Left eye dominant child

Dec 31, 2017
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#1
My 7 year old son is left eye dominant and although he has done some shooting with an open sighted 22 ,I have mostly been concerned with proper handling and safety with a firearm. I plan to start to focus more and shooting accuracy and using a scope. I am looking for feed back from others who have worked threw this and have any advice or real world experiences.
 
Mar 16, 2012
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Memphis, TN
#2
My son is the same, cross eye dominant. (left eye, right handed) I got him a youth size pair of shooting glasses and put a piece of scotch tape over the left eye. It allowed him to still use his left eye but since he could not focus his right eye takes over. Now its nothing and he shoots no problem with his right eye, iron sight or scope. You just need to train his eyes...
 
Jul 13, 2012
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#4
I’m no expert on this at all but will tell you my personal experience with cross eye/hand dominance.

My opinion is that most people with some practice can learn to use magnified optics with both eyes open. I’ve tried going to left handed rifles as I think it’s still a hair quicker for me but I prefer shooting right handed for some reason although both feel about equally natural now. You don’t really need to even shoot to practice getting a good sight picture, just practice getting the rifle into various positions with no scope shadowing and it should be a non issue pretty quickly.
 

Spblademaker

Don’t tell my wife
Oct 24, 2017
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#5
My 7 year old son is left eye dominant and although he has done some shooting with an open sighted 22 ,I have mostly been concerned with proper handling and safety with a firearm. I plan to start to focus more and shooting accuracy and using a scope. I am looking for feed back from others who have worked threw this and have any advice or real world experiences.
What is your goal here, regarding your son?

I’m cross dominant and figured it out over 35 yrs ago. Been shooting lefty ever since. Been instructing for almost 10yrs and in our classes I mostly get the cross dominant students. For long guns I find it’s easier for the students to practice shooting using their dominant eye side. It will become second nature, in a short period of time, to manipulate the firearm comfortably. I’ve never had any issues firing any rifle or shotgun, except bullpups with right-side ejection.
 
Likes: Naustin
Dec 31, 2017
34
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North MS
#6
What is your goal here, regarding your son?

I’m cross dominant and figured it out over 35 yrs ago. Been shooting lefty ever since. Been instructing for almost 10yrs and in our classes I mostly get the cross dominant students. For long guns I find it’s easier for the students to practice shooting using their dominant eye side. It will become second nature, in a short period of time, to manipulate the firearm comfortably. I’ve never had any issues firing any rifle or shotgun, except bullpups with right-side ejection.
My goal is just to get him comfortable behind the gun. It doesn't matter to me if it is right handed or left handed. Do you use right or left handed bolt guns?
 

Nik H

Constantly Learning
Jan 22, 2014
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Rhode Island
#7
Left hander here who is left eye dominant. I shoot LH bolts and gas guns.

I totally believe that your trigger hand should be the same as your dominant eye. It is much more natural.

You can shoot a RH bolt left handed but I am always afraid of something going wrong and getting exhaust gas or fragments in my face.
 

FatBoy

Chris Hayes, Nashville TN
Jul 29, 2001
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#8
My daughter is right handed and left eye dominant. With pistols it's not a big deal. With the rifles, we have an translucent blinder that flip a down over her left eye. (we used tape until she got Decots). works fine. That said, I went this route because she learned on and used my rifles.

We were shooting along side some AMU guys at Oak Ridge years back and they asked about her eye dominance. Their recommendation, build her a lefty.

Start with something that is relatively "side neutral". An AR based rifle would work. Maybe a 22lr. See if one side is just more natural to him and take it from there. At his age, if you exploit this he may be equally good strong and support side as he gets older.
 

diverdon

Online Training Member
Dec 21, 2011
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#9
I'm cross dominant. For years (especially with irons) I had to close my left eye to properly see the sights.
 
Jun 13, 2008
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#11
Beat the child into submission. There's no 'left eye'...what is this 'left eye' you speak of?! That thing is just there to look at bubble levels, wind flags, and spotting scopes...and the rare and endangered range Cougar, but he's too young for that...

I jest.

All of that is a TERRIBLE idea.

If he is left eye dominant, then his brain is wired that'a way. Seein as how it is the BRAIN that controls the trigger finger, ain't it kinda ass backards to try to "force" his eyeball?

I've known shooters who went half their life on this little planet trying to live up to how they were forced to learn...scotch tape and all.

You ask them to simply line up their thumb with your nose from a few feet away...

...and at 57 years old, they STILL line it up with their dominant eye. Ain't no retraining to it, if you want him to at least have the CHANCE to really excel with a rifle. It DOES show up on target.

And anyway, we DO make lefty rifles for a reason.
 
Likes: Spblademaker

diverdon

Online Training Member
Dec 21, 2011
2,869
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#12
And anyway, we DO make lefty rifles for a reason.
And the reason is not for right handed cross dominant eye. There certainly are those who know more about this than I but I've never had to do more than close the dominant eye. Now with a scope I can leave it open, with irons like a hand gun I have to squint the left eye until the vision in it starts to blur then my brain can stay focused on the right eye image for a few seconds. But I did have to just close the right eye for many years.
 

Spblademaker

Don’t tell my wife
Oct 24, 2017
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#14
My goal is just to get him comfortable behind the gun. It doesn't matter to me if it is right handed or left handed. Do you use right or left handed bolt guns?
I use left handed bolt guns. It has limited my options at times, but I don’t feel I’ve missed out anywhere.
 

Jude

New Hide Member
Feb 2, 2018
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Central Ohio
#16
I am right handed, at age 10 i found out that that i was left eye doninant at the local YMCA the instructors gave the commence fire and i couldnt see the target, they gave me a rt action in a left-handed stock and all has been well. In the last 45 years i have tried several times to shoot a lefty to no avail. I would let the eye decide.
 
Feb 13, 2017
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#17
IF you think the 7 year old's interest in firearms will persist into adulthood, allow him to acquire a left eye dominant sight picture with left hand configured shotguns / rifles. With handguns it's irrelevant, as one correctly aligns the sight picture of the firearm under the dominant eye when shooting with your strong / support hand. As an adult he will own the same handguns as the right eye crowd, and own a nice left hand collection of long arms. Also, if there is any uncertainty as to his eye dominance at this age spend a few bucks and let a qualified pediatric ophthalmologist confirm it, before he is possibly condemned to development firearm confusion!
 
Aug 7, 2014
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#18
I’m RH, LE domininant. I shot ambidextrously for a while when I was really young. I fought it for years. My father couldn’t afford to buy me left handed guns, so I got by with what I had. I finally started building left handed guns when I could afford them and it made a big difference in how I handled a bolt gun. I’m more versatile because of it, but I wouldn’t have minded having some lefty rifles and shotguns growing up. I would bite the bullet and get him set up with some LH shit if you want him to enjoy it to the fullest. With that being said, I’ve always thought that I would be time and money ahead if my old man would have just poked my left eye out with a sharp stick. Building left handed guns sucks donkey dick if you’re trying to buy used.
 
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Mar 31, 2014
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Michigan
#19
Right handed, left eye dominant. Been shooting right handed all my life (60 now) and just close my left eye a little as required. No problem shooting left handed if a shot presents itself to my right though. Didn’t realize eye dominance until I was about 20-25. Shoot bow, gun and pistol right handed and feels way more coordinated that way and my right hand is stronger for pulling back the bow and better right handed trigger control for the rifle trigger, and way more coordinated and comfortable with a pistol. Would not try to get him to do something bassackwards like doing things wrong handed. Right hand, right brained, don’t mess him up is my opinion...
 
Jan 1, 2014
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#20
vs training or re-training, i'd just let a kid start off shooting with what is comfortable to him or her. i am left eye dominant and do everything with two hands (long guns, archery, golf, swinging a bat) left handed, yet everything with one hand (writing, throwing, handgun) with the right hand. no issues either way.

as far as safety, of course keep fingers, and everything else, well away from the trigger when not actually on target, and similarly keep gun out of battery til ready to shoot.
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
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Arizona, good place for me...
#21
My Granddaughter Elena is 21. Back when she was beginning to shoot, she decided on her own to shoot righty.

She does fine, and says she did this so she wouldn't need to be using lefty equipment, so she could use what every one else had. Life is simpler on the range.

Greg
 
Feb 13, 2017
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#22
I'm one of those guys who really doesn't have a dominant eye. But I'm right handed so I just shoot a right handed gun. Scopes it's no problem, open sights and trap shooting, it gets confusing. I kinda have to squint my left eye to not see down the side of the gun with open sights. But I just can not get comfortable shooting left handed.

My dad is Left eye dominant, left handed... but when he was first handed a rifle as a kid, he shouldered it right handed. He's just learned to deal with eye dominance to match what feels comfortable holding a gun.
 

Lowlight

HMFIC of this Shit
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Apr 12, 2001
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#23
I am right handed and left eye dominant...

I beat my left eye into submission and forced it to act correctly. It can be trained to work, now I only close it if I am tired or not paying attention.

My right eye has an astigmatism on top of being weaker than my left. Glasses helped me a lot, I had ones made specifically for shooting and that balancing of my eyesight helps a ton. I allow the right eye to get comfortable being in charge for a while. As I begin to tire the worst that happens is I have to help the right side a bit by closing the left just long enough for the right to get the hint and then I can open the left again. I found it to a be a training issue, but an admittedly a long difficult road.

Guys who switch hands can often be successful, for established shooters, it's because that side usually has no bad habits. We always see people do better when they switch hands under proper instruction. But it's expensive to switch everything over to the opposite side.

For a new or junior shooter, you can switch them to the dominant side early, and skip the retraining and cost of switching. It's often the easier route to take. It's an effort to train the left side to work with the right.

Look into glasses, see if it balances out their vision, to me that helped keep me on the right side.
 
Dec 31, 2017
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North MS
#24
Thanks for all the replys. I am reading and taking it all into consideration. If I hand my son a rifle he automatically puts it to his right shoulder. The problem is at the point I don't know if it's because he does everything right handed or if it's because before I realized he was left eye dominant I taught him to hold it on the right side. As I said I want to do what is in his best interest. If that means shooting left handed then so be it.
 
Dec 31, 2017
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North MS
#25
I am right handed and left eye dominant...

I beat my left eye into submission and forced it to act correctly. It can be trained to work, now I only close it if I am tired or not paying attention.

My right eye has an astigmatism on top of being weaker than my left. Glasses helped me a lot, I had ones made specifically for shooting and that balancing of my eyesight helps a ton. I allow the right eye to get comfortable being in charge for a while. As I begin to tire the worst that happens is I have to help the right side a bit by closing the left just long enough for the right to get the hint and then I can open the left again. I found it to a be a training issue, but an admittedly a long difficult road.

Guys who switch hands can often be successful, for established shooters, it's because that side usually has no bad habits. We always see people do better when they switch hands under proper instruction. But it's expensive to switch everything over to the opposite side.

For a new or junior shooter, you can switch them to the dominant side early, and skip the retraining and cost of switching. It's often the easier route to take. It's an effort to train the left side to work with the right.

Look into glasses, see if it balances out their vision, to me that helped keep me on the right side.
I looked just before I saw your post to see if there where any new episodes of Eveyday Sniper, I thought it was ironic that the new episode is about eye dominance, I will listen to it soon. Not sure how many people from Mississippi are listening to the podcasts but I'm one.
 

Lowlight

HMFIC of this Shit
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#26
I was asked this same topic 2 days ago, and I saw this today so I talked about it

Same thing, 3 choices,

1. Switch him over now to be a left handed shooter 100%
2. Train his right eye and keep him right handed - takes effort
3. Be a left handed shooter with a right handed rifle understanding where the compromises are.
 
Apr 26, 2013
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#27
Well my eyes alternate at which one does the work but I think I am right eye dominant but I shoot left handed and just to confuse things even more I prefer a right handed rifle, This might sound confusing but when I realized it I decided to teach my self both left and right handed, This comes in handy when firing larger calibre rifles because when one side ( shoulder ) starts to ache I can just change hands so to speak.

Your youngster will fathom it out for him self which side he prefers in the next couple of years, in the mean time all you can do is get him to try either hand and let him decide which one he prefers.

hope that helps.

John.
 
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Sheldon N

Blind Squirrel Finds a Nut
Sep 24, 2014
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Pacific Northwest
#28
I'm right handed right eye dominant. Just taught myself to shoot left handed these last few months, trigger finger, weak side eye, etc. Can switch to either eye and focus instantly while keeping both eyes open. Just took a bit of practice.

My vote is teach him how to shoot right handed. He's having to learn the mechanics of shooting anyway, no sense in forcing him into a lifetime of wrong handed rifles. :)
 
Apr 26, 2013
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#29
In one way it is better if he learns to shoot right handed because there are more choices of off the shelf rifles, but as I said I shoot left handed but I prefer right handed rifles so it does not effect me.
 

rcnut

Private
Mar 11, 2009
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#30
I am left eye dominant and right handed, when I grew up in the 50-60s people thought left handed people were slow so my parents forced me right handed. no problem, I throw a ball right handed, bat left/right and had a grandfather that taught me how to shoot LEFT handed with my dominant eye. (he was right handed) and shot left in the military with the M16 without the brass deflector, (piece of a tin can and tape helped). So bottom line is let them shoot what ever side they feel comfortable with and teach them proper hold , trigger pull, and sight picture for that side. just LET THEM SHOOT and have FUN !
 

Mike 556

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 31, 2018
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Northeast PA
#31
I'm left handed and right eye dominant. Learned years ago at a young age to shoot right handed, not that difficult. After a short time it became natural. It really helped when I started to shoot the pistol, I'm able to grip the pistol with my left hand and put a really strong grip to it. It also helped with my shotgun shooting, I'm able to lead with my left hand and not overpower the shotgun with my right. I'm now convinced that learning to shoot with my weak hand has become a major advantage.
Mike
 

PAYDIRT

Lead Slinger
Oct 22, 2017
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N.E. Okla.
#32
I'm left eye dominant right handed. I just close my left eye and shoot right handed. It comes naturally now. Shot 10 meter in college, countless 25's in trap, etc. etc.
 

Kimura

New Hide Member
Feb 24, 2018
19
1
3
#33
I was asked this same topic 2 days ago, and I saw this today so I talked about it

Same thing, 3 choices,

1. Switch him over now to be a left handed shooter 100%
2. Train his right eye and keep him right handed - takes effort
3. Be a left handed shooter with a right handed rifle understanding where the compromises are.
This right here. With AR style rifles I even feel it is an advantage as I can easily see the ejection port without coming off target and the bolt release is easily reached with my trigger finger. Mag release button is the only downside. That can be corrected with an Ambi mag release.
With right hand bolt guns it is also an advantage with prone ..... but a real bitch with other positions.
 
Apr 8, 2010
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#34
i was crossed up as well and now that the eyesight is going (getting older sucks, went from 10-20 and 15-20 to needing a scrip for the "good side").
learn to shoot both eyes open.
ive trained my eyes over the years and changes, that with both eyes open i can choose what eye "sees the ret onthe target" even though my right eye is on the scope.
thats with out adding that both eyes open is just better for situational awareness in general with a multitude of firearms.
like lowlight ill only close one if im getting tired or if the sun or glare is really killing me.
switching over to lefty is ok in principal but the world is made for right handers, dont handicap him off the bat. the newest action/rifle when he gets older..right handed.
YMMV
 

Patruck825

Primer Poker
Mar 4, 2017
1,039
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Northern VA
#35
I am a left eye dominant/right handed shooter. I shot for years this way before i realized it was even a thing. With a pistol, i just alight the sights with my left eye, sometimes both eyes open. i shoot just fine. With a rifle, i shoot with my right eye, no big deal. Not sure if that means i've trained my right eye or not but i don't experience any issues.
 

SparkyHD1

New Hide Member
Mar 1, 2018
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#36
My daughter is right handed and left eye dominate. I started her shooting a 22 when she was five and i noticed her trying to lean over the stock and aim with her left eye. I kept trying to correct her, i tried holding my hand over her left eye to force her to use her right eye. i was getting really frustrated trying to teach her to shoot until one day i told her to hold the rifle anyway she wanted and have fun. she immediately switched to shooting left handed and never looked back. now shes an amazing shot..
 
Aug 16, 2013
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#37
I was once cross eye dominant, I noticed it when I first started shooting as a teenager. I trained myself to be right eye dominant and haven't had a problem since. I've read somewhere recently that eye dominance is something that is learned. That has been my experience.
 

Kimura

New Hide Member
Feb 24, 2018
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#38
Our brain learns it at a young age. My optomologist said that if i had been given special glasses and exercises my right eye would have learned to see normally, but inthe 70s they didnt do that so I am SOL. Said at my age my brain cannot be rewired to see with my right eye.
 
Likes: bigwatchpilot
Jan 11, 2010
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#39
I'm RH, LE dominant. Not hard to shoot a pistol or a rifle, but my shotgun shooting was crap for years. At age 45 I switched to left hand with the shotgun and never looked back.

My kid is RH, LE dominant. He shoots shotguns and rifles left handed, and pistols right handed. Really happy I had him go lefty with rifles as well, no way I would even consider shotguns right handed.
 
Mar 16, 2012
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#40
Our brain learns it at a young age. My optomologist said that if i had been given special glasses and exercises my right eye would have learned to see normally, but inthe 70s they didnt do that so I am SOL. Said at my age my brain cannot be rewired to see with my right eye.
I’m amazed the overwhelming response is to learn to shoot left handed, when a pair of shooting glasses and a piece a tape solve the problem instantly.
 

SparkyHD1

New Hide Member
Mar 1, 2018
40
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#41
I’m amazed the overwhelming response is to learn to shoot left handed, when a pair of shooting glasses and a piece a tape solve the problem instantly.
Are you talking about using tape and shooting glasses to train your eye, or are you talking about taping your dominate eye every time you shoot?
 

Kimura

New Hide Member
Feb 24, 2018
19
1
3
#42
I’m amazed the overwhelming response is to learn to shoot left handed, when a pair of shooting glasses and a piece a tape solve the problem instantly.
Depend on how bad your eye is and your age. My right eye is so bad that corrective lenses barley make a difference.
 

C_Mack

New Hide Member
Mar 5, 2018
20
7
3
#43
I am RH/LE dominant, didn't know there was such a thing until I had been shooting for 20+ yrs. If I was to go back to age 7, I think I'd have preferred to learn to shoot LH. Instead I have to close my left eye which limits peripheral vision.

18 months ago I got lasik and corrected LE for distance, Rt eye for up close. This helped tremendously because now I can focus on reticle, front sight easier. I still close my left eye.
 
Mar 13, 2002
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Upstate NY
#45
My daughter is left eye dominant. While she is an occasional shooter at best, she shoots off the left shoulder with my rifles and does well. I brought her and my niece to shoot in the tactical shoots at our state association's range and they did well enough to finish mid field. Even shooting a thumbhole stocked 1022 she shoots left shoulder. I think not knowing any other way, and using that dominant eye, takes a lot of complications out of the picture.
 

gconnoyer

Online Training Member
Dec 19, 2017
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St Louis, MO
#46
I'm right eye dominant, left handed (for most things)


When I started shooting, I ran into the same issues. An old shooter/hunter that I worked with at the time told me to leave a bb gun or pellet gun by the front door and to pick it up and shoulder it right handed a few times every time I walked by it. It didnt take very long for me to get completely used to it and for it to feel normal. I never really developed a "natural" feel to holding it left handed so that helped also.


15 years later, it feels 100% natural to shoot right handed, run the bolt right handed, etc. I'd never know that I was left handed.
Shooting left handed probably only feels slightly less awkward than most normal people shooting weak side.
 

MTETM

Sergeant
Dec 11, 2007
809
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Montana
#47
Both My Wife and youngest daughter are right handed left eye dominant. They both learned to shoot left eye. Anne's decision was very fast. She owned a right handed rifle, shot it left eye, until she was going fast one day target to target and ran the right bolt directly over her left thumb.... Nuff said. These days she can hardly shoot weak side (right). It took her a few weeks practicing to make the switch, but she hasn't ever regretted it. There are no struggles with target location and maintaining 2 eyes open on target.

There was never a discussion weather our youngest daughter would own a left bolt rifle. Her 7th birthday present is pictured. when she started to shoot, she used her mother's LH 22 and a very short stock. We have never had to address the target id and keeping both eyes open. It is completely natural for her. As a Dad, it cost a bit more for a left handed action/rifle. The ease of use and learning from the dominant eye are worth the extra money.

We teach every youth in our your Jr. Rifle program to shoot by eye dominance.
 

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Erud

Sergeant of the Hide
Jul 17, 2005
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#48
If it were my kid, I'd have him shoot right handed. Occlude his left eye as necessary until shooting is natural that way. I am right handed, right eye dominant and I know that I could walk around just fine with a patch over my right eye all day, but I'd be pretty useless if I had to do all of my daily tasks with only my left hand.

The kid has contradictory dominance, one or the other will have to be re-trained to go against what is natural for him. Might as well re-train the one that will result in shooting being less of a pain in the ass for the rest of his life.
 

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
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#49
There is no correct answer to this question. I know several national champion shooters who do it different ways, and have different beliefs because of it. I personally am rt handed and rt eye dominant, but my left eye is the much better eye. For most of my life I shot pistols rt handed but with my left eye. I taught myself to shoot AR's left handed, in order to use that eye. I did quite well with it that way, in all sort s of venues. As soon as I switched the AR to my rt hand, my shooting leaped ahead. I know mostly shoot pistols with my rt eye as well, but I can switch back and forth as needed or wanted.

My daughter is rt handed left eye dominant. We taught her to shoot rt hand rt eye with AR's and Bolt guns. She's 10. She's been shooting for less than 1 year. She learned how to do it in 5 mins one day, and that was that. No drama and she is really talented with a gun for a 10 year old.

YMMV, and likely will. "Best" solution is to learn how to shoot everything on both sides and then pick what you like. Makes wounded officer drills much easier. :)
 

mcameron

Sergeant of the Hide
Nov 17, 2011
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#50
Im right handed....left eye dominant.....i taught myself to shoot left handed.....and i can shoot equally well with either hand....but i shoot predominantly Right handed for a few reasons.

1) finding Right handed equipment is MUCH easier....and generally cheaper than left handed equipment.

2) i have greater dexterity in my right hand......so i have finer trigger control.

3) using my right hand is more instinctual.....which is helpful when shooting under stress.


when i shoot pistols, i just turn my head to look out my left eye........when i shoot rifles i shoot with both eyes open and the scope will cause my right eye to overpower my left and take place as my dominant eye........and when i shoot Irons, i put a piece of tape over the lense of my left eye glasses.


ultimately theres no "right or wrong" answer.......but training your kid to shoot Ambi sure wont hurt.
 
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