Dominant Eye Problem

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by Buckshot, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. Buckshot

    Buckshot Active Member

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    Making the switch from handguns to an AR-15, we quickly discovered that my wife, who is right-handed, has a VERY dominant left eye. I have mounted a red dot sight, which has helped some, but positioning is still awkward and not intuitive. This is brand new to her and so before we ingrain any habits we'll just end up struggling to change, I thought I'd ask for some advice.

    The choices are: more intuitive handling of the rifle (right-handed) while struggling to position herself and use her dominant left eye on the sight, OR, struggling to learn to hold and shoot the rifle left-handed, but having that result in a very natural use and position of her left eye.

    Or, I suppose, shooting right handed and TRYING to learn to use her right eye, helped by the red dot. Can the dominant eye issue be forced? Can you retrain your eyes? Or are you stuck with what you've got.

    I'm somewhat worried that if she learns to shoot in such a manner that the red dot is key, and then something happens to the sight and she must revert to iron sights, she could be in trouble.

    A side issue: shooting a right-handed AR left-handed can mean ducking ejected cases.

    Your thoughts, gentlemen?
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    I am left eye dominant and right handed. For pistol I shoot right handed aiming with my left eye. I simple close the eye not in use or block the un-used eye with a black shield on my glasses.

    When I shoot rifles I shoot right handed and right eyed. For this I have to close the opposite eye or block my glasses. I have no problems doing this regardless of my left eye dominance.

    When I use a red dot, both eyes are open and dominance makes little difference. I just place the dot I see with either eye on the target no problem.

    Now shot gunning IS a problem for me. I shoot right handed and consistently line up the clay with the wrong eye for many misses. The solution I found is a slip on front bead (snaps onto the rib to replace the view of the front bead) that uses one of those glow dots illuminated by ambient light. The trick is this dot is at the far end of a long tube and can only be seen by looking down the tube directly in line with it. My right eye sees it while my left eye can not. I then shoot both eyes open and use the front sight like I would a red dot.... dot where I want to shoot.

    The bottom line for handguns you can shoot right handed and aim left eye just fine. For rifles you can learn to shoot right handed and right eyed, blocking the other eye. For shot guns you need to either use one of these tricky glow beads in a tube or put Vaseline over the top half of the other eyes glasses lens to keep it from trying to dominate.

    LDBennett
  3. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Like LDBennett, my dad had the same problem. If you want to shoot targets with a pistol, then you need only one eye open, an eye patch will take care of the eye you want closed. For defensive shooting, use both eyes. Know, and learn that the front sight is all important in SD shooting, not the rear. I would also advise you to use a professional instructor, not only for your wife's training, but for yourself, as well. Good luck! And enjoy!
  4. Country101

    Country101 Active Member

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    I've heard of the eye patch thing working in these situations. I see some shooters simply tape thier glasses, so that they have a little vision, but it's obscured and makes them rely on the other eye more. You might try that and see how it works.
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I was gonna suggest a pirate patch like carver mentioned. My FIL is left eye dominant/right handed and holds the rifle all retartded lefthanded, so he forces his left eye sightless while shooting his rifle by wearing an eyepatch. otherwise hes tempted to flop his head up over the stock to get to the scope with his left eye...

    If the left eye isnt processing visual information the brain will quickly learn to utilize the one that is.
  6. carver

    carver Moderator

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    My dad was right handed, and left eye dominant. He solved his problem as a boy by learning to shoot the rifle/shotgun left handed, and he was an excelent shot. He even taught new recruits, in basic for a while back in WWII.
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    A couple friends of mine that went into the service were forced to learn to shoot backwards because the vision in the off eye was stronger than their dominant eye was...
  8. carver

    carver Moderator

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    I know it works on long guns, but am unsure about the pistols. I can't remember which hand dad shot a pistol with.
  9. Sandman

    Sandman New Member

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    The best solution is for her to learn to shoot long guns left handed. It is the hardest solution to implement, but it is a permanent solution to the problem. Do you really want to put on an eye patch every time you shoot a rifle? Besides, I bet that she will pick it up pretty quickly if you really put the practice time in. Before long she will no longer be able to shoot right handed. She will be so used to lefty that righty wont be comfortable any more.

    I am right handed and left eye dominant. My dad recognized this as a kid, and made me learn to shoot left handed. Now I can shoot handguns with either hand or eye (best at shooting with right hand & left eye, but can use left hand fairly well, or use right hand only / right eye if I close my left eye). I have no problems with either shotguns or rifles.

    By the way, I have shot an AR quite a bit along with Mini-14's, semiauto shotguns and .22's, etc., and there is no problem with ducking spent casings. They fly clear. This is the case with all semi-autos, whether shotgun or rifle. I have never in my life been hit by a spent casing from my own rifle or shotgun.
  10. zfk55

    zfk55 New Member

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    This is how we hit it from two directions.
    A lot of you already know that we're Swiss Products, manufacturers of firearm accessories for Swiss rifles.
    We had a lot of left eye dominant shooters asking about a scope setup just for them. A long time ago we began making a left side Drill/Tap mount for right hand shooters, left eye dominant.

    Strangely enough it works for both! A simple cheek pad made it work perfectly for right hand/left eye shooters. It's offset is actually less than the offset on a M1D Garand..... but........... if you don't have a k31 or a 1911sr, it won't do you any good at all because they're rifle proprietary.

    k31 left side mount, left or right eye dominant.

    [​IMG]

    1911sr. left side mount, left or right eye dominant.


    [​IMG]

    k31 right side mount, right eye dominant primarily but works for a lefty with a cheekpad.

    [​IMG]
  11. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    Like a few others mentioned here I am right handed, but I have a dominate left eye. I have learned to shoot guns as well as pool left handed ......I am not the best, but I am pretty darn good at both.

    I agree with SANDMAN, just train her to shoot long guns left handed.
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Very cool Z. I really want me a K31, MGS had them for 225 last i was in there, maybe I should go pilfer thru the crate and buy one with a bright shiny bore...
  13. Redhand

    Redhand Active Member

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    Teach her to shoot with both eyes open under all circumstances. In all but the exceptional cases the eyes will make the adjustment. Does she have 20/20 vision or his her dominant eye stronger? If so she may need to get a vision correction instrument.:confused::confused::confused::D
  14. Buckshot

    Buckshot Active Member

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    Thanks for all of the input guys. So far it's been a case of living room dry-firing. Now that we've got the red dot (just got a 1/2" riser in the mail today) we'll have to go out and put some rounds down range and just see what feels more manageable. Decide which route, and which struggle, to take on. I may TRY the eye patch thing, just to see how it feels to her, and how her right eye responds, but I agree you don't want a solution that depends on always having the patch in the long run.
  15. johnboat

    johnboat New Member

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    i to have this blessing/curse i find it best to learn to fire left for long guns it truly does come more natural than trying to fire r ,hand left eye as you can fire any fire arm not just one that has been modified for a specific person also it is real handy when clearing rooms as point instintive shooting can be done from either side making this type of person mostly ambidextrious,it is also a great idea to teach both eyes open firing /the brass in the face ? well i have fired thousands of rounds from m16/m4/ar and have never been hit yet .and of course the safty glasses would be mandatory .as always .:)
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