7 Year Old's Good Eye- how to shoot?


June 3, 2004, 11:51 PM
My seven year old has a dominant left eye, but is right handed. He can switch hit at baseball but cannot throw with his left hand very well- just his right. He draws and writes with his right-

This summer is going to be the time to introduce him to a .22 rifle. But now I'm perplexed. Should I attempt a Right eye realignment? I actually think it might take. OR should he be taught to shoot left handed?

All your advice would be greatly appreciated.

The dominant eye theory was passed by a savy gun store clerk who caught it. My son backs this up- he says the rifle sights are easier to see by holding it from the left, they just feel better.

If he is going to be left handed shooting, I'll probably get him the single shot NE handi rifle in 22



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June 4, 2004, 01:55 AM
Being 7 years old I would suggest that he learn to shoot rifle with his dominant eye. As he practices it will become natural as his hands learn to coordinate with the left eye. (then he joins the military and they teach him to shoot right handed ).
One of the best bluegrass musicians I know (he can play everything) plays right handed instruments left handed because that's how he learned as a kid.

Double Maduro
June 4, 2004, 02:36 AM

My dad was blind in his right eye and was right handed. Learned to shoot left handed and was pretty good.


June 4, 2004, 04:10 AM
I'ma left handed; right eye dominate -- I just close my right eye, and shoot left handed. Doesn't hinder my shooting any.

Both eyes open with pistol. So that doesn't matter.

Andrew Wyatt
June 4, 2004, 04:26 AM
teach him to shoot left handed. trying to force him to shoot right handed is just cruel.

June 4, 2004, 04:47 AM
I am right handed, left eye dominant. DO NOT try to force him to shoot right handed. In the beginning you want him to have fun and you don't have any fun missing every shot. After he has aquired a high degree of skill, if he wants to try to train his right eye, then he could try. I was found trying to shoot right handed at summer camp when I was 9 and the instructor tought me to shoot lefty. I don't miss any more and fourty five years later I still shoot lefty with rifle/shotgun. ;)

Shoot handgun right handed though.:D

June 4, 2004, 06:15 AM
My son is right handed/left eye dominant. He learned to shoot right handed with no trouble. I just put masking tape on the left lense of his shooting glasses at first and once he got used to using his right eye he got it figured out. Hes had no trouble since. Why handicap him with a left hand gun if you dont have to?

June 4, 2004, 07:31 AM
Hmm. I, too am left eye dominant, and a right handed shooter. By the time somebody caught it, I'd been shooting for quite some time, and all my gear was right handed. I do fine, now that I know the problem. I just closed my right eye for a while. It is a big advantage on left side barricade shooting(like that comes up a lot). I'm still considering switching to left hand shooting. Problem with that is, all my guns are right hand functional. Slide release, mag release, all on the wrong side. Something to bear in mind.

June 4, 2004, 08:22 AM
Same thing here. I'm teaching my son how to shoot this summer. He's right-handed for everything, but left-eye dominant. I'm teaching him how to shoot lefty, so that he stands the best chance for not having problems down the road.

June 4, 2004, 09:47 AM
Well, so much for a definitive answer. The human nervous system must be a marvel of adaptation. It sounds to me like either would probably work.

If I get the single shot- he can choose. I wish he didn't have to face a right handed world shooting left. Looks like now I know who to leave my lever guns to.

I wish there were a 'right' answer. Oh well.

The funny thing- my right eye was injured a year ago- and I thought I'd just learn to shoot left. The eye appears to have improved enough so that may not be neccesary.

I'd do anything to shoot- even swap sides.

I may have to cut down the stock of the HR for my son . It seems to have a longer length of pull than some of the right handed bolt youth actions.


June 4, 2004, 09:50 AM
How do you know if your opposite eye dominant?
I have a lefty child and a right handed child. Both do well in school and nothing would indicate a difference in hand/eye. I don't know even know if I have an eye preference. Would an eye exam determine this? Also, I would think if a person were right handed they would be much better off learning to shoot right handed for equipment reasons alone.

June 4, 2004, 10:02 AM
I'm left eye dominant but right-handed. So bad that I cannot close my left eye while leaving the right open. Here's what I do.

I shoot pistols right-handed (sights in front of my left eye) and rifles and shotguns left-handed (so I can sight with my left eye). I shoot both types of firearms quite well.

June 4, 2004, 10:23 AM
There's a simple test for eye dominance- so naturally I've forgotten it.

Someone will weigh in with the correct procedure- holding a finger in front of your face and alternatively closing each eye. I believe the 'jump' or shift occurs in the double image from the weak eye, the strong eye image remaining in place.


June 4, 2004, 10:56 AM
How do you know if your opposite eye dominant?

I found out when I went to buy my bow that I am a leftie that's right eye dom. which works out OK since I actually am more comfortable shooting my bow right handed (one of the very few things I do better right handed)

The way they did it is to hard for me to try and explain (I know, big help) but I can try...

Have your child stand in front of you and place their hands (palms facing you) together forming a triangular hole between their index fingers and thumbs (sure hope you can visualize what I'm trying to explain) then have them raise their hands up until they can see you through that hole.... Holding that position have them close one eye and see if they can still see you, then have them open it and close the other one to check sight... Do this a few times to get some consistancy and it should give you a pretty good idea of their eye dominance

If you have an archery shop nearby I'm sure they would help... It's a simple thing to do and takes all of 2 minutes...

June 4, 2004, 11:30 AM
Whichever way you try to teach him, do it now and stick with it. I am right handed, but left eye dominant. When I started, I would go back and forth and never actually learned the proper way to shoot either way. As a result, I could fire equally poorly right or lefty.
It took a lot of practice to develop good habits (and forget the bad ones) and be able to shoot effectively from both sides.

My friends still give me goofy looks when I shoulder long guns on my left shoulder.

June 4, 2004, 11:45 AM
Let him choose. I'm right handed/left eye dominant.

Spent most of my life shooting long guns left handed, many aren't an issue, handguns are not an issue.

I shoot equally from either shoulder with long guns but prefer to use my dominant eye side.


June 4, 2004, 12:20 PM
I took mauserladies test and I'm right eye dominant(righthanded). It's a good test, I'll try it on my kids. Thanks.

June 4, 2004, 01:04 PM
In the scientific studies of shooting they have shown that it's easier to train the hand than the eye - so shoot on your dominant eye side.

June 4, 2004, 01:54 PM
I'm right handed, and left eye dominant. I learned to shoot right handed, but it took me until recently to find out I shoot better left handed (because of the eye thing). My advice would be to let him shoot left handed, since a lot of people eventually practice shooting both ways, and it's easier to switch hands than to try firing through sights you can barely see.

Which ever you decide to do, at least you know he's left eye dominant, and are taking that into account. When I first tried shooting, it was right handed, and I'd lean my head way over and use my left eye to line up the sights, couldn't even see when I tried to use a scope. Bad part was it took my dad a while to figure out what the problem was.

June 4, 2004, 07:18 PM
The thing is, I'm generally right-handed, right-eye dominant, and on most everything (guitars, cameras, writing/drawing, eating, etc.) I have to do it right-handed.

Seems the three things I can do well left handed are:

1) Drive in Europe. I learned stick in Ireland, but if I try it here, the transmission feels like it's on the wrong side for me. :(

2) Shoot, which really comes in handy during long days at the range when I begin to get a little sore--just switch shoulders and keep blasting away. :) No explanation for it; both just work for me. I wasn't raised around guns at all, so that's not it... :confused:

3) Type. I guess this comes from too many FPS computer games since my left hand is on the keyboard and my right is on the mouse.

An easier test is to either A) hand them a camera and tell them to take a picture, noting which eye they readily bring the camera up to, or B) hand them a cardboard tube and tell them to pretend it's a telescope, and make the same note of which eye they hold it up to.

June 4, 2004, 07:29 PM
I'm right-handed and left-eyed also. I started shooting when I was around 10 years old. I have never noticed a problem. When in practice, I'm a pretty good shot.

Learning both left and right hand shooting at 7 years old is probably not a bad idea. Now would be the time.

June 5, 2004, 01:48 PM
well mabe i can help i was right eye dominant and right handed untill i was about 10 (id been shotting for awhile by then, unfortunantly i was blinded in my right eye later that year. so i learned to shoot left handed both pistols and rifles its not too hard really just takes practice. in fact im a better shot then either of my other 3 brothers or my sister and almost better then my dad who tought me. so if i were you id just go with lefthanded most guns are not hard to shoot lefthanded (i shoot everything from autos to revolvers to bolt and lever and seme rifles so dont worry about that part)

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