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Thread: Dominant Eye

  1. #1

    Default Dominant Eye

    So my five year old son is just learning how to shoot. I found out that his left eye is his dominant eye, although he is right handed. So I asked a couple friends who are avid shooters, and they both told me that I should teach him how to shoot left handed. This is going to be hard to do, because I myself am right handed and my right eye is dominant. Anybody have any tips or suggestions out there? Anybody think I should teach him to shoot right handed even though his left eye is dominant?

  2. #2

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    I'm cross-dominant (Right eye, left hand) and I shoot left-handed. It does mean that you use your non-dominant eye when shooting long guns, but I found I was more comfortable using my non-dominant eye than my non-dominant hand. The Husband is also cross-dominant (left eye, right hand) and shoots right handed.

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    Got to get him shooting lefty. I run across this quite a bit with the cub/boy scouts. I always start out with an eye dominancy test before we do any shooting to try and get the kids started on the right foot. One time I had a kid shoot two rounds of trap and not hit a darn thing. One of his buddies figured out that he was left eye dominant, even though he was right handed. We made the switch and the kid dusted 24/25.
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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    He's young enuff to quickly adapt to left handed shooting if he is truly left eye dominant. Its more of a mental thing as an adult and not that hard to develop the ability to shoot both - I have done so for years and yes I am not as good left handed but I do pretty darn'd good. That's your #1 Choice
    #2 is to cover/close his left eye when shooting and he can do OK but it is not the optimum choice....
    Just remember to make sure you do not try to get him shooting left handed with a gun set up for a right handed shooter...
    Randy
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  5. #5

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    Being that young you should train him to shoot right handed and see if his right eye becomes the dominate one. I've seen kids that are left handed when they're young and switch to right as they get older. Left handed guns are expensive and dont resell well. I know how many guns I've owned in my life.
    My wife is the say way, right handed/left eye dominate and when hunting she carries an eye patch. When she's ready to shoot she puts on her pirate patch.
    My 2 cents.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman1979 View Post
    Being that young you should train him to shoot right handed and see if his right eye becomes the dominate one. I've seen kids that are left handed when they're young and switch to right as they get older. Left handed guns are expensive and dont resell well. I know how many guns I've owned in my life.
    My wife is the say way, right handed/left eye dominate and when hunting she carries an eye patch. When she's ready to shoot she puts on her pirate patch.
    My 2 cents.
    LOL. Worth every penny snowman.

    I am left eye dominant and right handed. I have found that I prefer using my right hand, to using my right eye. It's just easier for me.
    I am a hunter, not a target shooter. If I was doing most of my shooting from a bench at a range, I would get a left handed rifle.

  7. #7
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    Teach him lefty - IF you plan on his doing a lot of wingshooting. Robbing his binocular vision by patching one eye will cost him birds, if you do.
    To shot a rifle, its not too big a deal to block the dominate eye (patch or black spot on shooting glasses).
    Personnaly, I'd teach him lefty - either way, because you don't know what he'll want to do later in life & he won't always have time to place a patch (or whatever).
    Demonstrate each move as it should be done and have him "mirror" it. Just use general terms - shoulder, hand, finger, eye, etc - don't use right or left. At age 5, I'm not sure how well he'll follow directions anyway.

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    Interesting I am cross dominant as well, left eye, right hand. I am also another right handed shooter. I never new that I was doing it "wrong" till I was in basic training. They made us go through a little test and then made all of the left eye dominant folks shoot lefty.... I lied about my dominance, shot the right handed rifle and got my expert marksman ribbon.... I shoot the snot out of rabbits and have never had a problem knocking down clays though I have only done it a couple times and never on a trap range. For all my shooting I close my left eye and don't feel disabled by it. I have a feeling that archery it may be a bigger deal but w/ a rifle or shotgun I am just making a "line". It starts at my eye, hits the bead or sight and ends at my target. I don't need 2 starting points to make a straight line!

    Just my .02. I will let my kids shoot however is comfortable for them. So far it looks like one right and one left, the little guy isn't quite ready yet and the lefty better learn to love lever guns!

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    I have the same issue. I discovered mine at age 11 when I got my first BB gun.

    I would recommend letting the boy try shooting right handed and left handed and let him choose which way he's most comfortable with. If he decides to shoot right-handed despite left eye dominance then explain to him the extra work he'll have to put in to shoot well.

    You're trying to recruit and encourage a new shooter, not force him into any one particular mold.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    When I was a young lad and teaching myself to close one eye only, I learned first to do it by closing my right eye. I am right handed and I am slightly right eye dominant. Because I was able and more likely to close my right eye only, I learned to shoot left handed, on my own, with my Red Ryder BB gun. Later, when I learned to shoot firearms, a 12ga and a 30-06 at age 12, I shot left handed on a RH bolt gun. My father convinced me that shooting right handed was preferential because, of course, most things are produced for RH people.

    In the end, because I was right handed and trained my eyes in a somewhat "backward" fashion, I am able to shoot rifle, shotgun or handgun equally as well, which ever way I choose, though these days it is almost always right handed.

    Also I have a tendency to shoot with both eyes open after aquiring a sight picture whether using a scope or open sights.

    My suggestion is to get him a BB gun and turn him loose to find his own preference. The world has right or left handed firearms, as well ambidextrous.

  11. #11

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    Thanks for all the advice guys. I will have to think about all of this and figure out the best way. It is interesting how so many people can have different opinions on this topic. Some are saying teach him to shoot left handed, some are saying teach him to shoot with his right eye, while others are saying teach him both. I think I will try both methods and see what works best for him. Thanks for the tips.

  12. #12
    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    Just my .02. I will let my kids shoot however is comfortable for them. So far it looks like one right and one left, the little guy isn't quite ready yet and the lefty better learn to love lever guns![/QUOTE]


    I'm another cross eye dominant...I was force fed to shoot righty,Hell my grandpa was the first to notice I was whineing about the autos hot cases hiting my arm...After dad finding out I shoot lefty and all the teasing from my older brothers my dad got me a lever action...I shot that 30-30 until he found my first true love...A ruger #1...single shots, every left handers shooters dream gun!!!

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    One thing to consider is his age. I'm not sure that any decision made by a 5 yr old is going to be anything other than, "YES. I WANTTA SHOOT THE GUN. NOW.
    You're going to have to make most of his decisions for him (as far as gun handling goes) at this stage. you might want to slow down his participation at this stage. Get him a pop gun, nerf ball, whatever. Let him have fun, but introduce him to gun safety gradually using his toys. Maybe start him on a real (22 or good air rifle) at 8-10 years of age - when he will be somewhat more able to decide what works better for him. I know we all want to start our kids hunting asap, but some things are better taught with consideration for the childs age & learning ability.
    JMO
    Gary

  14. #14
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    My kid just turned 8. He is right handed. From 4-8 I thought he was going to be left eye dominant. Everyone's suggestions so far are worth considering and IMO let the kid develop his own shooting style. Front sight picture is front sight picture is front site picture regardless of left eye, right eye, upside down, right handed, left handed etc. Having said that, I put no pressure on my kid to shoot any particular way. I taught him what the front sight picture should look like and if that meant that he had to cant the BB gun side-ways ganster style then so be it but he could hit cans so that was all that matter to me. The fundamentals or basics are the most important. I also found that most BB guns, 22's, and 410's do not fit an average 4-7 year old. The length of throw is too long for there arms and then end up holding it like a bazooka (stock over the shoulder) but that doesn't work either, so it appeared that using the left eye was the "most comfortable" way to hold the BB gun. I ended up finding a smaller Daisy BB gun that fits him just fine and he automatically switched to his right eye. There are people who are cross-eyed dominant but I'd give it some time to see if that is the case or if he is "growing" into how to hold a rifle etc.

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