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Old September 10, 2019, 04:21 PM   #1
spthomas
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Shooting with other eye

I have been shooting handguns, rifles, and shotguns for 50 years. I'm primarily a handgunner, but I do have rifles and shotguns and enjoy shooting them too. Two years ago, I went blind. When all was said and done I had recovered signt in my left (weak side) eye. I do not see out of my right eye.

I have been to the range with handguns, and was pleased to find out my shooting had not changed at all, and might actually be better! When I go into shooting stance, I worried my gun arm would not line up quickly with my left eye after being right dominant all my life. But to my surprise, the hand came up in front of my left eye, sight picture was fine, and my shooting was great and just as intuitive as I could have hoped.

I have not tried rifles or shotguns yet. My go to defence shotgun is an Ithaca Model 37, which ejects shells down. So I don't forsee a problem there, unless the sight picture is a problem, and I think it's ok based on my pistol results. But the rifles! I can't sight down the barrel of a right handed rifle with my right eye not seeing. And my left eye is not on the sight plane at all.

There is also the problem with things like my AR, even if i try to shoot it left handed, the empties will eject across my face or into it! And what about bolt action guns? Working the bolt off handed might be a problem.

So, does anyone have any experience with this? Just how does a right handed shooter who no longer has a right eye do this? Do I need to buy all new guns?

Thanks!

Steve
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Old September 10, 2019, 04:30 PM   #2
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I'm cross eye dominant, so right handed but left eye dominant. I shoot all long guns left handed by default, though I can use my right eye. It hasn't been a problem with an AR at all and I don't imagine it should be unless you don't have a brass deflector on your upper receiver. AKM has also been fine, as has my 590. Frankly a properly functioning firearm should eject far enough for handedness to not be a problem. As for bolt action rifles, if I can turn in decent times on just for fun drills while standing and running the bolt of my 03A3 with my left hand, then I'm confident most others can too. You may lose some speed, but unless we've gone back in time and the Mad Minute is a thing again I don't think it will prove a problem.

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Old September 10, 2019, 04:34 PM   #3
Bart B.
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There are left offset bases to move scopes and metallic sights a few inches sideways.

https://www.accurateshooter.com/opti...-mounting-rai/

Last edited by Bart B.; September 10, 2019 at 04:51 PM.
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Old September 10, 2019, 05:05 PM   #4
Doyle
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I'm also cross-eye dominant. I've managed to work around the issue with handguns like you do. With rifles and shotguns, I have to force my left eye to squint so that I can use my right eye to sight.

However, if I were in your situation and had no right-eye use at all then I would probably go down the route of replacing all my long guns with left handed versions and retrain myself to shoot left handed. I've actually had to practice doing that with rifles (so that I could shoot a deer that was to the extreme right of my stand) and while it feels unnatural, it isn't impossible. I'm thinking that retraining for shotgun use would be much harder though.
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Old September 10, 2019, 05:09 PM   #5
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I honestly don't believe that left handed versions are necessary. I used to think that way, but the more I had to use right handed weapons left handed the more I realized it wasn't an issue. At the least I would try it for a bit first. Worst case scenario you still end up replacing them, but maybe you won't have to.

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Old September 10, 2019, 05:44 PM   #6
hubris
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After breaking the heck out of my dominant (left) wrist, I had to switch to my right. Was very surprised how easily my elderly brain adapted. I wasn't a marksman before, nor now. That said, it's still fun to punch holes in paper trying to improve my accuracy.

BTW, I jokingly told my wife I would need to replace a couple of 'left handed' pistols due to the injury. Bless her heart, she nodded in encouragement. Wouldn't trade her for anything.
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Old September 10, 2019, 06:58 PM   #7
davidsog
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I am left eye dominant and right handed. Nobody I ever known to be cross eye dominant ever tried to learn to use weapons on their non-dominant hand.

None of the premier shooting organizations in the US Gubermint inventory require off hand use when you are cross eyed dominant. Seems a lot of trouble for nothing.
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Old September 10, 2019, 07:05 PM   #8
spthomas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsog View Post
I am left eye dominant and right handed. Nobody I ever known to be cross eye dominant ever tried to learn to use weapons on their non-dominant hand.



None of the premier shooting organizations in the US Gubermint inventory require off hand use when you are cross eyed dominant. Seems a lot of trouble for nothing.
So do you sight right handed rifles with your left eye? It seems like the extreme parallax of having your eye off the sighting plane would make that difficult. Since my right eye doesn't work at all, left eye sighting is my only option.

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Old September 10, 2019, 07:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spthomas View Post
So do you sight right handed rifles with your left eye? It seems like the extreme parallax of having your eye off the sighting plane would make that difficult. Since my right eye doesn't work at all, left eye sighting is my only option.

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Have you tried shooting your rifles left handed?

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Old September 10, 2019, 07:16 PM   #10
davidsog
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LOL I just read some Shooting Illustrated article that warned of neck problems if you tilt your head.

Guess who else was left eye dominant and right handed....

Quote:
Jeff Cooper: Father of Modern Pistol Shooting
https://www.americanrifleman.org/art...stol-shooting/

http://www.throwinglead.com/index.ph...ross_dominance
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Old September 10, 2019, 07:19 PM   #11
davidsog
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Quote:
So do you sight right handed rifles with your left eye?
No. I do like everybody else and use my right eye closing my left eye. Worked just fine on ironsights in SOTIC.

Reflex sights it is not an issue at all.

26 1/2 years in SOCOM and it never bothered me one single bit nor anyone else in the same situation.
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Old September 10, 2019, 07:21 PM   #12
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For years, instructors would give students a variety of different techniques to overcome the problem of cross-dominance. Even now, some instructors treat it as an affliction. Recommendations range from forcing yourself to shoot with the non-dominant hand to radically canting your head and neck to get your dominant eye in line with the gun.

None of that is necessary. Or even helpful.
http://www.throwinglead.com/index.ph...ross_dominance
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Old September 10, 2019, 07:21 PM   #13
TunnelRat
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I agree shooting handguns with cross eye dominance is a non-issue. You just bring the pistol up to your dominant eye and do what anyone else does. I do the same, and in the second paragraph the OP mentions he's surprised how well it worked for him too.

His point is he no longer has vision in his right eye but is right handed and is asking about shooting rifles using his left eye (another subforum might be better, one for rifles?). The end result is he's asking how hard it is to use rifles or other long guns left handed. Left handed people have existed for as long as firearms. They've always made due, even before "left handed models" existed. I think he'd honestly be fine after some time.

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Old September 11, 2019, 08:16 AM   #14
davidsog
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Quote:
asking about shooting rifles
It is a non-issue with rifles as the article explains too.

Simply close or as I do, squint your "dominant eye" and you will make the other eye dominant. The brain compensates....

No issues in any of the premier shooting schools in US Government inventory I attended. They simply do not teach for guys to switch hands. It is more trouble than it is worth.

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Old September 11, 2019, 08:49 AM   #15
TunnelRat
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He's right handed. His right eye is blind. Not hard to use, it is no longer capable of sight because of medical reasons. If he tries to use his right eye when shooting rifles by closing or squinting his left eye he will literally be shooting blind since he would be closing his only working eye.

In theory I agree with you (and in practice I've done it too). This isn't a typical case. He only has one functioning eye and unfortunately it's on the side of his non-dominant hand.

Last edited by TunnelRat; September 11, 2019 at 09:47 AM.
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Old September 11, 2019, 10:20 AM   #16
davidsog
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His right eye is blind.
I know he is and he will have to adapt. Eye missing is not the same as eye dominance.

The mechanics require he either switches sides of uses an optic designed for both eyes open shooting.

That does not change the fact that eye dominance is overrated and you still see people turned away from shooting due to ignorance about having to change to their off hand as primary.
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Old September 11, 2019, 11:04 AM   #17
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Old September 11, 2019, 12:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsog
The mechanics require he either switches sides of uses an optic designed for both eyes open shooting.
Other options are sights or scopes that are offset laterally relative to the bore axis, or buying left-handed rifles and learning to shoot left-handed. I know there was a company that made left-handed AR-15s, and there are also companies that make or have made left-handed bolt action rifles.
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Old September 11, 2019, 12:27 PM   #19
TunnelRat
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Stag Arms and others make left handed ARs that eject to the left. My point above is I think it's worth trying to use his current ARs with his left hand. They're really not that lefty unfriendly.

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Old September 11, 2019, 02:45 PM   #20
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Shooting a lever action shouldn't cause a problem with ejection either right or left handed.

If you have an AR (or any other rifle with a picatinny rail on the receiver), I wonder if using a 45 degree offset red dot mount (hanging over the left side instead of the right) would work. That should allow you to shoot it right handed, but sight through your left eye. https://www.mountsplus.com/offset-red-dot-mount.html
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Old September 11, 2019, 07:46 PM   #21
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I am right-handed but with my dad's help about 65 years ago I learned my left eye is dominant. Since then I have only shot rifles, shotguns, and compound bows left-handed. Fortunately, my dad's help learning my left eye dominance enabled me to enjoy many years of successful hunting whitetail deer, mule deer, black bear, elk, small game, waterfowl, and upland birds.
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Old September 12, 2019, 12:17 PM   #22
spthomas
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Thanks all. I think I'll just need to shoot left handed. ARs I don't worry about too much, we'll see how much brass I eat. My main concern is bolt guns. But as a long retired police officer, handguns are my primary weapon anyway, and I'm fine with those.

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Old September 17, 2019, 02:20 PM   #23
davidsog
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Since then I have only shot rifles, shotguns, and compound bows left-handed
They used to teach that. It has since been found to be completely unnecessary.
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Old September 17, 2019, 02:44 PM   #24
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In the military, laft handed AR got a bent brass rod screwed/bolted thru hole in the M-16 carry handle to deflect the ejected round.
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Old September 17, 2019, 07:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
Since then I have only shot rifles, shotguns, and compound bows left-handed

They used to teach that. It has since been found to be completely unnecessary.
Is it your opinion that my shooting rifles, shotguns and compound bows right-handed would have been superior, i.e., more accurate, faster, easier, or more comfortable?
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