Central Vision

Dear Technoid,

My 13 year old son is a great shot, but mounts the gun kind of in the middle of his nose to see properly. He wont switch to shoot with his left side as suggested by many. He is left eye dom. Can a stock be fitted for this problem?

Thank you in advance


Dear W,

If he is mounting in the center of his face, neither eye is getting the correct sight picture. He must have superlative hand/eye coordination to be able to pull it off. You really don’t want to set up a “central” stock as that will cause havoc down the road. He is going to have to pick one side or the other if he ever hopes to be consistent when he stops using instinct and tries to repeat certain shots.

Eye dominance is more important than “handedness” (lefty or right), especially so at an early age when switching sides is less of a problem than it becomes later. The first thing that I would do is to take him to a qualified optometrist and find out which his dominant side is and just how strongly dominant it is. Strength of dominance varies from slight to extreme. It can also change with age, disease or fatigue. If he is strongly dominant on his “off” side, I would urge him to switch sides just as all your other friends have urged him to. I recommend an eye examination by a profession because the usual eye dominance test of pointing or looking through a hole in paper, goes just so far. “Central vision” preference indicates that there may be something more complicated involved and I would want a profession opinion before investing a lot of time and money in special stocks. Make sure you use an optometrist who understands shooting or at least sports medicine.

One thing that you might try is one of those new “glow tube” stick-on front sights as made by Hi-Viz and the others. They cost around $20. Only the eye behind the sight sees the red glow. The off eye does not. The natural impulse is to put the red glow on the target, thus ensuring that the eye behind the rib is doing the sighting. It is a great way to prevent or overcome cross aiming and has helped many cross dominant shooters.

You could also try “occluding” the left eye with a patch, blinking down or a darker left lens in the shooting glasses. That would force right eye dominance. I still think that it is better to switch shoulders to the dominant eye if you can.

And now to answer your question: Yes, a “cross over” stock can be made which will permit a left eyed shooter to shoot from his right shoulder. I really don’t think that you want to get into this for a 13 year old, but that’s your call.

Best regards,

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

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1 Response to Central Vision

  1. Bruce is 100% correct. Eye dominance has a varing degree. For example, I am a R0-L3, which means I am basically Right Eyed, with a small Left eye Dominance. I find on certain targets I have to blink down my left eye, especially if the target is coming from the left. I tested a student the other day, and he was a R1-L (off the chart), which meant, anything coming from the left, he was 100% left eyed, but targets coming from the right, right eye would take over. With a young shooter of 13 years old, if he is truly strong left eyed, do you and he a big favor, unless he has 10,000 rounds under his belt, switch him over to left handed. He may hate it for a while, but he will get used to it, and be much better off down the road. If he is not strong left, there are a bunch of things that can be done, based on how strong his left eye is in the equasion. See an eye guy that is also a shooter who will test, and understand the problem he has when he does shoot. After that, find a competent instructor THAT KNOWS eye problems, and how to correct them. A good one will get you son on the way quickly, based on what the eye dr. finds. Hope this helps.


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