Left Handed, Right Eye Dominant


Technoid:

I am left handed and right eye dominant but I do have a slight astigmatism in my right eye so the vision in my non dominant left eye is marginally better than the right eye. I shoot my scoped hunting rifles off the left shoulder with the right eye closed quite successfully. Now I intend to take up shotgun sports perhaps Sporting Clays and Pheasant hunting. Do you have any suggestions? Should I “force” myself to shoot off the right shoulder (feels kinda awkward) until it seems natural? Or continue to shoulder on the left and take advantage of the “natural” feel and marginally better left eye vision and somehow deal with the issue of cross dominance? Or something else? Thanks for your advice.

Jim

Jim,

I’m definitely not an ophthalmologist, optometrist or optician, so take what follows with a grain of salt.

If I were in your spot, I’d experiment. I’d start with shooting off the left shoulder and reducing the dominance of the right eye. You can do that by

1) blinking down,
2) using a patch or
3) using a darker lens.

Blinking down is simply finding the target with both eyes open and then closing the off eye (your right one) as you establish the lead. This way you get the advantage of depth perception with both eyes open, but the dominant eye can’t take over.

Using a patch is simpler as it requires that you do nothing. Just take a piece of frosty Scotch tape and have someone put it on your right dominant eyeglass lens just so that it covers the front bead when the gun is fully mounted. You don’t have to think about it again. Don’t use a larger patch as you want to be able to see around the patch when picking up the bird initially.

Using a darker lens on the dominant eye helps some people by shutting the eye down just enough so that the off eye (your left) takes over. Works for some people.

I’d try blinking down first and only use a patch if you must because a patch may get in the way when you go hunting and have to look around more than you do at clay targets.

As far as swapping shoulders and shooting righty under the dominant eye, that all depends on how good your sight is out of that eye. If, as you say, it is less good than the non-dominant left eye, it all depends on how well you can see with it. Only trying it out will tell you. You can learn to shoot righty after a while. Lots of people do. But if the right eye vision isn’t all the good, and isn’t correctable, it probably isn’t worth it.

I’d try hard to shoot left eye, left shoulder first and only go righty if that doesn’t work.

Best regards,
Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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