Cross Eye Dominance


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BigBL87
February 4, 2014, 06:59 PM
So, was doing some reading today and came across this. I've had trouble shooting with both eyes open in the past, and come to find out my left eye is my dominant eye but I'm right handed.

For others that have the same problem, how have you dealt with it? I've always just closed my left eye even though its not the "proper" way to shoot, but now I'm considering switching to shooting left handed with long guns.

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HammsBeer
February 4, 2014, 07:06 PM
I am also left eye dominate but right handed.

When shooting pistol I keep both open and sight with the left eye. Easy and after a few times it becomes second nature.

When shooting long guns it feels totally awkward and unnatural to shoot left handed/left shoulder. So I either close my left eye or put a peice of tape over the left lense of my shooting glasses. The blurry left image then lets my brain focus on the right image instead.

This is probably why I'm a decent shot with a pistol, but only so-so with rifles or shotguns because I'm only using one eye.

Forley
February 4, 2014, 07:12 PM
Same, right handed, left eye dominant. For handguns, I just sight with my left eye, it comes naturally. For long guns, I've just dealt with it, but my vision in my right eye isn't as good as my left, so I need to switch to left handed for long guns. As soon my .22lr from Cabela's comes in I'm going to start practicing that with my .22 rifle.

Sam1911
February 4, 2014, 07:13 PM
HammsBeer is right on.

With handguns there is no discernable problem with shooting cross-dominantly. You achieve a strong-hand grip but you'll "yaw" the gun ever so slightly, to line up the sights with your dominant eye. Many/most shooters will do this without even realizing it.

If you are able, teach yourself to shoot from the strong-eye shoulder with long guns. It turns out that most folks can train themselves to be perfectly proficient operating long-guns with their "weak" hand on the trigger, more easily than they can force their non-dominant eye to take over. Wing-shooting with a shotgun, cross-dominantly will be an exercise in futility. You CAN make do by closing your dominant eye, or occluding it with some clear tape on your shooting glasses.

But think about that for a moment. You just took your GOOD eye, the better half of your vision, out of commission. Shooting is all about SEEING. How much better to use your best eye -- and even better yet, to use BOTH? (Not to mention the huge loss of balance and depth-perception that closing an eye brings.)

Some folks just have so much time behind the gun "wrong-shouldered" that they don't feel that they can learn to do things any other way, and that's understandable. But if you're able to make the switch you'll be a better, more natural shot, especially on any moving targets and/or dynamic situations.

HammsBeer
February 4, 2014, 07:28 PM
I really should make more effort to shoot long guns dominate eye shouldered.

I tried shooting shotgun a few times with both open and right shouldered. Lets just say there were plenty of clays that had no reason to fear, as I lined up the front bead on the clay only to find myself instinctively shooting about 10 feet to the left! :uhoh:

CWL
February 4, 2014, 07:33 PM
Right-hand,left eye dominant as well here. A quick way taught to me to get my left eye "on site" when I shoot, is to immediately turn my head slightly right so that my jaw touches my right shoulder. This gives me a quick & consistent index to get my left eye in-line with the firearm. This way causes very little change to my shooting stance as the only thing changed is the tilt of my head.

BigBL87
February 4, 2014, 07:37 PM
Ya, I'm considering switching to my left shoulder because I don't have a lot of experience shooting and it shouldn't be that hard to learn because of that. It definitely made my mind up on which shotgun to buy though, I had kinda been waffling and thinking about several, but definitely going to get a Mossberg 500 for the tang safety if I'm going to switch to the left shoulder.

Vern Humphrey
February 4, 2014, 07:43 PM
I'm right handed and right eye dominant. As I got older I became far-sighted in my right eye and near-sighted in my left eye. When shooting a pistol I could no longer get a good focus on the front sight. I trained myself to use the left, non-dominant, eye for the front sight, and with practice was able to shoot with both eyes open.

I now see the front sight with needle sharpness, and the target as well (with the right eye.) The brain superimposes the images.

alfon99
February 4, 2014, 08:03 PM
I'm right handed, left eye dominant, but since I was a kid I was thaught to shoot closing my left eye, so I guess I got used to it.

Sam1911
February 4, 2014, 08:03 PM
Lets just say there were plenty of clays that had no reason to fear, as I lined up the front bead on the clay only to find myself instinctively shooting about 10 feet to the left!

LOL! I've done the same thing myself, in front of an audience. Except with me it was a swap-shoulder drill with a slug, and I blew away the right side target stake to the cheers and jeers of my squad mates. :o

StrutStopper
February 4, 2014, 08:05 PM
Right handed, left eye dominant. I shoot righty. No issues with handguns, pain with my bow or long guns. I keep my left eye closed.

PoserHoser
February 4, 2014, 08:09 PM
I shoot handguns right handed in an isosceles stance. Rifle and bow left handed. Alot easier to learn than you think.

rodregier
February 4, 2014, 09:21 PM
Cross-dominant. Right-handed, dominant left eye.

I shoot long guns sighting with my right eye, closing my left.

Pistols I shoot left-eyed, closing my right.
(Focusing speed and acuity for my left is much better.
I run optics for most of my long guns).

I've experimented with both eyes open, I find it too challenging.

Aerial shotgunning sighting is a big challenge for me. I'm still iterating on
finding a sight that is overwhelmingly "interesting" to my right eye that would let me leave my left eye open.

I'm up to trialing the HiViz MGH2007-I Magni-Hunter Magnetic Fiber Optic Shotgun Sight for that usage. I may end up using a 1X red dot for that usage if I can't identify an unpowered sight that fills the bill for my challenges.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001F0KEKA/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8

Prophet
February 4, 2014, 09:44 PM
I'm left eye dominant, right handed. I shoot ambidextrously with only a slight preference for right handed shooting, in which case I keep both eyes open and simply squint my left eye slightly until I can no longer visualize the sight picture through it. Using this method I'm able to rectify the cross dominance while maintaining situational awareness.

Mike J
February 4, 2014, 09:50 PM
I am cross dominant also. I am one of those that think I am just to far in to change shoulders on long guns so I close my left eye. Pistols are not a problem to shoot right handed & aim left eyed. The few times I have messed around at shotgun clays I wasn't very good. I need to work on that one again sometime.

Skribs
February 4, 2014, 09:55 PM
I shoot one-eyed even though I'm shooting with my dominant eye. Your options are to either A) shoot right-handed and deal with the eye dominance issue or B) shoot left-handed and deal with the off-hand issue AND the fact that most manufacturers make guns designed for right-handed folk.

I personally opt for B. I shoot long guns left-handed exclusively (I can't close my right eye without closing my left) and I shoot pistols mostly left-handed.

Noah
February 4, 2014, 09:58 PM
I have a lazy right eye, so I am very strongly left eye dominant. I am also right handed. I shoot handguns with an isosceles stance, right handed, and shoot long guns left handed. I've just done it that way since I was 6 and first picked up a toy gun.

AKElroy
February 4, 2014, 10:01 PM
Same deal for me. LED and right-handed. I fire all long-guns left handed, and all hand guns right handed using my left eye, using the "Horatio Cain" cant. My bolt guns are lefties, and I have 4 lever guns that see a lot of use.

My most used right-handed gun is a remmy 1100 for dove. I have to wear shooting glasses to keep powder out of my eyes.

hartcreek
February 5, 2014, 05:47 AM
I am right dominant BUT I make it a practice to at least shoot handguns right side and left side. With practice you can learn to do it either way.

stevek
February 5, 2014, 09:09 AM
Lefty with a dominant right eye. For me, since I learned this when first beginning to shoot, I just learned to shoot righty. But evidently I'm just very confused, as I throw a baseball, football lefty, but for some reason I throw a frisbee righty. :o

MEHavey
February 5, 2014, 09:18 AM
Left-dominant/Right-handed
Left eye on pistol/Right eye on rifles

No big deal.
Never has been. :rolleyes:

340PD
February 5, 2014, 09:23 AM
Two tips I have found helpful when working with students with cross dominant eye issues.

Being a proponent of keeping both eyes open while shooting (threats come at you from all directions)

This may help.

If right handed, with left dominant eye, most handgun shooters move their head over their sights instead of moving their gun over their left eye.

Visualize your gun at your sternum ready to push out toward your target. Before pushing the gun out move it to the left before you push it out toward your target. Thus keeping it more in line relative to the dominant eye.

It also may help if you move your right or left foot rearward slightly helping equalize arm length.
YMMV

Kuyong_Chuin
February 5, 2014, 10:18 AM
So, was doing some reading today and came across this. I've had trouble shooting with both eyes open in the past, and come to find out my left eye is my dominant eye but I'm right handed.

For others that have the same problem, how have you dealt with it? I've always just closed my left eye even though its not the "proper" way to shoot, but now I'm considering switching to shooting left handed with long guns.
I am left eye dominate as well. I normally shoot left handed though I write with my right hand. I can shoot with ether hand both long gun and handgun. When I shoot a long gun right handed I lean my head to the right and sight the gun with my left eye. With a pistol because of a bad astigmatism and a weaker right eye I have to turn my head slightly to the right so my right eye is not looking straight on at the sights or I have to close my right eye to keep from having double vision while aiming a handgun. I don't have the double vision problems with a long gun but that maybe because the way I am leaning my head and aiming.

Sam1911
February 5, 2014, 11:25 AM
When I shoot a long gun right handed I lean my head to the right and sight the gun with my left eye. I've seen new shooters try to do that but I don't think I've ever seen anyone get it to work. Could you post a picture of how you do that? How do you get your head so far around that your left eye gets behind the rear sight?

I assume this only works with v-notch sights mounted pretty far down the barrel? I can't imagine it would work at all behind an aperture sight like on an AR or M1.

Trent
February 5, 2014, 12:02 PM
Shooting weak-side on rifles/shotguns is strange at first, but it gets much easier and more natural with practice.

I'm right eye dominant but occasionally shoot rifle left handed. Shot an entire highpower match last summer this way just to prove a point to a competitor who was cross-eye dominant who adamantly refused to believe you can shoot a gun as accurately weak-side. Even though I was shooting weak side/weak eye, I won the match and put in an Expert score, only 2% down from my previous match shot strong side/strong eye.

If you are left eye dominant, shoot rifles/shotguns left handed. If you are right eye dominant, shoot rifles/shotguns right handed.

Not only is it the proper and correct way to go about doing this whole shooting thing, it's going to be far better long term if you do it correctly from the beginning. Fewer bad habits to break.

CoalTrain49
February 5, 2014, 12:12 PM
Fortunately I don't have to deal with it but I understand it can be a huge problem for some. I have more experience with shotgun sports than anything else and I've seen people black out their dominate eye with dots on their glasses so the non-dominate eye takes over. As was pointed out that limits your vision and creates it's own handicap.

If you have very little time with long guns or you are a new shooter, going to your dominate eye side is a no brainer. For old hands it will be difficult but I always encourage people to make the effort. Personally, I've never seen anyone shoot a shotgun well shooting from a non-dominate eye side. I've read that military instructors move people to their dominate eye side in training because it's unusual that a person can qualify shooting from a non-dominate eye side.

Sometimes you have to take two steps back to take three steps forward. It's not a lot of fun.

MEHavey
February 5, 2014, 09:44 PM
Personally, I've never seen anyone shoot a shotgun well
shooting from a non-dominate eye side.My father and I (were)are both left-eyed/right-handed
We both shot low-gun* skeet right-handed, and both have "100-straight" patches


*
While he was still with us, "we" defined our persopnal Low-Gun
contests as stock had to be in contact w/ the hip

CoalTrain49
February 7, 2014, 11:45 AM
That is exceptional and it sounds like you both put in a lot of work to get there. I'm sure there are others who master it but I believe you are in a small minority. I have started a few new shooters and always try to determine the eye dominance up front before we start. I'm not an accomplished rifle shooter but I suspect given the relationship with the eye and proper barrel alignment with a shotgun it seems to me it would be even more difficult to master. I see the term cheek to stock weld used a lot with the rifle fundamentals. If one tries that with a shotgun you will probably end up with a bruised face. I like my cheek to barely touch the stock and I need a lot of cast off.

Vern Humphrey
February 7, 2014, 12:35 PM
I trained myself to shoot with my left eye, as I mentioned earlier. The trick is to tilt the head to the right and keep both eyes open.

Billy Shears
February 7, 2014, 12:49 PM
For me this has always been a non-issue. I learned to shoot, starting at age 5, with a Browning T bolt .22 my Dad bought for me. I was right handed, so it never occurred to me to shoot any other way. When I got a bit older, I started shooting pistols, and I shot them the same way I did the rifle: right-handed, with my right eye behind the sights.

I didn't find out until I was in my late twenties that I'm actually left eye dominant.

And I didn't change a thing.

Why would I? I always shot expert in the army, and now, on the police force, I usually shoot 100s on the annual qualification course. I'm not about to go win a gold medal in the Olympics or start winning IDPA matches, but I can shoot better than most people shooting the way I've always shot. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I don't close my left eye either. I might squint slightly with the left eye, but it stays open, and I actually don't find it difficult to use my right. And if that were not enough, in recent years, I have developed a very slight astigmatism in my left eye which is not present in my right. It's correctable, of course, but it's so slight I've never bothered with it. But the result is my vision is sharper with my right eye, even though it's not the dominant eye, so I'm not about to switch away from it. I'd be resistant anyway, since everything in the world is set up for the right handed majority. For a lot of people, I'm not convinced the switch to poorer left-hand ergonomics on most long guns would outweigh the benefits of learning to shoot from the right shoulder and continue using the right eye.

Kuyong_Chuin
February 7, 2014, 06:56 PM
I've seen new shooters try to do that but I don't think I've ever seen anyone get it to work. Could you post a picture of how you do that? How do you get your head so far around that your left eye gets behind the rear sight?

I assume this only works with v-notch sights mounted pretty far down the barrel? I can't imagine it would work at all behind an aperture sight like on an AR or M1.
If I can figure out a way to photograph myself doing it I will post a photo. It will work with peep sites and scopes too you just have to know how to do it. Come too think of it I might have one already I'll have to check to see if I was posing right or left handed when Oleg took those photos years ago.

schoech1
February 8, 2014, 05:43 PM
I have the same issue, right handed but left eye dominant. Fortunately for me my first introduction to shooting was in the scout's shooting 22 rifles and 410 shotguns for clays. An observant range instructor saw very quickly that I was left eye dominant and switched the long guns to my left shoulder and I have been shooting left handed ever since. I was a police officer for about ten years and being cross eye dominant is a huge advantage starting out. I shoot left handed, but my strong hand is the right. So flashlight, baton, taser all in the right hand and feel totally natural. Shooting in left hand felt totally natural as well. For most police, learning to use your left hand for flashlight and baton is an issue.

larryh1108
February 8, 2014, 08:36 PM
I am also right handed/left eye dominant.
When I was a kid, I always shot my "rifle" left handed. I never knew it wasn't "right". I shoot pistols right handed. When I found out I was left eye dominant, I started to shut my left eye and I'm learning to shoot with my left hand as well. It feels natural but after shooting right handed for all these years it'll take some time to be proficient. I continue to shoot rifles left handed.

eldon519
February 8, 2014, 08:38 PM
I shoot cross-dominate. I don't find the need to close my dominant eye, just squinting a little is enough which preserves some of my peripheral vision compared to fully closing it.

Trent
February 8, 2014, 09:35 PM
Larry; it's fine to shoot pistols strong hand cross-eye. Just a very slight shift (usually you can't even tell you are doing it), and it's in line with the correct eye.

Rifles and shotguns are where people will have the problems.

Long range rifle isn't a big deal; your eye will go through the scope no problem, and if you're shooting irons at long range, you'll shield or close your off eye.

But tactical rifle (3 gun) where you have to acquire targets fast, and keep your peripheral vision wide open, is a big deal.

And skeet shooting is right out. It can be done by developing a strong natural point of aim, but it's much more difficult to master.

baz
February 8, 2014, 09:35 PM
When I shoot a long gun right handed I lean my head to the right and sight the gun with my left eye.
I've seen new shooters try to do that but I don't think I've ever seen anyone get it to work. Could you post a picture of how you do that? How do you get your head so far around that your left eye gets behind the rear sight?Sam, I do this. But not with just any rifle, because as you surmise, it is not always easy to get the left eye behind the rear sight. But there are "work arounds." With lever actions, they have enough of a drop with the comb that with a scope mounted high enough, it is easy to do. Otherwise, with more typical stocks, a forward mounted scope, a la "Scout mount" style, makes it easy. But with iron sights? I don't think so. At least, I don't even think about doing that. Nowadays, I just opt for a Scout mount.

I agree that it would have been better to learn to shoot lefty from the get go. But I was an adult before I started shooting, and shot for a while before I realized I was cross eye dominant. It just seemed easier to adapt, rather than to struggle to learn to shoot all over left handed.

What I do works for me. It may not work for others.

Damon555
February 8, 2014, 09:39 PM
Left handed, right eye dominant.....I learned to shoot a rifle right handed so it didn't matter.....I shoot handguns left handed and use my right eye....Only a few other people are in the same boat.

sauer1911
February 8, 2014, 09:53 PM
ok i'll jump in here too!

Everything is right handed except for vision. So I shoot IDPA right handed with my eyes open, and concentrate with my left eye.

With rifles, its right handed and right eyed and always seems to do pretty good!

Growing up I always shot with my right eye, just lately I added the Dominant left eye to my pistol shooting!:scrutiny:

be safe

morcey2
February 8, 2014, 10:23 PM
I'm right handed/left-eye dominant. I grew up shooting everything with my right eye only. I had to close my left eye to hit anything.

A couple of years ago, I started shooting pistol much more and I now shoot right-handed, but sight with my left eye and keep both eyes open. Shortly after that, I picked up an O/U shotgun and decided to learn to shoot that one left-handed. It didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would to actually shoot better with my left eye than shooting right handed. There were days that I could go a couple of rounds of trap or 5-stand and only miss one or two right handed, but it wasn't consistent. Other days, I'd go less than 50%. Once I started shooting left-eyed, I haven't had any screaming awesome days, but I'm rarely less than 80% and much more consistent.

For rifle, I still shoot right handed/right eyed. If I ever pick up a gun with a stock that's comfortable from the left shoulder, I'll start shooting that lefty too.

Matt

daniel craig
February 17, 2014, 11:25 AM
Is eye dominance all that important if a shooter shoots with both eyes open?

*Kemosabe*
February 17, 2014, 12:00 PM
It’s extremely important, but a dominant eye is not an absolute. A famous shotgun instructor (mostly sporting clays - I can retrieve his name for anyone interested) believes that eye dominance can momentarily change for several reasons. I KNOW he is correct because it kept me from running many straights at international skeet.

One of the tips he gives in his video is to close the non-dominant eye (when the dominant eye is on dominant side) the moment before pulling the trigger. I followed his instruction and it helped me immensely. YMMV.

brboyer
February 17, 2014, 12:21 PM
Is eye dominance all that important if a shooter shoots with both eyes open?
For aimed fire, yes. Most people tend to shoot/aim better with their dominant eye. But it is still important (perhaps critically so) to learn to shoot with either hand with either eye.

For point shooting, no.

gbeecher
February 17, 2014, 01:08 PM
It does affect your sight picture. It's important to practice keeping the same sight picture as you acquire and line up on the target. Four years ago, when I started shooting again after being away from it for 25+ years, I was closing one eye and aiming. My eldest son had always shot both eyes open, so I gave it a try about a year ago. Now I found that I shoot WAY better keeping both eyes open, whether I shoot my rifle or pistol! Happy shooting..:D

PBR Streetgang
February 17, 2014, 01:27 PM
in 50 something years of shooting I mostly shot with one eye open.

A few years past I started using a Aimpoint sight ,training myself to shoot both eyes open.

Since that point of time I find myself shooting both eyes open when firing a handgun with favorable results....

guess you can teach an old dog new tricks!!!

Sam1911
February 17, 2014, 01:34 PM
<Merged>

rbernie
February 17, 2014, 01:55 PM
A famous shotgun instructor (mostly sporting clays - I can retrieve his name for anyone interested) believes that eye dominance can momentarily change for several reasons. I KNOW he is correct because it kept me from running many straights at international skeet.
This is absolutely true. I am right handed and MOSTLY right eye dominant. There are many times (like when shooting shotgun or rifles with no-magnification optics) where the right eye is occluded enough that the brain switches to using the left eye as the dominant eye.

I recently made the switch back to shooting irons on my carbines in the hopes that I can rewire some of my brain's processing in this area.

SC Shooter
February 17, 2014, 02:07 PM
I too am left eye dominant, but with added problem of not being able to wink my left eye. As I do some things right handed, but some left, it is not too difficult to shoulder a long gun on the left. Since I was a teenager, I have had all my long guns with a left handed safety. As for hand gun, I shoot right handed, with the sights lined up on my left eye. That took some practice, but it works.

lefteye
February 17, 2014, 04:01 PM
I am right handed but more than 60 years ago my late father figured out that my left eye was dominant. He was also right handed but left eye dominant. I switched to shooting long guns left handed just like my dad. When I got into bow hunting it seemed very natural to shoot a left handed bow so all of my bows are left handed. I shoot hand guns right handed with both eyes open. Other than shooting long guns and bows I can't do anything left handed.

heavydluxe
February 17, 2014, 07:00 PM
Both of my kids are cross-eye dominant. My son is left-handed, right-eye dominant. My daughter is the opposite.

Both of them, thankfully, first shot rifle at our local range's junior rifle program. There they were encouraged to shoot from their dominant eye side. So, they both shoot the opposite of their handedness. Now it's second nature to them and they're both shooting rifles very well.

My son can shoot handguns either side... he has a slight affinity for his strong hand, and simply cants the gun slightly over to line up with his dominant eye (as has been mentioned before). My daughter's only shot a couple times and seems to prefer shooting 'weak-handed' with pistols as well.

I definitely think that, if you're trying to get really consistent with rifle shooting, teaching yourself to shoot appropriately to your vision is the right way to go. But, YMMV.

jlucke69
February 19, 2014, 01:23 PM
I am cross dominant and shoot left handed except for handgun which I can shoot fairly well either way. I also shoot bow left handed and fish left handed. I teach shooting sports and do my best to identify cross dominance in kids and work with them to shoot with their dominant eye. Most see an immediate improvement.

Defc0n
February 20, 2014, 02:03 PM
Left handed right eye dominant here. It really depends on what I'm shooting as to how I'm going to shoot as far as closing one eye. I found that shooting from the right shoulder using the dominant eye is pretty easy, especially since that's just how I learned to shoot.

When using my pistols I will typically close one eye, unless I'm training for more practical circumstances and not working on accuracy, then I'll keep both open at times. When using high power scopes, definitely close one eye. When using something with less power (typically 5x or less) I can shoot just fine with both eyes open. Shotguns are a toss up. I don't really pay attention to closing one eye or not and will shoot one day with both eyes and close one eye the next day without even thinking about it and have the same results as far as accuracy goes.

Kuyong_Chuin
February 21, 2014, 12:44 AM
I've seen new shooters try to do that but I don't think I've ever seen anyone get it to work. Could you post a picture of how you do that? How do you get your head so far around that your left eye gets behind the rear sight?

I assume this only works with v-notch sights mounted pretty far down the barrel? I can't imagine it would work at all behind an aperture sight like on an AR or M1.
Still have not figured out how to shoot a photo for you yet but I will eventually. I did not know if it would work on an M1 Carbine or not till I found one at the LGS. It still works, it was a little more awkward than normal due to the way the stock is shaped be still possible to do. If I had an extra $400.00 plus tax and fees I would have walked out with one of the three M1 carbines they had there.

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