Cross Dominance

Dear Technoid

I have a shooting problem that I think should be a common one: I shoot right-handed, but I’m left-eye dominant. Right now, I’m trying to solve my problem by placing a small piece of transparent tape on the left lens of my glasses so that it covers my left eye’s view of the barrel.

I’ve had some success with this technique, but I still have problems ‘seeing’ clays coming from the high house when I’m shooting skeet. Any solutions?


Dear Chuck,

I just must have covered this before in the Technoid archives. Yes, I know. We need a better search engine. Let us know if you find one. I also covered this one in my column in The Clay Pigeon, if you get that publication.

The short course in cross dominance solution is (in the order in which your should try things):

1) learn to shoot from the left side
2) blink down when the stock touches your cheek (if you are shooting low
3) use a tape patch
4) close the “off” eye right from the start (OK for trap and skeet, not
so good for sporting).

In your particular instance, though you don’t say it, my guess is that you are shooting skeet with a mounted gun. You don’t want to start your muzzle in the high house as this would let the bird get too much of a jump on you. What you are doing on the high houses is to start your muzzle out an appropriate amount and then looking back into the house out of the corner of your eye. Since the patch on the left lens only blocks the front bead, the left eye picks the bird up quite clearly in dominant focus and then “loses” it when the bird gets to the barrel where the tape patch takes effect. The bird then “jumps” as the eyes switch over.

You are going to have to do some experimenting. Try starting with your gun NOT firmly on your cheek, but about one inch off the cheek. Start the muzzle in the usual position 1/3 to 1/2 the way out, but turn your head so that you can look directly into the high house with full frontal vision, not out of the corner of your eye. Try that both with and without the patch. Without the patch, you would have to blink down as the stock touched your cheek. For some people, this causes the bird to “jump”, for some it doesn’t.

If that doesn’t work for you, or if you really really prefer to shoot a fully pre-mounted gun, you will probably just have to start with the left eye closed and keep it that way all the time.

There. That is my best effort at sowing confusion among the visually challenged. Perhaps some of our other readers will tell us how they solved this problem. About 15% of men are cross dominant, while it is about 50% for women. I don’t have the vaguest idea why, but that is the case. Many cross dominant people still manage to shoot very well indeed, though I feel that trap may be more their game than skeet or sporting.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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