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Old December 26, 2008, 11:00 AM   #1
SmokeyVol
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Right Handed / Left Eye Dominant

I am right handed shooter, but severly left eye dominant. Most of my firearms are shotguns and handguns because I can shift to the opposite eye with those type firearms. I keep both eyes open with the shotgun and can hit just about anything. With handguns, I use a right hand grip and use my left eye for aim.

I want to get into shooting rifles, but the eye dominance issue has me stymied. I can see the sight picture much better shooting a rifle left handed, but it really feels awkward and I just can't get used to it. I am in the market for a scoped rifle, but can't decide what to get as far as right/left hand. Any suggestions on what to do from people with the same opposite eye dominance issue?
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Old December 26, 2008, 11:25 AM   #2
texfar
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My wife has the same deal, will ask her how she copes with it. She is a crack shot. Did I mention she is a crack shot?
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Old December 26, 2008, 12:49 PM   #3
BeCoole
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Just keep shooting Lefty, you'll get use to it far sooner than your right eye will get stronger.

AR15s are one of the most ambidextrous rifles made.

If you can find a bolt action with a left hand bolt handle and a right side ejection port, those are the cat's meow. I don't know of any that aren't custom level. If you know any Benchresters can hook you up.

I really hate trying to reach over to operate a bolt.
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Old December 26, 2008, 12:56 PM   #4
kraigwy
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I've ran across this a lot in my coaching NG rifle and pistol teams and as a LE firearms instructor. Its more common then you think, and its an easy fix.

I'm a firm believer in shooting with both eyes open, but every thing has its exceptions.

Simple fix, if right handed-left eye dominent, is to close the dominent eye. If you cant close it, then wear shooting glasses with the left lense blackened out.

Try it, it works.

The biggest problem I've run across is teaching sniper schools when we used the M1c&d garands. The mount/scope hangs off the left side of the rifle and is difficult for a left handed shooter. I had to learn to shoot it left handed so I could work with the left handed shooters. Closing my right eye was the only way I could pull it off.
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Old December 26, 2008, 03:21 PM   #5
SmokeyVol
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The closing dominant eye solution would work if my eyes were fairly equal, but they are not. Closing my left (dominant) eye does not help at all because I have fairly severe astigmatism. My left dominant eye is normally 20/60 and is correctable to 20/20 with lenses. My right non-dominant eye is normally 20/200 and is only correctable to 20/60 or so. My astigmatism and nearsightedness almost cancel, giving me blind spots that interfere with the sight picture. For example on the standard eye chart with 5 characters, I see ony the 4 outside characters clearly and the center character is only a dark blur. It's hard to describe to someone that has two good eyes. I also have trouble seeing things 3D because my left eye is so much more useful than my right.
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Old December 26, 2008, 03:31 PM   #6
ndking1126
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Quote:
The closing dominant eye solution would work if my eyes were fairly equal
Quote:
My astigmatism and nearsightedness almost cancel, giving me blind spots that interfere with the sight picture.
Sounds like if you can't use your right eye to shoot, the only option you have left is to get used to shooting left handed. And I don't mean to say that in a condescending way, just pointing out, I really don't think you have another option. The eye sight is a physical limitation, while shooting left hand is only something you aren't used to.

I don't know how much you have shot left handed, but my guess is you would get used to it quicker than you expect. I do it for fun with my .22 when I take someone new to shooting to the range. Since I don't actually practice left handed, It makes shooting a little more even when competing against a new shooter.
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Old December 26, 2008, 09:16 PM   #7
DKA
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Keep practicing left handed. Before you know, it will feel natural.
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Old December 27, 2008, 09:54 AM   #8
doc540
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I've had amblyopia all my life and can't see squat with my right eye.

I shoot a rifle left handed and shoot with both eyes open.

It shouldn't take you long to get used to shooting left handed (unless you're using a right hand bolt.)

I know you said you just can't get used to it, but punching neat holes in the 10 ring will help you make the transition.

good luck!
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Old December 27, 2008, 10:30 AM   #9
SmokeyVol
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Thanks for the advice. I wil try some more left handed shooting, but at 55, it will be tough new habit to pick up. I was wondering if switching shoulders was best or if there was some form of offset scope mount that would allow me use a right handed rifle while using my left eye for sighting.

I have a Winchester 94 that ejects out the top and a scoped righrt hand bolt Marlin 880 .22 that I bought for my son when he was a 11 yar old Boy Scout about 15 years ago. I am in the market for a new Winchester 70 or Remington 700 in 30-06 but I am hesitant on the hand of the bolt becuse of the eye issue. Maybe I need to practice for a while before I get something.
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Old December 27, 2008, 10:42 AM   #10
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I'm left eye dominant and right hand shooter also. I used to shoot competatively in JROTC in highschool, and I shot left handed, but reaching over for the bolt was always a pain. That's all the left hand shooting I've done. For plinking, I'm fine with shooting right handed, I just cover up my left eye (we covered one eye in JROTC anyways). Sometimes the brim of my ball cap does the job, and sometimes I look silly when I play pirate.

As for me, both of my eyes are about the same, I just need to upgrade hardware, like my 6 yr old perscription on my glasses, or go back to contacts for shooting.
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Old December 27, 2008, 10:43 AM   #11
alloy
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i'm right handed. left eye dominant. i shoot everything right handed, pistols with my left eye and rifles/shotguns with my right eye.

have never thought about it, it feels normal that way to me since my first bb guns 35 years ago. when i bring the firearm up(pistol or rifle), it all falls into place correctly. you might be surprised, but i think instincts take over. i wouldnt even contemplate shooting pool left handed, it just is.
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Old December 27, 2008, 11:26 AM   #12
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AR15s are one of the most ambidextrous rifles made.
Yes, but I'd be certain that the AR15 I was shooting had a shell deflector if I was shooting it left handed. Otherwise, you're looking at very hot brass in your eye.
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Old December 27, 2008, 12:08 PM   #13
eastbank
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my older brother who is a right hand shooter lost his right eye in vietnam, when he came home and wanted to start hunting again, i gave him one of my left hand rifles to use,but he never got used to working the action left hand. so i took a sporterized 98 mauser i had to a friend who restocks rifles and he shaved the stock cheek piece out untill my brother could use the rifle right hand but with being able to use his left eye, by haveing his face over to use his good left eye to aim with. the rifle looks a little funny with the stock cheek piece sclupped out ,but it works for him. eastbank.
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Old December 27, 2008, 08:11 PM   #14
Jim March
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Quote:
my older brother who is a right hand shooter lost his right eye in vietnam, when he came home and wanted to start hunting again, i gave him one of my left hand rifles to use,but he never got used to working the action left hand. so i took a sporterized 98 mauser i had to a friend who restocks rifles and he shaved the stock cheek piece out untill my brother could use the rifle right hand but with being able to use his left eye, by haveing his face over to use his good left eye to aim with. the rifle looks a little funny with the stock cheek piece sclupped out ,but it works for him. eastbank.
Huh. I'm another of these left-eye/right-hand guys and I was considering exactly that with a levergun.
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