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Old August 11, 2012, 04:34 AM   #1
Single Six
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Dominant Eye And Shooting Handguns

I'm a lefty, and also right-eye dominant. However, I shoot long guns right-shoulder, but that's another forum...anyhow, when shooting a handgun, I have to turn my head slightly to the left in order to sight with my dominant eye. Someone mentioned to me recently that since I'm right-eye dominant, I should learn to shoot handguns right-handed. Now, I thought this did make some sense; and besides, we all know that you should shore up your weak-hand shooting skills periodically anyway. Plus, it would eliminate me having to turn my head to the left. But, this person was suggesting that I train right-handed enough to the point where I actually switch my duty sidearm from my left hip over to my right hip. Anyone have any thoughts or opinions on this?
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Old August 11, 2012, 06:57 AM   #2
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I'm the opposite to you, I'm left eye dominant and shoot right handed.

Is there any significant difference in having to aim right eyed while shooting left handed versus right handed?

Why would he suggest you change that? Does it take longer to acquire a target if you are opposite as opposed to using the same side?

I am slightly curious about this myself as I was trying to shoot left handed my last range trip and did not do so well to say the least.
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Old August 11, 2012, 07:47 AM   #3
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I would not try to shoot handguns with the off hand in order to match eye dominance. While I am sure somebody somewhere has done it, it is far easier to do so with a rifle or shotgun than with a handgun. Far easier. I am cross dominant as well. Right handed. I never did take to left handed rifle and shotgun work, and therefore continue to shoot long guns right handed using my non dominant eye. I can get scope fatigue after awhile, but a brief break puts it right. I do just fine with rifles and shotguns. I shoot handguns right handed and use my dominant left eye. I do just fine there as well.
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Old August 11, 2012, 08:16 AM   #4
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After years of training to ingrain the draw cycle, if you switch and get into a fight will you reach for the pistol on the wrong side? Under great stress we usually go to our lowest level of training and it takes lots of time to "relearn" anything. I shoot singlestack mostly and when I am stressed on a course when shooting my Glock limited gun I start dropping magazines after 8 shots instead of 17 shots just out of habit. It's not pretty in competition so I'd guess trying to grab a gun that was no longer where it used to be during a fight would be worse.
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Old August 11, 2012, 11:37 AM   #5
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I am also right-handed, but left eye dominant. I have always shot long guns and hand guns right handed. I tried, long ago, to switch to left handed for hand guns - it didn't work. I shoot with both eyes open. So, I simply move my head to compensate. It works fine and I'm too old to change now.

I'd rather put my efforts toward training to improve my shooting skills and my SD skills than waste it on changing the whole structure of how I shoot - just because it says that is "best" in some book. Screw that - what is "best" is what works for you. If it ain't broken, don't fix it.
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Old August 11, 2012, 11:58 AM   #6
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You might try an eyepatch over your dominant eye for a few sessions at the range. If that helps, you may be able to learn to shoot with the non dominant eye. If that doesn't work, I would not try to change to shooting a pistol to the non dominant hand.
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Old August 11, 2012, 12:40 PM   #7
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Luckily for me, I am both right-handed and right eye dominant. However, when I shoot lefty, instead of turning my head, I rotate the sights clockwise to around 1 o'clock, bringing the sights to my right eye.

With either hand, I shoot with both eyes open.

Between those techniques, I don't see much accuracy loss when switching hands. My recoil control and follow up capability is better with my dominant hand - no surprise.
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Old August 11, 2012, 03:47 PM   #8
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just push or put the pistol more in front of the dominant eye.doing this allows the dominant eye to take looks funny but works with a little time.
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Old August 11, 2012, 04:31 PM   #9
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I am right hand and right eye dominant.

Recently, I had a problem in my right eye (cornea), and I have better view with the left eye.

I prefered to change the eye dominant, traninig a lot, to change the hand. I think It´s more easy to change the eye dominant, to change all sensibilitys in the hand, finger, arm, etc. I shoot opening both eyes.

I´m changing for better day by day.
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Old August 11, 2012, 06:09 PM   #10
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All replies thus far appreciated. Sheriff Gotcha: I'm not sure why he suggested it. It was during a training exercise [no live fire involved]. I, too, am curious if there's anything to be gained by trying such a thing. I do know that it's a good idea to routinely practice with your non-dominant shooting hand; that way if you should ever injure your dominant hand, you'll already have the opposite hand skills "in the bank", as Ayoob says. Still, the idea of trying to switch over after 23 years of doing it the other way around is a daunting one, to say the least.
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Old August 11, 2012, 06:36 PM   #11
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Since you have 23 years of experience shooting left hand as the strong hand with right eye dominance, I would not suggest you change to right handed unless your accuracy and/or speed is poor.

If you were a new handgun shooter, I would suggest to consider training to make the right hand your strong hand since you are right eye dominant (it is a right hand world - firearms, holsters, etc.).
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Old August 11, 2012, 11:56 PM   #12
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cross dominant

My boy is crossed up, as was his grand dad (my dad).

Grandpa never got diagnosed till late in years. He struggled with shooting his whole life.

I caught it on bamaboy early. Long guns off the dominant eye side, handguns with his strong hand, oppostie (dominant eye) in control, both eyes open.

As stated earlier, running a handgun with the off hand is tough. (don't we all know it) Why change?
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Old August 12, 2012, 06:28 AM   #13
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You are in good company with Clint Eastwood.

Always use your dominate hand for pistol. Period. End of story.

Army & Marine Sniper training says the same as above with scoped rifle...but...I've seen this rule broken successfully more than once.

As for Iron sights on a rifle, you must get the dominate eye behind the rear sight, or you get real good at closing only your dominate quickly and without strain. Easier said than done. For almost 100% of male LEOs who are Dominate Hand & Eye learning to close the dominate eye only on demand is often impossible and they fight you every step of the way. 99.999% of the time it's a non-issue / no need for them.

When I see an IPSC, non military verteran, action type shooters chose pistol over carbine or shotgun for a unobstructed B-27 size target at 25 yards it's almost always a cross dominace issue.

C.E. did his DH role right handed...But in the movie, Joe Kidd, he wasted the bad guys left handed with his left eye behind the scope. I'll have to watch Thunderbolt & Lightfoot again and see what he did with that 20 mike-mike inside the Montana Bank vault.
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Old August 12, 2012, 08:21 AM   #14
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It is a matter of what works for you. I am right handed and right eye dominate. When shooting week handed I also use my left eye, have to close the right eye but this works for me. I have several friends that are cross dominant, they use there dominant eye,works for them.
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Old August 12, 2012, 03:18 PM   #15
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When Bell's palsy paralyzed the righ side of my face and I could non use my right eye, I learned to shoot by cocking my head, pistol only, and using my left eye. After about two sessions I found no difference in my group sizes. For me it took very little adjustment.

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Old August 12, 2012, 03:40 PM   #16
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I guess I'm just different. I'm right handed but left eye dominant just like my father and mother, but I guess since they were like this I grew up shooting left handed even though I do everything else left handed.

I do however practice with my right hand though. I've learned though to just turn the front sight to where it is inline with the rear right side of sight and I am on like if I was shooting left handed. I do feel weird though trying to use my right hand since I grew up shooting left handed.
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Old August 12, 2012, 06:34 PM   #17
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Clifford L. Hughes: Thanks much for the input...and especially for your service to our nation. God Bless.
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Old August 13, 2012, 09:32 AM   #18
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Personally, I think it's generally better to shoot on the side of your dominant eye, rather than dominant hand. You've been shooting to your dominant hand for a long time, though, so if it works for you, I'd stick to it.

FWIW, I'm a lefty, but right eye dominant, too, but shoot everything right handed. My cross-dominance is actually beneficial, as my "weak hand only" shooting is nearly as good as my "strong hand only" shooting.
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Old August 13, 2012, 07:32 PM   #19
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MrBorland - thanks for your post.

If a person is right eye dominant and left handed, I suggest they consider learning to shoot with the right hand as their strong hand if they are new to shooting handguns. However, I would not suggest this if they are left eye dominant and right handed. It is a right handed world regarding handguns and their accessories.

Other factors may also come into play where having the right hand as the strong hand could be an advantage. One possible situation is having a concealed carry permit and spending a lot of time in the drivers seat of a vehicle.

Each person needs to decide what is best for them and train accordingly.
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Old August 14, 2012, 04:20 AM   #20
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Don't let anyone tell you that you can't use your non dominant eye and shoot well. Nobody told me I wasn't supposed to shoot as well being cross dominant. When I was young with a handgun at 25 yards I could consistently shoot 3" groups. My left eye dominance and being right handed I believe may be genetic as my dad was that way also but he did shoot shotgun left handed.

Now that I am several decades older I can still shoot 5" groups 90% of the time. These are off hand groups. From a rest my handguns need to shoot 1.5" or better from a rest or I need to work on the load or get rid of the gun.

These may not be the greatest group sizes but they are certainly good by most standards. Most people cannot shoot as well with young eyes. Then again maybe I have had to practice three times as long to get to the same skill level.

Btw I close my left eye when shooting. Grew up shooting that way, was taught that way, and have tried using both eyes open but it is too much work and takes to long to get a sight picture. I could eat lunch in less time.

One thing you might try is to cant your head and use your dominant eye. I have tried this and it is easy and comfortable to do. After 50 years of shooting it is too hard for me to change my shooting habits now or maybe I should say I'm too lazy to try to change.
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Last edited by warnerwh; August 14, 2012 at 04:25 AM.
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Old August 14, 2012, 04:48 PM   #21
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I am left eyed dominant and can shoot rifles and shotguns either side with no trouble at all. I'm truly ambidextrous with shooting.

Handguns are different. My eyes can handle shooting either side just fine but my left hand isn't as coordinated as my right so pistol shooting is mostly done righty.
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Old August 14, 2012, 07:36 PM   #22
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I'm right handed and right eye dominant, but I'm also farsighted in my right eye so I find myself doing the head tilt to sight with my non-dominant eye. I imagine there's experts out there that will tell me I shoot "wrong", but it works for me and I see no reason to change.
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Old August 14, 2012, 09:14 PM   #23
Bob Wright
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I am left eye dominate, shoot handguns right handed, shoulder arms from the left shoulder.

I always shot using my left eye, so I sort of cocked my wrist slightly (shooting two-handed) to compensate. I had some photos taken as I was shooting, and noticed my right forearm had rotated ninety degrees to my left and my wrist had "broken" and the gun's muzzle near vertical in recoil, and that my shooting hand had jumped clear of my left supporting hand. No big deal, the muzzle was no where close to my head.

After cataract surgery some years ago, I began using my right eye. This kept my arm, wrist, and gun in a more nearly straight line. Now, shooting in this manner, my hands stay together, and there is less "breakling" of my elbows under recoil, and the muzzle is more like forty-five degrees.

As to my shooting I noticed no difference to my accuracy, still a matter of sights and squeeze.

This was really only noticible with very heavy bullets and powder charges, especially in cartridges like the .45-70 or .454 Casull.

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