Cross Dominance

Dear sirs;

I am a right handed shooter that has a dominant left eye, and I also shoot with one eye. my prescription glasses are progressive lenses.I need to learn to shoot with both eyes open. Is there anything available to me that can help with this problem. Also what kind of shooting glasses would you recommend? would you only have the distance prescription on these glasses?


Dear Bruce,

Well, since you looked, but I could swear that I’ve covered this a couple of times. Still, it’s an important subject and it never hurts to cover it again.

Cross-dominance describes your condition of being right handed and yet having your left eye be the strongest one. The usual fixes are:

1) Learn to shoot left handed. (Yeah, right)

2) Pick up the bird with both eyes open, but blink down (shut the left eye) as you establish your lead

3) Place an opaque dot a bit smaller than a dime on the glasses lens of the left eye so as to obscure the front sight when the gun is mounted trap-style

4) Just close the left eye when you shoot.

Since you say that you are cross dominant, but need to “learn to shoot with both eyes open”, #1 and #3 are your best bets. I’ve seen some eye exercise tapes that claim to help with marginal cross dominance, but I’ve never personally known of anyone who successfully reversed the condition. Usually eye dominance is more important than “handedness”.

Of the four methods mentioned, none works for everyone. #3, the dot, seems to be pretty good for many. It allows you to use your peripheral vision in both eyes and only blocks the dominant off eye when the gun is fully to the face. A product called “Magic Dot” is sold for this purpose, but you can do just as well with a small circle of Scotch Opaque tape, the frosted stuff. To apply the dot just mount the (unloaded) gun like a trap shooter with your head firmly in place on the stock. Have a friend take a small piece of tape and place it on your left eye lens so it obscures the front sight of the shotgun, and little else. That’s all there is to it. You then just shoot normally. When you point at the target, the dot covers the left eye and the right eye takes over to assure that you are sighting down the rib. You may have to move the dot around to get it just right, so don’t give up on it right away.

#2, Blinking Down, works for fewer people. Many complain that when the shut the off eye that the target “jumps”. Still, it’s worth a try and doesn’t require anything mechanical.

As to shooting glasses, anything that is comfortable, pellet proof and which rides high enough on the bridge of the nose is fine. Since you wear prescriptions, make sure that your eye glasses have the optical center ground a bit higher than usual to accommodate for a forward tilt of the head. I’ve always used Decot glasses and have had the same pair since the late ’70s. Bud Decot knows all about putting the axis of the prescription in the right place. Pick any color you like. The most popular ones are the rose and bronze tints. Use the lightest tint that you are comfortable with as those dilate the pupil less and maintain depth perception. Dark lenses make your eye lens open up like a camera lens and cost you depth perception.

For a regular set of shooting glasses, I wouldn’t go progressive. I’d go bifocal with the line. You don’t want a gradual transition. You want a sharp one so that there is no confusion. On shooting glasses, the reading bifocal is usually a bit smaller too. You really only need it to read chokes and your score card. Of course, there are a lot of times I would have been happier not being able to read my score card.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

This entry was posted in Shotgun related and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Cross Dominance

  1. Jen Samelson says:

    Try Shotspot optical foils.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.