What's new
  • Guest
    As per our long standing policy of not permitting medical advice on the forum - all threads concerning the Coronavirus will be locked.
    For more info on the coronavirus please see the link below:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

Are cross-dominant shooters just screwed? I'm right handed but left eye dominant.

I've been reading about this, and apparently it's a positive trait for certain sports, but a curse for shooting and archery. No wonder I was awful when I tried to pick up archery a few years ago...

Anybody here in the same boat? How are you coping with it? Do you find it to be a problem?
 

Esox

I didnt know
Ambassador
I've been reading about this, and apparently it's a positive trait for certain sports, but a curse for shooting and archery. No wonder I was awful when I tried to pick up archery a few years ago...

Anybody here in the same boat? How are you coping with it? Do you find it to be a problem?
I've been cross eye dominant my entire life. Left eye dominant and shoot right handed.

It was very frustrating as a young shooter. In the excitement I'd forget to close my left eye and, naturally, miss. Eventually, after enough time field shooting it became habit to close my left eye as the shotgun or rifle came to my shoulder.

I shop competitive Trap for quite a few years as well but by then the habit was firmly rooted. However, when shooting under pressure or in Olympic style trap, gun at ready but not shouldered until the bird was in the air, the pressure and excitement could still get the better of me. There were a few shooters like me I shot with, left eye dominant, right hand shooter, that were serious players in Trap and they used a flip down blinder on sunglasses when they shot. I've seen the same thing being used when hunting Pheasants. When the birds flushed it's always a surprise and in a flurry of excitement, feathers and squawking at close range, plus the dogs needed keeping track of and it was very easy to miss birds because of it.

I used to duck and goose hunt with my optometrist and asked him about it one day. He said that other than closing an eye or wearing a blinder over the strong eye there was nothing he could do about it.

As I said though, eventually it just became a part of my muscle memory and stopped being an issue in the field. Dominant eye shooters, I think, have a huge advantage. I wish I was one.
 
Last edited:

Bhugo

Contributor
Scopes work. Even on bows. Otherwise.... lotsa practice. My brother is cursed with it as well. He learned to shoot other handed early in life. Luckily, he was right eye dominant and left handed. The opposite dooms you to finding lefty guns. That’s the only real solution I know of.
 
I wouldnt say your screwed, you just need to close your left eye. Im the same way and when I first started shooting clays, I was horrible at it because youre taught to keep both eyes open.
Im pretty good at archery (if I have sights) and with any gun, as long as I close my left eye.
 

tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
I am cursed with mixed ocular dominance, sometimes called "center vision", which basically means my dominant eye switches around. When I hold my finger out to do an eye dominance test, I see two fingers of roughly equal translucence. So I feel your pain. Typically, I always shot right handed and closed my left eye to look through the sight or scope. Lately, I've experimented with other techniques, mainly for archery. Here's a few things you can try:

- Shoot left-handed. That's easier if you drop the bow poundage down a bit. I have an old Bear longbow with shelves on both sides. I don't really like shooting left handed, but its a good skill. For me, though, since I'm not actually left eye dominant, I usually have to close my right eye to shoot left handed. For rifle shooting, I haven't ever shot left-handed. But if I did, I think I would start with supported positions and then gradually work up to prone, kneeling, and standing off-hand shooting as I got more comfortable.

- Shoot instinctively. This is more of a archery thing. I suppose its possible to shoot a rifle instinctively, but I can't imagine its very accurate. However, with a bow, you can be quite accurate. Its more of a trad bow technique, but I have heard of compound shooters that do it too. If you don't know what it is, basically shooting instinctively is not directly aiming. Rather, you focus on the target and let your brain subconsciously aim and make adjustments. Its like throwing a dart or a football. So in the case of a cross dominant archer, you would just keep both eyes open and let your brain make the corrections for aiming with the "wrong" eye. It'll take a few shots (or more) for you dial it in. But once you do, its surprisingly effective.

- Disable your dominant eye. This is basically the "close your left eye" technique. But you can fancy it up by using an eye patch, blurring the left side of your shooting/sun glasses, or otherwise disabling your left eye to force your brain to make the right eye dominant. I have heard of shooters who effectively trained their brain to switch eye dominance. Also, I've heard of shooters who had eye surgery, or some other issue, with the their dominant eye and used this technique to switch eye dominance to their "good" eye.
 
I’m the same way. Learned this about myself when getting into the shooting sports. But this makes sense why I hold a baseball bat, golf club and hockey stick left handed. Playing cornhole I even discovered I’m a sniper when I toss left handed.

I don’t find any disadvantages shooting handguns. I shoot both eyes open and bring by gun to my dominant eye.

Rifles, not a huge issue, just close the left and do my best. Thankfully I still have 20/20 vision.

Scatterguns.... oh boy, this is where I find the biggest obstacle to overcome regarding eye dominance. I haven’t done trap in a few years. I like to be in a dedicated mode to start that up again.
 
Wait, I can't even close my left eye without closing my right. For me it is wear a patch, shoot lefty, or miss.
 

nortac

"Can't Raise an Eyebrow"
Contributor
Same here, right hand, left eye. I shoot both eyes open. Where it bothers me the most is precision long range shooting through a scope. I have a slight facial paralysis/weakness that makes it difficult to keep my right eye open with my left eye closed. Very tiresome for a long shooting session with a rifle. A shooting patch/blinder on the left eye works best. I have not done enough shotgunning to really evaluate it, but I shoot both eyes open for that as well. But yeah, you're screwed.
 

Esox

I didnt know
Ambassador
I have a slight facial paralysis/weakness that makes it difficult to keep my right eye open with my left eye closed. Very tiresome for a long shooting session with a rifle. A shooting patch/blinder on the left eye works best. I have not done enough shotgunning to really evaluate it, but I shoot both eyes open for that as well. But yeah, you're screwed.
For a few years when I was shooting long range woodchucks staring for hours through a 20x Leupold prone with a bipod, I'd use my left index finger to keep my left eye closed because of the strain it can cause.

I cant shoot with both eyes open, but I have tested it handgun shooting and was shooting dominant eye without knowing it. Shooting Bullseye with a handgun I reverted back to closing my left.
 

BigFoot

Androgynous Pistoleer
Moderator
I am left eye dominant, I could never figure out why I could not shoot a handgun or a shotgun with both eyes open. I never had an issue with a bow as I would close my left eye. The first class I ever took with a hand gun instructor I was in my 40's he assured me that hitting my target was much more important than proper shooting with both eyes open. He taught me how to move the gun across my face so I was sighting out of my left eye, frankly that sucked almost as bad, I just close my left eye when shooting shotgun or handgun and let the haters hate.
 
My Dad was a competitive shooter & was left eye/right hand dominant. It never seemed to bother him any. He placed Bronze one year & Silver the next in the Senior Olympics.
 
Lots of good advice here. I'm going to try to start aligning my aim down my right arm/right eye and closing my left eye. I did it a little last night with my unloaded G2C. To add insult to injury for me, I have better vision in my left eye. Substantially better. I'm thinking good tritium sights are becoming more of a necessity than a luxury for this gun.
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Ambassador
Now I understand even better why he and Elmer Keith didnt get along haha.
Jack O'Connor: ".270!"

Elmer Keith: "No! .45!"

Jack O'Connor: ".270!"

Elmer Keith: "No! .45!"

Jack O'Connor: ".270!"

Elmer Keith: "No! .45!"

Jack O'Connor: "Listen, you hick! .270!"

Elmer Keith: "You listen to ME, city-boy! .45!"


AA
 

Esox

I didnt know
Ambassador
Jack O'Connor: ".270!"

Elmer Keith: "No! .45!"

Jack O'Connor: ".270!"

Elmer Keith: "No! .45!"

Jack O'Connor: ".270!"

Elmer Keith: "No! .45!"

Jack O'Connor: "Listen, you hick! .270!"

Elmer Keith: "You listen to ME, city-boy! .45!"


AA
No, no, no! .338!

I still think the .270 Winchester is far from ideal for Elk but is certainly "damned adequate!" as a coyote rifle.

High velocity .338's sometimes get fired with both eyes winced tightly closed from anticipating the recoil lol.
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Ambassador
No, no, no! .338!

I still think the .270 Winchester is far from ideal for Elk but is certainly "damned adequate!" as a coyote rifle.

High velocity .338's sometimes get fired with both eyes winced tightly closed from anticipating the recoil lol.
We can agree, all of us, on a .338 Lapua revolver.

I'm just getting tired of my .454 Casull rounds bouncing off these various nuisance grizzlys, gators, etc.


AA
 
Learned I was left eye dominate when starting archery. Took some time to see which way felt more comfortable to shoot and in the end I settled on shooting lefty.
I say try and take the take and find out what way feels more natural to you and what gives you better accuracy.
 

Esox

I didnt know
Ambassador
We can agree, all of us, on a .338 Lapua revolver.

I'm just getting tired of my .454 Casull rounds bouncing off these various nuisance grizzlys, gators, etc.


AA
The 45/70 BFR was enough for me. I shot a Taurus Raging Bull .454 Casull quite a bit, I liked it. If I had my pick or lived someplace I could or might actually need one though, it would be a Bowen 5 shot .45 LC. Ross Seyfried had the right idea.
 
Top