Right hand with Left Eye Dominant


March 11, 2006, 04:18 PM
My son is a right hand shooter but he is left eye dominant. We could not figure out how he can shoot with a right hand rifle. He could not see the scope out of his left eye on a right hand rifle. What to do? Put a patch on his left eye and make him shoot with the right eye?:evil:

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Vern Humphrey
March 11, 2006, 04:25 PM
For a rifle, have him turn his head to the right. Hold the rifle pointing all the way to the left. He'll be able to shoot quite well that way. His stance will be a little to the right of a "normal" offhand stance, though.

I'm right-eye dominant, but as I grew older, I became near-sighted in my left eye, far-sighted in my right (dominant) eye. I had to train myself to shoot a handgun with the left eye -- which gives me a crystal-clear sight picture, but a very fuzzy target. With long practice I was able to master shooting with both eyes open -- giving me a clear view of the target and a clear sight picture.

March 11, 2006, 04:32 PM
I am a natural lefty but I am right eye dominant. I chose to shoot righty so I could use my right eye. (I don't know if it makes a diference but it also made it easier for me to keep both eyes open. I don't know of any real advantage but I prefer it that way.)

As an aside I shoot the pistol with the left...


edit: good point. In my case I am actually left eye weak at around ~20/40 so my right has probably become dominant because of that.

March 11, 2006, 04:43 PM
I'm in the same boat as your son.

What to do? Put a patch on his left eye and make him shoot with the right eye?

That, or have him close his left eye, or have him shoot from the left shoulder.

I practice shooting from both shoulders with my long guns. Came in handy while deer hunting once already. Could come in handy in a home defense situation also.

March 11, 2006, 04:53 PM
I'm in the same boat. I just shoot left handed, its pretty easy once you get over how awkward the rifle feels. YMMV.

One of Many
March 11, 2006, 05:06 PM
If he is shooting with a scope, the eye dominance issue is not important; his eye will see the crosshair and align it with the target. I am right handed and left eye dominant, and I do not have any problem shooting from my right shoulder with the non-dominant eye as long as I am using a scope.

A shotgun is a different matter entirely, since my cross dominance is very strong, and it causes a difference in the lead, unless I squint with the dominant eye. I know a competitive shotgunner who does very well squinting the dominant eye when shooting trap.

With pistol shooting, it is easy to use the dominant eye and the strong side hand, but it does cock the wrist, so recoil effects are amplified. I shot for many years using my non-dominant eye and dominant hand with no problem, until a detached retina in my non-dominant eye caused blurry vision; now I almost always shoot left eyed and right handed with my pistols.

If he can learn to shoot using the same eye and hand, that may provide a slightly better accuracy and speed to target, but it is not necessary.

March 11, 2006, 05:54 PM
Ditto, One of Many's advice. As long as it's "left eye dominant" and not "right eye blind," I don't see what the problem is with his shooting with his non-dominant eye.

I also can't think of any reason why he couldn't shoot left-handed, if he REALLY needs to use his left eye.

March 11, 2006, 08:36 PM
left handed for handwriting only, everything else from scissors to using a computer mouse and playing guitar and bass etc..... I use the right handned method for just about everything, shooting a rifle its the same, I tried shooting it left handed but thats when I discovered my right eye is dominant, I have practiced shooting handguns with both hands and I just compensate the stance a bit for the left hand pulling the trigger, but keeping both eyes open always, either way though the right eye is the primary eye right behind the rear sight as I can't focus with the left for squat

For whatever odd reason I can only write or draw with my left hand, who knows what or why that is, I cant explain it

Sadly bolts, semi autos and shotguns are like 99 percent setup for a right handed person, you can try and compensate but if you can find a good deal on a left handed firearm go for it, it must be frustrating to someone left eye dominant when the bolt or the ejection ports on the wrong side and its a hassle

good luck finding a technique to work

March 11, 2006, 08:49 PM
Same boat here. I can't imagine why he can't shoulder the rifle like a lefty, and use his left eye to sight in. The sights are in the middle of the gun, not to the left hand side for righty use.

FWIW, I think I like to shoot right hand guns left handed better. On my AR, I can work the safety with my left hand thumb, work the bolt catch/release both ways with my trigger finger, pull the charging handle with my right hand, work the mag release button with my right hand, and insert remove mags with my right hand. I automatically grip the mag/magwell area when shooting, and practice retaining empty mags, so my right hand is right there, and just dropping mags is not for me, so a hand needs to be there anyway to strip out the old mag. Seems to me a bolt gun would be nice to use too, except for the traditional righty safety. Same for a shotgun. Also as an added bonus you can see right into the chamber and determine the condition of the gun better, in the event of a malf. or running dry. I shoot pistol righty though.

Northslope Nimrod
March 11, 2006, 09:58 PM
I switched to shooting rifles left handed. I switched when I was around 10 years old. It is more comfortable for me to shoot left handed. Thus, no scope issue.
However, I CANNOT shoot a handgun well left handed. I simply cock my head a bit and still use my left eye. Cocking the head with a scope would not work well.

March 11, 2006, 10:46 PM
I've fought this my whole life. :cuss:

With a bb gun I shot either lefty or righty. With a .410 I started out shooting lefty, then switched to righty. Everything else I just forced into righty from the start. I make myself close my left eye and use the right one when I shoot right handed as I never got good results using the opposite eye. I've pretty well trained myself to just close that left eye when I take aim, but a couple times a year I pull up a rifle or shotgun and it's "dang it!" and I make myself switch eyes again...

My 2 cents...


March 12, 2006, 08:28 AM

My daughter is also right handed but left eye dominant. She started shooting RH, but when we did the dominant eye test & found her to be left eyed, she switched. Her accuracy improved once she got through the initial uncomfortable process of adapting to left shoulder shooting. I would not be at all surprised to see your son's accuracy improve also once he starts using his best eye to aim with.

FWIW, my daughter switched at about age 14 & had been shooting for some time. One of the things that helped her make the switch with the least amount of trouble was using a semi-.22lr. No fuss with working a bolt to complicate matters. Her gun is a modified 10/22 that is scoped. In our experience using a scope with the right eye did not work as well as using the scope with the dominant eye.


March 12, 2006, 08:54 AM
I have heard this over and over again about yu have to switch to left hand if you're left eye dominant - for me, not true.
I have always been left eye dominant. Look at this picture i did aiming at a tripod mounted remote activated camera - I was using the sights, and it is real clear which eye is in use.

My Sgt in the academy ordered my to shoot left handed Glock, and shotgun. That was the only time I told him no. I qualified expert, (and since Distinguished Expert), shooting right handed/left eye. Practice, practice, either way you choose.

Bwana John
March 12, 2006, 10:48 AM
Ive got the same thing, you are worrying way too much over it.

The good news is that with a lower power scope (4X) you can keep both eyes open for running shots, and all you got to do is line up the crosshairs that just kind of appear in your vision.

It is no problem with a pistol.

You do have to learn to close your left eye while shooting shotguns.

If it is that bad, learn to shoot left handed, dont try some weird cocked head thing, especially with a heavyer recoiling rifle.

March 12, 2006, 12:16 PM
Another option would be to have the eyeballs switched. ;)

March 12, 2006, 12:46 PM
Same problem for me...left eye dominant and right handed. I switched rifle/shotguns to my left shoulder and other than getting hit in the head with the occasional piece of brass my shooting improved dramatically.

I still shoot handguns with my right hand, and move them over in front of my left eye to aim...hard to explain but it's now 'natural' for me. If I try and go back to putting the rifle on my right shoulder it really feels uncomfortable.

March 13, 2006, 11:56 AM
Thank you lefties, maybe righties, or lefties, or which ever you choose, for all the comments. I will have my son read all the suggestions and let him decide what to do.:D

March 13, 2006, 12:03 PM
I shot cross dominant for a long time. Never had any big problems getting my wrong eye to work, but I saw a huge improvement the first day I shot switched over and started shooting correctly.

He shouldn't have any significant problems shooting most firearms left handed. Even bolt actions aren't that big of a deal and I haven't met anything that would eject into my face.

GySgt D
March 14, 2006, 03:06 PM
I have the same problem.

When I have to shoot an iron-sighted rifle, I shoot it left handed. Unfortunately, this is quite awkward; especially with a bolt action.

If the rifle has a scope on it (and it is mounted high enough), I simply shoot right handed, but use my left eye. It looks odd, but it works for me.

March 14, 2006, 03:13 PM
This seems to be more of a common thing than people think!

I'm in the same boat, due to an injury I suffered in a fight. I lost about 15% of the periphial vision in my right eye, so my dominance switched to my left. If you think it's hard to learn to shoot right handed/left eyed, try learning right handed/right eyed then having your eye dominance change!

March 14, 2006, 03:55 PM
I shot in Hunter's Pistol matches for 2 years and combat pistol matches for 4 years. One of many has the same advice that I will give: if he has normal vision in his right eye, have him squint his left eye.
By squinting he will still be able to see with both eyes so that his depth preception won't be effected. Just start squinting the left eye until the right eye becomes dominant. It doesn't take much and you can still see quite a lot from the left eye.

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