The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 16, 2001, 12:09 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: November 30, 2000
Posts: 8
I'm right handed with a very slight left eye dominance, but I basically have no dominant eye. When I point a finger, gun, or whatever at an object and focus on the object, I see two fingers / guns / whatever, and when I focus on the finger / gun / whatever I see two objects. I can aim by figuring out which of the two images I see is lined up with which eye, then using the sight on that one, but it's difficult. Does anyone else have this problem / have a solution?

elper is offline  
Old January 16, 2001, 12:14 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: August 20, 2000
Location: AZ
Posts: 1,363
just my opinion...

I would practice closing one eye to get a quick sight picture. In this case, it would probably be the weak side eye (left) even though it might be slightly dominant. I have never shot with both eyes open unless it is point shooting and I'm aware of the target, not sights.
krept is offline  
Old January 16, 2001, 12:25 AM   #3
Join Date: December 21, 2000
Posts: 30
TAke advantage of it...practice with both (independently, of course)
SAMTU is offline  
Old January 16, 2001, 12:30 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: October 29, 1999
Location: Dewey, AZ
Posts: 12,858
Enjoy the advantage. If you have a good sight picture with either eye, you are on target, doesn't matter which eye has the picture. mother was afraid I was neither handed, I proved her right.
C.R.Sam is offline  
Old January 16, 2001, 01:58 AM   #5
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39,177


That's EXACTLY what you're supposed to see.

You eyes cannot focus at separate depths at the same time, it's a physical impossibility.

Thus, when you focus on your finger, you'll see two images past your finger, and vice versa.

Try this to figure out which eye is truly dominant (unless you have an eye convergence problem, where you don't see in stereo, one eye should be dominant):

1. Pick an object in the distance, a stop sign, for instance. A few feet, a few yards, doesn't matter.

2. Make a circle with your thumb and index finger on one hand (an OK sign).

3. With both eyes open, sight the stop sign and focus on it through the circle you've made with your finger and thumb.

4. Close your left eye, and keep your right eye open. Can you still see the stop sign?

5. Open your left eye, and close your right eye. Can you still see the stop sign?

Your dominant eye is the one with which you could still see the stop sign when the other was closed.

If you TRULY don't have a dominant eye (which would put you in a significant minority of the population), you may want to schedule an appointment with an opthmalogist for a check up to make certain there isn't a problem. Seeing in stereo is pretty important.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old January 16, 2001, 12:20 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: November 11, 1999
Location: GA
Posts: 1,749
I have the same problem, but I think it's for a different reason. I didn't even KNOW it was a problem until I went to the eye doctor a couple of months ago...

I'm left handed, and according to the eye doctor, I'm very right eye dominant. Now thanks to a great Dad, I've been handling firearms since I was in the single digits, and always left handed. I didn't KNOW I was cross/ eye dominant, so I just used my left eye. I think I trained my non-dominant(?) eye to be dominant in shooting situations. But when I do Mike Irwin's test, I see one fire alarm (my target) and two equally visible left hands. By having trained myself to do so, I do use the left eye image, so that when I close my right eye, the hand that stays is the one circling the alarm.

To answer your question, plain old PRACTICE has gotten me to be able to use this to my advantage... I focus on the target, and sight using the BARELY fuzzy right pistol image, and ignore the left pistol image. Works for me....but I'm sure I'm doing it all wrong
Onslaught is offline  
Old January 16, 2001, 06:21 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: October 20, 1998
Posts: 169
I'm not extremely dominant in either eye as well. But you can train one of the eyes to be the dominant eye. If you are left handed train the left eye to be more dominant. You can do this by taking a piece of cellophane tape to cover the top portion of the shooting glasses over your right eye. When in a shooting stance, looking at the front sight, the tape should obscure the front sight, but leave enough of a viewing area for your periferal vision. You won't see a double image anymore and you will be training your left eye on the correct sight picture. After awhile use smaller and smaller pieces of tape until you don't need it anymore.
NAD is offline  
Old January 9, 2013, 02:35 PM   #8
Junior Member
Join Date: January 9, 2013
Posts: 1
I've been trying to understand that "affliction and/or variance-from-normal" for years -- A LOT of them!. I've been unable to understand what people were seeing (and/or thinking they were seeing?) with all the dominant eye test "stuff". That just didn't work for me -- as in, "OK, which one of those holes do you want me to look thru? -- which thumb am I supposed to be looking at?".

With a shotgun, handgun, or open-sight rifle I always see two barrels. For years I thought this was normal and just what everyone else was seeing. I learned to deal with it. Over the years it has just become automatic as to which barrel or set of sights I needed to be looking at. I'm not sure but I think the "feature" I was blessed with must might improve my depth perception.

All the best,


Last edited by gleno; January 9, 2013 at 02:36 PM. Reason: wrong word usage
gleno is offline  
Old January 9, 2013, 05:23 PM   #9
Strafer Gott
Senior Member
Join Date: May 12, 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,315
Lucky guy!

Remember, right handed guns are plentiful, and cheap, compared to lefties.
Don't teach yourself a handicap.
Strafer Gott is offline  
Old January 9, 2013, 05:36 PM   #10
5R milspec
Senior Member
Join Date: December 11, 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 360
After taking the test Mike just told him to he will find out to what eye is dominant.Now if he's left eyed dominant and right hand dominant like me,then he can do as I do.All I do is push the pistol more to my left eye when shooting,this has allowed me to shoot with both eyes open.

The same test said above is a must for me when asked to teach some one shooting.I give it then we work form there.The two hand test is for rifel and bows.So please don't get the two mixed up.
life is great but its better when you can own as many guns you wish to own.for me I haven't bought enough yet.
5R milspec is offline  
Old January 9, 2013, 05:46 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: July 6, 2000
Posts: 1,322 left hand comes up directly under the left eye; my right hand comes up directly under my right eye. ISN'T this the way it is supposed to be ? I can shoot right handed or left handed and never gave a moments thought about it all the sixty years i've been shooting pistols.
WIL TERRY is offline  
Old January 9, 2013, 09:06 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 8,547
A 12 year old thread brought back to life!!! Since we are here, with handguns eye dominance is not nearly as important as long as both eyes are open.

It can be a factor with longguns if the shooter is cross dominate. I find it is easier to learn to shoot from the weak side than to try to shoot with the non-dominate eye.
jmr40 is offline  
Old January 10, 2013, 10:07 AM   #13
Bob Wright
Senior Member
Join Date: July 10, 2012
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 2,606
For many years my left eye was my dominant eye. I shot handguns right handed, shoulder arms from the left shoulder.

In firing handguns, I sighted with my left eye. This meant my arm sort of "crooked" to align my gunhand with my left eye. I shot fairly well that way, usually outshot my companions, and if I may say so, everybody else on the range. I learned to control the gun in recoil even though it didn't roll exactly right.

After cataract surgery, my right eye became , more or less, my dominant eye. Now my gun's center line and forearm are lined up just the way the manuals say they're supposed to be.

I've shot a lot of heavy recoilling handguns, .454, .45-70, and .50-70, and the recoil is easier now than before. Had to resight all my guns, though.

Bob Wright
Bob Wright is offline  
Old January 10, 2013, 10:11 AM   #14
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39,177
It's a 12 year old thread... but... I think it's still pertinent...

Think I'll let it ride for awhile.
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old January 10, 2013, 10:20 AM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: February 11, 2011
Location: Victoria, TX
Posts: 158
Eye dominance change

I began with the right eye but now the left eye has sharper vision so I've learned to aim with it. I'm still right-handed though. I don't know how I'd handle a rifle. Shoot left-handed I guess.
Ancient Airman
BRE346 is offline  
Old January 10, 2013, 10:37 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: December 5, 2010
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 6,018
Right eye dominant. Right handed.

I use both eyes when I'm shooting.
Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium. Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo, divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde. Ámen
Constantine is offline  
Old January 10, 2013, 11:22 AM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: February 16, 2006
Location: IOWA
Posts: 6,995
Kind of wish I had this problem

Does anyone else have this problem / have a solution?
Well, first of, you have defined it as a problem that obviously needs some correction. Kind of wish I had this problem. I know that you mind can be programmed to use the prefered dominant by using one of the accepted methods. ...

Once saw an female Army Veteran that was an excellent shooter. She stated that when she went into the Army, she too had this problem and they trained her, how to correct it. I just wish I had paid more attention and found out how they trained her. ....

Be Safe !!!
'Fundamental truths' are easy to recognize because they are verified daily through simple observation and thus, require no testing.
Pahoo is offline  
Old January 11, 2013, 02:59 AM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: December 11, 2004
Location: Redwood City, Ca.
Posts: 3,339
Being cross dominant isn't a problem. It's just the way a lot of folks are. It ain't a problem for a surgeon, or a machinist, or a seamstress, or anyone that does close up work where they need to see things clearly. It's not a problem for shooting. With a handgun just turn the head a bit to bring the dominant eye into play. That's it. With a long gun close an eye or learn to see the sights or through the scope with the non dominant eyeball.

Frankly it's more trouble with bi-focals.

tipoc is offline  
Old January 11, 2013, 03:25 AM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: September 5, 2006
Location: maryland
Posts: 483
Shouldnt be a problem with a handgun or scoped rifle just shoot with both eyes open. I grew up closing my left eye and using my dominant right eye to shoot with. An excellent instructor at Fort Benning taught me to shoot with both eyes open and ive been doing it since.
Kill em all and let God sort em out! USAF
bacardisteve is offline  
Old January 11, 2013, 08:32 AM   #20
Join Date: June 24, 2012
Location: Eastern Iowa
Posts: 69
"You eyes cannot focus at separate depths at the same time, it's a physical impossibility."
Unless you have what is called lazy eye. I am near sighted in my dominant eye and far sighted in my weak eye. I can focus on the front sight with my right eye and the target with my left. It is a gift that has served me well in the past.
We have nothing to fear, but politicians.
2000ShadowACE is offline  
Old January 11, 2013, 01:16 PM   #21
chris in va
Senior Member
Join Date: December 26, 2004
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 13,534
January 16, 2001, 06:21 PM #7
Yup, that's an oldie. I wasn't even carrying at that point!
chris in va is offline  
Old January 11, 2013, 01:20 PM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: December 11, 2004
Location: Redwood City, Ca.
Posts: 3,339
Yeah and frankly 12 year old threads should be left to die. If a fella needs to say something on a subject start a new thread or reopen one of the 20 or so threads on this subject that were posted last year.

tipoc is offline  
Old January 12, 2013, 10:33 AM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2007
Location: Red Rock. TX
Posts: 817
Since Mike left it open....

Yes, you can only focus on one thing at a time. In my case, if I focus on the front sight, sure there is one front sight. Which target do I line it up on? Which rear sight do I line it up with?

For targets and competition, place a small piece of tape on your shooting glasses, so as to block the view of the sight line from your less-dominant eye (or whichever one you choose) to the sights. That blurs/blocks the view enough so my brain makes the right choices.
lmccrock is offline  
Old January 14, 2013, 05:11 AM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: November 13, 2006
Posts: 5,248
I grew up right handed,right eye dominant.

A 30 year carreer as a machinist caused my eyes to develop a
"skill" of the eye that can see the best takes over.If I am watching a light gap disappear or touching an end mill off,etc,depending on the setup sometimes my left eye takes over.

This became a real problem with a shotgun.All the sudden I could not hit anything!
The shotgun under my right eye caused my left eye to take over.

I talked it over with my shotgunner brother,and he told me of a British double barrel technique(I shoot a double).The left hand index finger points at the target under the forend or barrels.The left thumb points up up at the sky,on the left side of the forend.That thumb gets in the way of the left eye just enough to put the right eye back in charge.

It accomplishes the same thing as the dot on the glasses ,but it is only there when you shoot.

I wear glasses all the time,and I just cannot tolerate any tape,marker dot,smear from a Kentucky Fried Chicken bone,etc.

If that solution(tape on the glasses) works for you,great!Have fun!But please do not inflict it upon a beginner.Horrible eye strain is no fun.

Try the thumb thing,its also the natural place to ride a thumb with the 1911on top the safety,and two handed hold on a single action wheel gun,the left thumb can be up ready to thumb the hammer.

Give it a try before you say "Bah,humbug"
HiBC is online now  
Old January 14, 2013, 08:06 AM   #25
Senior Member
Join Date: February 9, 2006
Location: Homes in Brooklyn, NY and in Pennsylvania.
Posts: 4,890

can focus on the front sight with my right eye and the target with my left.
I am not looking through your eyes but I do not believe that is what is meant. Perhaps it is better said that that the human eye cannot focus on different distances at that same time. Eye, not eyes.
When you look at the front sight with your right eye, what does the target look like through that eye when the front sight is crisp?
“Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games.” Ernest Hemingway ...
NRA Life Member

Last edited by darkgael; January 14, 2013 at 09:40 AM.
darkgael is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:51 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09932 seconds with 9 queries