Changing the dominant eye?


December 16, 2007, 02:28 PM
I'm a lefty and I've grown weary of the limited selection of left handed bolt action rifles and have decided to buy an eye cup and retrain my right eye to be dominant. If you have any first hand experience with this please let me know what I can expect.

Thanks in advance.

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December 16, 2007, 04:06 PM
I'm right-handed with a very dominant left eye. A few years ago I spent about three range sessions learning to pull the trigger with my left hand and never looked back. (I still shoot handguns right-handed--with my head cocked. That's actually what gave me the idea to switch.)

Everyone doesn't have a clearly dominant eye, but for me it was a problem. I always say it's way easy to re-train your hands, but impossible to re-wire your eyes.

It is a major pain finding guns though. Death to the makers of cross-bolt safeties!!

December 16, 2007, 04:28 PM
It's my opinion that unless you shoot a handgun with both eyes open, it really makes no difference which is your dominant eye. I'm left-handed, but my grandfather who taught me to shoot, and my USMC drill Instructor, who refined my shooting skills, were "strongly supportive" of my learning to shoot right-handed. :rolleyes: .... so I did. :D I've been shooting right-handed since 1955..... no sweat.

It's not difficult to learn, it just takes consistency and a bit more work at home.

Once you get away from the autonomic nervous system, you have to train the rest of your muscles to do what you want them to anyway. Develop some new muscle memory, and you'll be good to go.

December 16, 2007, 04:45 PM
I think that it only affects shooting with handguns because I am right handed left eyed and my poi doesn't change because I shoot with my right.

December 16, 2007, 04:55 PM
being a lefty and having spent my youth wearing eye patches due to a cross dominance problem , i would say for a handgun it makes little difference whcih hand you shoot with ! For the bolt action rifle thing ?! i dont think training yourself will be as productive as just buying a lefthanded boltaction !the headaches and trouble reading and the shots you miss when your dominant eye changes in the middle of swinging on a moving target , are not worth the trouble you can cause yourself ! The only time it would make any difference would ne in a hunting rifle ! on the bench it is easier to shoot a bolt gun lefty than righty !So what do you need that you cant get in a lefty version ? Kevin

December 16, 2007, 05:35 PM
Whichever eye is dominate is hard-wired in your brain.
You can't change your dominate eye, so don't waste your time trying to do it.

You can learn to shoot right-handed with your left eye closed, but that's as close as it is going to get.

oklahoma caveman
December 16, 2007, 07:07 PM
im right handed left eye dominant. i learned to shoot lefty when i was about 10. i shoot better left handed. iv never owned a lefthanded gun. i can shoot right handed bolt actions faster and easier than the right handed shooters i know. the only problem i have run into is the crossbolt safety. but with practice even that can be overcome.

as far as pistols i still shoot them righthanded and i havent noticed any accuracy problems.

December 16, 2007, 08:14 PM
Shotguns and practical handguns really need to be shot with both eyes open. Some rifle skills are better with both eyes open. If you are strongly cross-dominant, as I am, without training and some good fortune you're going to be seeing the side of the barrel rather than the sights and target.

To the OP: I don't believe it's possible to change the dominant eye unless you're basically ~50/50. You can, however, train the brain and eye to use the other eye. I can do/have done it but it is a condition that decays very, very rapidly, in my experience.

December 16, 2007, 08:33 PM
I have a question about how this affects my shooting. As I said earlier I shoot right handed but I am very left eye dominant. When shooting I usually shoot with my left eye closed and I never have misses because my aim was off. Why then is this a big deal or am I missing something. P.S. I also shoot handguns and shotguns one eyed too because I can never focus on the sights with both eyes open no matter which one I use.

December 16, 2007, 09:11 PM
I'm sure you can shoot very well with your dominant eye closed. It's just that it's so much easier with the dominant eye over the barrel. Easier and faster. Just get a brick of 22s and some clay pigeons and try it left-handed, standing, both eyes open for an afternoon. Then repeat. You will be converted in three sessions.

December 16, 2007, 09:31 PM
For left-dominant, right handed shooters, an old shotgunner's trick is to put a piece of masking tape on the left lens of your shooting glasses.

The bit of tape is located to block the view your left eye has of the rifle or shotgun sight.

Shoulder the rifle and put your left index finger between your left eye and the front sight. Now draw the finger back so it touches the lens, keeping the front sight blocked the whole time. Cut out a small piece of masking tape and apply it over your finger print.

When I use the tape it's easy to keep both eyes open while shooting. I've been using it to break the habit of squinting during extended range sessions.

December 16, 2007, 09:44 PM
Whichever eye is dominate is hard-wired in your brain.
You can't change your dominate eye, so don't waste your time trying to do it.

Actually there are three things that can cause your dominant eye to change.
1) Age, 2) Eye Injury and 3) Alcoholism.

December 16, 2007, 10:24 PM
Actually there are three things that can cause your dominant eye to change.
1) Age, 2) Eye Injury and 3) Alcoholism.

So what you're saying is that if we need to change our dominate eye we should drink a lot more? :neener:

December 16, 2007, 10:43 PM
I was left-eyed,right-handed. When I needed bifocals I started wearing a lens for far vision in my right eye & 1 for near vision in my left. I'm now right-eye,at least with my contacts in.

Harley Quinn
December 17, 2007, 03:42 PM
If you shoot with your head turned slightly to the right your left eye will become the dominant one, because your nose blocks the vision of the right eye.
You can do that tech for shooting, running from left to right. It is natural for the shooter with 2 eyes and really makes sense try it.
Right eye will be the eye looking where you are going and your left eye will be your shooting eye. If you are going the other way shoot with your left and and use your right eye for shooting and your left eye to see where you are going.

December 17, 2007, 05:02 PM
I don't think you have to retrain your eye to be dominant. You just have to train your eyes to shoot.

I am right handed, but left-eyed. However, for shotgunning, shooting off my left shoulder was not an option. I tried it, and my body wouldn't move that way. A lot of rifle shooters get away with awkwardly holding the rifle and adjusting with their arms; that's not an option for clay shooting. It's a whole-body activity.

What I did was take a decent .22 target pistol with big target sights that didn't cause eyestrain, and shoot brick after brick, purposely using my right eye. I closed my left, I left it open. I played with my eyes and focus. Finally, it worked. Now I can control which eye I use, without much trouble.

I can't say if this works for others, but it worked for me.

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