How to Shoot if You’re Cross Eye Dominant

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Video Transcript

What Does Cross Eye Dominant Mean? (00:13)
So today we're gonna be talking about eyeballs.

Specifically how to use your eyeballs if you're a cross eye dominant person. Now, if you don't know what that means, I'll explain quickly. So the majority of people have what's called ocular dominance, and that is their brain favors one eye over the other for visual processing. But there's a very small percent of people who have balanced visual acuity. Their brain doesn't necessarily favor one eye over the other. But these people are basically mutants, cuz there's very few of them. About two-thirds of the population are right eye dominant or regular eye dominant. So it'll be their right eye is dominant and they're right-handed or they're left eye dominant and they're left-handed. But then you have a third of people that are what's called cross eye dominant. So if you're right-handed your left eye is dominant or if you're left-handed your right eye is dominant.

Methods for Shooting Pistol (01:23)
So how does this apply to shooting rifle or pistol? Well I happen to be a cross eye dominant shooter, so I'd like to share my experiences. So I'm a big advocate of shooting with both eyes open. And the problem with being cross eye dominant is when I present the pistol, if I'm right-handed and then left eye dominant is the pistol doesn't necessarily line up with my left eye because I'm presenting the pistol with my right hand. So we have to do something to compensate.

So there's three methods I'd like to bring up. And the first that I don't recommend is you simply cant the pistol to the side so that it lines up with your left eye. But this is not very good when it comes down to recoil management, because now the pistol isn't level. The second method, which I haven't trained a lot on, but I have heard has a lot of advantages is you keep your head straight and you simply move the pistol over so that your left eye is seeing the sights. So this means that your arms aren't gonna be a hundred percent even with your body, but once with training and you getting accustomed to this, I do believe this method is very effective. And the people that I've talked to who've been doing this, say that it works really well.

The method that I use which has worked very well for me is as I present the pistol—my head is straight with my body—as I present the pistol to the target, I simply move my head over so that my left eye is centered with my body. And what you can use for reference is your belly button. So my right eye is sort of going off to the side. I'm kind of pushing that processing, the visual processing from my right eye off to the side. And I'm not really paying attention to what my right eye is doing. So my left eye is center with my body, my arms can be centered with my torso and then I see my sights. And as soon as I come outta the gun, my head goes back to being straight. As soon as I go back into my sights, my left eye is presented and I have my sight picture. So that's the method that I've chosen to use and it works very well.

Using a Red Dot Optic for Pistol (03:03)
So I've heard people say that using a pistol optic, such as a DeltaPoint or an RMR solves your problems if you're cross eye dominant. But I'm gonna say that's utter rubbish and here's why. So I have a Trijicon RMR right here. And the problem is my eyes are a little under three inches apart, and this is very small viewing window and optic. And I don't hold this pistol very far from my body. So it's physically impossible for both of my eyes to see this dot at the same time. The only way for that to work is if someone were to make a mount where it would put one RMR here on the left, one on the right, it'd be on a track so you can move 'em apart so that both your eyes will see both optics at the same time. But that would be super hard to zero. And if you use that, you'd probably get instantly lobotomized. So it's probably not a good idea. So basically when I'm shooting with a pistol optic, I do the exact same thing I do when I'm shooting with irons. I simply turn my head to the left and I have my sight picture with my optic. So it does not fix being cross eye dominant. Red dots give a lot of other advantages. So don't listen to people that say get a red dot because you're cross eye dominant, cuz it doesn't do anything for you.

Methods for Shooting Rifle (04:09)
So now for the doozy of all this. And that is how do you shoot rifles if you're cross eye dominant? Well, I see a lot of people who say, if you're cross eye dominant, you need to shoot your rifle on your left shoulder so that your dominant eye is looking through the sighting system. That definitely works, but let's face it. The majority of us shoot better if we keep the rifle in our dominant hand. So for me, it's, I keep the weapon in my right hand. And so I can work fire control with my right hand. Obviously we want to be as ambidextrous as possible and be able to shoot effectively with our left hand. But the majority of us are always gonna be more effective with our dominant hand. So basically what happens is you're going to take a hit one way or another if you're a cross eye dominant person. Either you're gonna lose a little bit of visual acuity shooting through your sighting system with your right eye, but you're using the weapon in your dominant hand, or you use the rifle in your non-dominant hand and then you use your dominant eye. So you kinda have to pick your poison in this regard. And I'm gonna talk about how to use sighting systems with your non-dominant eye.

Using a Red Dot Optic for Rifle (05:20)
Red dots on rifles are easy because we already have both eyes open because that's typically how we shoot with red dots. So when I bring this weapon up, my right eye is seeing the optic and my left eye is seeing the target and what's around that. So that's why I like shooting with red dots a lot because since I'm cross eye dominant, it doesn't slow me down one bit. I can leave both eyes open very effectively and I don't have to change anything to shoot with the red dot. And you probably don't either if you're cross eye dominant. If you want to switch to the left shoulder, that's fine. You can do that, but it won't make much of a difference if you're using a parallax-free red dot.

Using Iron Sights for Rifle (05:56)
Iron sights are tricky, at least for me, because I can't accurately discern my aperture and my front sight post when I'm shooting with my right hand because I'm left eye dominant. So my left eye's pulling most of the information and if I try to leave both eyes open, I can't discern my sights well enough. So basically what I do is as soon as my gun comes up to target, I just shut my left eye and I use my right eye to line everything up. All my data transfers to my right eye. I can focus better, get that really good sight picture and then shoot accurately. So I'm a little bit slower shooting with iron sights cuz I am forced to shut one eye. Some people can shoot irons very well, both eyes open, but those people are usually right eye dominant so it's a little bit easier for them.

Using Variable Optics (06:44)
So variable optics gets interesting if you're a cross eye dominant shooter. So just gonna get rid of the BCM and the Benelli. So here I have an EOTECH Vudu 1-6 and when I shoot a variable optic, I typically have to shut my left eye if I have the optic powered up to six or anything above one power. On one power, I can get away with both eyes open, but if I want to really refine my sight picture and really get a good, accurate shot, I usually close my left eye, so I'm looking through the optic with my right eye. And that allows me to be a little more precise, really hone in on that reticle, and get my shots off. If I have a illuminated reticle like on the Vortex Razor or maybe the ACOG, it's a little easier to keep both eyes open if need be, cuz the brightened reticle sort of superimposes and burns into your brain, but this Vudu doesn't brighten up too much so I typically have to shut my left eye.

If I have the ELCAN here—the ELCAN gets pretty bright, which is nice so I can keep both eyes open pretty good through this if I'm on one power. As soon as I switch to four power, then I usually have to shut my left eye. I have a Docter sight on here that allows me to bring my head up with the optic and then I'm able to open up my left eye if it was already shut. And then I can use both eyes open for extra situational awareness and all that good stuff, being a cross eye dominant shooter.

I've got an ACOG here. This is a fixed four power. I typically have to shut my left eye to shoot through this effectively. The Bindon Aiming Concept does not really work for me because the Bindon Aiming Concept generally requires that your dominant eye is looking through the ACOG if you're shooting with both eyes open. And since my dominant eye is my left eye, and I like to shoot right-handed, that doesn't quite work for me.

Using an Offset Red Dot (08:24)
Now, if I'm running something like this, this is my Daniel Defense 5V1, and I have a Nightforce 2.5-10 and an RMR at 32 degrees or 33. I shut my left eye to use the scope. And then as soon as I move over to the RMR I can open up my left eye and run both eyes like a normal red dot. So I like that a lot. Obviously for close range stuff, I can use the RMR and then for longer range stuff, I can shut my left eye and use the Nightforce. So that's very convenient.

Using a Magnifier (09:01)
So if I'm using a magnifier in conjunction with a red dot, like on this CQBR, I usually shut my left eye if I switch to the magnifier. Because then I'm pulling magnification, my brain is pulling more processing from my left eye and I really need to transfer all that to my right eye to really ensure I'm getting a good sight picture. So if my magnifier is outta the way, I have both eyes open just to shoot with the EOTECH. As soon as I move the magnifier over, I then shut my left eye and start going to work with this with just my right eye.

So there's a couple things you obviously have to take into consideration with some of these systems, if you're left eye dominant, but with training, you're able to adjust quickly between left eye, right eye, switching between the two, shutting one, shutting the other, switching to your left shoulder. Then you're able to use both eyes open perhaps if you're using a magnified optic. It really all comes down to training and finding out what works for you. But that's what works out for me.

It All Comes Down to Training (09:54)
And the thing to remember is if you are a cross eye dominant shooter, don't feel like you are disabled or you're impaired or something like that. Because at that point you've already lost the battle and you're being defeatist. Some of the world's best shooters are cross eye dominant and all it comes down to is training and understanding some of the limitations that you have, getting out to the range, and slaying it. So until next time, I'm Lucas with T.REX ARMS.