View Full Version : Opposite eye dominance

March 25, 2009, 07:46 PM
One of my friends is new to shooting, hadn't even shot anything until he went with me and some other friends. He shoots pretty poor I gotta say. I thought it may be newness to shooting but he told me today he's left eye dominant but a right handed shooter.....

How does someone compensate for this? He shoots my 870 okay, since its a more point and shoot gun but any rifle he is WAY off.

March 25, 2009, 07:50 PM
I have the same righty/left eye situation. There's multiple ways of dealing with it. You can learn to shoot left handed (as long as you start out learning this way it isn't too bad) or shoot right handed and just move your head (it looks weird, but it works.

March 25, 2009, 08:03 PM
I'm not cross eye dominant but use a stance called "Quell". I took some heat for it when I first started posting here. Although I came upon it independently, I learned from this forum that it's a known tactic & helpful for cross eye dominant shooters.

Here's a link to the description and discussion thread. FWIW I consistently shoot bullseyes using it and it's become natural and comfortable for me.


March 25, 2009, 08:06 PM
I'm right handed left eye dominant too. With pistols I just use my left eye and with rifles and shotguns I squint me left eye to get started and then my right eye focuses in. I think it's handy because I can shoot either hand equally well.

March 25, 2009, 08:24 PM
Since you mentioned the 870 I'm assuming you are talking about shotgunning. I am slightly left eye dominant although right handed and because of this I'll never be a really good shotgunner. I'll hit about 23 out of 25 on trap at best. Never 25 straight. In any event the easiest solution is to put a small piece of clear tape on the upper left corner of the left lense on a pair of shooting glasses. It's always a good idea to wear glasses in the field to protect the eyes. The position of the tape allows one to see straight ahead while walking but when you bring the gun to a shooting position and put your head to the stock the angle changes and the tape will partially obstruct the left eye- just enough to force the right eye to take over. You still have some vision on the left eye- for depth perception, but the right eye does become dominant and you will be focused right down the barrel. You may have to play around a bit with positioning the tape on the glasses until you find the optimum spot.

March 25, 2009, 08:34 PM
No its my savage, a winchester 94, and a yugo m48 he struggles on.

BTW, how does the tape work? Sounds easy enough.

March 25, 2009, 10:44 PM
Super easy, just cut out a small round dot and stick it on your glasses.

March 25, 2009, 11:38 PM
I am left hand pistol shooter and right eye dominant.. This is what I discovered.

At close range with 10yards I can keep both eyes open and just move my arm slightly to the right and lean my head slightly to the left. This is what "feels" best and I am accurate within this distance.

At anything beyond 10yard, usign the above shooting style will seriously effect accuracy. The only way I can correct this problem at distances beyone 10 yards is to close my right eye. I dont like to close an eye while shooting but this was the only way to compensate for my problem.

I feel that as least I can shoot with both eyes open within your typical self defense distance and be fine.

March 25, 2009, 11:41 PM
Wow, there are more of us. I am a right handed shooter who is left eye dominant. I found this out when my targets kept showing that ALL my shots where going high left. The high was because of where I was trying to hit, but the ALL left just gave it away.

G-man 26
March 25, 2009, 11:54 PM
Thank you darrentxs. I am completely blind in my right eye, but shoot right handed. I am a fairly good shot, but am always willing to try something to improve. I will try this Sunday at the range.

Another good way to overcome the cross dominance problem is cant the gun at a 30 or 40-degree angle to help line the sites up with your eye. I tried this as a suggestion from this forum, and it does OK as well. I prefer the way I already shoot, as the accuracy gain was not good enough to warrant the awkward feel of a different stance. YMMV.

March 26, 2009, 02:14 AM
You're welcome G-man. :) I hope you have great results with it.

I guess I should have mentioned, the Quell method is for firing handguns, not long guns.

March 26, 2009, 08:43 AM
When I was 10 I used to line up those little green toy soldiers and shoot them with my bb gun at about 15 yds. I would shoot right handed and lean my head WAY over to use my left eye. Right handed and left eye dominant. My uncle came over one day and was watching me and said "What the **** are you doing boy? You can't shoot like that. You're using the wrong **** eye." He didn't know anything about eye dominance either. So I tried to learn to use my 'correct' eye. The only way I could do it was to shut my left eye. After 4 or 5 years of that a friend told me that you had to keep both eyes open to be a good hunter. By then (I think) I had trained myself to use my right eye. I haven't really had any trouble with it since. I still come out left eye dominant every time I test for it. I think because I was so young when I started trying or maybe I'm just mildly left eyed.

March 26, 2009, 08:53 AM
The tape thing i was wondering more how it affects shooting, or maybe a demo pic.....sounds easy enough to try.

March 27, 2009, 04:31 PM
try an isoceles stance

March 27, 2009, 04:51 PM
I'm left eyed / right handed.

I'm relatively new to handguns. I shot right handed / right eyed for my first few times to the range, but always had to close my left eye. Before I got too comfortable with that, I decided to give left handed a try. I was surprised at how quickly it got to feeling natural. After only a couple trips to the range, I was shooting just as well left handed as right, and I was able to do it with both eyes open.

Long guns are another story. I've been shooting pellet guns and shotguns since I was a little kid, always right handed. That is so ingrained in my brain that I dont think it's possible for me to switch. Also, since the sights on a long gun are closer to your eye, I think it's easier to shoot with your less dominant eye than a handgun while keeping both eyes open. My eyes don't get confused as easily when one is right on top of the gun and the other is way off to the side.

March 27, 2009, 04:53 PM
i'm fully right handed, but my right eye is almost blind

so pistols i shoot right handed with my head cocked, and im in the process of re-learning to shoot rifles and shotguns left handed

it's working out pretty well so far, but it still feels unnatural

David Armstrong
March 27, 2009, 05:39 PM
If you close one eye, or squint with it to close it down some, the other eye willo take over. Might take a while to get used to it, but it works. As someone said, tape will do the same thing for you.

March 27, 2009, 07:47 PM
I've been getting grief from a friend to learn to shoot using both eyes at the same time. He says that this will reduce eye strain during peroids of extended shooting.

Is this a common practice or does anyone have any advice.

March 27, 2009, 08:40 PM
SPUSCG: I am not too savvy about posting pictures so I'll describe the tape on the glasses approach a little more. Cut out a round dot of plain old clear 3M type tape. The dot should be about as large as a dime. With your glasses on, looking straight forward, put the dot in the upper left part of the left side of the glasses. You'll notice it is there but it won't interfere with you looking straight ahead. Okay.
Now when you bring the rifle to your shoulder you sort of twist your head a little to the right as the side of your face comes in contact with the butt stock of the rifle. Now that your head is twisted your eyes are more angled to the left as they look forward. At this point the small dot of tape has now interfered slightly with the left eye, making the right more dominant.
BUT.....unfortunately the only place I've ever used this much is on a trap or sporting clays range. I use a scope on my rifle and I squint my left eye somewhat at the pistol range. In any event give it a try. Some folks don't like the tape on the glasses- gives them a headache. See how it works for you.

March 27, 2009, 09:29 PM
Ill have my friend try that whenever we get shooting agian, thanks dave

March 28, 2009, 03:01 PM
Glad to help:)

April 5, 2009, 08:52 AM
I've been looking for an authoritative source on this subject. It seems that all the "experts" insist on shooting with the side of the dominant eye, even if that is opposite the dominant hand. After trying this, I personally disagree.

For me it feels too unnatural, and it requires too many deliberate, as opposed to natural, actions. In a situation of stress, it is generally agreed that you will be half as good on your best day. Using the non-dominant hand would put you at a disadvantage to begin with. Add stress to the situation and you might have a potential disaster.

On the other hand, I train with my right hand, though I'm left eye dominant. I do one of two things: either shift my arms slightly to the left to have use my left eye (like they taught me at Front Sight), or as I come up to the target, quickly shut my left eye and aim with my right. Either way, I can hit what I'm aiming at with good grouping.

Doing what the "experts" say, shooting with my non-dominant hand to take advantage of my dominant eye, I do not group well at all, let alone under pressure.