Cross eye dominant.


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Muddydogs
July 1, 2013, 11:14 PM
I think my 5 year old Grandson is cross eye dominant so I would like to figure out what I need to do so he starts out right. Why I think this is he is right handed and when shouldering a rifle he uses his right shoulder but try's to lay his head on the stock so he can see down the sights with his left eye. He can close his left eye while keeping his right open. So do I keep working with him on keeping both eyes open? What about scope shooting, I know I can't shoot a scope with both eyes open but maybe if I started when I was 5 I could. Any help from others with this issue would be great.

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Sheepdog1968
July 1, 2013, 11:19 PM
I am like your grandson. I just close my left eye for long arms and my right eye or pistols. I was doing this long before there was an Internet. Honestly, I think the best thing you could do for him is to get him used to shooting on both sides. Very few of us do this enough. I,think the bot eyes open is overrated as you only momentarily close the one eye.

Apuuli
July 1, 2013, 11:30 PM
It's no big deal. I just shoot left handed with rifles, but sometimes I do shoot right handed with bolt action. Being cross eye dominant is no problem with a lever action.

jef2015
July 1, 2013, 11:31 PM
I am cross eye dominant, left handed but dominant in my right eye. I shoot pistols left hand and rifles right hand. I can't close my right eye while keeping my left eye open.

Make sure he is cross dominant: http://www.hamiltontrapclub.com/htc/DominantEye/go

It's great he has a grand dad teaching him to shoot.

rondog
July 2, 2013, 02:07 AM
My grandson is the same way - right handed but left eye dominant, I just talked him into learning to shoot left handed and he fell right into it. Makes a big difference when they discover they can shoot better that way. Oh, he's 16 now, these are old photos. I couldn't believe he was hitting a 5" bullseye at 100 yards with that M1, he did better than me.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/misc%20shooting/200810051650002.jpg

You can see here how he used to lay way over to the right to use his left eye.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/misc%20shooting/mp501.jpg

DMF
July 2, 2013, 02:09 AM
I am cross dominant. Left eye dominant, but do most things right handed including shoot a pistol.

For long guns if he wants to keep both eyes open the only practical way to do this is shoot left handed. That's what I do, and it's easy to handle and shoot long guns lefty, although quickly cycling a bolt action is bit awkward.

For pistols it's a non-issue, you just simply line up the sights in front of the dominant eye and shoot, no matter which hand your shooting with.

For some reason people who are not cross dominant want to make eye dominance into some huge problem/handicap, when it's really no big deal.

Good luck, and enjoy shooting with your grandson.

DMF
July 2, 2013, 02:11 AM
It's dominant. Thank God I'm not the only one who thinks people should know the difference.

DMF
July 2, 2013, 02:14 AM
I,think the bot eyes open is overrated as you only momentarily close the one eye.Both eyes open is very important for hunting, skeet, trap, combat shooting, etc, where picking up and transitioning to multiple targets is aided by the wider field of view. If you're just punching paper on a static range, you're right it's not big deal, but when it comes to moving and shooting, with multiple targets, having both eyes open is essential.

Muddydogs
July 2, 2013, 08:25 AM
Sorry I flunked spelling back in the day, most days I'm lucky to spell my name.

I tried doing the dominant eye test but he's 5. He looks just like Rondog's grandson in the pic he posted so there is a good chance he is.

I will start him shooting rifles left handed instead of right and keep telling him to keep both eyes open with pistols. I am not making a big deal out of this but figure if I start now then it will feel natural to him and not be a big deal.

Galt
July 2, 2013, 08:31 AM
Am I the only one who looked at Rondog's M1 photo and thought "wow, that kid better watch his right thumb" when seeing his hand's proximity to the bolt?

Sam1911
July 2, 2013, 08:39 AM
As he's young, you have the chance to teach him the methods that will be most likely to bring him success without having to "un-learn" a bunch of habits.

If he's left-eye dominant, have him shoot long guns from the left shoulder. He's got to learn all the skills from the ground up anyway, and while you can easily train his hands to use the gun "lefty" you'll never really re-train his eye.

Shooting handguns is simple, and probably what he'd do naturally: Shoot "righty" (if that's what he naturally wants to do) but aim with the dominant eye. There's no problem with that at all.

Letting his dominant eye drive his shooting style will make him a better and more natural shot in the end. He can much more easily learn to shoot with both eyes open while pistol shooting, dynamic rifle shooting, wingshooting, and such, and so will have better balance, depth perception, and range of vision.

WoodchuckAssassin
July 2, 2013, 08:40 AM
I'm right handed but left eye dominate. Every time I attend a pistol/rifle training they tell me that I'd have better luck shooting left handed. I believe them, but after shooting right handed for over 20 years, I don't see myself changing any time soon.

He'll do fine regardless of which eye he uses. As long as he has good training, I think the left eye dominate thing won't affect his shooting or...more importantly...the fun he'll be having with his dad.

mikeasb
July 2, 2013, 09:20 AM
I am left handed and right eye dominant, but I didn't know about eye dominance growing up so I hunted with rifle and shotgun left handed and had no problems. When I went to basic training in 1973 we did the eye dominance drill and when I was determined to be right eye dominant the DS took my rifle from my left shoulder put it to my right shoulder and said that was the way I would shoot from then on, end of story. I didn't take long to get used to shooting right handed. I don't remember any difference in my scores either way but I do remember being much more comfortable shooting right handed than shooting left handed. Since that time I have shot long guns and bows right handed and pistols left handed with my right eye.

Potatohead
July 2, 2013, 09:33 AM
He may be like me and you all just dont know it yet: Im right handed but i can barely see out of my right eye (just peripherals pretty much), so im having to learn to shoot rifles left handed. Have his eyes checked. They tell me mine could have been corrected if we would have caught it early. (eye patch over the strong eye)

Potatohead
July 2, 2013, 09:35 AM
I didnt notice but it looks like RonDog got to it before me-teach him to shoot lefty

GBExpat
July 2, 2013, 11:08 AM
Why I think this is he is right handed and when shouldering a rifle he uses his right shoulder but try's to lay his head on the stock so he can see down the sights with his left eye.

That is the first time that I have read or heard someone other than me detail that.

When my dad started teaching me to shoot (I was 5 or 6 years old) with the old single-shoot bolt .22 (I still have it) he noticed me doing exactly that. He quietly explained to me what I was doing wrong ... and I grew up shooting 100% right-handed on long guns.

In the latter half of the '50s was cross-eye-dominance a widely recognized condition? ... or even a recognized condition?

Anyway ... I was comfortable with it and was always considered to be (by both myself and others) an excellent shot ... well, before the presbyopia started creeping in when I reached my mid-40s, that is.

I think it was in the '90s that I read about the easy test to determine eye-dominance and discovered that I am left-eye-dominant. Hmmmm. Following that thought, I realized to my surprise that while always using a right-hand grip on pistols, I have always been using my left eye for aiming (eyes open method).

FWIW, given the choice, I would not change a thing since [1] all of the long guns that I have encountered in my life have been designed for right-hand use and [2] the fact that it apparently never impaired my shooting ability or comfort level.

Sam1911
July 2, 2013, 11:43 AM
FWIW, given the choice, I would not change a thing since [1] all of the long guns that I have encountered in my life have been designed for right-hand use and [2] the fact that it apparently never impaired my shooting ability or comfort level.Certainly. Now you've developed such ingrained habits that changing will probably take you a great deal of effort, and the increase in absolute skill might never materialize.

But with a youngster, with skills still unformed and a lifetime left to take advantage of best practices, we owe it to them to teach them the BEST way.

Potatohead
July 2, 2013, 12:00 PM
so, what are we saying the best way is?

morcey2
July 2, 2013, 12:07 PM
I'm cross-dominant as are two of my kids. I'm teaching my youngest daughter to shoot left-handed and she's doing extremely well.

I've been shooting right-handed my entire life but I'm trying to teach myself to shoot on my dominant side, at least with a shotgun. I still have to think about it too much to make much of a difference, but there have been a couple of times that I've been able to relax and just let things happen and I shoot trap much better left handed than right handed during those times. Then I start thinking to much again.

I say teach them to shoot with their dominant eye, but then teach them to shoot wrong-handed (or eyed) after that.

Matt

Potatohead
July 2, 2013, 12:08 PM
Muddy,
I PM'ed you. Please read. Get your grandsons vision tested at an early age, i speak from experience.

JSH1
July 2, 2013, 12:11 PM
I am left eye dominant but right handed and shoot right handed. If your grandson is ever going to shoot long guns with both eyes open he will have to shoot left-handed. Starting from such a young age he won't have any trouble learning to shoot left-handed.

I am considering trying to switch to left-handed shooting with a shotgun.

Potatohead
July 2, 2013, 12:13 PM
^^^^ yup. what he said

Dframe
July 2, 2013, 12:38 PM
Yup. My right handed sons' scores improved when he started shooting pistols lefty. He's as right handed as it gets but left eye dominant. So now he's a left handed shooter and shoots VERY well with his "wrong" hand

Sam1911
July 2, 2013, 02:23 PM
so, what are we saying the best way is?Use your dominant eye, and adjust how you hold your guns accordingly. If cross-dominant, shoot long guns from the dominant EYE's shoulder.

GBExpat
July 2, 2013, 02:24 PM
FWIW, given the choice, I would not change a thing since [1] all of the long guns that I have encountered in my life have been designed for right-hand use and [2] the fact that it apparently never impaired my shooting ability or comfort level.
Certainly. Now you've developed such ingrained habits that changing will probably take you a great deal of effort, and the increase in absolute skill might never materialize.

But with a youngster, with skills still unformed and a lifetime left to take advantage of best practices, we owe it to them to teach them the BEST way.

For the type of shooting that I have done all of my life, I was taught in what I consider the BEST way ... I was at least as skilled as those around me and quite content with my skill level ... but I understand what you are saying.

Actually, I think that the best point that you have made on this subject may be the aspect (if accurate) of being able to more naturally/comfortably deal with the challenges presented by dynamic shooting.

rondog
July 2, 2013, 02:31 PM
Am I the only one who looked at Rondog's M1 photo and thought "wow, that kid better watch his right thumb" when seeing his hand's proximity to the bolt?

That photo is actually a still snagged from a video. In the video it's alarming how close his thumb is to the oprod, you can even see him wag his hand after it grazed his thumb very slightly. I had to warn him about it, and watch him closer now. That would be "M1 thumb from Hell".

Sam1911
July 2, 2013, 02:32 PM
being able to more naturally/comfortably deal with the challenges presented by dynamic shooting.Yes indeed. Imagine if you will the plight of a cross-dominant skeet or sporting clays shooter who's forced to shoot from their weak-eye shoulder! They'd almost invariably have to use some artificial occluder (like tape over their better eye's glasses lens) to be able to accurately point their shotgun. Or deal with shooting with one eye closed all their lives. That's not going to give you the sharpest performance you could achieve with your BETTER eye, and certainly not with BOTH eyes open, obviously.

The thing is, this translates extremely directly through all sorts of other shooting, with the possible exception of the bench-bound rifle shooter.

desidog
July 2, 2013, 02:59 PM
I think you need to upgrade that M1 to an M1C or M1D, and the offset scope should be about perfectly placed for him.

Huskerguy
July 2, 2013, 03:30 PM
I am "one of them" who is left eye dominant and shoot right handed. I wish I would have learned to shoot left handed many years ago but now that I am near 60, I won't be changing. Left handed shooters run in to their own set of challenges.

I can actually shoot handguns with either eye but squint with the opposite eye. I can still see some but not as much if they were both wide open. I am a reasonably good shot so as long as I am target shooting, life is good.

I agree with those who advocate for teaching them to shoot lefty. That being said, I haven't suffered a great deal but it may be I am not smart enough to know it.

GBExpat
July 2, 2013, 03:47 PM
Imagine if you will the plight of a cross-dominant skeet or sporting clays shooter who's forced to shoot from their weak-eye shoulder! They'd almost invariably have to use some artificial occluder (like tape over their better eye's glasses lens) to be able to accurately point their shotgun. Or deal with shooting with one eye closed all their lives. That's not going to give you the sharpest performance you could achieve with your BETTER eye, and certainly not with BOTH eyes open, obviously.

Funny thing is that, even being cross dominant and shooting from my weak-eye shoulder, I was always deadly on the dove hunts. I would always miss on my first shot and then connect on every subsequent shot. We all referred to my First Shot Miss as my Settle Down Shot.

Now I am thinking that it may be something else, possibly connected to the cross dominance.

Being mostly a rifle shooter, on that first shot I may have been instinctively trying to acquire the fast-moving target and aim with my right eye only ... and only after that did I successfully shift into Shotgun Mode.

I know that on subsequent shots I always had both eyes open.

rainbowbob
July 2, 2013, 07:31 PM
My grandson also is right-handed and left-eyed. He also is apparently unable to close his left eye (not uncommon I've learned).

We're just starting his training and I am trying several approaches. My first attempt was to have him shoot left-handed, but he was uncomfortable with that - and the first priority is to make this is as fun and comfortable for him as possible.

The next approach was an eye patch over his left eye (a cool "pirate patch" purchased at a costume shop). That worked pretty well, but isn't very practical.

My latest (and by far the most succesful) approach was to purchase a relatively cheap red-dot sight. With that, he is able to quickly obtain the target with both eyes open and shoot very accurately.

At some point, I will re-introduce the idea of shooting from the left shoulder.

doc2rn
July 2, 2013, 08:44 PM
Its amazing what an eye patch can do train him to use both sides of his brain effectively. Worked for my daughter and me. Now I am ambidexterous and loving life more than when the teacher used to smack me with the chalkboard pointer if she caught us using the left hand.

61Woody
July 2, 2013, 09:29 PM
I can't remember where I heard this but supposedly if you are cross eye dominant you can wear a patch and over time your brain will switch to the other eye. I tried that for years and while still right handed but left eyed I can shoot with both eyes open. In my 20s I would have said I was 70/30 left eye to right but now in my early 50s I would say 55/45.

Akita1
July 2, 2013, 09:32 PM
Use your dominant eye, and adjust how you hold your guns accordingly. If cross-dominant, shoot long guns from the dominant EYE's shoulder.
Echo that. Turn the other cheek (thank
you Jesus).

baz
July 2, 2013, 09:48 PM
Quote:
so, what are we saying the best way is?
Use your dominant eye, and adjust how you hold your guns accordingly. If cross-dominant, shoot long guns from the dominant EYE's shoulder.This is the best way, if started early. I'm more in this camp:
I am "one of them" who is left eye dominant and shoot right handed. I wish I would have learned to shoot left handed many years ago but now that I am near 60, I won't be changing. Left handed shooters run in to their own set of challenges.

I can actually shoot handguns with either eye but squint with the opposite eye. I can still see some but not as much if they were both wide open. I am a reasonably good shot so as long as I am target shooting, life is good.

I agree with those who advocate for teaching them to shoot lefty. That being said, I haven't suffered a great deal but it may be I am not smart enough to know it.I've been doing it the "hard way" -- shooting right handed, while being left eye dominant -- for over 40 years. I might wish someone had forced me to learn to shoot left handed when I was younger, but it didn't happen. For a long time, I compensated when shooting rifles by using lever guns with high mounted scopes. Then along came the scout rifle, and with the scope mounted forward, I could shoot bolt actions and semi-auto rifles.

I don't think there is a "right way" here. I think there is a "best way," and for dogs too old to learn new tricks, there are "second best" ways.

Lj1941
July 2, 2013, 10:02 PM
I am also cross eye dominant.It wasn't until I was in my 30s that I was diagnosed.I can not shoot with both eyes open. I am too old now to try to change so I just close my left eye when shooting.Perhaps if I could learnthe right way,I would be a better shot.:cuss:

kludge
July 2, 2013, 10:44 PM
My son is right handed and left eye dominant. I taught him to shoot left handed (bows, rifles, and shotguns). He's 13 now and just earned both his rifle shooting and shotgun shooting merit badges.

Shooting shotgun right handed when you're left eyed is never going to work.

FWIW, my son shoots pistols right handed, where he can easily shoot from an isosceles position and use his dominant eye while shooting right handed.

BTW, I'm left handed and right eye dominant. I shoot everything right handed.

GBExpat
July 3, 2013, 06:40 AM
Shooting shotgun right handed when you're left eyed is never going to work.

Simply not true, kludge.

GBExpat
July 3, 2013, 08:52 AM
Not everyone's body responds the same way.

On another thread here recently, the subject of discussion was hearing protection & damage.

As the comments increased it became obvious that not everyone's body responds the same to like abuse. Some suffered noticeable hearing degradation over the years and others did not.

With that in mind, the logical way to approach that subject with a youngster is to train them so that just in case they happen to be susceptible to such hearing loss, they will be protected against damage.


Seems to be the same thing with cross eye dominance.

Apparently, I am blessed to have turned out to be a very "high-functioning" cross-dominant shooter for whom shooting weak-eye with long & shotguns has never caused any apparent problems. I may, however, represent the minority ... so ...

... when cross-dominance is confirmed in a youngster, since there is no way to crystal ball his/her future on the subject, the prudent approach appears to be to follow the wise counsel put forward by Sam1911 and others.

RussellC
July 3, 2013, 09:23 AM
No easy one size fits all answer here. I am right handed and left eye dominant. I am not about to learn to shot a long arm left handed, and dont need to. The gun world seems to discriminate against left handers, while a few weapons are available right or left handed. Good luck with bull pup guns!

I shoot long arms right handed and pistols right handed. Shut left eye when shooting long guns (or keep both open) shut right eye with pistols SOMETIMES, sometimes I keep both open depending. Everyone is different, even among cross dominant shooters, and there is no answer that fits everyone. Some convert to left handed, I couldnt. Some keep both eyes open, some cant. You just have to find what works for you.

I recently had a pair of shooting glasses made with the left eye focusing right on the site, the right eye set for distance. It created exactly the opposite problem I was having, slightly blurry site but sharp target. Now I get crystal clear sites, but slightly blurry target. I usually have both eyes open and watch the front site, as the target picture is right I sometimes then close the right eye and shoot...I am still working with them and may need to try something a little different for the right eye.

When I shoot with my normal progressive eye wear, I find myself tilting my head back for focus on the site...hopefully I can work these glasses out!

Russellc

RussellC
July 3, 2013, 09:27 AM
Agreed with GBexpat. You just have to find what works for you. It isnt the same for everyone. I only started using my left eye (but right hand)for pistol shooting in the last few years. I can shoot with my right eye as well, just doesnt seem to work as well. Do tend to keep both open...

Russellc

hso
July 3, 2013, 09:44 AM
My wife and my best friend are both left eyed/right handed. They each shoot long guns on the left and handguns on the right with good results in courses and have good speed and accuracy.

460Kodiak
July 3, 2013, 10:31 AM
I'm cross dominant also. I have just trained myself to shoot right eyed. Took awhile, but it is just as fast and accurate as left eyed now.

ohwell
July 3, 2013, 11:10 AM
I'm left eye dominant and right handed and I shoot long guns left handed and pistols right handed with no problems. It doesn't take long and it becomes the normal feeling way to shoot. I put a rifle up to my right shoulder one time a while back and even though I'm right handed it felt a little awkward after 45 plus years of shooting the other way.

Schwing
July 3, 2013, 11:26 AM
I am left eyed and right handed. When I was younger, I took up shooting on my own. I was shooting regularly for a few months and getting very frustrated until an awesome RO noticed my problem, pulled me aside and explained it to me. I still shoot RH but use my left eye. One thing I have not really ever seen a good explanation for is why some people can just close their dominant eye and be on target. For me, with a pistol, I am still not even on the paper from 10 feet away. What doesn't make sense is that I shoot my rifles with my right eye and do pretty well. I am not sure if the longer barrel compensates some or what. I do shoot rifle better left handed but it is a whole lot less enjoyable with my leverguns and there is only a marginal improvement in accuracy.

kludge
July 3, 2013, 02:15 PM
Simply not true, kludge.

Yet by your own admission, you always miss the first shot.

GBExpat
July 3, 2013, 02:25 PM
Yet by your own admission, you always miss the first shot.
And then hit all of the rest.

Shooting shotgun right handed when you're left eyed is never going to work.

And the reason for my first shot miss has not been determined ... it could have something to do with the cross dominance and it could be just what we always called it, a Settle Down Shot.

hso
July 3, 2013, 02:57 PM
You'd expect a "settle down shot" to be less frequent than all the time.

Potatohead
July 3, 2013, 03:33 PM
I can't remember where I heard this but supposedly if you are cross eye dominant you can wear a patch and over time your brain will switch to the other eye. I tried that for years and while still right handed but left eyed I can shoot with both eyes open. In my 20s I would have said I was 70/30 left eye to right but now in my early 50s I would say 55/45.
only if you see equally well with both i would think. my brain has pretty much shut my bad eye down

GBExpat
July 3, 2013, 04:47 PM
You'd expect a "settle down shot" to be less frequent than all the time.

{shrug} You, perhaps. I figured that that was just a manifestation of nerves and/or shooting-type change.

I didn't consider it a real issue since with every single shot thereafter during the entire hunt I dropped a dove zooming/tricking past. I always filled my Limit and did likewise on the Limits of several of the others who were not very good at wing shooting.

Before I got into dove hunting I used to walk-up quail (sans dogs). That would get exciting as groups would exPLODE out of cover and race away. Never had any First Shot issues with the quail, but during that period I was doing mostly shotgun work.

EDIT:
I have never gone dove hunting two days in a row. Usually once a year we could put together a group that could organize their schedules. So each time I walked out into a dove field it had been quite awhile since the last time I had done that type of shooting.

larryh1108
July 4, 2013, 07:45 AM
I am also left eye dominant and right handed. I did not know this until a few years back with a test on here.

As a little kid, I aways "shot" my toy rifles left handed (left shoulder) and always "shot" my toy pistols right handed. I never gave it a second thought, it was just natural.

When I learned I was cross-dominant, I began to search for answers and hints. There are some great articles and hints, etc., but since this is the way it's been for over 40 years I ask myself "why change now?" I have always shot well when I shot my pistol with my left hand but being right-handed I shoot that way 99% of the time. I realized that I closed my left (dominant) eye when I pistol shot and that was how I managed all these years. I now try both eyes open but usually fall back to just closing my left eye.

I'd like to ask, I always shot semi-auto pistols with a 2 handed grip (Weaver or modified Weaver) but I prefer to shoot revolvers 1 handed (aka dueling stance). Is this the norm? I believe that the one-handed grip allows me to keep my dominant eye open and seems more comfortable. I also seem to be more accurate. Does anyone shoot one-handed only for all pistols or is there any "right way" for revolver vs semi stances and grips?

Sam1911
July 4, 2013, 08:44 AM
I'd like to ask, I always shot semi-auto pistols with a 2 handed grip (Weaver or modified Weaver) but I prefer to shoot revolvers 1 handed (aka dueling stance). Is this the norm? I believe that the one-handed grip allows me to keep my dominant eye open and seems more comfortable. Does anyone shoot one-handed only for all pistols or is there any "right way" for revolver vs semi stances and grips?

Most cross-dominant shooters will shoot handguns with their strong hand, but with the strong eye. So the right hand may be running the gun but they (often unconsciously) turn the gun just a half a degree (or whatever) so the sights align with the left eye. (Or vice versa in your case.) That works for all handguns.

(You can't turn the gun, or your head, enough to align like that when firing a long gun which is why the best practice is to teach cross dominant shooters to run a rifle or shotgun from their dominant EYE shoulder.)

I don't believe I've ever met anyone who was actually more accurate firing handguns one-hand instead of two (unless they were bullseye shooters who only practiced one-hand shooting exclusively). It certainly may be that you slow down and align your sights more carefully for a one-hand shot, but I can't imagine how you'd be more accurate, faster, shooting with one hand instead than with two.

Using the Weaver stance certainly can compound your problem as it will make it more difficult to cross-align. Try shifting to the modern isosceles stance and you'll probably find that it works, accurately and quickly, without you even noticing that you're cross-aligned.

3212
July 4, 2013, 09:40 AM
I am a right handed shooter,long guns only.I'm left eye dominant and never knew it.I've taken more than 60 deer by closing the left eye and using my right eye and a scope.At the range I usually shoot groups less than 2 inches at 100 yards.

Sam1911
July 4, 2013, 09:45 AM
Yup. Using a magnifying optic and slow, carefully staged shots at distance are the end of the shooting spectrum where cross-dominance matters least. If your shooting is mostly confined to deer hunting at medium or longer ranges, you really don't need to go to the effort of re-educating/optimizing your shooting skills.

Wing-shooting, dynamic/practical close and fast pistol and carbine work, and jump-shooting game are where the optimization of dominant hand/eye really benefit you.

LubeckTech
July 4, 2013, 12:39 PM
In shooting matches where weak hand shooting is required is it more efficient to use the dominant eye or weak eye? I am right handed and right dominant and have been trying to improve my weak hand skills. In the effort I have began closing my dominant eye and using left eye with left hand because it seems more comfortable plus simulates an eye injury. I can't decide which (left or right eye with left hand) would be best for on the clock shooting and an interested on some opinions.

Sam1911
July 4, 2013, 01:38 PM
Stick with the dominant eye, absolutely, when shooting handguns. You will naturally anyway.

When shooting long guns swap-shoulder, of course, you'll need to close your dominant eye.

Reloadron
July 4, 2013, 02:02 PM
I am one of those people who happens to be Left Eye dominant and a right handed person. I was about 8 years old the first time I was handed a .22 rifle to shoot and try as I did my shots were all off to one side. My uncle took the rifle and placed it in my left shoulder and told me to close my right eye and shoot. While not great, suddenly all those little bullets started going where they were supposed to go. I began shooting a rifle left handed, again I was 8 years old. That was in 1958.

The below image was taken around May 1969 at the 500 yard line. I am the shooter on the right shooting target #29.

http://www.bearblain.com/images/Qual%20Day.png

So 11 years later I was still shooting left handed. I fired a strong Sharpshooter that day missing Expert by a few points but it beat the heck out of Marksman or not making Marksman.

Today here we are 45 more years later and I still shoot the same. When I pick up a rifle it just instinctively gets placed in my left shoulder. There is no thought involved or thinking about it. It just happens naturally. When shooting handgun I use my right hand. I always have and always will. Again, this is instinctively with no thought. At 63 my vision isn't what it once was but I was spared corrective vision till my early 50s and fortunately my left eye remains the better eye. Over 10 years in the Marine Corps with annual qualifications I survived just fine, though I sure as heck don't bend as well as I once did. :)

I just tend to believe people tend to adapt to their surroundings and physical limitations.

Just My Take....
Ron

hardheart
July 4, 2013, 06:41 PM
I am cross eye dominant, but my major issue is that I can't focus with either eye if both are open. when I focus on the front sight of a handgun, I see two front sights, two targets, and two rear sights. I can align on either eye, but the images fade in and out and neither set becomes more clear than the other. the only way to avoid it with both eyes open is to hold with one hand out to my side. from a center hold, I can shift out to about 40 degrees either way before all I see is one slide and target. so I close one eye, and do okay with either, it becomes more important to practice grip and wrist position, because that drives which eye I focus with. the problem is worse with rear apertures on long guns, and I haven't tried shooting left handed, I am very strongly right hand dominant.

JSH1
July 8, 2013, 11:53 AM
I am left eye dominant / right handed and normally shoot right handed. Yesterday I went to the range to try out the new barrel on my shotgun and decided to try to shoot left handed. It was very awkward at first, even handling and loading the gun. I hit 2 out of 15 when I was trying to aim the gun at the clay using the bead as a sight. I was also having trouble with the sight picture switching back and forth between my left and right eye. Then I decided to completely ignore the bead and focus only on the clay and hit 5 out of 5. Overall I am pretty happy with the results and will continue to shoot lefty the next time out.

Reloadron
July 8, 2013, 05:12 PM
I am left eye dominant / right handed and normally shoot right handed. Yesterday I went to the range to try out the new barrel on my shotgun and decided to try to shoot left handed. It was very awkward at first, even handling and loading the gun. I hit 2 out of 15 when I was trying to aim the gun at the clay using the bead as a sight. I was also having trouble with the sight picture switching back and forth between my left and right eye. Then I decided to completely ignore the bead and focus only on the clay and hit 5 out of 5. Overall I am pretty happy with the results and will continue to shoot lefty the next time out.
I'll venture a guess here that with practice or more like doing it for awhile it will just come naturally.

Ron

baz
July 8, 2013, 05:37 PM
(You can't turn the gun, or your head, enough to align like that when firing a long gun which is why the best practice is to teach cross dominant shooters to run a rifle or shotgun from their dominant EYE shoulder.)Well, you can, in certain circumstances. The higher the optic, and with enough drop of the comb (or at heel), the head can be turned so that a right handed rifle shooter can sight with the left eye. I know this, because it is how I shoot. For years, I hunted with a lever gun (these have a greater drop than typical bolt actions) and a scope mounted with see through scope mounts (like these (http://www.mackspw.com/ItemImages/Large/LEU55880.jpg)). With the advent of the "scout mount" I am able to do this with bolt action rifles. With my GSR, I use these rings (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41cH2aJMlvL._SX385_.jpg); the height, combined with the forward position of the scope, allows me to tilt my head and sight with my left eye.

It is not ideal, and I would rather have learned to shoot rifles left handed when a youngster. But like many, I was much older when I realized I was cross dominant, and after nearly 40 years of shooting right handed, I am not about to change. At least it works, for me.

JSH1
July 8, 2013, 05:49 PM
I'll venture a guess here that with practice or more like doing it for awhile it will just come naturally.

Ron
I suspect it will. Just goes to show that you can teach middle-aged dogs new tricks.

Sam1911
July 8, 2013, 06:58 PM
Well, you can, in certain circumstances.Of course, with enough effort and contortion, you CAN do almost anything, to some level of success. I should have been more specific.

It is not ideal, and I would rather have learned to shoot rifles left handed when a youngster. Indeed!

Mat, not doormat
July 9, 2013, 12:26 AM
As he's young, you have the chance to teach him the methods that will be most likely to bring him success without having to "un-learn" a bunch of habits.

If he's left-eye dominant, have him shoot long guns from the left shoulder. He's got to learn all the skills from the ground up anyway, and while you can easily train his hands to use the gun "lefty" you'll never really re-train his eye.

Shooting handguns is simple, and probably what he'd do naturally: Shoot "righty" (if that's what he naturally wants to do) but aim with the dominant eye. There's no problem with that at all.

Letting his dominant eye drive his shooting style will make him a better and more natural shot in the end. He can much more easily learn to shoot with both eyes open while pistol shooting, dynamic rifle shooting, wingshooting, and such, and so will have better balance, depth perception, and range of vision.
Sam nailed it. Have him shoot long guns lefty. Let him pick which hand to use for pistols.

I'm cross dominant myself, and shot right handed with my left eye squinted or closed for the first 22 years of my shooting career. Then an injury forced me to switch shoulders with my long guns, (I'd already been shooting handguns with either for a few years) and it's been remarkable. It took some concentrated effort to relearn such ingrained skills, but it's so much easier not to have to fight it all the time.

limpingbear
July 9, 2013, 12:37 AM
I am also right handed but left eyed. Over the years I just learned to shoot a rifle left handed and have had no problems since. One thing to consider now while he is young is depth perception issues. My eye dominance problem was not figured out until later in life and corrective action would have been ineffective. I am so left eye dominant that I almost don't use my right eye. This has caused me to have poor depth perception. I was in the Navy for 14 years and never passed a flight deck physical because of it.
Something as simple as an eyepatch over my left eye for about an hour a day when I was young would have saved me a lot of aggravation later in life.

Zach S
July 9, 2013, 04:11 AM
I'm cross-dominate as well...

About 15 (or more) years ago, a friend and I were shooting his mini-14. I was shooting a lot, but not hitting much... His dad suggested I try to shoot left handed. When I asked if he really thought that would help, his reply was "It wont hurt..." I didn't find the humor in that until years later, but my shooting improved quite a bit that day.

Since then, even though I'm right handed, most things that require two hands are operated left handed. While I could think of more, the only two things that come to mind at the moment are long guns and sawzalls...

I have found cross-dominance to be a strength. I get more "weak-side" practice than a lot of folks I've noticed. Shooting pistols left handed isn't weird to me since my left hand is accustomed to shooting rifles, and shooting rifles right handed isnt weird since, well, I'm right handed.

rduchateau2954
July 9, 2013, 02:28 PM
x whatever on having his eyes checked. I am righty/left eye dominant. As I move closer to 30, I am noticing my left eye sees greater definition than my right.

Arizona_Mike
July 10, 2013, 01:28 PM
Went shooting a couple times with a female friend. First time was a disaster because my stocks were all too long (6'3" with only 29 inseam--probably 6'6" torso and arm proportions--I like a 14" LoP). She is short, has "T-Rex arms" and is very busty. The next time I brought my Colt AR with a M4 style stock and learned the utility of that kind of stock for beginners. More recently I picked up a factory Ruger 10/22 with a collapsible stock as well (I was looking for a threaded barrel 10/22 for my SS Sparrow).

She had fun the second outing but I noticed her trying to use her left eye. Next outing I'm going to take the AR and 10/22 and try her shooting left handed. I bought some fun reactive metal rimfire targets (resettable).

In will have her do the eye dominance test. Thanks.

Mike

Stevie-Ray
July 10, 2013, 01:51 PM
I just close my left eye for long arms and my right eye or pistols. I was doing this long before there was an Internet.Cross-dominant here also and have done the same for over 40 years. Only problem is shotgunning, and since I have taken an interest in shotgunning games, I am now beginning to experiment with translucent stickers and such for better depth perception.

bobland
July 10, 2013, 02:04 PM
I'm right handed but blind in my right eye. I shoot handguns right handed, rifles left handed. I can shoot handguns with both hands but prefer the right. I lost my right eye when I was 6 so this is a no brainer for me.

Sam1911
July 10, 2013, 02:08 PM
and since I have taken an interest in shotgunning games, I am now beginning to experiment with translucent stickers and such for better depth perception.If you're just starting out in shotgunning, the best bet would be to start out experimenting with shooting from the left shoulder. Then you won't need the stickers and you'll get the benefit of the best BOTH of your eyes can give you, rather than dumbing down the good eye below the acuity of the bad one.

supergrub
July 10, 2013, 05:45 PM
Muddy Dog, is he ambi-dexterous? I am.I shoot a rifle/shotgun with my left with left eye open. Shoot a pistol right handed but keep both eyes open.I can also shoot a rifle with right but it is harder to do.Teach him to lay his head along the stock & close the eye he doesn`t use. Just a thought.

marv
July 10, 2013, 06:48 PM
At 80 yo I am learning to shoot cross eye. A recent stroke left me with double vision. The right side of my glasses is taped over to prevent seeing double. I shoot right handed. I first tried dry firing pistols crosseyed and no problem was indicated. Then I successfully dropped the hammer on a couple belligerent coons in my backyard with my 22/45. Now I have to get in some serious trigger time.

Stevie-Ray
July 11, 2013, 08:38 PM
If you're just starting out in shotgunning, the best bet would be to start out experimenting with shooting from the left shoulder. Then you won't need the stickers and you'll get the benefit of the best BOTH of your eyes can give you, rather than dumbing down the good eye below the acuity of the bad one. I intend to try that as well, Sam. Generally though, a problem arises whenever I find out that I'm not just right-handed, but really right-handed.:o

X-JaVeN-X
July 11, 2013, 10:40 PM
Both eyes open is very important for hunting, skeet, trap, combat shooting, etc, where picking up and transitioning to multiple targets is aided by the wider field of view. If you're just punching paper on a static range, you're right it's not big deal, but when it comes to moving and shooting, with multiple targets, having both eyes open is essential.
I've done everything you mention except for "combat shooting" quite successfully and have ALWAYS shot with one eye closed....so my experience differs greatly from what you claim to be "essential".

I was very young when I started shooting (grandfather taught me). At the time, I only had the dexterity to close my right eye and so my grandfather taught me to shoot left handed (only shot long guns growing up). To this day, it's the only thing I do left handed.

I never heard anything about eye dominance until a few years ago when I started teaching myself to shoot with handguns. So, decided to check and see what I was and I really can't tell. Mine changes. I shoot handguns with my right eye and rifles with my left eye. My eyes seem to automatically adjust to whichever I'm shooting. If I'm shooting a rifle (left handed) and then switch to a handgun, I aim down the sights of the handgun and my left eye will still be dominant at this point. I then just wink for a second and the dominance essentially switches over to my right eye.

Now, with that said...I rarely shoot with both eyes open...I guess it's just because I shot for so many years with one closed that it seems more natural, and as I stated above, it doesn't seem to hinder me in anyway when I shoot (as some would have me to believe).

So, I don't know if you can be both eye dominant or not, but I can make my eye dominance change on the fly if need be.

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