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Thread: Dominant eye ?

  1. #1
    dbcar is offline Junior Member
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    Dominant eye ?

    I have been a rifle shooter for years and just got my first handgun. I am right handed and my left eye is my dominant eye. I never noticed it with a rifle because I'm forced to look where the scope is. With my handgun whenever I acquire my target it is with my left eye. I have to think to use my right eye. Does this effect my shooting in anyway? I don't want to just punch any hole's in paper. I would like to be a accurate as possible. Or maybe I'm just reading to deep into this???

  2. #2
    austin88's Avatar
    austin88 is offline Member
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    I'm the same way but lately i've been trying to get used to using my right eye. I've always wondered I it affects my shooting as well though

  3. #3
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    At the range where I shoot there is a range officer that is in the same boat as you. I noticed he wears a cover/patch over his dominate eye (behind his safety glasses) forcing him to use the non-dominate eye. He lives to do target competitions. One day he asked what I was shooting, I told him it was a 329NG a snubbie calibered in a 44 magnum made of Scandium (very light weight) and offered it to him to try. He told me I know its going to bark (recoil) but I have to shoot one handed for my competitions. He ran the target out to 25 yards and squeezed off one shot at a 6" target and nailed it better than I could do with my own gun. Needless to say its not bothering him any. Thinking about it maybe I'm the one that needs to shoot with my other eye.

  4. #4
    rccola712's Avatar
    rccola712 is offline Member
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    I'm cross dominate as well. What I do, and what I've read on here that many others do, is not close your right eye, but turn your head a little her and aim with your left eye. This works well for me, it looks kinda funny, but who really cares about that? By keeping your right eye open you have much better peripheral vision which would be needed in a self defense situation. For target practicing it doesnt really matter, I just like to have practiced how i will be shooting if i ever have to face a self defense situation.

    Does this make sense?

  5. #5
    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is offline Administrator
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    As previously posted:


    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    Cross dominant shooting is a funny thing, I'm left eye dominant and right handed and I've noticed the following:

    With pistols, I shoot more accurately using my left eye, but I've always been center when shooting with my right eye only, I just shoot tighter groups closing my left eye.

    With pistols, I can get good two eyes open sight picture by indexing my chin on my right shoulder and score good quick hits and maintain more peripheral vision than shooting with one eye open and one eye closed. Some like to cant the gun to the left at around a 45 degree angle (plus or minus) and have good results, but I didn't like the way the gun handled during recoil in that position.

    With rifles I've always shot right eyed only and managed to qualify mid to high expert multiple times while in the Marines, that's shooting with iron sights out to 500 yards and scoring hits on man size targets, shooting at 300 yards and 200 yards. It's not that big a deal being cross dominant with rifles if you're using iron sights. Some issues start up when you being using 1X optics, I can NOT get a good sight picture (proper sight alignment applied to the target) with an Aimpoint or EOTECH unless I close my left eye. Again canting the firearm will probably help, but I haven't really tried it with an optic equipped rifle. So with rifles I will shoot right eye only.

    As a cross dominant shooter, if you are going to shoot trap or skeet using your strong hand, you're screwed. You need to shoot the shotgun with whatever hand matches to your eye. You can probably learn to do it with the other hand, but it's going to be a pain in the rear.

    Back to pistols as this is the HANDGUN forum...

    There are many different schools of thought on cross dominance, I've been looking into this for a couple years and reading what others have to say on this matter and I've seen the following arguments.

    1: You should shoot with both eyes open for the improved peripheral vision.

    That only works if you can actually see your sights with both eyes open, unless your point shooting you need to see your sights to make hits. Not to mention that in times of mass adrenaline, we have the tenancy to go into tunnel vision and that improved vision of having two eyes open may not matter at all.

    2: You should shoot with whatever hand corresponds to your dominant eye.

    I don't know about everyone else, but my left hand is damn near useless. But here are two more points, one for and one against the above statement.

    A: Using your off hand that corresponds to your dominant eye will leave your strong hand available for negotiating obstacles and your mag changes may be faster.

    B: If you've been shooting with your hand that doesn't match your dominant eye, it's going to take a lot of practice getting used to drawing, aiming, and firing with the same precision* that you get with your dominant hand.

    3: You should cant the gun closer to your dominant eye.

    As noted above, guns are meant to recoil on a vertical plane, that's usually means that the gun is going to go with the front sight and travel at an arc. Canting the gun to get better sight picture is aligning the gun to hit you in the face and take your sights further off target while firing.

    So here's the real deal from what I've tried and what I've learned from other instructors.

    Use whatever method works for you and improve that method.

    If you find that you get better hits and better performance using your right eye only, stick with it. If your left eye is dominant but you close it, your right eye is now dominant by lack of options.

    If you want to shoot with two eyes open, adjust your head laterally until you find the right sight picture and practice alot with it until that position is where you naturally end up after drawing and presenting the gun on target. It's taken me almost two years but the practice is finally paying off and I'm getting that "instinctual muscle memory" sometimes I lapse and find myself closing my right eye but for the most part I'm doing OK.

    If canting the gun works for you, use it.

    You don't have to shoot the same for every ocassion. If I'm shooting a rimfire bulls eye competition where I'm not over working my left hand, I'll shoot left handed as that's where I get my most accuracy. If I'm shooting close up defensive stlye I use both eyes open, if the target is a little further out and smaller, I will close my right eye for the most accuracy while using my dominant hand as it gives my best overall performance under prolonged use.

    There is no right or wrong way to shoot if the results you get with a given method work for you.


    * Accuracy vs. Precision: Accuracy is doing somehting correctly, precision is doing something accurately a number of times in a row and acheiving the same result at the end of an action. I can shoot more accurately left handed, but as time goes on, my left arm wears out faster than my right and my accuracy is effected as a result of "the shakes". While shooting right handed, I acheive an acceptable level of accuracy and due to the greater strength of my right side, I get more precision, that is to say I can acheive the desired result (a good hit) more often while shooting right handed.


    Now all that being said, after a couple months NOT shooting defensive style and shooting bullseye, I tried some defensive style shooting on Friday night and was all over the place with the method that had been working for me. I reverted back to just using my left eye while shooting right handed and my accuracy improved greatly.

    I'm done trying to shoot with both eyes open. I'm just going to stick with using my left eye with pistols and right eye with rifles.

  6. #6
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbcar View Post
    I have to think to use my right eye. Does this effect my shooting in anyway? I don't want to just punch any hole's in paper. I would like to be a accurate as possible. Or maybe I'm just reading to deep into this???
    A good friend is in the same boat as you, and she shoots left eye/right hand. She can shoot the pants of all you guys.

    I think that trying to force your non-dominant eye is more detrimental than shooting opposite sides (eye/hand). Therefore, I think that yes, you are probably reading too much into this.

  7. #7
    dosborn's Avatar
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    As long as you have at least one eye open you should be fine.

  8. #8
    cougartex's Avatar
    cougartex is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rccola712 View Post
    I'm cross dominate as well. What I do, and what I've read on here that many others do, is not close your right eye, but turn your head a little her and aim with your left eye. This works well for me, it looks kinda funny, but who really cares about that? By keeping your right eye open you have much better peripheral vision which would be needed in a self defense situation. For target practicing it doesnt really matter, I just like to have practiced how i will be shooting if i ever have to face a self defense situation.

    Does this make sense?
    This is what I do. Works for me so far.

  9. #9
    MonsterB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cougartex View Post
    This is what I do. Works for me so far.

    I have to say that it works for me as well...when i started shooting I just used my right eye, in a weaver stance, and after listening to recomendations from some expeirienced peeps on here, I tried shooting both eyes open....at first I could barely hit the target, and got frustrated and went back to the one eye shooting...I am extremely right side dominant in just about everything I do, and it just seemed easier....but I learn by watching, and gave it some more work...I also am right handed and left eye dominant, and found the turning of my head a bit did the trick....suddenly I was shooting tighter groups than ever before, and my stance also changed to an isoceles naturally....Its now how I feel comfortable and understanding which eye was dominant helped me get to this point...have a good time shooting your new handgun

  10. #10
    Freedom's Avatar
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    I, too, am right handed with left eye dominance. At first I found myself "forcing" my right eye to do the work. I had been shooting rifles for so long that I was convinced I had to shoot with my right eye. A friend suggested I shoot with both eyes open, but this lead to blurred vision after a while of shooting and everything fell apart from there. Finally I gave in to my nature and allowed my left eye to be dominant and closed my right eye. Now I find my accuracy has improved greatly. I realize I turn the gun over a bit to align with my left eye, but it has not caused accuracy or gun operation faults. I've worked my head tilt to bring the gun vertical and have found comfort. I think the more time you spend at the range working your stance and gaining comfort in your position you will find what works for you. Like others have posted, there is no right or wrong way...for me the best way is what works and is repeatable. I am now comfortable shooting with my left eye and I can now shoot as tight a pattern as my buddies who are right-right. It took some time for me to figure it out...I really would suggest you work with your dominance and not fight it. It worked for me.

    There is no better time in the week than the time I spend at the range ripping paper.

  11. #11
    mattdillon's Avatar
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    eye dominance (target pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
    I, too, am right handed with left eye dominance. At first I found myself "forcing" my right eye to do the work. I had been shooting rifles for so long that I was convinced I had to shoot with my right eye. A friend suggested I shoot with both eyes open, but this lead to blurred vision after a while of shooting and everything fell apart from there. Finally I gave in to my nature and allowed my left eye to be dominant and closed my right eye. Now I find my accuracy has improved greatly. I realize I turn the gun over a bit to align with my left eye, but it has not caused accuracy or gun operation faults. I've worked my head tilt to bring the gun vertical and have found comfort. I think the more time you spend at the range working your stance and gaining comfort in your position you will find what works for you. Like others have posted, there is no right or wrong way...for me the best way is what works and is repeatable. I am now comfortable shooting with my left eye and I can now shoot as tight a pattern as my buddies who are right-right. It took some time for me to figure it out...I really would suggest you work with your dominance and not fight it. It worked for me.

    There is no better time in the week than the time I spend at the range ripping paper.
    With age sometimes the eye dominance changes. I am right handed and for most of my life I was right eye dominate. At 57, and who knows when it changed, I am now left eye dominate. The two targets are pics of groupings with both eyes. The top target was with my right (non-dominate) eye and the bottom target was with the left (dominate) eye. I shoot right handed. I have no desire to change to my left hand to shoot, though I can be respectable with it. I will practice more with the left eye and see if my groupings will be better with practice. This was the very first time I shot with my dominate left eye. I will need to make some adjustments with my stance as my groupings were left of center. Obviously, without knowing it I have trained my now non-dominate right eye to shoot well. I do keep one eye closed when shooting with either eye.



    By mattdillon at 2010-09-15

    By mattdillon at 2010-09-15

  12. #12
    C1
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    It is very important to use your dominant eye for aiming. Move your head and neck over to the right a little. You may also want to turn your head to the right a little.

  13. #13
    DJP
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    Right handed, left eye dominant.

    I am right handed and left eye dominant. I use a modified Weaver stance with my right arm nearly straight, head tilted slightly right and chin close to right arm and has worked well for me.

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