Right-handed shooter, Left-eye-dominant, rifle questions...

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, & Training' started by bradsteen, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. bradsteen

    bradsteen Member

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    The title says it all. I'm a left-eye-dominant, right-handed shooter. For pistol shooting, it's no big deal, but now I've got an AR-15, and was presented with an interesting problem... will I be able to shoot this thing accurately with my right eye, or do I have to do some oddball crossover thing? I have yet to take it out on the range, but I'm anticipating that this may be an issue, so i figured I'd put this out now and figure out what to do if I encounter this problem.

    Also, will I encounter issues depending on my aiming tools (i.e. ironsights v.s. reflex sight v.s. scope)?

    Any tips for the newbie would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, all!
  2. trainsktg

    trainsktg Well-Known Member

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    I used to shoot righty, now mostly lefty due to a steadily worsening right eye, so I guess I'm now left eye dominant too.

    In regards to shooting an AR, I shoot my HK-91 (scoped and unscoped) lefty with no problems. You could try this. I shoot all of my unscoped bolt action rifles lefty. I mix it up a bit when I shoot my scoped PSL and scoped bolt actions. I use a 'crossover' righty technique, which places my left eye at the scope and I obtain a fairly solid cheekweld by essentially 'kissing' the stock. It sounds awkward, but is actually a very strong position. I believe this is the technique taught in Eastern Europe with these rifles. This might work for you with your AR too.

    Basically, try different things and see what works best for you.

    Keith
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010
  3. bnr32gtr

    bnr32gtr Member

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    I have the same issue as the OP and like he said, not a big deal for pistol but rifles can be tough. With a red dot, you should not be looking at the dot, but at your target. Once you see your target and the dot super imposed on it, press the shot.

    If you are using a magnified optic, that makes things a little tougher. You can slightly close your left eye, allowing your right to focus, then press the shot. Also, I've been taking scotch tape to the range with me and sticking a small piece over the left lens of my glasses. This makes the left eye unable to fully focus and the right eye takes over. Enough times of this and one can actually train their eyes to change dominance. If you search the internet, there are tons of exercises to help change dominance or at least make both eyes focus the same.

    Also, I do spend about half my time shooting left handed. It's a great skill to have and my left side needs to be a proficient as my right side, eventually.

    Remember, you're a predator and all predators have binocular vision...:thumbup:
  4. Tactical SS

    Tactical SS Member

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    I also am a righty with a left eye dominance. I use my left eye when shooting pistols, but my right eye when shooting rifles, I guess I have trained both even though I prefer left eye.
  5. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy Well-Known Member

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    I'm a righty who's nearly blind in my right eye.

    I shoot pistols right handed, but rifles left handed.
    I've had to do it this way for the last several years and it's never been a problem.
  6. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man Active Member

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    I am also right handed but left eyed. I was still able to consistently shoot "Expert" right-handed while in the Army with an M-16...and that was during the years of open sights. While I was always concerned that it put me at somewhat of a disadvantage, I have not experienced the poor results the OP fears. I also don't have difficulty with a shotgun shooting right handed. I tried shooting left handed with long-guns and it just wasn't working. I shoot well enough with open sights, red dots, and scopes... and he should also without worrying about it. Eyes are amazing and will pretty much do what you make them do. :)
  7. titsonritz

    titsonritz Well-Known Member

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    Growing up I learned to shoot a pistol right handed (1911 cock & locked) but being left eyed dominant I shot a rifle left handed. Being pretty much ambidextrous I now shoot a pistol left handed also (Glock). I am new to the AK platform and have discover the far forward rear sight allows me to shoot right handed as does a far forward mounted “red dot” sight.

    Have you tried shooting your AR left handed?
  8. huntpotter

    huntpotter Negotiator Bronze Supporter

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    Use an eye patch. You will train your right eye to get used to the sights.
  9. longcolt

    longcolt Active Member

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    I am right handed and left eye dominant also.

    I have shot my rifles left handed all my life. Its reall never been a problem for me. Sometimes I will get smacked with the brass from a semi-auto rifle but thats about it.

    I recently purchased a left hand 30-06 for hunting but thats the only left handed rifle I own. My mini-14 shoots just fine left handed, I may not be as fast getting to the bolt to clear a jam but its not a real problem.

    I do shoot handguns with my right hand and I have learned to use my right eye if my left gets tired.

    If you have close up vision issues and need reading glasses you can attach a merrit optical device to your shooting glasses to teach your eye to focus on the sights and target better to clear up the sight picture.
  10. ChicagoGuy

    ChicagoGuy Member

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    I'm left eye dominant too, but years of rifle qual in the USMC worked that out of me. :)

    I've actually shot on occassion with left handed rifles, and my muslce memory is too ingrained in me to shoot that way. Pistols no problem, but I was able to consistently shoot expert with iron sights no issues right handed, so never took the time to "unlearn" my shooting stance when I moved on to other rifles besides the M16.
  11. dobanion

    dobanion Member

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    Same issue for me. Just discovered it a few months ago while trap shooting, which is where it REALLY hurts you.

    Bad habit, for years I shot with left eye closed, so it wouldn't take over and ruin the shot (sight picture is in right eye). When I tried to do both open (which you should), I was WAAAAAY off.

    So, I figured out something. You need something bright in your sight picture to let your brain know it's the right eye that needs to be in charge. For shotgun, get a "Easyhit" bead. It's a fiber optic with a tube such that only your right eye sees it, the tube keeps your left eye from seeing the glowing sight. Right eye takes over. It works. Also slowly trains you over to right eye dominance if you do it enough.

    For a AR (or similar), a red dot is good for non magnified, and a ACOG with the illuminated reticle if you want magnification. I have a ACOG with the BAC reticle, and it really works. I can do the full Bindon Aiming Concept thing and it works, thanks to the bright red chevron in front of my right eye.

    Now when I pick up a pistol, I keep going back to the left eye. Gotta break myself of that.
  12. wwkii

    wwkii Active Member

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    i also am a righty with a left eye dominate . ill be honest i didnt even know it until a friend pointed it out to me the way i looked through the sights . it never has bothered me . because i always shoot with both eyes open . idont know if that is something you can do but i do know that it is a good habit to try . i have always shot that way and when i was in the military they said it was a great that i can do it . you can always see what is going on around you .
  13. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man Active Member

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    Why? It is your natural eye and you would go to it if you ever had to fire under stress. Why not practice with the way your body would work naturally with that particular tool? Being "ambi-eyed" is not a bad thing. I think you will/would find that when you shoot a handgun with both eyes open, you will be primarily using your left eye anyway.
  14. dobanion

    dobanion Member

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    I guess I'd like to train myself to be right eyed dominant if I can. Probably a exercise in futility. I should just go with it at this point.
  15. bradsteen

    bradsteen Member

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    Thanks, everyone, for all the great info.
  16. Abiqua

    Abiqua Active Member

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    Another right handed, left eye dominant guy. I shoot handguns right handed but left eyed, long guns I shoot left handed. Been doing it so long that it just feels natural.
  17. titsonritz

    titsonritz Well-Known Member

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    I've tried it big time to no avail. IME it is far easier to train the hand than the eye.