View Full Version : Bi-dominant eyes?

September 20, 2006, 10:35 AM
I'm right handed, and my left eye comes out as dominant a disturbing amount of the time, but sometimes it's my right eye. I think I could train myself over to my right.

Are there sometimes people who don't have a set eye dominance?

September 20, 2006, 10:56 AM

I am not an Optometrist or Opthamalogist.

I am right handed. My eye dominance seems to vary depending on distance to object (Close focusing R eye dominant) and whether or not I am wearing corrective optics (glasses or contacts).

I have other eye problems and no binocular depth perception so I am probably not a "normal" case.

My understanding is that just as somepeople are R & L handed and some ambidexterous, some people are R & L eyed and some mixed (Sorry do not know the appropriate word)

I have a hard time with shotguns since I am L eyed at distance but right handed. :(

I prefer rifles with scopes shoot R handed L eyed.:o

Handguns work out just fine :D


September 20, 2006, 11:06 AM
Heist ~


I'm vaguely left-handed (well, I write that way anyhow), but have no eye dominance and no foot dominance. As a kid, I was absolutely floored the day I realized that the other kids playing kickball all knew which foot they would use before the ball even got to them! :eek:

Testing my eye dominance, it varies from day to day and even from moment to moment within the same day. It matters which hand I am using, how far away the object is, what the lighting is like, and for all I know it's affected by the phases of the moon, too. :rolleyes: So I not only don't have a dominant eye, I don't usually have the foggiest clue which eye might be somewhat more dominant at any given moment.

After trying seriously for 5+ years to develop a dominant eye while shooting so that I could shoot with both eyes open, I can tell you with some confidence that it simply is never going to happen for me and that it isn't from lack of trying.

So. I close my left eye when I'm shooting right-handed, and close my right eye when I'm shooting left-handed. And I'm very conscientious about scanning the area around me as soon as I am done shooting. This is not ideal; it's simply the way I do it.

I don't recommend that people without eye dominance problems close an eye. I agree it's better to keep both eyes open if you can. If you can train yourself to do it that way, by all means, keep both eyes open.

But if you can't ... well, you're not alone.


September 25, 2006, 10:16 AM
When I was a kid, I used to try the test to see if I was right-eyed or left-eyed; back then it was something like "Hold your thumb up at arm's length and cover a distant object with it; if you close one eye and your thumb still covers the object, your open eye is your dominant eye."

When I tried this, I never got past the part about "cover a distant object with it", because when I look at a distant object, I see two thumbs. I can pick either one to line up with the object. I always thought this was normal and makes perfect sense, since we have two eyes - converging their lines of sight at a given distance naturally causes a double image at any other distance.

Well, after I recently took my son to the range for some pistol target practice, I asked him to try this, and to my utter astonishment, he said that if he "focuses" (not really the correct term, since each eye individually focuses, "converges" is more accurate) on a distant object and holds his thumb out, he only sees one thumb. So of course I bugged him about it for a while and made him try different things to force him to see a double image of any object not in plane of where he's "converged", and he could not. Simply amazing to me!

The point I'm getting to is this: When I recently started shooting, I knew keeping both eyes open was better than using one, at least from a tension/fatigue perspective. I found that I could pretty easily converge and focus both eyes on the target, then line up the left one of the front sight's double images, using my right eye for the sight picture alignment. However, the experts say you should focus on the front sight, which I take to mean that if you were to use just one eye open, the eye should focus on and sharpen the front sight, causing nearer and farther object to be a little blurry, except that you do it with both eyes open.

This gets a little confusing, but I've tried focusing on the sight in the left double image with my right eye, while converging both eyes on the target, and this is next to impossible for me. I also tried converging and focusing on the front sight and lining up the right one of the resulting double images of the target, again using my right eye for the sight picture, and this was even worse.

I seem to be doing OK with my original technique of converging and focusing on the target, then aligning the slightly-out-of-focus front sight in the left one of the double images. So I was just wondering if anyone else has the same experience, or if anyone with no dominant eye has trained themselves to keep both eyes open and keep the front sight in focus.

Any input appreciated,

September 25, 2006, 10:45 AM
Not an uncommon occurance with a simple fix:
If you shoot right handed, place a piece of cellophane tape horizontally across the left lense of your shooting glasses about halfway up. With your arms extended and your right eye closed, the tape should occlude everything from your wrist forward. It still allows depth of field and peripheral vision benefits from having both eye open while eliminating the double image.

September 25, 2006, 11:50 AM
Lurper ~

Great and simple range fix.

Useless if you're practicing for real life.


September 25, 2006, 07:43 PM
You can train your right eye to become dominant by using this technique. Depending on how often you practice, you can remove the tape and no longer have an issue with double sight or target. If the problem should occur again, just go back to the tape for a while.

September 25, 2006, 08:02 PM
I have never needed to train my dominant eye, but I was wondering : Once "trained", does your vision revert back to say, left eye dominant after being trained right after awhile? I'm curious.

The reason I ask is because while my vision is excellent I have been diagnosed to have weak eye control muscles. No, I don't walk around all crazy eyed or can see behind me while walking forward or anything like that.
It is not to the point where I have a wandering eye or am wall-eyed (two extreme examples of weak visual musculature) But if I would close one eye, when I open it it would be facing outward, not inline with the open eye. (Freaks the kiddies out man, it's great.) Anyway, ever since I was a kid, I would be right eye dominant while holding a gun right handed, and left eye dominant while holding it left handed. For instance, if holding a rifle left handed, it's my left eye that aligns the sights or looks through the scope.
At this very moment I got the theory that eye dominance could be partically a control issue too and not just a visual problem. It sounds weird, I know, but that's how I naturally aim.

I am basically right hand dominant, but during weak hand drills I'm using my weak eye to aim because it feels more natural than cocking my head to aim out of my right eye...

September 25, 2006, 08:43 PM
I shot with trap shooters that used that method and most evetually quit. I'm not sure if their eye was trained but they shot as well with unobscured vision after as they had when they had the patch on. Most were pretty good shooters.

September 27, 2006, 01:06 PM
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Sorry if I seem to have hijacked this thread, but just to clarify my question -

I don't really have any trouble ignoring my left eye image when shooting, so I guess I've "trained" my right to be dominant, at least in this situation. My questions are really:

1. Has anyone else without a dominant eye had trouble focusing on the front sight?

2. If so, have you managed to train yourself to do so with both eyes open?

3. Am I always going to be at a disadvantage only because I focus on the target instead? I.E., is it possible to learn rapid fire, to hit moving targets, etc., with as good an accuracy and speed as someone with a dominant eye focused on the sight?

September 28, 2006, 06:50 PM
Nothing is impossible as far as aiming goes. Forget about conforming to the status quo. If you have trouble using the front sight, don't. I don't. Well,not really....

I use my sights on Rifles, both open sights and with optics. I will use the sights on a pistol for longer shots (say 15+ yards) but for CQB training I don't use sights at all and resort to point shooting. I'm focusing on the target and not the sight. (Both eyes open of course) Consistancy is the key especially on your grip. Get used to pointing at objects around the room, and when you think your dead, THEN check the sights. I wrote a little more on the post I made about Glock Grip Angle.

Try it. Your gun is a tool. the real weapon is your mind. Make the tool work for you, and forget about thinking that you are at a disadvantage.

September 29, 2006, 07:38 AM
I'm bi-dominant too. It's more of a learned trait than a natural one. I'm naturally left-handed, shoot left-handed and was at some point in life left eye dominant until I got into archery.

I shoot a bow right handed and used to close one eye when shooting. When I started shooting with both eyes open, I found I could shift dominance from one side to the other.

September 29, 2006, 11:13 AM
FS2K - Thanks, that's very encouraging!