I shot left handed as a kid, then switched to right handed in the Marines, and I'm still left-eyed, right handed. But I don't shoot that way...that's just silly. Use your right eye.

Left-eyed, right handed helps out with one rifle. The scout rifle with the EER scope. Shoot with both eyes open, tracking the target with the left eye, and focusing on the right eye just before BANG. Works good.



December 11, 2005, 07:31 AM
Right handed, left eye dominant here. I've been working on retraining my eye dominance since I took up shooting about 6 months ago. Basically I started off just closing my left eye, then graduated to squinting. I still squint a bit at first, or sometimes when I start losing the sight picture, but once I have my sight picture in my right eye I typically focus on my front site and that maintains my right eye dominance. It takes a bit of concentration sometimes, but it's doable.

Big Gay Al
December 11, 2005, 07:45 AM
I'm right eye-dominant, and left handed for most things, but for a long time, I shot pistols with my right hand only. I recently tried shooting with my left hand, and found I'm generally more accurate shooting lefty, even though I aim with my right eye. Go figure!

December 11, 2005, 11:02 AM
I am right handed left eye domant. I shoot handguns with my right hand. I used to shoot long guns left handed but because Of a heart attack and a defebulator implant on my left shoulder .I am slowly learning to shoot shotguns right handed Not a easy task...:banghead:

December 11, 2005, 12:23 PM
TwoSigs and I share the same affliction, for the same reason. I was ~ 22 when I found out WHY oh WHY I couldn't see what others saw. I always shot off the left shoulder w/ long gun (no use otherwise), and pulled handguns over in front of my left eye. I'm still a little bitter, because eye tests revealed big trouble w/ right eye when I entered school, but nobody treated me for lazy eye. As a result, I don't have binocular vision or depth perception. Maybe that's why I couldn't hit my IQ as a Little Leaguer.

For those of you w/ children, PLEASE get them tested/evaluated early for amble... ambly.... LAZY EYE.

If you enjoyed reading about "Left Eye Dominant, Right Handed Shooter" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!