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Pistol and eye dominance

Old 12-26-2013, 02:44 PM
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Default Pistol and eye dominance

I know it's not hunting but I thought I'd ask here.
I'm right handed but left eye dominate . What is the proper technique for shooting a pistol . Close one eye? Right ? Left?

Just curios as I don't have a lot of experience with a pistol .
I don't now if it matters but I shoot a rifle left handed .
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Old 12-27-2013, 01:39 AM
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I'm right handed and left eye dominant too. I've found that closing my right eye works just fine for handgun shooting but with a rifle I always shoot right handed and close the left eye.

The funny part is that I have often caught myself closing my left eye with a handgun under the stress of fast shooting such as in a combat pistol match with no loss of accuracy. I know this shouldn't work but for me it does. I've had people tell me to shoot a pistol with both eyes open. Tried it and it doesn't work for me. It's got to be one or the other and doesn't seem to matter which.

For bullseye pistol shooting it's left eye open always.

Beats me.
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Old 12-27-2013, 02:13 AM
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You can also wear shooting glasses/goggles and black out the lens of the dominate eye and force the other eye to take over. That is what we did with a member of my unit on a gun shoot. You can simply close the eye as BullCamp noted but that doesn't cure the problem whereas blocking a lens and forcing an eye to adapt will. You may want to try shooting with both eyes open. That may work as well.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:07 AM
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Born a lefty and is right eye dominant. Always shot a rifle right handed felt natural. Pistol I shot left handed until I was about 18. The transfer to the right hand was not as difficult as one would expect. Just familiarize your hand to the gun and the eye will do the rest. I sure wish I would of kept shooting with both hands for awhile I was just as good with either hand. Keeping both eyes open is the trick to any speed shooting your dominant eye will always take over so nothing to worry about there.
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:20 AM
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I am left handed and right eye dominant. I shoot rifles right handed and pistols/revolvers left handed with my right eye. After 20 years of practice I can shoot pistols using my left eye as good at my right one but sticking with one eye keeps things simple. I can imagine the possibility of making an error during a self defense situation by swithing which eye you shoot with and not committing to the change.

I have a friend who right handed and left eye dominant. He is a police officer and he learned to shoot pistols left handed recently and carries that way now. I still don't why he changed after so many years.
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:35 AM
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Seems like the bottom line here is to determine which eye and/or which hand works for you and gets the rounds on target and stick with that in practice to make it second nature.
In years as a police firearms instructor I encouraged students to do exactly that while other instructors stuck firmly with making the student do everything the "proper" way as stated in the manual. I like to think I was a bit better at taking a student with deficiencies and getting them qualified despite their handicap.
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:12 PM
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Thanks fo the advice guys. I probably could shoot left but prefer right handed. I'll try a few of the ideas here and see what works best I guess
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:36 PM
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In answer to the OP's original question, most instructors will try to switch either your eye or the dominant shooting hand so you use the same side hand and eye for pistol. It's "easier" for the instructor to figure out problems and, more importantly, correct them so you shoot better. It's great if it works but obviously has limitations if it doesn't.

I've seen some shooters who could transition to same eye/hand and some who simply could not. The trick is to figure out what the shooter can live with and then help them perfect their technique and skill sets with that method.
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by CalHunter View Post
In answer to the OP's original question, most instructors will try to switch either your eye or the dominant shooting hand so you use the same side hand and eye for pistol. It's "easier" for the instructor to figure out problems and, more importantly, correct them so you shoot better. It's great if it works but obviously has limitations if it doesn't.

I've seen some shooters who could transition to same eye/hand and some who simply could not. The trick is to figure out what the shooter can live with and then help them perfect their technique and skill sets with that method.

You said it better than I. That's what I meant.
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:36 PM
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Like flags posted, if the dominance of your eyes and hands is different, the best way is to patch the dominant eye so the other eye will take over. We see this quite often on the shotgun ranges. Because it is also best to shoot with both eyes open, a small piece of frosty placed on the upper inside corner of the lens of your glasses of your dominate eye will block that eye from seeing your sights and you will be able to maintain your peripheral vision.

Make sure your gun is UNLOADED and sight your gun on the eye of a friend standing in front of you. Your friend will be able to look back through your sights to the pupil of your dominate eye. Put a 3/8" piece of frosted tape on your glasses in line with your eye pupil and your sights.
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