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Old October 23, 2010, 08:00 PM   #1
karcirate
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Should I shoot righty or lefty?

I am a right handed, left eye dominant, new shooter.

What would people with similar traits recommend?

A. Should I learn to shoot lefty from the beginning.
B. Or just shoot with my right hand, and deal with the eye thing some other way.

I am able to close both eyes independently of each other, and can also squint my left eye a bit to force focus onto the right one.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old October 23, 2010, 08:24 PM   #2
Frank Ettin
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If you have better coordination with your right hand, it's probably better to learn shoot with your right hand. Cross dominance in pistol shooting isn't hard to deal with.

One of the instructors in our group is right handed and left eye dominant. He finds he can shoot with both eyes open by just turning his head slightly to the right (and keeping it erect) aligning his left eye with the sights on the gun. We also train beginning shooters who are cross dominant with that technique and have good results.

And I'm right handed an right eye dominant, but I use my friend's technique (turning my head slightly to the left) when I shoot weak (left) handed to align my right eye with the sights on the gun held in my left hand.
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Old October 23, 2010, 08:52 PM   #3
WANT A LCR 22LR
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What type of shooting are you going to do? If personal defense, try everything because you may be in a situation where the perfect stance, grip isn't possible.

I've been told that the trigger is pulled with dominant hand, but the gun is aimed with the non trigger hand. This seems odd since fine motor control is probably better with the dominant hand.

I carry for PD so after I had gotten proficient with the text book stance I mix things up and try random setups.
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Old October 23, 2010, 09:01 PM   #4
JimPage
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Rifle shooting should be done on the side of the dominant eye: left eyed, left hand shooting.

Pistol is more flexible. Do what works for you.

I have taught both ways to pistol shooters and found that they soon learn their own best method no matter how taught. Rifle shooting is another matter all together.

Just one old timer's opinion but based on a lot of experience.
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Old October 23, 2010, 09:44 PM   #5
Silverado
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Right handed, left eye dominate

My dad is right handed, but left eye dominate and always had trouble with accuracy shooting a pistol aiming with his right eye. Dad went to class to obtain his CCW permit and during the range test the instructor suggested he shoot aiming with the left eye. The improvement was noticable. So may be worth a try if one has the same condition.
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Old October 23, 2010, 11:13 PM   #6
karcirate
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That's what I have been doing so far: shooting with my right hand, but aiming with my left eye. But for rifles, that isn't really possible, so I thought about trying lefty.
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Old October 24, 2010, 01:40 AM   #7
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I am cross dominant also. I shoot handguns righty and long guns lefty. After having shot this way for years, anything else feels unnatural. It felt correct from the beginning, and my kids are cross dominant also, and have picked up shooting lefty very well.
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Old October 24, 2010, 03:38 PM   #8
g.willikers
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You mean you guys don't practice handguns with both left and right hands?
Geeze, what would Wild Bill think?
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Old October 24, 2010, 04:30 PM   #9
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Some schools of thought are that you should never, ever try to switch hands in anything you do. It's unnatural, maybe even unethical. If you are right handed, train to do everything right handed. It you teach yourself to do something left handed it will mess you up physically and psychologically in all sorts of ambiguous, nondescript, but ominous sounding ways. I don't know if I believe that but it sounded terrible so I'm not taking any chances myself.

I recommend that you stick with your dominant hand so you can remain a normal, well adjusted person like me.
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Old October 24, 2010, 08:45 PM   #10
dawico
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Although it is good advise and may be easier in the long run to train your right eye to be dominant, I personally don't have a choice. My left eye is way stronger than my right eye. I can't even read road signs on the highway with my right eye, I have tried. When your vision is like mine, I don't think there is a choice. I have read of some people training their eyes to switch dominance, but it doesn't work for everyone.
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Old October 25, 2010, 11:25 PM   #11
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+1 JimPage - If left eye dominant, your long guns should definitely be fired left handed. It may feel wierd at first, but take it from someone who's been there, eventually you will have no problems at all.

For pistol, I shoot right handed and just turn my head a bit to line up the sights with my dominant eye. It works fine. A bonus is my off hand shooting tends to be a bit more accurate than people I know that are not cross dominant.
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Old October 26, 2010, 10:42 AM   #12
karcirate
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Based on what you guys are saying, handguns should definitely be right handed, just change my stance to use my left eye, but for long guns, I think I will try to shoot lefty. Only thing is I can only use ambi guns.
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Old October 26, 2010, 11:02 AM   #13
FoxtrotRomeo
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Quote:
One of the instructors in our group is right handed and left eye dominant. He finds he can shoot with both eyes open by just turning his head slightly to the right (and keeping it erect) aligning his left eye with the sights on the gun. We also train beginning shooters who are cross dominant with that technique and have good results.
That sounds like I do something similar. I shoot very well with both eyes open.

As for the topic starter, have you tried going ambidextrous? Ambidextrous gives you an advantage in negotiating corners and cover when having to defend yourself. I am an ambidextrous shooter myself. Right or left handed I'm still a pretty good shot.

It's funny to watch too. On a jam I naturally switch hands, tap, turn the pistol sideways, ejection port down, rack the slide, check, switch hands and continue firing. Lefty is a lil bit different with less switching. I just do it without thinking about it.

I holster as a righty but operate with either side as needed.
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Old October 26, 2010, 11:35 AM   #14
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You don't necessarily have to use ambi or even left handed rifles to shoot lefty. You can shoot a righty bolt gun lefty no problem, you just have to get your face out of the way when you work the bolt handle (something most righty's have to do as well if they place their face far enough forward on the stock to get their sight picture). With semi-auto's you may have to watch out for brass being thrown in your face but for many rifles (such as the AR-15) it is not really a big problem and there are lefty's that shoot them all the time. The only real problem you will face are with rifles that have thumbhole stocks or other specialty stocks that are designed for the right hand to fit around.
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Old October 26, 2010, 04:05 PM   #15
markj
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Best to learn how to shoot with both. My Uncle told me that one night when he was going to do a witness protection. He had plain cloths on but strapped on 5 or 6 guns. His advise was always spot on.
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Old October 26, 2010, 11:00 PM   #16
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personal expirence

I am a right handed left eye dominant shooter. I learned from my father (ex army) to shoot everything on my dominant eye side. I now shoot rifle and shotgun left handed. I carry a handgun on my left side and shoot it well. I am also getting better shooting left eye right handed with the pistols. I would say do what feels most comfortable and what works. Truth is any self defense shooter should be able to operate efficiently with both hands
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Old October 26, 2010, 11:14 PM   #17
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Don't worry about being limited to ambi guns. If you practice you will naturally adjust, I have had zero problems adjusting to lever actions, semi auto's, or shotguns. The only problem with bolt actions is your follow up shots will be slower, but that just forces you to make your first shot count (which is a good thing in my mind). You'll even get used to the safety being on the opposite side of your shooting hand.
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Old October 27, 2010, 12:07 PM   #18
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I am cross dominate as well, shot everything left handed for years, but it never really felt right. I could shot rifles well, but handguns and shotguns I have always struggled. For the last year I have switched to right hand shooting, it is taking some time for my non dominate eye to take over, but it feels better to me. I have zero experience with pistols, but i would say to do what feels the best for you and practice it.
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Old October 28, 2010, 01:33 AM   #19
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yes
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Old October 28, 2010, 08:16 AM   #20
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I am left handed, right eye dominant. I still shoot left handed, and I do it well most of the time. Sometimes, I notice I shoot to the right (handguns)
Rifles and shotguns have never been an issue for me.
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Old October 28, 2010, 08:31 AM   #21
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Im right handed, left eye dominant. I shoot right handed. Just turn your head a bit and its business as usual.
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Old October 30, 2010, 09:04 AM   #22
threadbare
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Strive to shoot equally well with both.
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Old October 30, 2010, 09:42 PM   #23
Lewiston
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I'm right handed and left eye dominant. I shoot my bows and rifles left handed but pistols right handed. This video explains it better than I can:

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