View Full Version : Need help with right handed, left eye dominate shooter

March 12, 2012, 07:58 PM
My son is a right handed, left eye dominate shooter. What is the best method for shooting a rifle? Should he use a scope exclusively with a right eye, or is there some other way to address this issue.

March 12, 2012, 08:29 PM
They've found that it's easier to train the hand than the eye .So he should aim with the left eye [using a left handed rifle] and operate it with his left hand.

March 12, 2012, 08:33 PM
+1 mete, worked for me.

March 12, 2012, 08:37 PM
Same here with me. I've always shot long guns left hand from day one and handguns right handed. Start him off shooting left handed as it really will be more natural for him and he'll have greater success out of the gate. As far as manipulating the actions on guns, some can be a little more challenging than others but none are impossible. Good luck to you and your son and I really hope he enjoys the sport!

March 12, 2012, 08:50 PM
I'm 65 and learned well over 50 years ago that I am right handed and left eye dominant. At my dad's suggestion I tried shooting a .22 bolt action single shot left left handed - dramatic, instant improvement in accuracy and I've never looked back. I shoot all long guns and compound bows left handed; I shoot hand guns right, left and both hands. It is much easier to learn to shoot accurately with the dominant eye.

March 13, 2012, 05:20 PM
I am right handed and left eye dominant but I prefer to shoot rifles right handed using my right eye. It works for me. While hunting sometimes I find it convenient to shoot left handed using my left eye because I sit in a ground blind and game doesn't always come in the way I expect.:) I always buy right handed rifles because that's what I'm used to.

I don't think there is a right or wrong way. It's just a matter of training and consistency because you know which eye is dominant. The problem comes when people don't know that they are cross dominant.

March 13, 2012, 07:10 PM
I used to shoot both right and left handed as a kid, which got me a trip to the eye doc who said, nothing wrong with him just slightly left eye dominant. Since I had been more comfortable shooting right handed that is how I stayed. I shot 2 years of small-bore indoor in colledge and had to use a "blinder" on my left eye, and that caused some serious headaches by the end of the matches. I still shoot rifles and shotguns righthanded and pretty well think. Pistols I tend to find myself trying to use my left eye still, maybe why I am not much of a pistol shot.

Deja vu
March 13, 2012, 10:14 PM
My youngest brother was in the same boat. He learned to shoot with both hands.

March 14, 2012, 02:36 PM
I am a lefty shooter. I have astigmytism in my right eye so I can not hold focus for long with it. I learned to shoot lefty becasue grampa saw the wandering in my right eye. I shoot right handed bolt actions left handed. The only rifles that give me problems are right handed bull pup rifles. Those I know better, and just leave them alone. I do not want to eat hot brass.

March 18, 2012, 10:15 AM
Thanks to all that responded. My son feels most comfortable shooting right handed, so I think we'll start there with him trying his right eye. Others have mentioned a left eye blinder to adjust to using the right eye for sighting, so we might try that. Most wild critters in the woods will probably be quite safe for a while!

March 18, 2012, 12:37 PM
On the range, you can also try puting opaque tape over the weak eye lense of his shooting glasses. Just one stip over the optical center is usually enough. He can then keep his dominant eye open, yet not really see with it. This will allow him relax and to shoot with his weak eye (strong side) without fighting the instinct to open his dominant eye while he is trying to keep it closed.

March 23, 2012, 12:29 AM
Of course the kid is going to feel more comfortable shooting right handed (I started right handed too, because it "felt more comfortable"). But he is going to run into limitations that will most likely force him to learn to shoot lefty, and the sooner you start, the easier the transition will be.
From my personal experience having to retrain here are my opinions:

For pistol- Train right handed, you will do fiine and your off-hand shooting
will be better than most.
For Rifle (or shotgun w/slugs)- You can make right handed shooting work,
but you will get better accuracy lefty, especially on shots that
require quick aquisition of the target. (ie-hunting)
For Shotgun (on bird or skeet)- You have to make the transition to lefty or
you won't hit anything you shoot at!

It was because of the frustration caused in #3 that I finally just retrained myself to shoot lefty with all long guns. He will complain it feels awkward at first, but do him a favor and convince him he will be better off shooting long guns lefty. It will pay off down the road.

March 27, 2012, 03:08 AM
I am right handed and have a left dominant eye.

I can shoot a handgun using either eye. When shooting a long gun I close my left eye and shoot with my right eye. This does limit my peripheral vision during the period that left eye is closed.

I have found that many people cannot close one or both eyes independently.

March 27, 2012, 07:42 AM
It is well known that a left eye dominant right handed person will shoot better left handed than right handed. It may take longer for him to do it, but in the long run he will shoot better. I have seen no recognized shooting authority advocate shooting right hand with left eye dominance. It is similar for right eye dominance and left handed person.

If there is one authority that doesn't agree who I haven't read, he would be the exception not the rule.

March 27, 2012, 02:45 PM
I am in the same boat and was asking around what to do. Its amazing how many preople do say suck it up and shoot with the right eye. However it does seems easier to focus if I hold the gun with my left hand. I am going to try actually shooting that way at the range. How much does this limit you gun choices, both handgun and rifle?

March 27, 2012, 03:55 PM
I have the same affliction. Personally I shoot a rifle with my right eye - mostly because that's the way I was taught - and a pistol with my left eye, but always right handed.
It works for me, and shooting right handed means I can use right handed guns without an issue.

March 27, 2012, 05:39 PM
Right-Handed/Left eye dominant/Right Hand Shooter.

Always shot right handed/right eye w/ rifle
Always shot right handed/left eye w/ pistol
Good enough for the USAF pistol team. :D

March 27, 2012, 05:55 PM
I didn't say you couldn't shoot well left eye dom. but right hand shooter. But you would shoot better shooting from your dominant eye side. It's not my idea, but I'm passing it on. I have found it to be true for everyone I have taught to shoot.

March 27, 2012, 11:23 PM
My opinion is that the eye is more important than the hand. He should use the dominant eye for sighting the rifle.

Whether he uses a left handed rifle or not is personal preference. I've been shooting right handed bolt action guns left handed for so long I don't even notice it any more and an actual LEFT handed bolt action feels funny to me.

March 28, 2012, 09:42 PM
I shoot handguns from the Chapman stance (modified Weaver) and just slightly shift my head to the right to line the left eye up with the sights. Doesn't affect binocular sight or peripheral vision or any of that. It's not a big deal for most shooters.

I’ve instructed in firearms on and off at the local regional police academy since 1988 and in the ANG as a combat arms instructor for 10 years and as an LEO since 1982. It is my observation that about 20% of the population have a cross dominant master eye.

When shooting rifle, I fire from the right shoulder, close my left eye, and shoot with the right eye. Some people (10%?) can't independently close one eye or the other and leave the other eye open (often can't close the master eye) and I'm not sure what the solution is for those folks when they're shooting a long gun. Some people have a greater natural tendency toward bilateralism/ambidexterity than others, and some can fire off the weak shoulder with some ability, but most people can't do that.

I know a minority of instructors try to take a cross-dominant shooter (right handed -- left master eye, for example) and try to teach them to shoot left handed. That's worked well for some shooters and not at all for others . . .

I can't use occluded eye gunsights with my particular set of vision characteristics, and in my experience most cross-dominant shooters can't either, but I do know a few cross-dominant operators who can without significant difficulty. So, it's a little hard to come to a rule that's "carved in stone", particularly since a person's eye sight may significantly change over the course of their lifetime/shooting career.

March 28, 2012, 10:08 PM
My father taught me to shoot lefty being left eye right handed. I now shoot handgun and long gun all lefty. I started young and it stuck.