View Full Version : New Shooter Sighting Problem

May 10, 2007, 10:05 AM
Hello, all:

First time poster here, and my wife and I are new shooters. We're learning on a 10/22 with the factory sights and we're thrilled with the fun we're having.

One problem: my wife (right-handed) cannot close her left eye and sight with her right (both eyes close if she tries.) She CAN close her right eye and keep the left one open. These are the options I can come up with - the question is how do we choose the correct technique for her to be able to shoot stright?

1. Learn to shoot left-handed
2. Use a sighting blinder for the left eye
3. Learn to sight with both eyes open
4. Crane her head over the stock and learn to sight with the left eye (this is what she's been doing - it seems extremely awkward, and she's not very accurate.)

Are there any other alternatives? Are there particular techniques that will help make any of the above options effective?

Thanks very much in advance for any help you can offer!
(Please let me know if this question should go under another forum!)

May 10, 2007, 07:03 PM
First of all, is she right-eyed? If you're not sure, have her point at something, then cover each eye. The eye that keeps her finger on the object is the dominant eye, and you'll want to sight with that one.

I think she should learn to sight with both eyes open, as it lets in the most light to the sighting eye. If this is difficult for her, you can cover her non-dominant eye, but she should keep it open.

May 10, 2007, 07:09 PM
Shooting with both eyes open is always the prefered method. Some people (most) have difficulty with this for some time because neither eye is usually dominant enough to maintain a clear focus on the sighs without the other eye causing a blur. One way to train yourself to shoot with both eyes is to wear glasses with the left lense PARTIALLY blured out. This will train the right eye to become more dominant and soon the blurred lense will no longer be needed. Hope this helps! :)

May 10, 2007, 07:37 PM
Rifle and pistol coach checking in with a second for ascertaining eye dominance first. Shooting from the dominant eye is most important.

I have seen miraculous cures for "can't hit the broad side of a barn from inside" by merely changing right handers to their dominant left eye. The left hand learned immediately what was expected of it.

May 10, 2007, 09:26 PM
Which is her dominant eye? As a general rule, she should keep both eye open when shooting, but you still need to know which eye is dominant.

May 11, 2007, 09:19 AM
I do appreciate the helpful replies so far.

As near as we can tell, she's left-eye dominant. Extrapolating from the replies, we're guessing that the best solution is for her to shoot left-handed and sight with both eyes open with her left eye in line with the sights.

Am I on target here or am I laboring under a misapprehension?

Thanks again to all who have offered your expert and very welcome advice!

May 11, 2007, 10:14 AM
Do you know how to determine which eye is dominant? One solution is to shoot left handed if she has the dexterity to do so. There are other solutions. Just to clarify, you are talking about shooting a rifle, correct?

May 11, 2007, 10:17 AM
Hi, Lurper - thanks for your response.

Yes, we used the "hold your thumb up in line with an object across the room and cover each eye sequentially" method.

And yes, we're shooting (learning) on a 10/22 with iron sights and 18 inch barrel.

May 11, 2007, 02:21 PM

You are correct, your options are to either change her eye dominance or shoot left handed; I think shooting lefty is the easier option. Go out and practice a lot, and don't forget to have fun :p

May 11, 2007, 05:35 PM
If she has the dexterity, teach her to shoot left handed. If not, you can put a piece of transparent tape horizontally across the left lens of her shooting glasses. The tape should occlude the sight when she is aiming. This works better w/a handgun imo, but is still effective with a rifle. Some people reach the point where they can remove the tape after a while and have no problem.

May 12, 2007, 12:50 PM
One of my best friends is like that. He's right side dominant but can't close his left eye. He just learned to shoot left handed. It was funny to watch him at first, but now he's gotten to where he can shoot just as good as any of us.


May 12, 2007, 01:23 PM
Unless your eyes are very close to equal (no dominant eye), I don't think you can change eye dominance any more than you can change hand/arm dominance. It is, however, pretty easy for opposite-eye dominant people to shoot with the off hand.

Put another way, I have had several students switch from their right-handed nature to shoot with their dominant left eye. In every case, the result was immediate, superior accuracy to their best right-handed shooting. There have been no exceptions to this. Learn to shoot with your dominant eye.

While you can blank out or occlude your off eye to make your shooting more accurate, I don't like to be or encourage anyone to be dependent on gizmos and gadgets in order to shoot. I avoid equipment-related shooting enhancements so I can be ready to shoot any gun at any time.

May 12, 2007, 07:10 PM
If you are having problems keeping both eyes open you can try this...

Since you are shooting I know you are wearing safety glasses and hearing protection. the eye that you have trouble with shooting opened place a piece of frosted scotch tape over the lens of the safety glasses. Shoot like that for a while and eventually the eyes will get used to having both open and you can drop the frosted scotch tape.

May 21, 2007, 05:55 PM
I am left eye dominant and a right handed shooter, I have no problems shooting anything, my zero on iron sights usually requires a lot of moving though but once Im set im good to go..

Thats really strange that your wife cant physically close her left eye only I dont know what would cause that

May 30, 2007, 10:57 AM
Yea, I'm cross-dominant too. I just taught myself to close my left eye. Funny thing is after years of doing this its impossible to go back. I seem to have trained myself to be right eye dominant or at least neutral. I can't get that eye dominance test to work anymore for either eye.

April 30, 2008, 12:18 PM
I'm right-handed, left-eye dominant as well. I shot a little in college. Rifles and shotguns I shoot left-handed, but handguns I shoot right (not trained, just naturally). I'm not practiced at all, so my experience is what I call "rednecks shooting on the farm" shooting (bottles, eggs, anything we can find).

This is probably a horrible habit to pass along but here's how it works. I hold the handgun in my right hand, and my right arm crosses my torso with my body in a modified weaver stance.

I've never shot lefty with a handgun, so I can't compare accuracy, but I can't hit a thing righty with a rifle/shotgun while there is a noticeable change lefty.

I tried to switch my eye dominance with an eyepatch 24/7 for 2 weeks, but it didn't work. I'll probably have to accept the lefty shooting.

August 2, 2008, 01:28 PM
I am left eye dominant and shoot right handed for handguns and left handed for rifles and shotguns. I trained myself to shoot with both eyes open but still focus with the left eye.

I spent time at home just looking down the sights to practice keeping both eyes open. At first I had to temporarily close the right eye to achieve left eye focus and once I got it I opened both eyes. Now I don't need to close the right eye at all. It just takes a little time.