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Thread: Dominant eye?

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    Default Dominant eye?

    I have a question regarding introducing children into shooting. For the last couple of years my six year old has been using a .22 handgun. As near as I could ascertain she was right eye dominant. I recently bought her a mini henry rifle. Upon mounting the gun right handed she then proceeded to cock her head over the gun to line the sights up using her left eye. (Now understand this child is soooo right handed that you could cut her left arm off and she wouldn't miss a beat)

    Also a few months ago we were shooting bows in the back yard and I noticed that she was consistantly missing to the left of the target. I had her flip to lefty and lo and behold dead center.

    In both of the above cases I had paid fairly close attention to which of her eyes's was dominant. Before July09 I would swear that she was right handed right eye. Last couple months it looks like her master eye has switched.

    Have any of you fellows out there that have older kids or are instructor types that have helped train shooters from a young age on up run across this? If so is it something that will change as she get's older?

    Thanks for your comments,

    Jeff

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    At that age you should definitely train to shoot to the dominant eye. If she's left eye dominant then immediately change to left hand shooting positions. It won't be too hard to train the left hand stances with a bit of patience and practice. There is little hope of success to continue shooting cross dominant and it will be much more frustrating for both of you if you try to stay in that configuration.

    Have you verified the dominant eye via one or more of the basic tests? Don't just go by which eye she appears to be using to sight with. Confirm it.
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    My daughter has what the optomotrist calls "crossed dominance." She controls her right hand with her left eye and her left hand with her right eye. No matter which shoulder she mounts a rifle or shotgun to, she uses the other eye. She's generally right handed, so holds pistol right handed, but controls it with her left eye.

    She may have her problems aiming long guns, but you definitely don't want to bet against her shooting with a handgun. Used to bet dish washing each night on the scores for 10 shots slow fire with an air pistol on our living room range.

    I got lots of experience at the sink and can tell you a whole lot about the right lotions for dishpan hands!

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    Quote Originally Posted by needcoffee View Post
    I have a question regarding introducing children into shooting. For the last couple of years my six year old has been using a .22 handgun. As near as I could ascertain she was right eye dominant. I recently bought her a mini henry rifle. Upon mounting the gun right handed she then proceeded to cock her head over the gun to line the sights up using her left eye. (Now understand this child is soooo right handed that you could cut her left arm off and she wouldn't miss a beat)

    Also a few months ago we were shooting bows in the back yard and I noticed that she was consistantly missing to the left of the target. I had her flip to lefty and lo and behold dead center.

    In both of the above cases I had paid fairly close attention to which of her eyes's was dominant. Before July09 I would swear that she was right handed right eye. Last couple months it looks like her master eye has switched.

    Have any of you fellows out there that have older kids or are instructor types that have helped train shooters from a young age on up run across this? If so is it something that will change as she get's older?

    Thanks for your comments,

    Jeff
    Jeff, you are describing me as a child--to a "t".
    My dad tried in vain to convert me to shooting to my normal "righty". He soon realized that my lazy right eye was useless for shooting and I've been a lefty all these 46 years now for nothing but shooting sports.

    Let her go to that left eye and she'll do fine, rifle and bow. Be sure to get her a left-handed bolt action etc., when the time comes.

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Childrens eye can switch dominance. When I was a teenager My dominace switched from right to left. I was so entranched in right hand shooting that I decided it would be easier to train my self to switch dominance. So now in normal day to day activity I let my left eye be dominant but when shooting I can choose to switch the eye that acts as dominant to my right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by needcoffee View Post
    I have a question regarding introducing children into shooting. For the last couple of years my six year old has been using a .22 handgun. As near as I could ascertain she was right eye dominant. I recently bought her a mini henry rifle. Upon mounting the gun right handed she then proceeded to cock her head over the gun to line the sights up using her left eye. (Now understand this child is soooo right handed that you could cut her left arm off and she wouldn't miss a beat)

    Also a few months ago we were shooting bows in the back yard and I noticed that she was consistantly missing to the left of the target. I had her flip to lefty and lo and behold dead center.

    In both of the above cases I had paid fairly close attention to which of her eyes's was dominant. Before July09 I would swear that she was right handed right eye. Last couple months it looks like her master eye has switched.

    Have any of you fellows out there that have older kids or are instructor types that have helped train shooters from a young age on up run across this? If so is it something that will change as she get's older?

    Thanks for your comments,

    Jeff
    Jeff, I agree with those who have suggested that you go ahead a let your daughter shoot left-handed, sighting with her left eye. However, do some of the tests to see which eye is really dominant. You may even want to consult with your optometrist to be certain. I believe it is best to go with the way she's hard-wired. That's what I did with my daughter, who is right-handed but left-eye dominant...which I did not know until I took her shooting as a child...much like your story.

    Your question about left/right-eye dominance in children changing over time is a good one, but a little complicated and it gets a bit too long-winded for the space here. The short answer is some children can change their eye preference/dominance with age, but they are the exception. Most children (nearly 70% in one study) retain the same eye dominance that they demonstrated as a preschooler. Therefore, assuming that she truly is left-eye dominant, it's most likely that she will be sighting with her left eye as an adult. My daughter (now 27) still uses her left eye.

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    I didn't really get into shooting until I turned 20 (2 years ago) and I realized that I was right handed and left eye dominant. I over the past 2 years I've forced myself to use my right eye and have slowly forced myself to be right eye dominant.

    I did this by only using my right eye when doing surveying on the jobsite during the summer (I work construction to pay for college). Lo and behold, I am 22 and right eye dominant.

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    Put a small piece of scotts tape on the left lens of her shooting glasses and aim with her right eye. Both eyes open is most important in shotgun shooting. Most rifle shooters really close their off eye.If her left eye is closed its not dominate. Some pros even wear full patches to cover the off eye but a little tape works just as well

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Put a small piece of scotts tape on the left lens of her shooting glasses and aim with her right eye. Both eyes open is most important in shotgun shooting. Most rifle shooters really close their off eye.If her left eye is closed its not dominate. Some pros even wear full patches to cover the off eye but a little tape works just as well
    Amigo Will is correct.

    I'm left-eye dominant and have been a bird dog bird hunter since forever. After many years of exhaustive scientific research (really honey, this is important stuff, more "research is needed! I'll be back Monday, promise!) What you will find is the little piece of tape/round sticky thing etc. . .will go on the upper left corner of the left lense. This placement is caused by lowering the cheek to the stock which makes the eye look through that area of the lense. When not looking down a gun barrel the sticky does not interfere very much. It is important to get the placement right so that when looking down the barrel the patch shades out the side of the barrel. The smaller the patch the better since some eye strain can be experienced after a day of hunting.

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    As a drill sergeant I noticed that with blocking the actual dominant eye the Soldier loses periferal vision even if a little. This actually caused them to not see many target presentations on the side of the screened eye. This caused me to believe that it would be detrimental to their safety and decided that, if it was an eye dominance issue and they were new shooters, that they would shoot properly using the dominant eye. They did get used to using their opposite hand after a short amount of training. The eye patch was only necessary when a Soldier could not close their non-firing eye.

    My daughter is left eye dominant and right handed, and I taught her to shoot left handed. After about a day or two on the range, she developed the skills to handle the rifle or handgun as a lefty. Every once in a while. she'll bring her gun up with the wrong hand but will change over quickly when she tries to use her dominant eye from the wrong side, but she has pretty much overcome that. She shoots well and I'm glad I did it that way. In my experience, I feel that you can overcome trigger squeeze and steady body position issues but you won't be able to beat an eye dominance issue without blocking vision. I also feel that in a hunting situation, especially bird hunting where the shooter is swinging the shotgun to lead the target, this is dangerous. In combat blocking vision is obviously not a good idea and to go without will lead to the "spray and pray" method of target engagement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armymark View Post
    As a drill sergeant I noticed that with blocking the actual dominant eye the Soldier loses periferal vision even if a little. This actually caused them to not see many target presentations on the side of the screened eye. This caused me to believe that it would be detrimental to their safety and decided that, if it was an eye dominance issue and they were new shooters, that they would shoot properly using the dominant eye. They did get used to using their opposite hand after a short amount of training. The eye patch was only necessary when a Soldier could not close their non-firing eye.

    My daughter is left eye dominant and right handed, and I taught her to shoot left handed. After about a day or two on the range, she developed the skills to handle the rifle or handgun as a lefty. Every once in a while. she'll bring her gun up with the wrong hand but will change over quickly when she tries to use her dominant eye from the wrong side, but she has pretty much overcome that. She shoots well and I'm glad I did it that way. In my experience, I feel that you can overcome trigger squeeze and steady body position issues but you won't be able to beat an eye dominance issue without blocking vision. I also feel that in a hunting situation, especially bird hunting where the shooter is swinging the shotgun to lead the target, this is dangerous. In combat blocking vision is obviously not a good idea and to go without will lead to the "spray and pray" method of target engagement.
    +1 my daughter also is cross dominant. rifle and bow are now leftys even though she is right handed.. she can shoot the hair off a knatsass...
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    My oldest son while a toddler was going to be a lefty as he would use his left hand more than his right, didn't want him to so put a mitten on his left hand for awhile until he switched to his right hand. He is dominantly right handed, shoots, writes, etc. But he can still use his left if he decides to and can shoot just as well lefty, go figure.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MARV1 View Post
    My oldest son while a toddler was going to be a lefty as he would use his left hand more than his right, didn't want him to so put a mitten on his left hand for awhile until he switched to his right hand. He is dominantly right handed, shoots, writes, etc. But he can still use his left if he decides to and can shoot just as well lefty, go figure.
    Switch hitter. Delta force material!

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    Default Eye dominance

    My son is left-handed, but right eye dominant. I've taught him to shoot right-handed. I did some research on this when teaching him, it seems eye dominance isn't set in most children until they're 5 -7 years old. My son is 7 now, and seems to be permanently right-eye dominant. I'm teaching my daughter (5) as well, and check her eyes monthly.

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    I'm right-handed, but left eye dominant - Actually I'm ambidextrous but when I started school they taught me to be right-handed because it was 'normal'. I usually close my left eye when shooting right handed until I'm on target then I open my left eye to help with depth perception. If I have time I'll set up over a rest and shoot left handed with a rifle. Where I run into problems is when I'm tired and using open sights, such as a shotgun or especially a pistol, because my left eye wants to take over and I'll hit right of the target. I'm terrible with a pistol because of the short sight radius and my left eye taking over the sight picture. I've started using a red dot on my 357 and I can actually hit what I'm aiming at now. My oldest daughter is left eye dominant and also left handed so I taught her to shoot left handed from day one.

    Woody

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