Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by LDBennett, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    My Eleven year old grandson, his mother, and I went to the range yesterday. His first trip last year had him all confused (and me until he revealed after the first shooting trip what he was doing) about how to shoot a rifle. He complained he could not see through the sights. It turns out he was trying to sight with his left eye with the gun shouldered to his right shoulder. We (he and I) did not figure that it out until days later.

    This trip I put Magic Mending Tape over the lens of his shooting glasses for his dominant left eye, forcing him to use the right eye. We put targets out at about 25 yds and he kept all the shots inside a three inch ring. But the most important thing is: he was excited about going shooting, during shooting, and when it was over.

    His MOM, my daughter-in-law shot the man target with her S&W Model 10 hitting the man one place or another with all shots. Beware any potential intruders at her house. She can and will shoot you if you break in so forget it.

    A good day!

  2. mr.t7024

    mr.t7024 Member

    Glad you enjoyed!:)

  3. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    good to hear , good thinkin with the tape too ;)

    one place or another ? , you being polite or she dont group well ? head liver stomach etc ?
  4. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2009
    Help me out with the eye dominance, my daughter is right handed and left eye dominant. I have her shooting pistol right handed in a weaver stance that allows her to use her dominant hand and eye; not probs there. With rifles, I have her shooting left handed with her dominant eye for scope and iron sights; she can and will shoot golf balls with her scoped .22 at 100 yds in this shooting style/position (off the bench) and do well free handed.

    What is the reason to force your grandson to use his weak eye? I am allowing my daughter to use her strong eye and have been pleased, she has adapted to left hand shooting and shoots in a "natural" position with no undue head craning or contortions. For rifle and pistol I put a bit of scotch tape over her right (weak) eye making her use her dominant (natural)left eye.

    What is your idea here? I am curious about your approach, not critical mind you, just asking so I can learn a bit. If I professed to know all I would be a g/d liar.
  5. whirley

    whirley Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    My own experience. After explaining the problem to my granddaughter, she tried both methods, the covered master eye and learning to shoot left handed. She chose to learn left hand shooting, and is very proficient. She uses a Savage 99 in .243 and an Ithaca 100 in 20 gauge.
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    I too suffer (??) right handedness with left eye dominance. I shoot handguns right handed as I do rifles but for handguns I use my left eye for sighting.

    Handling guns with the off hand is uncomfortable for me and I assume it would be for my grandson. I also think it unsafe to be uncomfortable handing a gun with your non-dominant hand. When and if the shooter starts shooting semi-autos, few if any are left handed. You then get empties whizzing by your face. Some have the potential of hitting your face and it puts your face in harms way if the bolt opens to high pressure. When the ejection port is on the right side and you shoot right handed you have distance and some of the gun between you and the ejection port. Semi-autos are prevalent and getting more so every day. People in the future may look on bolt guns as antiques as all guns will be self loading and ejecting. I think we must not promote left handed shooting with right handed guns when it comes down to a solution as simple as closing the other eye to eliminate its dominance.

    I have no problem with rifles and using my right less dominant eye. Most people have two eyes. One is dominant and few people even know which eye it is. All in the world you have to do is close the opposite eye to reduce the dominance. That's what I do. Now my grandson is pretty intelligent. He over thinks everything. But for some reason he can not just close one eyelid easily. The tape over the glasses works. I have used it on myself when shotgunning.

    I would cover the top half of the left lens so that eye could see the clay target but not the front sight when the gun was shouldered. I abandoned that approach when I made then found commercially a glow front sight that put the glow rod down inside a deep tube. The glowing small dot can only be seen by the eye looking down the barrel when the eye is directly behind it. It is blocked from the view of the opposite eye.

  7. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2009
    Fair enough. In my experience (which is limited) I have found that use of the dominant eye aids the shooter in locating the target. If you think about it it is how you instinctively look at something close to your face or far away by closing your "weak" eye more when you squint. So much for my theory.....

    The practice with my daughter,her learning to handle guns and teaching her, has shown me that pistols were easy for her to sight; when it came to rifles it was another story. With right handed shooting and tape over the left pupil of the safety glasses she was having trouble grouping and it took her quite a while to find and focus on the target (both with prescription lenses and contacts) that frustrated her. We knew she was left eye dominant from the start. When she shot right eye/hand she would also settle into a horribly cramped up awkward position that nobody could possibly shoot from.

    When we reversed the stance/hold of the rifle and allowed her to support the gun with her right hand on the forearm and operate the trigger with her left even though she had to re-learn the workings of the mechanism it improved her grouping and acquisition. She became more comfortable by being able to shoulder the gun, sight and fire without having to "find fixate and focus" on the target. She also now holds the rifle in a "easy " position that is much more natural for her (and anyone) to shoot from.

    When I learned shooting positions, the sitting position was hell for me, the drawn up both knees high left no place for my belly and left me gasping for breath, cross the ankles, elbows on knees....much more comfortable and I can shoot from THAT position. Sortof the same idea for the contortions she was doing shooting right handed.
    Thank you for the reply, and here are my thoughts and experiences; have fun with your grandson and be assured that he will remember this time for the rest of his life.

    I do have to add that my daughter is 15, she has fired my Mosins, Garands and sk's without batting an eye and in the spring we start shotgun; she will now be able to handle the weight and swing for skeet.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  8. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    My assumption was that although one eye is dominant, adequate vision is available with the other. It sounds like in your daughter's case she has some serious eye problems if she need contacts and prescription glasses too. That is not the case with my grandson, apparently. He is left eye dominant by test but for some strange reason says he cannot simply close one eye lid (like I said earlier he sometimes over thinks things and I guess that comes from being smart??).

    I "forced" right hand shooting on this obviously right handed kid because I saw a long time left handed friend struggle shooting right handed guns left handed. He pointed out all the problems with this approach years ago. I knew how to solve my grandson's problem because I have exactly the same problem and over came it with "adjustment" that are easy to do.

    But my approach obviously will not work for everyone... like your daughter. You at least tried to get her to shoot rifles right handed and through trial and error found the solution, which for her was left hand rifle shooting. Left hand shooting would not work on me and I assume not on my grandson as this last shooting session showed.

  9. mr.t7024

    mr.t7024 Member

    I have trained many folks with this problem. Pistol shooting was not a problem. Rifle shooting was. I explained the problem & solution and let them decide. This worked well for all ages. I must admit it is easier to train youngsters than it is adults and scopes are a big help.

    One more item I would like to add. I think it is awesome when an adult takes a youngster shooting whether or not they are related! :) Hats off to you L.D. Bennet.
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    I think it important to expand our shooting ranks. I have taken several women to the range to get them started. A couple really enjoyed it and one was scared to death and the range experience did not help at all. Indoor ranges and even covered ranges are hard on the senses and some people apparently don't take well to it.

    My daughter-in-law was very much against guns until she got to shoot one of my 22 pistols. Then she wanted her own gun which she now has, a defense 38 Special S&W Model 10. She does well with it.

    The grandson loves to shoot and we have to do more of it. I started him on air soft pistols. The granddaughter is not interested. In fact, she refuses to accept the responsibility for the possibility of hurting someone in a shooting accident. That's OK. When she gets older and wiser she may change her mind. She is 50% owners in her brother's CZ452 and the day will come when she might want to go shooting, especially if the "friend' is a cute boy. She is 9 going on 16 at this point.

  11. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2009
    She wears contacts OR glasses, minor correction.

  12. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    anytown, OHIO
    Absolutely! When I was in scouts about 45 years ago we had both archery and gun ranges, do they even do that now?

    Funny I loved the guns better than the bows, had a BB gun since I was about 7-8 years old.

    Learn early and learn correctly and have fun!:)
  13. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    My local gun club has an indoor range and an archery range. The indoor range weekly hosts the Jr AF ROTC with a match.

    Scouts in our locale can get badges for shooting, I believe.

  14. Dirtypacman

    Dirtypacman New Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Merrimac Valley, MA
    Love it - shooting together keeps a family together.
    Glad you could enjoy some time at the range with them.
  15. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    I agree.
    One of my fond memories of growing up was going out as a family to shoot targets or clay pigeons. Range time is a great way of building family relationships and teaching lots of important things besides shooting.
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