View Full Version : Eye dominance and hand dominance with regards to accurate pistol shooting

March 26, 2006, 10:12 PM
I'm right handed, but am left eye dominant--- I need to lead my sights with my left eye. Due to practice and comfort, I shoot all of my rifles left handed. However, pistols are another story.

When I hold my pistols two handed, it's always with the right hand first, with the left wrapped around it. This way, I either have to cock my head to adjust my view, or squeeze my right right eye shut and shoot one-eyed. My accuracy is good shooting this way.

When shooting one handed, left handed, my groupings are just as accurate as when I shoot two-handed/righty! I can also keep both eyes open.

When shooting two handed with my left hand leading, it feels VERY uncomfortable and my groupings go to pot.

Btw: I shoot weaver style for all my range shooting, to emulate a "tactical" situation. I may apply to work as an armored car guard part time, which is why I want to get very comfortable with shooting my pistol naturally without having to "cock" my head or worry which hand I'll be using to shoot with.

Any suggestions?

March 27, 2006, 08:33 AM
I am also right-handed with a dominant left eye. Many years ago, someone came up with a method for people like us, and it was called the "Quell Method". By using a slightly modified Weaver stance/position, you drop your right cheek onto your right shoulder and aim with the left eye.

On the other hand, by getting in a lot of practise while aiming with your right eye, you can overcome the "dominance" of the left eye. You might want to wear an eye patch on the left eye for awhile, then eventually without the patch, but still aiming with your right eye.

March 27, 2006, 01:25 PM
I'm left eye dominant right handed. I shoot with my right eye.

Wha??? You shoot with you RIGHT eye???

Yes. And I shoot very well as such.

You CAN learn to force yourself to be right eye dominant. I started with red-dot scopes. This has helped me to only use my right eye. Then I took off the red dot and used the "squint the left eye" method to force myself to my right eye.

At this point, I keep both eyes open and shoot with relative right eye dominance. It takes a bit of concentration, but it's very, very doable.

I also shoot quite well this way. Our regular "Tactical (lite) Tuesday" matches put me right up there with the Auto shooters (I shoot revolver pretty much exclusively) in terms of speed. Accuracy-wise I'm more accurate than most!

In terms of raw scores, I ran up against a guy competing for Master IPSC this year. He shot a full race STI .45acp 1911. He ran a 9.98 second run (+5 seconds for a miss, putting him at 14.98 overall), putting double taps on each of Nine targets, with two reloads.

I ran 15.58 seconds with a 625JM revolver (+5 seconds for a miss, putting me at 20.58 overall).

With a 20guage shotgun, I break 21-23 / 25 at the trap range consistently.

All I'm saying is that you CAN overcome left eye dominance with practice and concentration.

March 28, 2006, 10:11 PM
I am also right-handed with a dominant left eye. Many years ago, someone came up with a method for people like us, and it was called the "Quell Method". By using a slightly modified Weaver stance/position, you drop your right cheek onto your right shoulder and aim with the left eye.

This is one of the methods I was taught, back before it had a name. It comes from the basic, beginning TaiChi stance-and-fend. It works quite well for most, regardless of eye dominance.


March 28, 2006, 11:25 PM
I'm the opposite, lefty with dominant right eye. Ever since I started shooting handguns I've shot lefty but using my right eye. Didn't even notice I was doing it until years after I started shooting.

March 29, 2006, 02:35 AM
Wow, I thought I was a pretty rare bird! My father and I both are left eye dominant and right handed. We both bat and shoot a long gun left handed but do everything else right handed. With a long gun, I've been doing it for so long now, that it feels awkward to hold a rifle or shotgun right handed for me. As I talked about on the Lasik thread, my right eye is about 20/35 to 20/40 while my left eye is about 20/25 to 20/30. Of course, with glasses, this fixes problem, but I hardly ever feel the need to wear them, even shooting.

My cross-dominance has never really presented a problem for me though in shooting. I do fine with the left sided hold for long guns. For handguns, I shoot mostly two handed holds or right handed and just cock my head to the side a little. It's like second nature now, I don't even think about or notice that I am doing it anymore.

fairview mick
March 29, 2006, 07:59 AM
Our league champion(three years running) is right handed, left eye dominant. He puts a patch over his left eye(obviously wearing glasses) and shoots on an average of about 99.5 points out of possible 100's all the time. The other evening, he shot an off hand score of 200x200 with 20 in the X at 50 feet. In trap shooting this is a very common practice.

March 29, 2006, 09:10 AM
Interesting topic. I had no idea how common this is. I too shoot right handed and am left-eye dominant. I had no idea i was aiming with my left eye for several months. It takes a concious effort to aim with my right. However, I do shoot skeet and rifle hunt righthanded.

March 29, 2006, 11:50 AM
What ever eye dominate you are, that same hand is now your dominate hand. If you decide to stay with your old way of doing it you will never see your full potenial as a shooter.

March 29, 2006, 11:52 AM
Another thing Seth,
Don't shoot weaver, espically if you are going to be an armed guard.

March 29, 2006, 10:31 PM
Great replies from everyone. I have indeed starting using my left hand to shoot so I can use my left eye dominance naturally, but the idea of an eye-patch over the left to "train" my right is something I will try.

I still have to say that the tight group I got from shooting one handed with my left was phenomenal, especially considering it was the same or better than my two-handed right hand grip. That is, before I started to flinch my left hand because of the massive recoil :)

PPCMaster, I'm VERY curious to know why it's a bad idea to train pistols in the weaver stance if I want to train to be an armed guard/private security type. What kind of stance/position do you recommend over the weaver in this case?

March 30, 2006, 11:01 AM
Hey Seth,
I would competely agree with Eric. Modified Iso. If you are wearing a vest and get shot the round will hit the vest if standing more square to the target, if bladed as in weaver, rounds goes through your arm and into your chest cavity where the vest doesn't protect you. I won't even get into the accuracy difference between the the two different stances.

March 30, 2006, 11:07 AM
Isn't it funny how P.D.'s are afraid of changing things to better their people. It is no different in my neck of the woods, it became so bad that after 13 years as an instructor locally, police academy and State certified I resigned and I am much happier now. Most of the LEO instructors think that they are the best in the world, when really they are second rate. When I first started competing I noticed a bad trend with LEO's shooting in competion. The LEO's would come and shoot, have their heads handed to them and then never come back again to try and get better. When I first started I got my butt kicked also, we all do, but I percervered and after 7 years I have won the Police Pistol Combat State Championships 3 times in a row and Governor's "20" back to back. LEO's REALLY need to get over their ego. Sorry for the rant.

March 30, 2006, 11:18 AM
If you have more dexterity in your right hand, you may want to continue shooting that way. A better way to train your right eye is to put a piece of transparent tape over the upper half of the left lens of your shooting glasses. This occludes the left eye when it comes to sight picture, but allows peripheral vision.

As far as Weaver goes, there are many shortcomings. First and foremost you cannot be relaxed and shoot Weaver style. If you learn to shoot relaxed and natural, you will be much faster and accurate. Any technique that tries to teach you to overcome recoil is folly. I don't care if you are Arnold, you do not have more strength than your pistol. You have to learn how to make recoil work for you. It is just like using a hammer. Watch a layman use a hammer, his elbow and wrist will be stiff and he will be trying to drive the nail in with the hammer. Watch a journeyman, his wrist and elbow will be relaxed and he allows the hammer to drive the nail. Also, Weaver style is based on isometric tension (push w/strong hand, pull with weak), this again is counter to being fast and accurate. You cannot be relaxe while applying isometric tension. And, you cannot move, turn or pivot easily from the Weaver stance.

I could go on and on, but I won't. For the record, I learned Weaver (from his friend - Ray Chapman) many years ago. I also learned to shoot relaxed and natural many years ago and realized how much better it was. With my competition rig, I can get .75 first shot "A" hits at 10m or less - all day long. My splits (time between shots on the same target) are in the .11-.12 range. I could not achieve those speeds without shooting relaxed. Of course, it took a little while to get there.

April 8, 2006, 05:10 AM
The "Quell method", huh? Didn't know there was a name for it.
Right-eye dominant lefty here.