Don’t Worry About Cross Eyed Dominance
I have talked about this subject in the past, but the whole cross eyed dominance thing is not a thing. Don’t worry, when you close the other eye, your dominate eye is the one still open.
Disparity in Eye Strength
Too many times I will get the question about eye dominance. Most of the time people are surprised by my answer. While some people make it out to be a thing, it really is not. I get why people have been lead to believe it is an issue. It sounds a little scary when someone says you might not be able to see your sights. Even then, the only reason someone might suggest you continue to shoot with the other eye is the same reason we use to tell people they need to move the gun to the other side. I know many students who back in the day were told to learn how to shoot on their other side when the instructor found out they had a disparity in their eye strength.
Red Dots On Rifles
We have come a long way with so much innovation in equipment. Now, we have some pretty cool sight systems. When red dot sights first came into the picture on rifles so many cross eye dominate shooters were cured. The moment they could look through the optic their brain was able to see the dot and everything was good to go. As I studied why so many shooters were finding it easier to see the dot with the rifle on their right side it occurred to me the majority were right handed. It was more comfortable to shoot on their truly dominate or strong side. As more and more red dot sights showed up in rifle classes we saw this phenomenon more and more.
Unnecessary Movement Under Stress
The problem was compounded with handguns because we didn’t have red dots on them or for defensive use. They were still not on the radar. The traditional sight picture was confusing the brain and mixed messages were being created as a result. The solution was to shift the handgun to align with the left eye and point the chin at the crock of the strong side elbow. This technique would basically shift everything so the shooter could see their sights with their “dominant” eye. This worked wonders for so many people, family members included. The problem was how unnecessary all this extra movement was on top of the precision you needed to perform this extra movement. With these added variables it meant the likelihood one or more not meeting a minimum performance standard. When they failed to meet that standard, the chance of you not seeing the best sight picture was higher.
Simple Solutions To Complex Problems
Unless you are placed in this situation it is really hard to understand the challenges. Again, I totally get what people say when they express their frustration. I am not cross eye dominate, my right hand lines the gun up in front of my right eye. How is it I can speak with such authority on the subject then. Simple, when I shoot on my weak side I am now a cross eyed dominate shooter. Or maybe not. Because I believe it is essential any firearm instructor be able to demonstrate from both their strong and weak side it was something I had to over come. How did I overcome the cross eyed dominance issue. Simple. I closed my right eye. This allowed the gun to line up on my left side in front of my left eye. Problem solved.
What Happens In Reality
Some will mention there is a hole in my theory. You cannot expect to close the non dominate eye in a gunfight. Yeah right, but you think you will move the gun to the opposite side and turn your head away from the threat. Doesn’t make much sense when you think of it this way. When you can keep the gun in front of the eye on the same side as the gun you will be much better off than the alternatives. I continue to work off my weak side and I continue to apply this technique. It works, and is so much easier than the alternative. You may struggle closing the eye at first and if so, I suggest investing in a second pair of shootings glasses. Cover the weak side with painters tape to obscure your vision. While not the best solution it gets you going in the right direction.
There are plenty of challenges many new shooters experience when first starting out. Don’t overly complicate or confuse them with unnecessary technique.