Eye dominance problem?


March 2, 2010, 05:18 AM
This sucks! I took my .357 4" GP-100 to the range today and couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. My BEST group at 15 yards was 6inches, when in the past I'm in the 2" range (50 rounds fired). On my last cylinder I realized I was using my left eye to aim, well I've never done that before.

I did a little test in the parking lot... Looking through both eyes I held up my thumb so it covered a streetlamp across the street. When I closed my right eye (left eye open) the lamp was still covered, right eye open (left closed) I could see the lamp.

1) Am I correct in assuming I developed an eye dominance problem?
2) How did I develope the problem and how do I fix it? short of :banghead:
3)If I can't get over this will it affect accuracy with a scope (deer season), obviously it does with open sights?

I do wear glasses for astigmatism and have a current prescription, also am a right handed shooter.


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March 2, 2010, 08:05 AM
1) Based on your description of your test, yes it appears that you have a cross-dominance problem. Another way of testing that I like is to make a small "hole" between your two thumbs and index fingers held at arms length. Then place a distant object in the hole with both eyes open and, keeping them open, slowly move your hands to your face keeping the object centered in the hole. Your hands will move to your dominant eye.

2) No clue. I've never heard of someone having a change in dominant eye, though I'm sure it happens and we'll get some posts testifying to it.

3) With a rifle, scoped or open sighted, you can always close your left eye and shoot from your right shoulder as usual. Your problem will come with shotgunning, where you really should shoot with both eyes open.

March 2, 2010, 08:30 AM
Yeah the hole moved to my left eye. I've been shooting shotguns, handguns, and scoped/open-sight rifles since I was about 7 years old, including military service. Always with both eyes open no matter the weapon. It's just really weird.

For gits and shiggles I got out my old pellet gun (open sights) and put it to both shoulders with both eyes open. Saw the sights just fine on the left shoulder/eye and double vision with the right shoulder/eye.

I'm currently laid off so no health insurance. But I just got my tax return so I'm thinking about making an appointment with my eye doctor. I know that this isn't the end of the world but being a person that hunts about 6 months out of the year for coyotes, elk, deer, and birds it's REALLY aggrivating.

All the articles I've been able to find involve training young or new shooters. They all say to teach them to shoot from the dominant eye side. Being as I've been shooting for about 23 years I'm not sure if I can afford the ammo to re train my muscles, lol.

*edit* I last went to the range at the end of november and didn't have the problem, not sure if it matters.

March 2, 2010, 08:41 AM
Shooting with both eyes open will cause many folks to see two different images of the sights, one straight on and one looking down the side of the bbl. The brain will always try to resolve the two images into one. You can learn to teach your brain to accept two seperate images and concentrate on the one in line with the sights. Brian Enos talks about this in his book "Practical Shooting". What you end up with is a sight picture where the front sight looks semi-transparent, by that I mean you see the front sight clearly and you also see the bullseye "through" the sight. I'm sure this sounds completely insane to most folks but it does work. I learned to do this years ago and have taught students and others to do it. Practice with your finger while looking at some small point until you see the two images merge. Don't give yourself a headache by forcing it, just let it happen. I have a number of friends who are cross dominant and this technique helped them. If your current technique works well for you there's no need to change. Another older technique is to block off the non dominant eye by covering the lens of your glasses with some tape. Enos tried this method with Scotch tape so the non dom. eye's image remains slightly out of focus but the eye still recieves light to prevent squinting and affecting the dom. eye. Squinting one eye closed places a lot of strain on both eyes. It's better to block it off and leave it open. The main thing to remember is to relax. If you're straining you'll just get headaches and that doesn't help.

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