Any of you truly ambidextrous?


Owen Sparks
October 15, 2007, 01:40 PM
Are any of you truly ambidextrous? Supposedly this condition is very rare. I Know several right handed shooters who are cross eye dominant and have to shoot off the left shoulder but they are by no meas ambidextrous. I have learned to shoot left shouldered after great difficulty, but I still have to close my right eye. I can shoot right handed with both eyes open with no problem, but when I shoot left handed I just can't make my brain default to my right eye. Maybe practice with an eye patch might help? It would be great to be able to swap from shoulder to shoulder and eye to eye but evidently my left side is a little retarded. Can this eventually be overcome through practice?

Just curious, OS

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October 15, 2007, 01:48 PM
I'm left eye dominate but the only thing that I can do left-handed is shoot a bow. I do that 'cause when I was 10 I bought a long bow with arrow rests on both sides so I just started shooting the way it felt the most comfortable. It was 8-10 years later when I went to but my 1st recurve that I noticed that the arrow rest was on the wrong side for me. The archery store owner informed me that it's the hand that you draw with that determines which handedness you are. I thought that it was the hand that you held the bow with that determined it.

October 15, 2007, 01:58 PM
Technically, to be ambidexterious means to "have two right hands". Most people who share crossed dominance have a condition referred to as "mixed bilateral dominance". These people:

1. Tend to write lefty back-handed.

2. Print a lot.

3. Are althletically "challenged"

4. Exhibit slightly higher than average IQ's.

5. Share practical and "artistic" traits.

6. Have mixed eye dominance.

7. Demonstrate a higher rate of depression.

They are not really right handed or left handed.

October 15, 2007, 01:59 PM
I am basically left-handed but it is more complicated than that. There are some things I do with my right hand that I couldn't do with my left hand if my life depended on it. I'm a natural left-handed shooter but I trained myself to shoot right handed because of a cross-dominance problem with shotguns. I decided to include handguns along with my right-handed shotgun drills. I can shoot nearly as well with my right hand as with my left. I don't think I will ever get over how weird it feels.

Grandpa Shooter
October 15, 2007, 02:03 PM
Interesting question. I was born left handed but forced to switch to right handed because my mother didn't want me handicapped in a right handed world. As a result, I can throw, catch, write, use tools and shoot with both hands. I am slower wtith the left, but just as accurate. I used to think everyone could do that but chose not to. Obviously I was wrong.

I don't even think about which hand to use anymore, I just use the one that's convenient for the circumstances. Didn't seem right to me when I was young, but now it seems to be a blessing in disguise.

October 15, 2007, 02:07 PM
Well if the current genetic theories are true, less than 18% of people even have a chance of being ambidextrous.

(I'm a lefty so I pay attention to this stuff)

It's theorized that there is a "right-handed gene" which is held by roughly 82% of the population. Thus, the remaining 18% is randomly divided between left or right handers. Only these, it is theorized, actually have the chance of becoming ambidextrous.

I find this particularly interesting because it would explain why I am so strange- I write left handed, I throw right handed (though I am learning to use my left), I shoot with right hand dominant, but I can switch much easier than most others. Most annoying, my eyes switch dominance which I need to learn to control. Soooo... I'm not exactly ambidextrous, but I'm not just left handed either...

Edit: Citation for the theory:

October 15, 2007, 02:42 PM
Don't ask don't tell....

Oh wait thats not what that means...

Actualy I am cross eye dominant and when young the natural thing for me to do was put the shotgun to my left shoulder, that nonsense idea was quickly smacked out of me and I learned to shoot from the correct side.

October 15, 2007, 02:48 PM
Technically, to be ambidexterious means to "have two right hands". Most people who share crossed dominance have a condition referred to as "mixed bilateral dominance". These people:

1. Tend to write lefty back-handed.

2. Print a lot.

3. Are althletically "challenged"

4. Exhibit slightly higher than average IQ's.

5. Share practical and "artistic" traits.

6. Have mixed eye dominance.

7. Demonstrate a higher rate of depression.

They are not really right handed or left handed

I believe those are mostly myths. I do not write "backhanded." I rarely print. I am not athletically challenged (nor are those left-handed hitters, pitchers, boxers, quarterbacks, etc...) and I am not contributing to that higher rate of depression.

The Annoyed Man
October 15, 2007, 02:56 PM
I'm left handed, and left eye dominant. I write, shoot, kick a ball, and play guitar left handed. I swing a bat or a golf club right handed. I CAN shoot right handed if I have to, but not nearly as well. It's been years since I swung a bat left handed, but I used to get called to do it once in a while when I was a kid.

October 15, 2007, 03:43 PM
I'm right handed, left eye dominant but still regularly fire right handed. I do of course train with my off hand and left handed shooting positions.

My father-in-law is left handed but can shoot just as well with either hand, although now he is starting to get a nice collection of left handed rifles so it really doesn't matter much.

Sharps Shooter
October 15, 2007, 03:44 PM
True ambidexterity is not the great ability many people seem to think it is. We have a daughter who is a rare, truly ambidextrous person. She was diagnosed about 10 years ago. Hokkmike hit the nail right on the head - our daughter, who's 29 now, exhibits every one of those 7 characteristics Hokkmike listed, plus a few more.
We were always kind of proud of the fact that, among other abilities, as our daughter was growing up and doing her homework at the kitchen table, when whichever hand she was writing with got tired, she simply switched her pencil to the other hand and kept going. We joked about her not knowing her right from her left. But the jokes ended when we found out she couldn't tell time except on a digital clock and she was nearly 20 years old. "Clockwise" simply doesn't mean a thing to our daughter. To her, it makes just as much sense that the hands on a clock turn to the left as to the right. Oh yeah, she could read a clock if it was on the hour, or even the half hour and the clock had real numbers on its face, but if was 10 minutes after, or 10 minutes before the hour, forget it, because our daughter didn't know which way the hands on the clock were moving. Through will power she still tries to overcome that little disability - she refuses to wear a digital watch. But if you ask her the time, even today, it takes her a few seconds to respond because she has to observe which way the second hand on her watch is moving.
Oh, and tightening a screw or a nut, taking the lid off a jar, closing a valve and all of the other little things that most people do everyday without thinking, present challanges to the truly ambidextous person. Great ability indeed!
I'll tell you all another thing too - You never want to get directions from a truly ambidextrous person unless you understand the way they think. After our daughter graduated from college (with high honors I might add) she spent a couple of summers working summer theater up in Big Fork, Montana. When we went up to visit her once, I asked for directions to her place. She told me to go to the "big bear statue in the middle of town and turn." Then she said "go to the school and turn again. My place will be up the hill at the end of the road." I knew better than to ask which direction to "turn." She just didn't know. So when we got to Big Fork, we figured it out - if we'd have turned left at the "bear statue" we'd have gone into the lake. And we had to turn left at the school to go "up the hill."
Our daughter has a great attitude about her disability though. A few years ago my wife sent her one of those stupid "find your soulmate" surveys out of a women's magazine and one of the questions was; "Which hand do you use when you're brushing your hair?' Our daughter responded with; "I don't know, but I can brush my teeth or put on my makeup at the same time!"
Just to keep this gun related - we taught our daughter to shoot right handed because most guns are built for right handed people. Besides, my wife and I are both right handed so we didn't have any left handed guns to teach with.

Red Dragon
October 15, 2007, 03:51 PM
I am ambidextrous. I used to bat both left handed and right handed in little league, I learned to fence with either hand, I throw left-handed but usually write with my right hand, I can shoot equally as well (or equally as bad) with either hand.

And apparently I, at least according to my eye doctor, also have co-dominant eyes, which apparently is supposed to be very good for hand-eye coordination type activities.

On a side note, when I write with my left hand, if I am not paying attention, I actually write backwards. I think its some sort of "start in the middle and write away from the body" type of thing.

I wouldn't say I am althletically "challenged" other than an unfortunate disability I have to deal with.

Is the whole "print a lot" thing referring to writing style? Because when I write I pretty much exclusively print.

October 15, 2007, 03:55 PM
I am. I can do many thing equally well both right handed and left handed. Some thing I do better right handed and some better left handed. The world is made for right handed people. Most guns have the bolt or eject the bullet to the right and if your left handed it ends up hitting you in the face. On the bolt action rifle you can't cock the bolt without reaching over the top, very hard and time consuming. I can shoot well with a rifle and handgun equally well either hand but reloading a bolt action is hard. Shotgun same as hand gun the only problem is the shells flying near you face, same as handgun.

I can throw a ball better right handed but kick a ball farther with my left foot.I can hit a ball equally well either way.I write right handed but eat left handed. Writing from left to right is made for right handed people. Your left hand gets in the way when writing left handed. I can also read pages upside down as fast as rightside up.
As a mechanic, my job either hand is equally capable and all jobs if one gets tired the other fills in with no loss of speed.
Oh and I'm Bipolar.

October 15, 2007, 04:03 PM
Not really ambi. That would be Sharps Shooter's daughter.

I do a ton of things exclusively lefty, and a different ton of things exclusively righty. But never the twain shall meet.

I can do somethings better with my other hand than another person could with their other hand, but still not really that well, and probably mostly a biproduct of doing things a little off-kilter anyways.

October 15, 2007, 04:06 PM
I'm right handed but cross-eye dominant. When I shoot rifles or silhouette pistol I use my left hand because otherwise I simply can't see what I'm aiming at. When I shoot my regular pistols (freehand target and my 1911) I use my right hand.

October 15, 2007, 04:16 PM
Not really, but I can shoot almost equally with a handgun with
either hand. Right hand and right eye dominate:)

The Annoyed Man
October 15, 2007, 04:17 PM
Oh and I'm Bipolar.A long time friend of mine who was bipolar hanged himself last week. He was also my employer, so I'm prolly going to be out of work soon. If you really are bipolar, take good care of yourself. If you're not, Ha ha, joke's on me. I guess.

October 15, 2007, 05:02 PM
My dad was a true ambi -- he could throw a football a bit farther lefty but was a bit more accurate righty, was devestating running the option. Too bad this was back when pro football wasn't a respectable occupation. He did hold a pen "funny" and mostly printed instead of writing. Depression was not in his vocabulary.

When I was young, after I broke my right arm I discovered I'm ambi enough to get by, bank returned my checks un-paid when I signed them lefty so I had to do new signature cards -- now days they never look at your signature. I learned this after my check re-order was stolen from my mail box. -- Your blank checks are good as cash to an illeagal willing to cash all they can and then run back to Mexico. My checks came back with thumb prints of the perp that the check cashing places require, the cops didn't care, less than $50000 fraud losses won't cause them to do anything but take your report! Only happy ending is the Bank refunded all my money since the signatures clearly were not mine. Postal Inspector Scott who I contacted since it was mail theft, I don't think could find water if he fell out of a boat!

I try to do at least 10-25% of my shooting lefty and set my guns up for ambi operation whenever practical. It freaks people out when I sit next to a lefty an a banquet and switch to eating lefty :)


October 15, 2007, 05:06 PM
I can write legibly with both hands and shoot a gun both hands. But I do not practice I go to the dominate right side.

October 15, 2007, 05:27 PM
2. Print a lot.

I'm right-handed, wear my watch on the left, do everything right-handed, ect. I'm not special at all. But, I can ONLY print. Writing cursive is pretty much futile. Just can't do it. Buuut... I think this comes from those years of drafting school I had before CAD was standard. They rewired me I thinks.


October 15, 2007, 05:32 PM
I'm basically right handed but I can shoot lefty with a pistol with fairly decent results. Not to the level of my right handed shooting, but well enough to defend myself to 25 yds if necessary.

Rifle shooting lefty is a little harder for me but I can pull it off in a pinch (like when that deer sneaks up just over your right shoulder instead of on the trail facing your left like you expected him to).

As far as other things other than shooting go. I can bat from either side in baseball, but I don't have as much power from the left. I can't throw a ball left handed for crap (I've been told I throw like a girl left handed, and it's true). The wierdest thing is that I play pool strictly left handed. Can't shoot pool right handed to save my life, but I'm pretty good as a lefty.

When I competed in martial arts I could switch up to southpaw pretty well too.

October 15, 2007, 05:37 PM
The depression bothers for me . the mania bothers everyone else. Luckily I haven't tried suiside since I was in my early twentys. Tried a few times but wasn't very good at it.
Come to realize I wasn't the problem it's the rest of the world that's messed up in the head. Just watch the news or listen to a politician. They seem incapable of independent thought.:cuss:

October 15, 2007, 05:38 PM
Are any of you truly ambidextrous?

Not "really"-- but more than most.

I write left-handed only. I eat left-handed only.

Other things I can do either fairly well.

Shooting is where I am "truly" ambidextrous.

It literally feels exactly the same for me to shoot left or right handed-- handguns and long guns both.

As I was thinking about this on a recent thread, I realized that although I shoot right-handed if I have the choice, I have killed more deer left-handed due to circumstances. So go figure.... LOL

-- John

October 15, 2007, 05:43 PM
Yeah, pretty much, but I do prefer right-handed for writing. Especially with firearms, I prefer switching off. It keeps me from getting too sore, and it's great practical experience.

I was born left-handed and the school switched me to right-handed in 1st grade. I should say it took them that long. :) I recall telling the kindergarten teach precisely what I thought of her forcing me to switch. Earned me a trip to the super's office and a date with the paddle. ;)

Then, they sent me to the office for writing my 2nd grade homework in cursive...teacher told me I couldn't. When I asked why, the teacher said, "Because you don't know how." WTH?! I smiled and asked, "Then how did I do this?" :D Sent to the danged office again!

I had lots of motivation to become a MS/HS principal.


October 15, 2007, 08:13 PM
1. Tend to write lefty back-handed.

2. Print a lot.

3. Are althletically "challenged"

4. Exhibit slightly higher than average IQ's.

5. Share practical and "artistic" traits.

6. Have mixed eye dominance.

7. Demonstrate a higher rate of depression.

They are not really right handed or left handed.

I am ambidextrous alot of it by choice and some of it by necessity.
I write both handed only because I broke a wrist and was forced to write right handed. Now if I am on the phone I will use my non dominant hand instead of my left.
I used to bat left handed but golf right handed. Started playing guitar Lefty but switched to right.
Shoot either handed equally well. Mr. Mosin Nagant and 7mm Remington Mag was the necessity to switch over to right.
Been a mechanic all of my professional life and turn wrenches either hand just the same. Power tools just the same. Chainsaw either or. It's endless.

I exhibit all of the above symptoms.

Ala Dan
October 15, 2007, 08:22 PM
Yep, truly ambidextrous~! Born right handed, but learned at an early age to
use my left hand as good as I do my right hand; while playing first base in
little league baseball. So, I just kept on developing the use of my left hand,
eventually branching out into other possibilites; even writing~! :scrutiny::cool:;)

Too expand a bit further, training to use both hands ("ambi") has really paid off
in both handgun qualification, and during defensive tactics during my LEO status.

October 15, 2007, 08:31 PM
My dad can shoot with either hand just as proficient. It's been fun watching him shoot what he calls off hand and be just as comfortable with his 'on hand'. He was in a cast for quite a while when he was a kid and learned how to do everything lefty. His hand writing is EXACTLY the same with either hand. Bats with either hand, etc... even whooped my butt with either hand.

He doesn't shoot lefty nymore now that he has semi-autos - something about brass hitting him in the face that he doesn't really care for :D

Sheldon J
October 15, 2007, 08:39 PM
When I was a kid it was common for parents of left handed children to make them right handed to make it easer for them in society, This resulted in...

I ended up using both hands with basically equal dexterity.
I write right handed, but can do so much more legibly left handed.
I eat, and drink left handed most of the time.
Shoot equally well with either hand although my right is stronger.
Play tennis with either hand which is great because my backhand is horrid.
Is a great aid when working in tight places because either hand will do when fixing things.
Right eye dominant due to cross eye issues, they switch at will (one eye straight other one looking in) which drives the optomologist nuts.

October 15, 2007, 09:18 PM
I reckon I'm somewhat ambi. I can do almost everything from either side, I'm a little slower on my right. I prefer using my left hand for everyday tasks, such as writing, but for precision it's pretty much my right.

I prefer to shoot from a left-handed stance, but can quickly change over to a right handed stance. I'm not one-eye dominant and usually shoot with both eyes open, unless shooting with a scope.

Does anyone else shoot with both eyes open?


October 15, 2007, 09:24 PM
Neither of my eyes are dominant over each other. I still shoot righty and everything is fine.

October 15, 2007, 09:30 PM
I do not have a dominant eye, and can shoot practically equal right or left handed...both eyes open.

The only other thing I can do left handed...well...I only tried it because I heard it felt like someone else was doing it.:what:

October 15, 2007, 09:38 PM
Read Sharps Shooter's post (#11) above... That's me.

Recent "warm up" with my CZ-75B shot left hand/left eye only then right hand/right eye only (unsupported, bulls-eye style)

October 16, 2007, 01:53 AM
I shoot a rifle lefty mostly. However, when I need to shoot around a barricade and it's easier to shoot it righty I will. I don't see any differance between the two. I shoot a handgun lefty, but can shoot righty almost as well and will a little practice I could come up to speed with the right. I throw left and batt right. I play the drums right and bass (not very well) left. I can write right if I slow down a little. I do most of the things on the list above, although I'm not depressed. I have always had a hard time reading analog clocks/watches. I don't think I'm truly ambi, but I'm close.


October 16, 2007, 02:59 AM
Nope. For the most part, I'm a lefty, but I do many things right handed, particularly things that require strength and little dexterity.

I can also shoot pistols either hand, but I'm better with my left, though I'm right eye dominant. Figure that one out. Rifles I shoot better lefty, unless I have a good rest, then I can do fairly well with either side. Shotguns I'm better shooting left handed. I don't try to shoot cross dominant, I just close my right eye, or concentrate on "forcing" my left eye to become dominant.

I don't bother manipulating the bolt on bolt actions with my left hand. I just support the entirety of the guns weight with my left hand, throw the bolt with my right, move it back out to support the rifle, and keep shooting. If I do it so that my right hand never leaves the bolt, I can be extremely fast with it, but it degrades my accuracy.

October 16, 2007, 04:42 AM
Semi-ambi maybe-
In little league ('77) through now I bat from both sides, throw left, golf right, shoot mostly right, eat left, write (print) with either, working around the house/cars I use mostly right. I call myself right handed. Someone mentioned funny writing stuff-me to. I can write mirror image right and left handed, I wrote a paper in college backwards to piss my Eng comp prof off. I don't think any of that is because I'm semi-ambi, more to do with how whacked my brain is.

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