Eye Dominance, Sight Alignment / Sight Picture and Sights.

This is a discussion on Eye Dominance, Sight Alignment / Sight Picture and Sights. within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Recently while practicing off (weak) hand drills with my new Colt, I had a disturbing revelation, I was shooting better with my left hand, not ...

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Thread: Eye Dominance, Sight Alignment / Sight Picture and Sights.

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    JD [OP]
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    Post Eye Dominance, Sight Alignment / Sight Picture and Sights.

    Recently while practicing off (weak) hand drills with my new Colt, I had a disturbing revelation, I was shooting better with my left hand, not just because I was using my left hand, but because I was using my left eye.

    This led me to retry shooting with both eyes open, I have been trying to transition to shooting to both eyes open for the last 6 months or so, and I was having no luck, I couldn't get clear focus on the front sight.

    When I went back to shooting with both eyes open I changed the position of my head moving my chin more to my right, placing my left eye more in line with the sights, and presto I had crystal clear sight picture.

    This confused me at first, because I've been right eye dominant for as long as I've been shooting. When I performed an eye dominance test I was shocked to see that I was now left eye dominant.

    So now I'm in a rough spot, I'm right handed, left eye dominant, and I've been shooting with my right eye for the last 22 years.

    In trying to overcome this new affliction I've discovered the following things to be true:

    1: After "X" amount of years using my right eye I can't keep my left eye only open for very long.
    2: Dry firing exercises utilizing snap caps works wonders.
    3: In order to correct my weaker yet dominant eye, I have to shoot with just my left for a while.

    I have also reevaluated my needs in sights for my pistols.

    I have opted to give the XS 24/7 Big Dots a try going on the theory that the larger front sight will be easier to focus on.

    While using my left eye only, or prolonged two eye usage I was "loosing" the front sight in the rear, my sight picture startes looking like a fuzzy black box, instead of a clear front sight centered in a fuzzy rear sight.

    I am also going to eneavor to use my left hand more and try and build my weak hand pistol skills more than I have in the past.

    I ordered my Big Dots for the Sig tonight, unfortuantely I am out of town for the week and won't be able to practice anything while I'm gone (had to drive through NJ and NYC and I didn't even want to risk a traffic stop with firearms in either state) but as soon as I get back Lima should have the sights installed, she opted for the standard XS 24/5 dot sights for her Kimber CDP to replace the fading factory 3-dot night sights.

    As soon as I get a chance to utilyze the Big-dots I will do a complete range report with the Sig w/ XS sights compared to my factory 3 dot sights on my Colt and the Novaks on my Springfield.


    In the mean time I will be researching eye dominance further and trying to find other ways to "strenghen" my left eye use.

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    JD,

    A lot of people have right hand/left eye issues. I know and have seen some good shooters with this problem. If you have to shoot around the left side of cover, the left eye dominant thing is an advantage.

    Todd Jarrett advises putting a piece of clear (Scotch) tape over the safety glasses lens of non-dominant eye to help train the dominant eye.

    But because you have always been right eye dominant, you have an additional complication of retraining, if that does prove to be the best course of action. However, just a word of caution. I have learned via personal experience that long-time, ingrained training does not go away easily, if ever.

    A couple of examples: I learned to shoot at Gunsite; they teach the Weaver. For 7 years I shot a lot and trained with the Weaver, it is unquestionable that it ingrained into my subconscious. Here's one experience. I took Blackwater's Level II Handgun course and was determined to learn the 'I" stance. I shot from it all week, for one reason they said that's what we'd go to under stress anyway. Then they put us under the pressure of timed draw and fires. That doesn't sound like much pressure, but a timer brings out the worst and all the other students watching doesn't help either.

    I did my five draws and the instructor walked up to me and said, "did you know you shot every one of those from a Weaver stance?" I didn't know it; I thought I shot from an 'I' like I intended to. But burned in subconscious acts kicked in and overrode my conscious intent.

    Then at another class, we had been doing a lot of what I'll call point shooting drills from 15 feet. After much training, the instructor said, "OK, full speed now, don't hold back - FIRE!" I fired 18 rounds as fast as I could pull the trigger - had a great group BTW. The instructor said, "Now try it again, Ron (Tangle) without using the sights." I knew what had happened. My instincts took over and I did what I have trained to do - focused on the front sight and let 'em roll.

    My point is, you're in this same situation. Your attempting or considering changing from an ingrained, subconscious act to a new 'system' - I promise you it won't be easy. You'll train and train and train. Then one day, you'll be under pressure and revert back to your right eye.

    So, my suggestion: Get an eye exam and see what's going on. If your eyes are ok, then try Todd's recommendation of using tape to retrainyour eyes. Or, you may need some optical correction.
    Last edited by JD; October 3rd, 2009 at 10:07 PM.
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    Im in the same boat. Righty with left eye dominance. I have been training for the last 6 months to fire left handed with the I stance instead of right Weaver. I just shoot much better lefty. But just as Tangle said, it is sometimes instinctual for me to go back to what I had first learned.

    The good news is that the longer I have been training the easier it is getting for me and the more natural and comfortable it is.

    JJ, out.
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    JD [OP]
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    SRFL, even if I revert back to shooting with my right eye only, I'll still clobber my target. Thus far shooting with both eyes is getting easier.

    I'm not going to try and switch to using my left hand primarily, now that would be hard, and as you said after "X" years, in a stressful situation I don't want to draw with my right hand when there's nothing there for it to grab.

    I'll start doing the tape thing untill I get back home, as soon as I'm in I'll be scheduling an eye exam, the last one I has was about a year and a half ago, and my vision was fine...

    I'm really wondering when my dominant eye "changed"

    Hard to believe that I shot expert rifle just a year ago with my now non dominant eye...

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    Eye domance

    That's funny, I'm lefty and right eye dominant.I've been shooting righty as long as I can remember. And I shoot with both eyes open.
    My wife is righty and left eye dominant.
    Its so funny to watch her shoot. She has a hard time closing one eye.
    It can be very funny watching her shoot.
    But she shoots better than a lot of guys I know.

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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    I am right handed, left eye dominant, but through a strange twist of fate have always shot long guns left handed since long before I knew of eye dominance, so I don't have a problem.

    As far as handguns go, I shoot right handed, but when the gun comes up it automatically aligns with my left eye and has created no problems.

    Therefore, I can see where it may be an issue with long guns, especially shotgunning at moving targets. This problem has been the bane of many trap, skeet, and sproting clays shooters.

    The problem is less with a rifle and aimed fire. I can shoot a rifle fine (as good as most people) right handed using my non dominant eye, but not as well as left handed & left eyed.
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    I have quite strong corrective lenses (hypermetropia and axis correction) .... and my right eye is dominant - just!!

    Trouble is all my way-bak-years of bullseye, and the closeness of the two eyes do not even now let me shoot both open. I think in fact - even if left did win on dominance I'd still shoot right eye ---- way too old and full of habit to change.
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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    jdlv4 0,

    Since you were in the Corps you'll like this.

    At Parris Island I told the PMI that I shot left handed and he told me "There are no left handed shooters in the Marine Corps." So of course I agreed and shot right handed for the first day of line fire.

    My Senior DI of course wanted his platoon to score higher than the others so he watched us quite intently and I was shooting quite well. He came up to me, IIRC, after the second day of shooting and said, "You say you can shoot even better left handed", of course "Sir, Yes Sir." was the answer.

    The next day when we arrived at the range he walked over and handed me and left handed shooting jacket and said, "Your a left handed shooter now."

    Of course crew served weapons, rockets, and grenade launchers had to be shot right handed, but I got to shoot my rifle left handed from then on and did quite well. Unfortunately, I made a dope mistake on qual day at 300 rapid fire and didn't make series high shooter. I have never forgiven myself for that to this day. I still shot well though.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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    JD [OP]
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    I unQ'd on qual day in basic after shooting high expert all week, I was in the running for high shooter, went back and qualled the next day expert, but still had the "pizza box" until the next years qual.

    I ended up 3rd award expert by the time I finished my contract.

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    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    I'm lefty, left eye. My wife is ambidextrous, and has NO dominant eye! Our kids are screwed.

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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdlv4_0 View Post
    I unQ'd on qual day in basic after shooting high expert all week, I was in the running for high shooter, went back and qualled the next day expert, but still had the "pizza box" until the next years qual.

    I ended up 3rd award expert by the time I finished my contract.
    I forgot to change my dope when we moved to 300, still qualed but had to wear the old sharpshooter badge for a while, but luckily never had to wear the pizza box. I had been high shooter in the platoon all week too. I was too sure of myself and got lax. Forgot about attention to detail. NEVER AGAIN!
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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    Left-handed, right eye dominate.............I use my dominate eye for pistol shooting, with BOTH eyes open. One trick that has worked well for me is to tip the gun a few degrees toward the dominate eye. This causes the weaker eye (my left eye) to not be able to see the sights & keep it from affecting my sight picture.

    Here's an example......sorry it's a self portrait & I'm not photogenic.

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    JD [OP]
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    Quote Originally Posted by goawayfarm View Post
    Left-handed, right eye dominate.............I use my dominate eye for pistol shooting, with BOTH eyes open. One trick that has worked well for me is to tip the gun a few degrees toward the dominate eye. This causes the weaker eye (my left eye) to not be able to see the sights & keep it from affecting my sight picture.

    Here's an example......sorry it's a self portrait & I'm not photogenic.
    Bud White mentioned that method...I'll give it a whirl. Even if it looks half "Gangsta"

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    I just do not get it, both eyes open and the dominante eye will be in charge. I tried all the tricks posted and the dominate eye was overriding the left with pistol sights. Both eyes open and it won't matter the dominate eye does the seeing, using one eye when you have two causes the problem.

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    Forget dominance - try being right handed and blind in your right eye! No Isoceles for me! Oh, and I also shoot long guns left handed and handguns right handed.

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