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Old June 17, 2012, 09:56 AM   #1
k3new
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Eye preference question

I have a friend that I will be taking to the range in a few weeks to introduce her to rifles. I plan to take a bolt action scoped .22 and an iron sighted AR-15.
She is right handed, but shoots pistols with her dominant left eye right handed. Not a big deal with a handgun, but...

How should I have her shoot the rifles? Left handed, or right?

Thanks,

Joe
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Old June 17, 2012, 10:41 AM   #2
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The only way she is likely to shoot using her non-dominant right eye is by closing the left. If she tries to shoot with both eyes open, with her left eye dominant the sights will not seem (to her), to line up on the target.
Years ago, handgun target shooters would sometimes go to extremes to correct the problem by wearing a patch over their left eye until the right eye become dominant.
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Old June 17, 2012, 10:42 AM   #3
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If it was me, I would start her out right off the bat shooting lefthanded so she can begin learning and exersizing the muscle memory needed to be comfortable shooting. It may not be the most comfortable for her in the beginning but I am sure in the long run she will find it much easier to shoot left handed than to twist her head and neck in some uncomfortable configuration and try to line up a scope or open sights with with her left eye while shooting right handed. Once she begins to feelcomfortable then I would work on her shooting a pistol left handed as to not confuse her when switching from one to the other. Left handed is my vote
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Old June 17, 2012, 10:47 AM   #4
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The military studies and others, showed that it's easier to train the hand than train the eye ! Shoot dominant eye , train the hand.
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Old June 17, 2012, 10:51 AM   #5
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you should have her put the buttstock to the same side as her dominant eye. That way she is not putting her face across the stock, and she will shoot better. Manipulating a rifle is does not require the dexterity of the dominant hand. Better to start off the correct way and get used to it.
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Old June 17, 2012, 11:04 AM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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You can try having her shoot lefty but it's not a big deal to close your dominant eye. That's what I do, it's what I've ALWAYS done.

Iron sights, optics, skeet, archery, I close my left eye. Actually, almost every one I shoot with does the same thing, even if they're not cross-dominate.
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Old June 17, 2012, 12:09 PM   #7
Sigowner
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I am right handed, shoot the pistol right handed and rifle/shotgun left handed. Has worked very well for over 60 years so I would suggest you have her shoot as a lefty.
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Old June 17, 2012, 12:35 PM   #8
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Shooting

Might freak her a bit to have cases fly past her face off the AR. Bplt gun not a big deal but flying rounds different story.
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Old June 17, 2012, 12:43 PM   #9
math teacher
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I am left handed and left eyed. I shoot guns left handed, but due to early training, I shoot a bow right handed. I just close the eye I am not using. However not everyone can do that.
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Old June 17, 2012, 07:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
The military studies and others, showed that it's easier to train the hand than train the eye ! Shoot dominant eye , train the hand.
Teach her to shoot left handed, it may take a little longer to master, but she will be a better shooter in the long run.
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Old June 18, 2012, 12:19 AM   #11
mrawesome22
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"Still wearing the eye patch huh?"

"Yeah but there's a problem."

" Can't see your left side?"

"No, no... it's itchy."

Sent from HenseMod6.
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Old June 18, 2012, 10:02 AM   #12
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Cross eye dominant is half the equation. The other half is handedness. Some people can be taught to shoot with their non-dominant hand. Some cannot. I'm in the latter category.

Just like with eye dominance, there are gradations with hand dominance. Depending on how useless their non-dominant hand/arm is, it might be better for them to shoot right handed (or left, as it is).
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Old June 19, 2012, 05:48 AM   #13
BikerRN
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Cross dominant shooter here.
I started out shooting dominant eye side but now shoot right handed, left eye dominant, with optics. If I'm using iron sights, or shotguns without optics, I shoot left handed.
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Old June 21, 2012, 07:42 AM   #14
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Closing one eye is not good long term because there is muscle strain from the uneven stress.

A full eye patch is not necessary, just a piece of tape on your shooting glasses, enough to block the line of sight to the sights and target. I use that for pistol matches, and I swore it would be a training aid until I could train myself to go both-eyes-open, but it has not happened. BTW, I am not cross dominant, but weak enough that I have to do something or I get double vision and have a hard time with the pistol.

For rifle, it seems it is always slow enough that I can pick the right target picture, or blink the non-sighting eye to confirm which target I am shooting at. But the tape trick works as well.

Quote:
Might freak her a bit to have cases fly past her face off the AR. Bplt gun not a big deal but flying rounds different story.
Stag still makes the lefty AR, right?
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Old June 21, 2012, 07:56 AM   #15
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I'm a right-eye-dominant lefty. A couple of thoughts...

Since, for self defense, she is likely to be shooting a handgun, she's got that worked out. No problem.

For long guns, which most people don't use primarily for self defense, peripheral vision is less important (IMHO), so closing the dominant eye to shoot is not a big deal.

The small piece of tape on the shooting glasses does work, though, and still allows sufficient peripheral vision, so that's a good option.

If she decides to change "handedness", I've never had a problem with ejected casings in the face or past the face with levers, pump guns, bolt guns, or autos (such as the AR).

So, it seems to me that any of the previously-mentioned options are viable. Try them all and see what she prefers.
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Old June 21, 2012, 10:33 AM   #16
tahunua001
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two choices.
close the left eye and shoot right handed or

shoot left handed with both eyes open.

it is impossible to shoot a rifle right handed while sighting down your left eye.
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Old June 24, 2012, 07:58 AM   #17
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And I will disagree with a great many of the "shoot-with-the-dominant-eye-hand" suggestions above.

If you are right-handed/left-eyed, as I am, use your right-sided instincts to best advantage
in manipulating the weapon in bringing it up. Closing the left eye as the sights come into line then
becomes no less instinctive -- and just as effective. This has proved correct through 50 years
of low-gun skeet where everything happens in fractions of a second (especially at station 8.)

First exposure/trying to teach someone who has no experience in shooting is challenge enough.
Don't make it tougher by forcing them to go completely against a lifetime's grain right at the start.
Weak side shooting -- though very important -- can come later.

Last edited by mehavey; June 24, 2012 at 08:04 AM.
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Old June 24, 2012, 09:33 AM   #18
Boncrayon
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Eye preference question

The first step in any position is to find your dominant eye and shoot in that position so that you have a direct line sight whether iron or scope. If a left handed shooter has a right dominant eye, he/she should swith to the dominant side so they are not having to contort thier neck.
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Old June 24, 2012, 09:57 PM   #19
mehavey
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Quote:
he/she should swith to the dominant side so they are not having to contort thier neck.
You can't contort that far. Physically impossible.

As my wife has been in the teaching business for 25 years, this reminds me of the old education
"theory" that tried to force left handers to write with their right hands. It delayed everything by
years in some cases.

Shoot with the side of the brain the rest of your body operates with. Your eye discipline will follow.
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