Weak Side Shooting... Dominant Eye or Not?

Weak Side Shooting... Dominant Eye or Not?

This is a discussion on Weak Side Shooting... Dominant Eye or Not? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Weak Side Shooting... Dominant Eye or Not? DC Shooters.... This info came from another site. However I was asked my opinion...those of you who have ...

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  1. #1
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    Weak Side Shooting... Dominant Eye or Not?

    Weak Side Shooting... Dominant Eye or Not?

    DC Shooters....

    This info came from another site. However I was asked my opinion...those of you who have trained with me know the deal. When you roll out right side from cover ...right hand, right eye. When you roll out left side from cover left hand, left eye. Never giving the 'BG" more than an eyeball and gun barrel. Tuck in those elbows plant the feet and bend at the waist. Never crowd your cover.

    Under the duress of a gun fight it will be impossible to close off one eye. However we need to think tactically what if something happens to the dominant eye? We should train with both eyes open. But when shooting around corners we only need one eye exposed.

    Here is what was posted: (What are your thoughts?)

    So here's something that came up during some building clearing practice when I actually started doing some more serious live fire around corners... I'm right handed and right eye dominant and shoot fine strong side with both eyes open. I also practice transitioning to my weak side and slicing the pie around weak side corners to minimize my profile. However, when coming from low/high ready and actually getting your sights and shooting weak side I either have to cant my head over to use my strong right eye OR close my right eye to get a sight picture.

    My question is, which one is faster/safer/better? I want to choose one and train it in. I wish I could just switch dominant eyes on command, but I don't see that happening...

    Some pros & cons as I see it.

    Canting your head.
    - Pro: Keeps same sight picture muscle memory
    - Con: Exposes more of your head
    - Con: Requires funny angle on your wrist

    Closing right eye.
    - Pro: Reduces head profile around corner
    - Pro: Keeps wrist angle straight back
    - Con: Reduces your peripheral vision/depth perception

    Or I could just hope that all my targets are within a few feet and use point/instinctive/reflexive shooting!

    I appreciate any input or ideas. Hopefully I missed something simple and there is an easier solution!


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array RebelRabbi's Avatar
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    Always prefer the dominant eye if feasible. EXCEPT with Long guns! The Shooter must adjust the gun to the eye. This is why I teach Isosceles now, it is more versatile, offers better balance and gets more of the vest up front. I've been teaching Firearms since 1989.

  3. #3
    Member Array Cruel Hand Luke's Avatar
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    The answers may change with a simple change in context.

    Your question seems to be predicated on use of cover. In that case the less you can expose the better.....but no one answer works best in all circumstances.

    What if you are hit in dominant hand in the initial exchange of shots? But neither of you is down and you have to keep fighting woulded in the dominant hand? And there simply is no cover to get to.....

    In that case (and in any case NOT involving cover) I argue for tilting the gun inboard to about a 45 degree angle so that the sights line up in front of the right eye (assuming the shooter is right eye dominant and now having to use his left hand).

    In fact that is how I teach right handed-left eye dominant people to shoot 1 handed. What ths also does is locks your wrist giving you a more solid grip. The standard grip holding the sights straight up and down causes a wrist bend when you move one hand over to see through the sights with the opposite eye. BUt if you simply roll the gun inward so it is at about a 45 degree angle the wrist straightens out and the whole arm is now in line behind the gun. Suddenly now the odds of a malfunction happening due to limp wristing is eliminated and the gun recoils less.......Of course some people argue grip is not important...and I argue they do not know what they are talking about.

    Yes the sights are slightly canted and it is not ideal for shooting 50 yard bullseye targets, but it works fabulously well for shooting people at realistic gunfight distances.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruel Hand Luke View Post
    The answers may change with a simple change in context.

    Your question seems to be predicated on use of cover. In that case the less you can expose the better.....but no one answer works best in all circumstances.

    What if you are hit in dominant hand in the initial exchange of shots? But neither of you is down and you have to keep fighting woulded in the dominant hand? And there simply is no cover to get to.....

    In that case (and in any case NOT involving cover) I argue for tilting the gun inboard to about a 45 degree angle so that the sights line up in front of the right eye (assuming the shooter is right eye dominant and now having to use his left hand).

    In fact that is how I teach right handed-left eye dominant people to shoot 1 handed. What ths also does is locks your wrist giving you a more solid grip. The standard grip holding the sights straight up and down causes a wrist bend when you move one hand over to see through the sights with the opposite eye. BUt if you simply roll the gun inward so it is at about a 45 degree angle the wrist straightens out and the whole arm is now in line behind the gun. Suddenly now the odds of a malfunction happening due to limp wristing is eliminated and the gun recoils less.......Of course some people argue grip is not important...and I argue they do not know what they are talking about.

    Yes the sights are slightly canted and it is not ideal for shooting 50 yard bullseye targets, but it works fabulously well for shooting people at realistic gunfight distances.
    45 degrees.....

    or 5/10 degrees?...

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    I only have one eye, so it really doesnt matter.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

    Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means, that you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you......

  6. #6
    Member Array Cruel Hand Luke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCJS Instructor View Post
    45 degrees.....

    or 5/10 degrees?...

    Uhhh yeah, or maybe word it as "tilt it inward so that the pistol is canted at about a 45 degree angle".

    We call it the "Half Homie". The "Full Homie" would be turning the pistol on it's side. Canting it half way, or to about 45 degrees, is the "half homie".

    This is actually the way most people's hands and arms normally hang when they are relaxed. For most people it is not a natural thing to have their hands oriented straight up and down like you would be when holding a pistol when bullseye shooting at 50 yards. But that is a discussion for another time, best done in person (like in class) so everyone can see and feel what I am talking about.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruel Hand Luke View Post
    Uhhh yeah, or maybe word it as "tilt it inward so that the pistol is canted at about a 45 degree angle".

    We call it the "Half Homie". The "Full Homie" would be turning the pistol on it's side. Canting it half way, or to about 45 degrees, is the "half homie".

    This is actually the way most people's hands and arms normally hang when they are relaxed. For most people it is not a natural thing to have their hands oriented straight up and down like you would be when holding a pistol when bullseye shooting at 50 yards. But that is a discussion for another time, best done in person (like in class) so everyone can see and feel what I am talking about.
    A slight cant of the handgun inboard 5/10 degrees (towards the centerline of the body) increases the strength of the body’s skeletal and muscular structure but tends to create sight alignment difficulties the more the weapon is canted. However this aids in recoil and thus makes follow up shots more accurate. "Let the front sight dictate the cadence of fire.”

    "half homie"

  8. #8
    Member Array Cruel Hand Luke's Avatar
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    Right. That is why I say it is not ideal for 50 yard NRA Bullseye shooting, but for defensive shooting(at REALISTIC distances) it works fine. If I am engaging some target that is either small or far off (20 yards or farther) then I am holding it straight up and down.

    But on closer targets , especially in FOF, I end up canting the gun inboard a little. But not always to 45 degrees.For me it generally runs more like 30 degrees, but everyone is different.

    The 45 degree cant is mostly to get the sights in front of the dominant eye when shooting with the non dominant hand without having to tilt the head .
    Randy Harris
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Array threefeathers's Avatar
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    Hi. Let me give my 2 cents.
    I've done much CQB every where from Berlin Brigade to Ft. Ords old MOUT to Ft. Benning and now Ft. Huachuca.
    I recently went through Mas Ayoob's LFI III and have done much training with DOJ buddies.
    I've been talking in depth with 2 nephews who were in the Falujah Battle and I'm going to put what I've learned to my students.

    Th less of a target you make the longer you will live. I have a serious eye wound and I can tell you, They Fracking hurt.

    I make all of my students learn to shoot with either hand and they must do it with handgun, shotgun, and carbine. (The red dot sight is sent directly from Michael the Archangel as a force multiplyer foe the forces of good)

    Using a handgun in combat you probably won't have a red dot, you must hit, you want to present as little a target as possible, and you WON"T have the control of yourself to remember to close an eye.
    I teach to CANT the handgun until the dominant eye picks up the sight. Actually this is a very small CANT and in most of us very little.
    Larry Vickers doesn't like the CANT instead he teached moving the head just slightly until the dominant eye picke up the sight. Both techniques can be done very quickly and the student should be taughe each and let them choose.
    Your police and military students will have Body Armor which will be a factor in head movement for them and the CANT is easier to me.
    DO not close an eye, you will already be in a darkened area and closing an eye will make it even darker. You need as much light gathering as you can get.
    I like my students to change hands with a handgun and be able to fire without having to 'Lean Out'.
    Head wounds hurt, take my word for it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Sportsterguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruel Hand Luke View Post
    The answers may change with a simple change in context.

    Your question seems to be predicated on use of cover. In that case the less you can expose the better.....but no one answer works best in all circumstances.

    What if you are hit in dominant hand in the initial exchange of shots? But neither of you is down and you have to keep fighting woulded in the dominant hand? And there simply is no cover to get to.....

    In that case (and in any case NOT involving cover) I argue for tilting the gun inboard to about a 45 degree angle so that the sights line up in front of the right eye (assuming the shooter is right eye dominant and now having to use his left hand).

    In fact that is how I teach right handed-left eye dominant people to shoot 1 handed. What ths also does is locks your wrist giving you a more solid grip. The standard grip holding the sights straight up and down causes a wrist bend when you move one hand over to see through the sights with the opposite eye. BUt if you simply roll the gun inward so it is at about a 45 degree angle the wrist straightens out and the whole arm is now in line behind the gun. Suddenly now the odds of a malfunction happening due to limp wristing is eliminated and the gun recoils less.......Of course some people argue grip is not important...and I argue they do not know what they are talking about.

    Yes the sights are slightly canted and it is not ideal for shooting 50 yard bullseye targets, but it works fabulously well for shooting people at realistic gunfight distances.
    It's what I was taught and teach and it works. Thanks for saving me an hours worth of typing.
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  11. #11
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I use my dominant eye when shooting off-hand...always. Maybe I should start thinking otherwise and try it out for the reasons mentioned here. Makes sense. But I have this natural tendency to close my dominant eye whenever I shoot weak hand, out on the open range or using cover. Good points to think about in this thread. It's been a while since something has come up and demanded my attention such as this has. That's good! I've also been slacking on my weak hand practice. My wife and I need to go to the range soon, and I'm thinking we'll do 50/50 this time on the strong hand/weak hand shooting. We need to, and I'll see if I can force myself to leave both eyes open shooting with the non-dominant eye.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    Both eyes open, just the way my Maker designed em to work.

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    Dunno if this helps, but... I was taught in Tac Pistol to keep both eyes open, no matter what, all the time. And as far as canting the head, that you always bring the gun sights to your line of sight, NOT your head to the gun.

    It's very awkward at first, especially doing active shooter drills where you're running, and you have cover involved, and you're kneeling or going prone. Plus it's really stressful. But I think it was good training and now I shoot with both eyes open, automatically, and always bring the gun to my line of sight.

    So I would say to do that.
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  14. #14
    Member Array HardCorps79's Avatar
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    Combat pistol techniques are completely different from competition marksmanship. Both eyes open is preferred in both pistol and even rifle shooting for CQB. Bring the sights into your line of sight. Agreed. This is what we learned in all of our MOUT training for Iraq. Of course we have to know both. Some of the guys I served with did only close in work. All of my really fun and memorable days were at 50-200 yds, so it was mostly one-eye work.

    For pistol inside of a room, or defensive shooting distances of 7-10 yards, I try and practice as much muscle-memory based point-shooting as possible, hardly even engaging the sights and simply using the pistol as an extension of the body. Something I picked up from some guys in one of those cooler-than-the-everyone-else units. Still working on it, but I can already see the advantages for room clearing and maintaining situational awareness of the entire room vice tunnel vision.
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  15. #15
    Member Array reno92's Avatar
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    I actually started out in life, left eye dominant, so I shot rifles left handed, I somehow changed eye dominance somehow, learning pistol. for me right hand right eye, left hand left eye, otherwise it shoots more off the sights. I still cant shoot a shot gun worth a hoot right handed. Rifle doesnt matter. how ever im holding it is how I shoot it.

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