Eye Dominance Issue


lizzybit

New member
I'm sure it's been discussed somewhere here, so I apologize for a repeat.

I either have no dominant eye, or am cross dominant. I am pretty much ambidextrous. I write with my left hand, but do most with my right hand (even fine detail work, I used to write with both hands but as I got older stopped.) Instinctively and comfort wise, I shoot right handed with both a pistol and a long gun. I am semi comfortable shooting a handgun left handed, but switching hands does nothing for my issue.

People for years give me the various different eye dominance tests with mixed results, and wind up just getting frustrated with me LOL However, as a photographer as well, I can ONLY use my left eye through the view finder. Which leads me to believe my left eye is dominant, regardless of the other testings.

Handgun shooting- I'm an instinct shooter. I can hit my target shooting from the hip, or from a draw almost every time. My problem lies in trying to aim. Especially at the range where I'm not allowed to draw and shoot. By getting in stance and trying to line up the sights, I'll go through a good 25 rounds before I ever hit the dang target. (Once I hit it, I can adjust my aim and then I keep a clean cluster) Scary huh? Frustrating as hell too! I even bought a Crimson Trace laser for my pistol in frustration, hoping that would help, but it just made things worse! :mad:

When I shoot right handed, I usually close my left eye because I can not close my right eye. If I could, I would just move the gun over a few inches and use my left eye. Almost everyone tells me to shoot with both eyes open then, but I just can't! When I do that, the sights are doubled and I can not see my target, it's all a blur. If I focus really hard on the target only, the (still doubled) sites are too blurry to make out. So I wind up closing my left eye and trying to adjust for the difference. After a few minutes of shooting, I have the worse eye strain headache imaginable!

I've seen a lot of suggestions for using an eye patch over the right eye. That makes sense for archery and the long gun for hunting, you can plan that ahead of time, and maybe even practice shooting, but what good does that do if I'm in a situation without a patch? "Hold on a minute Mr. Attacker Sir, let me get my eye patch on first. Ok, all set..proceed!" Fortunately for me, my instinct shooting will help with that. But does that mean outside of an emergency situation, I will always have to shoot with a patch on my eye? I haven't tried it yet, plan on it next time I'm out, so I don't even know if an eye patch would help or not.

With a rifle and scope, I can generally shoot keeping both eyes open. I'm fairly accurate using my right eye, but I do find myself turning my head at times to focus with my left eye. When I do that I'm even more accurate. Some people tell me if that's what is comfortable for me, do it. Others tell me it's not safe because I'm turning my face into the gun. If I'm going to use my left eye, then I need to shoot left handed.

Any thoughts? Suggestions?
 

flyingron

New member
Do what works. No point in changing what works. I'm left dominant eye and right handed. My right hand is my strong hand and I've never had problems shooting righty even when aiming with my left eye. Long guns on the other hand, I shoot lefty, just works better for me. You want to keep both eyes open really.

"Some people" are full of it. Your face shouldn't be anywhere near the parts of the gun to be concerned about. There's a few exceptions for some semi-auto and auto long guns that are designed to eject away from the "right handed" user.
 

bofh

Banned
Rob Pincus on Eye Dominance & Defensive Pistol Shooting:


Also, from USCCA Blog - The Cross-Dominant Shooter:

Another method is to keep the gun in the dominant hand, but move the head to bring the dominant eye behind the sights. This can be done two ways. We’ll use the example of a right handed/left eyed shooter, for clarity. In the first method, the head is rotated on its vertical axis to bring the left eye behind the sights. This is sub-optimal, as it points the right eye off to the right side, reducing peripheral vision to the front left. It appears to work better to keep the head pointed forward, but tilt it to the right just enough to bring the left eye behind the sights.

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Another tip, try out XS Big Dot sights. The dot and post sight is easier to align than a three-dot sight, especially when someone has focus and double vision problems. I have severe astigmatism and speak from experience.

As for long guns, eye dominance plays a big role when it comes to moving targets (and usually non-magnifying sights, like iron sights, red dots and beads). Ever tried skeet shooting with your non-dominant eye behind the sight?
 

lizzybit

New member
Rob Pincus on Eye Dominance & Defensive Pistol Shooting:



Another tip, try out XS Big Dot sights. The dot and post sight is easier to align than a three-dot sight, especially when someone has focus and double vision problems. I have severe astigmatism and speak from experience.

I'll have to look into those. I never even thought about it being an issue with my astigmatism. That might explain why it wasn't so much an issue when I was younger before it got worse LOL
 

Stengun

New member
Howdy lizzybit,

For starters, you NEVER focus on the target you, focus on the front sight.

Front sight, front sight, front sight, front sight, front sight, front sight, front sight, front sight, front sight, front sight, and front sight.

Also when instinctive shooting/ point shooting/combat shooting/ whatever you want to call it shooting you use both eyes and pick a spot on the target and blast away with both eyes open.

When bull's eye shooting you will only use one eye and that's when you focus on the front sight.

Next time you go shooting and you're doing bull's eye type of target practice just remember one thing:

Front sight, front sight, front sight, front sight, front sight, front sight, front sight, front sight, front sight, front sight, and front sight.

Paul
 

badge851

Member
I am right handed but left eye dominant, I shoot a handgun righthanded; and rifle or shotgun lefthanded. Been shooting this way for over 50 years and am not abput to change at this late date. Do what works for you!
 
Stengun,

The problem with cross dominance and both eyes open is that we see 2 front sights and/or 2 targets.

Izzybit,

I agree flyingron "Do what works". The vast majority of defensive shootings are less that 20 ft. The target is center of mass and groupings of 6 inches are effective. That covers heart, 2 lungs, aorta and other major blood vessels, liver, as well as inflicting pain.
As for closing one eye: writers report that we develop tunnel vision during the stress of a self defense shooting. Using one eye is not going to make it worse. Even with multiple attackers, tactics are to shoot until the first assailant is stopped; not one shot for A, another for B, another for C, and back to A. You could give some of the other suggestions a try. They might work for you.
Your shooting from the hip might be criticized. Supposedly a 2-hand grip stabilizes the weapon better for rapid multiple shots in self defense, as well as enhancing weapon retention.
 
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flyingron

New member
The problem with cross dominance and both eyes open is that we see 2 front sights and/or 2 targets.
Only if you have some sort of visual dysphoria. The only issue with crossdominance is that you're looking with an opposite eye than your strong hand. It should make no difference to what you see, and only a minor tweaks to how you must hold things you're trying to line up with the dominant eye. As most here point out, pistols make little difference and most of us who hare left-eyed, shoot lefty even if right handed.

I've learned long ago that be it a gun or a camera, you want both eyes open. You soon learn to trust your dominant eye for sighting while keeping the big picture.
 
flyingron,

I have the problem that I described above, as does the OP.
When I shoot right handed, I usually close my left eye because I can not close my right eye. If I could, I would just move the gun over a few inches and use my left eye. Almost everyone tells me to shoot with both eyes open then, but I just can't! When I do that, the sights are doubled and I can not see my target, it's all a blur. If I focus really hard on the target only, the (still doubled) sites are too blurry to make out. So I wind up closing my left eye and trying to adjust for the difference.

I have talked with others who do. Plus it is mentioned by several people on the internet.
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Link Removed
Aiming with front sight? - The Firing Line Forums

Dysphoria could be defined as a sudden and transient state of mind, such as feelings of sadness, sorrow and anguish. It is a psychological condition accompanied by depression, melancholy and pessimism.

Dysphoria is generally characterized as an unpleasant or uncomfortable emotion such as sadness (depressed mood), anxiety, irritability or restlessness. Many authors consider dysphoria as the etymological opposite of euphoria and could be synthesized as:
Dysphoria Definition
 

flyingron

New member
Sorry, not dysphoria, but breaks in phoria. My apologies.

There is definitely an issue with breaks in phoria, but my assertion is that it's not much related to left eye-right hand issues. Some people even when dominant on the same side have problems with fixation with both eyes open. It takes practice.

If you're seeing double, it is because you are trying to fixate on an object that is either closer or further away than that item. Note I say FIXATE and not FOCUS. FOCUS refers to bringing something in to the best acuity. FIXATE means coordinating your eyes to point both at it. The non-dominant eye must track to bring the object you're trying to fix on in line with the image already seen by the dominant eye.

I didn't see anything in those other anectodotal posts to contradict that.
 

lizzybit

New member
The non-dominant eye must track to bring the object you're trying to fix on in line with the image already seen by the dominant eye.

But I can't get my eyes to do that, that's the problem.

Your shooting from the hip might be criticized. Supposedly a 2-hand grip stabilizes the weapon better for rapid multiple shots in self defense, as well as enhancing weapon retention.

I agree, my husband just wanted me to get a feel for it, just in case. And that's when we found out I actually shoot better that way lol At least one shot at a time, shooting rapidly would probably be a mess because of the lack of stabilization.
 

k7travels

New member
Stengun has it right.!

While it would be nice to shot the same way for target shooting and defensive shooting, your body will react instinctively in a defensive situation with both eyes open.

In a defensive situation, the goal is to stop the threat. If you are hitting the target naturally, work on improving those natural skills.

Be safe and work to enhance your natural shooting style.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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