The conflict between right and left is a big sticking point for shooters, and I’m not talking about politics. I’m talking about hand dominance vs. eye dominance.
Let me explain.
Unless you’re one of the ridiculously small percentages of people that are truly ambidextrous, your dominant hand is going to have a huge impact on how you shoot.
What a lot of people overlook is something even more important: which eye is dominant. Just like your hands, you almost certainly have one eye that is dominant over the other.
Why is this important?
Well, if you’re cross-dominant (right-eye dominant, but left-hand dominant, or vice versa) you can have some trouble with shooting if you don’t learn how to correct for it.
Roughly a third of the population is thought to be cross-dominant, but thankfully, there are several ways for cross-dominant shooters to shoot just as well as anyone else. The difference comes down to practice and training.
And that’s what we’re going to cover in this article.
If you think you might be cross-dominant, want to learn how to train someone to overcome cross-dominance, or have a lot of shots that go a little high, but way off to one side (a common indicator that a shooter is cross-dominant) you’re in the right place.
Table of Contents
Diagnosing Cross Dominance
There are a few common signs people will cross dominance display. The two most common are:
- Misses that land high and to one side
- Tilting the head to one side or moving or tilting the gun to the non-dominant side
Signs aside, there’s also a very easy way to quickly and easily diagnose cross-dominance. Even better, you can try it right now wherever you’re reading this.
First, hold your hands out in front of you, and make a frame with your fingers like you’re a photographer lining up a shot.
Find an object a good distance away and tighten the frame you’ve made with your fingers around it, keeping both eyes open.
Now, keep your hands still and close one eye, then the other. The object should stay in the frame when viewing it with one eye, and move out of frame when viewing it with the other eye.
The eye that keeps the object in the frame and allows you to still see it clearly is your dominant eye.
Check out our video below to do it in less than one minute.
Another way is to extend one arm and point at an object with one finger, keeping both eyes open. Do the same thing as before and close one eye, open it, and close the other eye.
Your finger will stay pointed at the object when viewed with your dominant eye but will appear to move to one side and no longer be pointed at the object when you have your non-dominant eye open.
If you find out that you are, in fact, cross dominant…well keep reading to find out how to work with it.
Alright, if you’re looking to overcome cross-dominance when shooting a rifle or shotgun…I have some bad news.
You have, to my knowledge but please correct me if you know otherwise three options:
- Close or occlude vision (by using anything from an eye patch to translucent tape over your shooting glasses) through one eye. Limiting your peripheral vision, especially in a defensive situation, is never good, but you can get away with it in a match or when at the range.
- Use a red dot, which will allow you to keep both eyes open, with your dominant eye on the target and your non-dominant eye on the dot.
- Learn how to shoot with your non-dominant hand, which is easier with a rifle than a pistol in most cases.
Overcoming cross-dominance with a pistol is a bit easier.
Cross-Dominance and Pistol Shooting
When it comes to pistol shooting — especially when working with a newbie or if you have limited experience — I’d strongly recommend shooting with the hand that matches the dominant eye, rather than trying to use the non-dominant eye and dominant hand.
But, if you’ve already started shooting and want to overcome a cross-dominance issue, there are a few things you can do.
Learn to Shoot with Your Non-Dominant Hand
This is a worthwhile skill for anyone to learn, but it is especially important for cross-dominant shooters.
If your dominant hand is injured or otherwise occupied, learning to shoot a handgun with your off-hand can save your life. Beyond that, this is one of the simplest ways to overcome cross-dominance issues, particularly early in your shooting career.
Of course, there are problems with this approach.
First, you may struggle using your non-dominant hand to shoot. I’ve known many people who were strongly right or left-handed and thus didn’t feel comfortable using their weak hand to manipulate a handgun. That’s understandable.
The other issue is that most handguns are set up to be shot right-handed only. So, shooting left-handed can cause a host of problems, particularly with guns that don’t have ambidextrous or swappable controls.
In general, I’d say it’s way easier to overcome right-eye dominance when you’re left-handed than the other way around.
If you’re left-handed, you’re probably already used to conforming to a mostly right-handed world, and you may find it’s easier to do.
Train Your Eyes
Some shooters report that they can train their eyes to switch dominance. The eye itself can compensate and switch dominance when forced to.
For example, Mike Pannone lost his eye in the line of duty and can still outshoot all of us.
Training your eyes to switch dominance might be tougher than switching your dominant hand.
Some people might find it impossible, but it’s not too tough to do. You’ll need an eye patch or obscured shooting glasses.
Obscure your dominant eye and aim with your non-dominant eye. You’ll need to practice this a ton to actually accomplish switching eye dominance. I’m talking hours of dry fire practice followed by hours of live fire practice.
As you gain confidence, you can begin to unobscure the eye. Trim away the eye patch, or obscure less and less of your glasses. This will allow the other eye to see what’s going on.
Every time you unobscure your dominant eye, it’s smart to get lots of practice in and force your brain to use your non-dominant.
This forceful practice can swap eye dominance and will hopefully create a cross-eye dominant shooter.
It bears mentioning that it doesn’t work for everyone though.
Turn or Tilt Your Head
Turning or tilting your head to the side is a totally viable way to bring your dominant eye in line with the sights of your gun, even if it does look a bit silly at the range.
The problem here is that it not only feels unnatural, but it’s difficult to maintain and perform consistently. Neck pain will result if you do this for long periods, and you can develop some long-term issues.
For the occasional range trip, it’s fine, and in a panic situation where you need to get your eyes to cooperate right now, it will serve.
Canting the Gun
The other option that I really don’t recommend is canting the gun. Canting the gun 15-45 degrees to the left or right can bring your dominant eye in line with the sights appropriately. But it can also cause a host of other issues and difficulties.
First, it’s hard to cant the gun consistently, and when you’re trying to be both fast and accurate, consistency, especially in your training, is key.
The second problem is one of function.
Modern firearms were designed to be held vertically (not sideways, not canted, not upside down) and any deviation from that can increase the chances of malfunctions. It also makes it more difficult to manage recoil and make follow-up shots.
Also, you’re just asking to get hit in the face with brass.
Beyond that, you’re going to have some serious trouble adjusting your point-of-aim vs. point-of-impact at longer ranges.
This is another technique that I would only advocate using in a pinch, but it can be very effective with a revolver where cycling of brass isn’t as much of an issue.
Shift the Gun Past Your Midline
A modern isosceles stance has you holding the gun squarely in the middle of your body.
The most natural, and least disruptive method I know of for a cross-dominant shooter to address their issue is to simply shift the gun a little to either the left or the right to bring it more in line with your dominant eye.
This way, you’re keeping both eyes open, you’re not doing anything weird or uncomfortable with your head, and you’re holding the pistol the way it’s meant to be held.
The main problem with this is you have to alter your stance a little. This can theoretically make recoil a little more intense because you aren’t in the optimal position to absorb it and compensate.
That said, the difference is relatively minor.
When using this method, make sure you aren’t pulling shots to your dominant eye side — a common issue with this method, in my experience.
For what it’s worth, this is the most common method for professional cross-dominant pistol shooters, and I think that’s because it’s such a natural position.
Shotguns are notoriously hard for cross-eye dominant shooters to handle. Their sights sit low, and most stock configurations allow for those low sights.
This makes it hard, if not impossible, to accurately shoot a shotgun.
Even ghost ring sights often sit too low for cross-eye dominance. These super low sights make it tough to shoot shotguns.
So, what can you do?
Well, you can choose an AR or AK-type shotgun that uses more inline stock options that raise the sight height.
Guns like the Sentry 12, the VR 80, and similar AK shotguns make it easy to use rifle-like sights with shotguns.
Alternatively, you can add a taller red dot if the shotgun is drilled and tapped. Something with an absolute co-witness should be high enough to be much easier to see. Sure, it sits high above the stock and doesn’t offer the best cheek weld, but it works.
If you want a low red dot and you have a cross dominance problem, you might consider an offset red dot.
These are often seen on rifles and act as close-range backups to magnified optics. A 45-degree offset connected to a scope rail will push the optic to your dominant side without needing a tall mount.
You can also hold the weapon more in line with your chest than your shoulder. This tends to be a great way to deal with shotgun recoil. It also brings the weapon more to your dominant eye side.
A visible laser is another solution for close-range shooting with shotguns or even other long guns. Plenty exist for various platforms and can easily attach to various rails.
Holosun makes a visible red laser that would work on a rifle or subgun. In particular, the Crimson Trace laser saddle serves its purpose well for shotguns.
These visible lasers are only for close quarters and tend to only work well inside a building.
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Sunshine can wash them out outdoors quickly and limit your range greatly. However, inside the home, these lasers offer plenty of capability. Like optics, they need to be zeroed and can help you out with a long gun in a pinch.
All of these solutions can work. So, experiment with them all and find what’s best for you.
Just be sure to understand all the potential downsides before you commit to one method. Once you pick something that works, train, train, and train some more.
Are you cross-dominant? What do you think of these techniques? Let me know in the comments below. For more on eye dominance and sight picture, check out our guide here!
49 Leave a Reply
Just ran across this article because I'm looking for options. I lost the vision in my dominant (right) couple years ago. I'm right handed. I Adapted to handgun with little or no problems. But I'm discovering that using a high scope ring allows me to shoot left eye right handed. No matter how much practice I did it's was quick instinct to right shoulder my rifle. In an emergency it could cost my families life. So I'm adapting my guns to fit me not me to fit my guns. Discovered this when I picked up my buddies underfolder AK.and like instinct says right shoulder the rifle and realized I could see down the irons comfortably. Hope this helps anyone with similar issues.
I am utterly incapable of aiming with both eyes open so eye dominance has never been an issue with me.
Have been cross eye dominant from
birth.It was discovered in grade school when testing began. Growing
up was shooting everything right hand.However now shoot long guns
Left hand.Have been having trouble
With pistols.Am right handed but
Blind in right eye from birth.Takes
Some effort to shoot pistols but
Revolvers are easier.Enjoyed your
Post. Thank you.
Been alive for nearly 55 years, just found out that I'm left eye dominant. It does help explain some of the issues I always seem to have. Scopes always seemed to help, now I know why, forced to use the feed from the right eye.
Thank you for the fab article. Very interesting and helpful. I am a right hand pistol shot and left eye dominant, although I shoot long guns left as some others have also noted about themselves. I have tried all the variants in your article (except the eye patch thing), as well as the "shift" method in several stances (I agree with the earlier post that isosceles is best). However, I've found that canting is the ticket for me. I should also say that, because I have right shoulder issues that make traditional strong-side holstering/draw uncomfortable, I have switched to a crossdraw process (against the advice of virtually all of my instructors). I was somewhat surprised to find that my accuracy and precision improved, although my speed deteriorated by rather a lot (by about 0.5 seconds). I *think* the improvement is due to the fact that I "pick up" the gun and the sights with my dominant eye sooner in the draw than from the right. It's also more natural and reproduce-able to cant the gun using that motion. The speed issue is presumably because my crossdraw is much less efficient and simply takes longer to perform. Thank you again for the article. I enjoyed it.
I have recently started shooting handguns and I am cross-(left)eye dominant. I can shoot comfortably with my left or right hand. I have always shot rifles left handed. I have a crossbow, that I shoot left handed. There are actually many things I do left handed, it's pretty much equally split between both. Things I do left handed: shooting pool, dealing cards, dressing myself, when eating, I often switch back and forth. The only things I do right handed are sports, which is probably why I really didn't excell at any of them. I will train myself to draw and shoot my handgun left handed. It seems the easiest way to improve my accuracy and confidence.
The problem you are going to run into is most pistols are designed for right hand operation, and holsters for left handed people are more difficult to find (almost always custom order with slower delivery time than "quick ship" options from custom makers. There are multiple USPSA Grand Master level shooters that are left eye right hand who simply move the gun underneath the dominant eye without head tilting or changing hands or any of the extreme measures recommended in this article.
I'm a right handed shooter, but left-eye dominant. With pistols, I'm an ace. It's never been an issue. I have always shied away from rifles though. I've read all about the idea of patching or covering the non-dominant eye, but this won't work for me. I'm nearly legally blind in my right eye. I'm not going to try to train for opposite hands for pistols and rifles. I'm not a hunter and this is all for personal/home protection. So my question would be how well would rail risers work to get a scope or optic high enough to see through my left eye? Aside from the aestetics (which are truly irrelevant if it works for me), would that work for me?
Years ago I purchased a left handed shotgun for shooting clays. I got pretty frustrated missing all the time. Once I realized I was right eye dominant I shifted my left handed shotgun to my right shoulder and started hitting more clays. Granted it was a challenge to shoot right handed but I still hit more than when I couldn't really see where the clays were! I practice shooting my handguns with my right hand but generally shoot them left handed with a more bladed stance to line the sights up with my right eye. Problem solved.
As a teen, I felt fortunate that my cross dominance was diagnosed at an archery tournament at age 10. Before then, I shot right handed. When I found out about my left-eye dominance, I was forced to make the switch for archery, so I made the switch for firearms as well. Yes, the frustration for AR-15 rack tap bang drills, the occasionally dropped pistol mag (hasn't happened in 2 years), and slide releases aren't fun. However, I find that the small sacrifice in weapon manipulation is worth the large gain in dominant-eye accuracy. It takes a bit to train the non-dominant hand, but it's well worth the effort. I look forward to when one day I can concealed carry a pistol on my left hip and carry a small knife or pepper spray in my right pocket, leaving my dominant striking hand with a striking weapon, and my shooting hand with a projectile weapon. Because I learned both hands as a kid, I don't struggle as much with single-hand shooting, which is also a benefit. All things considered, I find the gains of non-dominant hand shooting (with small alterations in weapons manipulation), outweighs the potential frustration of canting the weapon or covering an eye. I like my depth perception. Do you?
I think suggesting an eye patch is really a terrible solution. I am cross dominant. You know what fixes it? Just shoot with your non dominant hand. Its very easy and natural feeling for me. Its something you can learn easily. You can't learn to aim with your non dominant eye. That's why its hard to hit the target when you're aiming with the wrong eye.
There are TONS of article addressing eye dominance and cross eye dominance but for the half a percent of us who have no dominant eye, I'm unable to find any articles or tips on how to address it. Is it just a matter of trying to force one eye to be dominant by occluding the other eye? Or is it simply a matter of practice and understanding how to align the clearly seen double set of sites?
I am left eye dominant but right handed. Rifles and bow I shot left handed but for the pistol I grew up using my right hand. I remember using my right eye but when I was conscious about the dominance of my left eye I re learned using it closing my right eye. believe I tilt my head a little but don’t feel awkward at all. I don’t compete so is just training for self defense...
Thanks anyway for the article, I feel am not a weird animal anymore!!!!
I an a righty thats left eye dominate, I have always shot a rifle left handed. I just got into pistols about 2 years ago, im 62. I started off left handed because of my cross dominance. This never felt right so it didnt take long to change to my dominate hand, I shoot better right handed that being said, I do sometimes pratice shooting with my left hand.
Me, too. I have only barely begun shooting. My instructor suggested that I use my left hand but I am right-handed and it felt weird. I am significantly more accurate with my right hand though my left eye is dominant. I don’t know if there is any real advantage to going against what feels natural. I guess time will tell.
I am a lefty who is right eyed dominant. I can shoot right but naturally go to my left hand. I have mastered shooting left with right eye with pistol but... rifle is a completely different animal. I have shot an M1 righty pretty well but using my AR's is a completely different experience. I need some tips on how to adapt. I haven't done much long gun because of it. Being a contractor every tool ever made was right handed so for 50 years I adapted to using my right but the long guns are really beating me.
I’m just reading this article because at the age of 32 I discovered I’m left eye dominant and shoot righty. I’ve been working with my eye doctor and I asked if I could get a sample prescription contact lens that gets darker in sunlight for my left eye at +0.25 and my normal prescription contact lens for my right -0.50. IT WORKED!! This is just for when I am shooting but I was able to alter my eye dominance to my right eye doing this. Just got done pheasant hunting and after 3-weeks of missing EVERYTHING (without any adjusted contacts), I hit 3 out of 3 roosters with this adjustment. Hope this helps someone!
I shoot a pistol left handed, but a long gun righty. I write left handed but throw a ball righty. Most other things are right handed with a few things I do lefty. I believe I’m right eye dominant but I feel as if my eyes battle for control. I was happy to find this article and hoping I found a solution within. Glad to see I’m not the only one with this issue
I am 78 yrs old and have been shooting a rifle right handed (very accurately) all my life. Recently I have developed a macular problem in my right eye leaving a small blurry spot right where the cross-hairs cross in the scope while my left eye is still very clear and focused. What can I do with the aid of present day technology to keep from having to learn how to shoot left handed?
I was a left hand shooter all my life. I have lost sight in my left eye so trying to learn to shoot right. I'm 61 and finding it hard. Is there a scope or sight that would allow me to shoulder firearm on left but use right eye
I’ve been in this “battle” for a couple of years now with teaching my wife basic rifle/handgun shooting and safety. She is strong right hand but left eye dominant and becomes an issue with a rifle. I will try the “tape over glasses” option but has anyone heard of “outlearning” or “retraining” your eye dominance?
I'm strongly right hand dominant but also left eye. It was just a matter of practice. Now shooting left handed is just natural and some other things became too. As far as retraining eye dominance I'm not sure. Part of my right eye is black (what I see I mean) so it's not an option here.
I am also right handed but left eye dominant. I discovered this in middle school when we were practicing archery. I couldn't understand why i sucked so much until I switched to a left hand bow. After that it felt wayyy more natural and easy. I think you should just encourage your wife to shoot left handed. Its very easy. However its not easy to retrain your eye dominance. I feel like that could actually cause a lot of stress to the mind.
Hey Guys and Ladies. I'm crossed eyed dominant shooting right handed and left eye. I have tried these methods to compensate, but with mixed results. For trap shooting, I do the dot on the left lens of my shooting glasses. I don't want to do this for hand gun as it's not realistic when out carrying. I haven't tried it yet but was wondering your thoughts or if anyone has tried closing left eye until target is acquired, then opening to have both eyes open. Trying it at home (unloaded) and it seems to be working. Heading to the range tomorrow or Thursday to give a try. Any thoughts out there
I'm cross eye dominant and I've found that moving a hand gun to the left works best for me. Shooting with a rifle scope I just use my right eye. I can adjust to having both eyes open but view the scope. Now Iron sights aren't as easy and I've actually started shooting left handed with irons. Also I've found there is no way for me to shoot a shotgun and hit anything without shooting left handed.
Mathew. Thank you for this. I am right handed but also fairly ambidextrous as a carpenter. I am right eye dominant. BUT my eyesight is thus: My left eye sees things in focus up until about 3 feet - 1 metre - away then my right eye takes over. This means I am left short and right long. A terrible situation. Fine when I shoot rifle with a scope but bad with irons as the foresight is very fuzzy. Pistol is the same. My right hand is the stronger and natural hand but my right eye is badly out of focus on the foresight at pistol foresight length. My solution has to be to teach myself to shoot left handed. I did this by ONLY shooting left for 6 months and bingo I am a lefty. Easy really. But I still have the problem of being right eye dominant. It is my right eye that I will want to move the foresight to. It takes effort to make sure I line up with the left. This is fine for application shooting but when it comes to speed matches I am slow to acquire because I am shooting with my non dominant eye. Damn.. But thats life.
Being cross eye dominant explains why when I younger and hunting, I shot behind quail when they were flying side to side. I am left eye dominant and right handed.
I use the Chapman stance while pistol shooting. I only have to dip my head slightly and I'm on point. With a rifle I will close my left eye briefly, get the focus on the target with my non-dominant right eye, then reopen my left.
I have always known I was cross dominant, but I have never been very good at shooting, probably because I won't give up my contact lenses. I'm really just a tag-along shooter with my husband or mom.
For the past ten years I have worn mono vision contacts, with the distance lens in my dominant left eye. This worked perfectly well until I started needing reading glasses, as I can't wear normal reading glasses with the monovision contacts. After two years of trial and error, I discovered that using a bifocal lens in my dominant right eye, and a reading lens in my left eye was what I had been looking for. I do tend to visit my optometrist a little more frequently now, but since my contacts come in a six month supply, it's not a huge problem.
I think this method could be used with glasses, and it might fix the weird proportions that you are getting with your shooting. At least it's worth a try!
Thanks for this Cheryl, that's a really good point. I don't have any experience shooting with any kind of corrective glasses, so I'm glad you brought this up!
I’m confused. You say you’re left eye dominant and then go on to say you wear a bifocal over your dominant right eye?
I’m left eye dominant and I can shoot with either hand. I also find myself pulling the pistol over inline with my dominant eye but at the same time some the shots are further left. Thanks for this article now I know what I need to work on.
Mr. Collins I’m looking for even more suggestions. I am the dominant right hand left eye dominant person. I also have bifocals. I still don’t have an actual good pair of actual shooting ANSI rated glasses. I have tried a pair of bifocals with the mid distance moved up and they give me a pretty crisp front sight. They kind of bother me with the weird proportions of the bifocal. I have tried progressive lens but then no crisp front sight. Plus I’m working on 2 eyes open but no good at that yet either. Very frustrating. Help
Hey Julie, I've never shot with bifocals so I can't be of any direct help, but I asked around and I've had a few people in your situation tell me that they found it much easier to switch to a monofocal pair of glasses while shooting. Beyond that, I'd say just practice, practice, practice. Maybe try something like an indoor laser trainer or something in that realm so you can get some practice in without having to go to the range and spend money on ammo. These systems are easy to use, and surprisingly affordable.
Hello Julie, being a progressive lense wearer I've had the "front sight focus" problem with handguns for years and have adapted through practice. However, just recently I got a new pair of progressives using the "Varilux X" formula that has brought my front site into crystal clear focus. Wow, what a difference - particularly in low light conditions. For EDC it is not practical to consider switching glasses. I wear the same ones all day, every day. For home defense, I do practice WITHOUT my prescription glasses for those possible "awakened in the middle of the night" situations.
A large lens will make a tremendous difference with a varilux lens. The larger the hour glass shape for the progressive the easier it can be to see more clearly defined transition from distance to intermediate to near.
Hello all... I'm a left-eye/right hander, and do literally everything in life right-handed except for when shooting long guns. Undoubtedly, this traces back to 'intuition' as a kid with my first BB gun, and having no one in my family to tell me it was 'wrong'. I could shoot the eye out of a gnat when young with a steady hand and youthful reflexes; and naturally carried the habit forward without any problems when I took-up trap shooting with a Rem 870 pump.. Equally though, for me, the practice also owes just as much to my youthful natural preference for supporting the fore grip with my 'strong' arm (right) - no doubt the biggest reason for shooting lefty as a kid. The practice later continued when moving to rifles, with or without a scope. In doing so the only thing that caused me to pause was then having learned of eye dominance 'after shotguns' but 'before rifles'. It's a hard habit to break as an old man, and I just adjusted to right-hand controls any way I could... Pistol shooting travails are a whole nutha' matter entirely, which still plague me to this day..I began with a .1911 .45 ACP in my right hand, right leg back, and a long stiff right arm; looking down my right arm with left eye closed. Many years ago that seemed to work OK, but then I got away from shooting for a while. Since returning to regular range practice I have never felt all that comfortable, nor honestly have I really been any good at distances much greater than almost point blank. Useless... Then I came across a video by Jerry Miculek, who very simply urged "just getting the sights in front of your dominant eye" from an isosceles stance - and let 'er rip. Doing so naturally caused me to "shift the gun past [my] midline" as suggested near the end of Mr. Collins' excellent tutorial, above. It seems to help, a bit. However! I also must confess that my 1911 grip is a little too big for my hand, my hands and forearms have become a bit wimpy in old age, and the poundage on my trigger is far too heavy (Sig P220 Carry), And I'm not so sure my sights are correctly 'zeroed', so to speak! All that has resulted in a nasty 'anticipatory flinch', and I'm actually getting worse! The cures are to be found right there in the description of my problems, so obviously I have to get all that squared-away, or it really doesn't matter which eye/hand is dominant; regardless of amount of practice! In fact, practicing with all that being wrong is no doubt counter-productive. It ain't rocket science... ;-) I'll close with the observation that all kinds of things we do in life can be executed more efficiently and effectively with knowledge of which eye is dominant; and this article has huge positive corollary benefits for all who have read it. Ne'er have truer words been spoken than when it comes to trying to teach a young 'un how to hit a baseball with consistency. I've "fixed" many a young swing by simply improving the ability to "see the ball" using the dominant eye. Ya' can't hit what ya' can't see, and the same goes for shooting - fo' sho'! Thanx again, Mathew, for this excellent article, and all the thinking it has no doubt stimulated in many a reader. Best regards...
Thanks for the kind words Dave! Good luck with the practice!
I am left hand right eye, gotta be different! :-) I started shooting (last May) with my left eye, had problems till I got glasses that would let me focus on the front sight. I changed to turning my head slightly and use my right eye. This gets me on target faster and feels better.
I am left eye and right hand. I overcome this by holding the firearm in my right hand and turning my head slightly to the right thus bringing my left eye more towards the center of my line of sight.
I'm right handed but left eye dominant. Great for golf but didn't understand my problem until I read your article. When I first began to take an interest in guns and shooting I used to close my right eye because it just worked better. After I really got hooked I trained myself to shoot with both eyes open. After reading this article, I immediately set up my LaserLyte indoor target practice range that I use with their semi compact automatic pistol. I moved the gun a little to my left and I was AMAZED! Can't wait to get to the range this weekend. Thank you very MUCH!
Glad I could help! I'm so happy that worked for you, please let me know how it goes this weekend!
I'm cross-dominant to an extent (right hand/left eye) as I have been able to shoot, bat, golf, and most other things with both right and left, except for throwing and writing. I never had a choice in the eye use as my right eye has had poor vision since I was a kid, so I was able to adapt early on in my life. The only problem I ran into shooting was when I first used a scope and had no choice but to shoot left-handed, and now it's the most natural way for me to shoot. Pistol shooting was always interesting since I couldn't follow the "examples" that most people try to teach, but I found the method you mention to work best. Thanks for this article!
Hey Brandon, I'm glad this worked for you! I too find it easier to shoot long guns left handed a lot of the time, particularly rifles with irons or non-illuminated sights. Switching to illuminated reticles on all my rifles helped my non-dominant eye tremendously when it came to focusing. I highly recommend Vortex for a good, entry-level illuminated reticle scope with clear glass if that's something you want to try out.
I too am cross-dominant: Left-eye, right hand and never knew there was a term for this "affliction". As a kid 50 some odd years ago, I was told I'd never be a good shooter - shooting lefty and operating controls righty. I'm still not a GREAT shooter and my practice, practice, practice has allowed me to manage reasonably well - decent groupings but slower than optimal times. And now more recently with my CCW, add concealment and draw into the equation and PRACTICE is paramount for staying a half step ahead... I'd be keen to hear Matthew's comments on concealment and draw for us "cross-doms". Thanks!
Hey Skip, for me I was lucky enough to have a trainer who immediately diagnosed my issue, and helped me fix it when I was starting out. As far drawing from the concealment and working on my draw in general, I found that having a solid gun belt and doing everything I could to carry in a consistent position helped a lot. Other than that, if you can tell me a little more about the issues you've been having, I'll be happy to try to help, or barring that, find someone who can.
Thanks for posting this. I'm right handed/left-eye dominant and I struggled in basic training many years ago until one day I tried shooting the M16 simulator left handed and it was quite a revelation. As a newer pistol shooter, I've been struggling with this constantly. I've found that bringing the weapon over more to my left eye and touching my right bicep to my right cheek as a reference point has helped.
Keep up the great work!
Hey Bill, thanks for sharing that story. You raise a really good point about using your chin as a reference to get a consistent sight picture. I definitely should have mentioned this in the article, but a lot of people who shift their weapon like you and I, or those that turn or tilt their head, will use their chin or cheek as a way to index their head to the same position every time.
I am right-hand, left-eye dominant. Shooting handguns with Isosceles stance with the center-line shifted is by far the easiest. Chapman is doable, while Weaver is most difficult. I've found that using a fiber-optic front sight helps the most i(n any stance) to overcome the cross-dominance. As for shooting long guns, the real difficulty is using irons or non-illuminated scopes. I tend to just shut my left eye.
Thanks for sharing what works for you! And yup...for long guns with higher magnification I have to shut my left eye.