Right handed rifle, left eye dominant


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tackleberry45
December 2, 2012, 06:57 PM
I am right handed. I am left eye dominant. If you have this same setup and were buying a brand new rifle, would you just buy the whole thing as left handed including the action. So far it has not been that difficult to work the bolt righty and get back on it. Just wondering if anyone else has ponderd this or made the move to fully left handed action

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Sam1911
December 2, 2012, 07:05 PM
The lefty I shoot with most often tends to buy right-hand guns -- especially service-type weapons as he figures he might as well be comfortable and used to shooting the guns that are commonly seen, rather than having to rely on finding a special lefty action.

Many right-handed practical long-range shooters are going to left-hand actions on their bolt guns because it is easier to operate the action without disturbing the firing grip of the right hand.

So, I'd have to say shoot whatever is most comfortable to you as their are advantages to either way.

valnar
December 2, 2012, 07:07 PM
I am RH and LH eye dominant.

My collection is mostly military surplus, so I continued that RH trend with the few new bolt actions I bought. I do have to close my dominant eye, but I only care to be good enough for plinking or fun. I suppose if I competed at some high level, I'd "do it right" and buy left-handed rifles so I could shoot with my dominant eye. But since I do indeed shoot a Mauser or Mosin now and then, I'd prefer to keep it consistent.

I do, however, stink at shotgun.

Sam1911
December 2, 2012, 07:09 PM
valnar, the far better bet would be to simply shoot all long-guns from your dominant shoulder. There are very few guns that are actually difficult or dangerous to shoot from the left shoulder. Almost all "right-hand" guns can be shot lefty with almost no difficulty.

chad1043
December 2, 2012, 07:10 PM
My dad was left eye dominant. He used a right handed rifle. I have no idea how he did it, but he made it work.

Sam1911
December 2, 2012, 07:11 PM
My dad was left eye dominant. He used a right handed rifle. I have no idea how he did it, but he made it work.Really? It isn't hard at all! Don't you practice shooting swap-shoulder at least sometimes? It's a good skill to have.

LeonCarr
December 2, 2012, 08:28 PM
Shooting with both eyes open can minimize the eye dominance effect. I am right handed and left eyed and have shot right handed my entire life with rifles, handguns, and shotguns and I hit what I aim at most of the time :).

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

dc.fireman
December 2, 2012, 08:33 PM
Really? It isn't hard at all! Don't you practice shooting swap-shoulder at least sometimes? It's a good skill to have.
I will from now on!

I suppose it just never occurred to me before...

MachIVshooter
December 2, 2012, 08:40 PM
Many right-handed practical long-range shooters are going to left-hand actions on their bolt guns because it is easier to operate the action without disturbing the firing grip of the right hand.

Yup. I prefer a southpaw action for bench work. Using your off-hand to load rounds and cycle the bolt means you don't have to rebuild your position and relocate your firing hand for each shot. Much more efficient.

For field use, however, your off hand needs to support the rifle while your shooting hand manipulates the action. So outside of shooting from mechanically supported positions, a rifle configured for your dominant hand is optimal.

As for cross eye dominance, you need to decide if it's easier to train your weak eye or your weak hand. I personally find transistioning eyes to be easier (I'm naturally right-right, but do practice right-left, left-right and left-left)

lefteyedom
December 2, 2012, 08:52 PM
I am RH LED,
I prefer left hand bolt action rifles but can shoot right rifles off my left shoulder.

The only real problem for me using right had rifles is if the stock has an high cheek rise on the stock that prevent a good cheek weld.

Pvt Jackson in Saving Private Ryan gave an excellent display of shooting a 03 Springfield off of the left shoulder.

dvdcrr
December 2, 2012, 08:56 PM
I am southpaw and right eyed. I just shoot fully right handed to match my eye.

Mike J
December 2, 2012, 09:02 PM
I am like valnar. I am right handed, left eyed. Shoot long guns right handed right eyed. I also have a hard time with clays but can do just fine for my purposes with a rifle.

I never worried about practicing shooting a rifle left handed until a couple of years ago. I was deer hunting & the direction the deer came from I had to either stand up & move or shoot left handed. I opted to shoot left handed & got the buck. Since then I make it a point to practice firing that way some before season starts.

MCgunner
December 2, 2012, 09:04 PM
I'm right handed, left eye dominant, learned to shoot lefty about 8 years old when I realized my conundrum. I have always used right hand guns. Be weird for me to work a bolt left handed. Kinda like Jimmy Hendrix learning to play a right hand guitar lefty, ya just get used to it, then there's no other way. What I don't like is crossbolt safeties. I need to get a lefty safety for my 10/22. They are available, just haven't done it.


For field use, however, your off hand needs to support the rifle while your shooting hand manipulates the action.

I just raise the gun a little and support the gun with my trigger hand while I work the bolt. Have learned to be pretty fast at this.

Txhillbilly
December 2, 2012, 09:12 PM
I'm the same-RH/LED,and have always shot rifles left handed.Although,I do shoot right handed often,and can shoot almost as well.
Pistols,I have always shot with either hand but shoot better with my LH.

I mainly buy LH rifles,but have plenty of RH models also.Unless your trying to shoot a rifle with a raised RH cheek rest,shooting RH rifles is the same as a LH,only the bolt is on the wrong side of the action.
But with practice,you can operate a RH bolt almost as fast as a LH bolt.

gp911
December 2, 2012, 10:21 PM
As a child I instinctively shot long guns left-handed until I realized my "mistake" and gave in to what I thought was the "right way". Now I just take an extra second to slowly blink my left eye for shotgun to switch my brain over or with rifles just snap my left eye shut.

JFtheGR8
December 2, 2012, 10:57 PM
I too am cross dominant. I squint my left eye just enough for my right eye to take over. This allows me to retain some peripheral vision on the left. It has worked for me for over thirty years of shooting. I sight with my left eye for handguns and my right eye for long guns. I just never felt comfortable shooting lefty. You could always try patching your left eye until your brain is retrained, which may be never.


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bushmaster1313
December 2, 2012, 11:15 PM
Many right-handed practical long-range shooters are going to left-hand actions on their bolt guns because it is easier to operate the action without disturbing the firing grip of the right hand.

I shoot from my left shoulder and operate the right hand bolt with my right hand, being careful not to cut my left hand between thumb and forefinger.

Why would anyone want to take their shooting hand off the gun to cycle the action?

cfullgraf
December 2, 2012, 11:21 PM
You could always try patching your left eye until your brain is retrained, which may be never.


I have to patch my left eye to shoot skeet, I use a small piece of frosted tape (Scotch Magic tape) to obscure the vision in my left eye when i am sighting down the barrel. I still have peripheral vision when picking up the targets as they leave the houses.

I have tried this with rifle and handgun and it helps me, but I have to move the tape for different shooting positions or use a large piece of tape, so I tend to not bother.

Sheepdog1968
December 3, 2012, 01:15 AM
I was shooting right handed for 20 years before i had heard of eye dominance. Found out I was left eye dominate. I can shoot fine with either eye when I momentarily close one. In some respects per Internet days were better as there was less stuff to concern yourself with when learning to shoot.

Sam1911
December 3, 2012, 06:02 AM
In some respects per Internet days were better as there was less stuff to concern yourself with when learning to shoot.Or, it was better back before folks could share information about how to shoot better than they might have been able to figure out on their own after even half a lifetime of trial-and-error. I don't get the "ignorance is bliss" philosophy of shooting skill, but hear it a lot.

Even if you're "too old to learn new tricks" (or believe that, anyway) at least you can learn how not to saddle your kids and other youngsters you teach with the same handicaps you were stuck with.

jmr40
December 3, 2012, 07:41 AM
My brother has the same problem. Over the years he has tried several rifles. Lever actions and pumps would seem to make more sense than bolt rifles but he just likes a bolt rifle better. He even bought a left handed bolt rifle once, but by that time was so used to a right handed gun that he quickly sold it. He has been using a right handed bolt gun from the left side for years and does not feel handicapped by it at all.

You do have to pay attenion to stock design. The high monte carlo stocks don't work well and a tang safety is easier for him. He uses an older tang safety Ruger now.

hentown
December 3, 2012, 08:03 AM
I only shoot my rifles when using optics of some kind. Eye dominance is irrelevant, when using optics.

W L Johnson
December 3, 2012, 08:31 AM
Left handed
Left eyed
Shoot right handed.

You can trained yourself to do it. In fact I've been doing it for so long it feels weird shooting left handed.


write - left
eye - left
shoot - right
fork - left, knife - right (makes eating with a knife & fork so much smoother)
bowling - right (haven't figure that one out yet)
throw - both
bat - left
scissors - right (most scissors only work right handed)

BSA1
December 3, 2012, 08:47 AM
Another RH and LH eye dominant.

I shoot all of my firearms RH.

For handgun I use my left eye.

For long guns I use my right eye. I don't have any problems shooting long guns with right eye which I suspect may be due to the longer distance of the iron sights. Scopes are easily focused to my vision. I'll let you be the judge with this recent target shot with iron sights;

http://i1251.photobucket.com/albums/hh560/Seldomseen3/Uberti73Target080_zps5d0cb45d.jpg

MCgunner
December 3, 2012, 09:49 AM
There is left eye dominant and then there's right eye, for all intents, blind, which is me. I'm about 20-70 corrected right eye. Everything is fuzzy. I'm 20-15 corrected left eye. I cannot just close the left eye and shoot right eye. So, at age 8, realizing this, I sat down with my Benjamin and began to practice lefty. Before long, I was hitting stuff I didn't even see right handed. :D My Grandpa didn't realize the severity of the problem when he began teaching me at age 6 with my Daisy Red Rider.

The ONE firearm I own that is a left hand model is a Cabelas Hawken Hunter Carbine (Investarms, think Lyman). It's got a raised cheek piece, so the left side gun helps. It has affected my choice in shotguns. I much prefer my Mossbergs for their tang safeties and I love the Browning BPS in pump guns. I have a Winchester 1400, finally found a lefty crossbolt safety and had it installed. There are little bothersome things about shooting lefty and being a righty, but it don't stop my from shooting. :D

walgetty
December 3, 2012, 01:28 PM
I also am RH but LED. All of my rifles are right handed and mostly military. :):)
I prefer to shoot lefty but if the left shoulder gets sore or tired from a lot of bench shooting I switch to the right one. Left handed just feels more natural to me.
I have a co worker who is the same but he still shoots right handed but his head is across the rifle looking down the sights with his left eye ! It sure looks weird while he is shooting but that is the way he shoots ...... :D:D
BTW shooting rifles lefty is the only "lefty" thing I do ! :D:D

Sam1911
December 3, 2012, 01:35 PM
I have a co worker who is the same but he still shoots right handed but his head is across the rifle looking down the sights with his left eye ! It sure looks weird while he is shooting but that is the way he shoots ..O...M...G.

Sure hope he doesn't go in for magnums some day -- I wonder if it is actually possible to DIE from "scope eye?" And I'll bet he's a hoot on the trap and skeet range.

This would be a good example of why there's often GOOD way to do something, maybe a BETTER way, quite often a BEST way. ... and then there's the "non-of-the-above" way like this!

MCgunner
December 3, 2012, 01:46 PM
Oh, someone mentioned handguns, I shot 'em right handed and just sight with the left eye. I have no problem doing this, but I would NOT shoot a rifle this way.

I did see a picture of a rifle stock set up for this, though, somewhere. Probably could google it, but I got to stop my break now and get back to butherin' venison.

GBExpat
December 3, 2012, 01:49 PM
I have a co worker who is the same but he still shoots right handed but his head is across the rifle looking down the sights with his left eye ! It sure looks weird while he is shooting but that is the way he shoots

My Dad noticed that I was doing this when he first took me out shooting with a single-shot B/A .22 rifle ... I was ~6-7 years old.

He told me that I should use my right eye to aim and I have been doing that with rifles ever since.

It was many years later that I first read of the "dominent eye" thing and confirmed that I am RH/LED.

56hawk
December 3, 2012, 02:15 PM
Unless you have an injury, eye dominance is mental. I have trained myself to use my right eye when shooting right handed and my left eye when shooting left handed. I have actually gotten to the point where I can mentally shift my eye dominance.

Andrew Wyatt
December 3, 2012, 02:18 PM
Every time i hear people advise left eyed people to shoot anything but left handed i facepalm.


1. right handedness has no appreciable benefit for shooting most firearms.

2. shooting longarms with anything other than your master eye is more difficult than doing it the proper way, and with the same amount of training will always be less effective.

I'm left eyed/right handed, and I have direct experience with doing this both ways.

Skribs
December 3, 2012, 02:26 PM
Personally, I am RH/LE, and I just won't buy a bolt gun. Bolt guns offer me nothing that a semi-auto couldn't do better for my personal applications. The worst I have to deal with on a decent non-bullpup semi-auto is brass flying in front of my face. But then again, I've played enough Counter-Strike that I can mentally block that out anyway.

Sam1911
December 3, 2012, 05:47 PM
Unless you have an injury, eye dominance is mental.This is completely untrue. In fact, if you really stop to think about it, it doesn't even make sense.

Eye dominance is a function composed of several factors, including vision acuity differences between the eyes and the wiring of the brain. Trying to train against it is unnecessary and will never give you as favorable results as the same amount of training would give if dedicated to training to use the dominant eye.

YES, you can shoot long guns cross-eyed (so to speak). But you're fighting your own body to do so.

56hawk
December 3, 2012, 07:22 PM
This is completely untrue. In fact, if you really stop to think about it, it doesn't even make sense.

Eye dominance is a function composed of several factors, including vision acuity differences between the eyes and the wiring of the brain. Trying to train against it is unnecessary and will never give you as favorable results as the same amount of training would give if dedicated to training to use the dominant eye.

YES, you can shoot long guns cross-eyed (so to speak). But you're fighting your own body to do so.

So, are you saying you can train yourself to use your other hand, but you can't train yourself to use your other eye?

MCgunner
December 3, 2012, 08:00 PM
So, are you saying you can train yourself to use your other hand, but you can't train yourself to use your other eye?

Absolutely. I am damned near blind in my right eye, 20-70 corrected is pretty sucky. If both eyes were as bad, I couldn't get a driver's license or read this board without greatly increasing print size. There IS NO WAY I'll ever see well out of my right eye and my eye docs over the years have agreed with this. I figured this out at age 8, trained myself to shoot lefty, and now it's danged weird to pick up a rifle or shotgun right handed. I don't see WHY I should be forced to shoot with a blind eye. :rolleyes: Well, I never was forced, but I never took formal lessons in marksmanship. Once I figured out shooting lefty, though, there wasn't a squirrel in the woods inside 50 yards that was safe, I can tell ya that! :D

It sounds to me like YOU really don't have an eye dominance problem. Must be nice.

MCgunner
December 3, 2012, 08:06 PM
Personally, I am RH/LE, and I just won't buy a bolt gun. Bolt guns offer me nothing that a semi-auto couldn't do better for my personal applications.

I do own bolt guns. Danged hard to get sub MOA out of most autos. Even my bud's .300 mag BAR shoots at best 1.5 MOA. I might get that one down to MOA, though, if I owned it just by handloading for it. The bolt gun is much easier to work with, though.

I do have a nifty little SKS with a sporting stock and 5 round mag that makes a pretty darned good brush rifle. I also have a .357 magnum Rossi 92 lever carbine I like a lot, both pretty ambidextrous. I also like the Browning BLR, buddy has one of THOSE, too, in .308 and it's a nice rifle if you don't wanna put up with the bolt gun. There ARE alternatives, but I've learned to live with and actually like my bolt guns. I shot my first deer at age 11 with that old Remington 722 in .257 Roberts shooting lefty. I still have it, inherited it, and wont give it up. :D

A lot of it is probably how young you start. Youngesters learn faster and easier. Us old farts' brains get fossilized. :D The old dogs and new tricks thing.

56hawk
December 3, 2012, 08:09 PM
Absolutely. I am damned near blind in my right eye, 20-70 corrected is pretty sucky.

Obviously not an option for you. I didn't think that was the case in the original post though.

PonyKiller
December 3, 2012, 08:10 PM
i too am right handed and left eye dominant, so is my father who taught me how shoot. If i concetrate i can look with my right eye and mostly pull it off. For the most part i can get away with a mild squint of the left eye and be dead on. As far as snap shots i must squint or i won't see the sights at all. Hitting clays i have to squint otherwise i'm just wasting ammo. My brother's left handed and left eye dominat and shoots left handed, it's funny to watch him operate a right handed bolt with his right hand, shooting left handed. For me it's not an option going lefty, my left shoulder is bad and mainly along for the ride, so i have to shoot handguns kinda sideways, but heck it works.

Elkins45
December 3, 2012, 08:29 PM
I'm a lefty and am gradually selling/trading off all my RH guns as I get older, excluding milsurps of course. I don't care about resale value....how much my wife sells them for after I die is irrelevant.

I had a case head failure in a 270 a couple of years ago. It was in lefty. Seeing how much gas blew out of the relief hole made me wonder if i would still have my vision had I been shooting a RH action. It was a powerful attitude changing experience.

MCgunner
December 3, 2012, 08:52 PM
I had a case head failure in a 270 a couple of years ago. It was in lefty. Seeing how much gas blew out of the relief hole made me wonder if i would still have my vision had I been shooting a RH action. It was a powerful attitude changing experience.

What caused it? Do you wear eye protection when you shoot?

If I ever get a flinter, I'm thinkin' it'll have to be a lefty.

Sam1911
December 3, 2012, 09:29 PM
So, are you saying you can train yourself to use your other hand, but you can't train yourself to use your other eye?Exactly, and those who do find it much easier and more successful!

56hawk
December 3, 2012, 09:34 PM
Exactly, and those who do find it much easier and more successful!

I can't quite see the logic in that, but whatever works for you.

Sam1911
December 3, 2012, 10:04 PM
I can't quite see the logic in that...
Here are a few pages that delve into the issue and the possible fixes.

http://www.northcarolinasportsman.com/details.php?id=519
http://www.huntersfriend.com/eye-dominance-issues.htm
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_9_1/231570_.html

It either boils down to training yourself to shoot from the side of your dominant eye (which really doesn't take that much work) or "dumbing-down", hampering, occluding, etc. your BEST eye. As vision is pretty much the most important part of accurate shooting, you can see why that isn't a terribly good idea.

Now, for some folks it is possible to correct vision in the non-dominant eye to the point that it exceeds the acuity of the original dominant eye. And sometimes that will cause the body to shift it's natural tendency to give the "weak-side" eye control over to the now improved eye. But there's no guarantee, and not all vision is so correctable. For someone who's right handed, but their left-eye is dominant and rated 20/16 -- and their right eye is only correctable to 20/40, taping over their left eyeglasses lens (or worse, shutting the left eye, which we know isn't good shooting technique anyway!) means they lose the benefit of their sharper eye altogether!

56hawk
December 3, 2012, 10:23 PM
The original question was simply about eye dominance. It was never stated that the vision was much worse in the non dominant eye. If you have 20/20 vision in both eyes it makes more since to me to shoot right handed since that is what most guns are designed for. And from the first link you posted:

“The answer,” he continued, “is just like your editor’s solution — force the mind to utilize the non-dominant eye.”

Sam1911
December 3, 2012, 10:32 PM
True, but (of course) that suggestion does not stand alone. You should have put it in the context in which it was presented.

That is the answer for an older man who has unfortunately fooled himself into thinking he's too old to learn how to improve. Ironically, he had only recently learned to shoot shotguns so the entire sport was new to him. He went through the entire basic learning curve the "wrong" way simply because he didn't believe he could do it "right." Had he started off on the right path, his learning curve would have been no longer and he'd be a better wing-shot now than he is. Of course, now that he's gone to all that trouble, he simply won't accept the work (and temporary loss of relative skill) to re-learn the more advantageous method. So, he'll never reach the level he could have.

So in the end, he's presenting a cautionary tale, not an example to follow.

JFtheGR8
December 3, 2012, 11:54 PM
My vision is better in my non-dominant eye. Eye dominance is wired into our brains at a very early age. It has nothing to do with visual acuity. Granted if someone is legally blind in one eye then of course eye dominance will shift to the other eye. That is why patching the dominant eye for a long period of time may work. You would have to be committed to doing so 24/7 in order to teach your brain to ignore the other eye and you still may not get results.


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Andrew Wyatt
December 4, 2012, 10:56 AM
so, TL;DR:

if you're left eyed, shoot left eyed.

JFtheGR8
December 4, 2012, 03:09 PM
so, TL;DR:

if you're left eyed, shoot left eyed.

Tried it and don't like it. I shoot a bow, shotgun and rifle right eyed and hand guns left eyed all with my right hand. I put plenty of meat in the freezer and don't cause hardly any cripples, probably fewer than most. Sooooo, no thanks. It just doesn't feel natural to me no matter how much I practice with my left. I would imagine I'm not alone there.


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M-Cameron
December 4, 2012, 03:22 PM
I am RH/LE cross dominant....

If you were brand new to shooting, i would start you shooting left handed.

it is usually always better to shoot with your dominant eye if you can.


when i started shooting, i realized i was cross dominant, and therefore i took the time to learn how to shoot with both hands.

however when i shoot matches, i will always shoot right handed...it is far more comfortable for me and i feel i have greater control over the rifle when i am shooting with my 'strong' hand......i simply occlude my left eye to cure the dominance issue.

the funny thing about eye dominance is, it can actually change between eyes given enough 'training'.

when i started shooting, i was very strongly left eye dominant......however over time, lots of shooting, and lots of practice, i am now 'cycloptic' and my eyes are equally dominant(as confirmed by my eye doctor).

essentially if one eye is blocked, the other will become temporarily dominant and will become 'stronger'.....do that often enough and eye dominance will begin to change.

now does this mean you should wear an eye patch all the time?.....well, you can...but people may find it a tad strange.

....personally i would just use some scotch tape on my shooting glasses whenever you shoot your rifles and continue to shoot them right handed.

Agsalaska
December 4, 2012, 03:33 PM
I am Left handed left eye dominant. I shoot right handed bolt action guns left handed. I have been doing it my entire life.

56hawk
December 4, 2012, 04:15 PM
The funny thing about eye dominance is, it can actually change between eyes given enough 'training'.

Hmmm. That's what I said earlier in this thread and then was told that it was untrue and didn't make any sense.

Sam1911
December 4, 2012, 04:24 PM
Hmmm. That's what I said earlier in this thread and then was told that it was untrue and didn't make any sense.No, you said eye dominance was "mental."

I've stated that it can sometimes be changed.

I don't personally believe it is usually worth fighting the various factors which cause one eye to be dominant (most especially with young or inexperienced shooters who can choose which way to learn), but if the shift is actually a mild one it may work well enough for someone to achieve their goals.

Andrew Wyatt
December 4, 2012, 04:52 PM
I,(as someone who shoots left handed, is mixed dominant, and has shot everything from AUG's to Hawken rifles) don't understand how right handed shooting should be of such benefit that people are willing to expend a tremendous effort to use it.

56hawk
December 4, 2012, 04:54 PM
No, you said eye dominance was "mental."

I've stated that it can sometimes be changed.

If it can be changed it is mental. Your brain is just deciding on which eye it likes to use. Same with using your right or left hand. It's not like you can't physically use the other one, your brain has just gotten use to doing things one way.

The choice again comes back to would you rather favor your dominant eye or your dominant hand. I choose dominant hand since that is what most guns are built for. You obviously feel the opposite.

M-Cameron
December 4, 2012, 05:07 PM
If it can be changed it is mental. Your brain is just deciding on which eye it likes to use. Same with using your right or left hand. It's not like you can't physically use the other one, your brain has just gotten use to doing things one way.

The choice again comes back to would you rather favor your dominant eye or your dominant hand. I choose dominant hand since that is what most guns are built for. You obviously feel the opposite.

i think i understand what you are saying, and why its causing some confusion.

you are using the term 'mental' to describe the physical neurological wiring of the brain.....which is the right understanding of eye dominance, but not really the right choice of word.

where as most people when referring to 'mental' attribute it to a psychological cause. which has no effect on eye dominance.

Sam1911
December 4, 2012, 05:49 PM
which is the right understanding of eye dominance, but not really the right choice of word.Well, which is one of the factors contributing to eye dominance.

56hawk
December 4, 2012, 05:51 PM
you are using the term 'mental' to describe the physical neurological wiring of the brain.....which is the right understanding of eye dominance, but not really the right choice of word.

Do you have any links or references to medical research on eye dominance? I've tried looking and haven't found anything better than wikipedia. Sorry if my terminology is wrong, I'm a physicist not a physician.

Muzzlelover
December 4, 2012, 07:29 PM
wow! I didn't think there was this many left-eyed right-handed dominent people!I thought me and my buddy were the only ones!I have tried and tried and tried to learn to shoot right handed but I can't.my shotguns and 22lr's and my 7 mag are right handed and I can shoot them all fine left handed although i do need a cheekpad for my 7 mag to make it more comfortable.

ttheel
December 4, 2012, 08:19 PM
I am left eye dominant and shoot all my guns right handed. I have never had any issues. Not a big deal to me.

JFtheGR8
December 4, 2012, 08:41 PM
I,(as someone who shoots left handed, is mixed dominant, and has shot everything from AUG's to Hawken rifles) don't understand how right handed shooting should be of such benefit that people are willing to expend a tremendous effort to use it.

I don't think slightly squinting my left eye is a "tremendous effort" but whatever. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.


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GBExpat
December 4, 2012, 09:08 PM
As I mentioned in a prior post, I am RH/LED and have been shooting rifles with my right eye since I was ~6-7 years old.

Until my presbyopia started to get worse, I was an excellent rifle shot over irons (my favorite). For me to try to switch after all of these years would require a "tremendous effort" ... and I seriously doubt that the result would be either satisfactory or comfortable for me.

As they say, if it ain't broke ... ;)

Perhaps for some of the youngsters, in certain circumstances, that might be a reasonable thing to try, though.

lefteyedom
December 5, 2012, 05:11 AM
Not shooting off the left dominate eye is a simple matter of proper form sub-coming to pier pressure.

Most people are not crossed dominated and most humans are right dominate.

If left handed weapons had been readily available at the same price as right hand ones eye dominance would never have been an issue.
Savage and Remington were for the longest time to only "affordable" left rifles, though their selection of calibers and models are still limited .

Culture loves conformity, I remember well classmates being forced to write with their right hand when they were clearly left handed.(in the early 70s) Did they "learn" to write RH? yes, but poorly and with needless extra effort. (my left handed mother suffered such treatment in the late 1940s)

As wounded people have demonstrated the human brain can overcome major insult given time and effort.

That fact has nothing to do with what shooting form a left eye dominate shooter will mostly likely be successful with.

In a stressful shooting situation the brain is having to process a large amount of information. Fighting a natural tendency is simple adding a needless burden.

One of the reason to shoot off the dominate eye is so that the shooter can keep both eyes open. Depth perception requires two eyes open at the same time. The shooter's situation awareness is likely to be better with both eyes open. Lastly with both eyes open the target will appear brighter than when seen with only a single eye.

Shooting off the dominate eye side, unless there is a physical handicap that prevents it, will provide the greatest chance of success.

Reloadron
December 5, 2012, 05:32 AM
I just happen to be in that group of left eye dominate and right handed. I shoot a rifle left handed and always have. While I have been through a few left handed bolt guns and still have a left handed Ruger 77 it really matters not. It just becomes an automatic function I never give any thought to at all. The brain just adapts and things just become automatic. For me placing a rifle in my right shoulder actually does require some thought.

People who work at juggling for example tennis balls don't give a thought to the process. Following initial practice the motions just become automatic, the brain knows what to do and does it.

Ron

Sun Tzu warrior
December 6, 2012, 12:41 AM
Found this article some time ago concerning cross eye dominant shooting, I think it is mostly relevent to hand gun shooting, however, statistics are mentioned, and may be useful in this discussion.

The cross-dominant eyes: corrections are easy.

Sally Bartoo is an enthusiastic bull's-eye shooter and firearms instructor, who happens to be cross-dominant. That is, she is right handed but her master eye is her left one. She learned to shoot left-handed and has won many awards at Camp Perry on down. After she trained with me, she shoots dominant hand for CCW and IDPA.

She still has a strong interest in the topic, though, and recently forwarded some interesting material. A study of 5,546 subjects from 40 years ago determined almost a third were "cross-dom." 28.6 percent had left eye and right hand preference, while 3.9 percent had right eye and left hand preference. The citation was "Rengstorff, 1967." The same study found 91.5 percent of those surveyed were right-handed, 7.7 percent southpaws, and 1.1 percent ambidextrous________________________________________.

Having been teaching the handgun for some 35 years, I'd have to say those figures from four decades ago sound about right. No mention was made in the posting of gender or racial breakdown, but I've noticed more African-Americans than Caucasians are cross-dominant, far more females than males are cross-dominant and half or somewhat more than half of black females I've encountered are too.

Switching to the non-dominant hand is an old tradition. You see it more among lefties, because they're used to living in a right-handed world and because so many of the guns and holsters are readily available in "righty format only." The fact is, though, technique can be easily altered to correct this problem.

One-Hand Shooting

The turning of the head on the axis of the neck to bring left eye in line with extended right hand, or vice versa, is awkward. The first to recognize this and correct it was Bill McMillan, shooting for the US Marine Corps team in the late 1950s. McMillan figured out if he simply canted the pistol somewhere from 15 to 45 degrees inboard, adjusting the sights to compensate where necessary, the iron sights of the pistol in his right hand aligned perfectly with his left eye. In 1960 he went Gold for his country and his team in international competition, and the technique was proven.

One of his contemporaries, on the practical pistol side, was Ray Chapman, who would become the first world champion of the combat handgun. Ray wasn't cross-dominant, but he found a 15 to 45 degree cant of the pistol put the skeleto-muscular support structure of the human arm into a more propitious alignment and strengthened the hand. He recommended it even for same eye/hand dominant shooters, and it is taught today as technique of choice for one-handed self-defense shooting at the Chapman Academy Ray founded and at Thunder Ranch.

It is less popular today with cross-dominant bull's-eye shooters, because the game has gone to red dot sights for the most part, which are higher over the bore axis than iron sights and require significantly more adjustment to compensate for the changed angle between line of sight and line of bore.

Two-Hand Shooting

The Nichols Technique is simply applying the 15 to 45 degree inboard tilt of the handgun toward the opposite eye, while holding the firearm in both hands. It was popularized by Larry Nichols, the famously practical and innovative rangemaster of the Burbank, California, PD.

In cross-dominant use of the classic Weaver Stance, drop your head sideways toward your gun arm's shoulder. Jack Weaver's stance, with the body bladed somewhat and both elbows bent, brings the gun strongly toward the dominant eye side, and you need this much head movement to correct. It will bring your left eye in line with gun in right hand or vice versa, but the dropping of the head buries the danger scan more than I like. The non-dominant eye has a great view of your own gun arm but a poor view of the danger scene.

The Chapman Stance, the most popular and probably the most efficient of the many "modified Weaver stances," is much easier to correct for cross-dominance. In Ray's stance, the gun arm is locked straight out, and the bent forward arm pulls in tight. This squares the chest a little more, and the gun isn't so much over on the strong side. Indexing the chin to the bicep of the shooting arm perfectly aligns the opposite eye with the gun arm in the Chapman stance, and keeps the head erect. You don't lose any danger scan, you just move the field of vision a few degrees to one side.

The Isosceles Stance squares the front of the torso to the target or threat, and both arms are locked straight out, forming an Isosceles triangle vis-a-vis the trunk of the body. This is the most adaptable stance for the cross-dominant shooter, in my experience. The gun and its sights end up at body center anyway, and it's no harder for the left eye to find the sights than the right eye.

Easier For Handgunners

Correction for cross-dominance is much more difficult for the rifle or shotgun, and there, I actually do recommend the right-handed gunner shoot from the left shoulder if left eye dominant. However, such "mirror image shooting" is also much easier with long guns than with handguns, which are much more dependent on hand dexterity and therefore almost cry out for the dominant hand to take the master grip upon them.

Give the above techniques a try. Even if you're not cross-dominant, someone you know is ... and you will be, if you ever have to shoot weak handed. Finally, don't worry, you're in good company. Such great modern champions as Dave Sevigny and Tom Yost are cross-dominant, and it hasn't kept them out of the winner's circle.

BY THE NUMBERS

28.6 percent: The number of people determined to be right-handed but left-eye dominant.

3.9 percent: The number of people determined to be left-handed but right-eye dominant.

91.5 percent: The number of people determined to be right-handed.

7.7 percent: The number of people determined to be left-handed.

1.1 percent: The number of people determined to be ambidextrous, who probably don t need to read Ayoob's column this month.

Andrew Wyatt
December 6, 2012, 12:20 PM
I've used the techniques posted for the weaver stance when i was shooting pistols right handed, and they're not as good as just shooting left handed.

A lot of the reason for shooting right handed in the past doesn't exist any more.
Every modern handgun , and every semi-auto rifle with the exception of the bullpups has their controls mounted where a lefty can reach them, and the brass won't eject into their face.

Sheepdog1968
December 6, 2012, 12:27 PM
Or, it was better back before folks could share information about how to shoot better than they might have been able to figure out on their own after even half a lifetime of trial-and-error. I don't get the "ignorance is bliss" philosophy of shooting skill, but hear it a lot.

Even if you're "too old to learn new tricks" (or believe that, anyway) at least you can learn how not to saddle your kids and other youngsters you teach with the same handicaps you were stuck with.
There is certainly some truth to this and I'd rather have the internet than not.

However, what I seem to see in a lot of internet discussion is an obsession over details and minutae rather than the big picture plus you never know the reliablity of the source of info you are reading. There is too much information and choice (book called Paradox of Choice does a great job of explaining what does to us in general). I think many folks would be better served by going to a local range or taking some classes for good instructors and learning that way.

I can't help but wonder if all the potential questions about caliber, make and model, sights, scopes, red dots, etc overwhelms folks to the point where they just toss up their hands and don't buy something and don't shoot.

MCgunner
December 6, 2012, 02:58 PM
I would think eye dominance could NOT change if the problem were severe enough as it is with me. I've TRIED to shoot right handed, but it's hard to do when you just can't see sights OR target other than a blur. Don't bother trying to tell me I'm nuts. I'm 60 years old and switched shoulders over 50 years ago. I no longer even feel right holding a long gun on my right shoulder.

I can actually see much better out of my left eye uncorrected (20-50) than I can my right eye corrected (20-70). My right eye uncorrected is 20-90. It is so much easier to just switch shoulders. There's no shame in it, it worked for me! What's the big deal? I bet I can reload a right handed bolt gun shooting left handed pretty close to as fast as anyone here an do it right handed. I've been doing it a long, long time. But, normally, only takes me one shot.

Elkins45
December 9, 2012, 04:44 PM
What caused it? Do you wear eye protection when you shoot?

If I ever get a flinter, I'm thinkin' it'll have to be a lefty.
Never figured it out. Maybe brass fatigue or just a flaw that took awhile to reveal itself. I doubt I'll ever really know. Pictures here: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7652377#post7652377

Yes, I wear prescription glasses.

This thread seems to have morphed into one about dominant eye and handedness, with people advocating to retrain yourself to use your non-dominent eye. Hmmm...I can spend countless hours to train myself to overcome a very basic physiological characteristic, or I can spend $30 extra and buy a rifle that is manufactured to adapt itself to how my eyes/body work. And it provides me with an extra measure of safety as well.

That's not a tough decision.

rodregier
December 9, 2012, 06:42 PM
I'm cross dominant. (Right hand dominant, left eye dominant). I use right-handed rifles, sight with my RH eye, close my left.

When I shoot iron-sighted pistols, I sight with my LH eye and close my right.

MTMilitiaman
December 10, 2012, 12:26 AM
I started out with a right handed M700ADL in .270 Win when I was like 14 years old. Before that I used a Mini-14. I figured out how to work the bolt alright. The problem was cheek weld. I replaced that rifle with a left handed M700BDL in 7mm Rem Mag. I'll never go back. All my bolt rifles from here on out have to be left handed. I don't have a problem with most semi autos. Some semi autos are actually better for us. Like the AK or M14/M1A. The charging handle on the M16/AR is equally awkward for everyone. Pump action shotguns are fine. So are lever action rifles. Honestly not having the right comb height on that right handed bolt rifle was the only real problem I've had being right handed and left eye dominanent since I started shooting left handed back with the Mini-14 when I was like ten or eleven.

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