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Old May 23, 2024, 10:10 AM   #1
5whiskey
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Eye Dominance and Training....

So I was taught about eye dominance years and years ago. I am right eye dominant, right handed... so it never mattered much for me until I started training in non-dominant side shooting. It still didn't really matter much, other than I had to "think" about centering my left eye in the sight plane when shooting left side barricade and such, and even then i trained out of havimg to "think" about it quick enough. I never had to think about eye dominance when shooting pistol at all, regardless of which hand I'm shooting with (I practice right and left handed).

In general, the most I have seen from cross-eye dominance (left eye dominant, right handed shooter or vice versa) is as an excuse for marginal shooters to continue to jerk the crap out of the trigger, flinch, focus on the target and not the front sight, etc.... and continue to blame their poor accuracy on eye dominance. They look at me mystified when I explain that if eye dominance was their only issue, and they did everything else well, that they would still have good groups but just off center of target. At worst, if they are alternating between eyes as the focus point, they would have the "two distinct groups" phenomena.

Case in point. I'm running qualification for my agency yesterday. An officer that recently came up to us from another agency comes up to me during dinner break. He stated that he has never been a "great" shooter, but he considered himself competent and he had confidence when it came to qualifying. He then described how that seemed to change when an instructor at his prior agency pointed out that he is cross eye dominant, and now he just couldn't "get right." I worked with him on doing some dry fire for about 15 minutes, largely stressing that he needs to forget about eye dominance. In the end, he qualified first go with a much better score during night qualification (when I would argue eye focus matters more).

Thoughts? Anyone else observed this?
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Old May 26, 2024, 11:49 AM   #2
Erno86
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I'm non-eye dominant as well, ever since I started having focus problems with my dominant right eye focusing on the front sight without prescription glasses. So, I had to train my subconscious to be dominant with both my left and right eyes.
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Old May 26, 2024, 04:36 PM   #3
armoredman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5Whiskey
In general, the most I have seen from cross-eye dominance (left eye dominant, right handed shooter or vice versa) is as an excuse for marginal shooters to continue to jerk the crap out of the trigger, flinch, focus on the target and not the front sight, etc.... and continue to blame their poor accuracy on eye dominance. They look at me mystified when I explain that if eye dominance was their only issue, and they did everything else well, that they would still have good groups but just off center of target.
That's an interesting statement. I am left eye/right hand, and I started shooting when there WAS no such thing. I was exposed to it in the Academy, and my Class Sgt told me I would shoot left handed. I said no, I will not and I will turn in the top score. I did and I did.
I don't think these qualify as off center?

CZ P-10S


CZ P-10C


Uberti 1873 Birds Head


I've had LOTS of people tell me how terrible a shot I must be since I am cross dominant...yet I STILL qualify Expert or Distinguished expert yearly with the Dept.
I also shoot rifles right handed, and then I use my right eye. Have ever since I started shooting 48 years ago.





Global statement refuted globally. Now I will grant you may have individual shooters who do better once they switch, but I do not fall into that camp.
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Old May 27, 2024, 01:40 PM   #4
Erno86
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Shooting with my left eye (without closing my right eye) in the right-hand shooting position, especially when I shoot my Romanian PSL AK sniper rifle, is handy because the scope mount is offset to the left side of the receiver. If I shoot it with my right eye, I don't get a good cheek weld compared to using my left eye --- Plus...I don't have to close my other eye because that tends to cause a flinch.

Shooting wild game in the sitting or kneeling position...is handy with non-dominant eyes in case a right-hand shooter has wild game coming in so far to the right that he doesn't have to shift his whole body to get a good shooting angle at the target because he shoots left-handed with his left eye --- Vice versa with a left-hand shooter shooting with his left eye.

I'm sorry about formally saying cross-eye dominant instead of non-dominant. Still...my main dominant eye is my right eye.
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Old May 28, 2024, 01:16 PM   #5
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I remember when Paris Theodore introduced the Quell System. I vaguely recall he used a female model in a "Honey West" type black body suit, shooting a snub revolver, to demo his technique at times.

Anyway, if you look at a picture of Paris Theodore holding a pistol, I'd not be surprised that he might've been cross-eye dominant himself.

It's not easy to find detailed info about the old Quell System, but I found this one ...

https://imgur.com/a/quell-system-ENqH6

His theory for eye/side-of-the-brain involvement was interesting.

Whenever I worked with one of our people who were cross-eye dominant, I had success keeping it simple by suggesting they keep both eyes open (for critical depth perception, especially when movement was involved), and slightly adjust their head positioning so their dominant eye better aligned with their weapon's sight picture/alignment.

Same thing we taught folks when they were shooting courses where they were required to change over to using their non-dominant hands.

Hits on-target where intended can be a great confirmation and confidence-builder.
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Old May 30, 2024, 02:03 PM   #6
5whiskey
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Quote:
That's an interesting statement. I am left eye/right hand, and I started shooting when there WAS no such thing. I was exposed to it in the Academy, and my Class Sgt told me I would shoot left handed. I said no, I will not and I will turn in the top score. I did and I did.
I don't think these qualify as off center?
Armoredman what I was saying is if cross-eye dominance was the only issue affecting their shooting, and not trigger control or target focused instead of front sight focused, then their groups would be good but be slightly off center. Most people who are cross-eye dominant adjust for it and shoot just fine, and it has no adverse impact on their shooting. Obviously it doesn't affect your shooting.
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Old June 24, 2024, 05:48 PM   #7
bamaranger
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cross dominant

Both my Dad and my son are cross dominant, right hand/left eye. I learned about the affliction when I got some training and became an instructor for my agency.

Dad could shoot well enough with time and lack of pressure. Off the bench, at the range or plinking, he did just fine. But when shooting at game, especially flushed or running game, he often had unexplainable misses, which in later years I attributed to his cross/dominance. All Dad's shooting was from the right shoulder with the right, non-dom eye. He never shot much handgun and I never tried to change him.

I spotted bamaboy's cross/dom issue early on, pre-school age. Same as his grandad, right handed, left master eye. Starting with a BB gun, he shot off his left shoulder using his left master eye. When he got old enough to begin with a handgun, right handed canting the gun slightly over to his dominant left eye. He's an instructor with his department as well, on their SWAT team and one of their best shots. His AR is set up with controls to allow left/right operation and that is the only gear concession to his
predicament.

I think cross dominance creates issues when the shooter is confronted with multiple inputs, as in flushing game, or the pressure of a time constraint with an agency qual or heaven forbid, a live defensive shoot. I believe this issue is compounded in direct correlation to the shooters lack of experience or competency. In other words, the mental frustration (if you will) input of cross dominance with sight picture, overcomes the shooters ability to physically execute a good shot. The result is poor shooting, traced directly to failure to have a proper sight alignment and resultant lack of trigger control. Slow things down, they can do fine. Add enough pressure, things may start to "short circuit".

With the handgun, canting and training should resolve issues. I believe and have seen proof, that a cross/dom shooter can shoot a long gun off his nondominant side. But I am of the opinion that under stress and pressure, that same shooter, if they can competently, with full ease and lack of forethought, run the long gun off the same side as their dominant eye, will shoot better. Best way to accomplish that is to address it early and start the shooter off the appropriate shoulder, matching the master eye. Other wise, I believe, an adult with cross /dom habits of strong shoulder/non master eye sight use, will never shoot up to their full potential with a long gun especially, in reactive shooting.
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