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Ok, please refrain from laughing at me. I really feel stupid at this point. I have owned and handled firearms now for over twenty years. I was never great at shooting but was able to hit the target. I use a scope on my rifle which I am pretty good at. Handguns have always been a challenge for me but I never really obsessed about it since I did not carry on me until recently. Placing shots dead on target was never a real concern, until now. I have been practicing a lot lately and getting a bit frustrated at the inconsistent results.

I was talking to my son in Iraq early this morning and I told him I was concerned that I suck so bad at shooting. He said that when he came for a visit and he was shooting with me he noticed I was cross dominant. I asked him what that is, he said I was aiming with my left eye and shooting right handed. He said he didn't say anything because he has the same problem in reverse. He is left handed and is right eye dominant. I did a focus test he explained to me and sure enough I seem to be left eye dominant. I did a search and found that this could be a challenge when trying to shoot. He said he has gotten used to shooting with both hands and rifles on both shoulders. I don't think I want to go changing hands at this point and especially for self defense.

The interesting thing is that I never paid much attention to which eye I was aiming with. It kind of came natural and I never gave it much thought. I did a search but did not come across much. There was an article from an optometrist that said that it is not common to be right handed and left eye dominant and that it can create a problem when shooting on target. He also said that it is not suggested that the shooter change to the right eye for aiming. He did say that changing the stand may help with the problem.

Is there a definitive way to determine which eye is dominant? Is there a way to correct for this? Changing the stand may help in target shooting but in self defense you may have to shoot while you move.
 

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Extend your arm (either one) closed fist,thumb up.....cover a distant object..light switch,lamp,etc....with both eyes open. Then close one eye. If you close your right eye and your thumb remains over the object, you're are left eye Dom. If you close your left eye and your thumb remains over the object, you're right eye Dom.... Hope this helps.....:thumsup
 

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I am left handed but shoot mostly right handed. I can actually shoot with my left hand and do so at the range but am not sure which eye to use. I've been using my right eye and just move my left hand. According to your little example I am right eye dominant.

If a person wants to shoot left handed which eye do you close? Or should you even close an eye at all? Real life scenario you will have both eyes open so shouldn't we learn to aim with both eyes open and not worry about closing an eye to aim?

I want to learn to shoot with both eyes open without doing that little squinty thing with the eyes. Is that possible?

MamaBear
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Did it, yup, left eye is dominant. Now what?

I don't want to have to draw in a parking lot and watch four people drop around the BG and the BG still standing. Oh, I am laughing while I write this. That's bad, this is not funny.:rolf
 

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There was an article from an optometrist that said that it is not common to be right handed and left eye dominant

henryher, the above statement is incorrect. It is fairly common [ I'll give the percentages at the end of this post ]. I train people all the time who are cross dominant and in fact I'm also cross dominant shooting with my right hand and slightly left eye dominant.

There are numerous variations of eye dominance, and in some instances what is known as having a "master" eye as well. 49% are right handed and have a true master eye, and most people are under the impression they have a master eye when in fact they have a slight to almost full dominant eye. Full dominance is known as having a "master" eye.

Jim Gregg's book called "The Gregg method of fire control" has the best explanation of the different variations of eye dominance I've ever read. You can find it here:
http://www.jimgregg.net/ I have a signed copy in my library. He devotes a full chapter on eyes and shooting in the book.

I want you to take this simple test and let me know what you discover if you would please.

Take a pen, hold it pointing up in your fist, just like it is a big front sight.
Squared up to a mirror with your focus on the reflection of your nose with both eyes open, bring the pen up and point it up at your nose using your peripheral vision *only* of the pen in your hand. Then shift your focus to the reflective image of where the pen has pointed.

Try the same test and then close one eye without moving the pen or pencil. See where it sits on your face in the mirror.

One eye will move the pen laterally, the other will not. The eye that doesn't move the pen will show the pen centered on an eye, or some distance between the center of the eye and nose.

If it is centered on the eye, you have a master eye side. If it is between the center of the eye and the nose you have a dominant eye. The closer to the nose the pen is, the less dominance you have.

In 33 years of training others, Gregg found 14 different "eye combinations". He was a border patrol agent instructor and has taught many hundreds of agents to shoot using point shooting with exemplary success.

The figures below are his results of tracking his students over 33 years:


Right handed/right master eye 49.0%
Right handed/ 50/50 vision 15.4%
Right handed/Left master eye 11.5%
Right handed/left dominant eye 4%
Left handed/left master eye 3.1%
Left handed 50/50 vision 1.3%
Left handed/right master eye 1.2%
Left handed/left dominant eye .5%
Left handed/right dominant eye .4%
Double cross dominant 1.1%
Parallel Dominant 1.8%

As you can see from the figures, 11.5% of students are right handed with a left master eye. That's more than 1 in 10 students, so it's not uncommon at all. As an instructor, it paramount that I understand students particular circumstances as it helps correct issues they may have in my classes.

Hope this helps.

Brownie
 

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I want to learn to shoot with both eyes open without doing that little squinty thing with the eyes. Is that possible?

It may be Mamabear, I'd have to see you shoot to know for sure if you'll be able to accomplish this.

Brownie
 

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I've seen a couple of ways cross dominant shooter can adjust.

This is for left eye dominant, right hand shooters. For the opposite, just switch sides around.

1) When you extend your gun and start to get your sight picture, tilt the gun to the left a bit, so the sights are aligned with your left eye. This may sound a bit like the 'gangsta' horizontal pistol 'grip', but it's not so severe. You'll likely only need to cant the pistol about 30-degrees or so. Unless you've got Quasimodo eyes.

2) Extend your pistol as normal with your grip, whether you use 'thumbs-forward" grip, isometric tension, whatever. Keeping the pistol vertical as normal, unlike number 1, this time, you cant your head to the right, to light your left eye up with the sight. So, number 1 moves your sights to your left eye, this one moves your left eye to your sight.

3) Another option I just remembered would be to simply put some of that translucent/matte scotch tape over the left eye of your shooting glasses. You don't need to cover the whole lens...just the small bit that would cover your eye. You'll essentially be forcing your right eye to be dominant. I have no idea if this would eventually "train" your eyes to be right eye dominant.

-JT
 

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Henryher, I'm left handed for some things and right handed for others. As a kid, I tended to handle toy guns with my right hand. When I was old enough for the real thing, I learned I was left eye dominant, and I made a decision to switch to left handed for shooting. I'd recommend that you at least try shooting left handed. You may find that you like it.
 

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I have no idea if this would eventually "train" your eyes to be right eye dominant.

Cthulhu,

It is well within the range of possibility to change your dominant eye. The brain will adjust and correct itself which can take some indeterminant length of time.

People who have lost vision in their dominant/master eye have success at this more often than not, out of necessity.

Brownie
 

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Cthulhu,

It is well within the range of possibility to change your dominant eye. The brain will adjust and correct itself which can take some indeterminant length of time.

People who have lost vision in their dominant/master eye have success at this ore often than not, out of necessity.

Brownie
It's a distinct possibility. People who've lost major brain function from severe brain injury can have the remaining portion of their brain take over the functions lost from the injured brain tissue. And you can train people from being right handed to being left handed...I know this because it happened to my wife. I've just never read or heard of a specific account where eye dominance was changed through training, so I don't want to say it'll definitely happen without having corroborating facts.

-JT
 

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I know of two people who, due to permanent eye injury have experienced this. The brain makes the adjustment out of necessity.

Brownie
 

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I know of two people who, due to permanent eye injury have experienced this. The brain makes the adjustment out of necessity.

Brownie
With that being said, perhaps the last option I presented would be best. The first option (canting the gun), could require relearning how to get a proper sight picture with each gun being shot, as the front and rear sights would be aligning at an angle, rather than vertically. The second option could just result in neck pain and muscle fatigue from cranking the neck to one side while shooting. The third option just uses a simple piece of tape.

Heck, I use the tape now and then on my non-dominant eye if I feel I'm getting too "squinty".

-JT
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Brownie, I am going to have to try this later. I have done it so many times that I am getting cross eyed. So far it seems that the pencil is somewhere between the middle of my left eye and my nose. I think my problem in being able to tell is that at my age I need bifocals and it is difficult to focus on two objects without one of them loosing focus and becoming two. I have to get my eyes checked soon so I will ask the doctor to tell me which is the dominant eye for me. Everything seems to indicate that my left eye is dominant but not master.
 

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I've got the same issue. I'm right handed with a slightly dominant left eye. Here's how I deal with it. (Disclaimer: It's not the best technique in the world, but I find it manageable.)

My defensive shooting technique - at least until March, when Brownie tries to get me squared away with something better - is to turn my entire body sideways to the target, placing my left hip toward the target and rotating my upper body slightly back (20 or 25 degrees) toward the left. This places my left hip toward the target and the line of my shoulders slightly left of my target. I walk forward (perpendicular to the target) while shooting across my body. Even with both eyes open, my body orientation causes my slightly dominant left eye to completely take over sight alignment. It puts my dominant (left) eye in the same plane as my aligned sights and my target. I get the same sight picture with both eyes open as I would with my right eye closed. (I had to try it at the range before I believed it.)

It gives me good peripheral vision in the direction I am walking (mostly out of my right eye), reduces my profile toward my target, and keeps me moving away from the line of force. It's a fairly comfortable shooting position for me and allows me to move while firing.

YMMV. I'm hoping to improve on this exponentially in March.

- Str8Shooter
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My defensive shooting technique - at least until March, when Brownie tries to get me squared away with something better - is to turn my entire body sideways to the target, placing my left hip toward the target and rotating my upper body slightly back (20 or 25 degrees) toward the left. This places my left hip toward the target and the line of my shoulders slightly left of my target. I walk forward (perpendicular to the target) while shooting across my body. Even with both eyes open, my body orientation causes my slightly dominant left eye to completely take over sight alignment. It puts my dominant (left) eye in the same plane as my aligned sights and my target. I get the same sight picture with both eyes open as I would with my right eye closed. (I had to try it at the range before I believed it.

- Str8Shooter

I need to try this tomorrow, after my wife makes me put up the Xmas tree. Maybe I can talk my son into that while I practice out back. If that doesn't work I can poke my left eye out and let my brain sort it out. :doh
 

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I've been left eye dominant, RH shooter for years. It really screws up your shotgunning, too. My solution: Whenever I aim anything, my left eye goes shut. Not optimum maybe but it works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I tried some shooting this weekend and found that with my left eye closed and aiming with my right I can actually hit the broad side of a barn. Actually, the shooting was pretty good with my right eye. I have been practicing closing my left eye and aiming with my finger to see if that is an option for me.
 

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I'm right eye dominant and right handed. I usually shoot everything (bow, shotgun, rifle, and handguns) with both eyes open because it helps with aiming and depth of perception. Have you ever tried shooting with your left hand. With some practice, it becomes second nature. I have other (left eye dominant/right handed) friends that have learned to do this and with practice, got quite good at it.
 

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I'm 62, been shooting all my life and I am a right hander who is left eye dominant.

So?

No big deal......to me, anyway.

I shoot my "right handed" rifles and shotguns from my left shoulder (they don't have a raised cheekpiece) and using my left eye on the sights.

I shoot handguns (bullseye) with my right hand, but tilt my head to the right so that the left eye is aligned with the sights.

In all these years, I've never given it any thought.

(No, ejected brass has never been an issue, even with the AR, the 10/22's or the 1100.)
 
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