Do you shoot from the same "side" for both pistol and long guns?

Do you shoot from the same "side" for both pistol and long guns?

This is a discussion on Do you shoot from the same "side" for both pistol and long guns? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The week before last we had one of my wife's brothers come to visit from California to ski with us. Since it was President's day ...

View Poll Results: Do you shoot from the same "side" for both pistol and long guns?

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  • I am right handed and shoot both pistol and rifle from the right side.

    40 62.50%
  • I am left handed and shoot both pistol and rifle from the left side.

    5 7.81%
  • I shoot my pistol right handed, but my rifle from my left shoulder.

    9 14.06%
  • I shoot my pistol left handed, but my rifle from my right shoulder.

    0 0%
  • Other

    10 15.63%
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Thread: Do you shoot from the same "side" for both pistol and long guns?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    Do you shoot from the same "side" for both pistol and long guns?

    The week before last we had one of my wife's brothers come to visit from California to ski with us. Since it was President's day weekend and the local ski area had become pretty crowded on the Friday before the weekend, we all decided not to ski on Saturday. I asked my brother-in-law if he would like to go to the range to do some shooting and he enthusiastically answered "Yes!"

    I knew he had done some shooting in the past, but had never had any instruction in how to use a firearm. Prior to leaving for the range, I took him through the safety issues, what a proper sight picture should look like, how to load a magazine, and how to load the pistol.

    When we got to the range, we started with a Glock 19 and he did just fine shooting, but I had to correct him multiple times on safety issues, particularly keeping the muzzle pointed down range during loading. He shot the pistol right handed.

    Despite the fact that he had allegedly shot both pistols and rifles previously, when I pulled out my Sig MPX and went through the manual of arms, he was completely confused as to which side to shoulder the weapon on. When I suggested the right side, he immediately wanted to transfer it to his left shoulder. Although he does not consider himself to be ambidextrous, he definitely wanted to shoot the pistol with his right hand and the rifle from his left shoulder. Since I have never encountered this before, and am not a firearms instructor, I simply could not recall the test for dominant eye while I was at the range.

    I know we have had some minor discussions regarding which "side" people shoot from before, but I am curious as to how many other people shoot from different sides depending on whether they are handling a pistol or a long gun. I would guess that there are at least a few people here who face this issue. Personally, I shoot both pistol and rifle from the right side.
    bmcgilvray likes this.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    I am left-handed. I could not hit or catch a baseball growing up. I had a hard time qualifying with the M1 Garand in Navy boot-camp. I was great with the M2 (Ma Deuce) .50 BMG.

    When I attended Marine Advanced Infantry Training at Camp Pendleton in 1969, the weapons instructor checked me for eye dominance. I am very left-handed and very right eye dominant. He had me switch to shooting right-handed and I qualified expert. I shoot a rifle right-handed. I can shoot a handgun from either hand, but carry right-handed.

    To check for eye dominance, hold one finger vertically and cover a vertical item like a fence post, telephone pole, or tree in the distance. Close one eye at a time. The one that stays over the distant item is the dominant eye. The one that moves off of the item is the non-dominant eye.
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  3. #3
    Member Array JeffreyR's Avatar
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    Right handed handgun, right handed rifle shooter.

    Left eye dominant. Handgun-Roll head right to aim. Rifle shooting done with optics.
    G26Raven and airslot like this.

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  5. #4
    New Member Array rlggray's Avatar
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    I'm right eye dominant and right handed. I shoot long guns strictly right and hand guns both right and left.
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  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Havok's Avatar
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    Iíve known a few people who shoot like that way. I shoot both from my right side though.
    G26Raven likes this.
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  7. #6
    Member Array seeker_two's Avatar
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    Trying this technique....seems to work.



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  8. #7
    VIP Member Array CWOUSCG's Avatar
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    Right handed, right eye dominate. However......

    My brother is left handed and I used to kick his butt in rifle shooting competition so the only way I could get him to shoot against me was to shoot left handed. Didnít take long for me to out shoot him left handed too so that was that. Point is, with a rifle I can shoot left handed using my left eye even though Iím right eye dominate. I havenít shot pistol left handed in a long time so I donít remember which eye I use. Going to need to correct that!
    G26Raven and msgt/ret like this.


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  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array RedSafety's Avatar
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    My brother-inlaw is a lefty, and shoots long guns lefty and bows righty. or vise versa. Forget exactly which.
    G26Raven likes this.
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  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array KILTED COWBOY's Avatar
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    Right handed, and left eye dominant here.
    Shoot rifle left handed, and pistol right handed.
    Pistol shooting done with both eyes open
    G26Raven likes this.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array Grizzly2's Avatar
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    Right handed and right eye dominant but when shooting traditional archery, I'd notice sometimes that a shot that felt perfect would sometimes hit left - way left. That's when I learned that for some folks, when they are tired or maybe the eyes get tired they can switch dominance on you without any warning.

    For a while after noticing this, I'd check myself by closing the left eye to see if I was still lined up on target. That meant I usually shot with both eyes open.
    G26Raven likes this.
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  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Grizzly2's Avatar
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    During the monthly pistol matches that I used to run for our club I'd have everyone shoot with their off hand once in a while. I found most can shoot pretty accurately that way even though it is slow and awkward.
    G26Raven and msgt/ret like this.
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  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array dennis40x's Avatar
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    During my time period at MCRD Parris Island the marksmanship instructors preference was that recruits shoot right handed and if that didn't work out they'd allowed one to shoot left-handed. Non Qualification Recruits were a mark against your Primary Marksmanship Instructors. The Drill Instructor's placed unnecessary pressure on recruits to qualify. There was a recruit that did not qualify dropped their rifle and took of running. That recruit hid out for a few days till hunger got the best of him.
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  14. #13
    Member Array Honeybee42's Avatar
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    I am left-eye dominant, but right-handed. However, because of nerve damage issues in my right hand, anything that I am intending to shoot for self-defense, I am shooting left-handed. My index and middle finger are both affected on the right hand, and when I'm tired or under stress, I have to concentrate on making them work.
    bmcgilvray likes this.

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array Struckat's Avatar
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    Everything shooting and playing sports I am right handed. Right eye dominant and I shoot fairly well left handed.
    But I write left handed, so I voted other.
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  16. #15
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    Array msgt/ret's Avatar
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    I am left handed but right eye dominant, I shoot rifles and pistols and used to shoot a bow right handed. I used to be somewhat ambidextrous but as the result of a stroke I have a problem with fine motor coordination in my right hand but it does not affect shooting.
    Struckat and Grizzly2 like this.
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