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If you are keen to learn more about how to counter cross-eye dominance or find out which is your dominant shooting eye, we have all the answers for you right here.
This is often an aspect that’s not considered by many when entering this field. Just like golfers who use rangefinders to identify viable stroke plays and improve their game, they too use this method, at least in a marginal way.
Now without further ado, let’s get started!
Bows: How to Work Out Which is Your Dominant Eye
You don’t even need to be holding a gun or bow in your hands for you to be able to work out your dominant eye when shooting or aiming at a target.
- Miles test
- Porta test
The easiest test to do is the Miles, so here are the steps to take to work out your dominant eye.
The Miles Test for Eye Dominance
- Hold your arms out – fully extended – at eye level
- Face your palms outward
- Join your hands together, forming a triangle with your index fingers and thumbs
- This makes a keyhole shape
- Look through the keyhole, focus on an object about 10 feet/3 meters away
- While focusing on the object, close one eye and make a note of what happens to the object
- Does the object shift to the side or disappear or does it stay in place?
- Close your other eye and make a note of what happens to the object now
- Does it shift or disappear or stay in the same place?
- The eye that keeps the object stationary in the keyhole created by your fingers is your dominant eye
In archery, if you are dominant in your left eye, you’ll feel more comfortable drawing the bowstring with your left hand. If the opposite is true and you are dominant in the right eye, you’ll be happier with a righthand bow. Because compound, recurve, and traditional bows are designed to work in harmony with the archer’s dominant eye, it’s important to know which one that is before buying one.
Also, when you’re planning to go on a hunting expedition, you want to make sure that you have the proper gear. For example; hunting boots are essential when it comes to your overall success. So make sure to choose the right gear.
Cross-Eye Dominance When Shooting
Knowing your dominant eye will have a bearing on more than simply how you write and throw a ball. Ask any shooter, and they will tell you that finding out which is your dominant eye is as important as the hand you use to hold your firearm and squeeze off a round. Being able to link up this instinctive hand to eye coordination will help you aim down the sights of your firearm.
Most folks have the same eye to hand dominance – right eye/right hand and left eye/left hand – but this is not always the case. If you discover you have the right eye/left hand or left eye/right hand combination after doing the Miles test, this what’s called cross-eye or odd-eye dominance.
This can be a bit of a challenge when it comes to using your rifle or shotgun iron sights, because cross-eye dominance affects your brain’s depth perception of the target. You won’t be able to see its true position, and your firearm will always shoot to one side.
How to Counter Cross-Eye Dominance in Shooting
When you aim with your non-dominant eye, your shots will shift to the right or left of the target as the sights are not aligned correctly. The problem is, that from the shooter’s perspective, everything seems to be set up for a precise shoot. So, the same as with archery, a shooter must have knowledge about which of the eyes is dominant.
Do the Miles test, and find out your dominant eye.
Once you know your dominant eye, you can crack on with finding the best way to counter your cross-eye shooting. There are quite a lot of opinions on the matter, so we will try and include every one of them. These methods have been known to correct the issue or at least address the problem with a possible solution.
Red Dot Sight
Many cross-eye or odd-eye dominant shooters have reported that using a red dot sight has dramatically improved the ability to aim and shoot the target accurately, using both a rifle or a shotgun. The shooter is able to keep both eyes open when they use a red dot sight because this allows the eye that is dominant to focus on the target. The non-dominant eye focuses on the reticle.
Make sure that you get expert help with the placement of the red dot sight. Don’t commit to a red dot sight position; allow for the fact that you will need to adjust the upper receiver rail system. You will definitely know someone who has expertise about the positioning of red dot sights and you can ask them for help, or make inquiries from your red dot sight sales assistant.
Train Your Eye
If you are still having trouble with aiming because your cross-eye dominance is severe, you can always try strengthening your non-dominant eye. Whichever is your dominant eye, you can patch over it or tape it shut. This will give your non-dominant eye the chance to get stronger.
There’s also another option of keeping both eyes open while you are shooting. This works well if your firearm is a shotgun or pistol. Shooters who have trained their non-dominant eye in this way have been known to see a difference after only a few sessions doing it at the range. But there have also been cases of extremely stubborn eye dominance, and it can take a very long time for the dominant eye to weaken and the non-dominant to strengthen.
The problem is that you need quite a bit of concentration to always use a trained dominant eye – it will never feel quite natural – and the whole point of training is to gain confidence and spontaneity. Practice will allow you to gain the muscle memory of always keeping your dominant eye shut.
It’s actually a simple thing to extend your pistol directly straight in front of you, centered from your chest, and turn your head slightly to the left or right. This gives your dominant eye the chance to line up with the sights, and you can shoot spontaneously without closing an eye.
Pistol shooting makes it easy to slightly touch your chin to your shoulder to line up your eye to the sights. For example, if you are right handed, but shoot with your left eye dominant, you can hold the pistol right handed, but in a two-handed grip, turn your head to the right, touch your chin to the right shoulder, and this position lines up your dominant left eye to the sights.
You can also modify your stance position, one that allows you to keep the dominant side open while swinging the pistol to the left side. Try using the weaver stance or the isosceles stances, and put the left foot forward slightly to turn your torso to the right.
Don’t Stop Trying to Correct Your Cross-Eye Dominance
They say to never stop trying something until you’ve gotten it right, and this is never truer than someone who has become frustrated with the difficulties of shooting with cross-eye dominance. Some people have even gone so far as having corrective laser surgery on their eyes.
Don’t give up on solving this difficulty. Find an instructor near you who has experience in this problem, and work together to solve it. That is the key to countering cross-eye dominant shooting.