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Teach 13 YO son to shoot RH or LH?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Batty67, Oct 11, 2012.

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  1. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

    Oct 31, 2007
    Somewhere in Maryland
    How dominant is the dominance? I'm mildly right eye dominant...but can switch over to my left eye very easily. But I do one-handed tasks right-handed, so I shoot that way.

    (two-handed tasks like swinging a bat I do left-handed)
  2. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

    Jun 5, 2006
    In a part of Utah that resembles Tattooine.
    Try both, but you're probably going to see that left-handed works better.
  3. Red Cent

    Red Cent Member

    May 20, 2010
    McLeansville, NC by way of WV SASS 29170L
    At that age, long guns left handed. After a years and years of competition shooting, right handed with a handgun is easy.

    Le/rh - me too.
  4. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

    May 2, 2012
    The Texas Hill Country
    My wife is cross-eye dominant. That's why she shoots WITH BOTH HANDS. :neener:
    Let the boy shoot both ways. MAKE him shoot both ways, then let him settle into whatever works better for him.
  5. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    Springfield, MO
    Allow him to choose. How do you like it when someone forces you to do something?

    Texan Scott types faster than I !
  6. harmon rabb

    harmon rabb Member

    Mar 14, 2009
    I'm left handed right eye dominant as well, shoot righty, zero issues.
  7. Fotno

    Fotno Member

    Apr 13, 2011
    W. North Carolina
    ^^^^Good counsel here.

    I'm 47, left eye dominant and right handed; so I've been dealing with this all my shooting life. I tried for years to shoot rifles left handed, but despite all that effort I still shoot rifles better when I shoot right handed, and close my left eye. I always shoot my handguns right handed.
  8. woerm

    woerm Member

    Feb 27, 2004
    Glitter Gulch, LSR
    use the right equipment

    My oldest is left eye/right handed. after I taught him basic marksman ship (rifle) with a Cricket .22 and how to use scopes etc I got him a left handed Savage.

    I figure it is more important to have the gun fit than have to work around it.

    He does fine (note he rips off my M1 carbine most of the time at the range and it's about as non-southpaw as it gets but he has fun with it). Will start working on pistols later he really good with the carbine but the Savage is dime size groups (w/ that scope I get a single little hole on the paper).
  9. coolluke01

    coolluke01 Member

    Feb 23, 2011
    I am left eye dominate and right handed. I never knew I was left eye dominate until I really started to try and shoot with both eyes open. I had been taught to close my left eye when shooting from the beginning. I am thankful for that. Shooting left handed brings up a host of problems, some of which have been mentioned. It's simply a right handed world and it requires more effort and often expense to get things made for left handers.

    With some practice I can now shoot my handguns and long guns with eyes open right handed. It's not even remotely difficult anymore and I do it naturally.

    I would encourage anyone new to shooting to learn to shoot right handed and save themselves difficulty in the future. This may not be possible for everyone as some are unable to have the coordination to do things with their weak hands. But it can be done. Just for the heck of it, my younger brother taught himself to eat left handed when he was 10. He still does it to this day. This is a fine motor skill and shows that anyone should be able to learn to do things well with their weak hand. I believe the same thing goes for eye dominance.
  10. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

    May 5, 2005
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    Why make things more difficult than they need to be? And closing one eye brings up another barrel of fish. Whenever I tried to close one eye like I'd seen the Duke or Jimmy Stewart do, I was soundly slapped upside the head. I was extremely grateful to my Dad for that many years later. Just learn how to run the gun with the dominant eye first, weak hand manipulation is only an issue for us "geezers" with habits. To a kid learning the first time, it's no big deal.
  11. wtr100

    wtr100 Member

    Jan 2, 2008
    teaching a lot of boyscout merit badge I have a lot more luck putting a blinder over the dominate eye or even having them close it that I do getting them to do the fine motor skills with the weak hand to use the dominant eye

    TACOJOE Member

    Dec 3, 2011
    hey yall first post, been lurking some time. I am a leftie for most finesse applications but a rightie for some strength things. I am left eye dominant and therefore shoot rifles left handed, but I shoot pistols right. who knows why just feels right to me.
  13. AirForceShooter

    AirForceShooter Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Central Florida
    let him figure out what is more comfortable to do.
    I'm right eye dominant but cressed dexterity.
    I shoot rifle righty aa
    and pistol lefty.Baseball as a righty and tennis as a lefty.

    Sometimes even I get confused.

    Good part is I can swing a hammer or use a screwdriver in either hand:what:.

  14. 12gaugeTim

    12gaugeTim Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    I'm the same as your son. I shoot long guns left handed, but handguns right handed.
  15. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    I'd suggest he try to learn to shoot lefty if he has problems switch.
  16. royal barnes

    royal barnes Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    Wendell, N.C.
    I'm left eye dominant and shoot a long gun left handed. Handguns are equally accurate from either hand. Let him try both ways. If he does better left handed with a long gun so be it. I have never shot a left handed bolt rifle and find that I have no trouble operating the bolt with my right hand and keeping the left on the pistol grip near the trigger. Teach him to shoot a handgun with either hand.
  17. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

    Oct 25, 2011
    I guess I'll be the one to go against the grain and say, make him change his eye dominance.

    It really isn't that hard, didn't you see Fire Birds with Nic Cage? :)

    But seriously, when I was a kid in scouts and first shooting a BB gun, I got SO frustrated because I was left-eye dominant and right-handed. When they figured out what I was trying to do, they said, just close your left eye. I did that for awhile, and eventually my brain just decided, "okay, you are right-eye-dominant now." I now shoot handguns and long guns with both eyes open, right-handed, right-eyed, no problem. I can now do the Miles test or Porta test or what-have-you and am very firmly in right-eye-dominant territory. When I get behind an AR, my right eye instantly finds the front sight through the aperture sight, without even thinking.

    He doesn't have to even close his eye all the way, just lowering his left eyebrow and keeping his right eyebrow high helped me. Or scotch tape over the left lens of his safety glasses.

    I think a 13-yo would be better served over his lifetime to learn to shoot RH/RE. It will save him a lot of headaches down the road I think. I really don't believe eye dominance is as ingrained as handedness. And I even think handedness is not as set-in-stone as people think. If you are forced to use your non-dominant hand such as people who have lost limbs, you find out that after a period of intense frustration...eventually you can get the coordination and dexterity in your non-dominant hand pretty close to what your dominant hand used to be. The same goes for eye dominance, and it is wayyy easier to switch eye dominance at 13 than handedness at 31.

  18. CB900F

    CB900F Member

    Feb 22, 2003

    My daughter is left eye/right handed. As I was teaching her to shoot, we discovered her cross-dominance situation. When we switched her to using her dominant eye for aiming, her accuracy improved a solid 10%. I went to a Ruger 10/22 at that point in order to avoid all the bolt-working mechanics & just let her get used to shouldering the gun on the left & working on shooting.

    Now then, I'll strongly disagree with those who advocate going with the flow, it's a right handed world, you can't get lefty guns, yadda-yadda-yadda. My short reply involves what's found on the ground in the bull pen. And I ain't talkin' baseball.

    As a left/left shooter I participated in NRA 50' indoor competition for some few years. I was young, the program had no left hand guns, and my family's ability to afford a left Anschutz for me was only rivaled by our ability to fly to the moon on gossamer wings. That experience has greatly influenced my current battery of firearms. As soon as I could, I started getting left hand guns & I've never looked back.

    If you want a left handed gun, it's perfectly possible to get one. You may not be able to buy it off the rack the same day you walk in the shop, but if the shop won't help you get what you want, you're shopping in the wrong emporium. Careful shopping will also keep the price differences to a minimum. There's no need to feel gouged when obtaining a left-handed bolt gun. The old adage that a left gun isn't worth squat when being traded in, but is a rare and therefore expensive property when being sold is also a canidate for the south end of a north bound bull. Simply explain that at the present time it's your money. You get to spend it to get what you want, at the price you wish to pay. If the dealer in question wishes to obtain your money, that attitude needs to be corrected. I've expressed those sentiments to several manufacturer's over the years, and have also seen them respond to the growing left hand market. FN/Winchester is the current hold-out, which surprises me. Generally speaking, the European's have a much more enlightened attitude towards left handed guns.

    Speaking of which, you may have to modify the "I'm only going to buy American" stance if you're going to get the gun or caliber you want in a left handed action. There is such a thing known as cutting off your own nose in order to spite your face. The only reason not to get the left hand gun you want in today's world usually boils down to either being lazy, or wanting a caliber that simply isn't, or hasn't, been made on a left handed action. But then, you always wanted a custom gun anyhow, didn't you?

  19. BluesDancer

    BluesDancer Member

    Oct 19, 2009
    I'm Right Eye dominant and a lefty when it comes go firing firearms - and I fire pistols lefty and long guns righty.

    By that logic, if your son shoots pistols righty, let him do that. Ideally your son would shoot long guns lefty, in line with his eye dominance. However, he probably doesn't want brass hitting him in the face (for weapons that might tend to do that). Therefore it might be a good idea to teach him long guns, both lefty and righty.

    There's no disadvantage to knowing how to handle firearms with either hand (long guns or pistols)

    My .02...
  20. Bozack

    Bozack Member

    Jul 25, 2011
    Commack, New York
    I am a left hander and right eye dominant and my cousin is the opposite. I shoot, and have always, right handed. It was just natural for me. My cousin we changed when he was having trouble with a scope one day. I shoot rifles completely right handed. Lefties have more ambidextres tendencies and can adapt to right handed ways easily. No need to make things more difficult for anyone. I do shoot handguns with both hands and archery left handed do to a shoulder injury.
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