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Optics and Eye Dominance

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by PastorAaron, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. PastorAaron

    PastorAaron Well-Known Member

    Hey all,
    I am one of the chosen few (lol) who are right handed and left eye dominant. I've learned to adjust when shooting my pistols, but I have a heck of a time when using optics on long guns. I've been simply closing my left eye to shoot, but the decrease in peripheral vision drives me nuts. On top of that, the clarity of vision in my right eye is slightly less than the left.
    Any ideas for overcoming this obstacle?
    Will a red dot be better or worse?
    God Bless,
  2. rogerstg

    rogerstg Well-Known Member

    A little trick of trap shooters in your circumstance is to put a vertical strip of cellophane tape on the left lens of your shooting glasses. Not directly in front of the pupil, but just to the left. The visual distraction seems to force dominance to the right eye.

    Even though I'm right handed and right eyed, I've used that trick when my eyes are tired and/or the lighting is poor and I can't seem to establish dominance.
  3. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    although I don't suffer from it, several in my family do. Most of them right handed, but shoot left-handed.

    Rogerstg's celophane tape trick should help.

    ---good luck.
  4. RNB65

    RNB65 Well-Known Member

    I'm left eye dominant. I shoot right handed. The vision out of my right eye is terrible compared to my left eye due to astigmatism in my right eye and contact lenses which do a poor job of correcting astigmatism.

    With handguns, I aim with my left eye. With shotguns, I use the Scotch tape on the left lens method. With rifles, I just live with it and use good optics. As long as the fuzzy crosshairs line up with the fuzzy target, all is well. No big deal.
  5. rduchateau2954

    rduchateau2954 Well-Known Member

    I have the exact same thing as you do. I bought a long fiber optic front sight for my shotgun. You can only see the red if you are looking at it straight.


    You can kinda see it in this pic.

    Otherwise all my shooting glasses have electrical tape on them. Like these two:
  6. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    I take it you've been to an eye doctor who has informed you:
    1. The peripheral vision of your right eye is normal
    2. The clarity of your right eye's vision can be corrected to normal (as good as your left eye) with glasses
    If so, get the glasses (you can get them made out of polycarbonate, so they'll double as shooting glasses) and see what you think then. Otherwise, you might have a problem with that right eye.

    Most "normals" lose only 30 degrees (of slightly more than 180 degrees) of peripheral vision by closing an eye; if you're losing more than that when you close your left, it could explain why it particularly bothers you.
  7. montgomery381

    montgomery381 Well-Known Member

    I am also one of those lucky few and like you I just choose to close my left eye. As far as I know it is impossible to change which eye is dominant. As for the clarity issue and using a scoped rifle, assuming that there is nothing medically wrong with your eye, you just have to choose which is more important dominant hand or eye. For a long time, even through basic training, I shot rifle with my left hand and did just fine. If you are into tactical carbine shooting where you don't necessarily need magnification a red dot sight works just fine with both eyes open using your right hand. Another thing on optics, and maybe it is just me, regardless of which hand I am using I have to shut one eye. I simply cannot use a scope with both eyes open.
  8. Hud

    Hud Well-Known Member


    I'm in the same boat.
    I aim with my left with pistols, use the tape trick or close my left squinty for open sight rifles, but on my scoped rifles, I put the flip-up lens cover sideways on the ocular lens so it flips to the left & blocks that eye without messing up my peripheral vision.

  9. d2wing

    d2wing Well-Known Member

    The recommended way is learn to shoot left handed. But that may be too ackward if you are used to shooting right handed. I don't think a red dot would help but you could try it.
  10. PastorAaron

    PastorAaron Well-Known Member

    As far as I know, my vision is healthy. The right just feels weak compared to lefty. Even though my glasses correct the vision, the details are just a little fuzzier on that eye.
    I'll give the tape trick a swing. I doubt I'd be able to undo all the years of shooting right handed...
  11. rdsmith3

    rdsmith3 Well-Known Member

    rduchateau2954 - what kind of sight is that on your shotgun? I might benefit from that.

    I am also "blessed" with left eye dominance and right handedness.
  12. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    In my experience, a quality red dot of sufficient brightness is the perfect solution, as long as you don't need magnification.
  13. Batta

    Batta Active Member

    Try shooting botheyes open through your scope. Using your right eye through the scope. I also started out left eye dominate and have been forcing my right eye to work for so long that now when I do the dominance check I'm both eye dominate.
  14. rduchateau2954

    rduchateau2954 Well-Known Member

    rdsmith3 - I honestly don't remember, it was too long ago, sorry.

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