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Old November 14, 2012, 07:56 AM   #1
BoogieMan
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Dominant eye and scopes

Went to check rifles before season on Sunday. One of my buddies is shooting all over the paper with no consistency. I pick up his rifle and group about 1-1/2 3 shots. Another guy does the same.
The guy with the problem is LH and shooting a LH 700. After a little research we found he is right eye dominant but LH shooting a LH gun. How do we get him on target? Does the eye dominance play a big role with a scope?
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Old November 14, 2012, 08:04 AM   #2
PetahW
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Eye dominence rules, no matter what the sighting system.

He needs to either close his dominant eye or learn to shoot right-handed.(or take an expensive 3rd option)

FWIW, my right-handed Son was leaning over the comb of rifles to sight @ 9 y.o. - which is when I found out he was left eye dominant. ( I did a sighting test on the spot)

Since he was young, it was a fairly short process to switch him over to shooting left-handed, although he does everything else right-handed.
I have no doubt the process would be a lot longer/harder for an adult set in their ways.

Then, and now (37 years later), he prefers ambidextrous guns - leverguns & semi-autos - to boltguns, for convenience of operation.

Jes' sayin'

BTW - The above mentioned 3rd option would be to either mount the scope offset waaaay to the right of the action C/L to align with his right eye (ugly), of get the stock bent (just as ugly) .......


.

Last edited by PetahW; November 14, 2012 at 08:10 AM.
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Old November 14, 2012, 08:08 AM   #3
jmr40
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My brother used to have the same issues, except he found he was left eye dominant and trying to shoot right handed. It took a little time and effort to learn how to shoot left handed, but once he mastered it he became a much better shot. Much better than any attempts to work with the wrong eye.
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Old November 14, 2012, 08:27 AM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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Have him close the other eye. I've never understood why people don't. I shoot right handed and am severely left eye dominant. I always shoot with my left eye closed, except for open sight handguns, when I use my left eye instead of right. Anyway, there no reason not to close the opposite eye when shooting. If he IS closing the other eye, he just can't shoot. Dominance is irrelevant if one eye is closed.
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Old November 14, 2012, 02:00 PM   #5
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Have to disagree with you Brian. It is possible to "get by" with a scope sighted rifle by closing one eye, but you are working with a handicap. If you also shoot a shotgun you are working with a severe handicap trying to shoot with your dominate eye closed. You are cutting your field of view in half with one eye closed making it harder to pick up a target. With only 1 eye open you severely limit depth perception making it harder to judge the distance, speed and angle a target or bird is coming from.

These are less of a concern with a scope sighted rifle, but can be a factor in certain situations. To be succssful with a shotgun you really need to be shooting with both eyes open and with the gun mounted on the same side as your dominate eye. No reason to shoot a shotgun from one side and a rifle from the other.

We went through this with my brother, it took some time, but after he mastered shooting lefty his accuracy improved dramatically.
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Old November 14, 2012, 03:18 PM   #6
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If you are using a scope to shoot then you should be able to hit the target unless you are closing both eyes. If he is shooting a 300 Win. Mag and waiting for the little scope guy to come out and hit him in the head then it is hard to hold steady.
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Old November 14, 2012, 03:28 PM   #7
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmr40
Have to disagree with you Brian...
Maybe so, but I've never had any of the troubles you describe. I've been shooting with a scope, right-handed, left-eye closed since I was 5 years old. I don't have any of the troubles that people describe with scopes.

When I shot skeet, I took a class in college believe it or not, I tried both shooting left and right handed with both eyes open and also my normal style, right-handed, left-eye closed.

After about 4 weeks with never hitting more than 8, I went to my normal style. 2 weeks later I was in the high teens and by our last week, which was only 3 or 4 weeks later, I hit 21. No one else in the class hit more than 19 at any time.

Maybe I defy convention, since my cross-dominance is very severe. My brain almost completely ignores my right eye unless my left eye is closed. I don't know, but I do know it works for me.
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Old November 14, 2012, 03:54 PM   #8
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Dominant eye rules

My father (a photographer of 30yrs) taught me to shoot and I always knew he was right handed but shot left. I asked him why and he told me it was because he was left eye dominant; but a righty. I'd never noticed when he took pictures because he was facing me but he also uses his left eye to look through the camera. Dominant eye makes the decision. You can teach him to shoot left handed but his dominant will never change. If he insists on continuing to shoot right handed get him an eye patch. Your cheapest solution.
Best of luck!
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Old November 14, 2012, 04:06 PM   #9
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For a hunting type shooting situation closing the dominant eye would be a good choice if shooting from the 'other side' is not an option. Since only one shot or two will be fired. But if shots will be taken on a regular basis,such as sighting in, it is better to keep both eyes open and block the vision of the dominant eye. A card taped to the scope or flip down blinder on glasses.
Holding the eye closed causes facial muscles to fatigue and done for an extended period of time can effect the aiming eye.
Experienced competitive shooters routinely some sort of blinder but as said earlier they are firing multiple shots and over an extended time frame. For the OP have your buddy try closing the dominant eye.
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Old November 14, 2012, 08:30 PM   #10
Art Eatman
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I'm strongly right-eye dominant. I've shot from the left shoulder, using my left eye to look through the scope. I merely closed my right eye and all was well. The overall deal felt weird from my usual right-handed shooting, but vision was not any problem.
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Old November 14, 2012, 08:47 PM   #11
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I too am left eye dominant and shoot right handed, mainly because my right hand is much better controlling the trigger.
My left eye is also my better eye and I use monovision contacts so my brain is trained to use my left eye for almost everything except reading and close work.
Once I get behind a scope and close my left eye, I my right eye takes over and I hit what I aim at, at least for anything I can see.
If I kept my left eye open, I wouldn't be using the scope because my left eye would have been given control by my brain.

Like Brian, I close my left eye to use a scope.
It may be a handicap, but I don't seem to notice it.
I shoot as well or better than the rest of my buddies who are all competent shooters.

Also like Brian, I use my dominant left eye with open sighted hand guns.
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Old November 15, 2012, 03:42 AM   #12
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binocular vision

Isn't the ideal to have both eyes open when shooting?

Bamaboy is cross eye dominant, so was his grandad. We never got my Dad figured out 'till late in life........he missed a bunch of game.

Much like PetaW, I caught bamaboy squinting down the barrel of a toy gun with his "off" eye at about age 6. We swithched shoulders right then and now he shoots off his left shoulder with both eyes open. (pretty darn well I might add).

With a handgun, he shoots right handed, but when he presents the pistol, it is skewed slightly to his left, as he brings the gun into alignment with his dominanant (left) eye.

Learning from a young age, running the rifle from his "off" shoulder is not a big deal. I would not want to do that as an adult.
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Old November 15, 2012, 09:39 AM   #13
AllenJ
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+1 for Brian Pfleuger's response. I am left eye dominate and shoot right handed. I learned early I have to close my left eye no matter what type weapon I'm shooting and I'm able to keep pace with most of my friends at the range and in the field.
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Old November 15, 2012, 11:14 AM   #14
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He needs to learn to use his dominant eye, and shoot right handed.

I am a typically right handed person that shoots left handed because I am left eye dominant. I shoot very small groups.


Suggest that he practice shooting a rimfire right handed. If he is right eye dominant, he will probably pick it up pretty quickly. Trigger control requires more focus than physical dexterity.

He needs to develop good trigger control with his right hand and use his right eye. I don't know what he is shooting but if your going to learn to use the other hand and eye, a rimfire is much better for developing good habits.
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Old November 15, 2012, 11:35 AM   #15
Art Eatman
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For me, "both eyes open" works okay with iron sights. I guess I've always closed my left eye when using a scope. YMMV.
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Old November 15, 2012, 04:36 PM   #16
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I am also left eye dominant and do everything right handed. As a kid I never knew any other way to shoot but to close one eye (left one) and aim through sights or scope. When I shot on the college rifle team I had to put a blinder over my left eye to make it through a match. Closing one eye for that length of time would make the other eye go funky. As it was the blinder would leave me with a headache after every match. Shotguns I shoot right handed pretty well, handguns arewhere my biggest challenge is I have to really concentrate on them as closing one eye doesn't work as well.
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Old November 15, 2012, 09:20 PM   #17
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I know I'm different. I can't close my left eye without closing my right eye. I'm right handed, semi-ambidexterous, and shoot long arms left handed. I can shoot handguns right or left by sighting with my left eye. I cannot even get a sight picture through a scope with my right eye.
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Old November 17, 2012, 01:41 PM   #18
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No disagreement here that you need to sight with the dominant eye.

But it's better to develop the habit of not closing your non-dominant eye.

It eliminates peripheral vision. Might not be a big handicap when the target is steel or paper, but if you're in a gunfight, you'd better be aware of what's happening around you.

Bad habit to get into. Learn to shoot with both eyes open.

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Old November 17, 2012, 03:19 PM   #19
4V50 Gary
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In the old days gunsmiths made you an offset stock. Think of a dog-leg bend.
You shouldered the stock in the left but because of its bend, you sighted with the right eye.
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Old November 17, 2012, 04:15 PM   #20
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the TS guy should switch sides, and shot from the right shoulder.

if he isn't very set in his way the switch won't be a big deal, we lefthanders are way better in general working with our off-hand. and the used and new gun market is much bigger for him as a right shoulder guy.

I "suffer" from being both left handed and left eye dominant, and shot rh guns for years but from my left shoulder, got my first lh gun this year and love it.
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Old November 17, 2012, 04:16 PM   #21
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oh and re Brian: I am the opposite, I finally got my numbers up and consistantly when I keep both eyes open when trap shooting

it is finally starting to drift over to my rifle shooting to. when doing driven game I would say you MUST keep both eyes open to not limit your field of view. that kind of fast shooting is more like shotgun shoting then sniping
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Old November 18, 2012, 04:56 PM   #22
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There is no reason to use both eyes when using a scope. Why not shoot the gun on the shoulder you use best regardless of it being a right or left handed rifle?
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Old November 18, 2012, 05:05 PM   #23
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So, you think a left-handed shooter can run the bolt on a right-hand action off his left shoulder?

The reasons for shooting both eyes open- pistol or rifle, scoped or irons, was mentioned above and is widely accepted as "best practice".
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Old November 18, 2012, 05:43 PM   #24
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So, you think a left-handed shooter can run the bolt on a right-hand action off his left shoulder?
Yes. Not as fast, but yes. The first shot counts most, so make it count instead of thinking so much about the second shot.

I am left handed, but right eyed. I basically have 2 good trigger fingers. That aside, I grew up in a right hand world so I made everything from right handed school desks, to right handed pistol gripped guns work.
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Old November 18, 2012, 07:41 PM   #25
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So, you think a left-handed shooter can run the bolt on a right-hand action off his left shoulder?
As a left handed shooter, yes I can do this.
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