August 11, 2009, 07:47 AM
I've been trying to help my wife learn to shoot for a year, maybe more ... I'm not sure what is up w/ her but when she aims at the target that is 10 feet away she misses by as much as 2 feet to the left ... I look over her shoulder and though she says the sights look to be lined up on the target she is aiming seriously to the left ... if it was point shooting I could understand, but this is her actually feeling that she has the sights lined up and the bullet generally hits where she aims ... she has great eyesight, could it be an eye dominance problem ? Have any of y'all had to deal with this ... a lot of times I can take her to the range and at 10 feet or more she can shoot all afternoon w/o hitting the target .... :what:

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Pistol Toter
August 11, 2009, 08:10 AM
Unless it is a grip problem, I too would suspect an eye dominance problem. Have her, with both eyes open stick up one finger and as if using it as a sight line it up on some distant point across the room, say a light switch. Now with out moving the hand / finger or her head cover each eye, seperately. Which ever eye, the finger stays lined up on the distant point is the dominant eye. I was orginally left handed, however my parents, when I was small child forced me to use my right hand. This world is a right hand world, if you don't believe me just look as how many things like sizzors and switches on electrical appliance, even the car is made to accomadate the right handed. As it turns out, most peoples eye domance is directly related to which hand they use or in my case which hand they are suppose to use. I write, right handed but it amazing how well I can shoot, and some other things, left handed. Her problem can be over come (if she is left eye domant) but she will have to learn / train to to let the dominat eye govern her sighting of a gun which is what I have done, or shoot left handed, which maybe easier.

August 11, 2009, 08:13 AM
A quick way of doing the above is to just stand 5 or 6 feet in front of her, and tell her to cover your nose with her held-up thumb; the eye she covers will be her dominant eye.

August 11, 2009, 10:10 AM
Is she closing one eye, or keeping both eyes open?

The answer may be as simple as having her close one eye.

Both eyes open is better, of course.....but some people just can't do it and you certainly can't do it shooting right-handed with a left master eye.

August 11, 2009, 10:18 PM
She has been closing her left eye and sighting w/ her right ... she is right handed ...


August 11, 2009, 10:47 PM
If it's not an eye dominance problem, the next most likely explanation is that she's simply jerking the hell out of the trigger, anticipating the recoil. The simplest way to check for this is, the next time you go to the range, load a pistol for her, but leave the chamber empty, and make sure she doesn't KNOW it's empty. If she's got a typical flinch, when she squeezes the trigger on an empty chamber, it'll look like she's flagging cars at the Indy 500. Jerking the trigger tends to be particularly noticeable among shooters new to double-action and Glock triggers.

August 11, 2009, 10:55 PM
...some people just can't do it and you certainly can't do it shooting right-handed with a left master eye.

Yes you can. In the last year I learned you can shoot right-handed/left-eyed/both open by pivoting your head a few degrees to the right until your left eye is over the sights.

It's much easier than it sounds.

August 11, 2009, 11:36 PM
She says the sights are lined up on the target but when I look over her shoulder she is aiming about 20 degrees off to the left

To the point where from 10' from the target the bullet would hit about 2 feet left of the bullseye even w/o jerking the trigger or anticipating recoil ... :what:

August 12, 2009, 06:16 AM
you certainly can't do it shooting right-handed with a left master eye.

That makes two of us. I am a right hand, left eye shooter. Have your wife try it.

Bailey Boat
August 12, 2009, 07:02 AM
If you have both eyes open the gun will automatically center under the master eye in close range situations. In precision shooting closing the non dominate eye may be the thing to do.....

I have a left dominate eye but shoot a handgun at close ranges (<15 yards) with both eyes open and from either hand equally well. Try having her focus on the target more than the sights......

August 12, 2009, 09:46 AM
If she's shooting 2 feet left @ 10 feet it is not an eye dominance problem. The proof is in the fact that she is closing one eye to shoot. Show her what the sight alignment should look like with photos or drawings. It sounds like she has lined up 3 dots with the front dot outside the rear sight. Have her focus on the sights and let the target blur behind them, and until she starts hitting with one eye closed, don't push the issue of shooting with both eyes.

August 12, 2009, 10:04 AM
If you have spent a year working at this have a friend work with her and step away. Sometimes it easier and quicker to let someone else work at the problem and can get to the "fix" better than a spouse. Did that with my wife and motorcycles with a rideing buddy. I have done this same thing with shooting several times for other buddies. It does sound like eye dominance problem.

August 14, 2009, 06:40 PM
Thank you all for the input ... :)

The Lone Haranguer
August 14, 2009, 08:37 PM
Here is a way to check to see which eye is dominant. Hold up an oblong object (finger, pencil, etc.) about 18 inches in front of your face, between your eyes, with some reference point behind the object (use your imagination), and look directly at the object with both eyes open. With the other hand alternately cover each eye. You will find that with one eye the object will appear to remain stationary, while with the other it will appear to shift position. The one that does not cause this positional change is the dominant.

August 16, 2009, 01:27 PM
I'd also suggest making up some cardboard "sights" to show her how she should be aligning the sights. If you can stand behind her and clearly see the angle and if she's genuinely closing one eye then it's apparent that she doesn't understand how to align the sights correctly.

If she SAYS she's closing one eye (how can you confirm this without standing in front of her while she's shooting after all) but is really only squinting and can still see then it sounds like she's focusing on the wrong sight and because of that she's seeing the usual double images of stuff outside of the focus plane and picking the wrong image to work with. That's far tougher to explain to her and correct since you can't "point at" which of the double images that she should be working with without connecting a laptop to her eyeballs... :D Perhaps put a patch over one side of her shooting glasses so she really CAN only see one image and see if this corrects the issue. Try it first with the patch over the left eye then the right. It may well be that she has a strongly dominant eye issue that a patch will point out.

On the other hand if the gun appears to only angle to the left when she actually shoots then I'm guessing it's a severe side flinch issue due to grip issues from small hands on a big frame gun or too little or too much finger on the trigger. Generally for something like a grip hold issue if you've tried and failed to correct it then it's time to step back from the issue and have someone else try to help her.

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