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Posted: 12/14/2005 5:51:49 PM EDT
I'm teaching a new shooter some marksmanship basics. I started with the eye dominance test to find out that he is left eye dominant. This initially confused him as he is right handed and figured he would learn to fire a rifle from his right side. He asked why he should learn to shoot from his dominant side and I gave him the following reasons:

1. Army pop up range training: Scan and pick up targets with your nose on or near the charging handle - in firing position with both eyes open. When you close your weak eye to find your target and fire, the target should be close or inside your sights due to your eye dominance. This allows for quicker target acquisition.

2. When using red dot, close quarter combat sight you will be able to keep both eyes open and acquire and fire on your target more accurately.

Are there any other advantages in learning to shoot from your dominant eye side?

Thanks for any responses.
Link Posted: 12/14/2005 6:43:20 PM EDT
You know... I'm pretty sure I'm right-eye eye dominant... But I can shoot both left and right handed with both eyes open... With Irons or Red Dots... What gives?

I heard once that some people... like 1 in 10,000,000, can actually 'flip' eye dominance at will... Maybe I'm one of those freaks?

Sounds like an advantage to me... I hope it's genetic, that way someday my kids might get that too.



As for the question at hand... As you can tell I really have no idea what you're talking about with regards to "can't shoot with the *wichever side* eye"... So I have no idea.


Sorry the hijack... But I want someone to explain this all to me.
Link Posted: 12/14/2005 6:49:31 PM EDT
Im right handed and left eye dominant. Unfortunately I havent taught myself to shoot left handed yet. I know that when I shoot skeet that I keep my left eye covered, or I am aiming with my left eye while on right shoulder and I miss everytime, cause I'm aiming across the barrel instead of pointing down the barrel.
Link Posted: 12/14/2005 7:19:17 PM EDT
I'm right-handed and left eye dominant. I shoot right-handed using my right eye for rifles and left eye for pistols. I shoot with both eyes open with iron sights, non-magnified optics, and magnified optics. I haven't found the need to learn to shoot left-handed yet.
Link Posted: 12/14/2005 7:46:49 PM EDT
Here is a better suggestion. Learn to shoot with both eyes open. Better peripheral vision.
Link Posted: 12/14/2005 8:55:27 PM EDT
I'm right handed and left eye dominant

I'm curious what you are training this person for.

1. I don't teach students to close a weak eye when using iron sights, but that is open to debate, and there is a time and place for it.

2. What in the world are you talking about with #2? Both eyes are open regardless....


What are you teaching from? Are you using a lesson plan/ course outline? I can appreciate finding out the eye dominance issue early on, but you are making me wonder. Is this an organized military or LE course, or just teaching someone who doesn't know how to shoot a rifle?
Link Posted: 12/14/2005 10:11:30 PM EDT
I'm also right handed and left eye dominate. After shooting for 10+ years, I switched to shooting rifles left handed when I got into ARs and am very glad I did. It didn't take that long to get used to.
Link Posted: 12/14/2005 11:47:02 PM EDT
Damn, I just close both eyes and squeeze the trigger..

JUST KIDDING

I'm right handed and right eye dominant. Have never heard of being right handed and left eye dominant. Curious to learn more.


Gene
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 2:00:44 AM EDT
Rifle: Right eye Dominant
Pistol: LEFT eye Dominant


The first time I ever shot a 1911A1 was in the Army. I used BOTH eyes equally well.
Go figure that one out if you can.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 3:01:20 AM EDT
I am left hand/right eye dominant.

Hand and opposite eye dominance occurs in close to 30% of shooters. That is why the eye test was figured out. Some who never do the test are really surprised to find out they have difference.

Some will wear eye patch on dominant cross eye to strengthen weak eye but can take months to train weaker eye.
Some , like myself, tilt head when handgun shooting and keep both eyes open.

Rifles easier to close other eye if accuracy (match shoot) is a must. But I have found shooting left side and zeroing on that side with weak eye tends to hold in place to get bullet to center mass.

Training to shoot from both sides will always come in handy (pun intended but serious consideration) if wounded/hurt on dominant side and can't use dominant arm/hand.

Ever try to chamber a round/switch mag with only one arm working?
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 3:47:43 AM EDT
Obviously, the best solution would be to shoot lefty with rifle/shotguns. Pistols, not as critical....depending on shooting stance, etc.
Shooting a rifle/shotgun right-handed with both eyes open would really cause a problem. Not in shooting (act of pulling trigger), but hitting the mark!

I have a long-time friend who is a lefty, but naturally wanted to shoot right-handed (later learned right dominante eye). He also was a "righty" for throwing, sports, etc.

best luck,
Hotgun
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 5:19:01 AM EDT
Many more than 1/10000 can shift eye dominance. It's a learned skill.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 7:21:31 AM EDT
I teach my students to follow their good eye. So if they are left eye dominant, they shoot left handed. If they are right eye dominant they shoot right handed.

You have a little more grace with a handgun, as its easier to move the thing around. But even then, those that follow their dominant eye tend to shoot much better with practice.

The hardest part is overcoming the fear that they can't shoot with their "off hand" and or that it will look or feel funny.

Training is the process of overcoming obstacles to achieve the best results. You learn by doing. And in this case practice is all it takes to overcome any eye/hand dominance issue. Whichever way you choose.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 8:40:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2005 8:43:12 AM EDT by TxRabbitBane]
I'm right handed and left eye dominant (or so they say).

I shoot a hell of a lot better right handed using my "weak" eye than I do shooting lefty, but maybe that's just because I was grown before I ever tried to shoot left handed.

As far as I'm concerned , training can overcome natural tendancies, but I'm a LSHD kind of guy.

EDIT: Truth is, I totally suck shooting left handed. With practice I get a little better, but still not even in the same ballpark as righty. Oddly enough I can throw with my left fairly well. As far as shooting goes, I'm pretty convinced it's just a matter of form and muscle memory (for example, I have difficulty acquiring a sight picture left handed without a delay).
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 10:01:11 AM EDT
If you've been shooting right handed/left eye dom your whole life, I see no reason at all to try to switch anything up. If i went somewhere, and some instructor tried to tell me i needed to shoot left handed, I would laugh at them and walk out with my money.

Shooting with any red dot, I see no advantage or disadvantage regardless of dominance, in accuracy or speed. The only time i see any issue is when wing shooting with a shotgun(where you POINT, not AIM), and then you simply have to adapt, or get the equipment that overcomes your SLIGHT disadvantage. Trying to relearn years and years of muscle memory and practice is folly IMO.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 10:40:16 AM EDT
I'm cross-eye dominant (right handed, left-eyed).

When shooting pistols, I'd shoot right handed, but sight with my left eye. I pretty regularly keep both eyes open when shooting pistols. Is that something most have trouble with? I'd think in a defensive (or offensive) situation, being able to aim and keep both eyes open is pretty important.

With rifles, I shoot right handed, and I (obviously) use my weaker right eye. I've never had a problem doing this either. Again, both eyes open pretty much all the time, unless I'm taking some extra care in placing a scoped shot.

Now here's the interesting part for me: Last year I was in an auto accident where a blow to the head left me with a small blind spot in my left (strong) eye. The spot is pretty small, but it's right near the center of my vision. This forced me to change the way I shoot handguns. No more sighting with the left eye - I had to change to my right (weaker) eye. It wasn't too hard to get used to (probably because I had no choice). My shooting suffered slightly for a while, but it's gotten better now. The hardest part was the muscle memory that required changing. When quickly bringing the pistol up to ready, I would instinctively align the sights to my left eye.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 11:32:39 AM EDT
From Stickman: What are you teaching from? Are you using a lesson plan/ course outline? I can appreciate finding out the eye dominance issue early on, but you are making me wonder. Is this an organized military or LE course, or just teaching someone who doesn't know how to shoot a rifle?


I'm trying to teach him marksmanship fundamentals that I learned in the Army through range time and deployments. We are using the IET TRADOC Pamphlet 600-4. This is not a organized course, just an orientation that I'm trying to give him before he receives limited training before a deployment. The new shooter I'm giving instruction to has no experience firing any type of weapon.


Thanks to everyone for their advice and personal experiences. I wanted to see how important everyone thought this was and if it is something that I should insist that he does as he begins to learn to handle and fire a assault rifle. It sounds like to many of you it is personal preference and muscle memory is key. Since everything feels somewhat akward to him though, I'm going to continue to teach him from his dominant eye side.

We are currently working on sight picture, trigger squeeze, breathing and how to deal with a malfunction. Does anyone recommend any specific drills before we actually go to the range? Once we go to the range and establish his battle sight zero, what basic drills do you recommend?

Thanks again for any assistance. Since becoming a AR owner a few months ago, I've found this site incredible.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 12:20:51 PM EDT

Does anyone recommend any specific drills


Not really the same, but my old man would occasionally slip me a dummy round just to see if I flinched when I pulled the trigger when I was a little kid. It's actually pretty educational.

Also nice to video someone shooting (turn the sound off, some cameras dont' like the noise much) so they can see their bad habits with their own two eyes. Kills the "you're doing X... no I'm not..." arguments.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 4:53:48 PM EDT
My father is cross dominant, he shoots a shotgun right handed off his left shoulder, goofiest thing I ever seen. I'm convinced he'd hit more doves if he'd just leanr to shoot it left handed. Apparently his drill Sgt was not to ammused when he tried this trick with the M1 way back when. *shakes head*
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 5:01:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GENESMITH:
Damn, I just close both eyes and squeeze the trigger..

JUST KIDDING

I'm right handed and right eye dominant. Have never heard of being right handed and left eye dominant. Curious to learn more.


Gene



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