Eye Dominance For Shooting



Okay, everyone knows what their dominant hand is.  We learn very early on in life which is our dominant hand and then we are trained to write with it.  However, most people do not know which is their dominant eye.  Which is really not all that important unless you are shooting firearms and archery.  I personally spent a lot of years shooting at a respectable level without knowing my eye dominance.  I even attended the police academy and tactical classes without knowing it and always scored well.   However, fortunately for me I ran into someone who showed me how to figure out which eye was dominant and then I knew that I needed to make some slight changes to how I shoot and walla I made marked improvement my first day.

So this is how you find your eye dominance or my favorite method of doing so.  Put your hands out in front of your eyes and create a triangle with both thumbs touching and forefingers touching.  You can now look through the triangle.  Find something an object that fits within the triangle at a moderate distance say ten feet.  While maintaining half of the triangle with your left hand bring your right hand slowly back until it covers your left eye while still looking at the object.  If the object moves or is covered up some. (by your hand) you are probably right eye dominant.  If it stays in the same place you are probably left eye dominant.  Repeat the process while bringing your left hand back and covering your left eye.  If it moves or is covered then you are left eye dominant.   This test works for everyone though every now and then you run into someone who has two fairly strong eyes so they do not notice much of a change.  They are still dominant in one eye but hardly notice a difference.  In my case the difference is dramatic and why I went from a good shot to a very good shot quickly and in particular with the rifle and shotgun.  With a handgun this “eye dominance” is not a huge deal but I will let Rob Pincus explain that with the final video.  However, with a rifle or shotgun it is a very big deal!

A different variation of the eye dominance test is demonstrated in this next video.  I am not as big a fan of this one because people can cheat with it:

Here is yet another version:

Eye dominance is extremely important to learn as a new shooter and particularly when shooting with a rifle or shotgun.  With a handgun it is important but not nearly as important as with a rifle or shotgun.

Rob Pincus here discusses why you do utilize your dominant hand for pistol shooting and why eye dominance is not as important with a handgun:

If you are right handed you should shoot right handed with a handgun and vice versa if you are left handed.  I believe Rob did a good job explaining that.  However, with a long gun you may have to make an adjustment to shooting on the opposite side if you have cross dominance like right handed/left eye dominant.  Once I new my eye dominance I immediately switched to that eye for rifle and shotgun.  Since I am right hand/left eye dominant I now shoot from my left side with rifle and shotgun.  With the handgun I shoot right handed but tilt the firearm slightly in a modified weaver stance to line up with my left eye.

Hope this blog post helps…

See You On The Streets!

Brian R. VanCise

Note: This blog is opinion only and neither Instinctive Response Training LLC or Brian R. VanCise are responsible for any third party actions.

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About Brian VanCise

Hi my name is Brian R. VanCise and my passion is the Martial Sciences. I have trained almost my entire life in the pursuit of martial excellence and I teach a world class curriculum in Las Vegas, Nevada. Contact us at: 702-326-3622
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