Lefty....but maybe righty?

OlieTheDog

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Since basic, I’ve taught myself to shoot lefty since I’m cross dominant. Recently I’ve started to get into precision rifle, and I’ve found that I’m not as left eye dominant as I initially thought (Originally had myself at 80/20 left/right, but I’m finding its more like 60/40). My question is, should I just train myself to shoot scoped rifles righty, or should I stick with the lefty life? I feel like I’m handicapping myself a little by switching to righty, but my hope is that I’ll be able train though it.
 

jab00

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I’m kind of in the same boat as you (righty but left eye dominant - further complicated by the fact that I can only close my right eye - the left eye just doesn’t want to close on its own). I’ve been shooting lefty since I was a kid but started experimenting lately shooting righty with both eyes open with both magnified and non magnified optics. It’s been slow going but It’s starting to get easier doing things “righty”.
 

biffj

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I started life left handed but was beaten into submission by the folks.....to avoid the problems my dad had as a kid. So over the years I learned to shoot right handed and most everything else. Later in life I found I was doing things left handed too....batting, golfing, shooting etc. The point of all this is that you can learn any behavior through practice. Finding right handed rifles is a lot easier and shooting them right handed is too. If you are leaning toward shooting right handed just practice til you're better at it. I can't say you'll overcome a dominant eye issue but you can make it work through practice. Choosing is the issue.....

Frank
 

chevy_man

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Train however feels comfortable.

I can pick up a rifle, shotgun, bow, etc. and shoot it left handed. I normally shoot right handed, but I absolutely have to close the eye I'm not using or I'll get crossed up.
Shotgun was painful being coached to shoot eyes open, until I convinced the instructor the reason I only hit crossers from the right, right handed and left crossers left handed was my eyes switching. Close my off eye and I'm hitting from either side with either hand.

That said, only thing I consistently do left handed is write. Everything else I can go either way.
 

Sheldon N

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I'd say train to shoot either handed with both eyes open. Takes a bit of work but can absolutely be done. Then once you've gotten comfortable you can make the call whether you will shoot better overall right handed or left handed in the long run. Whichever you decide, I'd suggest that your rifles match it as well... so if you want to shoot right handed then you should run right handed rifles. Obviously some cost factor in the decision as well.
 

flyer

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You could try an eye patch or black lens glasses to blind your dominant eye. I'm not sure if you would need to do it while shooting, you might be able to just train your eye around the house.

Maybe ask an eye doctor before you try.
 

OlieTheDog

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Jul 22, 2017
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I’m kind of in the same boat as you (righty but left eye dominant - further complicated by the fact that I can only close my right eye - the left eye just doesn’t want to close on its own). I’ve been shooting lefty since I was a kid but started experimenting lately shooting righty with both eyes open with both magnified and non magnified optics. It’s been slow going but It’s starting to get easier doing things “righty”.
I'm fine shooting non-mag optics lefty. I've got a system, and my AR's are all adapted to left-handed operation. But I find that if I concentrate for a second on what my right eye is seeing, then open my left, I can see the reticle and target "floating"....if that makes sense.
 
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OlieTheDog

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I started life left handed but was beaten into submission by the folks.....to avoid the problems my dad had as a kid. So over the years I learned to shoot right handed and most everything else. Later in life I found I was doing things left handed too....batting, golfing, shooting etc. The point of all this is that you can learn any behavior through practice. Finding right handed rifles is a lot easier and shooting them right handed is too. If you are leaning toward shooting right handed just practice til you're better at it. I can't say you'll overcome a dominant eye issue but you can make it work through practice. Choosing is the issue.....

Frank
I'm seeing that being a lefty in a world full of righty bolt guns is a bit challenging, but I have seen a rise in demand for southpaw options. I'm thinking, like a lot of people are saying, just be proficient at both. Maybe when it comes time to build a rifle, I'll get a lefty, but for now I'll learn to use my right eye some.
 

OlieTheDog

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I'd say train to shoot either handed with both eyes open. Takes a bit of work but can absolutely be done. Then once you've gotten comfortable you can make the call whether you will shoot better overall right handed or left handed in the long run. Whichever you decide, I'd suggest that your rifles match it as well... so if you want to shoot right handed then you should run right handed rifles. Obviously some cost factor in the decision as well.
Yeah, that seems to be the most sensible option. Since I'm getting into precision shooting mainly for competition, it actually makes a lot of sense to train both. That way those "support side only" stages won't be nearly as much of an issue. And with having a background of combat shooting and competitive shotgun, two-eyed shooting isn't a foreign concept to me, thankfully.
 

Zeroit

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Although I am right/ right my wife is right handed left eye dominate (she's a pistol instructor) probably trained a few thousand) if anyone that came to a class that was identified as cross she owned them on the firing line. It's awkward for me to watch her shoot a rifle it would be difficult for me to help fix problems other than the obvious. I guess my point is the cross/dom thing is more of a challenge than Just shooting a rh rifle being LH. She does train both eyes open for pistol it's also situational awareness.
 

sharpshot50

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I think it would be in your best interest to try to shoot righty. It may be a handicap at first, but this type of retraining is good because you won’t necessarily get any less comfortable shooting LH as you train to improve at shooting RH. I would continue to shoot LH as well, but focus more and more time into RH and it will become increasingly comfortable to you.

In the long run, you’ll have the best of both worlds and will be adaptable for any situation, plus you’ll have the other benefits that come with being able to function as a righty, which include having access to all types of equipment rather than being relegated to only what’s available in LH variants and if you ever find yourself needing a loaner part or piece, you’ll be much more likely to find someone who can help you out.

Just my .02!
 

J@50n

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I'm the opposite: left handed and right eye dominant. I use my left side for pistols and my right for rifles (also archery, golf, and two handed swords).

I've tried shooting precision rifle left handed, but I always have issues getting a good sight picture. I'd recommend spending a lot of time behind a rifle just looking through the scope. Move positions and look through the scope again. Then switch to the other side and try again. You might need to adjust the position of the optic to get the best eye relief for that eye.

If you find that one side has a much easier time getting a good sight picture (like I do) then that's the side to shoot with primarily. If both sides are great, then I'd make the choice based on which side feels better ergonomically (holding a rifle in my left hand and changing mags with my right feels weird, even though that's what I do with a pistol). I wouldn't choose right handed simply to have a better selection of rifles, as some have suggested, because there are enough ambidextrous or left handed options, especially in the higher end market.
 
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